Apple is clearly have no trouble selling apps on the App Store. That may explain why the App Store has been updated so little over the years. But there is still a lot of room for improvement where the App Store is concerned, and Apple seems poised to address one of my biggest feature requests:

Descriptions of apps are a good start. Screenshots are a must. But these tools are still not enough to assure you that the app is worth purchasing. What you need is some sort of video demonstration of the app. This is especially true for games. It appears that Apple is experimenting with the inclusion of video trailers on the App Store.

The first game to get this treatment is one that was announced at an Apple event last year called, "Clumsy Ninja". It is one of the featured apps in the App Store. When you click or tap its tile, you will be taken to its description page. Featured prominently to the right is a video. I want to see this for every app, but as of now, we have no indication of what Apple is planning.

This feature was rolled out in an awkward manner. It was first seen in the UK, rather than the US or Australia. For reasons of time zones and major markets, either would have made more sense. Second, it didn't hit all the App Store portals at once. It first appeared on the desktop version of iTunes, later, the iPhone, and much later, the iPad. The page also seems to have an unfinished feel to it. Very strange. It leaves us with more unknowns than knowns. 

For starters, we do not know if this will be exclusive to the Featured Apps section, or if it will eventually spread to all apps. Second, we don't know if older apps will be allowed to get video previews, or just new apps from this point on. Finally, we do not even know if this is an ongoing feature, or just a one-off kind of deal. As a developer, I can tell you that Apple has communicated nothing through the developer portal about this feature, so devs are completely in the dark. It is an experiment being done in public. That is all we know for now. I certainly hope it becomes more. I will keep you informed. Stay tuned...

David Johnson

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