Make The App Store Great Again

In case you didn’t visit the Dev Portal this week, there’s a new mini-site worth flipping through:

Making Great Apps for the App Store

Hopefully this facelift presages attempts to address the not-so simmering frustration out there:

Life and Death in the App Store

For all but a few developers, the App Store itself now resembles a lottery: for every breakout hit like Candy Crush, hundreds or even thousands of apps languish in obscurity…

Just Landed Is Shutting Down

Essentially, there’s a massive oversupply of apps, and the app markets are now saturated and suffering from neglect and short-term thinking by the companies who operate them…

What no indie developer wants to hear about the App Store

But the truth is, even if Apple gave indie developers everything they wanted, it wouldn’t matter much over the long term…


People don’t pay for functionality, at least not anymore. They do pay for content and services, but they don’t pay for functionality…

Fixing the Apple App Store

My take: I don’t think the App Stores are broken; I think they’re doing exactly what Apple wants them to, because Apple’s interest is in supporting the corporate app developers and the larger studio developers…

Et cetera. Perhaps we’ve already had a trial balloon for one of those presaged attempts; if so, it went over … poorly.

Paid App Store Search

  • “It’s downright embarrassing that App Store search is still so bad…”
  • “They need to de-crappify the Store…”
  • “Apple has done some dumb things in the company’s history, but this stands out as particularly stupid…”
  • “Why wasn’t search already better?”
  • “would exacerbate much of the App Store’s dysfunction…”

Well, that’s kinda a downer of a post so far, isn’t it. So let’s pick it up a bit with this inspiring manifesto:

Built an iOS game. It became #1 in the App Store. Here are revenue numbers and what I learned.

I built an iOS app called A Dark Room that hit the #1 spot in the App Store. Here is the article The New Yorker wrote about it.

  • 2.26 million downloads in under two years (free and paid combined).
  • #1 game in the US for 18 days straight (20 days overall).
  • 26,859 ratings of which 23,833 are 5-stars (4.73 average rating)…

Long list of Do’s and Don’ts for developing, marketing getting featured, and making sustainable income. Read them!

Another interesting metrics-laden post-mortem on Almost Impossible! here: iOS Game Revenue & Launch Details

Now that you’re all fired up, for massive collections of marketing resources check out:

App Marketing Stack: “A Curated Directory of Tools & Resources on App Marketing and Mobile Growth.”

iOS Dev ToolsApp Store & Sales

ios-marketing-resources: “Awesome list of iOS app branding/marketing tools.”

The iOS App Marketing Strategy Guide

And there might be some more nuggets in our earlier roundups on marketing, landing pages, videos, and screenshots.

And finally, whether you’re indie or not, handling marketing or not, no doubt a bane of your App Store development is the review process, ’tis it not? Besides Apple’s new Guidelines page mentioned up at the top, here’s some more help:

Under the Radar #21: App Store Rejection – “Tips on avoiding rejections by Apple’s app-review staff and what to do when your app get rejected.”

App Store Review Guidelines History: An annotated list of all changes to the Review Guidelines back to 2014.

Good luck!


How To Write App Store Descriptions

Monument Valley in Numbers: Year 2

The Complete App Store Optimization Checklist: 2016 Edition

The Savvy App Store Submission Checklist

Good practices to influence your app revenues using App Store reviews

AppReviewKit: “An alternative solution to remind your users to review your app.”

The App Store Keyword Algorithm Update Takes Effect

In-App Purchasing Lessons from the Top 50 Game Developers

App Store Optimization — The Definitive Playbook

App store optimization: How to win Google Play and App Store search

The Essential List of 35 App Promotion & Marketing Strategies

7 Advanced App Store Optimization Strategies

Black Hat App Store Optimization

Apple’s New Search Ads: What You Need to Know

Top 10 Apple Search Ads FAQs: Answered

Our Experience with App Store Search Ads

Socking simians

How to make Apple Search Ads work for your App

Top 21 research-driven app store optimization tips (ASO)

App Store Optimization Monthly

Find the Best App Store Optimization Tools – ASO Tools List

Apple Search Ads Campaign Structure Demo

Apple Search Ads Best Practices to Scale Impressions

Apple iOS App Store Optimization Tips: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Black Hat ASO — Where to Draw the Line

Surviving the App Store

The App Store Optimization Stack [1/4]

108+ App Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Downloads

65 Simple Ways To Promote Your Mobile App

Alex | April 21, 2016

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