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10 differences between the App Store and Google Play graphics

Due to our extensive experience we at Netpeak RadASO agency know every little detail about ASO graphics. Our specialist has compiled the TOP 10 main differences between App Store and Google Play graphics. All right, here we go.

To publish a successful mobile app that makes a profit, you need more than just the code. Positioning the app in a way so your target audience can find it is crucial if you want to increase the number of installs. This is precisely what an ASO specialist does. The primary focus of their service is to increase traffic and conversions, and as a result, purchases. At the same time, regular text-based and graphic optimization cannot be dispensed with. The text-based description aspect of ASO increases your app's visibility in search results. Meanwhile, graphical ASO improves the conversion rate from impressions or views and increases the number of installs.

Most often, you will need to optimize various types of mobile apps that you want to publish on the App Store and Google Play. Some graphical guidelines are the same for both stores, but there are certain exceptions that can introduce significant differences. It's recommended that you study each store's features in more detail.

How mobile apps are displayed on iOS and Android

The App Store and Google Play differ in specific ways, the most notable of which is how apps are displayed on the app listing pages and search results.

Here's how the search and app pages look:

Vertical screenshots

Vertical screenshots

Horizontal screenshots

Horizontal screenshots

Video+screenshots

Video+screenshots

Bonus. If you search for an app on Google Play by inputting a branded query, screenshots will be displayed in the search:

screenshots will be displayed in the search

10 differences between mobile app graphics in the App Store and Google Play

Since graphical elements are displayed differently in the two stores, they have a different impact on the user's choice.

Therefore, the basic requirements for their optimization differ as follows:

App Store

Google Play

1. Icon
impact on user choice

Important, but not more than a video with screenshots, as they take up most of the screen

Icon is displayed with several other icons in search results, and therefore it has the greatest impact on the user's choice

2. Icon
localization

1 icon for all locales

Can be localized for each country

3. Screenshots
quantity, orientation

From 1 to 10, any orientation 

From 2 to 8, any orientation

4. Screenshots
the most important are the ones that are visible before you start scrolling

Vertical screenshots: 3 are visible
Horizontal screenshots: only the first one is visible

Vertical screenshots: 4 are visible
Horizontal screenshots: only the first one is visible

5. Screenshots
size

Large — the content is legible

Much smaller — the captions are quite illegible

6. Video
quantity

Up to 3

One video that must be uploaded to YouTube

7. Video
orientation

Any orientation

Horizontal orientation prioritized

8. Video
autoplay

Plays automatically for 30 seconds without sound

You need to click on it to play

9. Application cover

Displayed on the application and developer pages

There is no cover

10. Graphics update

After release only

Whenever

General guidelines for mobile application graphics in the App Store and Google Play

Despite certain differences, there are general rules and recommendations that an app's graphical elements should comply with in both stores:

  1. The icon shouldn't contain unnecessary details but instead showcase the application's essence; it should harmonize with other icons in the same app category but also stand out among them.
  2. All graphical elements must correspond to the search terms used to promote the mobile app.
  3. The salient information about the application and its core functionality should be displayed in the first screenshots.
  4. Besides the app's functionality, the screenshots should also demonstrate its value and competitive advantages.
  5. All inscriptions should be short, concise, and in large fonts.
  6. Avoid using small elements, or use zoom to highlight them.
  7. Screenshots must show the app's interface or demonstrate gameplay.
  8. Do not duplicate information on the icon, screenshots, and banner; all graphical components should not be repeated but used to complement each other.
  9. Video is an optional element, but having it sometimes significantly affects the conversion rate.
  10. Graphical components need to be localized because each country has its own local features.
  11. Keep track of visual optimization trends and follow them.
  12. The rules of the app stores are periodically updated, so make sure you stay in the loop on changes and don't break them.
  13. Don't be afraid to experiment and test, as there is no limit to perfection.

It is simply impossible to do without mobile applications in the modern world. However, competition in different niches has increased significantly. Therefore, it's important to adhere to all the basic rules and constantly keep working on your app, not only from the inside but also making an effort to promote it in the app stores, thereby increasing its visibility and conversions.

Text localization: Kateryna Kalnova, Netpeak RadASO.

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