App Store

The App Store is Apple's digital software distribution platform for iOS devices. First introduced in 2008, the App Store allows software developers to distribute content that has been created specifically for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Apps are also available on the Apple Watch through the iOS App Store.

There are well over a million apps in the App Store, and customers have downloaded more than 100 billion apps since the App Store debuted. App Store apps are available with three pricing options: free (and usually supported by ads), free with in-app purchases, or a set cost starting at $0.99 in the US.

In 2010, Apple introduced the Mac App Store for distributing content on Macs, and in 2015, Apple introduced the tvOS App Store, an app store for to the fourth-generation Apple TV.

'App Store' Articles

Apple Highlights iOS and tvOS Apps for Watching U.S. Presidential Debate

Apple recently updated the iOS and tvOS App Stores with a collection of apps that will be able to live stream tonight's first presidential debate, airing at 9PM eastern at Hofstra University. The debate between presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump marks the beginning of the seven week final stretch between the first debate and election day on November 8. There will be three presidential debates in total, and one vice presidential debate. On both App Stores, Apple's "Watch the Debate Live" section contains a few of the same apps. For iOS, top billing goes to major social networks Twitter and Facebook, and then news outlets CBS News and ABC News. Twitter recently launched a live streaming tvOS app, so it's also first on the Apple TV app store, followed by CBS News, ABC News, Washington Post Video, Reuters TV, and more. Watch the Debate Live on iOS: Twitter Facebook CBS News ABC News The Washington Post Reuters TV NBC News CNN Fox News YouTube Univision NOW MSNBC Watch the Debate Live on tvOS: Twitter CBS News ABC News Washington Post Video Reuters TV NBC News Bloomberg TV CNNgo Fox News YouTube For those with a cable subscription, Wired reported that all three upcoming presidential debates will be broadcast simultaneously across most major networks and cable channels: ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, Univision, and C-SPAN. Earlier in the month, the Commission on Presidential Debates confirmed that both Facebook and Snapchat will be covering each debate to provide content for users of both

Pokémon Go Ends 74-Day Reign as Highest Grossing App in U.S. App Store

Pokémon Go has been bumped from the top of the United States iOS App Store's top grossing chart, seventy-four days after originally being titled the highest grossing app in the country. The game has been beaten by Clash Royale, which recently received an update "that sent players into a spending frenzy." In new data collected by Sensor Tower, Pokémon Go's success was put into comparison with other apps that surged in popularity for a period of time. In terms of most consecutive days as number one on the App Store's top grossing chart, Pokémon Go's 74 day streak came out third, behind Clash of Clans (347 days) and Candy Crush Saga (109 days). Pokémon GO managed 42 more consecutive days atop the chart than the game that unseated it, Clash Royale, and more than twice as many days as the 10th game on the chart, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, which stayed at the top for 15 days. Not all of the top 10 were games; Pandora and Spotify have both spent more than two consecutive weeks at the apex of the Top Grossing ranking, at 20 and 18 days, respectively. Due to the staggered rollout of Pokémon Go, Niantic's game is still the top grossing app in the App Store in some countries, including Australia, Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Thailand. It's also still earning the top spot in revenue on the Google Play Store in the United States. Although popularity has waned, Niantic and The Pokémon Company have kept up with consistent updates to the game, most recently introducing a "buddy" system that allows players to choose a favorite Pokémon as a

