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The face of the app store is about to change again in iOS6.

Back in February Apple acquired Chomp, an app store search company. With the upcoming release of iOS6, Apple is about to showcase their integration of Chomps technologies. One likely result is that consumer app store search behavior will change forever.

Compare the current search results display on the left to the Chomp approach on the right.

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What is special about the Chomp inspired approach are two things:

1.  A card based search result interface, much larger and emphasizing screen shot previews, and with potentially more room for information about each app.
2. A new search algorithm

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Footnote: iOS6 is expected to be released to the general public later this fall.

How will this change impact app store search behavior for consumers?

This change will display cards about each app, roughly 75% larger than the current display. So I think the likely change in user behavior will be driven by the fact that 2/3 fewer apps will be visible in the search result viewport, but that more visuals about each app will be included in the resulting card display. For users this will likely increase engagement and drill down with the top search results. I would also predict that the total number of apps a user browses through in search results will decrease.

The above is true for the iPad.  I should also mention that the impact on the iPhone search results will be even more drastic, displaying a single card display users can swipe through a card at a time.

Image courtesy of MacRumors, read their post here

How will this change impact app developers and marketers?

For app developers and marketers this change will be significant. Getting into the top 25 search results will be even more important than it is already. Carefully keyword selection, as well as selecting the most compelling screenshots to entice users to check out an app in greater details will be key. But in general the opportunity to have cool screenshot displayed in the search result is good for apps and developers that have great graphic design. More challenging will be how the search algorithm will actually function.

What about the new search algorithm?

It is hard to tell exactly how this new search algorithm works. I suspect we will learn greater details about it once it is live. However, what is clear is that there are differences when comparing the results returned from an iOS5 search versus an iOS6 search.

In various Mac discussion forums some suspect at the new algorithms will emphasize popularity ratings and downloads, in favor of relevancy. The suspicion is that Apple would tweak the search results to increase sales as the primary objective. This means popular apps would get more popular, and smaller indie apps would struggle even more to be found. For indie developers this would not be good news.

However, PC Magazine Reports it differently

“… using an algorithm that learns the functions of apps, then allows users to search based on what an app does, rather than its given title.” read more…

A Stroke of Genius

I also suspect the new algorithm will play a result in driving the recently introduced Genius recommendations, which suggests other apps a user may be interested in and displays these on the bottom of the app store screen.

Watch a Video of the new UI

What do you think?

Will these changes result in app store search behavior that ultimately benefits consumers?

While it may seem like a good idea to just turn your eBook or pdf into an app with minimal tweaking, think again.

True, it can be a faster and cheaper way to get into the app store and/or onto your customer’s Newstand shelf (we talked about this in Put Yourself on the Shelf), but there’s a possible cost associated with such an approach.  Of course it depends on your objective for being in the app store, but if high visibility and sustainability are important to you,  then quality matters.

As Adage.com reports “Magazine and newspaper apps’ quality seems to be the most important factor in their success with consumers, according to the first annual “The State of the App” report from McPheters & Company’s iMonitor service, drawing on iMonitor’s evaluations of 3,000 apps from publishers around the world.

Findings from our Polymash survey of mobile usage among professionals validate the same response:  quality comes out on top of what users value most in apps.

Moreover, iPad owners are a pretty sophisticated and tech saavy bunch which translates into high expectations when it comes to the apps they choose to download.  These customers naturally expect to see a certain level of design elegance rub off when you move your content to an iPad.  If they don’t, they are likely to be disappointed and may never come back.

Apple Store Approval does not Necessarily = A Quality App

It is surprising, given Apple’s standards, that apps amounting to little more than conversions or a wrapper with a bunch of files that looks no more sophisticated than the contents of a file folder manage to slip through the app review process.

So just because you made it through Apple’s gatekeepers doesn’t mean your app will satisfy the expectations of tablet or smart phone users.

Quality Content Deserves Quality Design

Besides, if you have high quality content why not present it in a high quality way?

There was a time when great words on a page were enough to reach people.  Yet in today’s fast paced world with short attention spans words alone may not be enough to get your message across and keep people coming back for more.

The iOS devices showed us communication and design are inextricably linked.

How are you leveraging the best of the communication tools and technologies available today to communicate in a way that maximizes the impact of your ideas and your words?

For a free consultation on how you can transform you rcontent into an exceptional experience on mobile devices and take your place in the app marketplace contact us.

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Polymash Inc. today introduces the FilmOneFest app for iPad. The FilmOneFest app is a collection of one-minute films from filmmakers all around the world with supporting stories, artists’ statements and interviews. The app gives visibility and voice to film makers across the world, enabling their talent to serve and inspire others to question, experiment, explore, laugh, cry, and unite us in our common humanity in this one-minute format.

[button link=”http://prmac.com/release-id-27475.htm” type=”icon” icon=”notice”]Read the Full PR Mac Press Release[/button]

We are pleased to announce that our free FilmOneFest iPad app is now available on the iTunes iPad app store.

FilmOneFest is a celebration of one-minute films as an art form, also a film festival held in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and the FilmOneFest iPad app is a collection of one-minute films from filmmakers all around the world with supporting stories, artists’ statements, and interviews. To find out more:

[button link=”https://polymash.com/film-one-fest-ipad-app/” type=”icon” icon=”notice”]Visit the FilmOneFest Home Page[/button]

Glad to share that “Embracing Change” climbed into the top 100 it’s first week out, and we have not started our marketing campaign yet. Stay tuned:)