The company made the announcement just days ahead of its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), where it would usually be expected to announce such changes.
The major changes include introduction of paid search ads for apps, and a new subscription model.
Complete overhaul of Apple App Store
Search ads for apps in app store
Apple is going to start showing search ads for apps in its iOS App Store search results for the first time, allowing developers advertise their wares.
That means when users search for an app by name or keyword, developers can bid on an advertising slot at the top of the search results lists.
Apple stressed that there will only be one ad per search.
Search ads through auction system
Apple search ads will be handled through an auction system, with no minimums and no exclusives in order to make it accessible to smaller developers as well. Ads will launch into beta first in the U.S. on 13 June, before rolling out more broadly.
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Subscription-based business model for developers
Subscription-based models let developers offer apps through subscriptions. This, so far limited to specific app categories, will now be an option for any sort of app.
Currently, Apple uses 70/30 split. That is, Apple gets 30% of the revenue, when an app is sold.
As per the change, if the app retains a subscriber for over a year, the revenue split will be 85/15.
Current subscriptions are eligible too
All the existing subscriptions are also eligible for the new 85/15 split model. Therefore, if developers have subscribers they have already retained for over a year, the 85/15 split starts immediately, effective June 13.
Faster App review process
Apple sped up its App Store Review process.
This is the period when Apple reviews apps before they are allowed to go live, making sure they adhere to guidelines, aren't breaking any laws, and are safe for consumers.
The process, which used to take five days, now has a sustained rate of reviewing 50% of apps in 24 hours and 90% in 48 hours.
App discovery issue to be addressed
App Store has been plagued by discovery issues for years, according to many developers, who complain that it's hard for users to find their apps.
To fix this, Apple will change its "Featured" section so that it won't recommend any of the apps that have already been installed, only new apps.
Apple will also roll out a 3D Touch-enabled means of sharing apps.