Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

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Is Apple's App Store a mall or the equivalent of a sole proprietor shop selling unique wares? That question appears to be at the heart of a now revived lawsuit against Apple, Pepper et al v. Apple Inc. In it, a group of plaintiffs claim that Apple's insistence on selling all iPhone apps through the App Store and not allowing developers to sell iOS apps through other channels, like third-party app stores or directly from the developers themselves, is anti-competitive and artificially inflating prices.

The lawsuit is almost five years old and, according to sources, was dismissed so early on in the legal process that the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals, which agrees with the plaintiffs, is still a procedural one. It only leaves the door open for the lawsuit to again move forward, without positioning it Continue reading "Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?"

India’s largest mobile wallet app disappears from the App Store

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With new users comes new responsibilities. India’s largest mobile wallet app is quickly realising this in both good and hard ways.  Paytm has delisted its iPhone and iPad apps on the Apple’s App Store after stumbling across bugs and other technical issues. The company says it has pushed an update for the app and is waiting for Apple to approve it.  The disappearance of Paytm app from the App Store comes hours after the service suffered from an outage Tuesday evening. The service was triggering issues for several users even today.  Read more... More about App Store, Ipad, Iphone, India, and Paytm

Bogus apps are targeting holiday shoppers on the iOS App Store

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Holiday shopping? There's an app for that — but you'll want to make sure you're using the right one to avoid compromising your identity and credit card information. Malicious apps designed to trick shoppers have wormed their way into Apple's iOS App Store, according to recent reports in The New York Times and New York Post. They mimic legitimate outlets like Foot Locker and Nordstrom to fool people into handing over their personal information.

Some are even ransomware, the Times reported, meaning apps that actually lock a user out of their phone until they pay a fee. Read more... More about Ipad, Iphone, App Store, Ios, and Apple

Instagram Makes It Easier To Share From Boomerang

3648565639_38f500d564_b Right before the holidays, Instagram snuck in an update for its most second-most popular spun-out app, Boomerang. The app currently sits in the top 250 on the App Store’s free apps. The changes, although subtle, will probably make its users super happy. The premise of the app is to make little clipped-together videos, similar to an animated GIF or an Apple Live Photo. It feeds into… Read More

At Apple, Macs Pull In More Revenue Than iPads

th21 tim cook- rw photo desk

The demise of the computer is still nowhere to be seen. In fact, at Apple’s latest earnings call Monday, the company revealed that it pulled in $58 billion in total revenue in its January-March quarter, $5.6 billion of which came from Mac products. Meanwhile, the iPad accounted for $5.43 billion. Then again, that’s no huge accomplishment, given the iPad’s decline for more than a year now. Year over year, iPad sales have stumbled quite a bit. The latest figures peg 12.6 million tablets shipped, down from 16.35 million iPads a year earlier. 
See also: Apple iPad Sales Continue To Tank, Though The iPhone Is Doing Great
The biggest winners in the revenue game, however, were the usual suspects: the iPhone, which brought in a whopping 69 percent of total revenue, and Apple’s services—including iTunes, the App Store, iCloud, and others—which accounted for just under $5
Continue reading "At Apple, Macs Pull In More Revenue Than iPads"

When Should You Launch Your iOS App? Aim For The Weekend

shopping apps iphone Flickr Jason Howie.jpg
All developers want to see their mobile apps take off. But it’s what happens after all the hard work, testing and final prep—and when—that can make or break their chances of success. Especially when it comes to launching and promoting those apps. 
See also: iOS Apps Generated More Revenue Than Hollywood Movies Last Year
Timing is everything, according to app marketing and optimization firm Sensor Tower. Its new report on iOS apps, released Friday, suggests that weekends are the best time to plug those apps, in general. In most categories, that’s when people use them, make purchases and download new ones the most.  But not all apps and target audiences are the same, and results can vary from one type of app to another.

When We Buy, When We Download, And Why


Knowing when people are most likely to buy or download apps, and reaching them in
Continue reading "When Should You Launch Your iOS App? Aim For The Weekend"

iOS games are about to get bigger and (hopefully) better

Not many apps hit iTunes' 2GB file limit, but those that do tend to fall into a certain category (cough games). As a result, developers often must sacrifice graphics quality and effects for iOS titles, the exact problem we pointed out with the recent BioShock iOS release. But Apple has finally lifted that limit, and the max file size on iTunes titles is now 4GB, according to its developer site. That should result in better games, with a caveat. If you decided that $949 was a tad too much to pay on the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus and went for much cheaper 16GB iPhone 6 instead, you may not have enough space for the latest, largest titles. Filed under: , , Comments Via: MacStories Source: Apple

Europeans have two weeks to return iTunes purchases for a refund

Apple has quietly introduced a 14-day return policy for iTunes, App Store, and iBooks purchases in several countries in Europe, according to 9to5Mac. The new policy is apparently in response to a European Commission recommendation. Previously, to receive a refund, you would have to contact Apple support and provide a reason. That’s still the way it works in the United States. But for Europeans, there’s now an automated refund process through Apple’s “Report a Problem” feature. Google recently extended the Google Play app refund window to two hours, even in the United States.
<a href="https://gigaom.com/2014/12/29/europeans-have-two-weeks-to-return-itunes-purchases-for-a-refund/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=feed&%23038;utm_campaign=feed">Europeans have two weeks to return iTunes purchases for a refund</a> originally published by <a href="https://gigaom.com/">Gigaom</a>, &copy; copyright 2014.



