ASO Weekly - App Store Review

January 15, 2022

ASO Weekly - App Store Review

App Store News and Mobile Tech Updates

Apple's App Store Connect will automatically update to the new submission experience for all developers on January 25th. Plus, check out the new smartphone technology announced this year at CES 2022.

New App Store Connect

Many developers have already taken advantage of Apple's new tools released last year. All who are currently running In-App Events, Custom Product Pages, or Product Page Optimization tests had to manually opt-in to the upgraded App Store Connect submission experience. Today, Apple announced that this new App Store Connect experience will be rolled out to all developer accounts starting January 25th of this year.

On App Store Connect, Apple states that:

"This update allows you to:

  • Include multiple items in one submission.
  • Submit in-app events, Custom Product Pages, and Product Page Optimization tests without needing a new app version.
  • Manage your submissions and communicate with App Review on the new, persistent App Review page.
  • Edit items in your submission.
  • Remove items with issues from your submission and continue with items that were accepted by App Review.
  • View a history of submissions created using the updated experience, including messages from App Review."

For any developers who have not yet upgraded their App Store Connect accounts, this automatic update should hopefully open them up to the new insights that can be gleaned directly from the iOS App Store. Developers using these new tools have the opportunity to drive user engagement through In-App Events, run strategic paid campaigns with Custom Product Pages, and conduct A/B testing directly on the App Store through Product Page Optimization.

Furthermore, Apple has hinted that with Custom Product Pages now being available, they will soon be replacing Creative Set tests in Apple Search Ads. Developers would be wise to start getting themselves familiar with this new campaign process before Creative Sets are retired. Not only will this keep their strategic campaigns running smoothly, but it will also help keep their app relevant in the App Store, as Custom Product Pages will likely improve click-through rate and conversion for competitors.

CES 2022

Top consumer tech companies unveiled interesting new smartphones at CES 2022 last week. While not normally known for mobile tech announcements, CES 2022 included a glimpse at what flagship Android phones might look like this coming year. Some of the most exciting developments in smartphones are the most often overlooked, such as the expansion of affordable devices with higher end specs. This is exciting for mobile gamers and mobile game developers alike, as more consumers will have the opportunity to start playing the hottest mobile games.

The smartphone technology that caught the most attention at CES 2022 was Samsung's lineup of concept folding devices. Currently, Samsung dominates the market for folding smartphones in the United States, with the only widely available devices being the Samsung 'z' series. This includes the Galaxy Z Fold, which features a 6.2" display that opens up to reveal a 7.6" tablet style device. The other phone in this series is the Galaxy Z Flip, which folds from a standard 6.7" display to a compact 4.2" device perfect for pockets.

The concepts announced by Samsung include the Flex S, the Flex G, the Flex Note, and a brand new concept called the Flex Slidable - which is a sliding rather than folding phone. The Flex S and Flex G are both tri-fold devices, which allows for even greater screen area to device footprint than previous bi-fold phones. The Flex S folds down into an 'S' or 'Z' shape, leaving the front facing screen on and usable even when closed. The Flex G, on the other hand, folds in like a tri-fold brochure and, when closed, forms its own protective covering.

Samsung didn't reveal any plans to release these new folding phones to the market just yet. Hesitation to go to market might stem from the overall critical reception of their Galaxy 'Z' devices. These phones have gotten better with recent iterations, but they are still more prone to screen cracking and display malfunctions than standard flat phones. There have also been complaints about software optimization issues, whereas popular games and apps fail to function properly when installed on folding devices.

While not announced at CES 2022, it was rumored that Apple intends to release a folding iPhone within the next few generations. Patents show that Apple has been working on a folding phone design concept for over five years. Unlike their early pioneering days, Apple now tends to wait for new technologies to mature before implementing it into their consumer goods. This may prove to be a good strategy -- to watch and learn as other phone manufacturers begin testing on a live market.

What a folding iPhone might look like and how it would change iOS is very speculative at this point. While this is exciting to think about, we likely will not see a folding iPhone within the next two years. The earliest expected launch year being 2023, with Apple having already leaked some of the anticipated features of the iPhone 14, which do not include folding.

Takeaways

  • The new App Store Connect submission experience will be rolled out to all App Store developer accounts on January 25th.
  • Developers and marketers should be aware that Custom Product Pages will likely be replacing Creative Set Testing very soon.
  • Samsung debuted new folding smartphone concepts at CES 2022 this year.
  • Rumors circulate that Apple may be releasing their first folding iPhone within the next few years.

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.