iPhone 7 Keynote Game 'Oz: Broken Kingdom' Launches in App Store

Showcased during the September 7 Apple event as an example of the iPhone 7's upgraded A10 Fusion processor, the mobile RPG Oz: Broken Kingdom today launched in the iOS App Store for free. The game features a turn-based combat system with characters based on L. Frank Baum's novel, including Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and a new heroine named Ophelia Shen. Developed and released by Nexon M and This Game Studio, Oz: Broken Kingdom has players collecting and upgrading over 100 unique abilities during a story mode that spans seven regions of the land of Oz, "including the now dangerous Munchkin countryside, perilous halls of Glinda’s Castle, and the many shadowy lands beyond." Players will battle both small minions and epic bosses as they progress through the single-player mode, focusing on leveling up abilities in the three areas of strength, nature, and magic. There's also an Arena mode, where players can create and join guilds with friends, collect companions to fight in battles, and ultimately challenge other players in real-time Arena battles in a player-vs-player mode. Throughout these PvP sessions, each player will climb or fall down a rankings leaderboard, and earn rewards to make taking out opponents easier. “In Oz: Broken Kingdom, we’ve not only reinterpreted the land of Oz but expanded its lore,” said Scott Blackwood, Founder and Head of Product at This Game Studio. “Players will explore a new take on Oz, one brought to life with stunning detail and brimming with fierce enemies at every turn.” “The experienced team at This Game Studio realized a

Apple Accepting Donations for Louisiana Flood Relief

Apple has added banners to its U.S. website, iTunes Store, and App Store encouraging customers to donate to the American Red Cross to help support people who have been affected by the widespread flooding in southern Louisiana. Donation tiers available include $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200, with all proceeds from donations sent to the American Red Cross. All transactions are processed as iTunes or App Store purchases. Flooding in Louisiana, which started last week after torrential rainfall, have damaged more than 40,000 houses and left many thousands of people without homes. More than 20 parishes have been affected, and in many of the areas, flood insurance was not common because they weren't known flood zones. The Red Cross has called the Louisiana flooding the worst natural disaster in the United States since Hurricane Sandy. Apple often puts out a call for donations for disaster relief. In the past, Apple has collected Red Cross iTunes donations for the 2016 fires in Alberta, the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the refugee and migration crisis in the Mediterranean sea, the 2013 Philippines typhoon, and

App Store Developer Payout Hits $50 Billion, July Sets Record as Biggest Month Ever

Apple CEO Tim Cook today announced on Twitter that a new App Store record was set last month, with July seeing Apple's highest ever monthly billings for the App Store and the largest amount of money paid out to developers. According to Cook, Apple has now paid out more than $50 billion to developers over the lifetime of the App Store, which first launched for the iPhone in 2008, a year after the iPhone was released to the public. App Store revenue has been growing rapidly over the past several years, with Apple citing its success as the reason behind its steadily increasing services category. July was a record-breaker for the @AppStore! Highest-ever monthly billings and money paid to developers.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 3, 2016 During Apple's most recent earnings call, Cook also said that Apple saw its highest quarterly App Store revenue ever, with a 27 percent growth rate year over year. Apple also set a new record for customers making purchases through the App Store, with the average amount spent per customer reaching the highest level the company has ever seen. Cook expects that over the course of the next 12 months, revenue from Apple's services category (consisting of the App Store, iTunes Store, Apple Music, iCloud, and AppleCare) will "be the size of a Fortune 100 company." .@AppStore developers have now earned over $50 billion! Congratulations on your success and such inspired creativity.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 3, 2016 In July, the App Store's most notable release was Pokémon Go, which launched in the United States on July 5 and then in

Apple's Services Revenue Up 19% on App Store, Apple Music Growth

During today's third quarter earnings call, Apple announced its second consecutive year-over-year revenue drop, but amid the decline, the company's services category saw significant growth based on strong App Store performance. Services revenue was up 19 percent year over year, and according to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple saw its highest App Store revenue ever, setting a new all time high. Compared to the year-ago quarter, App Store growth was up an impressive 27 percent, with iCloud, AppleCare, and Apple Music also seeing notable growth. Over the course of the last 12 months, Apple's services revenue is up $23.1 billion, and next year, the company expects revenue from services to "be the size of a Fortune 100 company." Growth was fueled by Apple's active install base, which brought in $10.3 billion dollars during the quarter, marking 29 percent growth year-over-year. Apple CFO Luca Maestri said the company set a new record for customers making purchases through the iTunes and App Store, and the average amount spent per customer was the highest Apple has ever measured. App Store revenue has climbed consistently over the last four consecutive quarters and Cook said he expects the services category to continue to grow "very

