iOS 13 Adoption at 50%: What this Means for Your ASO Strategy

October 18th, 2019

iOS 13 Adoption at 50%: What this Means for Your ASO Strategy
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Apple recently announced that iOS half of all Apple devices are currently running iOS 13, including a larger percentage of all devices introduced in the last four years. The latest operating system can run on iPhone SE devices and on, as well as the 7th generation iPod touch, although iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus are no longer supported. This means that developers can potentially gain or lose a large portion of their audience based on how well their apps are designed for the latest operating system, and their App Store Optimization is updated accordingly.

iOS and iPadOS Adoption

The adoption data from Apple provides some useful insights about device usage. Looking at it, we can learn several things.

Out of all active devices:

  • 50% are currently updated to iOS 13.
  • 41% are still on iOS 12.
  • 9% are on earlier operating systems.

For newer devices, released in the last four years:

  • 55% are currently running iOS 13.
  • 38% of those devices are on iOS 12.
  • 7% are still using earlier versions.

More users have updated to the latest operating system compared to this same point last year, where 53% of new devices were running the latest version of iOS 12.

It’s also worth noting that the iOS 12 install base data included iPads. That is not the case for iOS 13, since iPad devices now run iPadOS 13.

iPadOS 13 adoption has not caught up with iOS 13, as:

  • 41% of all iPad devices from the last four years currently run iPadOS 13.
  • 51% are still on iOS 12.
  • 13% use older versions.

Additionally, the numbers for older devices are very different than for newer iPads:

  • 33% of iPad devices overall are running iPadOS 13.
  • Devices with iOS 12 remains at 51% for both overall iPads and newer devices.
  • 6% of all iPads are still running older operating systems.

Apple separates the adoption data into “devices from the past four years” and “all devices” to account for older devices that can’t update to the latest OS. The distinction between those who can’t update and those who don’t update is important to get a proper understanding of how many users are intentionally waiting before updating.

Updates & Features

Since a large percentage of iOS users are on iOS and iPadOS 13, developers should ensure that their apps are designed to appeal to these users. There are several things to consider for this, including:

  • Ensure you’re following the latest App Store Guidelines, including HTML5 guidelines, apps using MDM technology and apps for kids
  • Apps with social login features should add Sign in with Apple
  • Test how your app looks in Dark Mode
  • Apps with camera functionality or photo editing should see how they work with the new camera functions
  • Check the app’s privacy settings to ensure it aligns with background data collection and location tracking rules, otherwise the app could risk removal

Apple has also been releasing new updates and developer betas for iOS 13 frequently. Currently, the iOS 13.2 developer beta is available, along with iPadOS 13.2, watchOS 6.1 beta 4 and tvOS 13.2 beta 3.

The latest beta includes Deep Fusion camera technology, adjustments to Siri, HomeKit changes and new emoji. Developers should prepare for these updates by testing their apps to ensure optimal performance and that their apps can fully utilize any relevant features.

App Store Optimization

It’s clear that iOS users are quickly embracing iOS 13, which means that app developers have an opportunity to reach new users by making the most of the new technology early on. Ensuring an app is fully updated for iOS 13 will help keep existing users, while App Store Optimization can help obtain new ones.

Developers should ensure their pages on the App Store are updated to showcase any new features or graphics made possible by iOS 13, such as photo editing apps utilizing the new camera functionality.

Some apps may find that new features in iOS 13 present new competition, such as swipe keyboard apps. In cases like this, developers can focus on highlighting what makes their apps stand out from the default and showcase values that the built-in swipe keyboard doesn’t offer.

App developers should update their creative sets as well. It’s especially important to test how they look in Dark Mode, since that can have a major impact on conversions for users searching the App Store with their devices set on Dark Mode.

The first step is to ensure the app is fully updated for iOS 13 and works well on devices running it. The next step is to update your App Store Optimization to appeal to iOS 13 users. With half of all iOS devices now running the latest OS, now is an important time to check the app itself, update accordingly and keep a close eye on your keyword rankings and ASO for iOS 13.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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