Side Tree Software's programs on Mac App Store $1 throughout December
Side Tree Software has announced that all of its programs available at the App Store will be $1 each through the month of December. Starting today, apps such as Abuzzle, Equal, Mymyry, SlidePuzzle and Tribbi are available for the $1 sale price.
Reduced up to 50 percent or more this weekend, including $1 apps
Black Friday sales aren't exclusive to tech gear and shopping malls -- there are plenty of discounts to be had on iTunes and the App Store for Mac OS X and iOS users.
Fix also deals with spacing issues
Apple has made changes to the App Store search engine in recent weeks that have improved its ability to cope with typos, sources note. Typically this means that using one or two wrong letters will still turn up the proper app. The store is now also able to ignore spaces, for example successfully finding QuizUp if someone searches for "Quiz Up" instead.
Embedded video a first; app previewed at iPhone 5 launch
Fourteen months after its debut during the iPhone 5 launch in 2012, the anticipated game Clumsy Ninja (free) has finally arrived in the iOS App Store - but in some countries, the game's preview page includes a one-minute video trailer, the first of its kind to appear in on an app page. The video preview is not yet available in the US store but is able to be seen in the UK and Canadian stores (among others) where the game appears as an "Editor's Choice" pick.
Apple outperforms Google, Amazon in app store ranking
Apple's App Store was rated the most mature overall, according to a new analysis from Pfeiffer Report. The App Store, which changed the mobile landscape upon its introduction, got higher overall scores than both Google's Play Store and Amazon's Appstore. The Play Store placed second behind Apple's offering, and Amazon's app repository came in last.
Could increase exposure, giveways
Apple has doubled the number of promotional codes it allows developers from 50 to 100 for each version of an app, accounts say. The codes are typically used to distribute an app to reviewers, friends, and family, as well as in the occasional giveaway. Apple notes that once a bundle of promo codes is requested, they will automatically expire four weeks later.
Company witnesses setbacks in some sectors
In parallel with an official announcement, Apple has also posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal Q4 results. The data shows that revenue in the Americas was up just 1 percent year-over-year to $13.941 billion, and even down marginally in Europe, shifting from $8.023 billion to $8.005 billion. Greater China however grew 6 percent to $5.733 billion, and Japan surged 41 percent to $3.341 billion. Offsetting this only slightly was the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, which dipped 6 percent to $1.980 billion. Global retail numbers increased 6 percent to $4.472 billion.
App Store offers over 1 million apps
During today's keynote, Apple started by detailing some of the company's recent successes. Cook reiterated how the company was able to achieve its biggest iPhone launch ever, by selling 9 million iPhone devices in the first weekend that the iPhone 5s and 5c were made available. Following this, Cook moved into numbers regarding the recently released iTunes Radio. Since launching in the US on September 18 more than 20 million listeners have tuned into the service, and over 1 billion songs have been played in the US alone. Finally, it was announced that the App Store now offers over 1 million unique apps, which have been downloaded over 60 billion times, resulting in more than $13 billion dollars being paid out to developers in total.
Free Mavericks downloadable via App Store
(Updated to reflect launch) Apple has revealed at its special event that OS X Mavericks, the latest incarnation of its Mac operating system, is free. The major update will be available to download later today at no charge via the App Store, with users of systems dating as far back as six years ago able to download and install the operating system.
App allowed for song purchases from HMV download store
Apple has temporarily removed the HMV iOS app from the App Store, as one of its features broke App Store rules. The app from the British music retailer allowed users to buy music downloads directly from HMV itself instead of through iTunes, something that is banned in the App store's terms and conditions.
Developers allowed to submit lucrative apps in new market
App developers can now submit games for sale at Apple's South African App Store, reports say. Correspondingly, a "Games" banner has appeared at the storefront, advertising the initial selection. By default, though, any game cleared for sale in the country will automatically go live there, meaning that most developers won't have to take any action to pull in the extra revenue.