Apple Posts Developer Casting Call for 'Planet of the Apps' TV Show

Apple has posted an open casting call (via Cult of Mac) for its upcoming original TV show Planet of the Apps, an unscripted program about apps and the people who make them. The show is currently looking for developers from San Francisco, Austin, New York and Los Angeles to participate. Executive producers will.i.am, Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens are teaming up for an unscripted series about the world of apps and the talented people that drive its innovation. They’re looking for developers with the vision to shape the future, solve real problems, and inspire change within our daily lives. “We can really tell their stories as we explore how apps are developed and created and incubated,” says Silverman.The site says the show isn't just a show, but a "launchpad" and "accelerator" that'll offer developers three unique opportunities. Developers on Planet of the Apps will receive mentorship from the "world's best experts" in tech and entertainment, up to $10 million in funding if they reach the final round of the show, and featured placement in the App Store at the end of the show. Participation will be limited to 100 developers. Apps must be for either iOS, macOS, tvOS or watchOS and the app must be in a functional state or beta by October 21, so that developers have something to share on the show. Developers are allowed to submit multiple apps and individuals can apply with multiple development teams. Developers have until August 26, 2016 to apply. Filming will take place in Los Angeles in late 2016 and early 2017. Planet of the Apps is part of Apple's push into

Apple Accuses Spotify of 'Resorting to Rumors and Half-Truths', Sets Record Straight on App Rejection

Yesterday, Spotify accused Apple of using its App Store approval process as a "weapon to harm competitors" after Apple rejected a Spotify app update, and now Apple has responded to Spotify's accusations to "set the record straight." In a letter to Spotify lawyer Horacio Gutierrez that was shared by BuzzFeed, Apple's legal head Bruce Sewell says Apple is disappointed with the public attacks and concerned that Spotify is asking for exemptions to rules that apply to all app developers. There can be no doubt that Spotify has benefited enormously from its association with Apple's App Store. Since joining the App Store in 2009, Apple's platform has provided you with over 160 million downloads of your app, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue to Spotify. That's why we find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers and are publicly resorting to rumors and half-truths about our service. Our guidelines help competition, not hurt it. The fact that we compete has never influenced how Apple treats Spotify or other successful competitors like Google Play Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Pandora or the numerous other apps on the App Store that distribute digital music.Sewell goes on to say that Spotify's belief it should not have to pay to take advantage of the "benefits of Apple's hard work" is "simply unfair and unreasonable," pointing out that the App Store rules existed long before Apple Music was introduced. He also points out the new revenue split rules for subscriptions, which will see Apple taking a

Some Users Experiencing Issues With App Store and iTunes Store

Some iOS and Mac users are currently unable to access the App Store, Mac App Store, and iTunes Store, according to reports from MacRumors readers and Twitter users. When attempting to load the App Store on some devices, the Featured and Top Charts section are blank, and some users are reporting receiving "Cannot Connect to iTunes" messages when attempting to use the iTunes Store. App Store updates appear to be functional for some users despite the connectivity issues. Apple's system status page has not yet been updated to reflect any kind of outage and it is not clear how many users are affected.

Apple's 'Apps for Earth' Campaign Raises More Than $8M for World Wildlife Fund

Apple and the World Wildlife Fund this week announced that the recent "Apps for Earth" promotion has raised more than $8 million in proceeds to support the WWF's conservation work. The Apps for Earth promotion, timed to take place to celebrate Earth Day, ran from April 14 to April 24 and saw dozens of apps offering special in-app purchases with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to the World Wildlife Fund. Many of the participating apps, which included titles like VSCO, Trivia Crack, Hearthstone, and Angry Birds 2, heavily promoted the fundraiser, even going so far as to change app icons and graphics during the time that it ran. Apple itself updated the theme of the App Store's front page to highlight the promotion, displaying environmentally conscious messages and themed categories. THANK YOU! $8 million raised through @AppStore's #AppsforEarth will advance conservation! https://t.co/zEqygxYJUx— World Wildlife Fund (@World_Wildlife) June 15, 2016 Apple has twice partnered with the World Wildlife Fund, and in addition to the app fundraiser, Apple in 2015 began a multi-year project with the WWF designed to protect up to 1 million acres of responsibility managed working forests in

