Augmented Reality and iOS games are likely to be Apple’s cash cows.
With Apple launching its new OS in its latest offerings of iPads and iPhones, its online marketplace has also undergone a significant makeover: it now allows third party developers to add augmented reality apps to it.
Its new OS, iOS 11, is being released on Tuesday, ahead of the launch of two of its latest handsets, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, which will begin to ship this Friday and on November 3, respectively.
Of all the myriad changes that Apple engineers have brought about, the most visible is the App Store – the backbone of its services segment, which raked in $21.5 billion in revenues in the last nine months, up by 19% over the same period last year.
Apple’s App Store now features more space and images for developers to describe their software.
Developers have since long complained that consumers are unable to find their apps in the store, unless the precise name of the app is provided or a direct link is available to it.
“The redesign make it much cleaner and speaks to the pain point of the store: You had so many apps that if you didn’t know exactly what you were looking for, it was really hard to find anything,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies.
Another significant improvement is the prominent display of games.
According to App Annie, which collects and analyzes market data on mobile apps, games are expected to make up 75% of all revenue for Apple’s App Store, with the bulk of it coming from in-app purchases.
In-App purchases allows gamers to buy digital items, including gems, and tokens, to unlock parts of the game.
“It’s really the gift that keep on giving from the developer perspective,” said Milanesi.
The biggest change in iOS 11 however is the debut of augmented reality (AR) apps, which displays floating digital images over the real word.
While Apple has made much of those a capabilities, but an ostensibly minor feature may help AR apps spread: Screen recording.
In testing, Adam Debreczeni, maker of an app that lets users see a three-dimensional map of a fitness activity like a bicycle ride or run they’ve gone on, was surprised at how enthusiastically users took to sharing screen recordings of AR apps like his.
“I think that’s going to help AR games go viral and get better distribution,” said Debreczeni.