Developers warned about impending changes
Prices at the Japanese App Store are going up as of October 17th, Apple is warning developers in a new email. The adjustment is being made to accommodate fluctuations in the value of the yen. Both Mac and iOS apps will be affected by the hikes, the company says.
Critics claim Apple kowtowing to China with app removal
Apple's decision this past summer to remove a censorship circumvention tool from the Chinese App Store has drawn criticism from some claiming that the iPhone maker is kowtowing to that country's authoritarian government. Users of Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo recently voiced their frustrations online, according to CNN, claiming that Apple showed it has no integrity in removing the app Open Door. The app is still available in other App Stores outside of China.
FaceTime, iTunes Match, other iCloud features briefly affected
Several of Apple's online services were briefly impacted by outages earlier today, according to Apple's System Status page. The worst affected the iTunes Store, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores between 1:28 and 2:57PM Eastern time, preventing some people from making any purchases. During the same time period, people may have been unable to use iTunes in the Cloud or iTunes Match, or restore purchases from an iCloud backup.
May also liaison with MLB for Passbook, app integration
The assistant general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays is leaving the organization to join Apple as an executive with responsibility for managing the Sports and Entertainment sections of the App Store, according to reports. Jay Sartori has been with the team since 2010 and will be leaving next month for the new job. His exact duties at Apple haven't been revealed, but the company has been working closely with Major League Baseball to enhance its apps' integration with other Apple technologies.
Ruling applies to cases already settled
An east Texas judge, Rodney Gilstrap, has issued a ruling blocking Apple from intervening on behalf of iOS app developers pursued by Lodsys, reports say. The order, handed down last Tuesday, also allows Lodsys to settle individually with each of the developers it has been leveling patent claims against. Apple has been seeking to intervene on behalf of developers for two years, arguing that it since it licensed patents (now owned by Lodsys) from Intellectual Ventures for in-app purchases, third-party developers are already protected.
Content divided by age group
As expected, Apple has added a 'Kids' category to the App Store. Users can view content geared for specific age groups, such as "Best for Ages 5 & Under," with a primary focus on educational apps. The listings also include popular games for kids, along with rankings for top paid apps, top free apps and top-grossing titles.
iOS DJ software adds content from major artists Snoop Dog and DJ Qbert
Creators of iOS DJ software Algoriddim have released djay 2 optimized for iOS 7. Featuring a fully-revamped user interface and new music library, users can now add an input track from their mixes directly into other participating audio apps for more creative opportunities using Inter-App Audio. Also included in the latest update, "Artist Packs" consists of a collection of 12 exclusive audio and vocal samples that can be loaded to the integrated drum pad sampler, allowing the user to trigger beats and vocal samples from their favourite artists' live performances. Snoop Dog and DJ Qbert are the first artists to have exclusive sound packs. Similarly, "Skratch Tools" is now an included feature, which is comprised of a collection of Qbert samples that users can use to 'scratch'. Djay 2 is available on the App Store for $2 for iPhone and $10 for iPad.
App stores credit cards, protected with PIN
Google has finally released a Google Wallet app (App Store) for iOS devices, enabling iPhone and iPad users to store and manage credit and debit cards, loyalty programs and promotional offers. The iOS title serves the same basic function as its Android counterpart, except for the tap-to-pay feature that requires NFC hardware unavailable on Apple's mobile devices.
Medical policy could cut down on pseudoscience
With the arrival of iOS 7, Apple has begun adopting a series of new policies at the App Store, reports say. One of these involves the new option of downloading the last compatible version of an app. While Apple is keeping old binaries by default, the company is also notifying developers that they can choose to manage access to prior versions through iTunes Connect.
May reflect growing size of apps, developer needs
Apple has raised the filesize limit on App Store downloads over 3G and 4G to 100MB, reports say. Previously the cap was 50MB, presumably to ensure a good user experience and appease cellular carriers. Prior to the launch of the third-generation iPad in March 2012, the cap was just 20MB.
