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'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

Apple Has 'Secret Team' Working on App Store Changes, Including Paid Search Results

Apple has assembled a secret team dedicated to exploring potential changes that could be made to the App Store, reports Bloomberg. Among the features being considered is an option that would allow developers to pay a fee to have their apps "more prominently displayed," perhaps at the top of a list of search results. Changes to "improve the way" customers browse in the App Store are also under consideration.Among the ideas being pursued, Apple is considering paid search, a Google-like model in which companies would pay to have their app shown at the top of search results based on what a customer is seeking. For instance, a game developer could pay to have its program shown when somebody looks for "football game," "word puzzle" or "blackjack."Apple is said to have approximately 100 employees working on its App Store project under vice president and former iAd leader Todd Terisi, including engineers who formerly worked on the iAd team. According to sources who spoke to Bloomberg, the search team is relatively new and it is not yet known if and when changes will be introduced to the App Store. News of work on App Store changes comes four months after Apple made a significant change to App Store leadership, bringing it under the umbrella of Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller instead of iTunes chief Eddy Cue. App discovery has long been an issue in Apple's App Store. With upwards of 1.8 million apps available in the App Store, it is difficult for users to discover content that isn't available via Apple's featured section or through Top Charts, which often favor big name

New iTunes Metadata Suggests Users May Soon Be Able to Hide Stock iOS Apps

Apple may be laying the groundwork to allow users to remove or hide stock iOS apps, such as Compass and Tips, from their iPhones in an upcoming version of its mobile software, based on recently added metadata keys showing up on App Store apps. As discovered by AppAdvice, Apple several weeks ago added a new pair of keys called "isFirstParty" and "isFirstPartyHideableApp" to the metadata of every App Store listing in iTunes. The new keys allow for a Boolean value of "true" or "false" to denote whether the app would be allowed to be hidden or removed from the user's iPhone. It's unclear whether the metadata is referring to an Apple-approved way to simply hide the first-party apps, or remove them altogether. Last September, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the long-standing desire by users to remove apps like Stocks and Voice Memos from their iPhones to reduce clutter of unused apps. He admitted the company was at a bit of an impasse over the situation, because while some of its first-party experiences could be removed without much of a headache, certain apps "are linked to something else on the iPhone." Their removal could begin a domino effect of bugs and issues elsewhere in iOS, so implementing a feature allowing their removal would be understandably risky. Image via AppAdvice The hints found in the metadata of iTunes could be the potential solution, with Apple specifically targeting first-party apps that are safe to hide or remove, and letting users decide on their end if they choose to do so. With no official word from Apple on the topic since last year, it's

Starz Launches on iOS and Apple TV as Standalone Streaming Service for $8.99 Per Month

Paid-cable network Starz today announced a new standalone monthly streaming service that will be available to users as an app on iOS, Apple TV, and Google Play stores. Starz's entry into the standalone service market follows fellow networks HBO ($14.99/month) and Showtime ($10.99/month), but will come in at a cheaper price of $8.99/month. The new Starz app can be authenticated as a companion to users who have traditional cable packages, but won't offer live streaming, unlike Showtime's service. The network did say that one unique feature will be that users can download full episodes of any show to watch offline. The Apple TV version of the Starz app will support the universal search function of the new Siri Remote, as well. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said, “Starz has entered the market today with an enormous value proposition for consumers. Our programing will now be more widely available to the 20 million broadband only homes of cord nevers, cord cutters and cord shavers, including Millennials and other underserved consumers who need other viable subscription service options. To celebrate its launch, the network will make the first episode of the second season of Outlander available on April 7 (two days before its official premiere) to any of the app's users. Starz said that the service will give subscribers access to more than 2,400 selections every month, including original programming like Outlander and the anticipated premiere of American Gods, as well as feature-length films like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Starz app is

Apple Working on Original Television Series About Apps

Apple is working with Will.i.am and TV executives Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens on a new non-scripted television show that will "spotlight the app economy," reports The New York Times. There are no details on the television show beyond the App Store premise, so it is not clear what format episodes will take. Apple executives have not made details like title, timeline, storylines, or episode length public, and there is no information on where the show will be promoted. Given that it's focused on the App Store, it could be made available through an app, shown through the App Store itself, or be made available as a standard television show on iTunes. The App Store series was conceived by Ben Silverman, who presented the idea to Apple. Silverman is an executive producer on shows like Jane the Virgin, The Biggest Loser, Marco Polo, and Flaked. In an interview with The New York Times, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue cautioned that the show is not a signal that Apple will be delving deeper into original television and streaming video, despite rumors last year suggesting the company was meeting with Hollywood executives to make a big push into original programming. "One of the things with the app store that was always great about it was the great ideas that people had to build things and create things," Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, said in an interview. [...] "This doesn't mean that we are going into a huge amount of movie production or TV production or anything like that," Mr. Cue said. He added that the company would

