A few months ago Apple was put under pressure by users and developers after a publication of New York Times suggest that the company would be taking advantage of App Store search algorithm to benefit your own search apps.
At the time, Ma denied that it was prioritizing its creations, but now a new report from the American newspaper points out some changes in the App Store algorithm, which were confirmed by company executives. Phil Schiller and Eddy cue somehow the shell served, then.
Senior VPs said Apple had enhanced a feature that "sometimes bundled apps by manufacturers" so that their software did not "appear to be treated preferentially." O New York Times found, after executive confirmation, that many Apple-authored apps have missing (or even disappeared) results from App Store searches.
While practically admitting that Apple was in fact highlighting their own apps, Schiller and Cue denied any wrongdoing and described the change as an improvement, not a fix:
We make mistakes all the time and readily admit when they happen. This was not a mistake.
Even after the change, Sensor Tower found that some Apple apps still rank first in App Store searches, even when Apple's options are less relevant or less popular than its competitors.
On August 21, Apple apps ranked first in 735 of the approximately 60,000 search terms crawled. For most of June and July, for example, Apple apps were the top results for the following search terms: books, music, news, magazines, podcasts, videos, TV, movies, sports, cards, gifts, money, credit , debt, fitness, people, friends, weather, notes, documents, files, cloud, storage, message, home, store, mail, maps, traffic, stocks and weather.
An Apple spokesman said the company could not verify the data because it does not keep track of App Store search results. He also said that Apple's algorithm examines 42 variants, including the relevance of an application to a given search, its ratings, and its popularity based on downloads and views.
As we said, Apple has been singled out for how it runs the App Store, from Spotify's anticompetitive complaint in Europe to a collective accusing Ma of operating a monopoly on its American app store. In May, the company published a page defending such accusations and explaining the functioning of the App Store, but apparently that was not enough and the company needed to act.