The iOS 8 Impact: Spotlight Search & Vertical Scrolling

Spotlight Search and Vertical Scrolling App Store Features.

At the 2014 WWDC in San Francisco, Apple unveiled iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (also known as Yosemite), as well as a new app coding language called Swift. With new-found changes to the App Store user experience, including the introduction of App Preview Videos (which we covered in our last blog post), we’re exploring various elements that will impact App Store Optimization and your marketing efforts.

This week we’re addressing the potential impact of two new App Store features:

1.Spotlight Search

2. Vertical Scrolling

Spotlight Search & Vertical Scrolling

To start off, the newly redesigned Spotlight Search in iOS 8 displays more content than ever before and it doesn’t have to be local. For example, iOS 8 Spotlight Search will show you suggested apps instead of just already-installed apps, which was the case with iOS7. Much like Siri, the new Spotlight Search will also pull in results from Wikipedia, the news, or recommend websites. Take a look at this video demo below from Apple Insider for the full picture.

When the App Store updates for iOS 8, Apple will be launching Vertical Scrolling. Users will be able to quickly scroll down through their search results (vs. side to side). They will also see 3 apps in the first view of results. This is a boom for apps in the 2nd and 3rd positions for search results, as iOS 7 only shows the #1 app on the search results page. Users then have to swipe to see more apps, which limits exposure for lower-ranked results.

How Can You Benefit From These Changes?

App store optimization becomes more crucial than ever with the new changes to Spotlight Search and Vertical Scrolling.

TITLE: You app title has more importance than ever thanks to iOS 8’s changes to Spotlight Search. The new Spotlight Search will display apps from the App Store based on the keywords mentioned in the title, making your app’s title, already one of the most important factors in improving your search ranking, even more crucial to discoverability. (For more on optimizing your app title, download our free eBook.)

ICON: Your app icon is the first visual impression of your app to users, and impacts the click-through rate for people to find out more. Since users will see more app results in iOS 8’s vertical scrolling, and they’ll see your app icon during a Spotlight Search, it’s even more imperative that your icon stands out.

SCREENSHOTS: The “hero” screenshot – the first one – also gains more importance with the vertical scrolling update in iOS 8. As app store optimization vendor Sensor Tower points out in a recent article, when people are seeing more results and scrolling faster in the app store, it’s even more essential to have eye-catching screenshots that create “immediate impact” and easy understanding.

When iOS 8 launches this fall, will you be ready? Sourcebits can help.

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