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ASO news digest for May 2024

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: 04.06.2024
9 min read

At I/O 2024, Google announced that developers can now create custom store listings for specific search keywords. Store listings on Google Play now display screenshots, ratings, and reviews specific to each device type. Microsoft is planning to launch a mobile Game Store in July. Read the most important ASO news from the App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft. 

Contents

1. Google announced custom store listings for specific search keywords at I/O 2024
2. Google introduced enhanced store listings for multi-device users at I/O 2024
3. Google simplified changes to app deep links, announced at I/O 2024
4. Google introduced the new Engage SDK at I/O 2024
5. Game developers can now use Play Points to create promotions for users
6. Google introduced expanded payment options, an installment subscriptions feature, and other updates for optimizing revenue at I/O 2024
7. Google added the “Government” badge for apps to the Play Store
8. Apple eliminated Core Technology Fee for small developers and non-revenue generators
9. Apple announced what will be featured at the WWDC24 conference
10. Only 38 developers opt for Apple’s external payment links
11. Microsoft to launch mobile Game Store in July

Google Play news

Google announced custom store listings for specific search keywords at I/O 2024

At I/O 2024, Google shared that developers can now create custom store listings tailored to user search keywords. Customizing store listings based on search keywords not only enhances content relevance but also helps developers reach users who are actively searching for app features. Play Console will even provide keyword suggestions for potentially impactful store listings.

Option to create a custom store listing by search keywords
Option to create a custom store listing by search keywords.
Source: android-developers.googleblog.com

Developers can learn how to create listings that target specific search keywords in Google’s new Play Academy course

Google introduced enhanced store listings for multi-device users at I/O 2024

Google is improving store listings to better support users who use apps across multiple devices.

  • Now, app listings feature screenshots, ratings, and reviews tailored to each form factor, providing users with a clearer understanding of the app experience on different devices.
  • Additionally, by including details specific to each device type, apps can be discovered when users search and filter by device type or explore the new “other devices” page.

Google simplified changes to app deep links, announced at I/O 2024

Google has simplified managing deep links in the Play Console with the introduction of deep link patching. This feature allows developers to experiment and make quick adjustments to their deep-link setup without needing to release an updated version of their app, and it doesn’t require committing to permanent changes.

After implementing the changes, developers can review them by previewing or downloading a test version on their device. If everything functions correctly, they can push the patch live, allowing Google Play to deliver the updates to users.

Google introduced the new Engage SDK at I/O 2024

Google announced a new developer preview to showcase a developer’s content and facilitate cross-app experiences.

With this new surface, developers can highlight key content from users’ installed apps and create a full-screen immersive experience with personalized recommendations and promotions. This space allows developers to recommend their app and display its most engaging content for users who haven’t installed it yet.

To take advantage of these features, developers will need to integrate with the Engage SDK, a client-side tool that uses on-device APIs. Most developers can complete this integration in about a week. Developers can apply for this feature which will be launched later this year using this form

Game developers can now use Play Points to create promotions for users

At I/O 2024, Google announced that Play Points can now be used to offer coupons, discounts, or exclusive in-game items. Additionally, developers can benefit from improved performance reporting within the Play Console.

For more information on Google’s comprehensive tools for game developers, check out the full recap from the Google for Games Developer Summit.

Google introduced expanded payment options, an installment subscriptions feature, and other updates for optimizing revenue at I/O 2024

At I/O 2024, Google announced several key updates for in-app payments and pricing. 

1. New payments options

  • Google enabled Pix in Brazil and improved support for UPI in India to streamline subscription purchases, allowing developers to offer customers their preferred payment methods in these markets. 
  • Google extended the option for customers to make purchases for others. Parents with a Google family setup can now approve their child’s purchases on Android from any OS. 
  • Starting in India, customers can also send a request to a friend or family member outside their Google family group to purchase an app or in-app product for them by sharing a payment link via their preferred text messaging service or email.

