Apple has today announced that it is removing the Catalogs category, as well as the Educational and Dice subcategory (under Games) from the App Store.
Apple has sent out emails to developers who are affected by this change, those that have apps currently listed under the Catalogs category or Dice subcategory.
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Apps currently listed under the Educational or Dice subcategory of Games will simply be found under the generic Games category, unless developers choose an alternate subcategory.
The Games section of the App Store allows developers to select up to two optional subcategories to further refine their placement.
Many of these categories are very small, representing low volumes of downloads, and it is likely that Dice is one of these — hence its removal. It is a bit of a surprise that the Educational section is not very popular, though.
With the removal of the Dice and Educational subcategory options, apps in the Games section can now be listed as Action, Arcade, Board, Card, Casino, Family, Music, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports, Strategy, Trivia and Word titles.
For apps currently listed under the ‘Catalogs’ category, Apple will automatically migrate affected apps to the Shopping category on November 6, 2017. Developers are free to choose a more relevant alternative at will.
Apple doesn’t give an explanation as to why the category is being removed but it is either due to lack of significant downloads to justify its existence, or an editorial simplification where most apps will fit better as ‘Shopping’ apps anyway.
To be clear, none of the apps in these categories will be removed from sale by Apple. It just affects where they are displayed in the App Store navigation.
Thanks Paul Hudson!