Apple’s WWDC 2018 wrapped up a few weeks ago, and software updates were everywhere! The launch of the new macOS Mojave (OS X 10.14) and iOS 12 filled the headlines, but developers should also be paying attention to some big changes to the Mac App Store. Of course, we have a favorite new feature: App Preview videos for Mac apps!
Redesigned Product Pages with Video Previews
Product pages get a full overhaul in macOS Mojave, and they look a lot like the revamped mobile app pages introduced in iOS 11. Now, you’ll be able to upload videos along with your screenshots, giving app shoppers a true feel for what it is like to use your app. Just like the iOS App Store, you’ll be able to upload up to three demo videos to your app’s page to allow potential users to see your app in action.
Of course, Apple has guidelines and restrictions for Mac App Previews, but they’ll be pretty familiar to anyone who has developed for iOS or tvOS in the past:
- App Previews must be between 15 and 30 seconds long
- Videos must be primarily app footage, and can’t include live actors or much animation
- App Previews can only be added or updated when your app status is editable (basically, when you’re releasing the app or an update to the code of the app itself).
- Uploads must meet certain specifications: they must be under 500MB, full HD resolution (1920×1080), and have a framerate of 30fps or lower. See the full list here.
Those are Apple’s rules, but we have some recommendations as well:
- Just like in iOS 11 (and iOS 12), App Preview videos will auto-play in macOS Mojave, so your app’s listing will really stand out in the search results if you’ve uploaded a video.
- If they mostly watch the auto-playing App Preview, many viewers won’t hear the sound in your video. This means that it has to stand on its own without narration or music, so you’ll probably want to add some text to highlight your app’s key features and benefits.
- Pacing is key, so don’t try to fit all of the nuances of your app into 30 seconds. If your video feels like it is rushing to fit everything in, you could actually stress out your potential users. Focus on just a few key features and show them at a relaxed, friendly pace.
Coming This Fall
The new macOS Mojave and its updated App Store will be available soon – the last three major macOS updates have all come in late September, so plan for a launch at about that time.
If your Mac app has an App Preview on launch day, you’ll stand out from the crowd immediately. Need help with that? Get in touch with us. We’ve been making videos of mobile and desktop apps since iOS 2, so we know what it takes to make your app shine.