Apple Removes 11 Categories From the Mac App Store Categories Tab

Friday
Apple has slashed the number of app categories listed in the Mac App Store‘s Categories tab, an apparently intentional move that may irk Mac users and developers who rely on the tab to aid app discoverability.

The tab now lists just 10 categories, down from the 21 it had listed since the revamped Mac App Store debuted with the launch of macOS Mojave in September. The missing categories include Finance, Lifestyle, Sports, Weather, Medical, Travel, Education, Reference, Entertainment, Health & Fitness, and News. That leaves the following 10 categories that users can still browse individually:

  • Business
  • Developer Tools
  • Games
  • Graphics & Design
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Productivity
  • Social Networking
  • Utilities
  • Video

When a developer submits their app to Apple for inclusion on the Mac App Store, they can assign the app a primary category and a secondary category. The primary category is particularly important for discoverability, as this is the one in which the app appears when users browse the Mac App Store or filter search results. Up until yesterday, it also determined the app’s placement in the Categories tab.

It’s unclear at present why Apple has decided to hamstring the Categories tab, as the categories that are missing are still being used to classify apps in the Mac App Store, and Apple’s documentation for developers on choosing a category for their Mac app hasn’t changed. Currently, iPhone and iPad users remain able to browse all 21 iOS app categories individually in the iOS App Store app.

We’ve reached out to Apple for comment regarding the change to the Mac App Store and will update this article if we learn more.

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