A new report from Seth Godin of PaidContent claims Apple is rejecting eBooks from its iBooks store that contain links to Amazon. “I just found out that Apple rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography,” Godin stated. In an email, Apple’s review team told Godin the book was rejected due to “multiple links to Amazon store.” The Cupertino-based company’s move is causing quite a stir, and some argue that if Amazon and Barnes & Noble were to employ the same practices, the world of eBooks would become closed off and censored. “I think that Amazon and Apple and B&N need to take a deep breath and make a decision on principle: what’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace,” Godin concluded. “If it’s legal, they ought to let people read it if they choose to.” More →
Earlier this month it was revealed that the popular social networking app Path was uploading entire iPhone address books to the company’s servers without first gaining permission. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses. Path quickly confirmed the report and issued an update to allow users to opt-in or out. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that a user’s address book isn’t the only information vulnerable on iOS devices, however. The publications claims photos can also be accessed by third-party app developers. Read on for more. More →
Andy Rubin on Monday announced that the Google’s Android partners are currently activating an average of 850,000 each each. The activation rate continues to increase rapidly, and it is now up a whopping 250% year-over-year. In December it was reported that 700,000 devices were activated each day. Google also announced that the Android Market is now home to 450,000 apps, a mere 50,000 shy of Apple’s iOS App Store, and more than 1 billion downloads are being served each month to over 300 million Android devices worldwide. More →
iPhone users may be more inclined to pay for apps than their Android-toting counterparts because apps in the Android Market are usually priced much higher, according to market research firm Canalys.The company on Thursday released the results of a survey that found Android apps to cost two and a half times more than iPhone apps on average. The top paid-for Android apps were priced “dramatically higher” than those on iOS for the iPhone. “In the US, to purchase the top 100 paid-for apps in the Android Market would cost $374.37 – an average of $3.74 per app – more than 2.5 times the cost of the top 100 paid-for iPhone apps. The top 100 iPhone apps would cost $147.00, or $1.47 on average per app,” read the company’s press release. The survey found that 82 of the top 100 paid apps in Apple’s App Store were priced at $0.99, against just 22 in the Android Market. More aggressive pricing in the Android Market, however, could encourage more consumers to make their first app purchases, the firm claims. Read on for Canalys’s press release.
While browsing Apple’s App Store this weekend, you may have been surprised to see an iconic game sitting among the most popular iPhone apps. When a Pokemon Yellow app appeared in the App Store for $0.99, many unsuspecting users quickly jumped at the chance to finally have the highly-additive Nintendo RPG on their mobile devices. Those people would end up disappointed because the app was plagued by crashes, making it completely unplayable. What’s more, it was an unauthorized copy created by “House of Anime,” and Nintendo had nothing to do with it. The game peaked at No.3 on the App Store charts and garnered a one-and-a-half star rating with 1,352 negative reviews before it was finally pulled by Apple, Ars Technica reported. Though thousands of people ended up getting ripped off by this obvious fake that Apple let into its App Store, there is one positive takeaway from the ordeal: if Nintendo ever does decide to stray from its current stance and build iOS apps, the company will undoubtedly have some blockbusters on its hands. More →
Microsoft is confirmed to be working on a version of its wildly popular Office productivity suite for Apple’s iPad, and The Daily managed to get some hands on time with the highly anticipated software ahead of its release. Microsoft Office for iPad will bring Word, Excel and PowerPoint functionality to Apple’s tablet — presuming the app is approved by Apple — and it is unclear if Microsoft has plans to add additional Office applications in the future. The app has a similar look to Microsoft’s OneNote app for iOS, which borrows largely from the Metro-themed Office software on the Windows Phone platform. The Daily’s report states that Microsoft plans to submit Office for iPad to Apple for approval in the coming weeks, though a firm time frame was not provided.
