The Apple App Store is a constantly evolving environment that is growing at an incredible pace. In June of 2012, it was reported that there were 650,000 apps available in the store. New reports suggest that 2013 started off with almost to 775,00o apps in the App Store. That number is staggering, but it’s not nearly as impressive as the 40 billion downloads that have occurred since the launch of the App Store.
It’s understandable that any environment that has experienced growth on that magnitude will need to be adapted to the demand. Apple has made some changes to the way the App sore functions. Developers will need to understand these changes if they intent to keep cashing checks from Cupertino.
It begins with the changes that were introduces near the end of 2012, when Apple altered the App Store to coincide with the release of iOS 6. Reviews on this change were mixed. Some developers are claiming that the change had seriously negative effects on their incomes, while others have stated that the change is good for indie developers. Regardless of which is right, developers had better adapt to the new format in 2013.
Apple has pocketed over ten billion dollars from its App Store, they obviously aren’t going to bother changing anything.
There is one new feature for 2013 that is sure to be a hit with developers. Although, as with most things Apple, there’s a catch. Anyone who tuned into the Super Bowl commercials may have noticed an odd URL at the end. It read AppStore.com/StarTrekApp.
Apple has introduced a new URL system for apps. The links are easy to read and easy to advertise. The shortened URL is created for you, by Apple (the aforementioned catch), when your app is submitted to the App Store. The app can be configured to point toward the actual app, or to the developer. Aside from the limitation of not being able to select the URL, this feature will likely prove to be very popular for developers.
The other notable fact about 2013 that developers need to keep in mind is that games are hot. It’s no surprise. Today’s mobile devices are as much entertainment devices as they are communications platforms, maybe more so. That means games are huge. Games outsell regular app four-to-one. Eight of the ten top apps on the App Store are games. That is one App Store statistic that is unlikely to change in 2013.
Developers that are looking forward to a successful 2013 on the App Store need to remember these three important facts:
- What worked before to get your app noticed might not work again. Adapt.
- The new shortened URL will offer some interesting marketing potential.
- Games sell. A lot.
It’s still early, but 2013 is shaping up to be a spectacular year for Apple and the App Store. Apple will no doubt continue to tweak the App Store and developers who want to find success will need to keep up.