How To Use The Apple App Store With iOS 11

The true power of the iPhone is unlocked by the millions of great apps available in the App Store. But with so many to choose from, finding apps can sometimes be a challenge. Luckily, Apple has structured to the App Store to highlight great apps and to help you find ones that do just what you need. Read on to learn how to use the App Store in iOS 11 and up.

NOTE: The App Store is no longer available in iTunes on the Mac. The App Store is still accessible via the App Store app that comes pre-loaded on iOS devices.

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Today Tab

iOS 11 App Store - Today Tab

The home screen of the App Store app is the Today tab. The Today tab promotes featured apps, chosen by Apple for their quality or relevance to current events (for instance, apps with Thanksgiving recipes in the week of Thanksgiving). You'll also find the Game of the Day and App of the Day on this screen. Both apps are selected by Apple and updated daily, though you can see older selections by scrolling down.

Tap any of the featured apps to learn more about them. The Daily List is a smaller collection of apps on a theme, such as streaming video apps or photo apps. 

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Games & Apps Tabs

iOS 11 App Store - Apps Tab

The App Store app makes it easy to find the apps you're looking for in two ways: searching or browsing.  

Searching for Apps

To search for an app:

  1. Tap the Search tab.
  2. Type in the name or type of app you're looking for (meditation, photography, or expense tracking, for example). 
  3. As you type, suggested results appear. If one matches what you're looking for, tap it.
  4. Otherwise, finish typing and tap Search on the keyboard.

Browsing for Apps

If you prefer to discover new apps on your own, browsing the App Store is for you. To do that:

  1. Tap the Games or Apps tab.
  2. Both tabs have alternating sections of single, highlighted apps and lists of related apps. 
  3. Swipe up and down to browse apps. Swipe left and right to view sets of related apps.
  4. Swipe to the bottom of the screen to view categories for each section. Tap See All to view all categories.
  5. Tap a category and you'll get apps presented in a similar layout, but all from within the same category.
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App Detail Screen

iOS 11 App Store - App Detail

To learn more about an app, tap on it. The app detail screen contains all kinds of useful information about the app, including:

  • Get/Buy—If you want to download the app, tap this button (more on this in the next section). Free apps have the Get button, while paid apps have a button with the price.
  • Star Rating—The average rating assigned to the app by users, plus the number of reviews submitted. To see individual reviews and more detail on the rating, scroll down to the Ratings & Reviews section and tap See All. 
  • Rank—The app's popularity ranking in its category.
  • Age—A rating for the app, showing what age it is appropriate for.
  • Screenshots/Videos—Get a preview of what the app looks like from these screenshots and videos.
  • Apps for Other Devices—If there are versions of the app for the iPad, Apple Watch, or Apple TV, this section displays screenshots for each device.
  • Description—More detail on the app, its features, and any subscription/in-app purchase options it offers.
  • Version History—Each version of the app is listed here, plus notes about what changed with each update.
  • Information—This section contains information like the download size and In-App Purchases. Tap In-App Purchases to reveal the full set of options.
  • Supports—This section lists the other Apple-specific features that the app supports, including Family Sharing.
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Buying and Downloading Apps

iOS 11 App Store - Download

Once you've found an app you want to download, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Get or Price button. This can be done from the app detail page, search results, the Games or App tabs, and more.
  2. When you do this, you may be asked to enter your Apple ID password to authorize the download/purchase. Authorization is provided by entering your password, Touch ID, or Face ID.
  3. A menu pops up from the bottom of the screen with information about the app and a Cancel button.
  4. To complete the transaction and install the app, double click the Side button. 
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Updates Tab

iOS 11 App Store - Updates

Developers release updates to apps when there are new features, bug fixes, and to add compatibility for new versions of the iOS. Once you've got some apps installed on your phone, you'll need to update them.

To update your apps:

  1. Tap the App Store app to open it.
  2. Tap the Updates tab.
  3. Review the available updates (refresh the page by swiping down).
  4. To learn more about the update, tap More.
  5. To install the update, tap Update

If you'd rather not update apps manually, you can set your phone to automatically download and install them whenever they're released. Here's how:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap iTunes & App Store.
  3. In the Automatic Downloads section, move the Updates slider to on/green.
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Redownloading Apps

App Store in iOS 11 - Redownloading Apps

Even if you delete an app from your phone, you can redownload it for free. That's because once you've downloaded an app, it's added to your iCloud account, too. The only time you won't be able to redownload an app is if it's no longer available in the App Store.

To redownload an app:

  1. Tap the App Store app.
  2. Tap Updates.
  3. Tap your account icon in the top right corner (this may be a photo, if you've added one to your Apple ID).
  4. Tap Purchased.
  5. The list of apps defaults to All apps, but you can also tap Not on this iPhone just to see apps not currently installed. 
  6. Tap the download button (the cloud with the down arrow in it).
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App Store Tips and Tricks

Get apps not in the App Store
There are multiple ways to get apps from outside the App Store. image credit: Stuart Kinlough/Ikon Images/Getty Images

The tips listed here only scratch the surface of the App Store. If you want to learn more—either advanced tips or how to fix problems when they arise—check out these articles: