App Store banner (Safari 001)App Store banner (Messages 001)

Apple has cunningly devised a novel though controversial way of promoting its own iOS 7 stock apps, features and services right in the App Store search. The application store has seen a whopping 60 billion cumulative downloads thus far and with over a million apps carried it’s serving a lot of customers on a daily basis.

If you now go to the App Store and run a search for popular generic terms such as ‘browser,’ ‘movies’ and ‘SMS’, the first entry popping up in your search results should be a banner advertising a related stock iOS 7 apps or feature like Safari, iTunes Store, Messages and more…

This was first reported in a tweet by Lukas Burgstaller and expanded on by MacStories.

In addition to searching for ‘browser,’ ‘movies’ and ‘SMS,’ a few other corresponding queries include ‘music,’ ‘Siri,’ ‘cloud,’ ‘Internet,’ ‘web,’ ‘messages,’ and ‘text’. All of these generic terms result in corresponding banners showing up in your App Store search results, seemingly promoting an iOS 7 feature or built-in app.

This could be another way of persuading non-iOS 7 device owners to upgrade to iOS 7 or a newer hardware and I’m guessing developers won’t approve of the practice as it encourages users to download Apple’s apps instead of third-party offerings.

I’m not sure about Apple’s thinking here as the strategy is flawed.

I can confirm Apple’s ads appear only on iOS 7 devices, not on iOS 6 or prior hardware. Why promote iOS 7 features to people who already run iOS 7, and at the expense of third-party apps, too? All iOS 7 devices show these things, from iPhones and iPod touches to iPads. You can see below the banners for Safari and iTunes Store showing up in iOS 7 App Store on my iPad 3.

App Store banner (Safari 001, iPad)App Store banner (iTunes Store 001, iPad)

In case you’re wondering, queries ran in desktop iTunes won’t infest your search results with Apple’s banners. I wasn’t able to determine other App Store hooks for stock software such as, Reminders, Clock, Maps, Photos, Weather and Camera.

A few more examples follow.

App Store banner (iCloud 001)App Store banner (iCloud 002)
Searching for ‘cloud’ brings up the iCloud banner linked to Apple’s website.

App Store banner (iTunes Store 001)App Store banner (iTunes Store 002)
Searching for ‘movies’ produces an iTunes Store banner leading to the stock app .

App Store banner (Siri 001)App Store banner (Siri 002)
Doing a search for ‘voice’ puts up the Siri banner linked to Apple’s Siri web page.

Note that you can still swipe through the rest of your search results, it’s just Apple is now injecting its banners as the very first entry in your search results – again, only certain queries trigger the banners.

Apple’s boss said on October 22 that a whopping 64 percent of iOS devices are now running iOS 7 – that’s nearly two out of each three iPhones, iPads and iPod touches in active use.

If you’ve spotted other triggers, please share them down in the comments.

  • appleyay

    seems smart

    • Disagree. What’s smart about advertising iOS 7 apps to people who have already upgraded to iOS 7 and enrage your developers in the process

      • TesticularFortitude

        Smart move indeed. Unrelated but whenever I type iPad on amazon, the kindle fire pops up first.

        – love not angry developer

      • therealjjohnson

        Because its their system. They can promote the use of an stock app in their app store. Some tasks dont need a 3rd party app and if placing that in the search tool promotes that it is fine. Apple doesnt answer to the developers. Its a partnership that Apple is in control of. Their phone, their app, their store…I dont see the big deal.

      • TesticularFortitude

        Exactly. No matter what you search for, there’s always gonna be an app promoted at the expense of another app.

        Were these same developers outraged when Apple promoted their mapping solution in the place of its own??


      • Antzboogie

        Are we dealing with a monopoly here? If they are worried why people didn’t upgrade to ios 7 its because some people don’t want to lose their jailbreak or just don’t like ios7! I want control over my iPhone and when I type in search bar please don’t pressure me to update make it open source and give us option to roll back to previous version then we can try it out then go back if we don’t like it.

      • leart

        I am on ios 6 and i dont like ios 7 white interface, but I tried ios 7 in betas, and i belive that apple let intentlythe possibility to install betas to everyone just to give a try

      • therealjjohnson

        Monopoly? That word doesn’t belong in this conversation because they don’t have one. I also don’t see how promoting stock apps is going to somehow make someone want to go to iOS7. I don’t see the correlation. I understand the points you made but i don’t think they have to do with this story.

      • Antzboogie

        Apple is not a dictatorship their store their app fine but dont forget this a democracy we keep them running so dont sound like we just have to deal with what they give us we can demand changes and anything we want! Your claiming my comments are not making sense your robotic thinking is useless. Im replying to your specific comment what dont you understand lol.

      • therealjjohnson

        I dont understand why the term monopoly came up. it doesnt fit. clearly apple isnt the only game in town. you have a choice.

        Secondly, your describing forms of government. a business doesnt work that way lol. Customers are lining up and voting and telling the company how to advertise. Maybe in the boardroom but besides that your analogy doesnt work.

        Its just a advert about using an app thats already on your phone. Its not that serious. I think yall taking it too far. peace.

      • mav3rick

        “Their phone, their app, their store…”
        Your money, your brain… theirs, too.

      • Glorin

        As a simple user.. I find this helpfull. Stop underating everything, this is why you don’t work for a top company.genius

      • Antzboogie

        I agree with you Christian I don’t need anymore advertisements about iOS 7 on my iPhone. What if I don’t like iOS 7 or want to keep my jailbreak and stay with iOS 6.Plus other app developers need to shine as well. Ignore the ignorant people on here!

      • raulismusic

        wow you’re pathetic just go to a Google blog already

  • chumawumba

    Scumbag apple

  • Isandro

    i think that means that they upgrade their stock app-s thu app store

  • Raashid

    I don’t see it in the AppStore on my 4s running iOS 6+Cydia

  • jack

    I really dont mind that

  • DarekSlaby

    Maybe this is just the beginning and soon we will be allowed to change default apps to 3rd party ones. Remember, Apple likes to set the stage before deploying anything fully

  • apple is money sucker