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Apple launches new App Store section highlighting month's best apps

Continuing the build-out of its iOS App Store, Apple on Thursday launched a new app collection section called "Best of April," suggesting the company may start featuring a new set of curated apps each month.

The "Best of April" section, first spotted by MacStories, is basically a roundup of the past month's best apps as chosen by the App Store's editorial team. Mixed in are "superb offerings that received impressive updates," which also look to be previous Editors' Choice picks.

Unlike the Editors' Choice showcase, "Best of April" is broken into two categories: Great Games and Amazing Apps. It looks as though Apple intends to keep the number of featured apps limited, with games coming in at exactly 25 and miscellaneous apps numbering 24 this month.

In addition to the monthly collection of Editors' Choice picks, one game and one non-gaming app are selected as best of class for both the iPhone and iPad. April's best iPhone apps were curated newsreader NYT Now and adventure platformer Leo's Fortune, while Comedy Central and strategy card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft took the top spots for iPad.

Judging by the section's description — "Explore our favorite new apps and games — the month's most memorable, skillfully crafted releases." — it looks like Apple will position the "Best of" showcase as a monthly feature prominently promoted in both the iOS App Store and desktop version of iTunes.

The addition to the App Store comes two weeks after the Wall Street Journal reported on Apple and Google's behind-the-scenes battle over first rights to blockbuster mobile games games. Sources said both companies offer certain developers special consideration, or premium placement, in their respective app stores in exchange for a period of exclusivity.

With the "Best of" section, Apple now has a new forum in which to promote standout titles. As app updates are also part of the monthly highlights, select developers can even have their wares showcased more than once, assuming the refreshed version is worthy of recognition.