How Apple Updated App Store Discovery in iOS 8

Apple recently announced several new tools for developers to increase app discoverability. With Apple reporting 300 million visitors per week on the App Store, it will be exciting to see how developers use these tools. Here’s a roundup of new discovery features that Apple will be adding with iOS 8.

App Preview

Videos in App Store

This is a move that numerous developers have been expecting since Clumsy Ninja was first released. Now, developers can show a video showcasing their game directly within the app store. Gone are the days of relying on a handful of static screenshots. This is great news for any developer to showcase their app or game.

Trending Searches

Trending Searches

This feature will be interesting to watch on a regular basis. It allows developers increase their app’s discoverability by making use of big launches, marketing campaigns and notable events like WWDC or The World Cup.

App Bundles

App Bundles

App Bundles will be awesome for developers who have multiple apps. Especially when apps fit similar theme or benefit from pairing. For example: Toca Boca apps, Any.do & Cal bundle, or Nimble Bits’ games. I wonder if we’re going to see developers working with other developers on packages. This will definitely be useful when doing app promotion – if a user downloads 4 apps instead of just 1, the revenue potential is much greater.

Test Flight

Testflight

A lot of people saw this coming with the acquisition of Testflight. Apple seems to be working on a great way to do betas on iOS. If you’ve ever worked with betas so far, you know how much of a pain it is to manage and set up. Seems like it will finally be seamless experience. Early adopters can be beta testers and receive updates through the App Store – while providing developers with strong analytics. This isn’t necessarily discovery related, but with 1000 accounts available, this will be a great way to get betas to journalists and enthusiastic early adapters who will help spread the word.

Location Alerts

Location-Based App Recommendations

Apple didn’t announce this on Monday, but a beta tester spotted that iOS 8 recommends apps based on your location. So that if you’re in a Starbucks, Apple will put the Starbucks app on the home screen so you can access it when you swipe up on the left side. This isn’t limited to large companies like Starbucks, but also transit apps if you’re at a train station. While it won’t apply to most apps, it may give your app an advantage if it’s location specific.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates for App Store pages

While not directly related to discovery, this feature will help with testing different images and descriptions by measuring conversion. Apple has traditionally kept things hidden in terms of App Store page conversions. Soon, you will have data on how many people went to the App Store from a specific link you are tracking and how many of those visitors converted. But that’s pretty limited data. With conversion rates for pages, you can tweak images, videos, and icons to try to get the best conversion for your apps. This is an awesome new feature for devs. Will this lead to Apple doing their own attribution tracking?

I’m looking forward to see how developers utilize these new methods to increase downloads. Let me which feature you think has the most promise.

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