TestFlight Updated With Support for Testing Apps in iOS 10, watchOS and tvOS Betas

Apple today announced the debut of a selection of new features and resources available to developers to help them test, optimize, and analyze their iOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps. Apple’s TestFlight beta testing platform has been updated with support for iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10, so developers can begin testing apps incorporating new features like SiriKit immediately and providing betas to beta testers. The update, originally released on June 13, adds features like a 3D Touch Quick Action to all apps so beta testers can get feedback on new features quickly. Apple has also updated its App Analytics feature with data on App Store Impressions, allowing developers to tell how many times an app’s icon has been viewed in App Store search results, the Featured section of the App Store, the Top Charts, and the App Store product page. Today’s developer news also highlights a new support page outlining how to optimize for App Store search, with tips like choosing accurate keywords, using a simple and memorable app name, correctly using App Store categories, and more. iOS 10, watchOS 3, tvOS 10, and macOS Sierra will be released to the public in the fall following an extended beta testing

Spotify Says App Store Changes Don't 'Get to the Core of the Problem'

After Apple announced a handful of new changes heading to the App Store under Phil Schiller's reign -- including a new revenue split for subscriptions and ads in search results -- Spotify recently commented its opinion on the announcements. Speaking with The Verge, Jonathan Prince, Spotify's head of corporate communications and global policy, said simply, "It's a nice gesture, but doesn't get to the core of the problem." One of Spotify's major hangups centers around the fact that the new rules still prohibit apps from offering "special offers or discounts," because price flexibility is prohibited. The Cupertino company's policy makes sure that it's a constant presence between the customer and developer, "which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn." "Unless Apple changes its rules, price flexibility is prohibited, which is why we can never provide special offers or discounts, and means we won't have the ability to share any savings with our customers," Prince continued. "Apple still insists on inserting itself between developers and their customers, which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn — or who even qualifies as a long-term subscriber." Prince also said that the rules make it hard to even determine which customers could be considered as a long-term subscriber - an important factor to take into account now that Apple will take only a 15 percent cut if a user stays subscribed to a service for more than a year. Apple currently takes 30 percent of a subscription fee when users sign up to a

Apple Announces Major App Store Changes Including New Subscription Terms and Search Ads

Apple's Phil Schiller recently sat down with several publications including The Loop and The Verge to detail some of the changes that are going to be made to the App Store under his reign, including major improvements to search, subscription access for all developers, App Store ads when searching for content, and some other smaller tweaks that should go a long way towards improving app discoverability. Apple is opening up app subscriptions to all product categories, giving developers more options for selling their apps and additional ways to earn revenue. An app like Workflow or Fantastical, for example, could be sold on a subscription basis, with customers able to obtain it for a $5/year subscription fee. With that change, developers will be able to charge $5 per year rather than just a flat $5 fee, for an ongoing revenue stream, and they'll also be able to offer a subscription that encompasses multiple apps. Apple also plans to introduce up to 200 new tiered pricing options across different currencies and territories for app subscriptions. Subscription fee changes are also being implemented. Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of subscription fees on the App Store, but now, if a customer stays subscribed to a service for multiple years, Apple will only take a 15 percent cut, leaving 85 percent of profits for developers. That works on a per customer basis, so for customers who subscribe to Netflix through Apple, Netflix will pay Apple 30 percent during the first year and 15 percent the second year. Apple is adding ads to App Store search results, something

