Developed by Steve Reynolds (Analytix, Clicky Touch), RankIt is a new iPhone app that allows you to check on iOS and Mac App Store charts for any app that’s currently available for sale. Whilst some iPhone apps have tried to bring the complexity of web-based App Store analytic tools to iOS in the past, RankIt focuses on simplicity in that it allows you to quickly enter as many apps to “monitor” as you want, and refresh at any time to see real-time rankings.
As you fire up RankIt for the first time, you’re asked to add an app from the App Store you’d like to check rankings for. You can choose between iPhone, iPad, Universal and Mac apps, and change from United States to 9 other markets with available charts. In Settings.app, you can further tweak RankIt to adjust the number of maximum ranks returned (from 50 up to 400), set a default country, and refresh on launch. Once you’ve entered an app to monitor, RankIt will quickly refresh its ranking to check on freshly updated charts. RankIt will display an app’s position in the Top Paid/Free charts, as well as its ranking in the category’s charts. Universal apps will show iPhone and iPad icons next to them; with one tap, you can open a single app view that displays rankings in multiple countries. You can refresh at any time, with RankIt taking only a few seconds to get updated charts from the App Store.
In spite of its simplicity, I believe RankIt can be a worthy addition to any iOS or Mac developer’s workflow. In fact, the app’s focus on “quick stats” might just be its biggest selling point when compared to more in-depth tools that can’t just be refreshed every 10 minutes, whereas RankIt seems to be meant exactly for this — quickly checking on the App Store’s charts. I’ll make sure to test RankIt again during one of the big app launches next week, and see how it handles updates in real-life usage scenarios.
RankIt is $1.99 on the App Store.
If you’re an iOS or Mac developer, or you handle the marketing for a development studio that has apps on Apple’s App Store, you know the importance of checking rankings for your application on all the international App Stores. It doesn’t matter if your app is the next Angry Birds (probably not, though The Heist managed to take the #1 spot in the iPhone App Store after months of Rovio dominance) or something that will be fine sitting between the #20 and #100 positions, checking rankings by country and category is a common practice that helps you better understand how well an app is doing, where, and quite possibly also why.
Ranky, a new app by Studio Dalton, wants to make the process of studying rankings extremely simple, focused and beautiful. The app provides real-time results for iOS and Mac App Store apps, a feature that’s surely welcome as it allows to check for any app distributed through Apple’s App Stores. Once you’ve entered any iPhone, iPad or Mac app to track, you’ll only have to select the countries you’re interested in to start analyzing the markets. After that, for each app you’ll get an overview by category or “overall” — the same applies if you filter down apps by country, you’ll get the same screen with “overall” and “category” screens to see how your app is performing. Ranky also comes with the possibility of displaying changes since the last time you checked the app, and email and Twitter sharing built-in.
With a beautiful interface and a simple, yet powerful feature set, Ranky is a neat little tool iOS and Mac devs should test right away. Go download the app here at $0.99.
As noted by forum poster Therealtrebitsch on TouchArcade, Apple recently tweaked the App Store system to prevent users who downloaded apps using a developer’s promo code from leaving a review or rating. The change comes as an unexpected move as it basically doesn’t count promo code-based downloads as regular purchases anymore, but it’s in line with Apple’s latest efforts to modify the App Store’s ranking algorithm to showcase apps based on quality, rather than raw download numbers.
Anand here again from iTunes Store Customer Support. Thanks for writing back and letting me know your concern. I understand that you are still not able to write a review. I know how disappointing it can be when things don\’t work out the way they should.
I am sorry to inform that it is no longer possible to rate or review an app if it was downloaded using a developer’s promotional code.
However, I took the liberty of submitting your feedback to Apple on your behalf. Please know that Apple takes the feedback from our customers very seriously. This is the reason for our feedback page – to create a forum where our users can vent, praise or share whatever feelings they have to allow us to meet your needs, and grow as a company. I suggest that you use the link in order to share your feedback with us. I would also encourage you to share this link with all of your friends and family who wish to submit the feedback, and have them all submit the same request.”
It is no longer possible to rate or review an app if it was downloaded using a developer’s promotional code.
You can review this app by purchasing it on a different iTunes account using something other than a developer’s promotional code, such as a Gift Card, Gift Certificate, or other payment options.
