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 Introduces Quicker Way to Manage Subscriptions via App Store

Apple recently introduced an easier way to manage subscriptions via the App Store, as spotted by MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci. Apple recently made a change (seems iOS 12.1.4 and 12.2 beta) to make it easier to manage subscriptions for iOS apps.Now you just need to open the App Store, tap your profile, and choose 'Manage Subscriptions'. pic.twitter.com/4PtxvAQjTm— Federico Viticci (@viticci) February 13, 2019 iPhone and iPad users running iOS 12.1.4 or iOS 12.2 beta can now simply open the App Store, tap on their profile picture in the top-right corner, and tap on Manage Subscriptions to view and edit App Store, Apple Music, and Apple News subscriptions. We've confirmed this Manage Subscriptions shortcut is not in earlier iOS versions. iOS 12.1.2 Managing subscriptions previously required an extra step of tapping on the box with your Apple ID name and email address via the App Store or Settings. Apple will reportedly host a subscription-focused media event on Monday, March 25 at Steve Jobs Theater, where it is expected to announce its widely rumored subscription news service and perhaps its streaming movie and TV show service.

Average U.S. iPhone User Spent $79 on Apps Last Year

iPhone users in the United States spent an average of $79 on App Store games and apps in 2018 according to an upcoming Sensor Tower report shared today by TechCrunch. At $79, the revenue generated per active U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent year over year, up from an average of $58 spent per iPhone in 2017. iPhone users spent about $21 more in 2018 on in-app purchases and paid downloads. Much of the spending growth came from mobile gaming, with 56 percent of the $79 total average attributed to App Store games. Spending was also up quite a lot in other categories such as entertainment, music, social networking, and health and fitness. Sensor Tower believes that subscription apps are a contributing factor for the increased spending in many of these non-faming categories. Apple's App Store is a major revenue driver for Apple in its services category, with app purchases continually setting new revenue records. The App Store hit a new single-day revenue record on New Year's Day, for example, with customers spending a whopping $322 million. Over the holiday period including Christmas and New Year's Day, the App Store raked in more than $1.22

Apple Forces Developers to Remove Screen Recording Code From iOS Apps [Update]

Yesterday, TechCrunch discovered that multiple popular iPhone apps from major companies are using intrusive analytics services that capture data ranging from taps and swipes to full screen recordings, all without customers knowing about it. Today, Apple has informed app developers that this kind of screen recording analytics code needs to be clearly disclosed to customers or removed from iOS apps. From an Apple spokesperson's email to TechCrunch:"Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem. Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity." "We have notified the developers that are in violation of these strict privacy terms and guidelines, and will take immediate action if necessary," the spokesperson added.At least one developer has already been told to remove the code that recorded app activities. From an email to the developer:"Your app uses analytics software to collect and send user or device data to a third party without the user's consent. Apps must request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or otherwise making a record of user activity."Apple is serious about getting rid of this code and gave the developer in question less than a day to remove it and resubmit the app before it would be pulled from the App Store. High-profile apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Air Canada, Hollister, Expedia, and Singapore Airlines are using

Some Popular iPhone Apps Secretly Record Your Screen for Analytics Purposes

Multiple popular iPhone apps from major companies are using intrusive analytics services that capture detailed data like taps, swipes, and even screen recordings without customer knowledge, reports TechCrunch. Apps that include Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Air Canada, Hollister, Expedia, and Singapore Airlines are using Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm that lets developers use "session replay" screen recording technology within their apps. Session replays let developers screenshot or record or a user's screen and then play back those recordings to see how users interact with their apps. Taps, button pushes, and keyboard entries are all captured and provided to app developers. Some apps, such as Air Canada, don't properly mask data that's recorded, exposing information like passport numbers and credit card information. Air Canada employees with access to the screenshot database can readily see this data. TechCrunch had mobile app expert The App Analyst look at some of the apps that Glassbox lists as a customer. Not all apps leaked masked data, and most appeared to be obfuscated, but there were instances where email addresses and postal codes were visible. "Since this data is often sent back to Glassbox servers I wouldn't be shocked if they have already had instances of them capturing sensitive banking information and passwords," The App Analyst told TechCrunch. As TechCrunch points out, all of the apps have a privacy policy, but not one makes it clear that they're recording a user's screen. Glassbox does not require special permission

