App Screenshots & Preview Videos

Posted in February 2016 by Elisa Mourão

App Store Optimization Guide

Modifications & familiar Keywords

Screenshots, Promo Video, App Preview, App Store Page Visuals

Keyword Meaning

App preview videos and screenshots allow you to demonstrate the functionality and interface of your app. They were displayed on the app’s details page on Google Play and iTunes. Moreover, they help potential customers making the decision, whether the app is a fit for their needs. Additionally, good app previews avoid “test run”-traffic on your app page as users already have an idea of what the app looks like and how to use it.

App Screenshots and Preview Videos on Google Play App Page App screenshots and preview videos do not directly impact an app’s ranking. Nevertheless, they are very important aspects in App Store Optimization. Well designed and pleasing previews give users a glimpse of the app. They are great tools to create an immersive story with and to humanize your app for users (visual storytelling). Commonly, screenshots describe the best features of an app. So the first two screenshots the user sees, should represent an app’s most important features or aspects.

Screenshots for iOS Apps

On Apple App Store one screenshot per localization is required and up to four more screenshots are optional to add. App screenshots have to be flattened JPEG or PNG RGB image files with 72 dpi resolution, and without transparency. Additionally, screenshots on Apple App Store have to respectively fit the specific screen resolutions summarized below.

  • iPhone 3 (3.5 Inch): 920 x 640 px
  • iPhone 4 + 5 (4 Inch): 1136 x 640 px
  • iPhone 6 + 7 (4.7 Inch): 1334 x 750 px
  • iPhone 6 Plus + 7 Plus (5.5 Inch): 2208 x 1242 px
  • iPad: 2048 x 1536 px

App Preview Videos for iOS Apps

Since the launch of iOS8, it is possible to add preview videos to app pages. These short videos are displayed as the first image on your App Store product page and should give a preview of your app.

Preview Videos iTunes Connect Apple wants to generate a similar Look & Feel for all videos. Therefore, there are some guidelines relevant for preview videos:

  • 15-30 seconds length
  • Maximum file size of 50 MB
  • .mov, .m4v, .mp4 format
  • only use screen captures
  • No (very less) copy – due to the reason that videos can’t get internationalized and are uploaded once in one language
  • Don’t overlay animated hands, you can use touch hotspots if really necessary
  • For games: Show more gameplay scenes than cut scenes
  • You can use voice over – but mind the internationalization part – Apple recommends to only use a very limited and professional voice over if necessary
  • Preview videos should only contain content for which the full rights are owned (don’t show app streaming content form an iTunes Playlist or YouTube video)

Similar as for Screenshots, Apple recommends different app preview resolutions. A summary of those video resolution recommendations are listed in the following:

  • iPhone 5: 1920 x 1080 px
  • iPhone 6 Plus + iPhone 7 Plus: 1920 x 1080 px
  • iPhone 6 + iPhone 7: 1334 x 750 px
  • iPad: 1200 x 900 px

Screenshots for Android Apps

On Google Play Store up to 8 screenshots for each supported device type can be added onto an app page. This means it is possible to add app screenshots for Smartphones, Tablets (7 inch &amP; 10 inch), Android TV and Android Wear. To publish a store listing for your app, there have to be at least 2 screenshots provided.

In Google Play Store screenshots can be found in the middle section of your app page (store listing). Preview videos either appear on first position of screenshot section or on top of the app listing overlaying the feature graphic. The display of those preview or promo videos depends on the device a user visits the Google Play Store.

Preview Video Google Play Store Screenshot requirements for Android apps are not as strictly as they are for iOS Apps. Google Play Store demands the following requirements for Screenshots:

  • JPEG or 24-bit PNG (no alpha)
  • Minimum dimension: 320 px
  • Maximum dimension: 3840 px
  • The maximum dimension of a screenshot can’t be more than twice as long as the minimum dimension

Preview Videos for Android Apps

Concerning preview videos (promo videos), Google Play Store again prescribes only a few attributes like the recommended length of video and how to handle it in developer console:

  • 30 seconds – 2 minutes video length
  • Preview videos must be uploaded to YouTube first (you add them to store listing by entering a URL to “promo video” field)
  • Videos must not be suitable for minors (no age-restriction)
  • The full YouTube video link must be used instead of shortened link

Preview videos should **focus on the most compelling features and are an optional but recommended part of your app page. They are an additional fun and engaging way to thrive downloads .**

See also

App Store Product Page
Visuals

[1] 5 Best-Practice Tips for App Screenshots
[2] iTunes Connect Screenshot Sizes for iPhone and iPad
[3] App Previews Apple Developer Space
[4] iTunes Connect – App Preview Video & Preview Video Size
[5] Google Play Best Practices Imagery

Author
Elisa Mourão
Elisa graduated in Communication at PUC-Rio (Brazil) and has a Master Degree in Screen Culture by University of Roehampton (UK). Even though she is the Brazilian cliché born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she loves visiting cold places.