Kids driving game Toca Cars is Apple’s new Free App of the Week

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 6, 2014

I hope you have downloaded the excellent Spark Camera which was made temporarily free thanks to Apple’s ongoing Free App of the Week promotion. Every Thursday a new paid app picked by Apple’s editors goes free for a limited time in the App Store as Apple’s way of thanking fans for their loyalty.

As Spark Camera today returns to its original $1.99 price, a new app has gone free until next Thursday, Toca Cars. Originally released last September and normally costing $2.99, this charming kids driving game from Toca Boca (a studio that makes digital toys for kids) has a 4.5-star rating and was never free, until today.

I wholeheartedly recommend you grab Toca Cars in the App Store now

Read More

 

Apple pulls Bitcoin wallet app Blockchain from App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 6, 2014

Apple on Thursday pulled from its App Store the last remaining Bitcoin wallet app that allowed transactions. Blockchain, the only Bitcoin trading and storage iOS app, has been downloaded 120,000 times. It can no longer be found on the App Store following the removal over an “unresolved issue”.

Nicolas Cary, the CEO of London-based Blockchain.info which developed the app, told Bloomberg he didn’t understand Apple’s reasoning as his app’s been on the App Store for two years.

Apple previously pulled Bitcoin-compatible apps from the App Store or asked their developers to remove the transfer feature because it’s illegal in some countries… Read More

 

How to open App Store links without leaving the app you’re currently in

By Joe Rossignol on Feb 5, 2014

When you tap on an app link on your iPhone or iPad using Safari or otherwise, you are automatically redirected to the App Store to make a download or learn more details. The transition is rather cumbersome, however, as it is essentially a two-step process that requires you to return to the app you were originally using via the Home screen or multitasking menu.

QuickStore 2 is a brand new jailbreak tweak that aims to solve this minor inconvenience by allowing users to launch the App Store directly from the app they are using at the time. This is achieved through a pop-up window that loads when you tap on an app link anywhere on iOS, including websites like iDownloadBlog. Details inside…  Read More

 

Apple now rejecting apps that use ad tracking but don’t show any ads

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 3, 2014

An interesting finding by TechCrunch this morning that Apple has now started to reject apps which retrieve users’ Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), but don’t show any ads. IDFA was introduced alongside iOS 6 two years ago to replace the universal device identifier (UDID) from prior iOS versions amid privacy concerns and new regulatory requirements. The company last March stopped accepting apps into the App Store that use the now defunct UDID… Read More

 

NBA Game Time app gets big update ahead of All-Star weekend

By Cody Lee on Feb 3, 2014

Now that the Super Bowl is over, and pro football is no more, the attention of many sports fans will now turn to basketball. College teams are just a month or so away from the big March Madness tournament, and the NBA is just two weeks away from All-Star weekend.

And because of that, the NBA pushed out a big update for its Game Time app this weekend. The update brings the app to version 5.2, and adds several new All-Star data points and features including rosters, schedules and everything you need to keep up with the action… Read More

 

App Store highlights Sochi 2014 apps and music

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 31, 2014

With just one week left until the February 7 opening ceremony for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, Apple’s editorial team has published a conveniently curated App Store section which highlights some of the best iPhone and iPad applications to follow the Games, along with some Olympics related music.

“Immerse yourself in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with this collection of official apps and music,” writes Apple. “Follow the progress of your favorite athletes, track each country’s medal, listen to the Torch Relay anthem, and much more”Read More

 

PopAGraph goes free as Apple’s Free App of the Week – make your photos pop now!

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 30, 2014

Like every Thursday, today Apple gets to slash another app to $0 in its ongoing Free App of the Week promo. A week ago today it was Disney’s Where’s My Mickey? puzzler and now the App Store editors have named PopAGraph this week’s Free App of the Week.

Released in April of last year, this nicely done photo-editing app for the iPhone and iPad by Flambe Studios LLC wants to make your photos pop, by allowing you to mask objects and pop them out to give them an impression of depth.

