🚀 The New App Store is a platform to tell your story.

The redesigned App Store is beautiful. It looks like a modern magazine that you want to browse through every day.

Some app makers expressed concern that their app may become less discoverable if top download lists become less visible. But download counts are a lousy measure of quality and app marketing should never depend on top listings alone.

Great app marketing is based on great storytelling. You find the people who can benefit from your app and tell them a story that moves them. You make it all about people — the people who use your app and the people who created it.

Telling stories is where the new App Store shines:

  • Your preview video will start playing as soon as your app page appears.
  • You can add additional preview / demo videos that show how people use your app.
  • Apple’s editorial team will create regular “Meet The Developer” stories that introduce app makers to potential app users.

Visit appstore.com/promote to tell Apple about your app and your team. There’s a new “Your Story” field with the following instructions:

Tell us about yourself, your app’s unique features, and your inspiration for creating this app. 1000 characters or less.

The story of your app and your team is not something you only want to share with Apple, though. Spread the word far and wide. Storytelling should be the foundation of all your marketing.

🎁 Take your time thinking out of the ARKit box.

ARKit is Apple’s new augmented reality library that makes it much easier to write an app that looks like Pokémon Go. Keep in in mind that unlike Pokéman Go, ARKit apps only run on iOS devices with an A9 or A10 chip:

  • iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus
  • iPad Pro, and the 2017 iPad model

When deciding whether to use ARKit, keep your audience in mind. For example, many kids use iOS devices that are hand-me-downs. An app for young children that depends on ARKit may miss the mark.

AR has a big wow factor but users will quickly get tired of apps that do little more than adding new objects or characters to their environment. Think a few levels beyond the obvious. You may want to do a thought experiment similar to the five whys and ask yourself repeatedly why something would be engaging and useful once the novelty wears off.

ARKit also has a few interesting abilities that you can use for non-AR applications, such as measuring the size and distance of objects.

👔 iPads get serious.

If you’re building productivity apps, this was a great WWDC for you. iPads have always had several advantages over laptops but a few things have also been lacking. The common theme has been that it was cumbersome to share information between apps. Drag & Drop and the new (old) file system remove the last roadblocks in iPad’s quest to replace laptops.

If I didn’t need macOS for software development, I’d go all iPad, all the time. I expect the iPad to finally catch on as a productivity tool this year. There are tremendous opportunities for iOS business apps.

🔮 Use machine learning to deliver convenience.

Intelligent entities anticipate your needs. They show you only what is relevant in this moment. They are aware of the context: where you are, what time it is, what you just did, what your current behavior points to. They can confidently guess what you’ll do next based on your habits and what is common human behavior.

In today’s world we still don’t expect our smart phones to be actually smart by human standards. But we’re getting closer and your app can delight people by exceeding their expectations. Apple’s Core ML Tools help you make your apps smart.

What makes iOS 11 unique is that the intelligence works on the device itself. Avoiding server round-trips is faster, saves battery, reduces bandwidth, and eliminates privacy concerns.

Apple’s CoreML API implements high-performance machine learning computer vision, natural language processing, and processing of machine learning models. A few examples:

You can determine what kinds of objects are in a photo and automatically tag them, or find other photos and documents that may be related.

You can track while someone uses your app and have CoreML detect usage patterns to predict what they are most likely to do next. All usage data can be stored on the device so people don’t have to be concerned that they are being watched.

You can use natural language processing to find out what content people are interested in and organize your application’s data intelligently.

Because everything is stored on the device, neither you nor your users have to be concerned about invasion of privacy or security breaches. Hackers cannot steal information that is not on your servers.

🔑 Three essentials

You can enjoy tremendous success in the App Store by 1/ developing a great solution that 2/ delivers enough value to justify a subscription and by 3/ making sure that your story inspires tons of people.

Choose wisely and work vigorously! 🖖🏽