Many updates squarely compatibility-focused
Since Tuesday night, a number of iOS apps have been receiving major updates in time for today's launch of iOS 7. One important entry is Pandora, which has gained a new, flatter look in keeping with iOS 7's aesthetics. The bulk of changes otherwise focus on iPad support, namely carrying over features of the iPhone app such as the ability to quickly add variety to a station or see song lyrics. A new swiped-in third pane on the iPad makes it easier to find new music or keep track of friend feeds.
Supports devices as old as iPhone 3G
Apple has enabled a new feature which lets people download the "last compatible version" of an app on the iOS App Store. Until now, only the most recent version of an app was available, which proved problematic for people with older hardware (and/or an older version of iOS) if compatibility requirements had changed. The new system will show a pop-up window in iOS, asking if they want to download an earlier app release.
Giving more weight to user ratings, lack of refunds, usage
According to app marketers and developers, Apple is making quiet changes to the way it weighs and ranks apps on its App Store. Once driven almost entirely by download counts, the formula is now accounting for not only user ratings (which can be manipulated), but also how many refunds have been issued against the app, the popularity of in-app purchases or subscriptions, and longer-term user engagement.
Uses evidence from talks between Jobs, Schiller, Cue
The US Department of Justice has filed a revised settlement proposal for the outcome of its recent trial victory against Apple. The proposal is similar to the original, but incorporates an expanded section on in-app purchases, claiming that Apple formulated its rules to "retaliate against Amazon for competitive conduct that Apple disapproved of" and "make it more difficult for consumers using Apple devices to compare ebook prices among different retailers."
New, separate Kids section designed to aid parents, provide more app info
Apple has sent out emails to developers letting them know that any apps they have that are aimed primarily at children (age 11 and under) will need to be rated under one of three new ranges in order to go into the new Kids category of the iOS App Store, which is coming with the arrival of iOS 7 this fall. Developers can choose from "5 & Under," "Ages 6-8" and "Ages 9-11," for their app, but can only pick from one of the three options. Existing apps not already in the Kids subcategory now will need to submit a new version for review.
Narrowed down to two affiliate networks, but with larger
Apple is making significant changes to its affiliate program for content on iTunes, the iBookstore, and the Mac and iOS App Stores, according to an announcement. The program gives participants a small commission for sales made via specially-formatted links. The main change is the elimination of LinkShare and dgm as affiliate networks, leaving just Tradedoubler and a new addition, Performance Horizon Group.
Plaintiffs found to have suffered no harm over App Store, may refile
A lawsuit claiming that Apple's iTunes App Store is an illegal monopoly -- as it only sells iOS apps, takes a 30 percent commission on sales and disallows third-party iOS app stores -- has been thrown out of court on procedural grounds, since the plaintiffs could not show any grounds for complaint, as they had not purchased the apps challenged in the lawsuit. "At a minimum," wrote the judge in her dismissal order, "plaintiffs must allege facts showing that each named plaintiff has personally suffered an injury-in-fact based on Apple's alleged misconduct."
Game pulled after legal dispute with property owner Atari
After its untimely retraction just weeks after release from the iOS and Mac App Stores, the Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition has been restored for sale and download. The title was yanked from the stores owing to a dispute between developer Overhaul Games and Atari, which has apparently been resolved.
Should limit data advertisers, app makers can harvest from children
Apple has tightened some of the rules in its App Review Guidelines for Mac and iOS developers. Some of the new restrictions are meant to comply with the US government's revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The law prevents collecting personal data from kids under 13 without parental consent; while the definition of personal data originally just meant names, locations, phone numbers, and physical and email addresses, this now also includes audio, photos, and video.
