Apple has made several changes to its App Store to favour third-party apps over its own. According to an interview with The New York Times, the iPhone maker noticed that its own apps were at an advantage when users searched its store.
For example, Apple engineers realised that users searching for “music” were often referred to Apple’s own Music app, which is pre-installed on the iPhone.
The company blamed erroneous search algorithms for the issue. As a consequence, successful music apps were downranked when users searched for “music”. Spotify, for example, ranked in spot 23 for “music” searches.
Other keywords affected included “TV” and “maps”, both of which are associated with Apple’s own apps. Certain searches would result in 14 Apple apps ranking ahead of suggestions for rival apps.
According to Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software and Services, and Phil Schiller, SVP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, the issue has been resolved as of July 23.
Two-thirds of app downloads on the Apple Store begin with a search, making it an important part of the app discovery process.