What Google can learn from Apple's latest changes to its App Store

What Google can learn from Apple's latest changes to its App Store

Making the most of the keynote at WWDC, the Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, the Cupertino firm announced the remodeling of their app store. The new App Store, which will be available with iOS 11 next autumn, has gained a new look after 9 years of good and loyal service. A remodeling which aims to facilitate app discovery and to revive the number of downloads, something that Google should draw inspiration from to please its users.

It's no secret that Google is still experiencing difficulties in helping users to discover new apps and games. The number of apps available on Google Play Store means that users often bypass practical and useful apps, because they are little known and the organization lacks clarity. In short, the Play Store is a jungle, but Google hasn’t really done anything to improve the situation except small aesthetic retouches on the rare occasion.

Until last night, Apple's App Store suffered from the same downfalls as the Play Store. However, faced with a decrease in app downloads, the Californian giant decided to react. The result: The App’s structure and design were remodeled. The App Store has a new interface which is strongly inspired by Apple Music with a more colorful look. However, it’s the new format with a better selection of apps and a true editorial policy, in particular, that helped Apple turn things around.

Returning to the essence of an app store: app discovery

Apple understood. Users like to discover new applications, but they aren’t necessarily experts on how to find them. They need help and this is achieved through a better structure and providing suggestions. The new App Store benefits from a new structure which is divided into 5 tabs: Today, Games, Apps, Updates and Search. While the last two categories already existed, the first three are new to the app.

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The App Store has turned into a news page. © Apple

The ‘Today’ tab acts as a new welcome page and it has a clear objective: to help users discover apps and games. This tab also offers a selection of apps and games recommended by Apple which are presented in the form of cards. On each card, you’ll find a short piece of text describing the app, its advantages and graphics… What’s even better is that these recommendations will be updated daily (and by humans, not algorithms!) Apple has transformed their App Store into a news page that users can consult regularly. Apple has made the most of this space so that its users can find advice, plus tips and tricks for apps that they have, or that they will, download. The App Store has become livelier and up to date.

The App Store’s other new feature is the distinction between apps and games. This new interface allows the store to provide more clarity for users. Users can find recommendations for new games (or new apps), the top apps according to the Apple editorial teams, videos and a more powerful filters among games and apps by using categories. Finally, Apple has improved their search system for finding apps.

The Play Store should take inspiration from the App Store

While the aesthetic choices for the new App Store are questionable, there are no complaints about Apple’s new editorial strategy. Of course, unlike Apple, Google hasn’t waited 9 years to improve their app store but users still find their structure chaotic. The Mountain View company would have good reason to take inspiration from the App Store for their Play Store, particularly with suggestions and recommendations. Not only will the users be better off, as they’ll discover new apps and games that they didn’t know about, but Google (and the developers) will also be better off because the number of downloads on the Play Store (and, therefore, their revenues) will increase.

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Searching for apps isn’t easy on the Play Store. © NextPit

What do you think of the App Store remodel? Should Google take inspiration from Apple for their app store?


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  • Paul Shaw Jul 21, 2017 Link to comment

    Thanks a lot. You have explained the process so beautifully. This is really so helpful to me..

  • ljhaye Jun 13, 2017 Link to comment

    Separating Apps from Games is long over due and makes sense.

  • Dean L. Jun 12, 2017 Link to comment

    Although it's great to say that Apple has done a great update to their app store, but until it's released and in user by the customers in the wild we won't know if it is truly an improvement. But Google play certainly could use a refresh. IMHO Just my two cents.

  • Vasilj Milosevic Jun 11, 2017 Link to comment

    I think they should bring back the Google+ integration. Back when +1 existed I was finding great apps that people in my circles suggested. When they removed it it became crap.

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