Similar to pre-ordering movies through iTunes, Apple is putting in place a new feature which allows developers to release new apps with a pre-order status.
This new feature allows third-party developers to announce an app as available for pre-order up to 90-days before it is actually released.
Apple’s latest feature to be afforded to developers, allowing them to better manage apps and revenue streams, has been added to the company’s iTunes Connect Resource and Help document, and states that developers are able to make apps available for pre-order across all Apple platforms, should they wish to do so. That change means that pre-order apps could soon be a common occurrence on iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and, of course, via the Mac App Store. This is a fairly big change to how things currently work.
At the moment, developers launching a new app have to upload it to the App Store and either choose to manually release it to the public or choose a specific date when the app goes live. Whichever route is chosen, the end-user won’t have any visibility on the app’s App Store or iTunes page until it’s actually propagated through Apple’s servers and is available to download in specific regions.
This new feature would mean that developers would be able to have a public face on the App Store, with their app’s page being accessible and visible ahead of release. Users would then be able to pre-order the item ahead of its eventual release:
Customers can see your product page and order your app before it’s released for download. Once your app is released, customers will be notified and your app will automatically download to their device. For paid apps, customers will be charged before download.
As of right now, the App Store already has a bunch of apps and games listed as being available for pre-order. Gorogoa, Sonic Runners Adventure, Life Is Strange, INSIDE game etc.
It may initially seem bizarre to offer a free-of-charge app or game up for pre-order. After all, these aren’t limited quantity items like a concert or big-event sports ticket which sell out instantly. However, the main benefit here appears to be that developers can generate hype and have a marketing push for their apps and games prior to going live, with consumers able to pre-order and get the app downloaded directly to their device as soon as it launches without having to remember to go back into the App Store or take any further action.
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