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ASO news digest for October 2023

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: 01.11.2023
Updated: 28.12.2023
7 min read

Apple announced new delivery metrics in the Push Notifications Console. Google will release AI apps to easily report offensive content. Angle Agency is offering up to 30% off all ASO services until November 30. Read all the latest App Store Optimization news in our October digest. 

Contents

1. Apple announced new delivery metrics in the Push Notifications Console
2. Apple asked developers to prepare for new beta releases
3. Apple strengthened its app review process in China in response to increased regulatory scrutiny from Beijing
4. Google Play Protect will now display a prompt to scan unfamiliar apps before users sideload them
5. Google invited developers to the Indie Games Accelerator
6. Google added labels for app promotions and events in the Browse section of Google Play
7. Google has announced that AI apps on Google Play will soon be required to have features for reporting content
8. Google will limit the use of permissions for reading photos and videos
9. Google will limit full-screen intent notifications for apps
10. Angle Agency is offering up to 30% off all ASO services until November 30

App Store news

Apple announced new delivery metrics in the Push Notifications Console

Apple has unveiled an enhancement to the Push Notifications Console, introducing new delivery metrics for notifications sent in production via the Apple Push Notification service (APNs). The Push Notifications Console was introduced during WWDC23, and it simplifies the process of sending test notifications to Apple devices through APNs.

New delivery metrics provide valuable insights into the trends of delivery states across various push types and priorities. This allows you to closely monitor the daily performance of your apps’ notification integration with APNs.

When a notification undergoes processing via APNs, it goes through various states. These metrics allow you to examine the diverse delivery states of notifications transmitted from your server to users’ devices on which your app is installed.

Apple asked developers to prepare for new beta releases

Apple has officially released beta versions of iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, macOS 14.2, tvOS 17.2, and watchOS 10.2. Developers are encouraged to ensure their apps are compatible with these releases by verifying that they function as intended. To make benefits of the latest SDK improvements, it is essential to build and test using Xcode 15.1 beta.

To determine whether a known issue from a previous beta release has been resolved or if there are any workarounds available, refer to the latest release notes.

For more information on Beta OS, take a look at this resource.

Apple strengthened its app review process in China in response to increased regulatory scrutiny from Beijing

Apple is now adhering to a new Chinese app regulation mandating developers to establish a registered local entity within China. Previously, there were concerns that popular social media apps like X, Instagram, and Facebook might face removal from the Chinese App Store due to this law.

China has long restricted access to Western social media apps, but these apps remained accessible on platforms like the App Store and Google Play, often with the use of VPNs, although VPN apps themselves have also been illegal.

In August, the Chinese government introduced a new requirement for foreign apps to submit their business details to gain approval for distribution through the App Store. To comply, app developers must either own a Chinese company or collaborate with a local publisher.

While Android app stores quickly adapted to this law by requesting company registration details from foreign apps, Apple initially did not follow suit. However, Apple has now started requiring app developers to submit the necessary “internet content provider (ICP) filing” when publishing new apps on the Chinese App Store. This regulation applies not only to new apps but also to existing ones.

Google Play news

Google Play Protect will now display a prompt to scan unfamiliar apps before users sideload them

When users sideload apps from sources other than Google Play, Play Protect currently conducts real-time checks using “existing scanning intelligence”, on-device machine learning, similarity comparisons, and other procedures.

Google is now enhancing Play Protect with real-time code-level scanning. This means it will extract important signals from the app and transmit them to the Play Protect backend infrastructure for code-level evaluation. This update aims to identify emerging threats — including polymorphic malware that can alter its identifiable characteristics.

While attempting to install apps that have not undergone previous scans, users will encounter a prompt with the options “Scan app” or “Don’t install app”. Google will provide a reason for why an app would be deemed harmful, such as “app can allow unauthorized access to your data or device”.

Google Protect scanning an app
Google Protect scanning an app. Source: 9to5google.com

Once the real-time analysis has been completed, users will receive a notification indicating whether the app appears safe for installation or if the scan has identified potential harm.

This rollout will initially launch in India and will expand to all countries in the coming months.

Google invited developers to the Indie Games Accelerator

Google has revealed that it is now accepting submissions for Indie Games Accelerator 2024 — a program tailored for indie developers who are about to launch a new game or have recently launched it.

