As per 2022 stats, The App Store has more than 1.8 million apps, while the Google Playstore has 2.59 million published apps. Both the platforms are overly crowded. However, some apps stand out when included in App Store’s Today Tab or Google Play Store’s ‘For You’ section.
What do these featured apps do differently to occupy such a prominent position in terms of visibility in the app stores?
The answer is multi-faceted. Without any specific requirements from Apple or Google, we must rely on the wisdom of other app developers and marketing experts. In this article, we will detail the aspects and features that apps must uphold to increase their chances of being featured on the Google Play Store and App Store.
Why is the inclusion in the featured section beneficial for an app?
With millions of apps competing for the users’ attention and space on their smartphones, earning a place in the featured section on Google Play Store or App Store will give your app the visibility and boost it requires to stand out.
According to Apple, when an app is featured in the “Today” app section, its downloads and re-downloads increase multifold.
Here is the performance of GoNoodle, an activity app for kids, when it was featured as the “App of the Day.” The download for the app nearly tripled when it appeared in the coveted featured section.
While there is no detailed list to follow, we are about to share some essential factors contributing to the likelihood of an app appearing as a featured recommendation.
Create unique features
Study the apps that regularly feature as the editor’s choice to evaluate the features unique to these apps. Install relevant apps on your phone and analyze the design, user experience, functionality, and features that make them stand out.
Also, discover gaps between the target audience’s demand and the solution provided by existing apps. This will be the sweet spot that you can fill. Ensure you provide the required features in your app to make it popular.
Focus on Android Vitals
To be featured in the Play Store, an app must meet all of Google’s basic quality requirements. There are several policies for an app to follow to have a chance to be recommended by the Play Store. Here are the most important ones:
Google implements these policies to ensure that users have a seamless experience and that app build quality is high.
You must include all the optimizations in your mobile app development to ensure that the app performs well with Android Vitals indicators.
The Android Vitals is an initiative by Google to improve the stability and performance of apps on smart devices. According to Google’s official statement, “exhibiting bad behaviour in vitals will negatively affect the user experience in your app and is likely to result in bad ratings and poor discoverability on the Play Store.”
The four most crucial Android Vital indicators are the Application Not Responding (ANR) rates, Excessive wakeups, Crash rates, and Stuck partial wake locks.
App optimizations for the App Store
For optimizing an iOS app, you can take a hint from Apple’s indication for editors to follow when selecting an app to be included in the Today tab.
Apple editors focus on the following:
- Usability, appeal, and overall build quality of the app
- Uniqueness and innovation
- Localizations: the app must be relevant to the target audience
- Well-integrated features for the best accessibility
- The App store product page must have compelling screenshots, descriptions, and app previews
From all the above-listed factors, the “uniqueness” of the app is harder to quantify; the rest are measurable elements that can be improved.
With over 6 billion active smartphone users, localization will help you incentivize users other than English speakers. You tend to rank higher due to the multi-lingual UI and UX design approach when you don’t restrict your app to a particular audience or geographical location.
Plan on offering your app in different languages to increase your chances of featuring in the top sections of the App Store and the Play Store. You can refer to this Localization Checklist from Google to make your app accessible globally.
Ensure security of users
There has been a 62% increase in mobile malware attacks since 2021. This underlines the requirement for security-focused mobile app development. App platforms continuously monitor apps for security breaches. If your app has to appear in the coveted featured section, it must follow the best security protocols. Some essential features to include are:
- Disabled debug mode
- No logging of sensitive data
- Regular integrity checks
- Auto jailbreak detection
- Source code encryption to prevent reverse engineering
- Enable multi-factor authentication
By following these mobile app development and optimization practices, there is a multi-fold increase in chances for an app to appear as a featured recommendation. And if you believe that your app has adhered to all the best practices but still does not appear as a featured app, you can get in touch with Apple and Google app-editors here:
You can directly submit your app for expert review using these above-listed contact forms.
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