2. Automatic updates of price ranges and new price limits on Google Play

  • Google Play now automatically updates price ranges to reflect currency fluctuations against the US dollar, and developers will receive a new Inbox notification in Play Console whenever a price adjustment is recommended for in-app products. 
  • Developers can now set prices for their products on Google Play as high as 999.99 USD or the equivalent in local currency

3. New opportunities for improving purchase experiences

  • New badges such as “best selling,” “trending,” and “popular” have been added to the Play Store to help guide customer purchases. 
  • With the all-new installment subscriptions feature, developers can offer customers the option to pay over extended periods for long-term subscriptions, helping increase signups and lifetime value. An early access program showed an increase of 8% in total subscription sign-ups and 4% in user spending. Installment subscriptions are now available for users in Brazil, France, Italy, and Spain.
Installment subscriptions
Installment subscriptions.
Source: android-developers.googleblog.com
  • Google is also introducing the new Play Billing Lab app, which simplifies the adoption and testing of features that can improve user experience for one-time purchases and subscriptions. The Lab allows developers to test their integration with Play’s billing system, create test configurations without affecting real users, and experiment with country overrides and subscription lifecycle changes.

To take advantage of these features and all that Google’s commerce platform has to offer, developers should upgrade to Play Billing Library 7.0 later this month. This year, Google is synchronizing the library’s deprecation timelines with Play’s policies, which means support for version 5 will end in August 2024.

Google added the “Government” badge for apps to the Play Store 

According to 9to5mac, Google is rolling out a new “Government” badge in the Play Store to help users identify official Android apps from government entities.

The “Government” badge, marked with a building icon, will be prominently displayed next to the app’s rating in the main Apps feed, search results, and app listings. Clicking on the badge provides a brief explanation: “Official government — Play verified this app is affiliated with a government entity”.

“Government” badge on the Play Store
“Government” badge on the Play Store.
Source: 9to5google.com

At launch, this label will be featured on official state and federal government apps in countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

In the U.S., examples of these apps include NASA, FEMA, and IRS2Go, as well as public works, voting, identification, and parking tools.

This feature has been in testing for several months, with over 3,000 government apps initially receiving the badge. Google has collaborated with governments and their developer partners to implement this feature.

Official parties/agencies are encouraged to use official email addresses when creating developer accounts. Applications that handle sensitive information — such as voting or ID verification — must undergo additional verification before they can be approved. Further guidance is available here.

App Store news

Apple eliminated Core Technology Fee for small developers and non-revenue generators

On May 2, Apple introduced new exemptions to the Core Technology Fee (CTF) policy:

  • Zero-Revenue Developers: Developers who do not generate any revenue are now exempt from the CTF. This includes those creating free apps without any monetization — whether through physical, digital, advertising, or other channels. This condition aims to provide students, hobbyists, and other non-commercial developers the chance to build a popular app without incurring the CTF.
  • Small Developers: Developers earning less than €10 million annually worldwide can benefit from a three-year CTF waiver if they agree to alternative business terms. During this period, developers will remain exempt from the CTF even if they surpass one million annual installs. However, if their global revenue grows to between €10 million and €50 million within three years, they will start incurring the CTF after surpassing one million installs annually — with fees capped at €1 million per year.

Additionally, Apple announced that the European Commission has designated iPadOS as a gatekeeper platform under the Digital Markets Act. As a result, Apple will implement recent iOS changes for EU apps to iPadOS by fall. EU developers can choose to adopt the Alternative Business Terms with these updates or stick to Apple’s existing terms.

Once these changes are implemented in the EU, the CTF will also apply to iPadOS apps downloaded through different channels. Furthermore, if users install the same app on both iOS and iPadOS within a year, it will count as a single first annual install. To help developers understand the potential impact on their app businesses, Apple has updated the App Install reports in App Store Connect that can be used in conjunction with the fee calculator.

Apple announced what will be featured at the WWDC24 conference

Source: www.apple.com/newsroom

Apple announced the activities for its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), highlighting the Keynote and Platforms State of the Union sessions, along with detailed information on what participants can expect throughout the week.

Apple Keynote

June 10, 10 a.m. PDT

WWDC24 will begin with a preview of the upcoming updates for Apple platforms set to release later this year. You can watch the Keynote address live on apple.com, the Apple Developer app, the Apple TV app, and the Apple YouTube channel. On-demand playback will be available afterward.

Platforms State of the Union

June 10, 1 p.m. PDT

The Platforms State of the Union will delve deeper into the latest developments across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, visionOS, and watchOS, and introduce new tools to empower developers. This session will be available for streaming on the Apple Developer app and the Apple Developer website — with playback options on the app, website, and YouTube channel post-event.

