You can now pre-order apps in the App Store

You can now pre-order apps in the App Store

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Coronavirus could have a surprisingly positive impact on App Store revenue
Coronavirus could have a surprisingly positive impact on App Store revenue
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is now allowing all App Store developers to accept pre-orders for upcoming releases on iOS, macOS, and tvOS.

Customers will be able to view product pages and place their order ahead of an app’s official release date. They will then receive a notification once it is available and the app will be downloaded automatically to their device.

Nintendo was the first to offer pre-orders on iOS. Fans could register their interest in Super Mario Run ahead of its official release in 2016. Apple didn’t open the feature up to other developers, however. Now that has changed.

App Store pre-orders are official

“Now you can make your new apps available for pre-order on all Apple platforms,” reads an announcement for developers in iTunes Connect. “Customers can see your product page and order your app before it’s released for download.”

“Once your app is released, customers will be notified and your app will automatically download to their device. For paid apps, customers will be charged before download.”

The new pre-order option will be available to developers for apps they haven’t already published to the App Store. After choosing this, they can specify a release date. It must be at least two, but no more than 90, days in the future.

Once the app has been approved by Apple, developers can confirm its release date and select the “Release as Pre-Order” option.

App Store gets a new ‘Pre-Orders’ page

Developers can change release date, pricing, and submit updates during the pre-order period. Customers who have already placed an order will be charged the lowest price. Free titles will download automatically when available, but there’s a confirmation step for paid titles.

Alongside this change, Apple has added a new “Pre-Orders” page under the Games section in the App Store. Customers can use it to keep track of upcoming releases. There are five titles there already, including Bridge Constructor Portal and INSIDE.