Apple adds search filters, previous purchases to iPad App Store

Apple has tweaked the iPad edition of their App Store overnight, adding the ability to add filters to search results.

In a bid to allow users to better refine the results of searches on Apple's App Store, which had at last count more than 300,000 apps, Apple has begun rolling out the new tool which sits at the top of search results pages allowing users to filter search results. iPad owners can choose to show apps which appear in response to the search query based on their category, release date, customer rating, price and device.

As the number of apps in Apple's App Store -- which dwarfs competitors such as Google's Android Market which has more than 100,000 apps and Microsoft's recently launched Marketplace that features 7600 or so apps -- continue to grow exponentially, Apple has been forced to roll out a number of tools to allow users to filter through spam apps and apps which are relevant to them, launching genius for apps and adding a "top grossing section" last year.

And the Curpertino-based giant has also tweaked the way already purchased applications display on the iPad edition of the app store. Now, when a user has previously purchased an app but is on a device which it isn't installed, the download button will instead display "install" rather than "buy" and the price, just as occurs on the all-new Mac App Store. Unlike the Mac App Store however, there's no page where you can view your previous downloads as yet.

Both features are now available worldwide on the App Store when viewing it on an iPad. It's thought the previous purchases tweak will be rolled out onto the iPhone or iPod Touch, but the search refinement tools may take a little longer, given the extra screen space required.

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