Free apps will account for nearly 90% of all downloads in 2012

By on September 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM.

Free apps will account for nearly 90% of all downloads in 2012

Mobile App Market

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 →

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Russian hacker battles with Apple to keep in-app purchase exploit alive

By on July 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM.

Russian hacker battles with Apple to keep in-app purchase exploit alive

App Store Hack

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 →

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iPhone hacker shows the world how to steal in-app purchases [updated]

By on July 13, 2012 at 10:30 AM.

iPhone hacker shows the world how to steal in-app purchases [updated]

App Store Hack In-App Purchases

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 →

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App-crashing bug is fixed, Apple says

By on July 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM.

App-crashing bug is fixed, Apple says

Apple App-Crashing Bug Fixed

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 →

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Apple changes App Store search without warning, costs developers sales

By on June 27, 2012 at 7:50 PM.

Apple changes App Store search without warning, costs developers sales

Apple App Store Sales Search

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 →

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Pandora touts more than 150 million users

By on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM.

Pandora touts more than 150 million users

Pandora has more than 150 million listeners

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 →

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New iPhone app helps travelers speak a foreign language

By on May 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM.

New iPhone app helps travelers speak a foreign language

iPhone app helps travels speak a foreign language

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 →

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Google Play Store surpasses 15 billion downloads

By on May 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM.

Google Play Store surpasses 15 billion downloads

Google Play Store surpasses 15 billion downloads

After reports surfaced claiming the Google Play Store was about to reach 15 billion app downloads, Google confirmed to TechCrunch that it reached the milestone “a few weeks ago.” Apple reached the same number of downloads in July 2011 and recently surpassed 25 billion downloads in March. The gap between the two marketplaces seems to be widening slightly, with Google seeing about 1 billion app downloads per month while Apple is serving about 1.25 billion app downloads per month. The Google Play Store currently has more than 500,000 apps, while Apple’s App Store has some 600,000. There have been reports, however, that claim iOS developers are making more money than their Android counterparts. Analyst Horace Dediu noted that up until the end of January 2012, Google has paid developers $320 million compared to $4 billion from Apple, but the Cupertino-based company’s app download rate is reportedly slowing, having fallen by 30% in March. Google expects to earn $35.9 million from its app store this year. More →

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New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

By on May 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM.

New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

New iPhone app enables self-destructing sext messages

Sexting, or the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs between mobile phones, continues to grow increasingly popular. Mobile users often have private photos posted to the Internet without their permission, and politicians and celebrities alike have taken explicit photos that using mobile devices that were eventually leaked. Unfortunately for Anthony Weiner, the congressman wasn’t aware of an iPhone app by the name of Snapchat. The program is available for free in Apple’s App Store and allows users to send photos that self-destruct within 1-10 seconds. Images cannot be saved in the app, and Snapchat will even notify users if the recipient takes a screenshot — though there is no way to prevent screenshots from being taken, of course. It should also be noted that images are stored on the developer’s servers, and while the company “attempt(s) to delete image data as soon as possible after the message is transmitted,” it cannot guarantee messages will always be deleted. “Messages, therefore, are sent at the risk of the user,” the company’s privacy policy warns. More →

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Apple discontinues Chomp for Android

By on April 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM.

Apple discontinues Chomp for Android

Chomp For Android Discontinued

Apple in February acquired the San Francisco-based company Chomp, a startup that develops application search and discovery software. Apple went forward with the acquisition in an attempt to improve the application search and discovery features within its App Store — the company’s Genius recommendations are a little half-baked. The service was previously available for both Android and iOS, but a recent visit to Chomp’s website has revealed that you can no longer search for Android applications. The app has also been removed from Google’s Play marketplace. It is unclear what will become of Chomp’s earlier partnership with Verizon, which used the service to powering its own app store marketplace. More →

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‘HackStore’ brings Cydia-like app store to Macs

By on April 25, 2012 at 6:25 PM.

‘HackStore’ brings Cydia-like app store to Macs

A group of developers in Russia recently launched the “HackStore,” a centralized location for third-party OS X applications. Like Cydia on iOS, the HackStore is a software hub that allows developers to distribute applications without having to endure Apple’s approval process. The developers behind the project claim that piracy will not be tolerated in their app store, though it is unclear exactly what measures they are taking to prevent pirated software from being distributed through the HackStore. “The biggest Mac Appstore problem is that they limit their users in everything, without giving an opportunity to expand these limits,” HackStore’s creators wrote on their website. “This is not correct, because ONLY users should decide which applications they should install and which one do not. We think HackStore [will] break through the narrow confines of Mac Appstore.” More →

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Image of Spotify’s official iPad app leaks, launch is ‘getting closer’

By on April 16, 2012 at 10:25 PM.

Image of Spotify’s official iPad app leaks, launch is ‘getting closer’

While Spotify offers a native iPhone app, the company still doesn’t offer one for Apple’s iPad. According to a photo recently published to the web, however, that may soon change. A Swedish technology consultant posted the first image of what is said to be a beta version of Spotify’s official iPad app. The image was posted on Instagram and it featured the caption, “It’s getting closer!” The image has since been removed, but not before it began to spread across various tech blogs. Spotify on Friday sent out press invitations for a special announcement event in New York City. Could the event be for an iPad app? Perhaps, although a press conference dedicated solely to an app seems unlikely. Earlier reports indicated that the music streaming company may announce brand partnerships that will allow app and playlist recommendations from companies in an effort to make the platform more attractive to advertisers. More →

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Instagram becomes No. 1 free iOS app for the first time ever after Facebook acquisition

By on April 11, 2012 at 9:35 AM.

Instagram becomes No. 1 free iOS app for the first time ever after Facebook acquisition

Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram has had a great impact on the photo-sharing app’s popularity. Despite public outcry with some users looking to delete their accounts, Instagram continues to add users by the millions. The media coverage has benefited the company greatly and on Tuesday evening, Instagram became the N0. 1 free app in Apple’s App Store for the first time ever. The company recently revealed that it had surpassed 30 million users on the iPhone, and combined with the success of the Android version and Facebook’s user base, it won’t be long until the photo-sharing app surpasses 50 million users and beyond. More →

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