Tag - App Store
New rules introduced by the Chinese government are going to increase the monitoring of the country's citizens, by forcing mobile app stores to keep track of their users. Apple and other app store owners are ordered by new rules issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China to keep records of user activity for a period of time, as well as establish the identity of both the users and the app developers, in order to crack down on the viewing and distribution of banned content.
[Update: outage resolved] Since at least 2:17 PM Pacific Time today, the iTunes and App Stores appear to be dysfunctional for at least some users. The problem appears to be most severe in the northeastern US and in England, but there are scattered reports from a number of other countries, though not all users are affected. For those that are, however, upgrades and purchases are not able to go through. This also is having an impact on Apple's streaming services and the ability of users to log into their iTunes accounts.
In a bid to boost the discoverability of new apps, Apple announced earlier that it would launch a test program for Search Ads, a forthcoming feature to the App Store that offers -- for the first time -- paid promotions on one of Apple's storefronts. Previously, Apple staffers have picked items to received promoted status at will, resisting efforts at putting advertising in the search results for fear that big players would dominate and further obscure up-and-coming, smaller, and new releases.
Apple has taken an unusual approach to teaching developers about how the App Store reviews submissions, by creating a digital comic book. App Review Guidelines, created by Apple and comic book reader app developer Madefire, is a free to download 35-page comic that mixes together the important rules that developers must follow when submitting apps with comic book visuals, to try and make the extensive rules easier for developers to digest.
Six months after taking over the management of the App Store, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller is planning a number of very bold changes to the iOS App Store -- some of which are very likely to spread to the Mac App Store and other online Apple media stores -- that directly address concerns from both developers and customers regarding app reviews (the progress on which has already been seen), app discovery, and new business models -- including subscription consolidation, and a limited form of advertising.
A series of Apple services are having problems this afternoon, perhaps mirroring yesterday's Apple Music outage. According to the Apple System Status page, the iOS and Mac App Stores, the Volume Purchase Program, iTunes in the Cloud, and Apple TV services may be unavailable for some users. (Update 5:22 PM ET, more services are listed as affected by the current outage)
You could just buy every app that ever catches your eye, or which anyone ever mentions, or just has a shiny icon. However, your mom and dad are sick of telling Apple you've done this, and Apple's tired of pointing out that this is what your allowance is supposed to be for. Alternatively, you could be terribly disciplined, and write down the name of apps that might be of interest. You know what's coming next: there is a better way -- and it is Lookmark 2.0.1.
Equinox, the developer of LiveTV (German TV streams) claims that a new Apple tvOS App Store algorithm is hiding apps from its Top Charts once a user installs the app. The developer spotted the change after it released an update to its app. Where it had been listed in the number 42 slot prior to making the update available, Equinox noted that following the update, it had apparently vanished from the charts completely.
Although the two App Stores Apple operations -- one main one for iOS-based apps (including Apple TV), and one for Mac apps -- have been hugely successful, they have not been without complaints from developers over various aspects, including some back-end issues. One such issue -- unpredictable and sometimes-long review times for app submissions to be checked and approved before being published on the stores -- appears to be in the process of being resolved, with developers reporting dramatically-shorter approval times.
An analysis of US App Store revenue and download estimates between January 1 through March 31 of this year shows that only a tiny percentage of publishers are enjoying the lion's share of revenue. According to the data, 623 publishers who represent just one percent of all publishers on the App Store, reaped $1.34 billion in review of the estimated $1.43 billion in net revenue generated for the period. The remaining $85.8 million in revenue was split among the 61,677 publishers whose apps are paid or incorporate in-app purchases.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE