App Store is a digital distribution platform, developed and maintained by Apple Inc., for mobile apps on iOS. The store allows users to browse and download applications that are developed with Apple’s iOS SDK. The apps can be downloaded to iOS devices; the iPhone smartphone, the iPod Touch handheld computer, the iPad tablet computer, and to the Apple Watch and 4th generation Apple TV as extensions of iPhone apps.
In 2016, Apple rolled out major changes to App Store, including ads in search results and a new app subscription model. The subscription model saw the firmly established 70/30 revenue split between developers (who have traditionally received 70% of money earned from purchases) and Apple (which has traditionally earned 30%) change into a new 85/15 revenue split between developers and Apple if a user stays subscribed to the developer’s app for a year.
On September 1, 2016, Apple announced that starting September 7, it would be removing old apps that do not function as intended or that don’t follow current review guidelines. Developers will be warned and given 30 days to update their apps, but apps that crash on startup will be removed immediately. Additionally, app names registered by developers cannot exceed 50 characters, in an attempt to stop developers from inserting long descriptions or irrelevant terms in app names to improve the app’s ranking in App Store search results. App intelligence firm Sensor Tower revealed in November 2016 that Apple, as promised from its September announcement of removing old apps, had removed 47,300 apps from App Store in October 2016, a 238 percent increase of its prior number of average monthly app removals.