Apple (AAPL) this week released its annual lists of the top free, paid and grossing iPhone and iPad apps of 2012. To no one’s surprise, a majority of the top grossing apps for the year were games. In fact, seven of the ten highest-grossing iPad apps were gaming apps, as were ten of the highest-grossing iPhone apps. The highest-grossing smartphone app was Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North and the highest-grossing tablet app was DragonVale. The top free app for the iPhone was Google’s new standalone YouTube app and the top free iPad app was Skype, while Angry Birds Space topped the paid charts for both devices. The lists paint a disturbing picture for the handheld gaming industry, which some have said is being turned into a niche with the rise of tablets and smartphones.
Yes, mobile applications are pretty popular. Mobile app marketing platform Appsfire said on its Twitter account Monday that Apple’s (AAPL) App Store “has seen 1 million apps ever created since launch.” TheNextWeb caught up with Appsfire co-founder Ouriel Ohayon, who explained that roughly 493,000 of the million apps submitted were paid applications, while around 159,000 were games. In total, there are around 736,000 apps available on the App Store today, meaning that just over a quarter of all apps submitted to the store have since been removed. Apple said last month that it had served more than 35 billion total app downloads from the App Store since it launched in 2008.
For a while now, developers looking to make serious money selling their apps were better off trying their luck at Apple’s (AAPL) App Store than with Google (GOOG) Play. But over at Tech-Thoughts, Sameer Singh has found some new data suggesting that in-app purchases are likely helping Google Play close the gap. Specifically, Singh looks at four different estimates for how much revenue iOS and Android apps generate on their respective app stores. While all four estimates varied widely in terms of how much total revenue each store generated, they also all clearly show Google Play apps increasing their revenues significantly over the past nine months. Singh writes that “if the revenue growth data is accurate, it does appear that the growth in in-app purchases has reduced the revenue gap between iOS and Google Play.”
App Store customers went through a rather frustrating ordeal over the weekend, as Apple’s (AAPL) online app market was plagued by a bug that blocked any attempts to buy apps. MacRumors reported on Sunday that the bug, which affected both iOS and Mac users, continuously asked users to accept updated Terms and Conditions, thus preventing them from actually purchasing any apps. MacRumors says that Apple corrected the problem within hours of noticing it but didn’t provide any comment about what caused the issue. More →
New numbers from research firm IHS iSuppli on Wednesday revealed that Apple’s (AAPL) App Store revenue in 2012 is estimated to increase nearly 70%. The Cupertino-based company is on pace to make $4.9 billion from its App Store this year, an increase from $2.9 billion in 2011. With this strong growth, Apple will control almost 65% of the global app store market by the end of the year. Following the release of iOS 6, the iPhone maker now offers a variety of “real world” apps such as Passbook and the new Maps service, which are estimated to help accelerate growth of the App Store. More →
Following the release of iOS 6 on Wednesday, Passbook-enabled apps have started trickling into the App Store, MacRumors reports. A small selection of apps from Major League Baseball, Ticketmaster, Fandango, Lufthansa and Walgreens are now available that grant users access to special events, flight tickets and reward programs. Apple (AAPL) announced Passbook at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference as an iOS 6 feature that allows users to store documents such as boarding passes, admission tickets, coupons and loyalty cards that can then be scanned for use at select retailers. More →
Surprise, surprise: People would rather not pay for smartphone apps. The latest numbers from Gartner research released Tuesday showed that free apps accounted for 89% of total downloads in 2012, or 40.1 billion compared to 5 billion paid downloads. The study also revealed that users are more inclined to purchase apps when the price is between $0.99 and $2.99. More →
A Russian hacker named Alexey Borodin recently introduced a program that allowed users to steal in-app purchases from a number of popular apps on Apple’s (AAPL) App Store. It was rather simple to use and only required users to install two security certificates, and change the DNS settings on their devices. The hack worked by placing Borodin’s server in between the device and Apple’s server, where it would intercept incoming purchase requests from the device, WA Today reported. Apple responded by getting the first instructional video removed from YouTube on copyright grounds, although it was quickly replaced with a second video that is still available. The Cupertino-based company also blocked the IP address of the server used by Borodin, convinced the Russian Web host to shut down the service and even worked with PayPal to prevent him from receiving donations. More →
In Russia, iPhone hacks you! Via 9to5Mac, it seems that a crafty Ruskie hacker who calls himself “ZonD80″ has concocted a method that lets even novice hackers get free in-app purchases from the Apple App Store without even having to jailbreak their iPhone. 9to5Mac says that the hacker’s content-stealing method has three steps: “The installation of CA certificate, the installation of in-appstore.com certificate, and the changing DNS record in wi-fi settings.” Once all these steps are complete, the hacker’s in-appstore.com interface takes over and lets users grab content from the App Store without paying.
UPDATE: Apple responded to the security flaw in a statement provided to The Loop. “The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating.” More →
Apple’s long one-day App Store nightmare is apparently over. Speaking to All Things D late Thursday, Apple said that it has fixed bugs within a DRM code-generating server that was corrupting recently-updated apps and causing them to crash. Instapaper developer Marco Arment started banging the drum about problems on the App Store early on Thursday and by the end of the day had generated enough reaction to force Apple to respond. Apple says that it doesn’t anticipate any more app-crashing problems for App Store users and it recommends that users affected by the app-crashing bug re-download updates to their apps to fix the problem. More →
Apple recently made some changes to the search algorithm used by its iOS App Store, and the move may end up having a serious impact on app sales for some developers. 30 South developer Derek Clark wrote a post on his personal blog this past Sunday after Apple quietly made a series of changes to App Store search mechanism. The developer noted that sales of his apps had dropped by more than 30% as a result of the changes, which have caused some of Clark’s apps to disappear completely from listed results for key searches that used to surface his apps. More →
According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →
A new iPhone app aims to remove the language barriers users face while traveling abroad. SayHi is a translation app available in Apple’s App Store that flawlessly translates a user’s spoken words into one of 33 different languages and dialects. The app was released almost two weeks ago and is already the No.1 business app in the App Store, with a four and a half star rating from more than 1,600 individuals. While at times there are a few hiccups, as with any app, the program worked as intended during our tests and did so in a reasonable amount of time. SayHi is available for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad running iOS 4.3 or later, and can be had for $0.99 in Apple’s App Store. More →