A major difference between the functioning of App Store and Play Store is the difference in their ideology.
On the same lines, beginning September 7th, 2016, Apple started cleaning the App Store by removing apps that are old and outdated. Apps that were compatible with the features of the latest iPhones, like 3D touch, also had difficulty seeing the light of the day. The step was a major one taken solely with user perspective to make high quality content available to the users. Many old long abandoned apps have been eliminated from the store.
According to stats from Sensor Tower, by October 2016, almost 47,300 apps that were either abandoned or obsolete were taken off the app store. About 28% of these deleted apps were mobile games, which isn’t very surprising since “Games” is the highest trafficked category of the App Store.
The number of apps removed in the month of October alone is way higher than an average of 14000 per month during the months from January to September.
The decision of cleansing the app store, however, wasn’t sudden. According to reports from Apple, the developers of the ‘risked’ apps are informed 30 days prior to allow for a period to make improvements and upgrades in them and submit fresh builds. In case the app crashes, it is immediately removed.
Another change in the working guidelines is the limited number of characters that can be used for publishing the app name. Keyword stuffing has always been the basic approach for the App Store Optimization. Apple drew to the decision since app developers tend to use markedly long names to influence search results. From September 7th onwards, Apple limited the character count to only 50 characters.
According to updates on Apple News and Updates , the following two were the main contents of the intimation that the developers received.
“Quality is extremely important to us. We know that many of you work hard to build innovative apps and update your apps on the App Store with new content and features. However, there are also apps on the App Store that no longer function as intended or follow current review guidelines, and others which have not been supported with compatibility updates for a long time. We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues, notifying their developers, and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the App Store.”
“Search is one of the most frequently used methods for customers to discover and download apps from the App Store. In hopes of influencing search results, some developers have used extremely long app names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to their app. These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and provide no user value. App names you submit in iTunes Connect for new apps and updates will now be limited to no longer than 50 characters.”
In the past few months, Apple even appointed dedicated resources to improve the App Store qualitatively. Over the past few months, apple even announced other plans that included offering favorable revenue splits in subscription costs, opening up app subscriptions to all categories of products, improvement in the sharing tools and the introduction of Ads in the search results to introduce fresh arenas of promotion.
The virtual shelves at the app store had more than 2 million items before September 7th, with close to 100,000 apps, new and updated, submitted every week. Cleaning up the app store therefore required mastering the art, which they certainly did.
Apart from cleaning the app store, Apple also successfully brought the iOS 10 update to the users, which can easily be considered the best update so far.
Disclaimer: The data in the above blog post has been sourced from SensorTower
GameGorillaz is a step ahead in the race. If your game did or didn’t make it through the test, upload the source code here at GG or sell your game art to sustain constant income from even those “risked” apps.