App Store

Apple today added the ability for app developers to make new apps available for preorder on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and Apple TV. We'll be able to see an app's summary in the App Store, watch trailers, check out screenshots, and sign up to be notified when the app is officially available.

If an app is free, it will automatically download to your device. If it's paid, you'll be asked to confirm your purchase before downloading.

Apple's guideline notes that apps available for preorder must be available no less than two days in the future, and must be ready within 90 days in the future. Once Apple approves an app or game, the pre-order page will be ready to publish.

One cool aspect of the new preorder feature is that people will automatically pay the lowest price when they sign up in advance. If a developer lists an app during preorder for $5.99 but increases the price to $7.99 at launch, people that preordered will pay $5.99. If a developer lists an app for $1.99 during preorder but lowers the price to $0.99 at launch, people that preordered will pay $0.99.

In addition to allowing developers to preorder apps and games, Apple announced that introductory pricing is now available for auto-renewable subscriptions. For apps that offer a subscription pricing plan, developers can provide a way for us to get a discounted scale as an introductory offer. They can either offer a discount for a limited monthly basis (like $4.99 for the first three months), or as a one-time discount (like normally $9.99, but $5.99 for a limited time). When people sign up for a subscription, they will agree to the introductory price payment, plus the standard subscription once the introductory rate runs out.

This is great news for both developers and users. Developers have more options to make their apps available to us and we have more opportunities to get content for a discount price.