iOS 10 is expected to bring many changes, including a significant update to the Siri digital assistant, Universal Clipboard and many more. Apple’s iMessage App Store is also undergoing changes to adapt to the changes in iOS 10. Apple has opened up the iMessage App Store a little early for developers and beta testers.

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Developer and beta versions provide glimpses at how Apple will start selling stickers, apps and games for use exclusively within iMessage, reports 9To5Mac.  The iMessage App Store is likely to launch with a decent number of apps and games, Square Cash and Jib Jab to name a few. Sticker packs will work like extensions of apps and standalone stickers can be created without needing to code anything. You’ll see “Only for iMessage” note above the details tab on the app’s description page to help you distinguish the different types of apps and sticker packs.

The sticker pack includes new Disney stickers and each sticker pack is available for $1.99. The Disney packs are animated and include a good collection of stickers to choose from. Famous themes include Frozen, Mickey and Friends, Stitch, Finding Dory, The Lion King, Inside Out and Star Wars. The Star Wars includes nearly 20 plus high-quality animated stickers, which you can peel and paste on conversation bubbles or send as standalone replies. You can even peel and paste stickers directly on photos. When it comes to apps, a number of apps are already starting to integrate into iMessage. For example, Citymapper adds in the ability to quickly send your location details and ESPN supports sports scores for messaging.

The early support for the iMessage App Store ecosystem looks promising, with Apple adding a variety of new effects to iMessage conversations. The move looks to be strategic and aims at pulling users towards iMessenger and away from SnapChat, WeChat and FB Messenger. The only catch here seems to be the price – will users be willing to spend $1.99 on sticker packs? If the users find the animated sticker packs exciting and lively, then the new update is likely to become more popular. Apple has also added new effects to iMessage conversations. For example, the update includes the ability to write messages that disappear or slam onto people’s displays.

It remains to be seen if Apple will be successful in convincing people to spend $1.99 for sticker packs, which are mostly free in other popular messaging apps.


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