Why it’s so Hard to Shop Apple’s App Store

Often I’ll take time to browse the Apple App Store on my iPad to see what’s new and, far too often, buy an app. The frustrating thing? If I get just a few screens in and decide to view an app—and after viewing it go back to browsing—I’m taken back to the beginning of the category!

If you look at the screenshot above, there are over 4,000 apps in the Travel category. If I sort them on, say, “Most Popular” and start browsing by clicking through them, I’ll often end up several hundred deep in to the category.

If I click on one I can view it and then go back to browsing in the exact same deep-into-the-category spot I left. After viewing apps like that one or two more times, however, I’m suddenly brought back to the top of the category.

This means that I either have to start over and click through a bunch of screens to get back to the place I was, or do what I usually do: simply give up after looking at a few dozen apps. Why does Apple do this? You’d think they’d want to facilitate app purchases vs. making it such a pain to shop.

Please get your sh*t together on this Apple.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.


  1. Yep – F R U S T R A T I N G

  2. http://Andrew says

    Very poor functionality! I’m new to the iPhone so I was keen to buy a few apps for it but navigating the App store is a nightmare! I’m still not sure how you’re meant to search for specific apps.

    Also… it’s obvious that Apple employ a very good marketing department, why anyone would buy an iPad is beyond me.

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