The end of the app store monopoly

The situation is getting ugly for Google Play and the App Store, the two major app stores in the Western world. Developers and companies working in the industry are meeting in a movement that seeks to criticize the platforms for their hosting system. Both Apple and Google currently keep an average 30% of the amount paid by the users to the builders of the apps they download, both at the time of purchase (if paid) and in-app purchases, which are those extra lives and other items which can be purchased at Candy Crush for example. And this deal makes a good money for the pair. According to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the estimate is that by 2020 this arrangement will generate more than USD 50 billion for each. As an argument to keep the price, the Big Apple & Big G enlist the cost of maintenance and the relevance of its ecosystems. The value would be for the filtering of content that enters the store, giving more security so your Aunt Mirthes download games without the risk of destroying her device with hidden malware, and so that developers and companies do not need to structure payment platforms to attend the public, since both do this work. But to  the other end (app builders), it seems that the business is no longer so advantageous. And there are people of importance moving to escape the duopoly. The most famous example is that of Epic Games, which chose not to launch the Android version of the bombed-up Fortnite on Google Play, claiming exactly the salty price. And even Netflix looks for ways to encourage users to sign up directly to their site as a way to lessen its dependence on partnerships with these neighbors. Of course, in the current situation, only the big dogs can afford to choose to leave these environments. But it seems that the peace that these little shops have had for years is beginning to end.

Who doesn’t want to be found?

For phone app developers, other than creating an efficient app, they need to scramble to be found. In the multitude of apps in these platforms, getting found can be a hard task. Efficiency (being good at what your app proposes to do) is the most important asset, nevertheless, proper classification, good description, clear presentation and a bit of marketing are almost of equally importance. So much that not so great apps have managed to capture people’s attention by attracting thousand of downloaders.

There are guides and posts our there specifically about App Store Marketing and these guides will usually stress a few basic points such as how each element on your store page (icon, screenshots, video, etc.) has a crucial role in the conversion funnel – make it count and diversify the messaging in each element. How important your app store page is how it can double your conversion rates. Following a few guidelines, will help you create a good testing plan that will perfect your app store marketing efforts.

The largest mobile brands continuously test their app store pages to maintain high install conversion rates.

To many developers there are tactics to game the app stores or market their product creatively. For example, the App Store search algorithm gives a massive boost for an exact match to what the user searched, and the algorithm ignores symbols, so “Weather ◌” will get a huge search advantage, which will help to drive organic installs of the app. There are lots of other hacks to manipulate the App Store search algorithm.

The Apple storefront is only getting bigger, and every type of developer has to work twice as hard to get a sliver of the taps and impressions apps were able to receive a couple years before. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of apps per month increased dramatically.

To any aspiring app developers out there, I recommend reading David Barnard to get an understanding of the history of app development, the inns and outs of the trade, and countless tips to get you pumped for your project or not (he is a realist!).

Many want to end the app stores

For years, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store have been the main avenues developers can use to get apps onto those companies’ respective operating systems. But now Epic Games Inc., maker of the monster hit Fortnite, announced a new online store that could eventually put pressure on Apple and Google to relinquish some control over their own app stores.

Epic’s new store will charge developers a commission of just 12 percent, less than half of what Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s app stores do. The audacious move could prompt app developers of all kinds to demand a similar deal, Benjamin Schachter, an analyst with Macquarie Capital, said in a note to clients Tuesday, December 9th.

Epic will start with a “hand-curated’ set of games on PC and Mac, it said, and open up to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019.

If you’re one of the millions of people playing Fortnite on PC, Mac, or Android, you’re already using your Epic Games account with the Epic Games launcher — software created by Epic Games to manage your account and game library. It’s a service that’s very similar to Apple’s App Store, or Google Play, or Valve’s Steam. The software keeps games updated, allows you to communicate with friends, and tracks your progress, purchases, and more.

If game makers and players will flock to the Epic Games Store remains to be seen, but Epic is in the rare position to actually try it. Hardly people would move out of those platforms because they are the “official” platforms and in a way “ lock”  users of their phones from downloading apps from other places, but EPIC Games is already processing millions of digital sales through “Fortnite,” and it’s already scaled across every game platform. Epic is also in a financial position to take the risk: A recently announced $1.25 billion funding round, in addition to the hundreds of millions in monthly revenue generated by “Fortnite,” are enabling Epic to make the risky push from game publisher to platform operator.

Just a regular computer user. I write for regular users like me. When we grow up we are taught basic security tips like how to cross the street. But we are not taught how to take care of ourselves online.