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Apple "Enhances" Searching for App Store through "Handicap" Its Own Apps



Photo: AP

After finding out that a number of apps have unusually high ratings for the first time, Apple has finally updated its App Store search algorithm to "limit" itself and help apps from other developers to find.

Just don't call this change a mistake, because according to a recent statement given by New York Times by Apple contractors Phil Schiller and Eddie Keogh, it's more of an improvement. Kew said "we make mistakes all the time," which Schiller followed, saying, "We are glad to admit when we do. This is not a mistake. "

No matter what you call it, Apple's recent change in how apps are ranked on the App Store follows claims that Apple unfairly preferred its own apps, while competing developers' apps – including big names like Netflix, Stitcher and others – often taunting dozens or even hundreds of spots deep in App Store search results

In its defense, Apple claims that part of the reason its apps ranked high is that users use the App Store to find ex proposals such as Apple Music, which have been pre-installed on their phones, which led to the search algorithm Apple to give these applications a higher rank.

Apple also argues that another reason why so many of its applications first dominate search results is due to the App Store feature, which groups applications from the application builder, often leading to an accumulation of Apple's many apps at the top,

Prior to 2016, Apple didn't actually list its own apps in the app store, since those apps were included pre-installed on the company's devices. However, as Apple began adding its apps to the App Store, as evidenced by reports by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, Apple's original apps gradually began to dominate search results, a trend that Apple engineers claim, that you don't notice until months later.

So in July, Apple finally removed all its apps from showing up in search results, leading to a number of first-party apps like the Apple Wallet, the highest ranked drop. Schiller and Kew claim that his search algorithm worked properly before, with Schiller saying, "We can just tell you that we didn't do anything to do it – that is, other than launching a great wallet, Apple Card and launching a damn the market. "

In that sense, as Apple and other tech giants like Google and Amazon have recently come under fire for potentially violating antitrust laws when it comes to their online markets, these changes to App Store search algorithms look more like an attempt to protect further investigations from regulators than just an altruistic undertaking to support third parties

Earlier this year, following official complaints from Spotify, the EU launched an antitrust probe at Apple to verify that companies so do 30 percent discount for purchases made in the App Store, giving Apple first applied by Apple Music unfair advantage.

Anyway, if you're wondering why it suddenly became so much easier to find third-party applications on the App Store, you now know why. However, the full impact of Apple's changes to its App Store may not yet be forthcoming.


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