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Home Blog App Store News App Store & Google Play Rebuilding: The ASO changes marketers need to mind in 2021

App Store & Google Play Rebuilding: The ASO changes marketers need to mind in 2021

Jan 20 2021

app store optimization

It’s been a tough year, while for some industries, 2020 will prove beneficial but sadly will be detrimental to many others; we talk about some tendency about App Store & Google Play here which may help some app's owners befit from it. The ASO changes bring some opportunities to marketers in 2021. Agile businesses who were able to invest in putting in place the right expertise, systems, and processes for capitalizing growth, will be on track to gain momentum where they can.


The iOS App Store pays more attention to user experience

Apple is making a huge change to settings on users’ iPhone in the name of privacy, and it will fundamentally change the way apps track your data in order to create targeted ads.

Apple’s change, which was supposed to launch earlier this fall but was delayed to give app makers more time to retool their advertising systems to comply, will take a privacy option that was previously buried deep in users’ phones and put it front and center when they open an app.

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Apple shows more respect to the users privacy

During WWDC20, Apple also announced the crippling news for Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). Users will now get a pop-up when they install an app that asks them if they would like the app to follow them or not.

At the end of 2020, Apple officially released iOS 14.3, and along with the new system, Apple's App Store privacy policy was updated so that starting today, you can see at a glance any privacy that any app has acquired from you.

Under the new privacy policy, developers who submit apps or app updates to Apple's App Store for review must actively report on the collection of user privacy in their apps, and a breakdown of this submitted privacy collection information will be presented on the App Store's app download page.

Apple says that only when all developers are transparent in providing applications with all data can users make a clear judgment as to whether they want to provide their own private data to the application.

According to Apple's official classification, developers' data collection from users will be divided into three categories.

  • The first is that the application itself will track user data. For example, the app collects the appropriate privacy data in the user's account, and then correlates it with data collected by other apps, using the data for targeted advertising or data monitoring at the same time.
  • The second type is that the app will use the collected data to connect to the user's identity, determine the user's corresponding user characteristics, and associate the user's identity with the user himself.
  • The third type of data will not be associated with the user.

Based on the current classification, Apple has introduced an updated privacy policy to make the information collected in connection with the user more clearly known to the user.

Regional industry in App Store: Localization makes you more comfortable with Apple's product ecosystem

Both the App Store and Google Play are available today in more than 150 countries worldwide and support dozens of languages. As of Mar 2020, the App Store is available in more countries (155 to 152), while Google Play supports more languages (close to 80 compared to Apple’s 40).

When the platforms support such vast global reach, your goal as an app developer should be to take advantage of this exposure, aspiring to reach your app’s full distribution potential. One of your lowest hanging fruits is to invest in localization and culturalization.

The impact of localization on app discovery can be massive: Like in AutoScout24’s case – an app that serves as a marketplace for used cars, and struggled to find the balance between the four spoken languages in Switzerland. After doing massive keyword research, the localization efforts proved successful—increasing app visibility by 74% and downloads by 38%.

After analyzing our data, we crafted a guide that will enable you to increase global visibility and boost conversion rates. Let this article escort you through the streets of these two tricky tactics.

Benefit from Localization industry in App Store

App localization is the process of adapting your app and its app store listing to appeal to different geographic target markets. It is absolutely necessary if you want to globalize your mobile app or game. We will discuss exactly why app localization is related to growth and how to localize not only your app, but also its app store listing. App localization has everything to do with app growth. It not only makes your app available, but also more attractive to people in different countries or regions to expand your reach.

Full localization will greatly help you optimize your App Store and Google Play rankings. People will search in their native language, If you don't have keywords in their native language in your App Store listings, your app will not rank and will not be found. In addition, people are more likely to download apps that are displayed in their native language. Not localizing your app store listing can have a negative impact on your global expansion. Read more benefit of application store localization at How to ASO your app from local to the world?


1) Products and apps are more connected as they are around you

Apple services include revenue sources such as iCloud, Apple Music and a range of paid subscription programs that can be charged repeatedly. Given the recurring nature of iCloud storage upgrade fees, Apple is more likely to report year-over-year growth in its services business. Among the non-iPhone categories, Apple's services business accounts for about 40 percent of revenue.

Apple is still accelerating the growth of its ecosystem. Hundreds of millions of users now have only one Apple device, the iPhone, and they are also improving their interaction experience with Apple in multiple dimensions.

2) Nurturing their own advertising network

The Apple ecosystem is accelerating at an impressive rate.

Many people may have misconceptions about Apple's ecosystem. While everyone knows that Apple's ecosystem is huge, with more than 1 billion users and more than 1.6 billion Apple devices in its use, most people don't know exactly what role this ecosystem is playing.

What are the factors that drive the Apple ecosystem? Why does loyalty and satisfaction continue to grow as users move deeper into the Apple ecosystem? Apple's ecosystem is not just a combination of Apple products or services. Apple is quietly building a stronger system, and that system is driving further growth at a rapid pace.

