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.

Counting down to the App Store Optimization Conference 2020 (Online) on the 13th May 2020 (Starting 2:00 PM CEST)! We have a limited number of tickets left, so don’t miss out on a spot!

This update was written by Adzsa Hatano, ASO Specialist at Phiture.

8th April — New categories appear on the US App Store.

At the beginning of February, Apple announced the unification of categories across the App Store and Mac App Store as apps are able to be distributed across both Stores, enabling users to download apps as a universal purchase. You will now find Developer Tools and Graphics and Design categories on the App Store, which can be selected in the App Store Connect as of mid-March.

These new categories are now visible on the App Store, exclusively in the US as of the 8th April, followed by other Stores on the 11th. There is still a difference between the US and other locales: the category page in the non-US Store does not show top apps on the category yet.

9th April — iOS 14 will allow users to experience some functionalities that an app offers, without installing.

According to the analysis by 9to5Mac, new API, referred to as “Clips”, allows developers to offer interactive and dynamic content from their apps even if you haven’t installed them.

Let’s say you get a QR Code with a link to a video from YouTube but you don’t have the official app installed on your iPhone. With iOS 14 and the Clips API, you’ll be able to scan that code and the video will be reproduced on a floating card that shows a native user interface instead of a web page.

Developers will need to specify which part of the app should be downloaded by iOS as an Over-The-Air package to read that content. The floating card will show options to download the full version of the app from the App Store or to open that content with the app if it’s already installed. (Source: 9to5Mac)

This will have an impact on your ASO to some extent. For instance, this may have a positive impact on your KPIs (if the content meets users’ demands, and they download your app) or a negative impact (if the content mismatches users’ expectations, and they don’t download your app). It is reported that Apple is currently testing the new feature with OpenTable, Yelp, DoorDash, Sony, and YouTube.

9th April — Spikes in uninstalls and installs on the Play Store due to Huawei devices’ name changes.

A few ASO practitioners questioned spikes in uninstalls on the Play Store. Maria Neumayer flagged at the end of March that this is due to changes in Huawei devices’ names. The spikes were observed in installs as well, which means that you did not essentially lose any users due to this.

Twitter from Maria Neumayer and Ilia Kukharev

16th April — New Google Play policies to give users more control over their data usage.

Google has updated the Developer Program Policies, which includes policies around Deceptive Behavior, Manipulated Media, Subscriptions, and so forth. The updates aim to give users more control over their data usage as well as better experiences through transparent communication.

20 April — Google UAC tests with a direct button in Search results on the Play Store.

Nadir Garouche has flagged that Google UAC ads have been testing a new format in search results, which occupies quite a large portion of the screen with enlarged ratings, reviews, the number of downloads, age ratings, and a direct install button. As he pointed out, your app may experience a decrease in Search traffic.

A post from LinkedIn

21st April — App Store is now open in 175 countries.

Apple added more markets for their services: App Store, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and iCloud are now available in 20 additional countries, and Apple Music is available in 52 additional countries.

Newly added markets in the App Store

Africa: Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Libya, Morocco, Rwanda, and Zambia.

Asia-Pacific: Maldives and Myanmar.

Europe: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Middle East: Afghanistan and Iraq.

Oceania: Nauru, Tonga, and Vanuatu.

You can now open a storefront in these additional countries and build your ASO strategy there.

26th April — Apple Search Ads is available in Russia

Russia is the latest country to receive Apple Search Ads, starting on 4th May 2020. This is good news in terms of ASO as it allows you to access Search Popularity in the Russian language. Check out if the ASO tools you are using integrate it into their platforms.

Left: The list of countries in Europe, Right: New update message in the Apple Search Ads

28th April — Apple Search Ads is spotted in Apple News app

There has been a rumor circulating for a while that Apple would start showing Apple Search Ads in their apps, and Tim Villanueva has actually spotted Apple Search Ads in Apple News apps.

Apple Search Ads in Apple News App

Upcoming events in May 2020

10–12th May — App Builder 2020, Online

13th May — App Store Optimization Conference 2020, Online

14th May — App Growth Summit Berlin 2020, Online

Find more events at the Mobile Conferences & Events 2020/2021.

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