Earlier this week, Apple announced several new upcoming services. Each one is an advancement for existing apps and services, providing new features and capabilities for tools and services users are already familiar with. The announcement left many developers of similar apps worrying about how they can stay relevant, but the answer lies in App Store Optimization.
Apple’s News+ is a subscription-based service that offers users access to hundreds of magazines and select newspapers. It’s an expansion of its existing News app, which Apple touts as the #1 news app worldwide.
This puts News+ in direct competition with other news apps, including magazines and newspapers that may not be included in its hundreds of offerings. It may make it seem like any app trying to attract users is up against 300 competitors at once, but that is not necessarily the case.
News app developers can find ways to differentiate themselves from News+ and highlight it in their App Store listings. They can use screenshots to demonstrate the app’s design and show off features that News+ might not offer, such as discussions or unique video content.
The addition of News+ has also caused Apple to shut down Texture, its digital magazine subscription service. While Apple is hoping that former Texture users will transition to News+, that is not a guarantee. In fact, Texture was available on iOS and Android devices, but News+ is only available on iOS. This means that former Texture users will be looking for news and magazine apps to replace it, providing developers of such apps with a new audience to reach.
Right after GDC, Apple announced its own Apple Arcade service. This is a subscription-based service available inside the App Store, offering over 100 games that can be played on or offline. It’s available on iOS, macOS and tvOS, and enables players to continue play across devices from a single account.
Apple has only revealed a few titles for Arcade, such as “The Pathless” and “Hot Lava.” This comes at a time when developers are striving to advance their mobile games beyond a single device, and competition in the mobile space is rising.
Arcade may provide a new competitor for developers, but ASO can help mobile games compete with it by reaching users seeking the kind of gameplay their apps can offer. While Arcade provides a variety of games, users will still search for specific kinds. They may search for racing games, shooting games, casual games or even games related to specific properties – ASO can help a mobile game show up for those terms in searches and include creative sets that engage those users.
Often times, being able to provide the exact thing a user is looking for works better than providing a hundred options that they might enjoy. App Store Optimization will let users know your app is exactly what they want.
Apple is also expanding its TV offerings with TV+. In addition to an overall upgrade to the TV app, TV+ offers a Channels feature that lets users subscribe to services like HBO and Showtime without needing to download a separate app. Perhaps most notably, Apple TV+ will include original movies and shows made for the streaming service.
The advancement into original programming makes Apple a competitor for streaming services with their own original content. Notably, Netflix has opted not to make its services accessible via Apple TV; the streaming giant has been attempting to move away from using the App Store for its subscription services, so it makes sense that it wouldn’t want its subscriptions more closely tied to Apple.
Developers of streaming apps can join with Apple TV and make their subscriptions available through the service while keeping their own apps available on the App Store. If they want to stand out without being a part of TV+, they can emphasize their content and programming.
For instance, if an app has a hit show that users are searching for, they can include the show in their creative set and description. This will appeal to users searching for that show or others like it in a way that TV+ can’t. Networks will be able to capitalize on their brands and programming, but they can also view TV+ as a potential extension rather than direct competition.
While Apple is advancing its offerings in the news, gaming and television spaces, developers can still compete and thrive in the App Store by optimizing their apps. Good App Store Optimization helps apps show up in search results and stand out from the competition. By focusing on what makes their apps unique and showcasing what they have that Apple doesn’t, app developers can continue to compete with Apple and other big-name competitors through every change and update.