Apple Unifies its App Stores: How This Affects App Discovery

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Apple officially announced a fundamental change to their App Store ecosystem that could affect the discoverability of your apps.

‘Universal purchases’ will allow developers to release, and customers to purchase, a single app or in-app purchase that will sync across iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and now finally, macOS, platforms. 

This means Apple is in the process of unifying the iOS App Store and Mac App Store to streamline their app distribution, already alluding to fundamental changes to App Store categories in their official announcement

Notably, changes to categories on the Mac App Store include the addition of “Books,” “Food & Drink,” “Magazines & Newspapers,” “Navigation” and “Shopping” and the removal of “Kids” from the subcategory within “Games.” The iOS App Store will gain two new categories: “Developer Tools” and “Graphics & Design”.

How could this affect app owners? 

  • Mac App Store category alignment with the iOS App Store will allow for new opportunities for discovery of your apps
  • The Mac App Store’s new categories offer the possibility to rank higher in the new, potentially less competitive categories that will be released. This should be considered as part of your ongoing ASO strategy
  • For inherently cross-platform apps, subscriptions and in-app purchases will streamline the customer experience and increase engagement with your service/product
  • With the new categories, apps could be reindexed which could potentially affect your app store rankings 

To note: developers must enable this functionality, whilst the App Store handles unifying the purchases. It should be considered whether this is worthwhile for the type of app you are marketing.

In the meantime, there is no doubt that it will help to promote the development of new Mac apps and will open up opportunities for apps to reach a wider audience base across multiple platforms.

Want to chat further about app discoverability? Get in touch with our team today!

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