App Developers Have Earned $120 Billion Since App Store Launched in 2008

App Store developers have earned a total of $120 billion since the App Store launched back in 2008, Apple announced today. More than a quarter of that total was earned in the past year alone, according to Apple. The App Store has seen significant growth in revenue with each quarter and it brings in a major part of Apple's growing services revenue. The new App Store metric was highlighted as part of an Apple Newsroom article covering the launch of the Entrepreneur Camp, which allows female-founded app development companies to attend a program at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino. Entrepreneur Camp is designed to provide female app creators with "the tools needed to thrive in today's global app economy." There are 11 female app founders who are joining the inaugural program, which will last for two weeks. Each attendee will have access to an immersive hands-on technology lab where participants will be able to work one-on-one with Apple experts and engineers to accelerate their apps. "In the past, starting a small business often meant having to invest in overhead, inventory or retail space. Today, a world of opportunity opens up with some coding skills and an entrepreneurial spirit," said Esther Hare, Apple's senior director, Worldwide Developer Marketing and executive sponsor, Women@Apple. "The App Store is the new digital Main Street, and creative developers are tapping into the vast potential of the global app economy. We hope that this program helps to inspire women around the world to learn to

Apple Reportedly Considering Gaming Subscription Service

Apple has held discussions with developers about a potential gaming subscription service, according to Cheddar's Alex Heath. The report, citing five unnamed sources, claims the service would function like "Netflix for games," providing paying subscribers with access to a bundle of games for a set price. Apple began privately discussing the service with game developers in the second half of 2018, according to the report. It's unclear how much the subscription will cost, when it may launch, or what kind of games Apple will offer. Apple has App Stores full of games on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Mac, and Apple TV, but many are free-to-download "freemium" titles supported by in-app purchases like coins and jewels. The service, said to be in the early stages of development, could bring more visibility to paid titles like Alto's Odyssey and Monument Valley rather than freemium titles like Clash of Clans that dominate the App Store charts. Given how early it is, though, Apple could ultimately abandon the plans. Apple has also discussed partnering with developers as a publisher, according to two of the sources cited, suggesting that the iPhone maker could handle marketing, distribution, and other related costs for select games. Possibly of note, Apple recently expanded its iPod touch trademark to encompass gaming in the United States. While sales of the device have faded in recent years, rumors suggest Apple may be planning a seventh-generation iPod touch, which would likely be one of the cheapest points of entry for an Apple gaming service. Apple is also

Westworld Mobile Game Removed From iOS App Store Following Bethesda Dispute

Warner Bros' Westworld mobile game, which bore a notable resemblance to Bethesda Softworks' Fallout Shelter game for smartphones, has been removed from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The removal comes seven months after Bethesda sued Warner Bros by calling the Westworld app a "blatant rip-off" of Bethesda's 2015 game Fallout Shelter. Westworld on iOS The lawsuit centered around Behaviour Interactive, the game developer that worked on both Fallout Shelter and Westworld, and who Bethesda accused of breach of contract, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The dispute continued into the year, and in early January 2019 the companies released a simple one-line statement that said both parties "have amicably resolved" the lawsuit. After all of this, the @WestworldMobile Twitter account this week released its own statement, noting that the game has been removed from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store as of January 15, 2019. This means players can no longer make in-app purchases. On April 16, 2019, the app will officially close and no longer be supported by the developers. The developers warn players to spend any in-game currency before that date. via @WestworldMobile In the original lawsuit, Bethesda requested the Westworld mobile game to be removed from distribution, so it appears that part of the amicable resolution to the case was the official discontinuation of Westworld on iOS and Android. Users on Twitter asked about potential refunds for the in-app purchases they've already made in the

App Store Hits New Single-Day Revenue Record on New Year's Day With Customers Spending $322 Million

Following the news that iPhone sales were down during the month of December leading Apple to cut its guidance for Q1 2019, the company is aiming to soften the blow with some positive news. Apple today announced that App Store customers set new worldwide spending records over the holidays, with App Store purchases hitting $1.22 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. On New Year's Day specifically, customers spent over $322 million on App Store purchases, setting a new single-day record."The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year's Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year's Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang."Gaming and self-care were the most popular app downloads and purchases during the holidays. Fortnite and PUBG were some of the most downloaded games over the holiday period, along with Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9, and Monster Strike. According to Apple, the App Store drove its services category revenue to a new all-time record during the holiday quarter, with multiple Apple services that include the App Store, Apple Music, Cloud Services, Apple Pay and the App Store's search ad business setting new records. With Apple selling fewer iPhones, the company is hoping

Apple Changes App Store Rules to Allow Users to Gift In-App Purchases to Friends and Family

