ASO news for December: final digest of 2022
Apple announced its biggest pricing update in the App Store and added 700 new pricing points. Google clarified rules regarding the Target API Level policy. Read all the major ASO news from Google Play and App Store for December in the last digest of 2022.
App Store news
Apple announced its biggest pricing update in the App Store and added 700 new pricing points
On December 6, Apple announced new pricing that already became available for apps offering auto-renewing subscriptions. For all other apps and in-app purchases, it will become available in spring 2023. This update gives developers a new level of freedom to manage their products’ pricing in 45 currencies across 175 storefronts.
Developers can now choose from 900 price tiers, nearly 10 times higher than the number of prices previously available for most apps. This new pricing includes 600 new prices for everyone and an additional 100 higher prices available upon request. Pricing ranges from $0.29 to $10,000 in increments that change as prices rise (for example, every $0.10 up to $10; every $0.50 between $10 and $50; etc).
In each of the 175 App Store countries, developers will be able to use additional pricing conventions, including those that start with two repeated digits (for example, ₩110,000). They will be able to price products that end in something other than $X.99 or €X.99 — for example, X.00 or X.90, which is especially useful for managing bundles and annual plans.
From December 6, subscription app developers can manage currency and taxes across storefronts more easily by choosing a local storefront they are familiar with as a reference point to automatically generate prices across the other 174 storefronts and 44 currencies. The ability to manually set prices for each region separately is also available. This pricing capability by storefront will expand to all other apps in spring 2023.
Apple may allow third-party app stores on iOS
According to the Digital Markets Act, technology companies must allow the installation of third-party apps. The law will take effect in the coming months, but companies are not required to comply with all rules until 2024.
Bloomberg noted that in response to the new requirements, Apple’s software engineering and service employees are actively working to allow alternative app stores for the iPhone and iPad. Here are the key takeaways from this news:
1. This change may be ready as part of the update of iOS 17, which will appear in 2023.
2. Users will be able to download apps on iPhone and iPad without using the App Store and without the 15–30% payment fees.
3. The Apple team is considering specific security requirements for apps distributed outside the App Store. Apple may also review such apps, which will incur extra fees.
4. Apple has not yet decided on whether to allow developers to install third-party payment systems in their apps. This would let users sign up for subscriptions or buy in-app content without involving Apple.
5. The company may also open up more of its private APIs to third-party apps. Apple’s hardware and core system functions can interact with apps and features through these frameworks. For example, third-party web browsers, including Google Chrome, must use WebKit, Apple’s Safari engine. Under the plan to comply with the new law, Apple is considering repealing this mandate.
6. Apple may allow financial apps to use additional camera technology and the NFC chip — at least to a limited extent. At the moment, only the Wallet app and Apple Pay use the NFC chip for the wallet to function. Apple is facing pressure to allow third-party financial apps use the NFC chip too.
7. Apple hasn’t decided how to introduce another requirement of the Digital Markets Act — opening iMessage and its Messages apps to thirdly-party services. Engineers believe this change may damage end-to-end encryption and other privacy features offered by iMessage. Apple isn’t currently considering integrating a more messaging protocol that Google and others are pushing it to adopt: RCS or Rich Communications Services.
Apple will change the App Store receipt signing certificate
Apple announced that starting from January 18, 2023, the App Store receipt signing certificate will use a new WWDR intermediate certificate. The current intermediate certificate validity period will end on February 7, 2023.
In most cases, this certificate change will not require changes to apps. But Apple recommended reviewing the sale verification system of your apps and in-app purchases to ensure that apps aren’t affected.
Those who validate App Store receipts on a device with an App Store receipt signing certificate should ensure they haven’t hard-coded an intermediate certificate and that their container signing trust chain matches the Apple Inc. root certificate.
A bug that changes the Title and Subtitle language has appeared in the App Store
On December 9, ASO specialists on ASO Stack shared information about a new bug that changes the language of the localized Title and Subtitle to the language of the Primary Localization in App Store Connect. This bug applies to new versions of apps whose metadata can now be edited, for example, with the “Prepare for Submission” and “Waiting for Review” statuses.
Vadim Lysenko at ASO Stack stated that he had an issue with one of the apps. The finished version was fine, but the one he would submit for review was broken. This error happened with Safari and Chrome.
Vadim offered a tip: “If you have a macOS version of the app added to AppStore Connect in Prepare for Submission status, the Titles/Subtitles of the iOS version won’t change when you add the new iOS version”.
However, for some ASO managers, this method didn’t work. Read more ASO specialists’ experiences about this bug on ASO Stack.
Google Play news
Google clarified rules regarding Target API Level policy
According to Google’s API Policy, to ensure user safety, all apps must have the following target API levels:
New apps and app updates must aim for an Android API level within twelve months of a major Android version release. Apps and updates that do not meet this requirement will not be submitted to the Play Console.
Existing Google Play apps that do not introduce updates and do not target an API level within two years of a major Android version release will be unavailable to on devices running more recent versions of Android OS. Those who have previously installed these apps from Google Play can find, reinstall, and use them on devices running any version of Android supported by the app.
On December 14, Google added exceptions to the Target API level policies. These exceptions include permanently private apps and apps that target automotive or wearables form factors and are bundled within the same package. Read requirements to the Target API level in this updated article.
Google will add readies download progress bubble and app archiving
According to 9to5google, a way to monitor Android app downloads while browsing the store may soon appear on Google Play. The 9to5google team forcibly enabled the “Show Installation Progress Bubble” feature in the Play Store Notifications settings. They saw a floating bubble that showed the progress of the installation of the current app on other app pages. This bubble can be moved around on the screen or closed by dragging it down.
In November, Google announced a new “app archiving” feature that will help save space on users’ Android phones. It will allow users to uninstall an Android app but keep all personal data from that app. This feature should appear soon. Right now it is not available on any devices.
9to5google forcibly enabled the Play Store’s app archiving feature to show it. Users will be able to uninstall or archive apps.
User can restore an app after archiving it.
If the user restores an app, they don’t need to sign back into the account — the app will be exactly how they left it.
This was the last ASO digest for 2022, and we hope it was useful for you. Subscribe to our newsletter to get ASO news digests and new articles every month.
The Asodesk team wishes you a Happy New Year! We believe that you will achieve all your goals in 2022. May your apps reach new heights in search, overtake competitors, and get more installs in the new year 💙