Apple gives developers a way to nominate their apps for editorial consideration on the App Store

App developers will have a new path for getting their apps recognized and promoted, Apple told developers at WWDC 2024 this week. In an update planned to arrive in September alongside the release of iOS 18, developers will be able to alert Apple’s Editorial team about their app’s new content or features ahead of its release to be considered for featuring on the App Store.

Today, the App Store’s Editorial team creates stories about apps and their developers and rounds up apps of interest into collections that are highlighted across the App Store’s many sections. However, there was no formal process for alerting App Store editors about upcoming changes that could potentially qualify an app for this type of recognition. With the launch of something called “Featuring Nominations,” developers will be able to directly share their plans with Apple. This is managed via the App Store Connect app where developers already manage their applications, installs and sales.

From a new Nominations dashboard in App Store Connect, developers will be able to create their nominations, either one by one or by uploading a spreadsheet to nominate apps in bulk. Apple recommends using a memorable name for the nomination that will help editors understand what their app’s new content or feature is focused on. Developers can alert editors to three different types of updates: new content, app enhancements or new app launches.

In addition to the update’s name, developers would include a text description that explains any relevant details about the update and the expected publish date. Another field, “Helpful Details,” will also allow developers to offer other information for editors’ reviewing their submission — like the developer’s story, how they created the app, or their efforts around some other key factor, like the app’s accessibility or inclusivity features.

Related to this change, developers will also receive a push notification from App Store Connect if the Editorial team chooses to feature the app on the App Store. By tapping on the notification, developers will be taken to a page with new Promote Your App marketing assets designed for sharing the news on social media.

Apple will also provide marketing material for other big moments in the app’s lifecycle, like when it first launches or when it rolls out a new feature or new version.

Image Credits: Screenshot of Steve Troughton-Smith’s Mastodon post

These features were announced in a session alongside other news about updates to TestFlight, Apple’s pre-launch app testing platform. One change that will make the testing process even more useful to developers, is the ability to set criteria to filter for the type of testers they need to reach. For instance, a developer could restrict their TestFlight build only to those who have both an iPhone and a Vision Pro, or only devices that are running a certain iOS version. This way, when the public link to the TestFlight is shared, only those testers who fit the criteria will be able to install the beta build of the app.

Apple is also allowing developers to create deep links to custom product pages for their app — meaning those pages they built to highlight an app’s particular features for a select audience, or those that promote special deals. These custom links can be used when advertising the app via Apple Search Ads or on other platforms, like social media sites.

Apple’s iOS 18 will roll out to the public later this fall.

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