Not long ago, Apple released its fiscal fourth quarter results for fiscal year 2020. It would be valuable to try to quantify the growth of Apple's ecosystem. The data findings in question may add a hint of tension to the current competitive situation. Apple's ecosystem is also clearly growing at an accelerated pace as hundreds of millions of loyal iPhone users step deeper into Apple's ecosystem, subscribing to various services and purchasing related Apple devices.

Revenue from hardware is a much different story. Since hardware sales are not a source of revenue that can be charged repeatedly, year-over-year growth may be harder to maintain - after all, it's effectively allowing Apple to sell more hardware in exchange for revenue growth.

Looking ahead, Apple's non-iPhone revenue growth can be expected to increase from 14 percent to 20 percent over the next few quarters. iPad, Mac and wearable devices continue to be the main drivers of accelerating growth. Given that Apple's revenue amount base is already quite large, this percentage increase will still raise a lot of concerns.

In this regard, we can conclude that Apple's ecosystem is accelerating at a pace that is scary enough for competitors. Over the next few years, hundreds of millions of users will purchase their first Apple wearable device for the first time. Given the inherent nature of wearable devices, which is to make technology more personal through newly designed form factors, it's likely that the experience of buying an Apple wearable once will lead you to buy more Apple wearable devices.

Apple can then combine more cost-effective wearable devices (and other Apple devices) through its highly profitable services business, which will inevitably end up being able to drive further growth in demand.

Google Play Store pay more attention to the user experience of free trial in advance


A vital change that Google Play is testing is adding a “Free Trial & Install” button (currently available for a limited set of developers).

With this option, users will be able to start a free trial before they install an app and thus enjoy the full set of capabilities and potentially have a better first-time user experience.

Users will be able to see the details of the subscription (that’ll start automatically after the trial) in a dedicated card below the button.

How to be more attractive to users: paid apps provide limited time free experience service

As this option is still being tested it’s interesting to understand the impact of this second install option on overall conversion rates, and the mix of “regular” istalls to “free trial” installs.

On one hand, it could signal to users that the app requires a paid subscription to fully enjoy it and deter users that didn’t yet experience the value. On the other hand, if users do get convinced by it, their first-time user experience will be much better which could increase in-app conversion rates to paid subscriptions and increase retention.

As Google continues to test this feature we’ll keep a close eye on the rollout and to analyze the effect on conversion rates stay tuned.

In-app reviews come to Google Play

It felt like this day would never come. Google Play has finally released the long awaited in-app prompt for ratings and reviews within an app instead of sending the user back to the Google Play store to leave a review.  Huzzah! App developers and marketers can breathe a huge sigh of relief; this new feature will allow better user experience which should lead to a better ability to collect reviews and ratings for your apps and games.

If you’re unsure about the importance of ratings and reviews in Google Play, Google is gently suggesting you take it more seriously and I’m nodding in agreement with them.

A new feature on Google Play search now allows users to filter through apps that come up in search and show only those with high ratings (more than 4.0 or 4.5). If your app or game has ratings that are lower than that, it will likely start hurting your discoverability on Google Play search.

Below there’s an example of a search for an email app. Outlook in this example won’t appear for “email”, although it’s ranked #1, for any user that will hit the 4.5+ filter.

This is certainly something you’ll want to think about sooner rather than later. The new feature will bring some big gains but also some big losses.; you don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your ratings and reviews are detrimental to your app or game’s growth.

Imagine for Google there has been more than one brainstorm on how best to organize the categories section in an attempt to improve navigation for the end-user. Well, the area’s certainly been tackled and there are a few subtle changes to highlight.

Check out the screen-shots below that show how the spacing of the categories has been significantly improved. Now that the circular icons have been removed, there’s room for more detail and an increase in icon size. Presumably, the idea of ‘Top categories’ was too general a term so that has been removed also.

How mobile marketers adjust app promotion strategies & adapt to new changes?

A common strategy used for keyword targeting on iOS includes adding misspellings of brand names and high-traffic search terms in the hidden keyword list. Well, ASOers, those days are over.

Type detection and automatic correction are being introduced as part of iOS 14. That means that any misspelled word will be autocorrected before searched (unless the user taps on the “did you actually mean that” pop-up), and thus the traffic surrounding that search term will decrease and make the misspelled target insignificant. Therefore, ASO strategists and developers that capitalized on ranking high for such terms will no longer be able to use this strategy.

Search results for genre keywords will now include editorial collections and be shown at the top of search results, pushing down the top ranks below it. For example, if an app is ranked #1 for ‘card games’ but there is an editorial collection featuring card games, the placement of that top-ranked app for this term will be pushed down to the #3 spot. This change can have huge implications on an app’s traffic and CVR.

ASO Topic App Store Optimization, Google Play Ranking Algorithm,


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