App Development Continue To Grow – Games Lead Way


Just because the App Store is already big doesn’t mean it’s not on pace to get exponentially bigger – and app developers ought to understand where that growth is coming from.

New research from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower “projects that Apple’s App Store will be home to more than five million active apps by the end of 2020, a catalog 73 percent larger than we project it will have at the end of 2016.”

And here’s where things start to get really interesting: The biggest growth area (by a huge factor) is expected to come in the Games category.

Sensor Tower writes: “Digging deeper into the makeup of apps being released each month on the App Store, we also took a look at the category breakdown of all apps added worldwide in May 2016. In all, 48,231 new apps debuted on the store in May, with the Games category accounting for approximately 43 percent of that figure at nearly 21,000 new games added for the month.”

In fact, “the remaining 22 categories accounted for the other 57 percent of new apps, with Education, Entertainment, Business, and Lifestyle rounding out the top five in terms of apps added.”

Of course, more apps also might heighten one of the biggest challenges app developers face: Helping users find new apps.

But TechCruch reports that “the company has finally begun to address this problem in earnest, through a host of changes rolling out to the App Store in the weeks ahead. For starters, Apple is implementing ads in its App Store search, which will allow developers to bid on the top slot against a particular app name or keyword. Search ads will become a critical way for apps to be discovered in a growing storefront, especially given that Apple says over 65 percent of apps today are downloaded from a search query.”

Will this be enough?

Sensor Tower writes: “We’ve seen the first steps on Apple’s part to address discoverability issues, such launching new categories and announcing plans for Search Ads in advance of June’s WWDC. But in light of our new findings, we’re convinced that far more significant changes to the navigation, curation, and overall presentation of the App Store will be needed to support an ecosystem that’s twice today’s size just four years from now.”

One potential resource for developers: Sensor Tower’s “Complete App Store Optimization (ASO) Checklist.”

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