Apple tweaks App Store layout amid developer unrest

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Faced with criticism over the way it's been grouping applications on the digital shelves of the App Store, Apple this week is making some changes to the store's layout aimed at showcasing a broader range of top offerings in each category.



TouchMeme's Krishna Vegesna tipped AppleInsider off to the overnight design tweaks, which "accomplished three important things," according to the iPhone app developer. First, he said, Apple now highlights the most popular applications on each category page.



As part of this new grouping, the Cupertino-based company has also separated the most popular Free Apps -- which previously dominated the most popular listings -- from most popular Paid Apps, breaking each out into separate sidebar modules that flank the general listings for each category. In addition, the new layout is more consistent in design with the AppStore application on the iPhone, Vegesna noted.



"I am excited to see the change. My Apps are listed under the top paid apps for the Travel category," he said. "Flight Status is at No 3 and Currency Exchange is at No 9. Two out of top 10 is not bad, I guess for this category."



Earlier this week, Twitteriffic developer Craig Hockenberry wrote an open letter to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, pointing out that developers have been lowering their App prices to the lowest possible level in order to obtain favorable placement in the App Store.



"This proliferation of 99 cent 'ringtone apps' is affecting our product development," he said. "We have a lot of great ideas for iPhone applications. Unfortunately, we?re not working on the cooler (and more complex) ideas. Instead, we?re working on 99¢ titles that have a limited lifespan and broad appeal. Market conditions [on the App Store] make ringtone apps most appealing."







While Friday's changes may not solve all of developers' problems, Vegesna said he believes Apple "now truly understands the software as a service model and is enhancing the [App Store] every week (in some cases, multiple times a week)."



"AppStore is getting better and the focus is now shifting more towards better apps," he added. "Keep it coming Apple."



«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    They really need to break games down into subcategories in my opinion. That category is getting too large.
  • Reply 2 of 34
    On the user (consumer) end I would like a feature in iTunes where I can arrange the icons and apps on each screen of my device all at one time instead of the hold it down and move the wiggly icons one at a time. Just my two cents.
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by afishertx View Post


    On the user (consumer) end I would like a feature in iTunes where I can arrange the icons and apps on each screen of my device all at one time instead of the hold it down and move the wiggly icons one at a time. Just my two cents.



    The app store has just become a mess with thousands of apps, 99% of which are either useless, crippled or just plain stupid.



    the limited number of good apps just get buried in with the rest.
  • Reply 4 of 34
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Archipellago View Post


    The app store has just become a mess with thousands of apps, 99% of which are either useless, crippled or just plain stupid.



    the limited number of good apps just get buried in with the rest.



    What may be useless to you is good for someone else.
  • Reply 5 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by afishertx View Post


    On the user (consumer) end I would like a feature in iTunes where I can arrange the icons and apps on each screen of my device all at one time instead of the hold it down and move the wiggly icons one at a time. Just my two cents.



    I agree with this idea--the arrangement method on the phone now, while cute, is not user-friendly. I put one icon where I want it and another gets forced away from where I wanted it. It feels like a sliding tile game, except I'm not always interested in playing. \
  • Reply 6 of 34
    The main thing I don't understand about the App Store is the rating system. Take a look at my application "AirMote" which is a remote control for Front Row, Keynote and such. It has three reviews, a 4 star, a 5 star, and a 4 star. But the "Average Rating" Apple shows is 2.5 stars. What's up with that?
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Instead of just the #1 spot, I think Apple should display the icons for the top 5 spots under Paid and Free Apps. I imagine the owners of spots 2 thru 4 are making that same argument at this very moment
  • Reply 8 of 34
    The new design also struck me as a little dull-looking
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lepton View Post


    The main thing I don't understand about the App Store is the rating system. Take a look at my application "AirMote" which is a remote control for Front Row, Keynote and such. It has three reviews, a 4 star, a 5 star, and a 4 star. But the "Average Rating" Apple shows is 2.5 stars. What's up with that?



    I also noticed that this week.

    Personally I think it's a bug or something wrong with the rating system.
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    I agree with this idea--the arrangement method on the phone now, while cute, is not user-friendly. I put one icon where I want it and another gets forced away from where I wanted it. It feels like a sliding tile game, except I'm not always interested in playing. \



    Never thought of it that way. Apple should capitalize on that. "Every iPhone and iPod Tough comes with a free Tile Game App".

