Apple announces major changes to the App Store

– While Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is just a few short days away, that hasn’t stopped the company from announcing some huge changes to the App Store, Digital Spy said.

The key takeaway from the adjustments is that app developers will benefit most, with the dramatic makeover to the app review process likely to cause the most celebration.

With Apple reviewing every app that hits the store for all four of its platforms (iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS) to make sure they follow its guidelines, the process took an unsurprisingly long amount of time.

However, the Cupertino-based company has stated it’s about to get more efficient, as 50% of potential apps will be looked into within 24 hours and 90% within 48 hours.

Another problem for developers was the restriction on subscription-based apps. Until now, subscriptions were limited to music, video, services and news apps, meaning game developers were left out of the recurring revenue stream.

Not any more, though, with all app categories able to offer updates to their products on a yearly or monthly basis.

Changes to the revenue splits for subscriptions are also likely to please developers. Previously, 70% of income went to the developer and 30% to Apple. Now, if a user subscribes to a service for one year or more, the split turns into 85/15 – a nice reward for those who manage to keep their customers interested and happy.

With a lot of apps also struggling to be seen on the store, efforts are also being made to help exposure become more even. Not only will the apps users have already downloaded no longer feature as prominently, but Search Ads have also been announced for the platform.

This will work the same way as ads in search engines – they will be the first listing in results and will be clearly marked. The ads will also be relevant to the search terms, and will be prioritised over ad spend, meaning developers can’t simply buy more ads to get a better search ad ranking.

With the sweeping, developer-related changes being announced ahead of WWDC, this suggests Apple will dedicate more on-stage time to consumer-themed products.