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App Store browsing drives 15% of downloads since iOS 11’s debut

New Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data reveals that the means by which iOS users discover games and apps vary drastically, and that browsing the App Store has become more important to app discovery following the introduction of iOS 11 in fall 2017.

The research group discovered that, while 65% of overall App Store downloads for our sample came from search, this rate differed substantially between games and non-game apps. Only 56% of game downloads during our the period were from a search on the App Store, compared to 69% for non-game apps. This difference was offset by higher proportions of game downloads from Browse and App Referrals.

Sensor Tower says that the fact that Browse makes up a significant portion of game downloads is not surprising, as their analysis last month showed games featured on the App Store can receive huge download boosts. Game developers also appear to be capitalizing on opportunities to advertise their own games within their titles or advertise in apps from other publishers, as 17% of game downloads came via referrals from other apps.

Apple launched its new Apple App Store last September with the goal of engaging users through editorial content and improving the discovery of apps. While the release included an enhanced search, much of the focus of the new design was on improving the experience while browsing the App Store.

Sensor Tower’s study shows that Browse downloads have increased since the new App Store’s launch. Approximately 10% of downloads came from Browse during the four months prior to the iOS 11 Apple App Store release. Following the the launch, the proportion of downloads from Browse rose to more than 15%t. Even though the boost in Browse downloads appears to have trailed off some after the initial excitement surrounding the new App Store, Browse downloads have remained above the average pre-iOS 11 level into early 2018.

While Sensor Tower’s analysis shows that the bulk of App Store downloads still come from search, installs from the other sources are still significant, notes the research group. Sensor Tower says that it’s also clear that, following the release of iOS 11, improving visibility on the App Store is more important than ever.

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.