There isn’t a single developer who’d turn down the chance to have their app featured in the App Store.
With all the extra exposure you generate, being featured can launch a developer’s career in an instant.
Of course, Apple only offer that opportunity to a select few.
Want to increase the likelihood of being one of the lucky ones yourself? Here are seven tips just for you.
1. Build a Fantastic App
Apple receive 1,000 app submissions every single day. When it comes to selecting high-quality apps, they’re not exactly short.
With this in mind, if you want any chance of featuring in the App Store, you’d better make sure your app is exceptional — don’t get caught up trying to do too much with your app, Apple have a preference for apps that can do one thing very well.
Find what your app does best, then make sure it obliterates all your rivals at it.
2. Lots of High Ratings
As important as it is that Apple likes your app, their primary concern is that their users like it. If users love it, Apple loves it.
This is where your positive reviews matter; they show Apple that users think your app is great.
A good way to get these reviews is to incorporate an incentivised prompt into your app. You often see this in games, with in-game currency offered in exchange for a review after playing for an hour.
It’s not just user opinions that Apple listen to, though: Generating enough media buzz can also see you featured in the App Store.
3. Invest in Your User Interface
If Apple can see that your app gets downloaded frequently, they’re far more likely to consider featuring you. With this in mind, strong download numbers are critical to your chances.
One of the main components used to assess whether to download your app is your screenshots in the App Store. If users likes what they see, they download. Simple.
This is where the importance of your user interface comes to the fore.
A good UI should be simple, logical and aesthetically pleasing — users should be able to see that your app not only looks great, but is easy to use.
If you want your app to be featured in the App Store, consider hiring a specialist to design your UI.
4. Multi-Platform Apps
Apple is always going to give more prominence to apps that are compatible with all their devices — after all, why would they feature an app that can only be used by iPhone customers when there are thousands of apps to choose from that can be used across their entire product range?
Develop your app to be used by the whole Apple family: iPhones, iPads and even Macs.
If you want to further stack the odds in your favour, consider developing exclusively for iOS; Apple dedicates a section of the App Store to Apple-exclusive apps and — given that most developers build their apps for both iOS and Android — your chances of featuring in this section are considerably greater.
Sure, you might take a hit on the number of Android users, but this could be more than offset by an increase in iOS users.
5. Utilise New Technologies
Apple is in the business of innovation, so any apps that can make use of their groundbreaking features will gain favour in Apple’s eyes. In many cases, this is a fast-track ticket to featuring in the App Store.
Keep your finger on the pulse and make sure you’re aware of any major updates Apple announces — a great place for this is the WWDC.
Apple loves nothing more than to showcase these upgrades; if you can integrate them into your app, your chances of featuring skyrocket.
Always remember that Apple needs to keep its shareholders happy.
The more your app can help with this — by generating them revenue — the more attention they’ll give your app.
An app with no monetisation strategy won’t make Apple a dime. To get featured in the App Store, you’ll need to show Apple you’ve got a coherent strategy for monetisation.
7. Special Events
Getting an app featured in the App Store is difficult at the best of times. During special occasions it’s twice as hard, with Apple giving relevant apps priority.
If your app is related to the event, great — this is your chance.
If not, with fewer featured spots available for “general” apps, the competition is even fiercer than usual.
With featured apps selected 2-3 weeks in advance, don’t release a non-Christmas app three weeks before Christmas. Make sense?
Getting an app featured is still difficult, and it will take a certain amount of persistence to succeed. However, by following these tips you’ll give yourself every possible chance of taking the App Store by storm.
Have you ever been featured? What do you attribute your success to? Share your experience by getting in touch in the comments section below.