App Stores were created as a “semi-” open marketplace for selling self-contained applications running (at least initially) on mobile devices. The App Store paradigm was designed at a time when mobile apps were new, and the App Stores needed Apps to attract users to their platform. Well, that strategy worked very well, and now we have an over-abundance of apps in the mobile App Stores.
Unfortunately, as with all things the needs of the App Store change. Now the issue is reducing the number of apps while keeping quality of apps high, both in the store and on my phone, in order to better find the app that I am looking for at any one time.
I suggest to Google and Apple some changes in how their app stores work.
- Charge $100 fee to app publishers for each app submitted to the store.
- Publishing an app only lasts a year, and must be renewed each year or will disappear from the store.
- Provide a demo purchase that gives the user a change to try out an app before buying. This is to distinguish Freemium models that provide some functionality in order to sell InApp purchases.
These would help weed out publishers and apps that don’t attract users, are not of high enough quaility or desirability, or simply don’t have the longevity to be of interest longer than a year. Other strategies would be effective as well, but it is worth considering adapting App Stores to better serve users instead of really just letting about anything in the front door.