Skips usual demand for patent licenses
Patent holding firm Lodsys has agreed to mutual charitable donations as settlement in its case against TMSOFT, a developer of various Mac and iOS apps. The person behind TMSOFT, Todd Moore, described the case as a "frivolous lawsuit" and notes that the case has been dismissed "with prejudice," preventing Lodsys from suing him again. He adds that he wasn't forced to sign a confidentiality agreement, but that he also isn't allowed to sue Lodsys, which could've been used to have courts rule the company's patents invalid.
Hearing on penalties to be assessed on August 9
Five of the publishers originally involved in the e-book price fixing case with Apple have filed a motion in Judge Denise Cote's court, opposing the proposed penalties that the Department of Justice wants asserted against Apple. The five publishers claim that the Department of Justice's demand will "improperly impose additional, unwarranted restrictions on the settling defendants, thereby depriving each publisher of the benefit of its bargain with plaintiffs." The penalty proposal by the Department of Justice and all filed motions will be heard on Friday, August 9.
Downtime affects major services
Several Apple online services encountered outages earlier today, according to the company's system status page. Between 11:23AM and 1:54PM Eastern, people may have been "unable to make purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, or iBookstore," the page states. "Users may also have been unable to download previously-purchased content, use iTunes Match, or successfully restore Apps and Music from an iCloud backup."
Screenshot Plus widget turns into app, adds features
Screenshot Plus, a long-time "widget" for users that wanted more customization and control over the Mac's built-in screenshot abilities, is now available as a $2 app from the Mac App Store. The program "lives" in the menubar and allows users to change the format of screenshots, save them to specific folders, open them in specific programs, do timed screenshots and the usual screenshot features. The program's time function is particularly handy for capturing events that are difficult to arrange using the built-in functionality, such as a button press or picture with the cursor/pointer/arrow included. Screenshot Plus supports a wide variety of languages and offers more features than the dashboard version.
Claims terms would 'establish a vague new compliance regime'
Apple has lashed out at the Department of Justice's proposed terms for settling the case the latter brought over e-book price fixing. In court documents, Apple calls the terms a "draconian and punitive intrusion" into its business, with penalties "wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm."
Would undo one of the stricter App Store rules
The Department of Justice has published proposed settlement terms that could force Apple to allow apps to link to outside e-book stores. Last month, the DoJ emerged victorious against Apple in a trial over e-book price fixing. Apple was accused of conspiring with publishers to artificially inflate e-book prices, in particular with the aim of undermining Amazon's once-standard $10 pricetag for Kindle titles. Modern, high-profile e-books are usually priced closer to $13 or $14.
Dev Center downtime creates ripple effects
Apple is issuing notices to developers, warning them that it may take time to review their apps for the App Store, reports say. "We are currently reviewing an app that you submitted for inclusion on the App Store, and want to let you know that the review process will require additional time, " one such message reads. "We apologize for the delay and will provide you with an update on the status of your app as soon as possible."
Beats out Origin, GameStop
Apple has become Electronic Arts' "biggest retail partner as measured by sales," EA COO Peter Moore revealed yesterday during a conference call with investors. The achievement is particularly notable since it means Apple beat out EA's own Origin download service, and more traditional retailers like GameStop. In all EA made about $90 million from smartphone and tablet games during the last quarter, although the publisher hasn't explained how much of that came from iOS versus Android and other platforms.
Apple wipes clean $6000 in-app bill after dad takes story to papers
A UK dad has had a $6000 App Store bill refunded by Apple after his 8-year old daughter racked up the total playing free games with in-app purchases. The father, Lee Neale, only discovered what had happened after his bank account was frozen. After initially being told by Apple iTunes support staff that the bill would not be refunded, Apple took action after the story reached the The Mirror.
Game was part of App Store fifth anniversary promotion
Naturally, giving something away for free when it normally costs money is bound to increase your popularity. During last week's App Store Fifth Anniversary celebration, Apple discounted five games and five non-game apps to free, when they normally sold for between $1 and $20. MacNN reported yesterday on the results from Infinity Blade 2, one of the chosen games that saw a spike in users. Indie game Badland has now come forward to add its experience, jumping from a typical 280,000 downloads per week to 7.4 million during the promotion.
