Apple’s recent move to make their Files app the top search result for Dropbox on its iOS and macOS devices has been met with praise and criticism from users. By appearing first whenever a user searches for ‘Dropbox’ when they use Apple’s App Store, Apple is not only able to get users to download their app instead of a rival’s, but also ensure that customers can remain loyal to their ecosystem of services.
This article will look at how Apple has achieved this feat and analyse the implications of this decision on the tech giant’s rivals and customers. Examining both sides of the argument makes it evident that this is an example of Apple leveraging its powerful position within the industry. With an in-depth look at how this new move affects mobile users, we can gain more insight into how it is impacting those companies who would favour more open ecosystems:
- How has Apple achieved this feat?
- What are the implications of this decision on the tech giant’s rivals and customers?
- How is this new move impacting companies that favour more open ecosystems?
Apple admits why its own Files app was ranked first when users searched for competitor Dropbox
Recently, Apple was forced to admit why its own Files App was ranked first when users searched for competitor Dropbox. Apple responded that the results were algorithmic, meaning that the ranking was generated by a computer program that analysed various factors.
This raises interesting questions about the implications of algorithmic rankings. In this article, we’ll explore Apple’s admission and what it means for their market position.
Apple admits to ranking its own Files app first
Apple Inc. has recently admitted that their search results on iOS devices are not always impartial, and hinted at changes designed to make their search rankings more balanced. The acknowledgment came when European competition authorities challenged Apple over a practice wherein the company directed users searching for “cloud storage” or “file transfer” features to its own Files application, leaving out other applications such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Dropbox.
When prompted on the matter during a public hearing held by the European Commission, Apple representatives conceded that they were ranking the Files app higher than any other to give preference to their product. However, they have yet to provide detail regarding any changes made or planned to be made within their search algorithms.
According to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, these self-preference practices risk stifling innovation and reducing consumer choice by distorting search results and giving preference strictly to internal products. Vestager has also warned against suppliers checking for data usage on rival applications, which she views as arguably more dangerous behaviour that could lead customers away from competitors’ products altogether.
Apple has yet to substantially address these issues publicly or before the commission members listening in at the hearing where this problem was first brought up; however, they have stepped forward with a complete 180 degree acknowledgement of the biassed practice since its initial unveiling. It is unclear whether changes will be made in upcoming months, but things look promising.
Apple’s explanation for why it did so
Apple released its latest iOS as a part of its Fall 2020 event, and the new Files app came with it. The app was promoted for its ability to sync information between many applications, such as iCloud drive and Dropbox. But, to the surprise of many consumers, when searching for “Dropbox” on the App Store, Apple’s Files app ranked first among other top competitors.
In response to this shift in the App Store rankings, Apple released a statement explaining why they had taken this step. According to their claims, Apple used “the quality of ratings and downloads” and “the best overall search performance” to prioritise their apps over third-party providers who were not as successful in receiving attention from users. They also said they reward indie developers who create great apps with better exposure on App Stores worldwide. Unfortunately, this promise could not be visible until now in this case.
For those concerned about their experience on the App Store following these changes, Apple confirmed that users can still access other third-party provider apps through navigation tabs within their App Store search results page – ensuring everyone has access to all file management options nonetheless. In addition, by introducing this ranking algorithm change, Apple hopes that users will find quality apps quicker and easier than before – making downloads more efficient and secure – regardless if these are made from within an app or via direct search terms on an app store’s search page.
Impact of Apple’s Actions
It has recently been discovered that Apple’s Files app was ranked first for Dropbox searches, despite being a competitor. This news has raised questions about the impact of Apple’s actions: is this an example of unfair competition, or was it done to ensure the best user experience?
In this article, we will explore why this decision was made and the implications of it.
Impact on consumer choice
Apple’s recent ranking of its files app ahead of Dropbox’s suggests the company is putting its interests ahead of the choice of consumers. The decision to prioritise its file-sharing and storage service instead of competitors like Dropbox comes as Apple tries to position itself as an all-encompassing provider, from phone to tablet and laptop.
This shift affects users and companies, who will have more difficulty finding the file sharing technology they need outside of Apple’s preselected ecosystem. In addition, this squeezes out competition between providers, potentially holding back better products and innovation in this area.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Apple’s new cloud services pricing structure, which rewards customers for purchasing larger amounts but disproportionately penalises any customer that prefers a competitor’s platform. This forces customers out of using the likes of Dropbox if their needs exceed Apple’s entry level cloud offering.
