I suspect that after nearly a decade of no meaningful enhancements, this is done by design and helps push specific apps up the list in some manner.
Adding paid search capabilities helps no one except Apple and large development companies that can now blow through their marketing budget even quicker. Great for them not so great for Jane Doe's app which suffers under this type of oppressive change.
What do you mean by this?
> no ability to filter based on more than their two or three meaningless filters, etc
What kinds of things would you want to filter on? (Not disagreeing, just honestly curious.)
That is why only very few make money, most make nothing, nearly all make less than their cost of development and advertisement.
Apple now appearantly plans to ask developers to pay for search position, in addition to what they already are paying for advertisement and development.
This will only make the problem worse.
I really hope this doesn't get implemented. There's low hanging fruit that could really help with the discoverability issues:
Better search (the matching is crap)
More curated lists
GET RID OF THE GARBAGE (old, broken and outdated apps should be removed)
They had a big lead in with Apps, but now their phone market share must be approaching their desktop market share.
They owned the app store, but then they did such a lousy job: no paid upgrades, very poor policing of fake reviews.
Personal experience tends to back this up. I can't think of anybody in my immediate circle who actually paid for something in the last year on their iPad/iPhone.
Relying on anecdotal evidence is always tricky - nobody in my immediate circle ever paid for anything on their iPad/iPhone. But anecdotally, most iPhone devs I know consider discoverability to be a potentially platform-killing problem, and are finding that they can't make a living as indie devs because it's too hard to surface their app. Other platforms like the web don't have this problem, which might explain why webapps still get a lot of attention even though the iPhone userbase is now a much larger share of time spent online.
I literally do not trust buy-only apps anymore because of it. For example I wanted to log my gym progress in an app, and I had to go through at least 10 different apps before I finally found one that had the functionality I wanted (fitframe devs thank you!).
- Why won't they do timed free trials for paid apps? How many years now have developers been crying out for that, at this point its just cruel to not provide this option.
- How about SaaS? Paid subscription for access to an app. A developer chooses a tier to charge and a period, the OS does the rest. Make it easy. Paid subscriptions on the app store are plagued by pointless rules.
If the users don't like it, businesses that use these techniques won't prosper. Leave it to the market. Let the developers choose.
If its easier to monetize per download the problem of search is reduced… its hard to get found, but if you can make some money when you are found it matters less.
Improve search too but its not all there is.
Monetisation is a bigger problem ; A refusal to address it has led to a library of unsupported apps. The new apple tvs app library is an embarrassment, where are the killer device selling titles?
Why are so few apps supporting new device features like 3D touch? Theres also very few apps taking advantage of the iPad pro.
Its monetization apple. Why don't they do anything about it?
It is time to team up with Bing and/or Google and just make external search the default.
It should be possible to use things like "appstore:ios" as a filter term much like "site:xyz.com", etc. and just offload the entire summary page of every app for indexing. The summaries for apps seem to be rendered as web pages anyway, since the App Store acts like some kind of web view.
And when search results are constructed from such filters, all the default links would be formatted by Bing/Google to open the appropriate app store page.
All this stuff exists in bits and pieces now, and has for years, it just hasn’t been put together anywhere. It really does seem as simple as dumping every app web page somewhere, indexing it with Google, converting all the results links to use an app-store URL, and saying “done”.
This could be good for developers: If Apple follows this to its logical extent, they will also let developers A/B test art and copy for their app, making it easier for app developers to find the parts of their app that really resonate with users and get installs.