You have built an excellent app that has a large potential customer base on the App Store and you want to get the maximum downloads for it. You want to rank high in your category. And you want to get it featured on App Store. That is one of the most difficult things to achieve for an app developer. Getting featured is the ultimate recognition that your app can get on the App Store. So what can you do to get app featured on App Store? Here are the best ways you can go about it.
1. Design an app for iOS, not just one device
Start by building an app that is developed for the iOS platform. In other words, build it for both the iPhone and iPad. The app should be able to run device-based views and have a universal code base for communicating with the API and for app logic. Create more efficient in-app views with the help of Auto Layout and size classes. This can help your app render better on newer iPhones and iPads with larger displays. It will require a little more effort with the design and development phase to have your app reach for both iPhone and iPad platforms.
Remember that the App Store considers that it’s important for some apps to be universal to be able to get app featured.
2. Build for Apple devices
The more Apple devices your app can reach, the higher the chances that it will be eligible to get app featured on App Store. Besides the iPhone and iPad, you should also focus on designing for the following other devices:
- Apple Watch (watchOS): You can also bundle Apple Watch apps with your apps. With watchOS 3, you can reach Apple Watch users with the simpler aspects of your app’s functions. The simple thing is that Apple is interested in helping those developers who would like to reach their users with this innovative new product. Even though the watchOS environment is not anywhere as big as that for iOS, developing for it can further help increase your application’s chances of getting featured.
- Apple TV (tvOS): Apple has been serious about promoting those apps which were designed for tvOS that runs its Apple TV. There is some code sharing between iOS and tvOS apps and this has allowed many games and video streaming developers launch their apps across both the platforms. Even if your iOS app belongs to another category, it may still make sense on tvOS.
When your app reaches more Apple devices, it is likely to have more competitiveness.
3. Make the Latest Features
Apple keeps releasing new features and technologies and your app should make the most of them. Make sure to incorporate its latest technologies into your application, and you further boost your chances of getting featured. 3D Touch is an excellent example. Integrate the tech into your app and there is a very good chance to get app featured on App Store.
3D Touch is the latest pressure-sensitive technology launched with the iPhone 6s. It has been adopted by many to preview in-app content or to get instant access to features.
4. Use Native Code
Apple gives more importance to apps developed in native code. When you share code between different operating systems, it has its costs in terms of end-user experience. There can be complications when there is time for updating your app for the new iOS versions. The Swift and Objective-C are the languages that help in making the most of the frameworks and APIs built into iOS. App’s developed in native code offer the best-possible user experience and allow you to easily embrace the newer technologies introduced in new versions of iOS.
5. App Store Optimization
The ultimate goal of getting your app featured is to drive more sales. You should not only want to get featured, you should want to stay featured for long. So make sure that your app page is properly optimized. Once you get an app featured on App Store and your page is not optimized, fewer people are likely to download your app. And Apple will evaluate this and your app can get dropped out of the featured list.
So in order to remain featured, you should optimize your app page using the right ASO strategies:
- Optimize your app title and subtitle
- Build an eye-touching icon
- Add some attention-grabbing screenshots
- Optimize the keywords of your app
- Improve the quality of reviews and ratings
- Promote the app’s screenshots
- Create an attractive video to grow users
If your app page is worth it, it would get Apple’s attention and is not only likely to get featured, it is also likely to stay so. App Store Optimization is big and you shouldn’t ignore it.
6. Maintain Your Downloads & Ratings
Beyond the above-mentioned factors, Apple takes many other metrics into account when determining which apps to feature. Rating is among these factors. Most of the apps which are featured on the App Store have higher ratings. So you should try and keep the ratings higher than 4.0. The higher it is the better it will be.
The number of downloads is also a factor taken into account by Apple to get app featured on App Store. So you should start by getting a good number of downloads. Although the ultimate goal is to get the maximum possible downloads, it is also important that your app has an existing user base to provide Apple the performance metrics to evaluate your app.
7. Design a Great User Experience
User experience can be considered to be the most important factor in driving both users and Apple to take your app seriously. So if you want to get an app featured on App Store, make sure to design a great user experience. The more iOS users will love your app, the more the chances of it being featured. It is no longer enough to have a widely popular brand name.
If you can impress the users, you can impress Apple. The App Store simply cannot ignore your app if it can deliver better user experience. Design and develop an app that addresses your potential user’s needs and provides a solution to their problems in the best possible way. Make sure your app does that in a visually and interactively engaging way. This factor can perhaps be the biggest one in improving the chances to get your app featured on App Store.
8. Take Design Cues from Apple
There are many reasons why Apple stands out, and design is one of them. The iOS interface and the minimalistic design concept of the Apple Watch are pretty good examples. If your app’s design matches what it has to offer, it is highly likely to draw the App Store’s attention and may get an app featured on App Store. Design an app that’s smart and clean. In other words, focus on meeting Apple’s design standards.
9. Update Regularly
If you want to get app featured on App Store, make sure it is updated on a regular basis. There’s no denying that there are so many other factors involved, updating your app often by adding new features and improving the user experience can further draw Apple’s attention. Just updating can also help you get featured. The App Store has a section called the Best New Updates. If you have a gaming app that has been recently updated, it is likely to end up in this list.
10. Use Apple Pay for in-app payments
Embrace more of Apple’s products and features, and the more likely your app will be to get featured. Using Apple Pay for in-app payments is another strategy to improve your chances. This will make it easier and faster for you to have the payment process completed. Users will not have to provide details for paying. It will take just a click, and thus save time for everyone.
So if your app has in-app features that users can buy, make sure to include the Apple Pay option. This can also help improve the user experience, another key factor to get an app featured on App Store.
There is lot more you can do to improve the chances of your app getting featured on the App Store. You can use the iOS SDK, HealthKit to allow users to share their health data (for health apps). You may also develop an iMessage SDK extension. Another strategy is to integrate your app with HomeKit and connected home hardware.
So follow these steps to get app featured on App Store. Remember, there is no fixed rule to draw the App Store’s attention and get your app featured. You should ensure that all the performance metrics in Apple’s site are addressed. Your app should be developed to be future ready for the iOS platform so that you can update it often or whenever a new version of iOS is available. You should also follow closely on what Apple prefers so as to include those features. The combination of such strategies will help you increase the chances of getting your app featured on the App Store.