The iPhone's Greatest Asset is About to Get Even Better

Apple will update its App Store with the release of iOS 8 -- here's why it matters.

Jul 12, 2014 at 3:00PM

Iphone App Store
Apple's iPhone 5C. Source: Apple.

It's hard to believe, but when the iPhone launched in 2007 it didn't come with Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) now famous App Store. The company quickly realized the need for one centralized location for the distribution of apps and launched the store a year later.

Even after six years, the App Store is still one of the iPhone's greatest assets and in iOS 8 it's about to get even better.

Time for an upgrade
With 1.2 million apps, Apple's store is busting at the seams. Overall, that's been good for developers and users, but now it's getting hard to find the best apps.

To solve this, iOS 8 will add the following features to the App Store:

Family Sharing Apple

App bundling: Let's say a developer makes several organizational apps, like calendar and to-do list applications. That developer can now bundle those apps together so users can easily see all of them in the same category. Aside from increasing exposure, this allows discounts for bundled prices which could translate into more sales for app creators.

Video preview: Apple doesn't get the credit for this one, Android has had video previews of apps for a while. Instead of the standard screenshot, users get a full-screen video of the app at work.

Family sharing: Up to six people can share App Store purchases with each other, as long as they all use the same credit card. This feature is actually extended into iTunes and iBooks purchases as well. Parents will be able to approve children's purchases via a notification on their device.

Trending apps: Instead of relying on old ways of categorizing top apps, Apple is trying to make it easier -- and more legitimate in some cases -- for developers to get their apps in front of users.

TestFlight: Exactly how it sounds, developers can test out versions of their apps in the developer center and also open them up to public beta testing.

So this all sounds pretty cool, but why does it matter?

The real reason Apple updates the App Store 
Apple has said that since it's App Store launched six years ago there have been 75 billion app downloads. Last year, iPhone and iPad users spent $10 billion in app purchases in the App Store. Of course Apple only takes 30% of that and the rest goes to the developers.

According to Forrester Research, app sales are expected to reach $100 billion by 2020, industry wide.

But the significance of the App Store isn't necessarily from app sales.

Apple receives more than half of its revenue from iPhone sales, so keeping consumers engaged with the device is extremely important to the company's bottom line. Apple does this well through branding and creating high-end devices with great specifications, but part of the iPhone's draw is also what the phone can do. That's why Apple continually tweaks the App Store, and why the updates for iOS 8 are so important.

Will the app store be used for wearables soon?
Apple is expected to launch a wearable device this coming fall, leaving the possibility wide open that its current App Store will soon host new applications tailor-made for the device. But while Apple is readying its wearable device, some investors are getting in on the tech trend now by investing in the technology inside wearables. One company is leading the pack right now, and you can found out which one it is in The Motley Fool's free report -- just click here now

 

Chris Neiger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers