Apple has implemented a new feature in the App Store that lets users pre-order upcoming games and apps. The support document from Apple says the ability to pre-order apps is available on all Apple platforms.
By putting up their app for pre-order, developers would be able to make the app listing page live before its official release. Users would be able to pre-order the app from this listing and when the app is released, it would be automatically downloaded on their device. Users would also be able to pre-order paid apps for which they would be automatically charged before its downloaded.
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.
To be able to put an app up for pre-order, developers must set a release date for it anywhere between 2-90 days in the future and also submit it for review beforehand.
The whole process as mentioned in iTunes Connect is as follows:
To make your new app available for pre-order:
- From the homepage, click My Apps, select the app, and select Pricing and Availability in the left column. You’ll see the Pre-Orders section if your app has never been published on the App Store.
- Select Make available for pre-order, choose a date to release your app for download, then click Save in the upper-right corner. The release date must be at least two days in the future, but no more than 90 days in the future.
- Submit your app for review.
- Once your app is approved and you’re ready to make it available for pre-order, return to Pricing and Availability, confirm the date your app will be released for download, and click Release as Pre-Order in the upper-right corner.
As of now, five apps in the App Store are making use of this pre-order feature. This includes Gorogoa ($4.99), Bridge Constructor Portal (Free) and Inside (Free). The company has also added a ‘Pre-orders’ section to the Games part of the App Store.
Apple has not made any formal announcement about this new feature of the App Store but the feature seems to have been released with iOS 11.2.