In the ASO Monthly-series by ASO Consultancy Phiture, we reflect on the previous month and shed a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tools updates.

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This update was prepared by Alessandra Izzo, an ASO Consultant at Phiture.

ASO Monthly #38 June 2019- iOS 13 Preview, Localization for RTL Languages, New Keyword Ranking Shake-up and More

3rd June — Apple debuts iOS 13 with Dark Mode, enhanced speed and more.

iOS 13 is introducing a lot of new features and enhancements ranging from smaller app downloads and faster app launching and including, of course, one of the most-expected feature: dark mode!

  • Speed and performance are at the heart of iOS 13 that will introduce a new way to package iPhone apps on the App Store resulting in shrinking app packages by 50% while app updates will be 60% smaller, too. This massive change is expected to lead an increase in download and especially in the download completion rate.
  • Another interesting update is the removal of the hard 200MB app download limit over a mobile network which will give the users the opportunity to install even larger apps on the go, without a Wi-fi connection. By reducing app download sizes and update sizes, and removing the cellular network download limit Apple is expanding opportunities for developers to increase conversion and in particular, it seems to be a game changer for gaming apps.
  • We are curious to see also the impact of the system-wide Dark Mode option on conversion rates in search and on product pages. This is an open discussion on our ASO Stack slack community and the common guess is that we’ll see the introduction of new color schemes and visual effects for app creatives to leverage the new dark gray backgrounds.

aso stack slack community

Source: ASO Stack Community

June 4th- Apple App Store down.

Apple App Store seemed to has been down for many users around the world and many of them started venting their frustrations on Twitter.

triller search on apple app store

Spotted on Twitter

The tech giant confirmed outages in multiple services (Mac App Store, Apple Music, and Radio included) through its System Status page and stating that “We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.”

June, 4th— Apple crowned 9 apps with its annual Apple Design Award and most winners are games

Apple announced winners for 2019 Design Awards at its Worldwide Developer Conference selecting nine apps as the best of the best.

To take home a prize, the apps had to excel across three areas: visual design, technology, and innovation. Specifically, Apple says that the recognition went to those apps that are recognized “for outstanding artistry, technical achievement, user interface, and application design.

This year, 5 of the 9 apps chosen were mobile games and no Mac-only app received an award. This could change next year thanks to Project Catalyst.

All the following winners will be featured in the App Store, hence gaining more exposure: Ordia (🎮 game) Butterfly IQ (⚕️healthcare), ELOH (🎮 game), Flow by Moleskin (🖊️ creative app), Thumper: Pocket Edition (🎮 game), Pixelmater Photo (📷 photo editor), The Gardens Between (🎮 game), HomeCourt (⛹🏽‍♂️basket training app), Asphalt 9: Legends (🎮 game).

mobile games icons

June, 4th — Google Play updates its featuring and ranking logic

As stated in one of the latest posts on the Android Developers Blog, in order to improve the experience of the thousands of users who reach the Play Store every day, Google will update the featuring and ranking logic to “further prioritize high-quality apps and games with strong technical performance and engaging content”. App quality already plays a huge role in how apps are eligible to surface in the store. This article reminds the importance of three key areas to focus on:

  • Good in-app user experience
  • Strong app stability and technical performance
  • Effective store listing page

good in-app user experience

Screenshot from the Android Developers Blog about good in-app user experience

In the same article, Google shares some guidelines about which tools available in the Google Play to use to better understand user behavior, to identify and fix quality issues and deliver the best in-app experience for users.

June, 5th — Google Play Store’s Material Theme redesign roll out ( and back)

Back in April, we reported a slow introduction of the new Material Design theme for the Google Play Store.

After what it seemed to be a wide rolling out of the new interface to Android users, the fresh new look keeps rolling on and off, showing up for some users, reverting back to the original design for others.

However, as reported by xda-developers, version 15.2.38 of the Play Store has the new theme and they shared an updated link to the latest APK for those who want to have a sneak peek of the revamped design before the official release.

June 5th — Google Play Store anomaly: certain apps appear multiple times on search results

Lois Green from our ASO Stack Slack community has noticed something odd in the google play store’s search results. Apps such as “” showed up twice when searching for particular search terms while “Tubi” was listed multiple times in the Top Free apps chart. This type of behavior has already been reported within the ASO Stack community more about a year ago, but apparently still isn’t fixed…

certain apps appearing multiple times on search result

Source: ASO Stack Community

6th June — Arabic and Hebrew are coming to the App Store

Shortly after Apple’s announcement about new language support for Arabic and Hebrew, two members of our ASO Stack Slack Community have spotted the two new localizations within the App Store Connect.


aso stack slack channnel message
Source: ASO Stack Slack Channel

It’s important to notice that the App Store will display the two brand new listings only with the release of iOS13 (expected somewhere in September). Adding localized metadata for Arabic or Hebrew will only let your app, for now, be indexed by the App Store for those new keywords.

6th June — iOS 13 and iPad OS will make a lot easier to delete apps

Until now, the easiest way to uninstall an app from an iPhone or iPad, was to do it by long pressing on the app icon on the home screen.

Apple will now let users delete apps directly from the update list on the App Store with a simple swipe left and the selection of the familiar “Delete” option.

More changes to come: Apple has moved the app Update tab to make room for Apple Arcade and easily access to the upcoming gaming service. To access app updates, these additional steps will be required:

  • Tap on your profile picture at the top of the App Store
  • Scroll down to the Pending Updates section (it will also include a list of recent updates)
  • Choose the app to delete and swipe left to bring up the Delete option.
  • Tap Delete and confirm the deletion.

June , 7th— App Store connect analytics will finally include app deletions

A new metric called iOS App Deletions will be soon available in the App Store Connect under the Usage section.

It will show the number of times an app has been deleted on devices running iOS 12.3 or later considering, like all App Store Analytics data, only data from users who have agreed to share their diagnostics and usage information with app developers.

deletions app store connect


June, 8th— Alleged Play Store Visibility Algorithm change. Did your visibility drop?

Here at Phiture, we observed a drop in visibility between June 8 and June 10 and without any explicit reason.

Other members of our ASO Stack Community confirmed that they experienced the same sudden decrease.

This could allegedly be attributed to a change in the Google Play visibility algorithm since the issue impacted multiple apps at the same time.

alessandra and marek on aso stack slack

Source: ASO Stack Community on Slack

We couldn’t find any official announcement made by Google but the anomaly tracker by AppTweak reported movements in the keywords rankings.

anomaly tracker

It as to be noticed that a major Google web algorithm change named “June 2019 Core Update” finished rolling out exactly on June 8. It could potentially explain the impact on the Play Store.

June, 13th— Google Play now has a refund decision waiting period of up to 4 days

A recent update to the Google Play Store support pages has confirmed some changes to the refunds decision system. It initially stated that the estimated waiting period for refund decisions was “15 minutes”.

However, shortly after the page update, the mention of “15 minutes” had been changed into “it can take up to four business days to get a decision,” to prevent confusion. This might help improve the decision-making process and to have more human control over refund requests instead of automatically declining them.

June, 18th — iOS 13 will warn users when deleting an app with an active subscription

After the extra confirmation step added back in April and the Manage Subscriptions shortcut introduced earlier this year, Apple is making further progress on providing greater transparency for subscriptions.

The latest developer beta of iOS 13 will warn users when they try to remove an app tied to an active subscription including information about the date of auto-renewal and mentioning that the app (and its subscription) can be used on other devices.

Once displayed the pop-up message, users are then given the option to either go to manage the subscription (and eventually cancel it) or to keep the subscription even after they’ve deleted the app.


The new feature that will prevent forgotten subscriptions from costing extra money to the users was spotted by Federico Viticci (MacStories).

June, 24th — Google Play App icon updated with the new specifications

Following up the announcement of the new specifications for app icons being used on the Google Play Store, all the icons not meeting the new design specifications are normally automatically converted to “legacy mode” and scaled down 75% to the keyline grid size.

The expected result of this change is that apps in the Google Play Store will have a more unified and consistent look and feel, adding more uniformity to the App Store.

google play icon updated

Left: Original icon; Center: New icon; Right: Old icon in legacy mode. Source Google Play

Despite the previous announcement, Google did not enforce this straight away — as reported on Reddit or on our slack community.

June, 25th — Google tests another Play Store redesign, this time with smaller screenshots and the short description placed below the long description

Last month we outlined the Play Store was about to get a new Material Design interface including a new navigation bar that moved to the bottom of the screen. However, only a few days later, people started reporting to have got back the old UI.

Google is not new in testing different designs before the official rollout and this time it has been spotted sharing another new interface that shows smaller screenshots and a new position for the Short Description now placed above the Long Description.

Such a different layout seems to give even more importance to the descriptive part of the listing and pushes users to explore the app long description.

According to StoreMaven, in fact, only an average of 5% users click the “read more” button below the short description on Google Play.

adobe lightroom

Source: ASO Stack Community

30th June — App Store: Let’s deal with another drop!

Ilia Kukharev from AppFollow has reported a drop in keyword ranking. According to him, this affects mainly the Spanish (Mexico) localization — hence impacting the search visibility of apps in the US. We noticed at Phiture that this update seems to be correlated with an increase of the weight of the title and subtitle.

The good news is that, after 2 days, rankings are getting back to normal…until the next update!

ilia kukharev update on aso stack slack

Source: ASO Stack Slack Channel

Upcoming events in July

DroidCon (Berlin, Germany, July 1–3)

Grow Boat ( London, UK, July 4)

DigiMarCon (Florida, US, July 7 -14)

Mobile Growth Summit New York 19 (New York, US, July 18)

More Mobile Growth events can be found in our list here!

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