Grab it free in the App Store until next Thursday… Read More

 

Apple says iOS 7 is now installed on 80% of compatible devices

By Cody Lee on Jan 27, 2014

Apple has updated its App Store support page for developers this week to reflect new information regarding iOS 7 adoption. According to the company’s usage data, the new OS is running on 80% of iOS devices accessing the App Store.

That’s just a small jump from December of last year, when it was reported that iOS 7 adoption had hit 78%, but Apple said on its earnings call just a few moments ago that it’s enough to make iOS 7 the most popular OS in the world… Read More

 

Spark Camera is Apple’s Free App Of The Week

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 17, 2014

Today is Friday and you know what that means, no? That’s right, every Friday a new app goes free in the App Store in Apple’s ongoing Free App of the Week promo.

Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten about downloading PAC-MAN, last week’s Free App of the Week. Those who missed it needn’t despair as Apple’s new freebie is definitely worth getting excited about.

Spark Camera, a cool iPhone photography app from Ideo (the design shop that created Apple’s first mouse) arrived last October. The program got Lory and the rest of the iDownloadBlog team drooling over its sharp, easy to use interface and great features aimed at creating gorgeous mini montages by stitching together your snippets of a moment in time.

Spark Camera is normally priced at $1.99, but you can now grab it free of charge until next Thursday, courtesy of Apple’s Free App of the Week… Read More

 

Apple agrees to refund users in FTC settlement over unwanted in-app purchases

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2014

Parents whose kids were tricked into obtaining virtual items in iPhone and iPad games by way of the iOS In-App Purchase mechanism will get refunded over unwanted spending, according to Apple’s settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The penalty dwarfs Google’s $22.5 million fine in the Safari website tracking scandal.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was not pleased with the outcome, but acknowledged in a letter to employees that the company “has entered into a consent decree” over long-standing complaints over inappropriate charges in the App Store, alluding his company may have exhausted its legal options and didn’t want to risk an enduring legal battle with the government… Read More

 

Apple announces record-breaking App Store stats: $10B revenue in 2013 and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 7, 2014

Apple has just announced via a press release this morning that customers have spent north of $10 billion in the App Store in 2013, including over an astounding $1 billion in sales in December alone.

It was the best year for the App Store business thus far. The more than $10 billion in 2013 revenue should be music to developers’ ears as Apple’s platform continues to lead in terms of user engagement, stickiness, profitability and other metrics that matter.

And how much money did Apple pay to its “incredible developers,” as the company put it, since the App Store’s inception nearly seven years ago? Fifteen billion dollars (not a typo) – and that’s after its customary 30 percent cut!

The company said developers really took advantage of the new iOS 7 APIs to overhaul their apps and mentioned successful App Store developers such as Evernote, Yahoo, Pinterest and a few others. The company also cast spotlight on some surprise 2013 hits such as Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up and hit games from international developers like Clumsy Ninja and Candy Crush Saga, which reached half a billion downloads in just a year… Read More

 

Apple reportedly acquires burst photo app-maker SnappyLabs

By Cody Lee on Jan 5, 2014

Apple has reportedly acquired app developer SnappyLabs, the one-man photo technology startup behind the app SnappyCam. For those unfamiliar with the title, it was a popular camera app that allowed users to take full-resolution pictures at 20 to 30 frames per second.

SnappyCam mysteriously disappeared from the App Store, shortly after founder John Papandriopoulos announced that he had achieved a breakthrough with “discrete cosine transform JPG science.” He essentially reinvented the JPG image format, and word has it Apple wanted in… Read More

 

That syncing feeling: why don’t iPad and iPhone versions of the same game share game progress often enough?

By Oliver Haslam on Jan 1, 2014

Games are fun. Judging by both the paid-for and free app charts in the App Store, they’re also extremely popular. A look at the top-grossing apps on the iPad shows that 9 of the top 10 (in the UK store) are games. The odd one out is a newspaper, oddly enough. If you look outside the top 10 list, the trend continues throughout the chart.