The impact on consumer choice means that customers are presented with few options for cloud storage services – they risk becoming locked into an ecosystem limited by Apple’s discretion rather than based on individual preference or practical need.
Impact on the competition
Apple’s entries into the cloud document storage and retrieval world have been watched carefully over the years. With the introduction of its Files app, they have captured the attention of users and those in the industry. On iOS devices, Apple has taken over most of Dropbox searches, outranking Spotify, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.
The impact for Apple’s competition has been immense. While it is difficult to quantify how much, it is fair to say that all of these firms have noticed a decline in user base due to this shift in user preference.
Spotify, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive now face serious challenges when it comes to staying in competition with their powerful rival.
To compete against Apple’s Files App on digital store rankings, media apps must provide an easy-to-use experience and quick loading times since Apple currently holds a dominant position with its platform. Other industry players must also focus on widespread promotion campaigns to gain more visibility online regarding their platforms – in comparison to Apple – among others available for storage & retrieval purposes.
It remains a pressing question for the industry on how competitors can adjust their strategies and offerings so as to better compete with the giant that is now Apple’s Files App. Strategies are being rolled out by publicly listed companies such as Dropbox and Microsoft towards this end. Still, only time will tell if these efforts will result in tangible impacts on market share going forward.
Reactions to Apple’s Actions
Recently, Apple was found to be ranking its own Files app as the top result when users searched for competitor Dropbox in the App Store. Apple has since admitted why this happened and the decision has raised eyebrows about Apple’s motives.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the reactions to Apple’s actions surrounding the Files app and Dropbox search result:
Reactions from Dropbox
Reactions to Apple’s decision to rank its own Files app as the number one result for Dropbox searches on iPhones and iPad have been strong and varied. While some have accepted this as an expected result of a highly competitive market, others have taken issue with the fairness of the move.
When Apple unveiled its Files app in iOS 11 last year, it acted like an all-in-one storage system, allowing access from various providers—including Dropbox—all within one app. Dropbox welcomed the integration and was initially pleased that its standalone app had a prominent spot in Apple’s new offering. That is, until recently, iPhone and iPad users began to report that searching for “Dropbox” in iOS 11 primarily resulted in getting Files as the first option before anything else—even before their Dropbox results.
The news raised eyebrows in tech circles with critics asking if it is fair or ethical for a company to use its platform and control the App Store to prioritise a competing product over other search results. In response to tech publications’ queries, Apple merely wanted to provide users with “the best experience possible” and added that they “use powerful search APIs that leverage information from both inside an application and across all apps.”
Dropbox has now requested clarification from Apple about their decision, saying “we believe deeply in user choice and hard work building great products.” They are seeking answers directly from Apple about how results are determined so they can act accordingly if any issues concerning non-interference and competition principles are applied within the App Store marketplace.
Reactions from consumer advocacy groups
Consumer advocacy groups have been actively expressing their thoughts on Apple’s actions regarding their Files app being ranked first in the list when consumers search for the Dropbox app in the App Store. Many of these advocates state that this behaviour encourages a monopoly-like control over what applications consumers are encouraged to use.
The sentiment presented from many of these groups centres around Apple encouraging its customers to download only apps available in the App Store. This goes against its stance about providing options for customers. In addition, they allege that since it has influencers like Joanna Stern stating that Dropbox protects sensitive documents, consumers could be steered away from other cloud-computing services.
However, Apple has also argued that they are using algorithmic sorting technology instead of manual intervention or manipulation on behalf of the company. Furthermore, they contend that this sorting considers various factors, including customer ratings and downloads – outside of their control – when making such placements.
Ultimately, consumer advocacy groups feel it is still unfair for such bias to exist within the App Store and for users who may not know about other services such as Dropbox to be steered away from those options due to algorithmic sorting bias favouring an Apple product like the Files app.
tags = secret algorithm containing 42 different variables, manually boosted the ranking of apps, apple podcasts applehollister theverge, epic files app store applehollister theverge, epic store dropbox applehollister theverge, apple files app store applehollister theverge, epic apple dropbox applehollister theverge, epic apple files app applehollister theverge, the podcasts applehollister theverge, epic apple files store applehollister theverge, look flicktype watch apple applehollister theverge, the apple podcasts applehollister theverge, apple files app dropbox applehollister theverge, the apple applehollister theverge, manual boost and search results, google playstore apple app store