Two weeks ago, several reports indicated Apple had tweaked its App Store algorithm to better promote apps in the Top Free charts based on “ratings and active usage”, rather than download numbers, which could be easily altered by developers using techniques like pay-per-install networks (which Apple doesn’t accept anymore) and promo codes. It was a common practice, in fact, among many developers to give away promo codes (which are limited in the iTunes Connect developer portal and can’t be generated over and over) hoping that customers who got the app for free would leave a positive review or rating. Clearly Apple must have thought that this was another practice to alter the App Store’s ranking system, and introduced a new rule to prevent apps downloaded through a promo code from being reviewed.
I have tested this personally and, sure enough, an app I downloaded last week with a promo code can’t be reviewed or rated in iTunes. An app I downloaded with a promo code last year, however, can still be reviewed. Same applies for a Mac App Store app I redeemed two months ago. It’s unclear how this new system works (Apple hasn’t posted an update in iTunes Connect yet), but we speculate apps recently downloaded with a promo code can’t be reviewed — quite possibly going back until two weeks ago when the rumors about a new algorithm started.
According to Inside Mobile Apps, Apple may have recently tweaked the algorithm that determines ranking of iOS apps in the App Store embracing more factors than simple download numbers to present the most popular free and paid apps. Noticing a sudden change in how the Facebook iPhone app jumped to #1 after months of sitting between the #10 and #20 spots, the website contacted various mobile advertising networks inquiring about the possibility of a new algorithm put in place by Apple in the past week. While it’s not clear which new factors Apple is using to generate the App Store charts, Inside Mobile Apps speculates the Store’s backend may now be heavily based on ratings and active usage of an app, rather than download stats.
We’ve been noticing changes in the Top Free rankings for at least three days now,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, which serves 80,000 applications with its analytics product. “From our point of view, Apple is absolutely considering more than just downloads, which we believe is the right direction go to measure true popularity of an app.” Other pay-per-install networks tell us they’ve been detecting these changes too.
Apple also recently adjusted the App Store mobile experience by allowing users to browse the top 300 apps from a mobile device. Still, this rumor doesn’t address specific aspects of the story like how it would be possible for Apple to track usage, and what kind of ratings are being considered exactly. It’s well known that positive reviews in the App Store have always helped developers in gaining more exposure and better rankings, so it’s unclear how Apple could have tweaked its algorithm to influence the position of apps in the charts through ratings. Furthermore, besides leaving a rating and a review in the App Store, users can also mark others’ reviews as “helpful.” Is this factor being considered by Apple in its (allegedly) new ranking system? We don’t know.
If the rumor’s true, however, this would lead iOS developers to create better, more engaging apps that result in a better experience on a user’s end — who is likely to leave a positive review in the App Store and use an app more. If Apple’s really tweaking its algorithm to promote quality, rather than raw numbers, it’ll be interesting to see how this will play out for the thousands of iPhone and iPad developers out there. [via 9to5mac]
The clock’s ticking on the 10 billion app downloads countdown, and Apple has updated its “All-Time Top Apps” page to reflect the changes that have occurred in the App Store in the past 12 months. The iTunes pages that showcase “All-Time Top Paid iPhone Apps” and “All-Time Free iPhone Apps” are available here and here, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, games are among the top paid apps. And by games, we mean Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, Pocket God and Flight Control. Actual “apps” in the top paid list include SoundHound (the music scanning / discovery tool), I Am T-Pain from Smule, Air Sharing from Avatron and Awesome Note. The list is huge as it basically sorts any iPhone app ever released by popularity and sales in the App Store. It is nice, however, to see gems like 1Password, Convertbot and Hipstamatic in the first page.
As for free apps, the usual Facebook, Pandora, Google and Shazam are the most downloaded apps of all time. Paper Toss, Bump, Skype and AroundMe are in there, too, together with dozens of other games in the first page.
These charts give us an idea of the trends in the App Store, and the kinds of apps that people want to buy or download for free. Where by “apps” we mean games. [via iSpazio]
In case you missed it, iTunes Connect is back online. The web interface that allows developers to submit apps, updates and price changes went down on December 23 for the so-called “holiday shutdown” which didn’t freeze the App Store charts as many believed, but still made it impossible for developers to submit apps and users to find updates in iTunes. iTunes Connect went back online a few hours ago, and app updates are now showing up in iTunes and propagating through the App Store. (more…)