Password-Stealing Instagram App 'InstaAgent' Reappears in App Store Under New Name

Last November, a malicious app called InstaAgent was caught storing the usernames and passwords of Instagram users, sending them to a suspicious remote server. After the app's activities came to light, Apple removed it from the App Store, but it now appears Turker Bayram, the developer behind the app has managed to get two new apps approved by Apple, (and Google) both of which are stealing Instagram account info. Peppersoft developer David L-R, who discovered the insidious password-sniffing feature in the first InstaAgent app, last week wrote a post outlining new password stealing apps created by Bayram. Called "Who Cares With Me - InstaDetector" and "InstaCare - Who Cares With Me," the apps are available on Android and iOS devices. The original InstaAgent app attracted Instagram users by promising to track the people who visited their Instagram account, and the two new apps make similar promises. Both apps say they display a list of users who interact most often with an Instagram account, asking users to log in with an Instagram username and password. David L-R investigated Bayram's new apps and discovered a suspicious HTTPS packet, leading him to uncover a complex encryption process used to covertly send usernames and passwords to a third-party server and hide the evidence. He found both the Android and iOS versions of the app send Instagram account information to unknown servers.As I had a closer look to the iOS app I found out that the app steals the Instagram password & username to send it encrypted to "unknown" servers. The "password-stealing" algorithm

App Store Algorithm Failures Reported in Several Countries

Apple came under fire over the weekend for an apparent failure of its App Store algorithm to rank app categories using any meaningful criteria. Several users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure after subcategories in the App Store Games section were shown to be displaying multiple variations of similarly named apps spanning several pages. More examples quickly followed, and apps with almost identical titles consisting of numbers were shown to dominate several "New", "Featured" and "What's Hot" sections in categories around the world, suggesting a complete breakdown in the way the algorithm processes certain content in the App Store database. The issue was reported by users in several countries, including New Zealand, Spain and the UK, but users in the U.S. were apparently unable to replicate the problem. Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller, who took over App Store leadership in December, responded to the criticism via his Twitter account, promising to investigate the issue. @WesleyDyson @Adora Shouldn't happen. We'll look into it. Thank you.— Philip Schiller (@pschiller) March 13, 2016 Back in November, Apple reportedly made significant improvements to the algorithm that ranks apps in the App Store, although those changes focused on returning more useful results following a specific keyword search. Apple often hand-picks apps for promotion on the App Store landing page based purely on merit, but the bulk of the store's organization is automated. Apple has not revealed specifics about how its algorithm usually sorts listed categories,

Apple Pulls 'FlexBright', Says iOS Apps That Adjust Display Temperature Aren't Allowed

Earlier this week, we shared a blue-light reduction app called FlexBright, which worked similarly to Apple's own Night Shift mode. Apple initially approved the app, which was able to adjust the screen temperature for the entire iPhone, but after it garnered attention following our post, Apple pulled it from the App Store. FlexBright developer Sam Al-Jamal told MacRumors he had worked with Apple through several app rejections to get FlexBright into the App Store and that no private APIs were in use, something that was seemingly confirmed by the app's approval, but further review from Apple led to FlexBright's removal. Al-Jamal has shared Apple's explanation with MacRumors following an "exhausting discussion" with the Cupertino company. "The bottomline is [Apple] won't allow apps to change screen colors," he said. The FlexBright app adjusted the temperature of the screen to make it more yellow, like Night Shift in iOS 9.3 Al-Jamal was given two technical reasons behind FlexBright's removal from the App Store. First, the app was using custom-created classes based on non-public APIs.I recreated three classes based on non-public APIs. Even though these are custom classes that I created, but essentially they're using the same methods as in their non-public APIs.Second, the app was using silent audio to keep FlexBright running in the background, a frowned-upon tactic that can result in battery drain. Late last year, the Facebook app for iOS was using excessive battery life, something caused in part by a silent audio component. FlexBright masked the silent audio with a

