Apple announced on Wednesday that iOS app and game developers can now offer pre-orders on a regional basis. With the new feature, developers will be able to expand their app to new regions by offering it for pre-order, and set different release dates for each region.
With the pre-orders function in the App Store, iOS developers can choose which regions their app will be released in and choose a different release date for each zone. With this flexibility, developers are able to accept pre-orders for completely new apps that have yet to be uploaded to the App Store and use them to expand the reach of already-existing apps.
With the new update, users can pre-order an app or game in a set of regions that developer choose, even while it’s available for download in other regions at the same time.
Pre-orders are permitted for all Apple platforms’ free and paid apps. Although in-app purchases are not available for pre-order, developers can set them up in App Store Connect before and throughout the pre-order period to ensure that everything is ready once the app is made available for download.
App bundles cannot be made pre-orderable, according to Apple’s support page. To be included in a new app bundle, pre-order apps must have at least one country or region where they are already available for purchase.
If a developer already published their app to the App Store in a country or region, below are the steps to make their app available for pre-order in additional countries or regions:
- From My Apps, select your app. The page opens with the App Store tab selected.
- In the sidebar, click Pricing and Availability, then scroll to the App Availability section.
- Under the App Availability section, click Manage.
- Click Set Up Pre-Order. Or, if you already have an active pre-order for another country or region, click the add button (+) next to Pre-Orders.
- Choose a date to release your app for download, then click Next.
- Select the countries or regions where you want to make your pre-order available, then click Next.
- Click Confirm. Your new pre-order will appear under the Pre-Orders section on the Manage Availability page in App Store Connect.
According to Apple, the release date must be at least two days out but not more than 180 days. Before the app is made available for download in the chosen nations or regions on the App Store, developers can change the pre-order release date.
It’s worth noting that Apple also announced yesterday that the App Store will require apps built with Xcode 15 starting April 2024.