Apple have announced two App Store changes which will take effect from 7th September 2016. Both are designed to improve customer experience on the App Store by improving app quality and relevancy.
Old apps under review
It has now been 8 years since the launch of the App Store and there are now over 2 million live apps. As there are a number of apps on the Store now which no longer function correctly, don’t follow current review guidelines or have not been supported with compatibility updates for a long time. Apple are therefore implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps for these issues and removing problematic and abandoned apps from the Store.
In terms of magazine apps, those who might be affected by this are closed titles which have been left on the App Store with their subscriptions hidden in an attempt to get occasional back issue sales. Most of these apps are picked up by Apple during routine updates, but a few do remain.
App name character count shortened to 50
Search is one of the most frequently used methods for customers to discover and download apps from the App Store. A common App Store Optimization (ASO) method historically has been to ‘load’ the app name with additional keywords in the hope of influencing search results which creates very long app names. These long names are not fully displayed on the App Store and Apple say provide no user value. Going forward, app names submitted for new apps and updates will now be limited to no more than 50 characters. For existing titles, as many magazine apps have added tag lines containing keywords to their app names, if the character count goes over 50, these will need to be shortened for future updates.