Apple surprised everyone this morning at its iPhone press event with its announcement that Nintendo’s iconic character Mario was finally arriving on the App Store in a brand-new game, but an image of this forthcoming title quietly unveiled a new App Store feature, as well: a “Notify” button. Before, pre-launch apps were available only through testing platforms like Apple’s TestFlight or others from third parties, but clearly Mario’s launch demanded a new system.
In the App Store, the new game “Super Mario Run” doesn’t have a “Get” button like other free apps do, nor does it list a price for the download. Instead, there’s a bright orange button that reads “Notify” you can click if you want to be alerted when the game becomes available.
The button shows up anywhere you would otherwise see the option to download an app – App Store searches, product pages, or the app’s own page, for example.
After clicking, you’ll receive a pop-up notification that reads “You’re all set. We’ll let you know when SUPER MARIO RUN is available.”
The notifications would then be pushed to end users’ devices when the title goes live on the App Store.
It’s not clear at this time if developers will be able to tap into this system on their own, or if Apple will reserve this feature for its own use, as with special, anticipated titles like Mario.
However, having a way for developers to take the app equivalent of pre-orders for upcoming releases would be a major upgrade to the App Store, and could help to combat some of the discovery issues developers face today where they effectively have to wait to advertise and market apps until after launch.
More to come…