Buzz / 07 11, 2017

5 Things to Do This Summer to Get Your iOS App Ready for the New App Store

With Apple’s announcement of its first major overhaul to the App Store with iOS 11 in the fall, now is the time to ramp up your App’s page to make sure it stands out from the competition. And what better time to do this than in the lull of summer: your phone isn’t ringing off the hook, and your inbox is at 50 emails a day as opposed to the typical 500.

Although the totally revamped App Store will not be live until Fall 2017, developers have got their hands on the beta version. These critical updates to the App Store are focused on the goal of adding pages for app discovery and assisting installs – music to our ears!

The App Store has been around for 9 years, and since then, it has not dramatically changed. Apple curates its recommendations for Top Apps, Apps You May Like and an app product page for consumers to view screenshots along with some reviews and recent updates – nothing revolutionary. But now, Apple is providing the platform to let apps tell a story.

The new App Store features 5 tabs:

  • Today
  • Games
  • Apps
  • Updates
  • Search

 

Here is what you need to do before the new App Store Launches this Fall

 

1. Get to know the features of the new Today tab

 

The Today tab will be showcasing the latest and greatest of the app world all in one place. It’s much different from Apple’s previous version of the App Store Home Page. More closely resembling the News app on iPhone, the new Today tab will have a large image and autoplay image cards for each app to make them pop off the screen and bring more movement to the feed.

Today is Apple’s way of curating their favorite new apps in a much more visual and editorial way, in order to reach mass consumers. As a developer, getting your app to be featured on their Today page will be the holy grail.

At the WWDC 2017 demo of the new App Store, Apple featured a sample article in the Today tab for an app called Monument Valley 2. The feature article has beautiful images, autoplay videos, callouts, and interviews with the developers. Viewers can go straight to downloading the app from these articles which will make it seamless to get app installs.

 

2. Start planning your phased releases, Game App Developers

If you have a game app, you will be happy to know that the Game tab has been broken out all by itself on the App Store main menu. Games are a huge part of the app market share, and Apple realizes that they needed an entire section for them on the new App Store.

The Games tab will have a Latest, Popular, and Featured section in order to showcase games with rich imagery, autoplay videos, and even allows developers to show in-app purchases and new updates to their game app. From a marketing perspective for your game app, you should consider planning out phased releases for your game. Making sure that updates and in-app purchases are dripped out steadily over time, which will keep your users coming back for more. Now more than ever with this new feature on this Game tab, developers will be doing phased releases much more frequently.

 

3. Reenvision your app’s Product Page

Getting your app’s individual product page to shine is the first step in getting noticed. The new layout in the app store includes some fresh new features to give the user a true understanding of what your app is all about.

Let’s talk about autoplay preview videos on the new app product page. You can make your app come to life by showcasing the best and most unique elements of your app. You can upload up to three videos. Videos can only be 30 seconds long, so you will want to focus on capturing the most self-explanatory clips since with autoplay most people will be watching your video without sound. You can also add captions, title cards, and other copy to your videos to help people orientate themselves with your app.

To get ready for the fall update, start by collecting your best screenplay moments of your app. These do not have to be long clips, but instead just capture those wow moments that the mobile app features. This is especially good to highlight unique animation that your app might have.

 

4. Get more reviews

 

With the crowded nature of app space in the app store, having reviews will push your app to the top of search results. Especially with the new enhanced search features of the updated App Store, getting your app reviewed should be a top priority.

Reviews will be a huge part of the new App Store redesign. In order to prepare, you should consider some marketing strategies to get your app reviews up. Reaching out to friends and family is a great way to get your reviews rolling in.

Another thing to consider is adding a plugin to your app to prompt app reviews. This can get tricky because the last thing you want to do is prompt your user too soon and upset them – triggering them to write a negative review.

With plugins like Appirater, you can have your rate prompt occur only after certain conditions are met. For example, the rating pop-up will show up after the user has used the app ‘x’ number of times. Apple is moving developers away from using third party review prompt plugins, however. Instead, they will be requiring all iOS 11 review prompts to be made with their own Apple API. With Apple’s extremely devout privacy policy, they want to eliminate any chance that developers can tamper with reviews. The main takeaway is that you want to ask your audience for feedback and create a dialog with your user. Asking for feedback and suggestions will give your app authenticity.

 

5. Hammer Home Your App’s Story

 

As you probably gathered, the new App Store is extremely editorial. The Today tab will be featuring apps that have a strong narrative. So before the release of the new App Store in the fall, you will want to clearly communicate your app’s story.

With people most likely being on their phone browsing for apps, the layout of the app store will mirror people’s habits of an endless scroll down. Our thumbs swipe up even in our sleep these days. So try to visualize your app like a timeline, where the story unfolds as you scroll down.

Telling your app story can visually feature some inspirations like the various stages of your prototyping into the fully fleshed product. If your app developers or founders have an inspiring story, have those assets ready to share.

Apple will be desperate to find these gems every single day in order to provide content to their App Store audience. So it’s never too soon to start compiling unique brand assets that help tell your app’s story. Apple already began opening their suggestion box for apps that want to apply to be featured on the Today tab.

 

What Should I Do Next?

The overhaul to the App Store provides marketers and app developers with new and exciting ways to interact with mobile apps at first sight unlike ever before. Take some time this summer to strategize and have your ideas fully-baked so you can hit the ground running this fall like an app store all-star.

Apple has released an in-depth look at the new product page. Watch Apple’s video for Developers from WWDC 2017 showcasing a full overview of the new App Store here.

With an in-house graphic design team, copywriters and video experts, Haneke Design can help you get ready for the new App Store updates. Think Haneke Design can help you optimize your app’s App Store product page?

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