Almost all of the fatal shortcomings of the App Store can be fixed and live within hours. It really is as crazy as it sounds: changing only few settings in the App Store’s logic has been responsible for the collapse of the App Store economy for most developers.
Apple would only have to change a few crucial parameters to give the App Store the urgently needed shot of adrenaline – no iTunes update necessary.
1 Stop favoring free apps. Give higher priced apps (e.g. a $49.90 car navigation app) an equal chance to top search results. Include IAPs.
» Give apps that make the most money visibility again by fixing the sheer numbers of downloads. (Come on guys, of course a free app always will have more downloads than one that costs $5, even if it is of much lower quality).
2 Give newly launched apps an equal chance to move up in the search results and to stay there if they prove to be great products.
» Make them (briefly) visible and give them the chance they deserve! While editorial content is great, users are also curious and like to discover new products. This also needs to be reflected in the search results (e.g. a brand new scientific calculator app should top the search results for a few days, regardless of its price).
3 Treat great apps and their developers equally. Reconsider whether search results always have to favor the same titles. The number of downloads is not necessarily a fair factor, as it can be easily influenced to the disadvantage of independent developers.
Shuffle quality results, as users want to discover new things!!! Also, support major updates of existing titles while doing so. Add an option to leave a message to the review team if there is a major update. Add the possibility to document progress by proving text and screenshots showing why this update is worth getting discovered.
4 Display ratings of previous versions if not enough ratings of the current version have been generated. Consider displaying all star ratings achieved internationally (not written reviews). This would give small developers in particular the chance to be found and downloaded in smaller markets (e.g. Sweden, Israel). It would also benefit App Store customers, as it would make it easier to find great apps in smaller markets.
5 Alongside treating paid apps equally, consider benefiting apps that support App Store revenue and those that fall in line with Apple’s philosophy. Make creating native iOS Apps more attractive. Discuss whether apps using the manipulative practices of the gambling industry via virtual currencies are benefiting the App Store experience.
Many of the solutions suggested on this page can be put into effect within hours by adjusting serious bugs in the App Store search algorithm. Others would require a few lines of code in the next iTunes update.