Developers frustrated as iTunes Connect, TestFlight experience lengthy downtimes
On the heels of a long period on Wednesday where iTunes Connect, the portal for developers to monitor, modify, manage, and upload apps to the App Stores, Apple's beta-testing platform for iOS, TestFlight, has been down for more than 12 hours. Oddly, Apple has not modified its Developer System Status page to reflect the problems, nor is there any indication when the problems might be fixed. While service to iTunes Connect was restored yesterday, the TestFlight problems continue.
Service now temporarily down
[Updated with possibly-related Testflight issues] A variety of developers have reported being logged into the wrong account after signing into iTunes Connect. Earlier today, signing into the service would display apps belonging to different developers; one person, for example, says they encountered an account belonging to someone at BlackBerry, showing apps such as BBM and BES12 Client. Anyone engaging in further actions would trigger an "unable to process request" message, and a redirect to the right account. In some instances, people had trouble logging in at all.
Final call for apps on sale during the shutdown, some deals extended
Yesterday, Apple re-opened it's iTunes Connect developer portal to allow app creators access to sales reports, analytics of app downloads and use, and the ability to submit, delete, and change prices on apps. The service was shut down between December 22 and December 29, which also contributed to the late addition to iTunes of the movie The Interview. Some bargains on apps and other items that are set to expire at midnight, or sales that have been extended, are explored below.
Standard annual procedure
For 2014, the annual shutdown of iTunes Connect will run from December 22 through to December 29, Apple has announced via its developer portal. Connect is the service used by app developers and book publishers to submit material for sale on iTunes, change prices, and study analytics. During the downtime, app makers won't be able to submit new apps, any updates, or introduce new in-app purchases. Changes to TestFlight betas will also be impossible, although people will be able to continue using beta apps.
Analytics portal to be taken offline for maintenance for six hours next Sunday
According to a brief notification sent to developers, Apple is planning to take iTunes Connect offline for approximately six hours starting at 6AM Pacific on Sunday, October 26. The portal is used by developers to submit, take down, update, adjust pricing and study analytics of apps submitted to the Mac and iOS App Stores. The modest maintenance downtime is unusual in light of Apple annual and longer downtime that usually happens in December.
Adds analytics, more app info
A redesigned iTunes Connect portal will be made available to developers and content holders later in 2014, Apple revealed yesterday during its Platforms State of the Union presentation, which is now available in video format via the WWDC website and app. Visually the new interface takes after iCloud.com. Feature-wise however it's receiving several important upgrades, including more data for app developers, and an analytics component that will let people track figures like whether people are remaining active users of software. Apple notes that people won't have to download anything to get the iTunes Connect update.
Podcasts gets support for Siri, CarPlay, AirDrop
In the wake of OS X 10.9.3 and iTunes 11.2, Apple has also released updated Podcasts and iTunes Connect apps for iOS. Podcasts 2.1 mirrors the latest changes in iTunes, incorporating a new Unplayed tab -- which makes it easier to listen to new content -- and "Feed" tab for browsing episodes ready to download or stream. Favorite episodes can be saved for later listening offline, and played ones can be deleted automatically.
17-hour disruption delayed launch of redesigned Starbucks app
Apple developers are still fuming over a prolonged outage of the company's iTunes Connect service, which started yesterday afternoon (5PM PT) and continued on until 10AM PT on Thursday. While not all developers were affected, a cascade of Twitter messages from frustrated app creators indicated that Apple's description of "some users" being affected was a not-insignificant percentage, and for some is still an ongoing problem.
Gives developers insights into sales patterns, useful for targeting
On top of a new beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 delivered ahead of schedule, Apple on Monday also issued a new version of its iTunes Connect Sales and Trends Tool. The program aids developers in understanding more about when and where sales are occurring as well as app data such as how buyers react to price hikes or sales and other insights. The update includes the ability to group sales by territory or across a specified time period.
Difficulties not reflected on official system status page
A number of App Store developers are encountering iTunes Connect outages when trying to submit new or updated apps, complaints suggest. In some instances people have been unable to connect for almost 24 hours, and the problem appears to be affecting developers around the world. Despite this, Apple's official system status page for developers shows no signs of trouble.
