App Store Cleanup: What Next For App Owners?

Following Apple’s open letter earlier in 2016 to its developer community outlining new app review guidelines, these have officially come into effect. In October alone 47,300 (a 238% MoM increase) of mobile apps were removed from the App Store for multiple reasons, making it vital for app owners to review their mobile offering and learn from the mistakes of others.

Since officially enforcing these changes the most affected app genre has since been mobile gaming, followed by entertainment, books, education and lifestyle respectively. However, all genres are in danger if they don’t comply with the rules.

These new guidelines mean that any outdated and abandoned mobile apps, including apps that don’t function as intended, are to be deleted. Whether you currently have a mobile app on the store or are looking to design one from scratch, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to safeguard your product.

What’s changed?

App quality has always been a high priority of Apple’s. As store visitors are willing to spend money on purchasing your product, Apple wants to constantly ensure that their customers are receiving the best possible service. However, the latest changes have placed app quality even higher on their priority list, meaning that apps that don’t adhere to the review guidelines or don’t support compatibility updates will be removed.

App Store quality is another factor that Apple have addressed with the changes, with shorter app names being a key focus. Following previous exploitation by developers, it’s been decided that the character limit for app names and updates will be capped at 50 to prevent inaccurate information being displayed to help drive downloads.

What should developers learn?

Fortunately, there are steps that you as app owners can follow to remain active on the App Store. It’s important that you stay up-to-date with Apple’s review guidelines, which covers the below in more detail.

Frequently update your app

Recent analysis shows that almost half of apps have not been updated since May 2015, an alarming statistic! Updating your app frequently with new content and features will not only keep your users engaged, but will also show that you’re trying to attract new customers.

Monitor abandon rates

Apps that haven’t been used for a prolonged amount of time or have high abandoned rates signify a bad product, which will be used against you. Use your App Analytics to track your download and retention rates, see what areas can be improved and then design new features to improve your app’s user data.

Don’t false market

Previously, app owners have gone to great lengths to get their app ranked high on the App Store, including false marketing. Ensure that what you’re providing on the store is relevant to your product, as failure to do this will result in your app gaining a bad reputation, and significantly lower your ranking. For more information on App Store marketing read our blog post ‘How To Stand Out On the App Store’.

App quality can also be guaranteed by featuring an immersive UI & UX design and ensuring mobile customer engagement, as outlined in our previous articles.

What can be done? We’re here to help!

These App Store changes are sure to affect businesses of all statures, from startups to multinationals, who are looking to create a mobile app. As nobody is exempt from these guidelines it’s important that you take the time to review your app’s functionalities, along with how it’s marketed, and ensure that it adheres to the official rules and guidelines.

If you currently have an app on the Store and are seeking guidance on your next steps, contact us via our contact page. If you’d like more information on future app development then we’d also like to hear from you, by contacting us through LiveChat on the bottom right-hand side of your screen.