App Store Privacy Update & New Google Play Format

July 31st, 2023

App Store Privacy Update & New Google Play Format
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

App Store Privacy Updates

Apple’s focus on user privacy expands as new rules emerge regarding the use of APIs for developers. Starting fall 2023, apps that contain APIs will need to declare their reason for utilizing said APIs in their privacy manifest. The goal of this is to create transparency between developers and users in regard to the use of their data, avoid fingerprinting, and ensure the API is being used for its intended purpose.

Any new apps or app updates will need to state an approved reason for using their APIs and starting spring 2024, will need to select a reason that accurately describes how your app uses the API.

Developers will need to include a series of keys and values, each associated with an approved reason defined by Apple. Publishers can also opt to submit a new reason if not found within the predetermined list.

How does this affect ASO?

Apple’s new privacy requirements mean that developers must take into consideration another set of guidelines that affects their publication process. For new apps, developers will need to account for the additional rules set in place to avoid rejection, which can further delay any app marketing initiatives planned out. For developers scheduling future updates, it’s recommended they begin to incorporate the reasons behind their API usage as early as possible to avoid delays or unexpected rejection once the requirement fully rolls out.

Google Play Store Updates

The Play Store is getting a revamp – for larger screens. With the goal of enhancing the user experience, Google announced a set of changes coming to the Play Store seeing as more and more individuals are using apps on large screens. The new changes look to drive emphasis toward creative assets with a new format that places videos and images center stage.

Google will now be considering apps deemed “high-quality” for the new format as well as indexation. The new Play Store layout includes a video banner occupying a large part of the top of the screen followed by a multi-column layout displaying various visual assets to house what Google describes as a more “immersive way” of viewing gameplay and in-app features. Apps that align with their new large screen app quality guidelines will be ranked higher in search.

google play store new tablet format vs old tablet format

The prevalence of creative assets also extends to the Apps and Games Home tabs with Google promising to regularly feature more store listing assets in these areas. This means developers following Google’s content quality guidelines can enjoy an even greater opportunity to occupy a larger area of users screens to promote their apps. Google recommends the following best practices:

  1. Upload separate screenshots for each form factor. Demonstrate the actual in-app or in-game experience, focusing on the core features and content so users can anticipate what the app or game experience will be like.
  2. Use high-quality images with the proper aspect ratio.
  3. Avoid overloading screenshots with text or time-sensitive copy that requires frequent updates.
  4. We don’t recommend including device imagery, as this can become obsolete quickly or alienate some user groups.

Finally, also launching in the coming weeks are warning labels and reduced visibility for those apps that do not meet Google’s technical quality standards. According to Google, apps “with an 8% user-perceived crash rate or 8% user-perceived ANR rate on the user’s device” will be affected.

google play store warning label

How does this affect ASO?

For developers, abiding by Google’s newest recommendations and requirements will ultimately affect your app visibility, and as a result, downloads. It’s important to remember that the first step to appearing before users is making sure your app and its store listing assets adhere to the latest guidelines.

Coupling this with data-driven ASO strategies can help continuously improve your app ranking, as you are consistently updating your listing to align with platform changes while keeping your metadata and creatives optimized.

Need help with your ASO? Get in touch with Gummicube today!

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