Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The App Store’s New Apps and Games of the Week Collections

The App Store is at once infinitely large and impossibly small. As a digital storefront, the App Store can accommodate an endless number of apps on its virtual shelves. However, at the same time, the App Store has to contend with screens as small as the iPhone SE’s 4.7” display. That poses interesting editorial challenges.

The App Store has always faced discovery challenges. From the day it opened for business 15 years ago, the App Store had more apps than it could easily display on the iPhone.

That problem only worsened with the App Store’s iOS 11 redesign. That update brought the welcome addition of editorial, curated content from the App Store’s editorial team. However, it also necessitated greater reliance on search because stories featuring individual apps and themed collections took up more space than simple lists and top charts. The result poses a difficult, ongoing balancing act between providing meaningful editorial recommendations and promoting as many apps and games as possible.

There are several different recurring featured stories that the App Store editorial team produces, including the App and Game of the Day, Developer Spotlights, and Featured Apps. However, a new one caught my eye recently thanks to Vidit Bhargava, the creator of LookUp and Zones.

Earlier this month, Vidit posted on Mastodon about a new App Store feature called The Best in Apps This Week. The weekly story includes notable new and updated apps, along with app events picked by the App Store editorial team. It turns out that another recurring story called The Best in Games This Week was added in early July that follows a similar format, with a mix of new, updated, and popular games, along with editorial team favorites and ongoing events.

Both of these new features are a nice way to spotlight what’s new on the App Store in one place. The short descriptions of each app and game allow more to be covered in one story but provide just enough detail to provide readers with a sense of why each is unique. I’d love to see more of this style of story on the App Store, which still relies on lists more than I’d like.


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