The Worm in Apple’s App Store

Earlier today, I needed to get Skype onto my iPhone X to receive an overseas call. So I hauled over to the App Store, like any sensible iOS user would do. I was shocked—absolutely floored—to see an advert for Google Duo taking up about half the screen, and appearing above Skype.

You got to ask how many people end up downloading the upper one instead. I don’t often go to the App Store and wonder: How long has been this kind of aggressive placement? Looks like since the recent redesign. 

The Internet has its share of whiners about paid adverts placed on Google search pages—and not without some justification. But this! A competing choice prominently placed on a small screen where there is just room enough for two? Frak me!

To see if maybe this might be an anomaly, I searched for several other apps, two of which you can see (larger pic). Microsoft isn’t the only target of these ads, but bullseye enough.

What next, Apple? A full screen of product ads before the user scrolls to get what he or she searched for?

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appears on BetaNews.