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Apple announces big App Store changes ahead of WWDC 2016

Apple has announced advertisements will begin appearing in App Store search results, while it is also giving developers a better cut of subscription fees.

Clearing the way ahead of WWDC, which starts with Monday’s keynote, the firm says it is introducing ads for the first time in a way that it hopes won’t offend customers too much.

We’ve thought about how to carefully do it in a way that, first and foremost, customers will be happy with,” SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller told The Verge in an interview.

Much like Google Search, for example, if searching for a category like photo filters, you’ll see an ad for an app shaded in a different colour, while organic search seasons will appear below.

Given Schiller says two-thirds of all App Store downloads are generated through Search, the results could be lucrative for companies wishing to subsidise a rise to the top of the page.

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Elsewhere the company is planning to give developers a greater slice of the pie when it comes to in-app subscriptions.

Right now, Apple takes 30 per cent of any subscription price paid by App Store users and that will remain in place for the first year.

If the app or publication retains a subscription for more than 12 months, the share will become 85/15 in favour of the developer or publisher.

In theory, it’ll give publishers more wiggle room to convince subscribers to stay on beyond the first year.

That’ll be great news for companies who’ve long resisted handing over almost a third of their revenue in exchange for a presence within Apple’s storefront.

In another boost for developers, Apple says 50 per cent of app submissions are now reviewed within 24 hours and 90 per cent within 48 hours.

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