iOS 6 - The Implications on App Store Optimization and App Discovery

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On the 19th of August Apple released iOS6, the new version of the operating system. There was much rumour and speculation about iOS 6 prior to lau, some of which was correct, some of which wasnt. With the coming of iOS6, the App Store, iTunes, iBooks and Podcasts got a much needed make over. The changes that Apple has made to the App Store have important ramifications for app developers and marketers.

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iOS 6: The Implications For App Discovery & App Store OptimizationDavid Janner, Editor-in-Chief of MAKE APP Magazine

Contact: @iappbusinessChartsOverall: Better App Discovery!

The overhaul of the Top Charts sections is a good thing for app discovery.

It is much easier and faster to browse through the charts, with up to 100 apps loaded initially into each section of the Top Paid, Free and Grossing sections.

The overall display of the apps themselves hasnt changed much here, if at all.

In addition (and very importantly!) the Charts section now goes down to the resolution of the sub-category.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comCharts

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comFeaturedOverall: Better App Discovery!

The Featured section, similar to the Top Charts, now goes down to the resolution of the sub-category as well.

The UI aids in discovery of subcategories for example when clicking on the Games category of Featured apps, a pop-over appears displaying all the sub-categories. Users have to choose to click on All Games in order to display the Featured apps for all games overall.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comFeaturedThe Featured section is different when the overall Category is displayed, compared to subcategories.

The Featured screen for the overall category is organized into News and Noteworthy, Whats Hot and sometimes there appears a third spotlight on a particular genre of apps.

The icons are arranged somewhat differently now, although more icons appear per screen than before (9 now versus 6 before).

The Featured screen of the subcategories include New, Whats Hot and Paid sections.

Interestingly, Apple has removed the ratings from the app display in the Featured section, downplaying the element of social proof here.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comCategoriesRemoved from the App Store in iOS 6Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comSearchOverall: Bad for app discovery.Good for app click through rate.

The search results screen got a makeover with iOS 6, seemingly integrating a Chomp-style app display.

This means that less apps get displayed per page, but each app displayed gets more screen real estate.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comSearchWhat is new here is that the search results card also displays the first screenshot from the screenshots section.

Developers with existing apps should review how their listing appears on search and consider updating or changing the first screenshot so that it encourages click-throughs.

The first screenshot, rather than the icon, is now probably the most important element to encourage click throughs on the search results page.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comApp DisplayOverall: Promotes social sharing.Emphasises screenshots and reviews.

The app display is another element that has dramatically changed. Instead of loading a separate screen, the description now appears as a pop-over.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comApp DisplayWhat has changed?

Share button. A new share function has appeared, through which users can email, message, tweet, facebook post or copy the link the app description. This is great and will help promote social app discovery. The messages are all auto-populated with the link to the app.

Details section. This tab now include the screenshots and below this the app description. The fact that Apple has placed the screenshots more prominently strengthens the fact that screenshots are increasingly playing an important part in app marketing. The screenshots can be displayed full screen.Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comApp DisplayWhat Has Changed?

Ratings and reviews. Within this not much has changed, however the ratings and reviews is now a tab near the top of the app display, again showing that this is important to both Apple and users.

Related apps. Apple is clearly raising the importance of this section by placing this as a tab near the top of the app display (whereas before this was down the bottom).

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.comImplications For DevelopersDevelopers should place more emphasis on the screenshots, particularly the first screenshot, as a marketing tool.

Consider including a call to action in your screenshots or app description to promote social sharing.

Check it out >> MAKE APP Magazine on your iPADMakeappmag.com