★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

how to fix the appstore

View Poll Results: What would you change in the AppStore to increase overall Apple profits?
Use strictly top-grossing metrics to rank apps (to encourage optimal pricing). 13 28.26%
Make it easier for developers to cross-promote apps or use teaser video. 10 21.74%
Treat developer-assigned categories as "suggestions" but have Apple determine proper categories. 11 23.91%
Allow developers to buy ad space or keywords in the AppStore. 3 6.52%
Don't change a thing. It's perfect the way it is. 9 19.57%
Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll
02-12-2010, 04:08 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
how to fix the appstore

If you were Apple, and wanted to maximize AppStore profits, what, if anything would you change about the way it works?
02-12-2010, 04:13 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: FLA, USA
Posts: 2,598
this is a good question. i would stop putting all the crappy apps through. keep only the ones that have any chance at profit.

02-12-2010, 04:16 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
I'd ban all those "points" apps and force the devs to use in-app purchasing. It'd also be nice to find a way of supporting in-app purchases through iTunes instead of restricting it to the device.

Oh, and I'd make the rules for submission a lot more clear cut for the developers.

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
02-12-2010, 04:39 PM
#4
Should be a multiple option poll, as I'd pick the first three items, plus add more suggestions. MidianGTX is right on the same page as I am, force all the "point pack" developers over to in-app purchase (easy case to prove with Apple's "minimal functionality" rejection type) and remove those tons of stand alone packs from the RPG category forever.

And all that is just for starters! How about removing any app that does not sell at least 30 units a month for three straight months? Think of all the clutter that would disappear from categories. You might even be able to find good stuff by randomly browsing the categories again (not just by release date)!

Got many ideas, hopefully Apple takes a few of them

--- ChronoSoft ---
Support your roguelikes! Play Rogue Touch today!
Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demons Reach --- Work in progress! Follow us on Twitter!
02-12-2010, 04:44 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
The only real suggestion I have for the app store is this to give Genius it's own tab, and it needs to have more recommendations. This is a definite and guaranteed way to increase app exposure for all of us.

Regarding the poll options:

1.) A reason not to change from download count to grossing ranks is obvious. Just look at the top grossing list right now, out of the top 50, there are 6 apps that are $0.99. If all lists were like this, customers would feel like the app store is a more expensive environment; therefore, less customers would browse through it. Also, just because it's making a lot of money doesn't mean its a popular app or an app a lot of people want to look at. Good example: Tom Tom, it's obviously not an extremely popular app, it just has a high price tag...why would you then give that so much exposure?

2.) A link to the developers other apps on the device would be good, otherwise iTunes Desktop does cross-promotion very well, I don't understand the complaint there. Also, having to upload video with every app might be a pain, because in order to stand out at that point you would have to produce a video, and we all know that is a lot harder to do that just taking a screenshot.

3.) Apple assigning our categories has been discussed before, and the consensus is: bad idea. Mainly because we know our app better than they do, so if they give us a bad category, the change requests began piling up. Once you imagine how many apps they have to deal with, you'll realize why they don't assign the categories themselves.

4.) Giving devs the option to pay for app store advertising would do one thing: separate the big corporations from the little ones. AKA bad idea.

Water Your Body (ON SALE $0.99)
http://apps.google.com/#1iPhoneApp
Tic Tac Pro (FREE)
New and Noteworthy!

Last edited by bravetarget; 02-12-2010 at 05:15 PM.
02-12-2010, 04:58 PM
#6
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 317
02-12-2010, 05:12 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
I agree recommendation engines (like Genius) have tremendous potential. I don't know a lot of average Joe users that use or trust them, though.

The TomTom example isn't all that compelling as it wouldn't affect users browsing categories (i.e. "Top Games"). In search results, Apple already scale free and pay apps differently to ensure that search results aren't simply flooded with high volume free apps. The current ranking system has everything to do with the "rush to 99 cents" and weird experimental price changes that even big companies are doing. Let's say your app is selling like hotcakes at 99 cents and has high visibility in a category. Suppose you could sell 75% as many units daily at double the price - that would increase your profit by 150%! Would you take that gamble? You'd make more money the next day, but then lose chart position, and could end up in a freefall even if you later discounted back to 99 cents. You may be right that if the average app price increased, it could discourage consumer interest and even hurt hardware sales, but I'm not so sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bravetarget View Post
The only real suggestion I have for the app store is this to give Genius needs it's own tab, and it needs to have more recommendations. This is a definite and guaranteed way to increase app exposure for all of us.

