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Apple's App Store Now Offers Pre-Orders: How It Works

Apple's App Store is now making it easier for you to find the apps you want before they're even released.

The App Store is finally catching up to Google Play. Credit: Apple

(Image credit: The App Store is finally catching up to Google Play. Credit: Apple)

The iPhone maker has unveiled a new pre-order system for upcoming apps that will allow developers to build excitement for their apps ahead of an impending launch. The update allows you to comb through Apple's app marketplace and find upcoming apps. If they sound interesting, you can choose to pre-order the app. The day the app launches, you'll get a notification that your program can now be downloaded.

In the event the app is a paid app, you won't be charged at the time of the pre-order. Instead, Apple will send you the notification on its launch day and inform you that the app is now available. You've actually committed to paying for the app on the day you pre-ordered, so you'll be automatically charged for the program on the day it's released.

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According to a support page entry, which was earlier reported on by Digital Trends, if you have automatic downloads configured on your smartphone, your app will be downloaded to your device within 24 hours.

Similar to the way Amazon prices its pre-orders, you'll be charged the lowest price for the app. So, if it's initially offered for $1.99 but its price comes down to 99 cents before launch day, you'll be charged 99 cents.

Apple has offered pre-orders in the past with Super Mario Run, Nintendo's first Mario game for iOS. However, the company hasn't offered a pre-order option on any other apps. And considering Google has been offering pre-orders for years in the Google Play marketplace, it's nice to see Apple finally catching up.

Apple's pre-orders are available on iOS, macOS, and tvOS. You'll need to be running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and macOS 10.13.2 or later to access the feature.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.