Mac/iOS: Bucking its minimalist trend of killing wishlists and killing desktop downloads, the iOS App Store added a feature: Developers can open up their apps for pre-orders, up to 90 days in advance. (The feature is also available on the Mac App Store.)
Photo by Sunny611
Pre-orders are only available after the App Store has approved an app, and customers won't be charged until they download the app. So this probably won't lead to vaporware or scammy pre-sales. It could be another way for bigger app makers to dominate search ads, using three-month pre-order campaigns that smaller competitors can't afford. Or it could be a way for small creators to build up their word-of-mouth ahead of time, and land on the Top Charts on day one.
If you've been using your computer to manage the apps for your iOS device, that time has come to an end. The latest update to Apple's iTunes removes its access to the iOS App Store, as well as the ability to manage iOS apps, with the company expecting you to handle all that app-related business on your iOS device itself. So long, app syncing.
Pre-orders are useful for any app that gets promoted in the App Store's "Today" tab, such as Reigns: Her Majesty, a witty and artsy mobile game about being a queen. Apple ran glowing articles about the game days before it launched, and I'm sure its creators wish Apple had included pre-order links.
Of course, we can't link to those articles here, because Apple only lets you read them inside the App Store, a move that's hostile to consumers and app makers. Classic Apple.
Apple turns on app preorders in App Store [Ars Technica]