ASO (App Store Optimization) Monthly Roundup – November 2021

In this ASO monthly roundup series, we share insights about App Store Optimization, mobile trends, new apps and content delivered by the biggest names in mobile!

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ASO Monthly Roundup November 2021

1. Google Is Testing a Redesigned Play Store Website

Even though the Play Store application for Android has gone through many design iterations over the years, the Play Store website has been frozen in time. For years, it has had the same early Material Design look, but that is finally changing.

Google is now testing a new Play Store site design in some regions, which seems like a substantial improvement from the current layout. The new design is seemingly only rolled out in a few regions so far, such as Korea and Taiwan, and it varies by user account.

The main ‘Apps’ and ‘Games’ pages now have buttons at the top for quickly filtering between phone, tablet, TV, Chromebook, Wear OS, and car applications.

Content is more stretched out, instead of locked inside a horizontally-centered row. The page background is now white, icons are larger, and some app listings (like YouTube) have a header image that stretches across the top of the screen.

Google Is Testing a Redesigned Play Store Website
Google Is Testing a Redesigned Play Store Website
Google Is Testing a Redesigned Play Store Website

2. Google Rolling Out Prominent ‘Offers’ Tab in The Play Store for Some

Most people have four tabs in the bottom bar of the Play Store. If you subscribe to Play Pass, it grows to five – Google now looks to be adding an “Offers” tab to the Play Store that makes for a quite cluttered bottom bar.

This “Offers” tab for the Google Play Store is not yet widely rolled out. As such, it’s unclear if this is an A/B test or a finalized feature. 

Google Rolling Out Prominent ‘Offers’ Tab in The Play Store for Some

3. Google Play Store UI Test Sees ‘Last Updated’ Section Removed from App Listings

Google Play seems to be testing the removal of the “last updated” section from listings in the Android app. User reports have started to pile up on Reddit, pointing out that the “last updated” section, typically found in the app’s description, was missing from listings entirely.

4. Google Play Will Allow Alternate IAP Billing in South Korea, Charge Reduced Service Fee

In late August, South Korea passed a law requiring alternate in-app payment systems in Google Play and the iOS App Store. Google now detailed what steps it will be taking to comply. 

In response to the legislation, developers will now be able to add an alternative in-app billing system, alongside Google Play’s billing system, for their mobile and tablet users in South Korea. At checkout, users will be able to choose which billing system to use.

5. The Winners of Google’s Best of 2021 Awards Have Been Revealed

On November 29, 2021, Google announced the winners of its “Best of 2021” app awards, which highlight both the company’s and users’ picks for the best apps and games from the past year.

This year, Google is expanding its awards lineup to include apps and games on tablets, Wear OS and Google TV, it says.

While Paramount+ won the Google Play Users’ Choice App of the year award, Garena Free Fire MAX won the Users’ Choice Game of the year award.

The Google Play Editorial picked popular mediation app Balance as the best Android app and Pokémon UNITE as the best Android game of 2021.

6. App Store Search Suggestions is available in Japan, too

In April, 2021, search suggestions are first seen in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

Finally, we got Search Suggestions here in Japan as well! 

7. App Tracking Transparency Causes a Shift In Ad Spending

The launch of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency tool has led to two-thirds of consumers opting out of app tracking. In response, the amount advertisers spend on iOS dropped by around a third, while simultaneously increasing by around 10% on Android. When it comes to User Acquisition, recent data from PubMatic shows that the share of mobile app ad spend on Android has grown to 63% from 54% since Apple rolled out its Apple Ad Tracking.

8. iOS 15 In-app Events

Starting October 27th, developers will have the option to update their Apple Developer accounts to enable In-app Events. In-app Event cards will start appearing in a few different conspicuous locations across the iOS and iPadOS App Stores, including the editorial section on the Today, Games, and Apps Tabs.

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