With more apps being added to Apple’s App Store each and every day (about 600,000 apps and counting so far), finding new ways to discover the latest and greatest among them is becoming much more difficult. To help aid this cause, Apple has introduced a few new features to the App Store in an effort to make it easier: Editor’s Choice Picks and Free App of the Week!
Editor’s Choice apps are featured prominently on the main pages of both the main iOS App Store and the Mac App Store, bringing recommendations front and center to all that visit.
Free App of the Week promotions are a new concept to Apple but not to mobile devices –and developers will benefit greatly from this promotional tool. Increasing visibility and adoption of your app (even without people paying the price of admission) can be a fantastic marketing opportunity, particularly if you have in-app purchases available which have proven themselves as effective ways to generate income.
You should also be reminded that earlier this year Apple acquired Chomp, a well regarded app search engine –that worked on all iPad, iPhone and Android devices until April when reports circulated that it no longer functioned on the Android platform. (Maybe we should be looking for an announcement from Apple on this at the upcoming developer conference?)
The success of these new features will depend in large part on how much consumers decide that Apple can be trusted to make good recommendations; we all have our trusted sources (found within our parents, friends, colleagues and favorite blogs); if they do a nice job with these latest additions, Apple itself may soon be listed among them.
What I can say for certain already is that with the questionable value, validity and relevance of user reviews in the App Store (Apple does crack down on fraudulent reviews as much as possible but this practice still remains), any improvements to the App Store interface will be very much appreciated by all of us using iOS devices.