Apple today made a tweak to its App Store Review Guidelines, allowing developers to implement a new feature that will let iOS users purchase in-app content as a gift. Right now, iOS users can purchase paid apps as gifts for other iOS users, but there's no way to purchase in-app content as a gift. As more and more apps work on a free-to-try or subscription basis with various content only available through an in-app purchase, this change to the in-app purchase rules makes sense. The new in-app purchase gifting rule is outlined in Apple's updated App Store Review Guidelines. Before the change: "Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others." After the change: "Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged." It's not entirely clear how gifting an in-app purchase will be handled, but Apple may be planning to add new in-app purchase gifting options to its App Store interface. Apple may soon send more information about the in-app purchase gifting change to developers. Right now, to gift a paid app to a person, a user needs to open up the App Store, tap on the three dots icon next to an app's price, and choose the "Gift App..." option. This brings up an interface for sending an App Store credit for a specific app to a contact via

App Store Glitch Leads to Missing Ratings and Reviews

It appears that the App Store on iOS devices has been experiencing an issue causing missing ratings and reviews over the past day or so. The problem was alerted to us by MacRumors reader Robin van Doorn, who noticed that his apps Centraal Beheer and Run Trainer suddenly have around 1,000 fewer ratings displayed in the App Store. Other developers have acknowledged the glitch on Twitter, although not every developer is affected. While some developers have seen their ratings count return to normal, others have tweeted about the issue within the past few hours: Hey @AppStore there seems to be a bug with the number of ratings displayed for all apps (it’s been showing a much lower number than the actual for a couple days).— Kyle Richey (@ConquerApathy) December 17, 2018 Bug on the Apple App Store? Half the number of ratings in the search results vs when on the app listing? pic.twitter.com/KGS0nA1anc— Ryan Murton (@ryan_murton) December 17, 2018 Hoping this is just a temporary glitch but my apps lost 50% of their #AppStore #ratings overnight... Go fix it Apple, thanks 😅😑— Edouard Barbier 👨🏻‍💻📲 (@barbieredouard) December 17, 2018 The unexplained drop in App Store ratings, first reported by the blog The Apple Post, is visible in the App Store Connect dashboard for some developers. A few users have shared screenshots of a discrepancy between the number of ratings displayed in App Store search results and specific app listings as well. It's not entirely clear if the issue is limited to certain regions or other parameters, but hopefully Apple resolves the issue for

U.S. Supreme Court Appears 'Open' to Allowing App Store Monopoly Lawsuit vs. Apple to Proceed

U.S. Supreme Court justices "appeared open" to letting a proposed class-action lawsuit proceed against Apple that accuses the company of operating an illegal App Store monopoly, according to Reuters. The lawsuit was filed in 2011 by a group of iPhone users who believe Apple violates federal antitrust laws by requiring apps to be sold through its App Store, where it collects a 30 percent commission from all purchases, leading to inflated prices as developers pass on the cost of the commission to customers. The bottom line is that the iPhone users, led by Chicago resident Robert Pepper, believe that apps would be priced lower outside of the App Store, as Apple's 30 percent cut would not be baked in to prices. The lawsuit was initially dismissed in 2013 by a California district court, due to errors in the complaint, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit revived the case in 2017. Apple appealed with the Supreme Court, which will rule whether the case should proceed after hearing an hour of arguments today. From the start, Apple has argued that it doesn't set prices for paid apps, and that charging a 30 percent commission on the distribution of paid apps and in-app purchases does not violate antitrust laws in the United States. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, are backed by 30 state attorneys general, including those representing Texas, California, and New York. The Supreme Court is expected to make its ruling by June

Tumblr Removed From App Store Over Failure to Filter Out Child Pornography

Apple removed Tumblr from the iOS App Store late last week because the Yahoo-owned social network failed to filter prohibited content, it emerged today. The Tumblr app for iPhone and iPad went missing from the App Store on Friday, November 16. Shortly afterwards, Tumblr announced that it was "working to resolve an issue" with the app, but stopped short of explaining the problem. It wasn't until Download.com approached Tumblr with sources claiming child pornography had been found on the service, that the social network issued a statement providing more information. In its statement, Tumblr said that every image uploaded to the service is "scanned against an industry database of known child sexual abuse material," and images that are detected never reach the platform. However, a "routine audit" had revealed content that had not yet been included in the industry database, and Tumblr had acted "immediately" to remove it. "Content safeguards are a challenging aspect of operating scaled platforms," it added. "We're continuously assessing further steps we can take to improve and there is no higher priority for our team." This isn't the first time a popular app has been removed from the App Store for prohibited content. In February, Apple pulled encrypted messenger app Telegram from its store for violating Apple's iOS developer guidelines, which require all apps that host user-generated content include a method for filtering objectionable material from being posted. When Telegram fell foul of Apple's guidelines, the app was back on the App Store within 24

