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Apple admits to ranking Files app ahead of Dropbox competitor

In 2019, it faced an extensive investigation by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times That clearly and consistently shows Apple’s App Store ranking its own apps over its competitors. Apple claims it hasn’t done anything wrong – its secret algorithm, with 42 different variables, works as intended. senior management told TimesIt confirmed that Apple would not manually edit search results.

Why did I bring this up? An interesting email chain has appeared during the Epic v. Apple The trial, which Apple seems to have done the opposite – appears to have admitted to manually raising its own file app rankings 1

1 full months ahead of the competition.

Debankur Naskar, Apple’s head of app discovery, said: “We’re removing manual boosts and search results should be more relevant now,” said Debankur Naskar, Apple’s app search leader, after the company faced Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. In regards to Apple’s Files app showing up first when searching for Dropbox, “Dropbox is not visible on the homepage. [of search results]Sweeney writes, you can read the entire email chain in a few ways below.

As you can see, Naskar suggests that Files get intend Increased for exact search results during the “latest WWDC”. That would have been WWDC 2017, almost a year earlier when the Files app was first released.

The email chain pretty much reflects Apple’s outlook. Apple’s Matt Fischer (VP of the App Store) clearly opposed the idea at first.”[W]HO Green light put Files app above Dropbox in general search results? I don’t know how we do that. And I think it shouldn’t,” he said, but he ended the conversation. “In the future, I would like any similar request. Come to me to review/approve”, indicating that he hasn’t completely ruled out the replacement himself.

but apple said The Verge What we think we’re seeing in these emails isn’t quite right. While Apple doesn’t challenge the idea that Files are unfairly rated above Dropbox, the company says the reality is a simple mistake: the Files app has. Dropbox integration, so Apple put “Dropbox” in app metadata. and is automatically rated Higher for “Dropbox” searches.

I’m a little skeptical of that explanation. This was partly because it didn’t fit what Naskar suggested in the email, and partly because Apple. to Tell me it fixed the error immediately (although apparently it persisted for almost 11 months almost immediately) and partly because the company repeatedly ignored my questions. that this has happened to other apps before?

Most of what Apple told me was that it wasn’t. by myself Raise files over competitors and “we don’t compare our apps to developers or competitors” as a general rule.

But frankly, Apple . It doesn’t matter. by myself Boost your own apps? What matters is the result: For 11 months, Apple’s new Files app has owned a frank search for competitor Dropbox, the company Steve Jobs vowed to kill and took on the CEO of a prominent Apple partner. Email the company before Apple does anything about it. and depend on The Wall Street JournalBy review, Apple may not be doing much: The Files app remained No. 1 in the App Store for cloud storage in June 2018, a month after this email chain was revised, according to Info. accompanying graphics WSJ story

Also, the difference between “manual” additions and other types of additions can be purely academic. Algorithms are written by people. If Apple can create a 42-factor algorithm that gives its own apps satisfactory results, So why replace that algorithm and risk email litigation years from now?

It can modify that algorithm as needed – which is what it does to fix it. WSJ and nowconsideration two years ago Only one engineer changed the algorithm in July 2019 accordingly. TimesAnd Apple’s own apps immediately dropped out of the App Store, but executives said the last formula wasn’t wrong. Apple just wanted to make it look less like its own apps that were treated with special care, so it “improved” its algorithm. Arithmetic to achieve the desired new results.

Apple provides this statement:

We made the App Store a safe and trusted place for our customers to find and download apps. And it’s a great business opportunity for any developer. App Store search has one goal — to get what customers are looking for. We do it in a fair manner for all developers. And we don’t give our app an advantage over any developer or competitor. And that’s why we work hard to make it simple, fair and a great opportunity for them to develop apps for our customers around the world.

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