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Europeans have two weeks to return iTunes purchases for a refund

Apple has quietly introduced a 14-day return policy for iTunes, App Store, and iBooks purchases in several countries in Europe, according to 9to5Mac. The new policy is apparently in response to a European Commission recommendation. Previously, to receive a refund, you would have to contact Apple support and provide a reason. That’s still the way it works in the United States. But for Europeans, there’s now an automated refund process through Apple’s “Report a Problem” feature. Google recently extended the Google Play app refund window to two hours, even in the United States.
<a href="http://gigaom.com/2014/12/29/europeans-have-two-weeks-to-return-itunes-purchases-for-a-refund/?utm_source=feed&#038;utm_medium=feed&%23038;utm_campaign=feed">Europeans have two weeks to return iTunes purchases for a refund</a> originally published by <a href="http://gigaom.com/">Gigaom</a>, &copy; copyright 2014.



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Hide App Store Purchases with a Left Swipe

Hide App Store Purchases with a Left Swipe

If you've set up family sharing on your iOS device, you're sharing all your purchasing history with your family. But maybe you don't want to flick through your kid's 50 freemium game downloads just to get to your list of apps. Thankfully, AppleInsider shows how to hide purchases.

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Mix by FiftyThree makes Paper collaborative

Mix by FiftyThree

Mix by FiftyThree expands on the popular, award-winning drawing app Paper by making it collaborative. Now you can sketch, paint, draw and work on a project with a co-worker or friend, with Mix pushing updates to participating devices. And the best part of all is you needn't be an accomplished artist to benefit. Here's a look at Mix. FiftyThree calls Mix "a visual conversation," and that's an apt description. It's build right into Paper so it's easy to use.

Looks

As you might expect, Mix is great-looking. Projects in your stream flow past a lovely gradient background as you swipe, much like moving past notebooks in Paper. A simple pinch lets you view items within a collection, like your full stream or images you've starred as a favorite. If you can swipe and pinch-to-zoom, you can navigate Mix.

Use

Start with a project on Paper or jump right into "the mix" (sorry, couldn't resist). After launching Paper, you'll see the familiar collection of notebooks. To access Mix, swipe down to push the notebooks away and reveal Mix's interface. Now there's a new row of projects to explore, starting with any you've shared, either from Paper or those you've found and edited while exploring. I'm following several creators, and each is represented by a thumbnail. When I tap that image, I can zoom in on a particular project. The resulting screen shows the original creator's name, the date the project was uploaded, how many "hearts" it has earned (hearts are favorites) and an option to mark it as a favorite myself. But the real fun is browsing the remixes. Swipe across the image to see the next version of it in the "pile." Each variation lists the creator's name as well as who inspired that particular iteration of the image. You can add to anyone of those images yourself by tapping the image to go full screen, and then tapping again to bring up the tools. If you like the changes you've made, confirm them and a new version is added to the pile for others to view and remix. And hey, you say you've got on iPad? No problem! You can access Mix with a browser at mix.fiftythree.com. Use the responsive web app to monitor your stream and mark favorites.

Conclusion

The whole thing is a lot of fun and is clearly the next logical step for Paper. It's just as satisfying to use casually or with professional colleagues. It's one thing to have a digital art studio in your pocket, and quite another to share its contents with collaborators so easily. Mix is that digital art studio.

Mix by FiftyThree makes Paper collaborative originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004Mix by FiftyThree makes Paper collaborative originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tom Hanks’ Hanx Writer typewriter app is a surprisingly fun writing tool