Stardew Valley for iOS Now Available Worldwide

Popular farming simulation and RPG Stardew Valley expanded to mobile devices today, and can now be downloaded from the iOS App Store on an iPhone or iPad. If you're unfamiliar with Stardew Valley, it's an incredibly in-depth simulation game where players are tasked with taking over a small, failing farm, working to bring it back to prosperity by planting and tending crops, raising animals, and crafting goods to sell. Similar to games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley also lets players fight monsters to earn money, mine ores, fish, get to know townspeople, and engage in social activities in the town. The game cycles through different seasons with various crops and activities to partake in as the game progresses through the years, so there's always something new and exciting to do. Stardew Valley offers hundreds of hours of gameplay, and there are no in-app purchases to deal with. A farming simulation might not sound appealing, but Stardew Valley sucks players in with crop and farm strategies, min/maxing profit each season, engaging combat, a never-ending list of achievements to earn, and so much more. The mobile version of Stardew Valley is the full version of the game that "plays almost identically to all the other versions, but with the addition of touch-based controls suitable for the iPhone and iPad. All single-player content from the 1.3 patch is available, but Stardew Valley for iOS does not support multiple players. If you've previously played Stardew Valley on PC or Mac (it first came out in 2016), you will be able to transfer

App Store Bundles Gain Support for Mac Apps and Free Apps With Subscriptions

Apple today announced expanded features for App Store bundles, introducing support for both Mac apps and free apps with subscriptions for the first time. Mac app developers are now able to create bundles of up to 10 apps, allowing customers to purchase multiple Mac apps at once at a discounted price. Bundles like these have long been available through the iOS app store for purchasing multiple games or apps at one time, but until today, Mac App Store developers were not able to create similar bundles. Apple is also now allowing app developers to set up bundles that include free apps with auto-renewable subscriptions, letting users purchase an app bundle and access multiple apps at one subscription price.For free apps with subscriptions, each app in the bundle must have an approved auto-renewable subscription. If a user subscribes in one app, they must be able to access all other apps in the bundle at no additional cost. Learn about offering subscriptions across multiple apps.Mac App Store developers have long wanted the ability to create app bundles, and the introduction of the feature follows the launch of the revamped macOS Mojave Mac App Store that makes it easier for customers to find and download new Mac

Apple Support App Gains Easier Access to AppleCare+, Streamlined Process for Resetting Apple ID

Apple today updated its Apple Support app for iOS devices to add new features that include easier access to AppleCare+ and a better way to reset your Apple ID password. According to the update's release notes, it's easier to add AppleCare+ coverage to your eligible devices using the Apple Support app. AppleCare+ provides extra coverage and replacement for accidental damage on iOS, Apple Watch, Mac, HomePod, and more. Today's update also introduces a streamlined process for resetting your Apple ID password quickly and securely, and it offers up a number of unspecified bug and performance enhancements. The Apple Support app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Apple Requiring All New Apps and App Updates to be Built With iOS 12 SDK by March 2019

Apple today asked developers to begin submitting apps that take advantage of new features in iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave ahead of the upcoming launch of the new software updates.You can now submit apps that take advantage of the powerful new capabilities in the next release of iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Build your apps using Xcode 10 GM seed, test with the latest releases of iOS 12, watchOS 5, and tvOS 12, and submit them for review.According to Apple, all new apps and app updates for iPhone, including universal apps, will be need to be built with the iOS 12 SDK and will need to include support for the iPhone XS Max starting in March 2019. All new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5 SDK and will need to support Apple Watch Series 4 by the same date. Apple plans to release iOS 12, watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and new software for the HomePod on Monday, September 17. Apple will release macOS Mojave a week later on Monday, September

