Over the past month, one obvious trend has taken the App Store by storm: sleaze apps. Make It Rain hit the top of the iPhone download chart in early may with gameplay features such as bribing federal judges. Toilet Time became the No. 2 app (so to speak) in mid-May by promising to let players to “use your pee to clean dirt from the toilet.” And of course, there was the king of all sleaze apps: Weed Firm, a marijuana business simulator that was populated by such memorable characters as “a horny dancer.” More →
When critics and analysts discuss the death of console gaming, they often hold up the iPhone as the culprit. Mobile gaming is destined to replace expensive home consoles once and for all, they say, offering comparable games for 1/60th the price. So why are the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 flourishing while Flappy Bird clones still dominate the charts on iOS devices? More →
The long-awaited Pebble app store has finally arrived, and with it comes over 1,000 apps and watchfaces for your wearable device. Pebble announced on Monday that the appstore had finally gone live on the iOS version of the Pebble app, with the Android release coming “very, very soon.” The Pebble appstore is the first central location for developers to share their creations with the public and for Pebble owners to install and manage the apps on their smartwatches. More →
A potential security issue with iOS apps has been discovered, as a calendar app has been found to ask users to provide Apple ID login details in order to sync calendars, Marco Arment revealed. The Sunrise Calendar app has an “Add Account” feature that lets users connect the app with an iCloud calendar, Facebook and Google Calendar if they so desire. To do so, Sunrise requires user names and passwords, which may be a security risk especially for iCloud, which uses Apple ID login details that can be used to access Apple’s digital stores including iTunes, the iOS App Store, the Mac App Store and Apple’s iBookstore. More →
Apple has been negotiating an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission for months in regards to in-app purchases, but a letter from Tim Cook sent to Apple employees on Wednesday indicates that the company has decided to settle. The fight concerned how easy it is for children to make in-app purchases without the oversight of their parents. More →
Distimo’s new app survey has many interesting data nuggets. One fascinating insight is that Apple had 18% app revenue growth in December over November, while Google Play app revenue growth was 17%. This is more interesting than it seems at first glance, because Google Play has been able to deliver far faster app revenue growth over the past two years, outpacing Apple app revenue growth by as much as fourfold according to some sources. Cheap Android phones are popular Christmas gifts and tend to lead to strong Android app revenue spikes in December. So how come Apple was so strong in the Christmas of 2013? More →
Mobile apps have become a very big business indeed. Apple on Tuesday reported that its App Store generated a record $10 billion in sales in 2013, which included around 3 billion downloads and $1 billion in sales for the month of December alone. Apple credited some of the December surge in sales to the fall launch of iOS 7, which the company said let developers “create stunning apps that took advantage of the redesigned user interface and the more than 200 new features and APIs.” In all, Apple says that developers have no made a total of $15 billion from the App Store. The company’s press release follows below. More →
The explosive growth of mobile apps isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. According to research company Gartner, 102 billion apps will be downloaded from mobile app stores in 2013, nearly 40 billion more downloads than 2012. Total revenue of app downloads is also expected to increase from $18 billion last year to $26 billion by the end of 2013. Although Gartner‘s projections show continuous growth through 2017, the rate of growth is expected to slow starting next year. More →
Apple’s already in some hot water for allegedly conspiring to rig eBook prices and now the United States Department of Justice has revealed some new evidence showing that the company’s anticompetitive practices may have extended beyond mere price-fixing. GigaOM reports that the DOJ is alleging that Apple “changed in-app purchase rules to require that any content sold through apps must also be sold through the iTunes Store, and forbid publishers and retailers from sending users to websites outside their apps to make purchases.” The DOJ says that the effect of this policy change was “to make it more difficult for consumers using Apple devices to compare eBook prices among different retailers, and for consumers to purchase eBooks from other retailers on Apple’s devices.” Apple has denied the DOJ’s allegations that it rigged eBook prices and will likely appeal the department’s ruling.
Apple’s App Store has a much better reputation for security than Google Play but that may not last long if more hackers take advantage of a new flaw discovered by a team of researchers at Georgia Tech. Technology Review reports that the researchers successfully posted a malicious app to the App Store that contained fragmented pieces of code that only assembled themselves into malware after users had installed the app. The researchers say that they were able to get away with this because Apple apparently only ran the app for a few seconds before deciding that it was safe and sending it along to the App Store. More →
Although Apple will likely at least refresh its user interface for its mobile devices with iOS 7 at WWDC next week, at least one app developer is hoping the company will seriously rethink some core features of its App Store. John August, a screenwriter who also works on mobile apps through his company Quote-Unquote Apps, writes that the format of Apple’s “most downloaded” apps chart hurts smaller app developers and also limits users’ exposure to different types of apps. More →
The new Fiksu report on Apple’s App Store has a fascinating nugget about its daily download volume, which in April ticked up to 5.61 million app downloads from 5.02 million in March. But that level is still far below January’s 6.1 million apps and only marginally above October 2012 level of 5.4 million downloads. Fiksu measures top-200 free downloads, but this is a category that should be growing faster than paid downloads due to an industry shift towards free-to-play model. So the App Store download trend of both paid and free apps could be even weaker than what Fiksu reports.
Of course, January is exceptionally strong month due to consumers who received a Christmas iPhone going on download sprees. But having an April download volume still nearly 10% below the January level is a bit of a downer for the app industry. It’s clear that the iPhone volume sales growth slowdown to single digits in America is having a substantial impact on download volumes. This is one reason why Google Play is narrowing the download gap so rapidly: Not only has the user experience and app selection of Google Play improved over the past 18 months, but Apple’s own app download growth has ground to a halt at least in the dominant U.S. market.
The countdown on Apple’s website stopped late Wednesday indicating that the company’s App Store has surpassed 50 billion downloads. The milestone comes just 14 months after Apple announced 25 billion apps had been downloaded from its popular marketplace. Apple launched the App Store in July 2008 and downloads have increased steadily over the past five years. The company’s first milestone came in January 2011 when the store surpassed 10 billion downloads, followed by 25 billion last March. Apple will reward the individual who downloaded the 50 billionth application with a $10,000 App Store gift card and 50 runners-up will each receive a $500 card.