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App Store pre-orders: you can now buy apps in advance

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A big change has just rolled out on the App Store: it’s now possible for developers to offer their upcoming apps and games for pre-order.

You may recall Apple has offered pre-orders just once before, for the much-hyped announcement of Super Mario Run last year. Well, that game was the most downloaded of 2017 so it seems to have been a successful test run. Now pre-orders are available to all developers, for both apps and games.

It’s a good way to get the word out about a big release before letting it loose, and for consumers it will provide a chance to queue up an app in advance so it downloads automatically once it launches. This should help users stay up to date on new releases.

Apps available for pre-order will appear in the App Store as usual, so Apple can start promoting things early. The information page for the app will include an expected release date as well as some disclaimers that the content is liable to change before release.

This change isn’t just for iOS – it also affects the Apple TV and Mac App Stores.

The best apps to pre-order

So far, there are only a handful of titles taking advantage of this new feature. Two games in particular really stood out, though, and if you’re interested we’d recommend you order them right away to ensure you don’t forget on launch day.

First up, anyone who played the incredible atmospheric puzzle-platformer LIMBO will be pleased to know that the latest game from the same developer is coming to the App Store on December 15. INSIDE is something of a spiritual sequel, drawing on the same dark and mysterious themes while amping everything up a notch. It’s an incredible experience on console and we’re excited to play it again on iOS.

Secondly, another excellent gaming franchise from the PC and console world is teaming up with an unexpected partner. The first-person puzzler Portal, in which players have to escape rooms using logic and a gun that shoots teleportation portals, is embracing the popular world of Bridge Constructor. The result is, you guessed it, Portal Bridge Constructor, and we can’t wait to see how the two styles combine.