iOS 13’s Small Updates That Can Impact ASO

June 14th, 2019

iOS 13’s Small Updates That Can Impact ASO
Anh Nguyen

by Anh Nguyen

COO & Co-Founder at Gummicube, Inc

When iOS 13 was announced at WWDC 2019, Apple unveiled several enhancements and features that would be appearing in the next new operating system. However, as the company reveals more information, we’re beginning to learn about other enhancements and changes that apps can utilize for their App Store Optimization strategies.

Location Tracking Settings

One of the announcements during WWDC was that iOS 13 will change how apps handle location information. Users can grant an app temporary access to their location data, but the app would have to request it again before accessing it a second time. However, the location changes don’t stop there.

When an app is given permission to track a user’s location, iOS 13 can show users a map of the places it has tracked them. This will enable users to be sure the app is working as intended, rather than tracking their location at unwanted times and places. Users can choose to change permissions to “Only while using,” so, for instance, a shopping app that uses location services to pull up coupons when a user is near the store can be set to only access the location when the user opens the app and wants to find coupons.

This can be useful for apps that use location services to help them reach users who would otherwise be worried about the app tracking them at all times. Explaining how the app can be set to only access location information once or when opened can ensure users that it won’t be following them without permission, and the map that shows tracking data can verify as such. Apple’s latest guidelines include regulations for user tracking, so this feature is in line with its crackdown on such apps. It’s useful for a number of apps, including GPS navigation, augmented reality games that rely on specific locations, shopping apps and so forth.

Open Songs/Podcasts with Siri

Another announcement was the updates to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. In addition to enhancements to SiriKit, it can now be used to open apps and perform specific functions at a request. Specifically, Siri can now open music or podcast apps and play songs from them from a single voice request.

Normally, users can ask Siri “Open Spotify” to open the app, or “Play Under Pressure” to pull a specific song from their phone’s built-in Music app. With the new update, users can now combine the commands. If they were to say, “Play Under Pressure on Spotify,” Siri would open the app and select the requested song. The same can be used for podcast apps.

While this may seem like a small change, it is an important step in giving Siri multi-action commands. It also provides more hands-free usability for music and podcast apps, which are commonly used while driving. It is also possible that being able to open other music apps is in part a response to Spotify’s anti-competition accusations by removing one of the barriers that gives Apple’s own music app an advantage over others.

Low Data Mode

For users with a limited data plan, there are few things more worrying than getting the “You have 10% of your data plan remaining” notifications, especially if they’re on a shared plan and can’t control how much data others use.

Low Data Mode is a new option for iOS 13. It enables apps to use data judiciously when the user’s data plan is limited or nearly depleted. This would prevent data-heavy apps from draining the plan while they run in the background or limit the amount they use while loading without a WiFi connection.

For anyone who’s ever run out of data after receiving one too many Facebook notifications while walking outside, this is an appealing addition. Developers of apps that use a large or consistent amount of data, this can help improve their usage even when a user’s data plan is running low. Calling out the low data options and describing how it limits usage may be a good way to appeal to those users and let them know how they can keep using the app when their plan is nearly out.

Game Controller Support

One overlooked update is particularly useful for mobile games: iOS 13 will support PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S controllers. This can provide mobile games with greater controllability, rather than restricting their controls to the device’s touchscreen.

Given the increased demand for cross-console play, utilizing new controller support can help mobile game developers reach users who might normally stick to the console versions. For instance, PUBG Mobile is a mobile port of a popular console game, but users may be turned away by having to use their phone as a screen and controller. If they can connect with the controllers they own and are used to, it could encourage them to install the app.


Each change within iOS 13 can provide a new opportunity for apps. Apps with location-based services, music apps, mobile games and more can improve the quality of their services by utilizing these new features.

In order to truly capitalize on the enhancements, though, apps should update their App Store Optimization to showcase everything. Music or podcast apps can include sections in their creatives or description showcasing their Siri compatibility, mobile games can improve their conversions by calling out how they can be used with controllers from fan favorite consoles. The important thing is that the App Store listings are optimized to engage and convert users, no matter what changes.

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

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