Apple TV's App Store now hiding installed apps on top charts

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Apple has quietly tweaked the tvOS App Store to hide apps a user already has installed when browsing the store's top charts, a German developer noted on Tuesday.

The change appears to have taken effect last week, said Equinux in a blog post. The company noticed that its Live TV app mysteriously vanished from the Top Free section of the App Store, even though it was previously one of the top 10 downloads. To verify if anything was wrong, Equinux checked iTunes Connect and crash logs, and refreshed the App Store.

Ultimately the company discovered that once an app is downloaded, new algorithms simply replace it, pushing the next-lowest app to a higher rank for each individual user. Downloading an app will even cause it to disappear from featured slots at the front of the App Store.

The change is presumably meant to make it easier to discover more apps, since charts might otherwise be dominated by entries like Netflix and Hulu. At the same time, it's now more difficult to gauge the true popularity of a title.

Apple's other stores so far appear to be unaffected. The company could have more to say on the matter, at least to developers, at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference, which starts June 13.