Categories: Developers / iOS / Mobile Apps

Mobile app developers breathed a sigh of relief in September of 2017. Why? That’s when Apple launched its overhaul of the App Store. The iOS 11-flavored revamp was designed to cut through the clutter while delivering a clean, colorful experience.

Think Apple Music and Apple News, not just an unwieldy list of app icons.

Material design looms large in the card-like offerings of the Today tab, and clutter has been thrown out in the name of experience. Curated app lists, themed articles and tips and how tos give it a magazine-like feel. There’s also a separate gaming tab, designed to give non-gaming apps better discoverability.

Apps optimized for iPhone X also get a special shout-out – something for devs to take note of.

Browsing just got better for web-based App Store users.

Browsing just got better for web-based App Store users.

Now it’s time for the web-based App Store to step up

The App Store’s web interface hasn’t exactly been delivering that shiny, designed-forward experience we expect from Apple. But a new revamp launched in January 2018 has brought it back up to Apple standards.

Clean, crisp and bright, it definitely owes props to its mobile sibling. Bold icons, large screenshots and foregrounded reviews are key components of the change. The app description copy and the left-hand column, formerly used for category and app info, have now been shifted below the reviews section.

Again, the iPhone X gets some love, with screenshots for the X displayed wherever available. Sensing a trend?

It's not all about mobile any more (unless you want to download an app)

It’s not all about mobile any more (unless you want to download an app)

Are there any downsides for mobile app developers?

The redesign has changed a few things for mobile app developers. The “view more from this developer” link, formerly at the top right of the page, is now buried right down the bottom.

On the plus side, rather than being just a link, this section now features the icons of these apps, along with their categories. Viewers can quickly see what a given developer offers and get a glimpse into what these apps do.

The “developer website” link is arguably easier to find, too. On the downside, there’s now way more scrolling involved. Plus there’s less opportunity to search and browse.

Oh, and you still can’t download an app to your phone using the web version of the App Store. That pesky “this app is only available in the App Store for iOS devices” line isn’t going anywhere.

Still, with mobile app downloads up 8% in 2017, that’s not going to stop users.

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