Ben Dodson

Freelance iOS, macOS, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Developer

IAP and icons in the 'Featured' section of the App Store

Apple did something slightly different with their weekly update of the Featured section of the App Store today that is bound to get people talking: they singled out Apps without In-App Purchases:

Pay Once and Play on the App Store

This section contains a number of great games that have no IAP within them. Unfortunately this section is hidden by the first few slides in the top banner the most prominent of which is for King of Thieves, a new freemium game by ZeptoLab (of Cut The Rope fame):

King of Thieves on the App Store

What I find particularly distasteful about this is that it is a timer-filled game in which the top IAP costs £401 and is obviously the complete opposite of what Apple are trying to achieve with the above campaign.

In any case, I noticed some other interesting editorial decisions this week all based in the What’s New section.

ABC App Icons

Is it just me or does that say A B C?

7 App Icons

Two apps placed next to each other using a number 7 for their icon.

M App Icons

Two apps placed next to each other using an M in a circle for their icon.

Tick App Icons

Two apps placed next to each other using a tick for their icon.

It seems strange that with so much choice in the App Store, Apple chose to feature so many apps with similar icons and then place them directly next to each other. I can’t remember the last time I found a truly good app on the front page of the App Store (that wasn’t featured elsewhere beforehand) but I really hope they find a way to improve App Store discovery soon2.

  1. What is worse is that if you view the King of Thieves app in the App Store, the section called “In-App Purchases” isn’t listed so you can’t see these IAPs until you download the game. With WallaBee, we keep our prices intentionally low and you can see that reflected in that list. I’m not sure why King of Thieves is exempt from this. It looks like this was just a timing issue - as of now, there are two IAPs listed (the cheapest) so I’m assuming that this is simply a “most popular” list that gets slowly populated over time. ↩︎

  2. On which note, the App Store joined Pinterest today and added a feature called App Pins that allows users to install apps without leaving the app - I’m not sure why this is being pitched as a new thing as this kind of modal App Store pane has been available to developers since iOS 7… ↩︎

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