Apple Clarifies Why Files App Ranked Higher in App Store Search Results

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 11 Jun 2021

iPhone App Store

According to a new report from The Verge, Apple has made a statement on why its own apps ranked higher in search results than the third-party apps. For example, Apple’s Files app ranked higher than Dropbox for 11 months in 2018 when a user searched for “Dropbox” on App Store.

Instead of just showing the first search result as Dropbox app, App Store consistently threw the Files as the number one result. Apple clarified the ‘mistake’ in an internal email, which came up due to Epic Games vs Apple trial, even though the company claims it uses a 42 different variables algorithm to sort search results.

Tim Sweeney of Epic Games accused Apple saying, “Dropbox wasn’t even visible on the first page [of search results].” To this, an Apple App Store executive clarified that “We are removing the manual boost and the search results should be more relevant now.”

apple files app internal email

Apple’s VP of App Store, Matt Fischer, said “[W]ho green-lit putting the Files app above Dropbox in organic search results? I didn’t know we did that, and I don’t think we should.” However, he doesn’t throw away the idea of removing manual search boost saying, “In the future, I want any similar requests to come to me for review/approval.”

In a statement to The Verge, Apple said that the Files app had a Dropbox integration, so the company put “Dropbox” into the app’s metadata. It was due to this why it automatically ranked higher for “Dropbox” searches as a result. Apple told the publication that they immediately fixed the issue, however, it continued to exist 11 months after Tim Sweeney’s email.

New App Store issues continue to surface throughout 2021. Apple has had some serious allegations against them when it comes to the App Store, but the company seems to be falling deaf to customer complaints by blatantly repeating its “App Store is a safe and trusted place for customers” mantra.

[Via The Verge]