Apple has said things are changing for its App Store, and, in response, Google might change its app store too.
A lot of these new changes pertain to app developers - but all of the changes speak volumes about what's happening in the world of apps, including whether Apple and Google are encouraging their developers to update apps and create more subscription-based apps, and how they might be looking to drive more traffic to their app stores.
Shortly after Apple announced its plans to overhaul parts of the App Store, another report suggested Google plans to shake up at least one aspect of the Play Store too. We've explained everything below to help you better understand what's happening with both app stores and whether any of this will have an affect on you.
How is Apple's App Store changing?
Phil Schiller, who serves as Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing and took over the App Store 6 months ago, recently revealed to both The Verge and LoopInsight that some major changes are coming to the App Store. He said his team has been working to improve the app review process, its business models, search adverts/ app discovery.
Keep in mind Apple has announced these changes just days before its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference.
- According to The Verge, Apple has a 70/30 revenue split with developers and that will stay in place. However, subscription-based apps that keep a user subscribed for more than a year will get an 85/15 split in the developer's favour.
- Apple will open up the ability for all apps to be subscription-based, so developers in all categories can soon offer their apps at a monthly fee, rather than a single download price. Previously news apps were primarily included in this subscription-based business model.
- LoopInsight added that all app developers will soon be able to create region-based pricing and choose from "one of over 200 subscription price points". This new system is coming to subscription-based apps too. You will, therefore, need to re-authorise any subscriptions prices should a developer choose to add them, or even just raise prices.
- Apple plans to break away from the long-standing tradition of not displaying adverts in the iOS App Store's search results. Schiller said Apple will only accept adverts from developers in the App Store, and all adverts will be handled through an auction system with no minimums and no exclusives - making it fair for both big developers and small developers.
- Apple will add a "Share" button to every app's 3D Touch menu on the home screen, allowing the latest iPhone owners to tap the Share button and post a download link to social media.
- Finally, Apple referenced its app review process. Schiller admitted half of the apps submitted to Apple are now reviewed in the first 24 hours and that 90 per cent are reviewed within 2 days.
How is Google Play Store changing?
Shortly after The Verge and LoopInsight published Schiller's App Store plans, Re/Code claimed Google will also move from a 70/30 split to 85/15 for subscriptions-based apps in the Play Store. Only, Android app developers won't need to keep a subscriber for more than a year. Google will immediately offer the new split to developers. It's been testing the change for a over a year with some entertainment/video services.
Google hasn't yet confirmed when it plans to roll out the new pricing plan.
How does any of this affect you?
In terms of the changes coming to the Apple App Store you will likely see more subscription-based apps and games appearing. Developers will not only want to update their existing apps so that they can charge monthly fees rather than a single upfront price, but they'll also want to create more apps and games that use the subscription business model.
This, in turn, could make them more money and Apple more money. Keep in mind Apple said it is now approving submitted apps at a faster pace. So, with apps updating and new apps appearing, you might yourself going to the App Store more, downloading more, and subscribing more. You may even begin seeing adverts for these new apps when searching.
If you see an advert for an app, then you download and ultimately love that app, Apple has said you will be able to tap a "Share" button via the 3D Touch menu on your home screen to post a link to it on social media.
As for Android users, you will likely see a flurry of app updates so that they become subscription-based apps, and you may even see more subscription-based apps appearing in Play Store. Google just gave developers a reason to invest in Android as much as they do for iOS. Google likely realises it needs to stay competitive in order to keep developers happy and creating.