We have worked on this article together with ASOdesk – a company that offers a set of tools that will help you grow your app business. Maria Chernoplyokova, the ASOdesk team member, explained why screenshots and video app previews are important and shared plenty of tricks that you can use to nail these features.

Screenshots

Video Previews

Nearly 3 million apps are available on Google Play today. And around 40.000 mobile apps are released through the Apple App Store every single month. How to make your app stand out?
Hook the users with the perfect App Store and Google Play screenshots and preview videos! By the way, Perfomante can help you with the latter. The team will create short, catchy videos that correspond with your brand’s identity and meet all the requirements.

Portrait and Landscape Screenshots – When Should You Use Them?

According to ASOdesk, around 95% of the top apps have portrait (vertical) screenshots. However, when it comes to games, the numbers are a bit different – about 63% utilize landscape galleries. The number one piece of advice is pretty simple – users want to see an accurate depiction of what they will be getting. So, if your app doesn’t support horizontal UI, then create a portrait gallery.

The Ultimate Guide to App Store & Google Play Screenshots

One of the main aims of the screenshots is to show that your app is better than the one created by your competitors. Portrait orientation will help you provide more information to potential customers. Users will see three portrait screenshots simultaneously. If you choose a landscape orientation, there will be only one visual in each frame.
Always remember to test your screenshots! For Google Play use Android Developers and for the App Store – Apple Search Ads. You have to make sure that your images look impeccable on any device.

How Many Screenshots Do You Need?

According to ASOdesk, 55.4% of the top 100 free apps on the App Store had 5 screenshots in total. However, it all depends on the type of the app. A simple calculator, for example. doesn’t need a lot of screenshots – a couple can easily highlight the app’s main features.
When it comes to Google Play you can upload not more than 8 screenshots. With the App Store, 10 is the maximum.

What Are the Screenshot Requirements?

Apple App Store

  • The number of screenshots is limited to 10 (however, a lot of brands choose to place fewer images). 
  • PNG and JPEG file formats are accepted. Of course, the files should be of the best possible quality. 
  • Screenshots for 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max and 5.5-inch devices (iPhone 6s Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus) are required. The great news is that nowadays you don’t have to upload screenshots of various sizes for different iPhone models. The system will automatically adjust your images to the sizes of all the other iPhone generations. For iPads, you would be required to upload screenshots for 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation) and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation). 
  • Here are the corresponding pixels for landscape and portrait orientation for different devices:
Device Device Size Portrait Screenshot SizeLandscape Screenshot Size
iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR
6.5 inches1242 x 2688 pixels2688 x 1242 pixels
iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus
5.5 inches1242 x 2208 pixels2208 x 1242 pixels
2nd generation iPad Pro
12.9 inches2048 x 2732 pixels2732 x 2048 pixels
3rd generation iPad Pro
12.9 inches2048 x 2732 pixels2048 x 2732 pixels


Mac
One of the following, with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
1280 x 800 pixels
1440 x 900 pixels
2560 x 1600 pixels
2880 x 1800 pixels
Apple TV1920 x 1080 pixels
3840 x 2160 pixels
Apple Watch312 x 390 pixels (Series 3)
368 x 448 pixels (Series 4 and 5)

Google Play

  • The number of screenshots is limited to 8. If you have created a mobile game, it might be featured only in case the store listing has at least 3 landscape screenshots. 
  • PNG and JPEG file formats are accepted
  • The minimum dimension of a Google Play screenshot is 320 pixels and the maximum is 3840 pixels. And guess what? Google will adapt your screenshots to the user’s device. But you still must provide at least 2 screenshots the maximum dimensions of which are not more than twice the length of the minimum dimensions. 
DeviceDevice SizePortrait Screenshot SizeLandscape Screenshot Size
SmartphonesVariesMinimum dimension – 320 pixels
Maximum dimension – 3840 pixels
2:1 ratio
Minimum dimension – 320 pixels
Maximum dimension – 3840 pixels
16:9 ratio
Tablets7 or 9 inches
*see above*see above
Wear OS by Google*see above
(the majority of the devices are round)
*see above
Android TV*see above
*see above
+an Android TV banner image (320 x 180 pixels)

Always keep an eye on the latest updates to the App Store and Google Play guidelines and apply basic common sense. The screenshots (and your app) should not include upsetting and offensive content. App Store will reject the screenshots that have realistic guns in them, for example. Fantasy guns have to be in a passive position, in a holster, or worn on the back, while swords and knives should not be pointing toward the audience.

What Background Should You Go For?

The Ultimate Guide to App Store & Google Play Screenshots

The top 100 free apps on the App Store usually choose white as their background color (29.9%). 7.2% prefer black and 5.2% go for blue. However, if your app is about shopping or social networking, then you can try using brighter colors for the background. Of course, the background has to correspond with your brand’s identity and color scheme. Moreover, it shouldn’t be distracting. So better go for a solid background. 

What About the Font and the Color of the Text?