Fast Voice Assistant App 'Hound' Comes to iOS, Takes on Siri

A new voice search and personal assistant app called Hound debuted on iOS yesterday that apparently outperforms Siri, Google Search and Cortana in terms of speed and recognition accuracy. Developed by the creators of music-recognition app SoundHound, the new app provides extremely fast responses to complex, nested natural language queries with highly accurate results and location-based suggestions. Hound uses a simple single-button interface similar to the Google Search app for users to tap and ask a question. Alternatively, users can say "Ok, Hound" to initiate a query, which can broach a multitude of subjects, including weather, GPS navigation, directions, Uber, web searches, and local hotel, bar and restaurant queries. As well as stock price, flight status, date, time, alarm and timer requests, users can also activate a Shazam-style music recognition feature called "SoundHound Now", which also responds to sung and hummed queries. Many of the queries are already handled by Apple's voice-activated personal assistant Siri, however it is Hound's reaction speed, language translation and search accuracy that make the app particularly noteworthy, according to The Verge.The app is so fast that it can produce near real-time translations of whole sentences in other languages, and it can spit back mounds of requested data faster than you could ever possibly glean it from Google with a keyboard. [...] The software's true appeal is understanding questions within questions and sussing out human context. You can give it sprawling, absurd requests nested inside

'Assassin's Creed Identity' Released on iOS Worldwide

Ubisoft yesterday released Assassin's Creed Identity for iPhone and iPad worldwide, following news of its highly anticipated official launch earlier this month. The popular action role-playing game lets you create, customize, and play as Assassins during the Italian Renaissance, with story missions and quests set in the Coliseum, Florence, and other key locations of the era. The game features three classes of assassin, open sandbox levels, and various customization options. And in a first for the franchise on iOS, Identity also allows full freedom of movement, which means players can run, jump and climb their way around the game world as they take on quests and explore various locations. While the Assassin's Creed brand has been on mobile in several iterations before, Identity is the first "true" Assassin's Creed mobile game to mimic the play style of the popular console and PC games. However, it has had something of a stuttered release until now, initially appearing in the New Zealand and Australian App Stores in September 2014 before disappearing last month. MacRumors' sister site TouchArcade explains: The saga began when Identity soft-launched in select countries way back in September of 2014. The game was built around quick missions that felt conducive to mobile play but it was the first Assassin's Creed game on iOS to be built around the more traiditional open-world mechanics of the long-running console and PC game series. It was also a very free to play game with all the trappings that comes with, which just didn't jive well with the type of game

Facebook iOS App Under Fire Again for iPhone Battery Drain Issues

Facebook this morning came under fire once more over concerns regarding the impact its iOS app has on iPhone battery life. Writing in The Guardian, technology reporter Samuel Gibbs claims to have found that uninstalling Facebook's iOS app and accessing the social media site via Safari can save up to 15 percent of an iPhone's battery life. Gibbs relates how he uninstalled the app on his iPhone 6s Plus and recorded its battery life at the same time each day for a week, comparing the numbers to a daily average taken from a week with the app installed. The writer accessed Facebook's site through Safari for the same amount of time and for the same purposes as he had using the dedicated app. Gibbs also notes that he left Facebook's Messenger app installed throughout. In conclusion, Gibbs states that his iPhone had on average 15 percent more battery life by 10:30 p.m. each day without the social media app installed. He also notes large gains in free space, since the deleted app had consumed 500MB in total of his iPhone's capacity. Gibbs chalks most of that up to Facebook's cache, owing to the fact that the app itself is only a 111MB download. Several other users of the app were recruited to carry out further tests and corroborated Gibbs' energy-saving results without the app installed. A Facebook spokesperson said the company is investigating the matter. Facebook is no stranger to concerns regarding the impact of its iOS apps on battery life. In October the company released an update to fix issues raised by users who saw large amounts of battery drain on

App Store and iTunes Experiencing Issues for Many Users Worldwide

Apple has updated its System Status page to reflect that many users may be unable to access, purchase, or update apps on the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Multiple other iCloud services are or were also experiencing downtime, including the iTunes Store, iBooks Store, iCloud Drive, and iWork for iCloud. The issues began shortly before 7:00 a.m. Pacific and appear to be widespread, affecting customers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere, according to social media posts. Apple TV services and Apple's Volume Purchase Program are also affected by the service issues. Update (9:10 a.m. Pacific): Apple's System Status page shows that the App Store, iTunes, and other iCloud services have been

Physics-Based Game 'Piloteer' Named App of the Week, Available for Free

Challenging physics-based game Piloteer has been named Apple's App of the Week, and as a result, it's available to download for free for the first time since it launched in June of 2015. In Piloteer, the goal is to navigate a jetpack-wearing inventor through three gameplay environments to complete a series of 60 missions. Piloteer's tap-based controls are easy to grasp but difficult to master, so the inventor spends a lot of time being flung around and crashing to the ground in a heap of limbs. Blending elements of both physics and trick-based games, players will need to maneuver their state-of-the-art jetpack through the skies while completing a myriad of increasingly difficult missions to change public perceptions. Players will find themselves immersed in a wholly integrated physics simulation, making the beautiful world around them feel dynamic, unpredictable, and alive.Along with Career mode for completing missions, Piloteer also includes a Free Fly mode and a series of GameCenter achievements to earn. Piloteer will be available from the App Store for free for the next week. [Direct Link]

