WWDC 2010: Even Apple is starting to get worried about app discovery

Widening the search

WWDC 2010: Even Apple is starting to get worried about app discovery
The current availability of 225,000 apps on the App Store is the sort of runaway success that even Steve Jobs must have thought unlikely when it launched back in July 2008.

But on the back of such success comes unexpected consequences.

So despite its frictionless purchasing flow, how consumers find apps in the first place is becoming a massive issue for the majority of developers who aren't riding high in the charts.

The game charts, in particular, are becoming a very sticky place with games such as Doodle Jump, Skee-Ball and Angry Birds seemingly nailed into the top 20.

And with Apple selling over 15 million iPhones, iPod touches and iPad per quarter, these are the games those 15 million new consumers see and hence buy, ensuring further solidity.

Shake it up

But it's not just the developers who are concerned. Apparently there are those within Apple who are now also starting to get worried that such stagnation will start to turn off some consumers.

Speaking off the record, one publisher has told that discoverability is being taken very seriously, with the teams who select the apps that feature in the App Store's promotional slots actively widening their search to ensure that great, upcoming games aren't being lost.

Notably, Apple bulked up this area of its operations in April, hiring IGN editor Matt Casamassina as its global editorial games manager.

It's a move that developers will welcome, with the power of Apple's promotions often cited as being the best way to boost games up the charts. One developer told us that being featured in one of Apple's TV ads boosted sales of its already top 50 game eight-fold.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.