ASO news digest for October
In October, the App Store saw seven important changes at once. For example, in-app events and the “report a problem” button. Google reduced commission to 15% for subscriptions. Asodesk has six new countries for buying incentivized installs on Google Play. Read all the news in our digest.
1. Apple updated App Store guidelines
2. Apple may reject apps with similar features in oversaturated categories
3. You can now view re-installs and pre-orders in App Analytics
4. The “delete account” function should appear in iOS apps
5. The App Store has made it easier to report app issues
6. In-app events became available in the App Store on October 27
7. App prices and in-app purchases will change for three countries in the App Store
8. Google Play will reduce the commission for subscriptions to 15%
9. Google announced new updates to Google Play guidelines
10. Data Safety form is now available on Google Play
11. You can now get incentivized installs from six more countries on Google Play with Keyword Boost
12. Organic Report is now even more accurate with machine learning and new metrics
The App Store news
Apple updated App Store guidelines
On October 22, Apple made three important changes to its guidelines:
1. Added paragraph 2.3.13 about in-app events. Apple advises that the event must be of the same type as specified in App Store Connect. The metadata needs to be accurate and related to the event itself, not to the app as a whole. The In-app event content link should take the user to the right place in the app. It is also important for the date and time of the event to be correct. When monetizing an event, you must follow the rules of Section 3 “Business”.
2. Added paragraph 5.1.1 (x), according to which apps can request basic contact information from users. But it is important that users can decline the request, and the app functions do not depend on the user’s response. The information must comply with other guidelines, including restrictions on the collection of data from children.
2. Removed clause 3.1.3, according to which developers could not use user data for targeting outside the app. Developers can now inform users about payment methods other than the App Store.
Apple may reject apps with similar features in oversaturated categories
The developer noted that the app had a unique flashlight synchronization feature across multiple devices, which is not available in similar products.
Apple responded that the app still violates paragraph 4.3 in the App Store guidelines, according to which creating apps for oversaturated categories (such as dating, fortune-telling, flashlights, and drinking games) is regarded as spam.
Despite complaints from developers, the company continues to follow this policy when reviewing apps.
Be careful when planning the launch of new products in the App Store. Study the guidelines and competitors’ apps to minimize the risk of your app being categorized as spam and rejected by Apple.
You can now view re-installs and pre-orders in App Analytics
New tracking metrics are now available in App Analytics. The tool can check app re-installs, total installs, revenue, pre-orders, and updates. Each indicator can be viewed by type of source, territory, and device.
Apple says that as of September 20, 2021, all sales figures include data from Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager, as well as devices running iOS 7, macOS 10.14, tvOS 8, and earlier versions.
The “delete account” function should appear in iOS apps
Apple announced that all apps with the function of creating an account should also have a function for deleting it. The requirement comes into effect on January 31, 2022.
The company also notes that the app should clearly explain what data is needed from users, and how it is collected and used. It is important to verify data about app privacy.
The App Store has made it easier to report app issues
Apple has added a “Report a Problem” button to the App Store page on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey. The feature is already available to customers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States and will eventually expand to other regions.
In addition, reportaproblem.apple.com now has several options for complaints: “report a scam or fraud”, “report offensive, illegal or abusive content”, as well as report issues with their apps.
This is a big step forward since in the past it was only possible to report these problems by going to the App Store website, where you had to log in again. In addition, only users with paid access to the app could complain about its quality. Now any user can report a problem.
In-app events became available in the App Store on October 27
In-app events became available in the App Store on October 27 for iOS 15 and iPadOS.
As a reminder, developers can announce up to five in-app events on app pages, search results, personal recommendations, and collections. In-app events include Challenge, Competition, Major Update, Premiere, New Season, Special Event, and Live Event.
Read more on how to use in-app events in the App Store.
App prices and in-app purchases will change for three countries in the App Store
The App Store announced a price change due to tax and exchange rate adjustments. Prices will rise in the following countries:
- Thailand: new 7% VAT applies to developers located outside of Thailand.
- Bahamas: new 12% VAT.
As soon as the changes take effect, the Pricing and Availability section in My Apps will be updated. Developers can change the price of their apps and in-app purchases at any time in App Store Connect.
Google Play news
Google Play will reduce the commission for subscriptions to 15%
The commission for apps with subscriptions on Google Play will drop from 30% to 15% from the first day of use. This change will come into force on January 1, 2022. Previously, on Google Play, the commission was reduced to 15% only if the user paid for 12 or more months in a row.
It is also noted that members of the Play Media Experience program are eligible for a commission reduction down to 10%. Content apps such as books, music, and streaming services can participate in the program.
According to Bloomberg, this change will mostly influence multimedia services, music apps, and dating apps. Gaming app revenues will not be affected by this change, as most games use in-app purchases.
Google announced new updates to Google Play guidelines
On October 27, Google announced a change in the Google Play Help policy. Let’s look at the most important changes that will take effect on December 1, 2021:
1. The inappropriate content section will introduce a new ban on apps that are associated with dangerous movements and are related to violence against civilians, as well as apps published by the same movements and organizations.
2. The enforcement process section will have data on the ability to limit the list of regions in which your app will be available to Google Play users.
3. The sexual content section will have information about restricting access to apps with sexual content in regions where it may be considered inappropriate.
Effective February 2, 2022, the Android emoji policy will be introduced. Developers will have to align apps for Android 12 and later with the latest Unicode emoji standard. The change must take effect within four months from the date of its publication.
From April 1, 2022, the Families policy requirements will introduce a new regulation, according to which developers must add reminders on safe interaction with other people on the internet.
Read more about these and other changes in Google Play Help.
Data Safety form is now available on Google Play
In May, Google announced that developers must disclose what personal data they collect from users.
Since October 18, the “Data safety” form has been added to the Google Play Console. Google advises that developers fill out the form as early as possible so that moderation can review it faster and give developers time to make changes.
Play Store users will see a Data safety section under the “About This App” title in February 2022.
See the timeline for the feature implementation, as well as Google’s instructions on how to fill in this section on the company’s blog.
You can now get incentivized installs from six more countries on Google Play with Keyword Boost
Asodesk now has new countries for buying incentivized installs on Google Play: the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, and India.
Just a reminder, you can use Keyword Boost in Asodesk to promote your app to the top positions for the desired queries. The tool allows you to receive real installs from users who find the app in search and install it on their device.
In Asodesk, you can buy App Store user installs from more than 100 countries around the world. For Google Play this feature was previously only available in Russia, but now you can use it in other locations too.
Google Play’s cost per install starts from $0.45 for the listed countries.
Launch campaigns in new countries and become #1 in search for targeted queries!
Organic Report is now even more accurate with machine learning and new metrics
With the help of Organic Report, you can learn the approximate number of installs that an app will receive for certain keywords (Estimated Installs). The tool will help you find keywords that bring more installs to your app and competitors’ apps.
We have improved Organic Report’s algorithm. The tool now has more accurate statistics on installs thanks to new calculation indicators.
Previously, Organic Report analyzed app positions by keyword, traffic by keyword, and app rating. Now Organic Report takes into account the dynamics of the app rating change over the last year, the presence of the app in the top charts, and the number of user ratings.
We also use machine learning to get the most up-to-date data. Learn more about Organic Report and how you can use its statistics in our article.