In iOS 6, recently downloaded apps are denoted with a banner that sits on top of the app icon on the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. While this “new” banner feature is a nice start, Apple could make this much better and more beneficial to the user and here’s how.

What is a new app?

When most folks think of new apps, I’m pretty sure they are thinking about apps recently launched in the App Store. In iOS 6 beta, however, “new” apps aren’t necessarily so. In fact, some have been around for years.

For example, I recently bought and downloaded the $2.99 Reeder app on my iPhone. Originally released in 2009, Reeder isn’t exactly fresh, although it was updated just days ago. Still, in iOS 6, the Reeder icon is marked “new” on my iPhone and will continue to be until I use the app for the first time.

However, Apple should do more. Apps with updates available should include a different type of banner. Instead of seeing a “new” banner, these apps should be marked as “update.” Better still, Apple should update these apps automatically when they are launched, or at least give you the option to do so when clicking on the icon.

As it stands now, Apple’s new banner feature looks nice, but it could do a lot more.

Anyone with me on this?