Apple to significantly overhaul App Store for the fall, add developer-focused changes, subscription models

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Date: Thursday, June 9th, 2016, 07:05
Category: App Store, Developer, iOS, News


As good as Apple’s App Store has been over the years, it still has its rough spots. It can be difficult to find apps, even when searching for them by name and it’s tough for developers to stand out from each other.

This coming straight from the horse’s mouth, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, stated that a variety of changes are coming to the App Store. First, a new App Store subscription model will reward developers who can keep paying customers around for longer than a year. Apple will slice its cut of their subscriptions to 15 percent from the standard 30 percent after the first year. The company is planning to encourage all developers to explore the subscription model—and now they actually can. Prior to now, only certain categories like news, cloud, dating, and streaming apps could sell subscriptions through the App Store. That’s going to change in the fall. The 85/15 percent split will kick in sooner than that, on June 13.

The second major change coming this fall is the search ads appearing in the iOS App Store.

“We’ve thought about how to carefully do it in a way that, first and foremost, customers will be happy with,” Schiller said.

The App Store interface will be easier in general to navigate, with the return of the Categories tab, the addition of 3D Touch so you can force press to share app recommendations with others, and a better way to manage all those app subscriptions you’re about to rack up.

Some changes will have to come a bit further down the road. Developers have been asking for the ability to offer free trials and charge users for major upgrades, these changes being unlikely to arrive in iOS 10. Instead, Apple may tie paid upgrades into the subscription model, especially if developers charge their users on a yearly basis. Such an upgrade cost may just go into the subscription fees.

It’s presently unclear if the reduced payment that Apple will take from successful subscription apps will make up for the price increase that some of those apps levy on subscriptions purchased through the App Store instead of directly from the developer.

As always, stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Macworld and The Verge