I noticed on the first day my iOS app hit the app store I got a download from Albania and another one from China. The app is only useful to a specific group, all of which are in a certain U.S. city. Are there bots that automatically download every new app? If so, to what end?

  • Is your app free? The same thing happened to me (transit app for Auckland, New Zealand), but I'd expect that sort of thing for free apps. – Greg Hewgill Dec 10 '12 at 1:20
  • Yes it's free, forgot to mention that – JoelFan Dec 10 '12 at 1:26
  • Why was this app even made available outside the U.S.? Country availability is individually selectable for each country for each app in iTunes Connect. – hotpaw2 Dec 15 '12 at 22:25
  • I see the same thing happen. In fact, I've had more international downloads than US downloads on one app. We only have a few customers we've told it about it. – Travis Dec 16 '12 at 12:41

Yes, there are bots that auto down applications in order to boost rankings of applications:

View Article Here

Your downloads were most likely used as a way to mask the fact they are downloading specific apps to boost rankings. So 20 bots download Angry Birds (for example), 2 of those also download yours and some others to make it look like normal usage.

You could also account for these as simply random downloads, at a previous employer we created a very specific application to monitor solar panels, whilst they were only sold to specific people we had downloads (and subsequent uninstalls) from random countries around the globe.

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Many developers suspect that there exist people who download and run apps from the iOS app store without reading (or be able to read the language of) the apps description. Tire kickers perhaps.

Some bots may be collecting icon artwork or other bundle assets.

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