Dev portal iTunes Connect returns from holiday
Apple on Friday re-opened its iTunes Connect developer portal a day early from its stated week-long holiday, as it has for each of the past three years. Developers are now able to change pricing, post app updates, debut new titles and otherwise manage and analyze app sales. The company had said that the service would be closed until December 28, but it sent out an email to developers on Friday indicating that services were back online. Newsstand magazine updates will also resume with the re-opening of the portal.
Holiday closure will run from December 21 to 28
As is normal this time of year, Apple has sent out a notification to registered developers reminding them that iTunes Connect, the developer portal for apps on the App Store that lets them update, manage, add and view statistics on their apps, will be closed for the holidays. This year, the closure is one day shorter than it the scheduled shutdown last year, and will run from December 21 through 27. During that time, developers will be unable to submit new apps, update Newsstand publications, debut apps or submit new In-App Purchases.
Allows app developers to spend as little as $50 on iAd campaigns
Apple has added a new section to its iTunes Connect developer portal, iAd Workbench. The tool lets app developers promoting their titles via iAd to exercise more control over ads and campaign budgets. The minimum spend for such campaigns is now just $50, and developers can ask to pay on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Apple provides estimates for the reach of a given campaign, including statistics for impressions, taps, and downloads.
Apple closes iTunes Connect for holiday: deals, debuts locked in
As happens every year, Apple has closed its iTunes Connect administrative site for iOS developers from today until next Friday, December 28. In an email to developers, Apple notes that no price changes, app launches, in-app purchase changes or app updates will migrate to the App Store until iTunes Connect reopens. The good news for users is that any sale prices currently in effect on apps are "locked in" until the 28th. A number of apps have gone on sale recently, and there has been a plethora of app updates in recent days as developers rush to get end-of-year improvements posted.
More regions now have prices in local currencies as well
In addition to updating the Apple Store in the US and elsewhere for pre-orders of the new iPad mini on Thursday, the company has also been rolling out adjustments to foreign App Stores, including adding to the list of countries that show pricing in native currencies and raising prices throughout Europe. Countries on the Euro, for example, are seeing a new minimum app prices of €0.89 ($1.15), up from €0.79 (approximately $1). Apple is also updating iTunes Connect to reflect the changes in currency calculations.
Metadata, other fields support more languages
Apple has updated the App Store localization support in iTunes Connect with 10 more languages, a developer bulletin indicates. These include Norwegian, Turkish, Finnish, Danish, Indonesian, Malay, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, and traditional Chinese. Through the expanded support, the metadata, keywords, and screenshots on App Store pages can now be rendered more appropriate to a region.
Recent price changes already taking effect
iTunes Connect has returned from a scheduled downtime one day early, reports say. The service for Mac and iOS developers regularly goes offline for several days during the Christmas season. This year Connect was officially scheduled to be offline from December 22nd through to the 29th, during which time no changes by app developers would go live. Why Apple would resume Connect service early is unknown, but the company could theoretically be trying to cope with a heavy backlog.
Regularly scheduled downtime for developers
Apple has started informing developers about this year's regular iTunes Connect shutdown. For 2011 the service will be offline between December 22nd and the 29th, as usual coinciding with Christmas. iTunes Connect is used to manage titles submitted to the App Store, and so many developer activities will be temporarily suspended.
Apple halts app name squatting with notices
Apple took a quiet step towards improving developer relations yet again today as it began a push back against App Store name hogs. Those who start the app submission process now have 90 days to submit the app binary before warnings and another 30 days before the process is reset. Any developer who ignores the warnings will have the app name made available to use again, Apple said in a message to iTunes Connect members.
Provides details on all financial reports
Apple has added a new Payments and Financial Reports module to the iTunes Connect suite of tools for App Store developers. The new module provides users with a wide range of additional financial details. It includes information on the last payment made, the amount currently owed, earnings from previous months, and a rolling transaction history. Users can also view a record of unit sales and payments trends.
App shows sales trends, updates
Apple has released a new app, iTunes Connect Mobile, that allows App Store developers to monitor a variety of data. Users can quickly view daily and weekly sales information such as updates, paid and free apps, or in-app purchases.
New option added to iTunes Connect
Apple is reportedly allowing App Store developers to choose the launch date for their applications, according to a Twitter image posted by amdev. The Pricing tab in iTunes Connect now provides an option for the availability date alongside the scheduling for price tiers.