Apple adds Catalogs top category ahead of the iPad event

Today is the big Apple event where the iPad HD or iPad 3 will be unveiled. No matter what the name of the tablet ends up being, everyone expects that it will have high-resolution Retina display that will usher in a new level of tablet video and content prowess. Apple will likely have some other tricks up its sleeve that we aren't expecting at the event today, and the App Store is already gearing up with the addition of a new top-level category.

The new top-level category surfaced today and is called Catalogs. Adding catalogs as its own category in the App Store is no surprise, and will be welcomed by a lot of users enjoy perusing content on their tablet or smartphone. The screenshot here clearly shows the Catalogs category. However, the new category isn't fully deployed across the App Store at this point and has no apps listed.

The Catalogs section and the event today must be related. With so much online shopping conducted using the iPad, a big push with more catalogs makes a lot of sense. We only have hours to wait to see for sure if this new section ties in with the iPad launch event. Previously, apps like Catalog Spree were in the lifestyle category.

Joaquin Ruiz, CEO of the leading catalog app, Catalog Spree, offers these thoughts on the new category:

"The impact of the iPad in the shopping and publication industries has been massive. Many thousands of apps have been added over the last 2 years to address the consumers need to interact with their favorite books, magazines and brands within an iPad optimized experience. Just last week at eTail in Palm Springs, hundreds of retailers gathered to hear from thought leaders in the mobile space about how important the iPad is for prospecting, engagement and customer acquisition. Catalog Spree has been the leader in the catalog shopping app space since first launched in late April 2011. Until today (the day before the "iPad 3" launch), Catalog Spree and dozens of other shopping entertainment apps have been categorized in the "Lifestyle" category in the Apple App Store. Today, Apple has added a new top level category called "Catalogs" to the App Store. As of yet, there are no listed apps in that category but we expect that to change tomorrow after Apple's "iPad 3" announcement. Adding an app category is not something that Apple does lightly and we believe Apple's decision reflects the importance of this use case in the Apple App Store ecosystem."