ASO Blog by Asodesk / News / Article

ASO news digest for April 2022

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 06.05.2022
7 min read

Apple will delete outdated apps from the App Store. Google starts implementing a Data safety section in Google Play. Asodesk now allows you to reply to reviews via Email and Slack. 

Contents

1. Apple will delete outdated apps from the App Store
2. Apple warns of upcoming tax and price changes in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uganda
3. Apple reminded developers that submission requests for Small developer assistance should be sent by May 19
4. Google starts implementing a Data safety section
5. Google expanded Google Play’s target level API requirements to strengthen user security
6. Google banned app updates for Korean developers who use third-party payment systems
7. Google updated its Developer Program Policy for Google Play
8. Google added new features for A/B testing
9. Asodesk now allows you to reply to reviews via Email and Slack
10. Asodesk will host a free webinar on how to increase user loyalty and retention for your app
11. Asodesk introduced auto-translation of reviews

App Store news

Apple will delete outdated apps from the App Store

Apple warned developers that outdated apps can be deleted from the App Store. If an app has not been updated within 3 months or doesn’t meet the minimum download threshold (this means that the app wasn’t downloaded at all or was downloaded very few times over a rolling 12 month period), developers might receive an email notifying them that their app may be deleted from the App Store. 

According to AppFigures, 752,412 apps have not been updated in two years. There are currently 2,126,366 apps and games in the App Store, which means that Apple can remove up to 35% of apps.

Source: AppFigures

However, developers can appeal app removals. Those who have recently received a notification will now have more time to update their apps if necessary — up to 90 days to be exact. Removed apps will continue to work for users who have already downloaded them to their devices.

Apple warns of upcoming tax and price changes in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uganda

On April 8, Apple informed users about increasing taxes and prices, which take into account the following tax changes:

  • Cambodia: New value-added tax of 10% for developers based outside of Cambodia.
  • Kazakhstan: New value-added tax of 12%.
  • Kyrgyzstan: New value-added tax of 12% for developers based outside of Kyrgyzstan.
  • Uganda: New value-added tax of 18%.

Developers’ proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and will be calculated based on the tax-exclusive price.

Furthermore, prices on the App Store in Indonesia will not change, but proceeds for developers based outside of Indonesia will be adjusted to reflect an increase in value-added tax from 10% to 11%.

Apple reminded that the submission requests for Small developer assistance should be sent by May 19

Last year, Apple announced a $100 million fund to help small US developers. If you want to participate in the program and receive payment, you should submit a request by May 20. Apple is ready to help developers who:

  • Are based in the United States. 
  • Have sold paid apps or in-app purchases (including subscriptions) via the App Store between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021.
  • Earned proceeds equal to or less than $1 million via the US storefront in each calendar year in which they had a developer account between 2015, and 2021.

Google Play news

Google starts implementing a Data safety section

Source: blog.google

On April 26, Google officially launched its own version of “nutrition labels”, the sections in app descriptions that indicate their handling of sensitive data. Google Play users can already see the data section and by July 20th, all developers will be required to properly disclose the data their app collects and more. 

Google heard from app developers and users that simply displaying the data that an app collects without additional context is not enough, which prompted the change in approach.

At the launch, the Google Play data security section will detail the following, according to Google:

  • Whether the developer collects data and for what purpose.
  • Whether the developer shares data with third parties.
  • App security practices such as encrypting data in transit and allowing users to request the deletion of data.
  • Whether the app follows the Google Play Family Policy, which is designed to better protect children in the Play Store.
  • Whether the developer reviewed their security practices against the Global Security Standard (MASVS).

Google expanded Google Play’s target level API requirements to strengthen user security

Google requires new apps and app updates to target an Android API level within one year of the latest major Android OS version release. If your app or app updates don’t meet this requirement, they cannot be published on Google Play.

Starting on November 1, 2022, users with existing apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version will not be available for discovery or install for new users with devices running Android OS versions higher than the apps’ target API level.

According to Google, most apps already comply with these standards. Other apps have time to get their app ready.

Google advises developers to:

  • Review the technical guide on migrating your app to meet Google Play’s target API level requirements.
  • Review this Help Center article on the target API level requirements for Android OS.
  • Request an optional 6 month extension if you need more time for migration. The form will be available in your Developer Play Console later this year.

Google banned app updates for Korean developers who use third-party payment systems

Google prohibited updating apps from South Korea that use third-party billing that bypasses the store’s commissions. However, such actions caused conflicts with the Korean government.

In August 2021, a law was passed in South Korea prohibiting store owners from imposing a particular payment system on developers. As a result, local developers theoretically had the opportunity to bypass the 30% commission on each transaction.

