Jun 04
John August makes a strong case for getting rid of the best-sellers lists in the App Store.
http://johnaugust.com/2013/topping-the-charts-and-racing-to-the-bottom
I like his thinking. I’ve never understood why anybody besides app developers really care about which apps make the most money. The correlation between great apps and apps that make a lot of money is tenuous at best.
But I would like to take John’s ideas in a different direction: Apple should create multiple new charts based on different criteria.
One could be “Engaging” apps. Measured engagement could be the number of times an app is launched, the amount of time customers spend in the app, the number of Tweets and Facebook messages sent from the app, etc. This is all information that iOS has, or could easily collect, and then send it to Apple’s data centers for number crunching. (For privacy, data would only be sent if the customer has agreed to send diagnostics and usage data to Apple, per the existing option in Settings.)
Another one could be “Gamer Favorites” based on app activity in Game Center or active usage of Game Kit.
Or how about “Longterm Relationships” that highlights apps that customers downloaded a long time ago and still actively use.
The exact algorithms are not important (and they should remain secret to make gaming the lists more difficult). What’s important is that there should be many more lists so that I can find the ones that best match my app preferences. And if it turns out that I really like all the freemium games that all the teenagers like, then I’m sure Apple can come up with a more creative name for that list than

John August makes a strong case for getting rid of the best-sellers lists in the App Store.

I like his thinking. I’ve never understood why anybody besides app developers really care about which apps make the most money. The correlation between great apps and apps that make a lot of money is tenuous at best.

But I would like to take John’s ideas in a different direction: Apple should create multiple new charts based on different criteria.

One could be “Engaging” apps. Measured engagement could be the number of times an app is launched, the amount of time customers spend in the app, the number of Tweets and Facebook messages sent from the app, etc. This is all information that iOS has, or could easily collect, and then send it to Apple’s data centers for number crunching. (For privacy, data would only be sent if the customer has agreed to send diagnostics and usage data to Apple, per the existing option in Settings.)

Another one could be “Gamer Favorites” based on app activity in Game Center or active usage of Game Kit.

Or how about “Longterm Relationships” that highlights apps that customers downloaded a long time ago and still actively use.

The exact algorithms are not important (and they should remain secret to make gaming the lists more difficult). What’s important is that there should be many more lists so that I can find the ones that best match my app preferences. And if it turns out that I really like all the freemium games that all the teenagers like, then I’m sure Apple can come up with a more creative name for that list than “Top Free Apps”.

written by Nick

Apr 02

Michael Jurewitz is a former developer tools evangelist at Apple. He’s really smart, well connected and offers keen insights in this multi-part series about App Store pricing. Required reading!

written by Nick

Jan 31

Apple recently reported more nice round numbers for the App Store:

  • 40 billion app downloads since the App Store launched
  • 20 billion of those downloads are from 2012
  • 2 billion for just December 2012
  • App developers have been paid over $7 billion by Apple
  • DragonVale and Clash of Clans, together earned $120 million in 2012

Horace Dediu at Asymco provides more context to those numbers with this insightful graphs:

We may think that the App Store economy is huge, but it’s actually just 1/3 of the total iTunes revenues. But Apps are growing almost twice as fast as other iTunes media. We’re definitely in the right business.

written by Nick

Jan 10

From Apple Developer News:

Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app.

This is in response to the tactic employed by some scam apps whereby they switched the screenshots after the app had been approved to look like a popular app with the hope of tricking customers into downloading the wrong app. See this blog post from Panic for an example.

Sigh.

written by Nick