There’s always plenty of excitement when it’s time to pre-order a new iPhone, and now Apple wants to bring a similar level of pre-release anticipation to the App Store. It has introduced a pre-order system for forthcoming apps, where any upcoming release can be reserved ahead of its launch day in the store. When the big day arrives, you’ll be sent a notification saying the app is ready for download.
While this is the first time Apple has made pre-orders available as an option to all app publishers, it’s not the first time an app has been teased this way ahead of launch. Last year, Nintendo ran a pre-order campaign for Super Mario Run before its eventual 2017 release. Now, pre-orders can be added to any app for publication in the App Store, including those made for MacOS and Apple TV.
How will it work? You’ll find a basic version of the app’s main page inside the App Store, complete with details on the app itself, a release date, and how much the app will cost. Although you’ll commit to buy the app at this point, you won’t actually pay until the day of release. If you have automatic downloads activated on your phone, the app will arrive during the first 24-hours of release without you doing anything. A message will also be sent to say it has been released, if you can’t wait for the auto download.
If the price changes during the pre-order period — which can run anywhere from two to 90 days — you eventually pay whatever price was lowest. If you decide at any time you don’t want the app anymore, there is a cancelation option. To find pre-orders your device will need the latest iOS 11.2 version of the operating system, tvOS 11.2, or MacOS 10.13.2 or later.
Apple is a little late to the app pre-order party. Google has been providing a pre-registration option since 2015, when it launched the feature to push the official movie tie-in game Terminator Genisys: Revolution. It operates the same no obligation style, where orders are paid upon release, and can be canceled beforehand.