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App Store Optimization in iOS 13: Adapt Your ASO Strategy to New Features

App Store Optimization in iOS 13 needs refinement. Find out how you can tailor the ASO strategy for your application to fit the new features and stay at the top

November 05, 2019

Let's see what the iOS 13 update officially released by Apple in September changes when it comes to the App Store Optimization and how you should refine your ASO strategy to successfully grow your apps and games for iPhones and iPads.

First presented at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2019 (also WWDC for short, or Dub Dub as it is affectionately referred to by attendees) in June and beta tested by registered developers since that time, iOS 13 is officially available to the general public since September 19, 2019. New mobile devices by Apple such as iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone Pro Max to be officially released tomorrow will be shipped with iOS 13 right away. The new version of the iOS operating system for iPads is to be renamed to iPadOS in the near future; in particular, the new iPad of the 7th generation revealed earlier in September will come with iPadOS by default.

In fact, iOS 13 brings a whole lot of new features, modifications, and improvements. To make things easier for you and save you time and effort to do your own research, we'll show you what changes are important in terms of ASO. Join us on this quick overview to understand how they impact the App Store Optimization strategy and tactics on the Apple App Store, as well as learn how to leverage them to attain the best ASO effect.

What’s New in iOS 13 for ASO

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is introduced in iOS 13 as a systemwide option. This is one of the most long-awaited new features. Now users can easily switch the look from a light to dark color scheme, which can significantly improve the viewing experience in a low-light environment, for example. All native Apple's apps support Dark Mode, including App Store.

While the Dark Mode option does not have a substantial direct influence on ASO in terms of boosting an app's visibility around the App Store, it can mean a lot in driving conversion rates. This primarily is the case when it comes to the App Store optimization of your app’s graphical assets such as icon, screenshots, and video previews. In fact, although your app visuals can look excellent on a previously traditional light background, there might be issues with how they appear on a dark color background.

In light of the above, we strongly recommend that you check how your app icon, screenshots, and previews look within the App Store in iOS 13 when Dark Mode is activated. Generally, since you cannot predict in advance what color scheme a user has turned on on their device at the time of viewing your product page or coming across your app details in the search results or editorial picks, you should make sure your app (or game) creative graphic assets are beautiful and stand out to captivate the attention in both Light (normal) and Dark Mode.

Arcade Tab

One of the biggest changes to Apple's App Store in the iOS 13 operating system version is the introduction of the Apple Arcade tab in the menu shown at the bottom. It is essentially a special gaming subscription service that opens quick unlimited access to more than 100 best new premium games on a single subscription, with no ads or additional purchases. Apple promises to provide personalized recommendations and exclusive editorial content in the Arcade tab.

Before the launch of iOS 13, analysts thought the price of such a unique game subscription could be about $10 to $15 monthly. However, Apple offers it for as little as just $4.99 per month. So Apple Arcade appears to be especially affordable to many users. As a result of such a great value for money, this new fascinating initiative can be expected to impact the way new iOS games are discovered on the App Store, making apps that are featured in the Arcade tab not only much more visible as of now, but also likely to be more frequently installed and therefore popular.

To sum up: Basically, it is possible to expect that users will show more interest in games featured in the Arcade tab than, for example, in free games. This may well impact traffic to iOS game listings on the App Store and result in a drop in organic installs.

Well, just be aware of this important change for now. The best ASO practices related to the Arcade tab are yet to be discovered, especially keeping in mind Apple's devotedness to making it a place "where storytelling and design are pushed further than ever before." Start analyzing the impact of this change together with us and the whole industry of iOS game developers.

App Updates

There is no Updates tab on Apple's App Store anymore. It is replaced by the new Arcade tab described above.

Where to find app updates and where to update apps in iOS 13? Look: Starting from iOS 13, users are supposed to update apps from their Account page. In the upper right corner of every tab on the App Store, they now see their Apple ID profile picture. Tapping on the picture opens the Account page where they can see a list of all available app updates.

With this change, iOS app updates, of course, become less visible and accessible.

New Search Page Layout

In the iOS 13 beta we could see that the Search page is designed in quite a different way. It features a new personalized section which is updated according to the history of user searches and other individual factors. Occupying the overwhelming majority of the entire space on the page, it includes not trending keyword-based search suggestions as it used to but real app listings highlighted as 'Suggested.'

With this in view, we will certainly see that the behavior of users on the Search page will change. However, we will need to additionally monitor and analyze how and what to do to leverage this for the sake of the better App Store Optimization work. So let's wait for a later public update that will bring the Search page layout change into effect globally and we'll see.

Wrapping Up

The new major iOS 13 update definitely affects the App Store Optimization practice. You should take a new look at your ASO strategy and tactics and review the metadata and assets of your apps and games listed on the Apple App Store in order to make sure all is well.

Remember about the Dark Mode option. Check how the Arcade tab works and also how it all looks in the absence of the Updates tab. Be aware of the planned and obviously upcoming new look of the search — check if it's already there when you read this. Make changes wherever needed. ASO efforts needs to be checked, analyzed, and fine-tuned on a regular basis, you know.