Apple ‘secret team’ prepping major App Store changes, report claims

app store
Jongjet Klieanthong/123rf
Apple has taken its gargantuan App Store into the workshop ahead of a major overhaul, a new report claims.

As many as 100 employees – among them engineers and marketers – are working on improving various elements of the store, Bloomberg reported Thursday after speaking to people familiar with the project.

The recently formed “secret team” is thought to be focusing on areas such as improving search and discovery, a long-time issue for the App Store, which currently offers more than 1.5 million apps.

Notably, the tech company is also reported to be considering the introduction of a “Google-like” paid search option for developers with the cash to splash. For a fee, a developer’s app would appear at the top of App Store search results – or close to the top depending on the specific keywords and competing apps – when a user initiates a search for a particular kind of app.

With limited space on an iPhone’s screen, the results page only shows one or two apps at any one time, so developers without the resources to go the paid route will have to hope, as they do now, that users scroll down the page – possibly further than usual if there are lots of sponsored results at the top – to see a wider range of what’s on offer in relation to their inquiry.

Searching for apps on an iPad or using iTunes on a Mac computer increases developers’ chances of being discovered as the larger displays present users with many more apps at first glance. Apple also hand-picks a selection of apps to put front and center on its “featured” page, offering developers another way for their work to get noticed.

A paid model, while helping deep-pocketed developers get their work discovered, would also provide Apple with an additional – and lucrative – revenue stream.

Bloomberg notes that Apple’s new App Store team “hasn’t been working long and it’s unclear when any new changes will be introduced.” But if a 100-strong team really is setting about shaking up the app store, we bet there’ll be some major changes rolling out before too long.

Gaming

Fed-up indie game devs are fighting back against shady key resellers

Controversy hit after indie game developers called out grey market key reseller G2A over its shady practices. Digital Trends spoke to developers about why shady websites like G2A are bad for games and the people who buy them.
Product Review

Price be damned, the OnePlus 7 Pro is bigger and faster than ever before

OnePlus has delivered its biggest, and fastest smartphone ever in the OnePlus 7 Pro. It’s also more expensive than before, with a $750 price tag hanging from the most technically impressive model.
Mobile

Tinder tries to break up with the Google Play Store with new payment process

Tinder launched a new payment process that allows the dating app to bypass Google Play Store fees. Unlike others that have worked around app store fees, Tinder remains listed while in open defiance of the Google Play Store requirements.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
Product Review

The new Asus gaming phone certainly isn't a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Asus is on a roll in 2019, having started out with the Zenfone 6 -- a welcome surprise and a great phone -- and now with the ROG Phone 2. This gaming phone has plenty of ability to ensure even casual gamers will want to take a look.
Mobile

The fast ROG Phone 2 is Asus' new giant-sized mobile gaming monster

Asus has announced a sequel to the ROG Phone (that stands for Republic of Gamers, for those new to the company's gaming brand) called the ROG Phone 2, and it's a massively powerful, giant-sized mobile gaming monster.
Product Review

You’ll love the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s camera, but the software is iffy

The Oppo Reno 10x Zoom’s special camera is a great reason to look closely at the phone, but what about the rest of the package? There are ups and downs, and we go into detail about them in our review.
Mobile

Apple’s slick, smooth iPad Pro screen tech may come to 2020 iPhone

The screen technology which makes Apple’s iPad Pro such a viewing pleasure may come to the 2020 iPhone. Apparently, Apple is talking to screen suppliers about introducing a phone screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.
Mobile

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL: Everything we know

Rumors abound about the Google Pixel 4, Google's next Pixel phone following the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a. Getting around the leaks, Google straight-up teased an image of the back of the phone. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

The Pixel 4 may have face-sensing tech that goes beyond the iPhone XS

The Pixel 4 is on the way. It may be packing some new tech for Google, and leaked screen protectors are implying Google's next flagship will have face-sensing tech that's beyond even Apple's iPhone XS.
Mobile

Huawei is secretly helping build North Korea’s wireless network, report says

Tensions between Chinese mobile giant Huawei and the U.S. are likely to rise even higher after the Washington Post reported that the company has allegedly been secretly working with a Chinese state-owned firm to build and maintain North…
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

Leak shows Android running on purported Nokia feature phone

A leaked image appears to show a Nokia feature phone running a modified version of Android, complete with Google Voice Search, YouTube, and all. This would be a market-changing collaboration between Google and HMD.