Access to Experts

Members of the Apple Developer Program and Apple Developer Enterprise Program will have direct access to Apple experts through online labs and detailed consultations. They will receive guidance on implementing the latest technologies, following best practices, and enhancing their apps and games. Apple engineers and designers will also be available for technical assistance via live Apple Developer Forums.

Session Videos and Guides

Throughout the week, developers can attend over 100 technical sessions, offering in-depth explorations into the latest technologies and frameworks, presented by Apple engineers, designers, and other experts. These sessions will be available on the Apple Developer app, website, and YouTube channel. Developers can also access curated guides to help navigate the conference’s major announcements, including new documentation and session highlights.

Swift Student Challenge

This year, 50 Distinguished Winners were honored for their outstanding submissions and have been invited to Apple Park for a three-day experience with special activities during WWDC week.

Apple Design Awards

The Apple Design Awards celebrate excellence in app and game design. This year’s finalists have been announced on the Apple Developer website and app, with the winners to be revealed soon.

Apple suggested experiencing WWDC24 via the Apple Developer app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Vision Pro. Developers can browse by topic, register for in-depth consultations, watch video sessions with SharePlay, and even copy code directly from session videos.

Only 38 developers opt for Apple’s external payment links

Earlier this year, Apple introduced an option for app developers to use external payment methods instead of processing all transactions through the App Store. Despite this new capability, only 38 developers have opted to use it.

According to testimony presented to a federal judge this week, no major app developers have signed up for outside payment options because the fees are nearly as high as those charged through the App Store, Bloomberg reports.

“It sounds to me as if the goal was to maintain the business model and revenue you had in the past,” US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers remarked to an Apple executive during a multi-day hearing addressing a complaint by Epic Games. The complaint alleges that Apple is not complying with the terms of a 2021 order issued by the judge.

Out of the 65,000 app developers offering in-app purchases on iPhones, only 38 have applied to include external links for payments.

Apple charges developers a 27% fee to use their own links, slightly less than the traditional 30% fee. However, when combined with credit card fees, many developers would end up paying more than if they processed transactions through the App Store.

During the proceedings, Bloomberg noted that the judge seemed skeptical of Apple’s intentions with this payment structure, which was reportedly approved by a committee that includes CEO Tim Cook. “I’m looking for data, and it sounds like you all made lots of decisions without data,” she said.

Microsoft news

Microsoft to launch mobile Game Store in July

Microsoft announced on Thursday at the Bloomberg Technology Summit that it will launch its own mobile game store in July.

Sarah Bond, Xbox president, shared that the store will initially feature Microsoft’s first-party portfolio, including popular titles like Candy Crush and Minecraft. Following the launch, Microsoft plans to invite other publishers to join the mobile store.

“We’re starting on the web,” Bond explained. “This approach ensures that our platform is accessible across all devices and countries, independent of the policies of closed ecosystem stores. From there, we’ll expand further.”

By launching the store on the web rather than as an app, Microsoft aims to provide an alternative to Apple and Google, which both charge a 30% fee on sales.

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive regular updates on App Store Optimization news, as well as informative articles covering ASO, mobile marketing, and app review management.

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Dmitrij Bokhan
Dmitrij Bokhan
Dmitrij Bokhan
Dmitrij Bokhan
dmitrij.bokhan@gmail.com
ASO Manager with 15 years of SEO experience. Immerses himself in each application’s unique subject matter to achieve maximum results. Manages the full cycle of ASO work, with a special passion for preparing semantics and optimizing for the App Store.
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On June 10, Apple held the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC24) and announced many important updates. In our recap, we have compiled 14 updates that may impact app publishers. Read about win-back offers, icon customization, new AI capabilities for texts, emojis, and images, as well as other important innovations. 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
04.06.2024
9 min read

ASO news digest for May 2024

At I/O 2024, Google announced that developers can now create custom store listings for specific search keywords. Store listings on Google Play now display screenshots, ratings, and reviews specific to each device type. Microsoft is planning to launch a mobile Game Store in July. Read the most important ASO news from the App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft. 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
03.05.2024
13 min read

ASO news digest for April 2024

Apple Search Ads platform is now available in Brazil and eight other Latin American countries. Google Play Store Search tab redesign introduces a persistent bottom bar. AltStore appeared on iOS in Europe. Read the most important news for ASO specialists and app publishers in our latest digest. Read more