Secret Apple team preps major App Store changes, new features including paid search

“Apple Inc. has constructed a secret team to explore changes to the App Store, including a new strategy for charging developers to have their apps more prominently displayed, according to people familiar with the plans,” Adam Satariano and Alex Webb report for Bloomberg. “Among the ideas being pursued, Apple is considering paid search, a Google-like model in which companies would pay to have their app shown at the top of search results based on what a customer is seeking. For instance, a game developer could pay to have its program shown when somebody looks for ‘football game,’ ‘word puzzle’ or ‘blackjack.'”

“Paid search, which Google turned into a multibillion-dollar business, would give Apple a new way to make money from the App Store,” Satariano and Webb report. “About 100 employees are working on the project, including many engineers from Apple’s advertising group iAd that’s being scaled back, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The effort is being spearheaded by Apple Vice President Todd Teresi, who led iAd.”

“In addition to paid search, the team is trying to improve the way customers browse in the App Store,” Satariano and Webb report. “The attempt to improve search is a sign that Apple knows the App Store has become harder for customers to navigate. First introduced in 2008, the store now has more than 1.5 million apps, with customers downloading more than 100 billion since its debut.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s good to see Apple working hard on App Store discovery. If instituted, paid search is likely to be a boon for both Apple and deep-pocketed developers.

Apple improves App Store discovery with related search suggestions – March 25, 2014
Apple rolls out updated App Store with Chomp-inspired design in iOS 6 beta – August 31, 2012
After Chomp acquisition, Apple creates new ‘Food & Drink’ category in App Store – July 3, 2012
Apple’s Chomp sheds Android compatibility – April 27, 2012
How Apple’s acquisition of Chomp could improve the App Store – February 25, 2012
Apple buys app search startup Chomp for $50 million – February 24, 2012


  1. Oh neat … I’ll be able to search for an app and instead of finding the best one based on quality and features I can get a list of the ones backed by the deepest pockets who paid the most money for the privilege of being at the top.

      1. You’re saying the highest quality goods are always in the most prominent store? As a consumer, I’d like for product searches to show me the product offerings based on a lot of criteria more than I want it based how much money Apple was paid to move it to the top of the list.

  2. PLEASE Apple:
    Rewrite the Mac App Store application into something similar to the iTunes Store interface, or better! Right now, the App Store application remains betaware quality, unreliable, slow, clunky, annoying to navigate and use. It’s NOT worthy of Apple.

  3. I would love the option to sort by developer type or even dev valuation. Then I could search for independent devs instead of worrying about the richest ones paying or working schemes to get to the top of the list.

  4. Searching on the App Store is pretty poor now as it is. Same for the iBooks Store. If I don’t know the name of the app or book, it’s pretty much impossible to find it by searching categories or authors. So, I applaud Apple’s getting a team together to work on this major deficiency with their online stores.

    That said, if their focus is merely to monetize searching, that will make the searching experience worse, not better. They need to improve content indexing, add personal preference filters, and the like so we can find things of interest to us.

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