While many games and other apps are announced well in advance of their release, Apple has never had a reliable method of signing up for the download in advance. The company just changed that, informing developers that they can now make apps available for pre-order on all Apple platforms. “Customers can see your product page and order your app before it’s released for download. Once your app is released, customers will be notified and your app will automatically download to their device,” according to the company’s new documentation.
For paid apps, users will be charged “before download,” but Apple has clarified that means the charge will go through on the app’s release date, not when the pre-order is placed. Developers can now set their apps up for pre-order if they’re at least 2 days away from the launch date, but they can only be scheduled out up to 90 days in advance. If users have second thoughts, they can go into the App Store’s settings to cancel pre-orders on iOS and macOS or into iTunes settings to cancel pre-orders on iOS, macOS or tvOS. Pre-orders can be only made on devices running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and macOS 10.13.2 or later.