You can now preorder iPhone, iPad apps

Apple's new feature can be used by developers for new apps that haven't been published in the App Store before.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

You can now preorder new apps in Apple's App Store.


Can't wait to get a hot new app? Apple now will let you preorder it in the App Store.

The new feature, which Apple detailed for developers Monday, only works for new apps that haven't been published on the App Store before. They have to hit the store within two to 90 days. Apple notifies you when the app you've preordered is available for download and automatically downloads it to your device within 24 hours. 

You won't be charged for the app until the day it's released for download, and you can cancel the preorder until the release date. If the developer changes the price during the preorder period, you're charged whatever rate is lower. If the price goes up on the release date, you still pay the lower rate (or Apple lowers the charge if the release date rate is less than what you had for your preorder). 

To find an app to preorder, you go to a developer's product page or search results or find it as a featured app in the Today, Games or Apps tabs (assuming Apple features it). 

Preorders work on devices running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2 and macOS 10.13.2, currently Apple's most recent software updates. If your device has an older software version, the buy button is disabled. You'll have to update your device's software to preorder the apps you want. 

Apple declined to share further details beyond its page about the feature.

Apple redesigned its App Store with September's iOS 11 to make it easier to use. The more than 2 million apps in the store have been downloaded more than 180 billion times. 

Apple has long offered a preorder option for video and music downloads in iTunes, and expanding that to its App Store makes it easier for developers to market their upcoming apps. With Nintendo's Super Mario Run , Apple offered a feature to notify users when the app was available, though some people complained that they didn't get the notice until long after Super Mario Run hit the App Store.

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