Mobile Apps, News

Apple now ranking the top Apple TV apps; games fetch the most prominence

Apple TV Store data is certainly talk of the town, mainly among the developers, who are trying every way possible to get the most updates out. It’s not news anymore that at the time of the TV App Store’s launch, Apple had made hundreds of applications live. However, at that moment it didn’t seem to be enough to build out dedicated category pages or rankings. It is understood that the features will be out there soon enough.

Most people are keen on knowing which apps have attained early success on the TV App Store, however, there is no access to this data. So far, Apple has stayed away from offering rankings and the trusted third-party App Store analytics firms like Apple Annie have no insight into the Apple TV App Store, either.

Going by the list of Top tvOS apps released by Slide to Pay, there were around 1,025 apps in total that were live on the Apple TV App Store. The detailed breakdown by category states that there were 383 games; 192 “entertainment” apps; 80 education apps; 52 lifestyle apps; 49 music apps; 41 news apps; 39 health and fitness apps; 34 photo apps; 28 utilities; 26 sports apps; 14 weather apps. Other categories, like business, travel, productivity, navigation, finance, medical and catalogs, for example, were available in the single digits.

Games like Beat Sports, Galaxy on Fire, Lumino City, Alto’s Adventure, Does not Commute, Battle Supremacy: Evolution, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved, Shoot the Zombirds, and Oceanhorn came among the Top Ten Paid apps. Meanwhile, in the To Free Apps section, video apps were more prevalent, comprising of HBO NOW, Nat Geo TV, FOX NOW, Showtime, History, CNNgo, CBS and others.

Many of popular TV channels’ apps fail to secure rankings in the top 10, like Watch ABC, PBS, or NBC. This clearly tells that Apple TV users are more fascinated with over-the-top video selections, or are fine with using an antenna to gain access to network TV.

Complains regarding App Discovery

Reports say that there are developers facing app discovery issues present on the new Apple TV Store. There were developers who were all gung-on about this launch and had their apps ready in time to be available for download at launch. However, due to the absence of categories and other issues related to search, make it difficult for new users to find their apps, alas.

Earlier Apple had promised a TV App Store that represented the iOS App Store’s structure – a mockup of the TV App Store on Apple’s own website, like it shows a store having Top Charts as well as Category pages.

However, that’s not there for the TV App Store developers. As per the developer Jonas Boserup, “Apple’s lack of Top Charts in the App Store for the new Apple TV just goes to show the Apple TV software, tvOS in its current state is very unpolished. There is no way for developers to get their apps discovered without getting featured on the front page – which is not likely to happen.”

At the time of launch, numerous of featured collections, such as What to Watch, What to Play, Best New Apps, Gorgeous Games, Sports, Start Your Engines (car-themed games), and others were present, however many great apps are still hidden from view, regardless of these introductory collections.

It is owing to the fact that users can find an app only by searching for it by name using an on-screen keyboard, as Siri’s voice search is not yet working with the App Store. Also developers are unable to share or link to their apps.

Meanwhile, it’s quite clear why Apple delayed the launch of categories and charts, as there were just few apps live at the time of the TV App Store’s debut. Now some categories may only have had one or two apps in them in total. This certainly is not going to be a pleasant user experience. Apple must also be looking forward to app categories that emerge, after all, it’s a new platform that could invite different types of applications, in comparison to what’s seen on iPhone, iPad and even Apple Watch.

Despite the fact that many developers are not excited with the Apple TV App Store at the moment, others feel that the absence of categories and charts is certainly not a legitimate problem for now.

“I’m sure Apple will display these categories in the App Store as soon as they feel like they have enough apps to justify them,” says Steven Troughton-Smith. “Right now, there are categories with a half-dozen apps, so I think they chose the lesser of two evils for launch. There are some great launch apps that have virtually no visibility as a result, and I’m sure that hurts the developers. I don’t expect this will continue to be a concern in a few weeks time,” he adds.