NPR's update supports iOS6 and above
NPR launched Version 2.5 of its iPad app today, offering a new design layout and official compatibility with iOS 6. The app, intended to be browsed as a multi-media magazine, presents news and stories through a combination of audio, text and images. The update includes bug fixes, with major improvements in performance, stability and streaming audio. The graphics displayed throughout the app are now of Retina-resolution quality, and the 'Now Playing' metadata and artwork displays on the lock screen.
Decision to abandon case credited to Apple
Apple and Amazon have come to a settlement in their lawsuit over the term "app store," Reuters reports. US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton has ordered the case dismissed at the companies' request, following Apple's issuing a covenant not to sue, which in turn did away with Amazon's need to pursue a counterclaim. A lawyer for Amazon, Martin Glick, explains that "this was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case, and leave Amazon free to use 'appstore.'"
Google, Amazon app stores also under scrutiny
The French government's investigation of the iOS App Store is part of a broader probe into customers' inability to easily switch platforms, a spokesperson says. L’autorité de la concurrence -- France's competition regulation agency -- is targeting not just the App Store, but also other storefronts like Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.
Company unfairly favoring own stores over retail partners, complaints say
Apple's French headquarters was recently raided in the course of an antitrust investigation by the country's competition regulators, local reports say. Government authorities seized documents related to a complaint by Apple reseller eBizcuss, which went bankrupt last year. Following the bankruptcy, eBizcuss complained that Apple was engaging in unfair competition, making sure its own stores are well-stocked with new products while limiting what resellers have access to.
Apple says update syncs 'non-user-generated' data
Apple has rejected an update to an iPad app -- SignMyPad -- for syncing PDF files via iCloud, says developer Autriv. The app is used to sign PDFs, but in rejecting the update, Apple reportedly said that it syncs "non-user-generated" content, a violation of terms. Autriv tried to plead its case, but was instead told it might handle sync through a third-party service.
Follow brief outage for iCloud affecting 1.5 percent of customers
For about an hour and 20 minutes earlier today, some 20 percent of users trying to access the iTunes Store and associated services such as the App Store and iBookstore were blocked from doing so due to a service outage, Apple reports. According to its Services Status page, the problem began at 7:25PT and lasted until 8:45PT this evening. Earlier in the day, a small (1.5) percentage of users were hit with a brief iCloud outage that lasted about 45 minutes in the late afternoon, Pacific Time.
Refunds, iTunes credit offered as compensation
Settlement terms have been reached in the 2011 class action lawsuit over Apple's in-app purchase system, a new claims website indicates. The plaintiffs in the case argued that Apple's system allowed some developers to dupe children into buying large amounts of in-app content. While Apple normally requires an Apple ID login to authorize in-app purchases, until iOS 4.3 was released in 2011, a 15-minute window existed after an initial login during which more sign-ins weren't required.
August 19th trial date looms
Apple and Amazon have yet to come to a settlement in the former's lawsuit over the term "app store," notes AppleInsider. The two parties were ordered to try and settle the case in January, but haven't made any progress despite multiple talks. These reportedly include an all-day meeting on May 1st, and a 45-minute phone call on June 14th.
Over 6M registered developers, 1 million Apple store visitors per day
Apple CEO Tim Cook has started the keynote address at the currently-running 24th Worldwide Developer Conference by relaying some key statistics to the on-location and online audience. This year, there are 100 sessions, 120 labs, and 1,000 Apple engineers in attendance, but he warns those present "they're here to help, but don't ask them about future roadmaps."
Third-party app fills void
Google wants to submit an All Access app for iOS, but is still working to find something Apple will accept at the App Store, say 9to5Mac sources. What disputes the companies might have are unmentioned, but they could conceivably involve things like the revenue split from in-app purchases, and/or features that may violate App Store guidelines.