WWDC19: How will the ASO game change?

Go to the profile of Ilia Kukharev
Ilia Kukharev
WWDC19: How will the ASO game change?

Yesterday at WWDC19 in San Jose Apple previewed iOS 13, watchOS 6, the brand new iPadOS and new macOS Catalina. The big focus of this year’s event — faster better performing iPhone Software and stronger privacy of Apple users.

The software release is expected this fall. Meanwhile, here’s a quick summary of the most important changes and updates for the ASO community: 

1.New Apple Watch App Store

    Apple Watch gets its own App Store. Users will be able to access the App Store and download apps directly on the smartwatch independently of an iPhone. Users will be searching for apps via Siri, scribble and voice dictation. 


    App Store Optimization for Apple Watch is definitely a new challenge for ASO people. This update also means new Watch-specific apps.

    Find out about new ASO for Apple Watch.
    Apple Watch App Store

    2. The list of Available Updates gets hidden in the iOS 13 App Store

    The list of Available Updates is very well “hidden” in the iOS 13 App Store. This means that most App Store users won’t see release notes. Many app developers and ASO experts already expressed their disappointment with this update on Twitter and they hope that Apple will find a better solution:

    3. Updates to the App Store Review Guidelines

    The most important change in Review Guidelines concerns apps in the Kids category and any other apps intended for kids. These apps must not include any third-party advertising or analytics solutions and share data with third parties.

    The update takes effect for all new apps immediately. Apps that are already on the App Store must meet the guideline by September 3, 2019.

    4. Apps Size gets 50% smaller in iOS 13

    iOS 13 is all about iPhone performance, privacy, and app sizes. Apple says that apps should load twice as fast as before, which will be guaranteed by 50% smaller app size and 60% smaller updates size.

    This change will help app developers get a higher conversion rate and more downloads, and will definitely make a huge difference for game developers.

    app size in ios 13

    5. Opportunity to download large apps over cellular networks

    Several days ago Apple increased the iPhone cellular network download limit from 150 MB to 200 MB. At WWDC Apple announced that in iOS 13 users will have an opportunity to download apps over 200 MB in size over cellular networks after a special request.

    This is great news for game developers, as now users will be able to download their games on the go. LTE/4G network in many countries is fast and cheap enough to download games even 1-2 GB in size.

    iPhone cellular app download

    6. Project Catalyst to bring iOS apps to the Mac

    The new technology Project Catalyst lets developers import iOS apps over to OS X. This means that companies will need only one development team to create apps and games for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple promises that it will be really fast to port an app or game to the Mac OS and Xcode will make the process almost automatic.

    Apple Project Catalyst

    Tools for Mac AppStore ASO will soon be available in the AppFollow ASO toolkit. Stay tuned!


    Another little something for ASO people in iOS 13: the placeholder was added to the search bar. Besides, users will now get suggestions to search for Apple Watch apps when they start typing in their search query.

    search suggestion iOS 13

    8. Search App results and App Pages

    Apple didn’t announce at the event any changes to the search results and app page layouts in the iOS 13 App Store. No news is good news for ASO people 🙂

    app store search results iOS 13

    9. New sign-in feature to log in the iOS 13 apps

    Apple continues to push for stronger privacy features. In iOS 13 the company brings its “Sign in with Apple” button. This new feature makes it simpler for app developers to secure users’ privacy without all the tracking or storing personal information. However, it will be almost impossible to synchronize the game progress or favorite pages across different platforms with this sign-in feature, as for example on the iPhone and on the desktop.

    As for the feature implementation, Apple will provide developers with the sign-in APIs to build into their app.

    sign in with apple button


    Certainly, the changes announced at WWDC that will affect the ASO process the most are: updates to the App Store Review Guidelines, the new size of apps and updates, and the “hidden” list of available updates. The impact of other changes and updates on ASO will be clear in the coming months.

    There’s definitely a lot more coming out of WWDC19 for the ASO community, so be sure to join AppFollow on Twitter and other social media channels for all the latest updates.

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