If you fired up the iOS or Mac App Store in the past day, you might have noticed something different. Apple this week launched new "Editors' Choice" picks, as well as a promotion offering a free "App of the Week."
In its Mac App Store, Apple began promoting the new smart address book application Cobook, as well as the game Deus Ex: Human Revolution as Editors' Choice picks. For iOS devices, Apple extended the Editors' Choice designation to the newly released Facebook Camera app, as well as Extreme Skater, Air Mail, and Sketchbook Ink.
In addition to the curated app selections, Apple has begun offering selected paid iOS apps for free for one week. The Cupertino tech giant kicked off its new promotion by offering the game Cut the Rope: Experiments as the App of the Week free download. The app, a follow-up to ZeptoLab's popular Cut the Rope game, is typically priced at $0.99.
Apple announced the promotion on Thursday on its official App Store Twitter account.
This is the first paid app to be offered for free as part of a standalone Apple promotion, The Verge pointed out. It remains to be seen whether Apple will continue the promotion, and offer a different free app each week.
Apple's move to begin featuring Editors' Choice and App of the Week picks is undoubtedly aimed at helping users discover new and noteworthy apps. With more than 600,000 apps currently available in the iOS App Store, trying to find the one you want is becoming increasingly difficult.
In an earlier move to improve app discovery, Apple purchased a San Francisco-based startup called Chomp, which makes a search engine for mobile apps. The tech giant is reportedly planning to revamp its App Store, making it more user-friendly and easier to discover hidden gems.
Meanwhile, competing app seller Amazon frequently offers apps in its Appstore for free or at a steep discount. Google also has a section for Editors' Choice apps on its Google Play app market.