Celebrities throwing their names behind products are nothing new. Ronald Reagan hawked cigarettes, Kim Kardashian has her own mobile game, even the Simpsons made the jump. Still there's something odd about Tom Hanks being the driving force of interest in an iPad app. His recently launched Hanx Writer app puts a futuristic typewriter on the screen of your iPad, and it's been a hit on the charts since its release. To a degree, my interest in the app is specifically because of Hanks' everyman modern Jimmy Stewart persona. After years of pop culture, for some reason, Tom Hanks is someone I instinctively trust. Apparently, this is my Kardashian app. Thankfully Hanx Writer is worth giving a test run, even if you never thought you'd enjoy playing on an typewriter. The free version of the app gives you one typewriter to play with. It provides a nice clean piece of paper, an automatic slide, and the distinctive click-clack you would expect from a typewriter. Modern conveniences like spellcheck, copy/paste, and replace are all at your finger tips. The app even allows you to export your documents. Basically this is a fancy word processing tool, free of distractions beyond the hypnotizing click of the keys. When you're done you can read your work on a screen that looks like type on a fresh piece of paper. It's a beautiful, crisp interface. Hanx Writer's onscreen keyboard is fast and responsive, though the ideal experience comes when you pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard. If you're just looking for a writing tool that simulates the joys of using a typewriter, the free version is fun enough. You can buy additional typewriters for $2.99 apiece, or buy the "Writer's Block Bundle" which comes with both additional models and extra features.

These extra features add the ability to align text on the page, add a title page and picture, change ribbon and the app's background colors, and manage multiple documents. Writing on a typewriter can be incredibly soothing and mixing its subtle aesthetic charms, both visual and aural, into a proper mini word processor with the Writer's Block Bundle will be an appealing proposition to many users. For me, however, the free version is just fine. Part of the charm of using a typewriter is the simplicity of it, and if I need to manage documents I don't mind cutting and pasting text. There's something about the sound of a typewriter that makes free writing easier. It becomes less an exercise in writing something brilliant, and more a race to see how long you can keep the click-clack going before you run out of steam. Many writers still enjoy using typewriters today because they lack the distractions of modern computers. You don't get that freedom when using Hanx Writer on your iPad unless you put your device in airplane mode first to get a little peace. It adds to the Hanx Writer experience when you use it like an actual typewriter. Some may write off these charms as simple nostalgia, but unless you've ever played with a typewriter you can't really judge for sure. Hanx Writer is a solid app that's worth trying for free, and you may find yourself wanting to throw down the extra money for the full featured version.

Tom Hanks' Hanx Writer typewriter app is a surprisingly fun writing tool originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004Tom Hanks' Hanx Writer typewriter app is a surprisingly fun writing tool originally appeared on TUAW: Apple news, reviews and how-tos since 2004 on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EA and Apple test out a promotion for free in-app purchases

Apple’s App Store is a crowded market for games, and even gaming giants like EA have a tough time getting noticed. For years, developers have dropped the prices of their apps in the hopes of getting them onto more devices, but on Thursday, EA started testing a new type of promotional giveaway: It’s giving out special iOS codes for “Real Racing 3″ that give players a little bit of the game’s in-app currency. Since “Real Racing 3″ is a freemium game, it would’ve been impossible to discount the face price of the game. Instead, visiting a special link unlocks a “Handful of Gold,” which would be a $2 purchase without the promotion. The 10 gold pieces can be used by players to customize and upgrade the game’s cars. “Real Racing 3″ offers in-app purchases that cost as much as $20. Real Racing 3 has had moderate success on the Apple App Store, clocking in as the top grossing app in 70 countries in March 2013. However, its downloads have been slipping recently, which is a fairly common problem among aging games. The promotion, which was spotted by 148Apps, seems to be a use of Apple’s promo codes, which previously had only been used for paid app giveaways. Given the history between Apple and EA, whose games are frequently featured on the App Store, this could be the first of many promotions of this kind.       Related research and analysis from Gigaom Research:
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IntroMate creates pro quality video intros on iPad in seconds

When you're shooting and editing video on the run with your iPad, wouldn't it be nice to add a professional-looking introduction to your work in just a few minutes? That's the idea behind IntroMate, a US$2.99 app that should be on the iPad of anyone who regularly uses their device for video work. It's a simple app. There are 32 templates featuring exciting animations, striking layouts, and (in some templates) a musical accompaniment that adds a professional touch to the opening of your video. All the intros run anywhere from 7 to 22 seconds, just long enough to get your title and/or information across to your viewers without boring them. To be accurate, IntroMate can also be used for end credits in a short video, but the name pretty much gets the primary idea of the app across. To use IntroMate, you simply select one of the templates, then tap on various buttons to adjust the color of the background where possible, add, resize and move text, add photos (where applicable), and so on. Each of the templates has many choices of typefaces to be used for titles, and the tools for moving text around on the screen are incredibly simple to use. At any time, you can play the intro just to see what it's going to look and sound like. Once everything is the way you want it, there's a red "record" button that renders the intro and saves it to your camera roll. You have a choice of standard definition 540p, HD 720p, or HD 1080p files. The intros can then be pulled into iMovie to add that special touch. The results? Well, instead of describing them with words I chose to take a number of the short intros and put 'em together into one video: Most of these weren't tweaked and probably took less than a minute to create, so what they're lacking in perfection and finesse is more than made up with ease of production. If there's anything that could be done to make IntroMate better, it would be to have even more templates. Many of the templates are more suitable for end credits, and the nicely done intro templates leave me wanting more choices. I'd like to see the developer (TotalMotion) add an option to buy inexpensive expansion packs with more templates as an in-app purchase.

