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Windows Store now helps you find apps faster, even if they're for your phone


Although Windows 8.1's store has a healthy stock of apps, actually finding those apps has been a pain at times. Much of the store's interface has been hidden, and it hasn't always been clear where to go if you're just getting started. Starting today, it's considerably easier to get around: Microsoft is pushing out a Windows Store update that puts more content front and center. The navigation bar is now a permanent fixture on the screen, and points you to popular areas like the categories and top app charts. You'll also see themed collections (such as music apps) and multiple featured selections right on the first store page.

The improved shop takes better advantage of Windows' increasing cross-platform app support, too. Developers can link their desktop software to its Windows Phone equivalent, making it clear that you'll get both titles -- handy if you didn't realize that there was a pocket-sized version of a hot new release. The store tweaks are rolling out gradually to Windows users, so don't be dismayed if you don't see the new portal right away. However, the wait might be worth it if it helps you discover a hidden gem or two.

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