With gaming clearly so popular on the iPad, and indeed the iPhone, developers are rightly beginning to throw considerable resources at creating some truly impressive iOS games. The likes of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Oceanhorn are effectively console or handheld games that run on a smartphone or tablet. Both are a far cry from the games we used to play on our mobile devices. Does anyone remember Snake on the Nokia phones of old? Ahh, fond memories indeed.

For all the increased attention that game development on iOS has received over the last couple of years, and with both big names and smaller independent developers bringing some excellent titles to the platform, there is still something lacking. We’re being treated to games that look absolutely stunning on the latest hardware and voice acting as well as story building have both improved dramatically of late, but there’s one issue remaining. One that’s become all too apparent to me as I’ve started playing games on an iPad mini (with Retina display, of course) as well as my iPhone. That issue is syncing.

The syncing of game progress, to be precise… Read More

 

Apple’s App Store data shows iOS 7 adoption is now at 78%

By Cody Lee on Dec 31, 2013

Apple has updated its App Store support page for developers this week to reflect new data regarding iOS 7 adoption. According to the company’s usage data, the new operating system is running on 78% of iOS devices accessing the App Store.

That’s a nice little jump up from earlier this month, when Apple noted that iOS 7 adoption had hit 74%. The move can be attributed to the success of the iPhone and iPad over the holiday season and [possibly] the just-released iOS 7 jailbreakRead More

 

Nokia pulls Here Maps because iOS 7 changes ‘harm user experience’

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 27, 2013

Nokia’s long-standing mapping service rebranded as Here got announced in November 2012, with the native iPhone and iPad application arriving soon after with maps for around 200 countries, voice-guided walking navigation, public transportation directions and offline capability.

It was a nice little app that Nokia hoped would effectively fill the void in the App Store at the height of the iOS Mapsgate controversy.

Then, Google released its revamped standalone Maps for iPhone and spoiled the party for Nokia as its offering quickly tanked in App Store rankings. On Thursday, the embattled Finnish company has removed the Here application from the App Store, with a company spokesperson firing a potshot at Apple’s iOS 7 in a written statement… Read More

 

Castro updated to support non-iTunes subscriptions

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 23, 2013

We loved the new Castro podcasting app in our recent review, but our main beef with the app was with the lack of non-iTunes subscription support. In previous versions of Castro, there was no way to manually add feed URLs from podcasts that aren’t listed in iTunes. This meant that shows like Let’s Talk Jailbreak, which are not on iTunes, couldn’t be played via Castro.

The good news is that Supertop, the developers behind Castro, didn’t let this glaring omission go on for too long. The team has just pushed Castro version 1.0.2 to the App Store, and with it comes the ability to subscribe to podcasts directly from URLs. The update includes quite a few more additions to the app as well; check inside for the full change log. Read More

 

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars returns to the App Store with Retina display support

By Cody Lee on Dec 22, 2013

As you may or may not have known, Rockstar pulled Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars from the App Store back in September. They said the removal was due to an incompatibility with iOS 7, and that they would investigate a fix for it.

Well the game made its triumphant return to the App Store this weekend, with fix and all. Now, the popular Grand Theft Auto title is fully compatible with the latest version of iOS, and Rockstar even added in support for Retina displays… Read More

 

Apple launches ‘Best of 2013′ iTunes page for top apps, games and more

By Cody Lee on Dec 17, 2013

As it has done every December since 2009, Apple has published an iTunes page today highlighting the top performing downloads in its various digital storefronts. The page covers everything from apps to games, to books and movies.

Apple named Duolingo, a free app that teaches you how to speak in different languages, its iPhone App of the Year and the popular ‘Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption’ its iPhone Game of the Year. More top picks after the fold… Read More

 

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

 
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