Initially, Google and Apple responded by allowing third-party in-app payment methods, also reducing their fees. For example, Google reduced their fees by 4%.

After the law was passed, Korean developers whose products are in the Play Store catalog also started placing links in applications to third-party sites where users could purchase in-game content.

Google responded by banning updates to such apps. The company also threatened to remove them from the store by June 1.

However, the Communications Commission of South Korea (KCC) said that such actions violate laws on payment systems. The commission is ready to launch infringement investigations and impose fines of up to 2% of Play Store revenue in South Korea if Google continues to place pressure on developers.

Google updated its Developer Program Policy for Google Play

Google has now officially updated the rules for the kids category in Google Play. Starting from May 11, if content is inappropriate for children around the world, then the application should only be available in those regions where it is acceptable. If the rule is violated, the app will be removed or suspended. 

Google introduced REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission which allowed apps to request the installation of app packages. It will become effective from July 11. 

The Hate Speech policy has also been updated: starting from May 11, it prohibits caste- and immigration-related hate speech. 

Google updated its Deceptive Behavior – Misleading Claims policy and allowed apps that embedded dedicated oximeter sensors and required details about Oximeter readers and target devices in app descriptions. This update will be enabled on May 11. 

Starting from July 11 Google expanded its News policy and included their apps which were described as news in app metadata. There will be one method of listing contact information instead of two and original publishers will be allowed to omit listing authors for every article.

Read all updates in the Google Policy Center. 

Google added new features for A/B testing

Store Listing Experiments in Google Play

To better control the A/B testing process and increase statistical significance, Google announced 3 new features:

  • experiment parameter configurator;
  • calculator to estimate samples needed and time to completion;
  • confidence intervals that now allow continual monitoring. 

In the near future, at the stage of creating a test, in addition to choosing the type of application page, localization, application page elements, and audience breakdown by options, developers will be able to specify certain parameters: 

  1. Minimum detectable effect — the minimum difference between the new variants and the control version, which is necessary to determine the winner. If the difference is less than the set value, the result of the experiment can be evaluated as a “draw”.
  2. Confidence level — how accurately the real performance of the application page will be displayed. Increasing the confidence interval will reduce the chance of a false positive. Remember that the confidence level is now 90% and the error in the test results remains 10%.

Right now new features are not available to all developers. 

Asodesk news

Asodesk now allows you to reply to reviews via Email and Slack

You can Reply to reviews through Slack

We added a helpful report with which you can reply to reviews from the App Store and Google Play via Email and Slack. This is a big help when you don’t have access to the desktop version of Asodesk or need to reply to a review quickly. 

Reports for replying to reviews are available on Business plans, which include Reply to Reviews tools in Asodesk. To set up a report go to Custom Reports & Alerts

Read about all the features of the report and learn how to use them in our article. 

Asodesk will host a free webinar on how to increase user loyalty and retention for your app

On May 12 you will learn how to manage user loyalty and retain app users on the App Store and Google Play in our free webinar. 

Experts from Asodesk, REPLUG, and Qonversion will discuss:

  • How communication with users affects user loyalty?
  • How to increase user retention rate?
  • How to monetize an app and keep a loyal audience?
  • How to comply with app store policies while working with loyal users

Join the webinar and start boosting user trust and outpace your competitors.

Asodesk introduced auto-translation of reviews

Asodesk introduced a feature for auto-translating reviews in the Reviews & Replies Board which helps you understand foreign users faster. We have added automatic translation into one of 45 languages. 

Asodesk automatically translate reviews into your language

The function only needs to be enabled once, and auto-translate will appear 5 minutes after connection. You will notice that the system will translate all new reviews after turning on the feature (as well as a small portion of old reviews).

Auto-translations are available to everyone who works with reviews in Asodesk on the Pro, Business or Custom plans.

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Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
09.06.2022
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On June 6–10, the long-awaited WWDC 2022 is taking place, and the Apple team has already shared updates on its operating systems. We watched the conference and collected 10 great iOS 16 updates that could affect your app work, promotion, and internal app metrics. Discover the top-10 changes that can help publishers improve their apps. Read more

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
02.06.2022
8 min read

ASO news digest for May 2022

Apple will allow developers to increase subscription prices in the App Store without notifying users. Google introduced Custom Store Listing improvements, ultra-low prices, new subscription capabilities, and added accessibility tags. Asodesk has added an Estimated Installs metric to the Keyword Table. Read the most important ASO news for May in our digest. Read more

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
06.05.2022
7 min read

ASO news digest for April 2022

Apple will delete outdated apps from the App Store. Google starts implementing a Data safety section in Google Play. Asodesk now allows you to reply to reviews via Email and Slack. Read more