Facebook iOS App Update Expands 3D Touch Support

Facebook has begun rolling out support for further 3D Touch actions on compatible iPhones in the latest update to its primary iOS app. The newest iteration in the social media company's series of weekly app updates allows iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners to use "peek" and "pop" gestures directly from within a Facebook timeline. A light press or "peek" on a profile, link, page, group or photo triggers a preview of the content in question, while a harder press or "pop" opens the link, photo, profile or group. A new "Quick Action" also comes to the Facebook app icon, with a homescreen shortcut that takes users directly to their account’s profile page. Original Quick Actions (left); a new Action takes users to their Facebook profile (right). The introduction of new 3D Touch features follows support for several Quick Actions that Facebook brought to its app back in October. However, unlike the first 3D Touch-equipped update, the company is limiting access to the latest features to "a small group of people," before rolling them out globally "over the coming months," reports The Verge. Despite the potential for frustrating some of its users, Facebook's gradual rollout strategy is in line with last month's muted announcement of staggered support for Live Photos, which allows Facebook users to share motion-enabled pictures taken on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus devices with followers running iOS 9. Increased support for 3D Touch comes on the heels of similar features introduced in other Facebook-owned apps, including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, while other

Productivity App Sale Offers 50% Off Clear, 1Password, Duet Display and More

Apple is offering 50 percent off a range of productivity apps as part of a "Get Productive" iOS App Store promotion that's taking place this week. Each app is available at a 50 percent discount from its regular App Store pricing. Many well-known apps like Clear, Things, Drafts 4, and Deliveries are included in the promotion. Available apps cover a wide range of productivity tasks, from note-taking and editing PDFs to creating to-dos, making scans, converting currency, and more. A full list of apps and their pricing with the discount is below: - PDF Expert 5, a PDF editing tool - $4.99 - Duet Display, for using an iPad or iPhone as a second monitor - $7.99 - Things, a popular and powerful to-do app - $4.99 - PCalc, a calculator app - $4.99 - Clear, a list making app - $1.99 - Drafts 4, a quick note-taking app - $4.99 - Prizmo, a scanning app - $4.99 - ">Moleskine Timepage, a calendar app - $1.99 - Genius Scan+, a scanning app - $2.99 - Due, a reminders/timers app - $2.99 - Deliveries, a package tracking app - $1.99 - Carbo, an app for making handwritten notes - $3.99 - Numerics, an app for visualizing numbers in charts and widgets - $4.99 - Amount Plus, a unit and currency converter - $0.99 Some of these apps have Mac counterparts that are also being offered at a 50 percent discount, including PCalc, Things, Clear, and ">Prizmo. Apple's App Store promo sales often last from Thursday to Thursday, so these discounts should be available for the next six days. In a separate sale, password management app 1Password for Mac is available from the Mac

Apple Launches 'Music Memos' App, Releases Major 'GarageBand for iOS' Update

Apple today announced it has released a free iOS app called Music Memos that enables musicians and songwriters to record and analyze high-quality, uncompressed audio using the iPhone's built-in microphone, or an external microphone. The app is currently rolling out on the App Store worldwide. Music Memos displays a small recording button when first opened, along with a waveform at the bottom of the screen while recording. The app can analyze rhythm and chords of acoustic guitar and piano recordings, and instantly add drums and a bass line to provide a virtual, customizable backing band.Music Memos automatically analyzes the basic arrangement and suggests chords you played for each track. Then you can hear how your music sounds with a realistic virtual drummer and bass player jamming along. If your performance speeds up or slows down, so does the band. You can even tweak the energy and performance of the drums or bass with a few simple controls.Music Memo, which Apple says was inspired by Voice Memos, can tag songs based on sound, location or a rating, and recordings can be shared on Apple Music Connect, SoundCloud and YouTube. The app is closely integrated with GarageBand for iOS, which has received a major update today. GarageBand 2.1 for iOS introduces Live Loops, a new feature for creating music by tapping cells and columns in a grid to trigger different looped instruments and samples. Live Loops includes a preset library of Apple-designed loop templates in multiple genres, including EDM, Hip Hop, Dubstep and Rock, or you can create your own. The new