When it comes to the colors and font, choose the options that complement your brand’s identity. The color of the text has to be in contrast with the background and readable.
Make a few different options that you can test on different devices. Always keep an eye on the main KPIs (your screenshots will affect the install rate, for example). By the way, don’t rely on your personal taste. The screenshots have to be pleasant to the eye but preferably without any artistic extravaganzas.

Text. Less or More?

Your text has to be readable and seen from the ‘search page’. The more words you use, the smaller the font gets. So, it’s better to place a few catchy phrases on the screenshot that are in contrast with the background. With screenshots, less is certainly more. You can use bold writing to highlight the most important info or simply enlarge the words or the phrases that you need the user to pay attention to.

What Should You Accentuate?

If you want, you can include a screenshot with the awards and mentions. Always accentuate the things that have changed in your app. If you have come up with a new feature, for example, mention it on one of the first screenshots. You can also use a bold font or highlight the text.

What Apps Can You Use?

The Ultimate Guide to App Store & Google Play Screenshots

Canva is one of the most easy-to-use services out there that can help you create vibrant images. You can also try AppLaunchpad that has a cool screenshot generator. With Launchkit, you can create screenshots for Google Play and Apple App Store at the same time and create images for tablets. DaVinci Apps also specializes in screenshots and offers plenty of predesigned templates.
If you are running out of time, you can always literally take a screenshot of your phone.

The Ultimate Guide to App Store & Google Play Videos Previews

According to StoreMaven, videos can increase the conversion rate by 20-35%.
However, only every fifth app has a video preview. Sometimes they are unnecessary. Use videos only if you have enough content and functions within the app. Promo videos work great for games, photo and video editors, streaming services, online shopping, and food delivery, for example.

Portrait and Landscape Videos – When Should You Use Them?

It is recommended that you use actual footage of the app in your video. If your creation has a portrait orientation – make a vertical video and vice versa. However, you should remember that your app preview video for Google Play will be uploaded to YouTube. Landscape videos look much better and more professional on this platform. Also if your video has a horizontal orientation, the text can be bigger and it will be easier to zoom in and highlight some of the app’s features simply because you have more ‘space’.

Always test the options and monitor the KPIs to find out which preview is performing better.

What Are the Requirements for Preview Videos?

Apple App Store

  • You are allowed to have up to 3 videos. 
  • The video autoplays in mute in the search results. 
  • The preview has to be between 15 and 30 seconds in length. 
  • You would have to create a piece in two different resolutions (three, if you want the video to be shown to iPad users).
    The resolutions are:
    1080 x 1920 or 1920 x 1080 (for iPhone 5/6/7/8 and iPhone 6 plus/7 plus/8 plus)
    886 x 1920 or 1920 x 886 (for iPhone X and iPhone Xs Max/ iPhone XR)
    1200 x 1600 or 1600 x 1200 (for iPad and iPad Pro)
    Your video will automatically become smaller for any other device. 
  • The maximum file size is 50 MB. 
  • The accepted file formats are .mov, .mp4, and .m4v. Finally, the videos for the App Store have to be manually approved by Apple. And there are quite a few guidelines that you have to follow. For example, you are allowed to only use captured footage of the app itself. 

Apple recommends using QuickTime and iMovie to edit your footage.

Google Play

  • You can have only one video. 
  • It can be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes long. 
  • To watch the video, users have to click on the play button that will be displayed over the feature graphic. After that, a YouTube link will open (so no autoplay for Google Play). 
  • You would have to create a good-quality, landscape-oriented video. The aspect ratio for YouTube videos is 16:9.
    The recommended dimensions are: 426 x 240 (240p); 640 x 360 (360p); 854 x 480 (480p); 1280 x 720 (720p); 1920 x 1080 (1080p); 2560 x 1440 (1440p); 3840 x 2160 (2160p).
  • Accepted video formats include .mov, .mpeg4, .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .mpegps, .flv, 3GPP, and WebM. There are pretty much no restrictions for the actual content. But it would be great if you manage to show only Android devices and the Google Play Store badge.

Show actual footage of the app. By watching your video, the user has to develop an understanding of what the app is going to feel like. By the way, Apple will reject any preview that has footage filmed outside of the app. It is not recommended to show any people/fingers, etc. You can highlight the areas that you need the user to pay attention to.

How Long Should the Video Be?

On the App Store, every video should be up to 30 seconds long. Even though the videos can be longer on Google Play, you might want to stick to the 30-second limit.
The preview has to fascinate the user from the first seconds. You don’t have any time to spare, so put the most interesting and useful information at the beginning of the video and be creative.
The footage should not include any upsetting or offensive content.

What About the Sound?

69% of users view videos with the sound off in public places. Fortunately, 80% of viewers are more likely to watch the entire video, in case captions are available. Add text to your preview video. Make sure that everything is understandable without the sound. 

However, that does not mean that you have to neglect the voiceover or the background music (make sure that there is no copyright violation). The captions have to be readable and should not change too quickly – the users must have enough time to read the information.

Never underestimate the power of great screenshots and video previews of your app. After all, these are the tools that will help the user make up his mind…and download your creation. Mission accomplished!

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