UPDATE Microsoft told ZDNet that the image above is a fake. The company did not comment on whether or not it has a version of Office for the iPad in development. More →
Apple may be working on an overhaul of its iTunes Store and App Store, according to 9to5Mac. Due to growing competition from music streaming services like Spotify and the growing popularity of Amazon’s online music store, the redesign of the iTunes Store is considered “a top priority for Apple.” The Cupertino-based company is looking to simplify the service and deliver a more user-friendly interface than the one afforded by its current design. The redesign will reportedly simplify content discovery, and it will “make the iTunes Store a much more engaging experience.” The revamped stores are reportedly scheduled to launch later this year. More →
Apple on Friday initiated a countdown to 25 billion iTunes App Store downloads. The running total currently sits just under 24.3 billion downloads and Apple is offering a prize to the user who downloads the 25 billionth application. “As of today, nearly 25 billion apps have been downloaded worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks,” Apple wrote on its website. “Download the 25 billionth app, and you could win a US$10,000 App Store Gift Card. Just visit the App Store and download your best app yet.” Apple’s iOS App Store opened its doors in July 2008 alongside the launch of the iPhone 3G, and the company would later launch the Mac App Store in October 2010. More →
Last week it was discovered that a number of popular iPhone apps were invading users’ privacy and uploading entire address books to external servers. The data uploaded included full names, phone numbers and email addresses, and the offending apps never asked for permission to transfer this sensitive data. A group of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the International Security Systems Lab began a study last year to discover how and where iPhone apps were transmitting data, reports Forbes. The team found that one in five free apps in Apple’s App Store was uploading private data to external servers, and apps from Cydia, an app store for jailbroken iPhones, would leak private data less frequently than Apple-approved apps. Read on for more. More →
On Monday, a Touchstone Arcade thread from a disgruntled developer claimed numerous apps in Apple’s App Store were promoted into the top 25 using illegal services. The poster accused a number of big-name developers such as Crowdstar of using such services. Crowdstar’s co-founder Suren Markosian immediately denied the accusation, assuring customers it promotes its apps “using legitimate advertising channels such as flurry, chartboost, iAds, etc.” The thread gained a good deal of buzz, however, prompting Apple to post a warning to remind developers to adhere to guidelines when promoting their apps. “Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it,” reads Apple’s warning. “However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership.” More →
Apple has hired a former marketing executive from Microsoft to help promote the App Store and iTunes in Europe, MCV reports. Robin Burrowes, former head of Xbox LIVE marketing in the EMEA region for Microsoft, joined Apple in January according to his LinkedIn profile. His formal duties at Apple remain unclear — Burrowes’s profile only states that his role involves “App Store Marketing” — but the executive’s background suggests gaming will be a strong focus. Apple has hired a number of executives with experience in the gaming market recently, including Nintendo’s former head of public relations Robert Saunders and former Activision, EA and Xbox PR head Nick Grange. The video game industry finds itself among a number of businesses that have been disrupted by Apple’s iOS lineup, and the company’s recent hires suggest that Apple intends to continue pushing the gaming capabilities of its mobile device lineup. More →
Since the launch of the iPhone 4S, we have seen numerous Siri clones come and go. While Siri does have its flaws, the feature is unique, smart, user-friendly and at times, hilarious. Most alternatives promise these same features, unfortunately they never seem to deliver. Enter Evi, a Siri alternative that promises to bring users even more functionality than Apple’s digital personal assistant. The program is created by True Knowledge and uses the company’s Answer Engine to provide users with what it claims to be a limitless amount of information. The app is available for free in the Android Market and for $0.99 in the App Store, and that price covers the cost of using Nuance voice recognition (the same voice recognition technology as Siri), which the Android version does not feature require. Read on for more. More →
Google’s open approach with the Android platform means developers can build applications that make use of parts of the operating system that iOS developers can’t even consider if they hope to get their apps approved for distribution through Apple’s App Store. Even still, however, there are a number of Android developers with apps that have been banned from Google’s Android Market for various reasons. While iOS developers looking to get around Apple’s strict policies can turn to Cydia, the third-party app store available to jailbreakers, Android developers with banned apps do not have a centralized location through which they can distribute their wares — but that will soon change. Android developer Koushik Dutta recently revealed that he is working on a third-party application distribution resource that will function much like Cydia does on iOS devices. Dutta, known for his work on custom “CyanogenMod” Android ROMs, published an image of the app listing utility that will allow developers to add products to the store, hinting that progress is being made and we may soon see an initial release. Paid and free apps will be available in the CyanogenMod App Store, and a cut of sales will be taken just as it is in the Android Market. Dutta hasn’t yet announced a launch time frame for the new app store. More →