Apple Highlights Benefits of App Subscriptions With New Developer-Focused Video

Apple this afternoon shared a new "Insights" video on its developer site that is designed to highlight the benefits of using App Store subscriptions as a payment method for apps. The video focuses on the developers behind Elevate, Dropbox, Calm, and Bumble and how these apps "create great customer experiences by continuing to provide value throughout the subscription lifecycle." "The value for a user is that you're not just buying this one thing at this one point in time, you're actually buying something that's evolving," said Elevate developer Jesse Germinario. "If you're a subscription business, your incentives are actually perfectly aligned with your customers, because they need to continue to get value out of the product in order to keep subscribing, which means that you have to continue making the app better," said Calm developer Tyler Sheaffer. Apple's efforts to push developers to embrace subscriptions were first highlighted last month when Business Insider shared details on a secret meeting held in April 2017. At the meeting, Apple hosted more than 30 software developers and encouraged them to adopt subscription payment models. Apple told developers that the app model is changing, with paid apps representing just 15 percent of total app sales, a number that is declining. Successful apps, Apple said, need to focus on subscriptions and regular engagement from users rather than one time sales. Apple's video on app subscriptions can be watched on the company's developer website.

Apple Permanently Bans 'Infowars' App From the App Store

Apple has removed the Infowars app from the App Store, just a day after controversial Infowars radio show host Alex Jones was permanently banned from Twitter. Apple confirmed the app's permanent removal to BuzzFeed late on Friday, but instead of giving a specific reason for taking action now, Apple simply cited its own general App Store guidelines, which prohibit content that is "offensive, insensitive, upsetting, intended to disgust, or in exceptionally poor taste." Early last month, Apple removed the entire libraries of five Infowars podcasts from its Podcasts platform and said it had chosen to do so on the grounds that it does not tolerate hate speech. At the time, the tech giant defended its decision not to remove the Infowars app, saying that the App Store is a place for "all points of view" as long as apps are respectful to users with differing opinions. However, Apple also noted that it continues to monitor apps for violations of its guidelines and will remove them if necessary. Apple's initial stance struck some observers as odd, given that the Infowars mobile app allowed users to live stream the same programs that were removed from the Apple Podcasts platform. The app's continued availability also allowed it to benefit from the publicity surrounding Apple's removal of the podcasts. However, that's no longer the case, and as of Friday evening, searching for the app within the App Store only returns apps related to Infowars, while the official app is nowhere to be seen. Apple's removal of the Infowars app follows Twitter's decision on Thursday

All New and Updated App Store Apps Required to Have a Privacy Policy Starting October

Apple has announced that, starting October 3, 2018, all new apps and app updates will require a privacy policy in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight for beta testing purposes. Apple already requires a privacy policy for apps that access personal information, including apps that offer subscriptions, accept Apple Pay, or use Apple frameworks such as HomeKit, HealthKit, or CareKit. Now, the requirement will extend to all apps, including basic ones that do not share data in any way. It does not appear that existing apps on the App Store will be affected by this move until they are updated on October 3 or later, so long-outdated apps may remain without a privacy policy if they are no longer maintained. Apple detailed the upcoming changes in the News section of its App Store Connect portal for developers on Thursday:Starting October 3, 2018, App Store Connect will require a privacy policy for all new apps and app updates in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight external testing. In addition, your app's privacy policy link or text will only be editable when you submit a new version of your app. To add or edit your privacy policy for the App Store: 1. Go to My Apps in App Store Connect, and click on your app. 2. Under App Store, click on App Information. 3. In the top right corner, add your privacy policy link for iOS apps or macOS apps, or enter text directly for tvOS apps. 4. Click Save. To add your privacy policy link to your app for external TestFlight distribution: 1.

Facebook Removing Onavo VPN From App Store After Apple Says It Violates Data Collection Policies

Facebook today removed VPN app Onavo Protect from the iOS App Store after Apple decided that it violates App Store data collection policies, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple earlier this month told Facebook officials that the Onavo app, which serves as a virtual private network, violates June App Store rules that prevent apps from harvesting data to build advertising profiles or contact databases. Earlier this month, Apple officials informed Facebook that the app violated new rules outlined in June designed to limit data collection by app developers, the person familiar with the situation said. Apple informed Facebook that Onavo also violated a part of its developer agreement that prevents apps from using data in ways that go beyond what is directly relevant to the app or to provide advertising, the person added.Facebook and Apple met last week to discuss the Onavo app, and last Thursday, Apple suggested that Facebook voluntarily remove the Onavo app, which Facebook agreed to do. Onavo, a free VPN, promised to "keep you and your data safe when you browse and share information on the web," but the app's real purpose was tracking user activity across multiple different apps to learn insights about how Facebook customers use third-party apps. Whenever a person using Onavo opens up an app or website, traffic is redirected to Facebook's servers, which log the action in a database to allow Facebook to draw conclusions about app usage from aggregated data. As of earlier this year, Onavo for iOS and Android had been installed on more than 33 million devices,