updated 12:16 am EDT, Wed June 11, 2014
Skype removed from App Store in prep for all-new 5.0 for iPhone version
Although Skype continues to be a popular and widely-used service for Apple device owners, there is no shortage of complaints about the look of the app -- particularly the Mac version, which didn't cease when Microsoft took over development when it bought Skype. The company has now begun pulling the current version of Skype out of the iOS App Store as it begins to roll out the all-new version 5.0, which has specifically been created for iOS and the iPhone.
"We have removed the Skype for iPhone app from the Apple iTunes store in some markets, as we begin rolling out the latest version," a statement issued by the company says. The new interface has been designed to offer continuity with the redesigned Windows Phone and Android versions, but is written specifically to take advantage of iOS. A new Favorites tab provides quick access to the people most frequently called, group chats can more easily be created and messages to offline users will be delivered when they return. The iPhone version should appear over the next week, and an all-new iPad version is also being worked on (with no specific release timetable).
Soccer Fever section added to iOS App Store
In celebration of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament, Apple has launched a new "Soccer Fever" section in its App Store. The new section groups not just official and unofficial World Cup-oriented apps, but also general soccer team apps, social chatting apps, soccer game apps and apps showcasing the country of and travel to Brazil, which is hosting the games this year. There is also some cross-promotion, with sections for soccer-related books, Brazilian music and movies that prominently feature soccer, such as Bend it Like Beckham.
The cross-promotion page has rarely been done on this scale before, and integrates many of the iTunes stores' differing departments, offering everything from more education about Brazil to ways to get there. While some apps have only a tangential connection to soccer (or "football" as it is known outside North America), the apps are connected to form a larger experience for those who cannot be at the games themselves. The FIFA World Cup will kick off (pardon the expression) on Thursday, June 12 and run through July 13.