WWDC 2024: The most important announcements for app and game developers

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 unveiled a plethora of new features, including Apple Intelligence, iOS 18, and enhanced privacy features. Keeping track of everything Apple showcased was challenging, so we’ve compiled a summary of the key new features that game and app developers should not miss.

Nominating app and games for App Store featuring

Later this year, developers will have the opportunity to nominate their games and apps for featuring on the App Store. This new process allows developers to submit their content for potential highlighting by the App Store editorial team. Nominations can be made through App Store Connect and must include key details such as the publishing date and the targeted countries and regions. While Apple has not specified an exact start date for this feature, it coincides with the upcoming release of iOS 18, which is slated for public beta in July and a full release in the fall.

The move to allow nominations marks a significant shift in how developers can influence their app’s visibility. By submitting their content for consideration, developers can potentially see their games featured, providing a boost in exposure. Although the impact of being featured can vary, with some developers reporting minimal effects on downloads, others have found that it can still drive significant engagement for certain titles.

The New Controls API

Apple has unveiled the innovative Controls API, enabling developers to create Control Center toggles for third-party apps. These new toggles allow users to perform in-app actions directly from the Control Center without needing to open the app itself.

“Completing frequent tasks from your apps is now faster and easier with new controls available in Control Center, on the Lock Screen, and via the Action button. Controls can toggle settings, execute actions, or deep link to specific experiences. Developers can create these controls with just a few lines of code using the new Controls API,” Apple explained.

Developers will need to update their apps with this new API, a process expected to commence closer to September.. Currently, a beta preview of iOS 18 is available for developers, with a public beta scheduled for release next month.

Enhanced Promotional Tools

Apple has also introduced new promotional tools to help developers market their apps more effectively. App Store Connect now offers the ability to promote “special moments,” such as major updates or new releases, through easily generated marketing assets that can be shared on social media. Developers whose apps are featured as “App of the Day” will receive push notifications inviting them to create special marketing materials to celebrate the occasion.

Custom Product Page Deep Links

Another notable update is the introduction of custom product page deep links. This feature allows developers to direct users from the App Store or a Search Ads campaign to a specific location within their app. This targeted approach can improve user engagement by bringing them directly to relevant content, enhancing the overall user experience.

Win-Back Offers and Subscription Management

To help developers retain and reacquire subscribers, Apple has introduced “win-back offers” for users who have previously canceled their subscriptions. Additionally, on macOS, developers can now offer discounted or free subscriptions for a limited time using offer codes. These tools provide developers with more flexibility in managing their subscriber base and encouraging long-term engagement.

StoreKit and App Analytics Enhancements

Apple has also updated StoreKit, giving developers new options for organizing and presenting in-app purchases. This enhancement aims to streamline the purchasing process and provide users with a clearer understanding of available content. Moreover, App Analytics has been improved to offer deeper insights into business and app performance, featuring reports with hundreds of new metrics. These insights can help developers make more informed decisions about their app’s development and marketing strategies.

Written by Sophie Blake


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