Amazon Wants 'Acceptable Business Terms' to Offer Prime Video on Apple TV

At Recode's Code Conference today, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was asked why the online retailer does not sell either the Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Bezos reiterated that Amazon chooses not to sell video streaming devices that do not include Prime Video capability and that the company wants "acceptable business terms" before bringing the the app to devices. We sell Roku, we sell Xbox, we sell PlayStation. We're happy to sell competitive products on Amazon and we do it all day. We sell Nest thermostats. When we sell those devices, we want our Prime Video player to be on the device and we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms. We can always get the player on the device, the question is whether you can get it on with acceptable business terms. And if you can't, we don't want to sell it to our customers because they're going to be buying it thinking you can watch Prime Video and then they're going to be disappointed and then they're going to return it.When pressed by The Verge's Nilay Patel on whether "acceptable business terms" meant paying Apple's 30 percent cut on in-app purchases and subscriptions, Bezos declined to answer, only stating that he wanted to keep private business discussions private. Amazon ceased selling the Apple TV and Google Chromecast last October, saying that it was important for Prime Video to interact with streaming devices it sells to avoid customer confusion. In November, Amazon confirmed to engineer Dan Bostonweeks that a Prime Video app was in development, with the company saying that it hoped to launch the app by the end

Apple TV App Store Now Hides Downloaded Apps From Top Charts

In an effort to further improve app discoverability, Apple recently implemented a change to the way Top Charts work on the Apple TV. When viewing the Top Paid, Free, and Grossing Charts in the tvOS App Store, Apple TV users no longer see entries for apps they've already downloaded and installed on their set-top box. Individualized, custom Top Chart rankings are now available for all Apple TV users, allowing them to see a dynamic list that changes with each app they download. This behavior is exclusive to the Apple TV App Store and is not reflective of how Top Charts work for iOS devices and Macs. App developer Equinux noticed the change last week, after discovering one of their popular apps was no longer listed in the Top Charts. Equinux thought the app had fallen from the charts at first, before noticing it was simply hidden on Apple TV devices where it was already installed.In turns out, Apple now hides an app in the charts once you've installed it. Give it a try: Go install TV Pro Mediathek (VOD for German TV content) from the App Store (currently #3 Top Grossing in Germany) and then go back in to the App Store: boom - it's gone from the charts and the next-placed app has moved up. This tvOS top charts algorithm change even affects featured apps on the start page: TV Pro Mediathek no longer shows up in its featured slot on the start page of the German App Store once you've installed it. Apple's intention with the change is presumably to make the charts appear 'fresher' and users see more apps that they haven't installed yet.When the Apple TV first launched

Apple's App Review Process Now Takes as Little as Two Days

Apple's app review process has become significantly faster during the first five months of 2016, according to AppReviewTimes.com, a website that tracks average App Store review times for both the iOS and Mac App Store using data crowdsourced from developers on both platforms. App Store approval times have dropped to an average of two days, compared to between eight and ten days in May 2015, based on 328 reviews submitted in the last 14 days. The shorter process has been well received by the developer community, which had grown accustomed to weeklong waits. I’m uncharacteristicly excited about faster review times. Going to be devastated when someone inevitably ruins it.https://t.co/td5QkeUaBb— Paul Haddad (@tapbot_paul) May 5, 2016 Oh, and yet another fast App Store review time of 2 days. Definitely feels like a (welcome) trend of faster review times #iosreviewtimes— John Pollard (@yeltzland) May 4, 2016 Wow, the @AppStore approved my update in 2 days. So much faster. I like the new you App Store.— Aaron Lake (@OrbitalNine) April 4, 2016 "A lot of the way that we build software for iOS is controlled around the fact that you have a one-week release cycle," Button Inc. founder Chris Maddern, whose team has done work for Uber Technologies Inc. and Foursquare Labs Inc., told Bloomberg. "It can now happen within hours of submitting them, which is really awesome because it speeds up the development cycle." Last December, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller took over App Store leadership responsibilities from iTunes and services chief Eddy Cue. Schiller now leads nearly all

