App updates not showing up in iTunes? I’m in the same boat!

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2013

I’ve noticed this morning that app updates stopped showing up in desktop iTunes on Mac and Windows. It’s interesting that the App Store on my iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices still notifies me of available updates like before. For instance, tapping the Updates tab in the App Store storefront app on iDevices shows all of the available updates.

Not so much in desktop iTunes, unfortunately.

Individual app updates are still available by visiting an app’s page in iTunes and hitting the Update button, they just won’t show up in the Updates tab section section. Twitter says a growing number of users are now experiencing this hiccup, with early reports of the issue dating as far back as a week ago… Read More

 

Review: Castro

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 13, 2013

There’s no shortage of podcasting apps on the App Store. The growing popularity of podcasting directly correlates to the large amount of podcasting apps we see surfacing. Already, we have apps like Apple’s official Podcasts app, Instacast, Downcast, Pocket Casts, and that’s just naming a few. Even Podcasting networks like Mule Radio Syndicate—home of popular podcasts like John Gruber’s The Talk Show, and 5by5, the fruitage of podcasting pioneer, Dan Benjamin—have created their own dedicated podcasting apps.

So when a new app enters this arena it better be good. No, scratch that; it better be outstanding. That’s the only way that newcomers will be able to gain traction in this ever-growing and uber-competitive market.

It helps to start with a catchy name. Castro—the creation of Supertop’s Padraig Kennedy and Oisin Prendville—starts out on the right foot in this regard. Its name is the type of play on words that makes itself instantly recognizable, even amongst the podcasting app mainstays listed above. But Castro is more than just a good name; it’s a good app, too. Read More

 

Apple experimenting with custom landing page for Angry Birds Go! in the App Store

By Cody Lee on Dec 11, 2013

Last month, Apple began testing the app trailer waters by hosting a video clip on the App Store for the new game Clumsy Ninja. The embedded clip had no voiceover or custom App Store branding, and it’s the only one we’ve seen like this in the Store to date.

Now, it looks like Apple is running another experiment involving app and media discovery. We noticed this afternoon that it has given the new game Angry Birds Go! a custom landing page in the App Store with links to its related soundtrack and other apps… Read More

 

Fantastical 2 updated with support for TextExpander 2.3 and Waze maps

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 10, 2013

My favorite calendar app for iOS—Fantastical 2—has been updated with a few new features that you should know about. First up is support for the latest version of TextExpander. As we told you about in an earlier post, TextExpander was forced to change its approach to sharing snippets. As a result, any app that features TextExpander support must be updated to retain snippet functionality.

The second feature to be found in Fantastical 2′s latest update is support for Waze. If you have the GPS and navigation app installed on your iPhone, you can now upon location links using Waze instead of Apple Maps or Google Maps. These, and other changes make the cut in Flexibits’ latest update to Fantastical. Check past the break for the full change log. Read More

 

There are now 1 million apps available in the US App Store

By Cody Lee on Dec 7, 2013

During its October iPad event, Apple announced that it had crossed the 1 million app milestone in its worldwide App Store. This meant that, not counting duplicates, it had over 1 million apps available around the globe at that time.

This week, Apple passed the same milestone here in its US App Store. According to data from app discovery firm Appsfire, there are now more than 1 million live apps in the App Store. 1,006,557 to be exact at the time of this writing… Read More

 

How to gift an app from iTunes or the App Store app

By Lory Gil on Dec 4, 2013

My sister-in-law has finally come over to the Dark Side. That is, from my brother’s point of view, who is a diehard Android user. She recently invested in the new iPhone 5s. Now, she has a shiney new phone, but doesn’t know a thing about what apps to get.

So, being the app expert that I am, it is my job to help her find the perfect games, photo editors, and social networking enhancements to make her iOS experience the best it can be. This year, she’ll be getting apps for Christmas.

If you are new to iOS, or have never thought about giving an app as a gift, you may not know how to do so. We have a quick tutorial to explain how to send an app to your friends and family through iTunes on your computer or through the App Store on your iOS device… Read More

 

App Store search now corrects for small typos and misspelled queries

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 26, 2013

Apple is tweaking the App Store’s search algorithm pretty much all the time so people have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack.