IntroMate creates pro quality video intros on iPad in seconds originally appeared on Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004 on Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004IntroMate creates pro quality video intros on iPad in seconds originally appeared on Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004 on Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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IFTTT for iPad brings service/device mashups to your favorite tablet

I have an amazing amount of love and respect for IFTTT.com, an online service that provides an easy way to connect apps, devices, and services in ways that make them much more useful. Want to get a phone call from your house telling you that your basement is flooded? Use IFTTT, a moisture sensor connected to a SmartThings Hub, and the IFTTT phone call channel. Maybe you want to keep track of how much time you spend at a local bar... Pull up IFTTT and use the iOS Location and Dropbox channels to create a log file of every time you go to or leave that bar. Up until now, IFTTT fans either had to log into the desktop website or use the iPhone app to create new recipes or tweak old ones. Last week the free IFTTT for iPad app showed up, and it's a no-brainer download for anyone who uses IFTTT. The app is designed perfectly for the iPad and iPad mini screen, featuring a browser mode that reminds me of nothing less than the App Store. Curated collections, featured recipes, all-time favorites, recipes that are trending, and new recently added recipes all have their place on the Browse screen. If you'd rather manage your existing recipes and see a log of when they were triggered, just tap a good-sized toggle in the upper right corner of the app display and you are in "Manage" mode. The left side of the management screen provides a running timeline of when your recipes were triggered, while the right side has a list of your recipes. To turn one off or on, there's the familiar iOS 7 green switch on each recipe. With a tap of the recipe, you can turn notifications on or off, check the recipe, edit it, share it, or delete it. Large arrows on the personal recipe display let you scroll left or right through those recipes, making group edits (of a phone number change, for example) quite simple. For new IFTTT users, the iPad app provides a very simple five-screen introduction to the service the first time the app is launched. You can sign in if you're already an IFTTT user, or create a new account from the app. If you're not currently using IFTTT, it's time to give it a try -- especially if you're an iPad owner. The app is beautiful, sweet icing on the IFTTT cake and you're going to love it.

IFTTT for iPad brings service/device mashups to your favorite tablet originally appeared on Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004 on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004IFTTT for iPad brings service/device mashups to your favorite tablet originally appeared on Apple news, reviews and how-to's since 2004 on Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hueman was rejected from the App Store, but these apps weren’t

hueman screenshots

Hueman is an app that tracks your daily mood through simple questions and then charts your overall mental outlook using eye-catching, color-based graphs. It's a simple app by design, with the idea being that a non-intrusive approach will fit into your daily schedule without a hassle, and since a daily update to your chart is the best way to show developing trends.

Today, the Hueman team revealed that the app had been rejected by Apple due to having "a very limited set of features." To be fair, the app is quite basic in terms of interaction, but what it can tell you about yourself is far more deeper than Apple is giving it credit for.

As the rejection email notes, there are no "hard and fast rules to define useful," and as someone who has dealt extensively with Apple's app submission system in the past, I have a feeling that if the app had popped up on the screen of a different set of reviewers, it would have been approved without issue.

But if we are indeed to believe that Hueman is not functional or robust enough to warrant a spot on the App Store, I feel like Apple should apply that same rule to the following:

  • Best Leadership Quotes - An app that cycles through a few dozen widely available quotes from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other "leaders." That's it.
  • iLight i4 - A "flashlight" app that produces a white screen. Oh, and it blinks if you want it to. That's its entire feature set.
  • Worst Tattoo Ever - An app that cycles through photos of bad tattoos. You can save them to your phone. This is an app that costs US$2.99 in real actual cash money.
  • Phone Armed - I'm not even kidding here; The only thing this app does is make a sound when you move your phone. That's it. It features groundbreaking features such as: A red background, a lock icon, and (for some reason) an FBI logo. Also, it's $0.99.

In all seriousness, I'm hoping Apple will give them another go at this, because I'd be extremely interested in using the app myself. Maybe if the Hueman team just adds a flashlight feature it'll get the thumbs up?

If you find the idea of Hueman interesting, check out the official post on this matter and let your voice be heard on Twitter and Facebook.

[Image credit: Hueman app]

Hueman was rejected from the App Store, but these apps weren't originally appeared on Breaking Apple News, Tips and Reviews from The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 13 Feb 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Breaking Apple News, Tips and Reviews from The Unofficial Apple WeblogHueman was rejected from the App Store, but these apps weren't originally appeared on Breaking Apple News, Tips and Reviews from The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 13 Feb 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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