Apple’s ‘Secret Team’ Working on Big App Store Changes

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For Apple’s App Store, search and discovery have been major pain points for a long time. The company made some tweaks and improvements to it over time, but now it appears that it is very determined to rework the way iPhone and iPad users find and install apps.

Apple considering a paid search model

As a consequence of its growing determination, the company has reportedly formed a secret team with 100 employees to explore changes to the App Store, according to Bloomberg. But one proposed change to the App Store may give rise to a lot of controversies.

The report states that Apple is considering a paid search model, thus allowing developers to have their apps and games ranked higher in the search results in return for a payment. Google already follows this practice on Android, but there it often applies to the gaming category. For example, when a person searches for a card game or action game, they see an advertised title ahead of other results.

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The App Store offers users more than 1.8 million apps, and discovering content not available using Apple’s featured section or through Top Charts is difficult for users. This is so because big name developers are often favored because of their ability to spend a lot on advertising.

Though customers can use paid discovery offers to find new apps, this might be highly unpopular with many independent developers who struggle to get their apps noticed.

Teresi to lead Apple’s secret team

Apple has reportedly chosen Todd Teresi to lead the “secret team.” Teresi led iAd before the company decided to step away from the advertising business. Apart from Teresi, many of his former iAd underlings are also working on Apple’s App Store project, the report said.

According to an announcement made last December, Apple’s SVP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, is expanding his responsibilities to oversee the company’s App Store. Eddy Cue, who is in charge of the services division, was heading the division for years beforehand.

Bloomberg claims that the team has started work, and it is unclear if the company will introduce any changes or not. Apple’s WWDC event in June could be the most likely target like always, but it cannot be said for now what this secret unit will come up with by then.

Apple has made several efforts over the past few years to fix search in the App Store and even acquired a company called Chomp in 2012 for the purpose.

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