Apple changes the way it handles AppStore updates, freaks out developers
Yesterday, a few of my updates to my existing applications were approved by Apple. I was excited to see the approval and made some changes to the date in iTunes Connect so that they show up in iTunes under their respective categories. To my surprise, they didn’t show up in iTunes. I gave it a day to see if it helps. Nope. Apple changed the way it handle updates and this is BIG blow to the iPhone developers.
Changed Behavior for Application Updates:
Previously when a developer updates an application, the updated app used to show up in the main category page in iTunes. This meant better visibility to the updated application which resulted in good spike in sales whenever an update is rolled out. These spikes in sales during the updates was the key motivation for developers to keep pushing out updates and to keep improving the apps.
With this new ‘upgrade’, newly updated applications don’t show up in iTunes category page. This means, when a developer updates an application, the update will be pushed directly to existing users and that’s pretty much it. There is no way for new users to know about those newly added features/improvements. Apple killed the key motivation for developers to improve apps, which I think is a BIG mistake.
When developers don’t have any motivation to improve existing apps, the quality of existing apps will suffer. Also, because new apps get good real-estate in AppStore, developers will focus on creating new apps rather than improving existing ones.
But, seriously, do we need more apps in AppStore? It currently has over 100K apps. Isn’t it time to focus on quality, rather than quantity? I talked about this earlier. Unfortunately, with this new move, AppStore will officially turn into a CrapStore very soon.
As you can expect, iPhone developers are pissed. There are many threads in iPhone Dev Forums expressing concern on this new move. Here are few comments from developers.
All 99,000+ apps that are not on the top lists are now poo.
Way to go, Apple!
I agree…if updated apps are no longer listed under release date then this has to be the saddest day for the app store developer community.
If the whole thing is not just a temporary bug, I will stop iPhone development and go to Android and Symbian! For real!
There are lot more and we will see more developers yelling at Apple once they start noticing this change.
Not all is Negative
This is not all bad news for all developers. New applications will get better attention. Previously, new apps were hidden among a series of updates of existing apps. This will change now.
If Apple continues to keep this change, my guess is, apps in the Top 100 lists will prosper while all others apps will go down the drain.
What do you think? Do you think this is good/bad?