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​Apple apps: Now you can pre-order iOS, tvOS, and macOS apps from the App Store

App buyers can pre-order an app and have it download automatically as soon as it becomes available.

Developers can now make their new iOS, tvOS, and macOS apps available for pre-order on the App Store.

Apple said the move could help developers build more excitement for forthcoming apps. Customers will be able to see the product page and order the app before it's released: once it becomes available they are notified and it will automatically download to their device.

Apple's note for app developers said that new apps for iOS, macOS and tvOS can be made available for pre-order when they submit their app and metadata for review in iTunes Connect. If developers opt in they can choose a download release date from two to 90 days in the future. Once an app is released for download, customers are notified and it will automatically download to their device within 24 hours.

Apps currently on the App Store that developers would like to offer in additional countries, or as a new universal purchase (like a new tvOS app that's adding to an existing iOS app) are not eligible, said Apple.

When an app is available for pre-order, a limited version of the product page, which includes the expected release date, is published on the App Store. Customers can pre-order the app from the product page, search results, or the Today, Games, or Apps tabs if the app is featured.

Customers who pre-order a paid app won't be charged until the day the app is released, and if the price of the app changes during pre-order, they will be charged the lower price.

Pre-orders can be made on devices running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and macOS 10.13.2 or later: users of earlier versions will be able to see product pages, but the buy button is disabled.

Google Play already allows user to 'pre-register' for apps and games: they get a notification the day the item becomes available to download, but it isn't automatically downloaded.

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