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The App Store
December 3rd, 2009

There are things that are decidedly wrong with the App Store and they’re pretty well documented. Absolutely, there are things that I’d like to see changed. But this isn’t about that. So rather than biting the hand that feeds me, I’m going to tell it what I’d like for dessert.

Analytics

How did the person find the App? Was it by using the iPhone or iTunes? Was it by browsing through categories or typing in search terms? If it was search terms then what were they? Right now, I’m most interested in learning whether there are popular and unpopular categories. That is, can a low rank in category X translate to more revenue than a high rank in category Y? Intuitively, the answer is yes. The Action category is surely more popular than the Dice category. But what about Arcade and Simulation?

Notification of a feature

Pocketball was recently featured a “Top New Game” in the US and Germany, and probably others. It would be handy if developers were notified (maybe through iTunes Connect) when our applications achieve featured status.

Overall/Category rank

So there’s over 100,000 apps in the store. And about 25% of them are free 1. That means an overall rank for a paid app would be a figure between 1 and 75,000. Right now, if you’re not in one of the top 100’s, all you know is that you’re somewhere between 101 and 75,000. Knowing the exact figure would be invaluable. As an example, it could be used to determine when it’s time to kick off a marketing campaign. Sure, when revenue start to go down you know that it’s time to do something, but the App Store has good days and bad days. Weekends perform better than weekdays and holidays better still. Trending an overall App Store rank (or overall category rank) can, in many ways, be more useful than trending revenue.

If I had to pick one, it would be Analytics, absolutely. I got into this game shortly after Apple switched to daily reporting of revenue from monthly reporting. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to receive monthly reports. In a few months, I hope that we look back at the state of the App Store as it is now and laugh at how much better it has become and wonder how we ever managed this way.