Three months ago, Apple deployed an improved algorithm for iTunes and App Store rankings, boosting the relevancy of search results up a notch.

And back in the summer, the iPhone maker gave the App Store storefront on iPads a new lefthand bar for easy alphabetical sorting of your Purchased items.

It’s now come to light that Apple’s team has once again made the App Store search better by automatically correcting for your mistakes and other misspellings. That’s right, you no longer have to type in the exact app name when searching as the App Store will now list apps with fairly similar names… Read More

 

Apple now hosts video trailers on App Store?

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2013

Following a nice demo at last year’s iPhone 5 keynote, NaturalMotion studios today finally released its long-expected Clumsy Ninja, a free download for both the iPhone and iPad.

This Tamagotchi-like game invites you train your ninja, teach him new tricks and moves, customize him with suits and headbands and what not. Apple was quick to feature the game as Editor’s Choice and what’s really interesting is that the description includes a video trailer, a first for the App Store.

It’s unclear whether that’s a one-off convenience or if Apple is actually ushering in a new ear of better marketing for app developers. Either way, we’re not complaining… Read More

 

Apple informs developers of iTunes Connect shutdown December 21-27

By Cody Lee on Nov 15, 2013

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are just a few weeks away, which means that cold weather, major Black Friday sales, and of course the annual iTunes Connect shutdown are all rapidly approaching.

In fact, Apple sent out an email to developers today, notifying them of the upcoming iTunes Connect closing. The tool, which devs use to submit and manage their apps, will be offline from December 21-27… Read More

 

New Remote app icon surfaces in App Store’s ‘Designed for iOS 7′ section

By Cody Lee on Oct 31, 2013

Last week we reported that a redesigned Remote app icon had been spotted in iTunes, suggesting that the app would be getting its long-awaited iOS 7 makeover sometime soon. But we have yet to see that happen.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t close though. Today, more evidence of an impending update surfaced by way of a similarly-new Remote icon appearing in the Columbian App Store’s ‘Designed for iOS 7′ section… Read More

 

Half of the Top Overall apps in the App Store are games generating 79% of revenue

By Sébastien Page on Oct 31, 2013

An interesting tidbit of information coming from analytics platform Distimo about the App Store most popular category – Games – and how much that category generates in terms of revenue.

Looking at the Top 400 Overall Grossing, 48% of all apps in the Top Overall were games and those apps generated 92% of the revenue for Google Play in September 2013. For the Apple App Stores (average of iPhone and iPad), 52% of the apps in the Top Overall were games and these apps generated 79% of the revenue.

In short, half of the apps in the Top Grossing charts of the App Store generate 79% of total revenue. Note that these apps do not generate 79% of the total App Store revenue. They generate 79% of Top Grossing charts revenue. Read More

 

Apple promoting stock apps in App Store search results at devs’ expense

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2013

Apple has cunningly devised a novel though controversial way of promoting its own iOS 7 stock apps, features and services right in the App Store search. The application store has seen a whopping 60 billion cumulative downloads thus far and with over a million apps carried it’s serving a lot of customers on a daily basis.

If you now go to the App Store and run a search for popular generic terms such as ‘browser,’ ‘movies’ and ‘SMS’, the first entry popping up in your search results should be a banner advertising a related stock iOS 7 apps or feature like Safari, iTunes Store, Messages and more… Read More

 

Apple taps Blue Jays assistant GM to head up App Store sports section

By Cody Lee on Oct 1, 2013

In a somewhat odd move, Apple has hired away the Toronto Blue Jays’ assistant manager Jay Sartori for a position on its App Store team. I mean, the company frequently snags top talent from silicon valley, but the MLB?

Apparently, Sartori will be taking over as the manager of the ‘sports and entertainment’ category in the App Store for the Cupertino company—a major departure from his contract and bargaining duties with the Blue Jays… Read More

 

Apple now lets devs manage availability of apps’ previous versions

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 19, 2013

Yesterday, we told you about an unexpected improvement of the App Store backend which results in customers being able to grab older versions of apps. This is especially useful to those who may be browsing the App Store using an older device with one of the older iOS versions.