'Pocket' for iOS Updated With Like and Repost Actions in Recommended Feed

Pocket, a popular iOS app that allows users to save, discover, and recommend stories to read later, has been updated this week with the ability to like and repost recommendations from other people they follow. The new Like and Repost actions can be found next to the Save action within the Recommendations feed on Pocket version 6.3.0 or later. Pocket users can find out when someone Likes or Reposts their own recommendations by way of push notifications, which can be customized through the Settings app. The update also contains additional bug fixes and improvements, including a fix for an issue with the "Alex" voice speaking too slowly when listening to articles. Pocket is free on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and

App Store Experiencing Widespread Search Issues [Updated]

A significant number of users on Reddit and Twitter, corroborated by multiple tips we have received, are affected by an ongoing App Store issue preventing a number of popular iOS apps from showing up in search results unless already installed, including Google, Periscope, Spotify, Tidal, Tumblr, Uber, Vine, Waze, and many others. The search issues appear to be widespread, affecting iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch customers throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, and elsewhere since early Thursday morning. Apple has yet to update its System Status page with any reported issues as of 6:00 a.m. Pacific, but it has historically been slow in reflecting outages. Update: The search issues also appear to extend to iTunes and the Mac App Store. Update 2: Apple is aware that users have been "experiencing a problem with the App Store" since about 2:00 a.m. Pacific. Apple is "investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available." Update: Apple's System Status page indicates the App Store issues were resolved shortly after 8:00 a.m. Pacific. Search results now appear to be functioning

iTunes Store Accepting Donations to Support Earthquake Relief in Japan and Ecuador

Apple today added banners to the iTunes and App Stores allowing customers to donate to the American Red Cross in support of people affected by the earthquakes that hit Ecuador and Japan last week. Donations made through iTunes and the App Store can be placed using credit cards already on file with Apple, making the donation process simple. Customers are able to donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200 to relief efforts. 100% of all donations made through iTunes will be given to the American Red Cross. [Direct Link to Donations] 48 people have died in Japan and thousands more were injured after magnitude 6.2 and 7.0 earthquakes hit southwest Japan on April 14 and 16, causing severe damage in the Kumamoto and Ōita prefectures. More than 140 aftershocks have also affected the region. In Ecuador, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit approximately 110 miles from Quito on April 16, killing more than 500 people and injuring thousands more. Apple has used the iTunes Store donation method multiple times in the past to raise money for charity, most recently accepting donations in September to support the refugee and migration crisis across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. Other previous relief effort fundraising campaigns have included the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the 2013 Phillippines typhoon, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake

Apple's Developer Site Gains Revamped Section Dedicated to App Store Success

Apple today updated its web portal designed for developers with a new section entitled "Making Great Apps for the App Store," aimed at helping developers grow their businesses and reach more users with their apps. Included are resources for planning apps, App Store guidelines, tools for submitting apps, and a section on developer insights featuring stories from developers who have created successful titles. The App Store makes it simple for users around the world to discover, download and enjoy your apps. Grow your business with resources designed to help you create great apps and reach more users.Several sections of the App Store portal have previously existed, including the sections for Guidelines and submitting an app to the App Store, but the revamped site makes these tools easier to find and combines them together in a more logical way. Apple's App Store "Planning" feature, which aggregates some previously available information and offers new tidbits, covers the best methods for choosing effective categories for apps and getting apps discovered, including the qualities Apple seeks when planning to feature an app. It also includes ideal business models, tips for offering subscriptions and freemium apps, using analytics for marketing, and engaging users with app updates. The Developer Insights section includes success stories from developers like Seriously, Grailr, Evernote, and Smule, covering everything from bringing an app to Apple Watch to building a brand on social media. Apple's revamped App Store developer section comes just as the company has