    I too have looked at my iPhone thinking, "Boy, I need to cleen up and organize my screens", then a second later thought, "I can live with it for now. Don't have the time or patience for the tile game."
  • Reply 11 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lepton View Post


    The main thing I don't understand about the App Store is the rating system. Take a look at my application "AirMote" which is a remote control for Front Row, Keynote and such. It has three reviews, a 4 star, a 5 star, and a 4 star. But the "Average Rating" Apple shows is 2.5 stars. What's up with that?



    First, the average rating is country based. Second. It is combined from review ratings and the ratings you can give when you remove an app directly on your iPhone. The latter most likely pulled your rating down (and up in the canadian store, from one star from the lone reviewer to one a half average). Apparently nobody from Germany tried your app, there is no rating at all yet..
  • Reply 12 of 34
    edited....
  • Reply 13 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member
    They need three separate categories:



    (1) Top free



    (2) Top $1 apps



    (3) Top apps for above $1




    In the main app store page and within each category. This shouldn't be hard to do, but it makes too much sense - so I don't see Apple ever doing it!



    Within the top paid page, they need new two categories:



    (1) Top $1 apps

    and



    (2) Top apps for above $1
  • Reply 14 of 34
    The above quote from the article (at the end) makes me scratch my head. What does the App Store have to do with "software as a service?" And how could rearranging how "top apps" are displayed possibly showcase that Apple understands it?
  • Reply 15 of 34
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    The above quote from the article (at the end) makes me scratch my head. What does the App Store have to do with "software as a service?" And how could rearranging how "top apps" are displayed possibly showcase that Apple understands it?



    Just a dev. licking Apple's ass, nothing more.
  • Reply 16 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    The above quote from the article (at the end) makes me scratch my head. What does the App Store have to do with "software as a service?" And how could rearranging how "top apps" are displayed possibly showcase that Apple understands it?



    it shows that Apple is paying attention to the moaning from folks that wanna make some money and are sick of the freebies getting the most downloads.



    it's a proven fact that many people buy based off top lists, some obsessively. take the New York Times bestselling books. they do it based on units not cost so publishers give bookstores huge breaks to sell new books at a way cheap price (30-40% off generally) so they will have huge units and get high on the list. because folks believe that is a sign that the book is good and go and buy it.



    developers don't want their good, but pricey apps buried under a bunch of free "I did it for fun, not profit" apps.



    personally I like the split because I prefer to go check out the free apps first and then go to the paid if I don't find a free one that does what I want. so splitting them makes it easier for me to find the free ones.
  • Reply 17 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    it shows that Apple is paying attention to the moaning from folks that wanna make some money and are sick of the freebies getting the most downloads.



    No, I understand why what Apple is doing now is better than what it was doing before...but I didn't understand how the term "software as a service" has any relevancy to the App Store. iPhone apps aren't services. The App Store's not a service either, unless you consider absolutely every online store a service (thereby reducing the term to meaninglessness.)



    I just think it's a sloppy use of a recent buzzword, and I think AppleInsider was a little sloppy passing it along without questioning it.
  • Reply 18 of 34
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    No, I understand why what Apple is doing now is better than what it was doing before...but I didn't understand how the term "software as a service" has any relevancy to the App Store. iPhone apps aren't services. The App Store's not a service either, unless you consider absolutely every online store a service (thereby reducing the term to meaninglessness.)



    I just think it's a sloppy use of a recent buzzword, and I think AppleInsider was a little sloppy passing it along without questioning it.



    Good point, well made.



    Welcome to AI, hope you stick around.
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    I agree with this idea--the arrangement method on the phone now, while cute, is not user-friendly. I put one icon where I want it and another gets forced away from where I wanted it. It feels like a sliding tile game, except I'm not always interested in playing. \



    When you choose to move an item between two objects, in order to put it there they would have to make room for the object in the middle. How else would you suggest to implement a way to move an object and not cause the object that is already there to move out of the way? Are you suggesting a stacking UI?
  • Reply 20 of 34
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    I'm in Australia, the featured and Top 25 Applications don't seem to change very fast (if at all), things I downloaded weeks ago are still there.



    Where are all the new big name games that are coming out?



    I've found I've had to use the search function after researching various sites on the web or subscribing to a few email lists.



    That seems to be the only way to keep up to date.



    Edit:-



    I have also used seven and a half screens and am rapidly running out of space, what I would love to have are folders so I can clean up my desktops.



    What would be totally awesome is a games folder with a feature similar to cover flow, where you could flick through your titles and select them.
Sign In or Register to comment.