“We’re doing something a little different this year. We’ve got a bunch of App Store/developer-related announcements for WWDC next week, but frankly, we’ve got a busy enough keynote that we decided we’re not going to cover those in the keynote. And rather, just cover them in the afternoon and throughout the week. We’re talking to people today for news tomorrow about those things, in advance of WWDC, and then developers can come and be ready for sessions about these things, with knowledge about them before the conference. We haven’t done this before, but we figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try.”
So started my phone call with Phil Schiller yesterday. Doing something a little different, indeed.
These changes and improvements to the App Store — or App Stores, if you prefer, because they all apply to iOS (and thus WatchOS), Mac OS X, and tvOS — are no little things. These changes fundamentally change the App Store, for users and especially for developers.
A quick summary:
App Store review times are now much shorter. These changes are already in place, and have been widely noted in recent weeks. Apple is today confirming they’re not a fluke — they’re the result of systemic changes to how App Store review works.
Subscription-based pricing was heretofore limited to specific app categories. Now, subscription-based pricing will be an option for any sort of app, including productivity apps and games. This is an entirely new business model for app developers — one that I think will make indie app development far more sustainable.
Changes to app discovery, including a smarter “Featured” tab, the return of the “Categories” tab, and, yes, as rumored, paid search ads.
Looks like there are some interesting app stores changes coming up shortly… The subscription-based pricing is especially interesting.