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iOS 6 promises new game promotion features for App Store
iOS 6 promises new game promotion features for App Store
June 11, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Apple has announced that iOS 6, the next major operating system update for its line of smartphones and tablets, will release this fall with features designed to better promote applications on the redesigned App Store.

With more than 650,000 apps available on the marketplace (225,000 for iPad), many developers have complained that it can be difficult for consumers to discover their game on the App Store.

During a keynote presentation at its Worldwide Developers Conference today, Apple discussed a number of new changes that will come with iOS 6, including redesigns for its iTunes Store and App Store so that they will "[be more] fluid and better promote your app." For example, each of the store's home pages will nod display "the best of what's new" in games and apps at the top.

The company did mention, however, that as part of its broad integration of Facebook features into the OS, users can now "Like" apps both in the mobile App Store and the desktop iTunes Store. Those apps are shared with their friends on Facebook, and they can see what apps their friends Like, too.

With iOS 6, developers can also integrate features allowing users to post updates to Facebook from within their apps, such as messages about achievements or about their favorite games.

Apple briefly discussed Game Center, its mobile social game network, and said it will soon allow users to send "challenges" to their friends with iOS 6. Players will be able to find their Facebook friends on Game Center, too.

It also reminded WWDC attendees that Mountain Lion, its OS update coming to Macs next month, will bring Game Center to Apple desktop and notebook computers with cross-platform multiplayer support across its tablets, smartphones, and PCs. Apple demonstrated that cross-platform play with a new game from Natural Motion, CSR Racing, which releases this fall.

More than 130 million users have registered for Game Center since its launch in September 2010, and of the top 100 games on the App Store, 67 percent of them have integrated the service.

Beyond that, Apple spent very little time talking about games during its two-hour WWDC keynote, bringing them up to mention how titles like Diablo III will be updated to support the new Macbook Pro's high-resolution (2880 x 1800) Retina display, or how users can launch games like Temple Run on their phones through more powerful Siri voice commands.

iOS 6 will support iPhone 3GS and newer, second- and third-generation iPads, and fourth generation iPod Touches. A beta version of the OS is available to developers starting today.

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Kevin Patterson
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I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised that they are including iOS 6 on the 3GS, I figured 5 would have been it's last new OS. I hope Siri comes to Ipad 2 as well as the new Ipad.

Merc Hoffner
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$5,000,000,000 / 650,000 = $7692

Factoring in the metric (at last investigation) that 80% of iOS revenue is taken by the top 3% of apps this leaves:
$1,000,000,000 / 630,000 = $1587

To earn an income of say $30,000 a year (not including tax) a typrical iOS developer on average would have to crank out an equivalent of 1 app every 2 weeks and 5 days, or 3 working weeks with a weekend of 'overtime'. Of course the the real performance is a distribution with many developers charging nothing, many charging a lot, many succeeding in excess of this and many failing to reach even this level.

Is this wrong?

Duong Nguyen
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Anywhere from 70-80% of the apps are deprecated (my guess), sure they might run but that's it. The actively supported and maintained apps which generate revenue are no where near 650k.. so the 3% figure is misleading its like how most industries work the top 10% take up anywhere from 80-90% of the revenue, that's how the console games, movies and books work, no different here. Also consider that many apps are free now, they don't even use the paid to play scheme and are free to play and use and get their income from DLC or in-app advertisement.

Merc Hoffner
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Oh crap, just realised I got the figures ass backwards:

Figures were 97% of revenue made by top 20% of developers, on a developer basis (and presumably including all earnings mechanisms), which I think would make more sense with what you're saying. That may still mean roughly $150 million in first purchases split between 80% of devs? No idea how many devs that makes, but it can't be a great per-unit earnings rate. I'm curious if anyone knows what proportion of the app store is free to play, what the mix is of Apple-covered vs not Apple-covered revenue streams for free-to-play, and what proportion of the app store is just free.

Duong Nguyen
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For detailed stats on apps you can try the numerous tracking sites like AppAnnie for instance. They keep detailed track of iOS apps both free and paid. From what I've read last about 20-30% of the revenue is in-app purchases and there are no public stats on the ad revenue apps pull in as a total, but my guess is it's quite significant.

Brian Stabile
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People still keep forgetting that for every decent app out there, there are thirty others that are shovelware, clones, or just plain bad. Devs that make terrible apps don't deserve to earn $30K a year. However, it's a shame that there are so many high-quality apps that aren't getting the exposure and sales they deserve due to the shoddy structure of the App Store currently.

Chris Melby
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Dropping the iPad, a 2 year old locked-down device that supposedly sold over 15 million units is absolutely a ridiculous move on Apple's part. It doesn't show progress, it shows greed... Talk about fragmenting their own market even further.