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Thursday, November 21, 2013, 02:18 pm PT (05:18 pm ET)

Apple features Clumsy Ninja as first iOS App Store title with a video preview

After years of requests from third party developers, Apple has included the first video preview of an app within the App Store: a minute long "trailer" promoting featured app Clumsy Ninja.

App Store video preview


Spotted by Federico Viticci of Mac Stories, the new video preview (above) currently appears only in a special "Featured" section of the UK iTunes App Store; the standard page for the game, which was previously featured by Apple during its iPhone 5 launch last year, does not yet include the video.

The newly released Clumsy Ninja title, created by NaturalMotion, uses "Euphoria" simulation technology to present a malleable character that features realistic, "rag doll" physics.

"Train him, throw him, tickle him, and even tie balloons to him. Everything you do will make Clumsy Ninja more skillful, and help him find his missing friend, Kira," the games description states.

Video previews for Apps



Despite currently being limited to just one Editor's Choice game, the Clumsy Ninja video preview offers new hope to developers that Apple may finally allow them to promote their titles in the App Store with more than just text, static graphics and screen shots.

Videos are particularly useful for demonstrating innovative gameplay or app interfaces that make use of Apple's animation and motion-related interface frameworks.

Viticci noted that with the release of iOS 7's dynamic new user interface, "the lack of videos on the App Store was particularly surprising, and it led many to wonder as to whether Apple would soon add support for videos besides screenshots."

At the same time, Apple manages massive traffic in the App Store, and faces formidable expense and challenges in curating videos for the roughly 1 billion apps it catalogues, a task that would include reviewing about two man-years of video, subsequently responding to content complaints and a tremendous expansion of video hosting capacity.

The appearance of the new video indicates that Apple is at least experimenting with video previews of software, and may soon enable developers to begin showing off their work in the App Store with video previews.