Selected game studios will receive invitations to participate in the ten-week accelerator initiative, scheduled to commence in March 2024. This program is designed specifically for small game developers hailing from over 70 eligible countries. It encompasses a series of online masterclasses, informative talks, and interactive gaming workshops, all led by some of the industry’s most renowned experts.

To be considered, all submissions must be completed by December 12, 2023, at 1 pm CET, and must meet the specified eligibility criteria. Developers can apply here

Google added labels for app promotions and events in the Browse section of Google Play

On Google Play, within the Browse sections, your app’s promotions and events are now showcased. Corresponding labels have been added alongside your app’s rating. Next to the event tag you also can see when it ends.

New updates and events labels in Google Play Browse
Updates and events labels in Google Play

Google has announced that AI apps on Google Play will soon be required to have features for reporting content

Google announced that from January 31, 2024, its AI apps will be obliged to include an in-app user reporting or flagging feature that allows users to complain about AI-generated content seamlessly within the app.

Example of report about image in AI app
Example of report about image in AI app. Source: android-developers.googleblog.com

Developers should use reports about offensive content for filtering and moderating their apps, much like the in-app reporting system stipulated by Google Play’s AI-Generated Content policy.

AI-generated content represents material created by using generative AI models that responds to user-initiated cues, for example:

  • Chatbots employ text-to-text conversational AI, where user interaction with the chatbot makes up a pivotal element of the application.
  • Imagery crafted by AI as a response to text, visual, or voice messages.

Google reminded developers that apps producing content through AI must also consistently adhere to all other developer policies. This includes prohibiting and preventing the generation of restricted content, such as content that facilitates the exploitation or abuse of children, and content that enables deceptive behavior.

Google will limit the use of permissions for reading photos and videos

Google announced that soon only apps with a genuine need for extensive access to photos will retain the READ_MEDIA_IMAGES and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO permissions. Apps with one-time or limited use of photo and video files will now need to use a system picker, such as the Android Photo Picker.

Android Photo Picker
Android Photo Picker.
Source: android-developers.googleblog.com

Apps that require extensive access to photo and video files in shared storage on devices ought to successfully undergo a thorough access review and demonstrate a core use case that genuinely requires persistent or frequent access to these files.

From Mid-2024, apps with infrequent or one-time photo usage will be encouraged to adopt a system photo picker and remove READ_MEDIA_IMAGES and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO permissions from their app manifest.

From early 2025, only apps with core functionality requiring broad photo and video access will be allowed to use READ_MEDIA_IMAGES and READ_MEDIA_VIDEO permissions.

Google will limit full-screen intent notifications for apps

Google implemented stricter guidelines for full-screen intent notifications which share high-priority messages demanding immediate user attention. While certain situations warrant full-screen intent notifications, such as alarm alerts and incoming phone or video calls, Google aims to restrict this permission to these essential cases. As part of these changes, this permission will transition into a specialized app access authorization.

Starting with apps targeting Android 14 and later versions, full-screen intent permissions will be automatically granted only to apps whose fundamental functionality relies on full-screen notifications. Other apps will be required to seek user consent for utilizing this permission. This limitation on notifications aims to enhance the overall user experience. For further details on this policy adjustment, refer to this link.

Angle Group news

Angle Agency is offering up to 30% off all ASO services until November 30

Our partners from Angle Agency have 9+ years of experience in App Store Optimization and use the latest technology with expertise in ML, computational linguistics, and AI models.

Until November 30, Angle Agency is offering up to 30% off all ASO services:

  • Semantic core collection starting from $159 (previously $199)
  • Textual ASO in any store starting from $319 (previously $399)
  • Textual ASO in all 39 localizations of the App Store for just $9999 (previously $15499)
  • Visual ASO in any store starting from $420 (previously $600)
  • ASO Audit in any store starting from $699 (previously $999)
  • Strategic ASO support from $959 (previously $1199)

They also offer new services:

  • App localization in Asia in any store from $699 (previously $999)
  • Seasonal PPO (Product Page Optimization) for only $349

Learn more about Angle Agency services and request ASO from experts.

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

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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
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Julia Suliagina
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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
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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
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