Recently, Apple made a change in its management policy of the release date page in the app store.
Previously, new apps introduction as well as updates of existing ones put them on top of this list (if you followed a little trick I missed on lauch of Everyday Looper). Now only new apps will benefit of this increased visibility, updates are just ignored.
As often, Apple didn’t communicate about the reasons, nor did they confirm the change itself. But we can always try to guess !
When rules exist, and financial benefit is involved, we can always count on “creative use” of those rules to maximize profit. In this case, some developers were submitting updates to their apps every two weeks, with various actual changes .
That was legal but had two major down-side : the release date page was more and more useless to discover real new things, and all these updates had to be reviewed by the apple staff, adding eggs in a already full basket and therefor making the approval process longer for everyone.
So should be seen as a nice move for all of us ?
Well… Not for ALL of us.
A side effect is that it will now be more interesting, regarding the sale boost provided by appearing on top of the release date page, to create multiple, short dev cycle apps rather than a few ones and continually add features to them.
Most of us, music creation app developer, fall in the second category. Small ones as big ones. So I hope Apple will do some little aiming adjustment, by, for example, allowing only one update every two month to appear on this page.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the first category seems to best describe our brother AppStore category, the photography one. There is some interesting things to say about that, but it’s a little bit off-topic, I will probably make another post about it sometime.
All in all, it’s not a deal-killer, but a move that don’t go in our direction. Regarding my personal plans on Everyday Looper, it doesn’t change them. I want to make this app a long-distance runner, and I will. Even if it’s “marketingly” harder than planned.
So I’m going back to code, have fun with all the feature-full music apps we already have on the app store, and bet it will continue this way !
Update : Was just strolling around the net and fell on this brilliant post by Marco Arment. The sort of post that acts as an Harry Potter spell that would instantly, alphabetically, sort all of the books of a library held by a dyslexic librarian.
If you read it, and I encourage you to do so if you are interested in understanding the AppStore alchemy, the (side?) effect of Apple move on the Release Date page is to favor AppStore A over AppStore B. But as apps from the AppStore B don’t heavily rely on these AppStore marketing features, it’s definitely not a deal-killer. And now that I know that Everyday Looper is part of AppStore B, it should prevent me from putting efforts in the wrong direction ^^.