Regarding the poll options:

1.) A reason not to change from download count to grossing ranks is obvious. Just look at the top grossing list right now, out of the top 50, there are 6 apps that are $0.99. If all lists were like this, customers would feel like the app store is a more expensive environment; therefore, less customers would browse through it. Also, just because it's making a lot of money doesn't mean its a popular or an app a lot of people want to look at. Good example: Tom Tom, it's obviously not an extremely popular app, it just has a high price tag...why would you then give that so much exposure?

2.) A link to the developers other apps on the device would be good, otherwise iTunes Desktop does cross-promotion very well, I don't understand the complaint there. Also, having to upload video with every app might be a pain, because in order to stand out at that point you would have to produce a video, and we all know that is a lot harder to do that just taking a screenshot.

3.) Apple assigning our categories has been discussed before, and the consensus is: bad idea. Mainly because we know our app better than they do, so if they give us a bad category, the change requests began piling up. Once you imagine how many apps they have to deal with, you'll realize why they don't assign the categories themselves.

4.) Giving devs the option to pay for app store advertising would do one thing: separate the big corporations from the little ones. AKA bad idea.
02-12-2010, 06:21 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
I agree recommendation engines (like Genius) have tremendous potential. I don't know a lot of average Joe users that use or trust them, though.

The TomTom example isn't all that compelling as it wouldn't affect users browsing categories (i.e. "Top Games"). In search results, Apple already scale free and pay apps differently to ensure that search results aren't simply flooded with high volume free apps. The current ranking system has everything to do with the "rush to 99 cents" and weird experimental price changes that even big companies are doing. Let's say your app is selling like hotcakes at 99 cents and has high visibility in a category. Suppose you could sell 75% as many units daily at double the price - that would increase your profit by 150%! Would you take that gamble? You'd make more money the next day, but then lose chart position, and could end up in a freefall even if you later discounted back to 99 cents. You may be right that if the average app price increased, it could discourage consumer interest and even hurt hardware sales, but I'm not so sure.
How are free apps ranked differently? I didn't know it was based on something other than amount of downloads (7day weighted average like paid apps are).

It's been proven in so many categories that you don't have to be $0.99 to hit the top. iFitness has been ranked either 1 or 2 for nearly a year now, and its never been priced below $1.99.

In fact, all of the 20 categories in the App Store have an app priced higher than $0.99 in the top 10. About half of those categories have an app higher than $0.99 ranked #1.

I'm not disagreeing that $0.99 is the common ground, but it seems like you're presenting the notion that you have to price it at $0.99 to get decent exposure.

Water Your Body (ON SALE $0.99)
http://apps.google.com/#1iPhoneApp
Tic Tac Pro (FREE)
New and Noteworthy!
02-12-2010, 07:26 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Free apps are treated differently in search results that mix pay and free apps. In searches for "Solitaire" for example, the pay version of Card Shark Solitaire shows up well before the free version despite getting about 10% of the daily downloads (not that I'm complaining!).

I don't know about you, but I consider $1.99 "very cheap." Even "$4.99" is "very cheap" relative to other markets. Given how precious visibility is, people charge only as much as they can get away with without risking their chart placement. My point is that if App Rankings were tied to revenue, we'd see some upwards pressure on prices and both Apple and developers would likely see more profits. While cheaper apps wouldn't go away, we also wouldn't see developers constantly putting their apps on sale trying to make the most of the current system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bravetarget View Post
How are free apps ranked differently? I didn't know it was based on something other than amount of downloads (7day weighted average like paid apps are).

It's been proven in so many categories that you don't have to be $0.99 to hit the top. iFitness has been ranked either 1 or 2 for nearly a year now, and its never been priced below $1.99.

In fact, all of the 20 categories in the App Store have an app priced higher than $0.99 in the top 10. About half of those categories have an app higher than $0.99 ranked #1.

I'm not disagreeing that $0.99 is the common ground, but it seems like you're presenting the notion that you have to price it at $0.99 to get decent exposure.
02-12-2010, 07:29 PM
#10
I think its impossible now. If they make a seperate iPad store for ONLY iPad, that might have a chance and not ending up like the current app store...

I fear if apple updates more and more to their store, it will soon become two scroll bars and 1 line of text.

The Life Blog
Minecraft