The new bundled app feature in iOS 8 has potential beyond discounted games

Along with a host of new features in iOS 8 comes a subtle change that could profoundly affect the way iOS apps are sold and marketed. If you check out the App Store on your device, you’ll find a new section called “Bundles,” which gives developers the ability to offer multiple apps in one download.

So far, bundles on the App Store are being used to package several apps or games together at a discount, and all the bundles offered so far are for paid apps. For instance, topping the list is a bundle centered around Cut the Rope games, which offers users three different Cut the Rope apps for $3.99 — a savings from the $6.97 you’d pay if you purchased them separately. The most expensive bundle currently is from Square Enix and packages seven Final Fantasy ports into one purchase for about 30 percent savings off the $100 list price. Gamers will find a lot to like about App Store bundles, as they have embraced other software bundles like Humble Bundle in the past.

But App Store bundles have much more potential than just discounted apps. If users embrace downloading multiple apps at one time, it could become the default way to install mobile software. As companies break features out of their main flagship apps, they need a new way to make sure their users are getting the full experience. And with the increasing sophistication of mobile deep linking, apps that used to be silos in previous versions of iOS now have the ability to link to specific functions in other, separate apps.

It’s not hard to imagine a future bundle on iOS that packages together Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Or even a free Facebook bundle that offers Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Hyperlapse, Paper, and Slingshot in one easy download.