Third-party Apps Dominate the App Store
On April 6th, Analysis Group released reports stating that third-party apps now surpass Apple’s native apps in global usage. The report revealed that:
- Apple’s share of app usage is smaller compared to third-party apps globally
- Users often use more than one app for certain categories like news, messaging, video streaming, and maps
- The most popular third-party apps are music and TV streaming, maps, and messaging
What does this mean for the future of third-party apps? Apple’s built-in apps have long been a standard go-to for many users, but many of them are inching towards other options to get the features they search for.
App Store Optimization (ASO) allows developers to cut through the clutter of congested app categories, and the Analysis Group study shows us that some app categories may need to go the extra mile to compete for users on the App Store.
As the App Store marketplace grows in popularity, an increasing number of users will now have more apps competing for their download. Visibility is essential in maintaining relevancy and consistently improving app store performance. Paid search campaigns can’t get developers there alone. With the help of an ASO company with over 12 years of experience, app developers can ensure their strategy gives them a competitive edge in the face of rising third-party app popularity, regardless of category.
Say Your Goodbyes to Outdated Apps on Google Play
On April 6th, Google announced that it will be significantly diminishing the visibility of all apps from its app stores that do not meet the required API level as of November 1st of this year. While it is still unclear whether or not these older apps will be wiped from the store completely, Google stated the following in their blog post:
“...existing apps that don’t target an API level within two years of the latest major Android release version will not be available for discovery or installation for new users running Android OS versions higher than apps’ API level..”
While it may be difficult to preserve old app versions, this measure is meant to improve security measures and the app store experience for users. In an effort to sweep the floors of the Play Store, many Android users who have the latest software installed won’t be able to find older apps on the Play Store soon.
Some apps like Snapchat have ran on older versions to circumnavigate runtime permissions for a long period of time when new updates were first released. For Snapchat, it was nearly one whole OS update apart. To maintain relevance in the app store, regular updates and iterative practices are necessary to stay on top of any possible limitations to visibility. Regularly updated apps also send the Play Store all the right signals to indicate that it is good enough to show to users.
Third-party apps have amounted to massive global popularity – surpassing the popularity of built-in, native apps for the first time in recorded history. On a categorical level, users consume apps in different ways. Whether they download one app for all their needs or use many, making sure your app remains in their selection process is crucial.
Google is taking the steps to create a more secure and user-friendly app store experience by ditching the clutter of old apps in the market. It’s important for developers to remain cognizant of the external changes that may affect their ASO strategy, and make strategic decisions based on their potential effects on performance. Updating an app doesn’t have to be a difficult process and Gummicube’s ASO technology can help older apps make a comeback with updated metadata and creatives that are sure to build on long-term organic success.