ASO news for January 2023
Apple increased App Store prices for the United Kindom, South Africa, Norway, Hungary, among other countries. Google now allows you to control when changes to your app are sent for review with new Play Console features. Read the most important App Store Optimization news from January about the App Store, Google Play, and Asodesk in our digest.
1. Apple increased App Store prices for the United Kindom, South Africa, Norway, Hungary, among other countries
2. Apple promised to explain why the company deletes apps from the App Store in their Transparency report
3. France slaps Apple with €8M fine over App Store personalized advertising complaint from iOS 14
4. Google now allows you to control when changes to your app are sent for review with new Play Console features
5. Google is changing Android business terms in India
6. Asodesk will hold the webinar about App Growth Trends & Strategies for 2023
App Store news
Apple increased App Store prices for the United Kindom, South Africa, Norway, Hungary, among other countries
Apple announced that from Feb. 13, 2023, app and in-app purchase prices (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) on the App Store will rise in the UK, South Africa, Norway, Hungary, Colombia, Egypt, and Nigeria.
However, due to a reduced value-added tax rate from 15% to 12% in Uzbekistan, app prices will drop there.
Developers’ earnings will be adjusted to account for tax changes in Singapore, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and Luxembourg:
- Singapore’s goods and services tax rate is increasing from 7% to 8%
- Ireland’s VAT rate on electronic newspapers and periodicals is dropping from 9% to 0%
- Zimbabwe’s VAT rate is going up from 14.5% to 15%
- Luxembourg’s VAT rate is falling from 17% to 16%
Lastly, local app developers in Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan should have seen increased earnings by the end of January.
According to the tax category information that developers provided before calculating commission, Apple is planning to estimate and remove taxes. The company will also change Exhibit B of the Paid Applications Agreement to reflect this change.
As soon as price and tax changes take effect, the Pricing and Availability section in My Apps will be updated.
Apple promised to explain why the company deletes apps from the App Store in their Transparency report
Apple has promised to explain more details about why it removes certain apps from the App Store, after the claims that this secret decision-making process threatens freedom of expression in countries such as China and Russia.
According to three people familiar with the agreement, Apple made this promise at the beginning of January. In March 2022, almost a third of shareholders at the annual meeting supported a resolution that would give more transparency in working with foreign governments.
Petitioners asked Apple to explain why some apps were deleted from the App Store after some Bible and Quran study tools were banned from China at the end of 2021. Apple did not provide any comment.
Apple will now provide investors with more details about the removed apps in its transparency report. The report currently only discloses how many apps each country has requested to be removed, whether they were based on legal grounds, and whether Apple has complied, according to sources familiar with the agreement.
According to Tulipshare, Apple has agreed to disclose the legal basis of removal requests by each government in their next report, including a breakdown by category and app category. Apple promises to share how many apps it removes for violating App Store rules or developer license guidelines by country.
France slaps Apple with €8M fine over App Store personalized advertising complaint from iOS 14
French agency CNL (National Commission on Informatics and Libert) fined Apple €8M due to how personalized ads work on iPhones. CNIL conducted several checks in 2021 and 2022 and found that in the old iOS 14.6 the metrics for several goals, including goals for targeted ads placed in the App Store, by default, were automatically read on the terminal without getting proper consent from the user.
The sanction was decided in December 2022 but was announced publicly only on January 4.
Apple published a statement in response, here is part of it:
“We are disappointed with this decision given the CNIL has previously recognized that how we serve search ads in the App Store prioritizes user privacy, and we will appeal”.
Google Play news
Google now allows you to control when changes to your app are sent for review with new Play Console features
Google announced that soon developers would have more control and flexibility under the app review process. There will be a new section with “Changes ready to send for review”. Whenever you save changes in the Google Play Console, they will be listed here — instead of it being automatically sent for review. You can then send changes together when they are ready.
On the Publishing overview page in Play Console, a new “Changes ready to send for review” section will appear on the Publishing overview page in Play Console. Here you can save your changes to send for review.
Changes that you removed will once again appear in the “Changes ready to send for review” section. Imagine that you have a big update for an app that will be launched, and it requires making several changes simultaneously, such as the publication of a new app version, updating app screenshots, and more. Here is how this will work with all the new improvements made in Play Console:
1. You can make changes to different parts of your app, and be sure that all these changes won’t be sent to review or published before you are ready.
2. On the app review page, you will see all the changes together. You can send them for review when you decide you are ready.
3. Delete changes if you made a mistake. For example, if you need to change some screenshots, you have already downloaded them. Now on the app review page, you can delete these updates and send them for review once again.
4. Publish changes according to your schedule with managing publication. You can turn on the managing publication and control the time of changes. This feature is helpful if your plans for publication change.
Read more about this update on the Google Play blog.
Google is changing Android business terms in India
Google is updating its agreements with mobile phone producers and other partners in India and making some other changes in the South Asian market to comply with local antitrust watchdog guidance.
Last year, the company was fined $161 million by the Competition Commission of India and ordered to make a number of changes to its business practices.
Google said it will allow smartphone producers in India to license individual apps for pre-installation on their Android devices. Google will also make it possible for consumers to change their search engine and purchase apps and games from the Play Store with thirdly-party options starting next month.
Here is a set of key changes that Google is making in India:
- Third-party billing systems will be available for all apps and games starting next month. With their help, developers can offer users the option of choosing an alternative payment system along with the Google Play billing system when purchasing content in the app.
- OEMs will only be able to license selected Google apps to pre-install on their devices.
- Android users can always customize the devices according to their needs. Indian users will now be able to select their default search engine through a selection screen. This screen will be shown when a user sets up a new Android smartphone or tablet in India.
- Android compatibility requirements have been updated to allow partners to create incompatible forks of the OS.
- Android has always supported installing apps from various sources, including downloading apps directly from a developer’s website. Recently, the Android installation process has been modified to automatically update downloaded apps and app stores while ensuring users understand potential security risks.
Asodesk will hold the webinar about App Growth Trends & Strategies for 2023
We invited mobile industry leaders to discuss the latest trends in the industry and learn how to build effective strategies for ASO, Retention, and User Acquisition in 2023. Top mobile marketers will share their predicted trends for 2023:
- Ryan Kelley, Mobile Growth Consultant
- Lorenzo Rossi, Co-Founder and Head of Growth at REPLUG
- Alice Muir, Senior Growth Consultant at Phiture
- Thomas Petit, Growth Consultant
Moderator: Alex Shan from Asodesk
Our free webinar will be held on February 2, 6 pm CET. Join the webinar to get insightful advice on how to improve your app promotion mechanics.
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