Let’s Talk About the App Store Changes

The App Store now has over 1.2 million apps and nearly 300 million visitors every week. Consequently, Apple has taken steps towards simplifying the App Store process and has made some enhancements in the recently announced iOS 8. The App Store improvements are aimed at adding new ways to discover, test and download apps.

 

Explore Tab

Apple has added an explore tab, which is essentially a streamlined look at different categories and subcategories of apps. The Explore tab also provides users with a new trending topics display, further enhancing app discoverability.

 

 

Search

Apple announced multiple improvements to the search function within the App Store, including adding a Twitter like trending search suggestion. These curated suggestions showcase popular searches at the precise moment of searching.Previously, iOS 7 had a one single card view, requiring the user to swipe from one single app result to another. This cumbersome search view did not enhance discoverability, as users commonly only swiped through the first few apps. Subsequently, the iOS 8 App Store has removed the card view and has implemented a continuous scrolling list view. Users will now see apps in a scrollable list with an expanded snapshot of each app (see image below). Additionally, Apple has added an editor’s choice logo on selected apps so users can easily identify the best apps available.

 

App Bundles

Developers can now sell apps in bundle format. This App Store change will let users buy multiple apps at a discounted price and enable easy cross selling.

 

App Preview

To aid the user experience in the buying or downloading process, developers can now add videos directly into the preview section of an app in addition to screenshots. Developers can make short preview videos of apps and showcase noteworthy features.

 

TestFlight

Apple’s integration with TestFlight is undoubtedly one the best additions to iOS 8. Developers can invite users to Beta Test their app in TestFlight and get insightful usage patterns.from actual app users. This positions the App Store as a more comprehensive platform and further promotes the quality of apps on App Store. Further, this addition eliminates the need for developers to spend money on alternative tools to acquire user feedback.