For those people, attempting to download, say, the latest version of an app would produce a prompt offering the last compatible version available for their legacy hardware, provided the app at some point supported their hardware.

Thursday, we received a word that Apple now allows developers to use the iTunes Connect portal to specify which apps and what versions should be made available to owners of legacy software through the App Store… Read More

 

You can now download App Store apps up to 100MB each over cellular

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013

Following the advent of iOS 7 earlier today, Apple appears to be busy making small but useful changes to its App Store. First up, the company’s added a new ‘Designed for iOS 7′ App Store section, basically a curated selection of third-party apps which are designed with the iOS 7 user interface and technologies in mind.

That’s not all.

It’s now come to light they’ve as well bumped the existing 50MB per-app ceiling, doubling it to a hundred megabytes. That means users are now free to download any app over their cellular network that’s up to hundred megabytes in size. As per usual, attempting to download an app over the limit prompts you to connect to a Wi-Fi network… Read More

 

Apple adds ‘Designed for iOS 7′ App Store section

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 18, 2013

Following The Great Flattening earlier today, Apple has added a new section to its App Store designed to highlight apps that are optimized for the iOS 7 appearance and technologies that make this OS update arguably the most important in Apple’s history.

The all-new ‘Designed for iOS 7′ section advertises apps like Evernote, OmniFocus 2, NBC, OpenTable, Perfect Weather and other third-party software featuring the iOS 7 style design. Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

App Store now lets you grab the last compatible app version on legacy devices

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 17, 2013

Apple has updated the App Store backend to allow for legacy app downloads, per tips we received this morning and this Reddit thread.

Starting today, trying to grab an app on the App Store from one of the unsupported iOS devices now presents users with a prompt offering to download the last compatible version available for their legacy hardware.

Previously, a developer posting a new app build would render older versions unavailable on the App Store. This improvement should be especially useful after iOS 7 arrives on Wednesday as owners of unsupported devices are now permitted to access the last compatible build on their outdated device… Read More

 

Apple can keep 30 percent cut on sales, injunction in DOJ ebooks case confirms

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 6, 2013

Like a prisoner on Death Row, Apple has delayed its penalty for weeks, offering up objection after objection to a proposed Department of Justice ebook antitrust settlement. Friday, federal judge Denise Cote issued an injunction, giving federal lawyers much of what they wanted.

Among the prohibitions against Apple: a five-year ban on so-called ‘most-favored-nation’ clauses in publisher contracts that would prevent ebook sellers from using rival services, such as Amazon. Also part of the penalty package was a requirement that Apple stagger contract negotiations with the five publishers that had already settled… Read More

 

E-books: judge says Apple needs outside monitoring

By Ed Sutherland on Aug 28, 2013

Apple seems to have succeeded in keeping government watchdogs from roaming the corridors of its Cupertino, California headquarters. A proposal by the Department of Justice (DoJ) to install an external antitrust monitor to oversee Apple activities was greatly curtailed Tuesday. Instead, New York federal judge Denis Cote ruled that any monitor would be limited to overseeing Apple’s antitrust policies and employee training.

A proposal by the DoJ to watch over all of Apple’s distribution efforts for potential antitrust action was also trimmed, the judge saying she doesn’t want government investigators interfering in the iPhone maker’s “flexibility to innovate”Read More

 

Apple seen testing new App Store ranking scheme based on user ratings

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 23, 2013

Ever since Apple in February 2012 bought Chomp, an app discovery engine, and subsequently killed both its Android and iOS apps, the rumor-mill has been abuzz with the supposed improvements to the App Store discovery stemming from the acqui-hire.

Disregarding the occasional tweaks to the App Store search algorithm here and there, the experience of discovering popular software beyond the apps Apple exposes on the main App Store pages remains a very tedious affair.

To put it perfectly bluntly, it often feels like finding a needle in the haystack. But according to a new report out Friday, things could soon improve as the company’s apparently been experimenting with new algorithms for iTunes and App Store rankings… Read More