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Apple revamps App Store

Apple Inc's newest operating system for iPhones and iPads introduces changes to its marketplace for third-party software to satisfy app developers and add new so-called augmented reality apps.

The system, called iOS 11, is being released today, ahead of its two newest phone handsets - the iPhone 8 and iPhone X - which are set to start shipping to customers on Friday and Nov 3, respectively.

The most visible changes will come to the App Store. It is the backbone of Apple's services segment, which brought in US$21.5 billion (S$28.9b) in revenue in the past nine months, a 19 per cent increase over the previous year and a bright spot as overall sales grew only 5 per cent.

The store has been redesigned to give app developers more space for images and text to describe their software.

Developers have long grumbled that their software is hard to find in Apple's store unless users type in the precise name of the app or follow a link to it.

"The redesign make it much cleaner and speaks to the pain point of the store: You had so many apps that if you didn't know exactly what you were looking for, it was really hard to find anything," said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies.

The new store also gives prominent display to games. Games are expected to make up 75 per cent of all revenue for the App Store, according to App Annie, which collects and analyzes market data on mobile apps. - REUTERS

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