App Store

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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' How Tos

How to Cancel App Store Subscriptions

Several TV and music services and other apps offer free trials through the App Store that automatically renew to become paid subscriptions after the trial period ends. If you want to prevent an App Store subscription from running beyond the trial period or cancel a subscription you're currently paying for, then read on. This article explains how to cancel any App Store subscription on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV.

'App Store' Articles

Developers Sue Apple Over App Store Fees in Latest Class Action Lawsuit

Apple is facing a new class-action lawsuit from iOS developers who claim that the company uses its monopoly in the App Store to impose "profit-killing" commissions. Filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, the lawsuit argues that the tech giant's practice of instating a 30 percent commission rate on all app sales is anticompetitive and "sets the stage for Apple to abuse its market power." The suit also takes aim at Apple's minimum $0.99 price requirement for paid apps in the App Store and in-app purchases, as well as the annual $99 Apple Developer fee, calling these policies "especially damaging to smaller and new developers." "Between Apple's 30 percent cut of all App Store sales, the annual fee of $99 and pricing mandates, Apple blatantly abuses its market power to the detriment of developers, who are forced to use the only platform available to them to sell their iOS app," said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing the proposed class of developers. "In a competitive landscape, this simply would not happen." "Today's lawsuit seeks to force Apple to end its abusive monopoly and allow competition in the distribution of iOS apps and related products, to get rid of its pricing mandates, and to reimburse developers for overcharges made through abuse of its monopoly power." "We think app developers should be rewarded fairly for their creations, not over-taxed by a corporate giant," Berman said. "After 11 years of monopoly conduct and profits, we

Apple Music, App Store, and Mac App Store Suffering Limited Outages Following iOS 13 and macOS Catalina Betas [Resolved]

Apple Music, the App Store, and the Mac App Store are experiencing outages affecting "some users," according to Apple's system status page, one day after Apple seeded the first betas of iOS 13 and macOS Catalina to developers. Apple says some users are "experiencing a problem" with each service. The company is investigating and will update the statuses of each service as more information becomes available. The issues began around 5 a.m. Pacific Time. Update: Apple says all services are now operating normally. (Thanks, Chris!)

European Regulators Awaiting Response From Apple After Spotify Called the App Store a Monopoly

The European Commission is awaiting a response from Apple after Spotify accused the iPhone maker of anticompetitive business practices in relation to its App Store, said the European Union's antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. "We are looking into that and we have been asking questions around in that market but of course also Apple themselves, for them to answer the allegations. And when they come back, we will know more," said Vestager, speaking on the sidelines of an economic conference, according to Reuters. In March, Spotify announced it had filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission over unfair App Store practices. Apple responded two days later, labeling the complaint as "misleading rhetoric" and arguing that "Spotify wants all the benefits of a free app without being free." In a blog post, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek took particular issue with Apple charging a 30 percent "tax" on App Store purchases. This results in Spotify charging existing subscribers $12.99 per month for its Premium plan via the App Store just to collect nearly the $9.99 per month it charges normally. Apple also forbids developers from alerting users that they can sign up for a subscription or complete a purchase outside of an app, which would bypass Apple's commission on in-app purchases tied to digital goods. Spotify later said "every monopolist will suggest they have done nothing wrong" and that Apple's response was "entirely in line" with its expectations. Apple has faced increasing scrutiny as of

Apple Highlights WWDC 2019 Scholarship Winners and Their Apps

Each year, Apple provides up to 350 students with a free ticket to WWDC and lodging for the conference. The lucky winners are selected based on the quality of their Swift Playground coding submission and written answers. Apple has now highlighted dozens of WWDC 2019 scholarship winners and their apps in an editorial in the App Store under the Today tab. This year's winners hail from over 20 countries and regions around the world, according to Apple, including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and the U.S. The winners had the opportunity to discuss their apps with Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple marketing executive Greg Joswiak, and vice president of software engineering operations Cheryl Thomas at the McEnery Convention Center on Sunday, according to photos shared by CNET's Connie Guglielmo. Apple student developers get to talk up their apps with Joz, longtime VP of product marketing, and Cheryl Thomas, longtime VP of software engineering operatwho oversees Swift programming language. #WWDC2019 pic.twitter.com/63Imlk5cZK— Connie Guglielmo (@techledes) June 2, 2019 WWDC scholars are treated to a special experience at the conference, starting with Apple's Scholarship Kickoff event yesterday at the Discovery Meadow park. There, Apple executive and WWDC scholar chaperone Esther Hare welcomed winners in a speech and posed for selfies with the young developers. What a fun day getting to chat with so many of our

Apple Increases Over-the-Air App Store Download Limit to 200MB

Apple has increased the over-the-air download limit for the App Store to 200MB, up from 150MB. The download limit is now 200MB for iPhones and iPads. The limit affects the maximum size of an app that can be downloaded over 3G or 4G networks. The file size limit is designed to prevent iOS users from accidentally downloading a large app over cellular and using up all their data allowance or running up data charges. But as 9to5Mac notes, there's no way to opt out of the limit, which can be frustrating for users with unlimited data plans. Apple officially increased the App Store cellular over-the-air download limit to 150 MB in September 2017. Developers frequently work hard to keep their apps under the over-the-air download limit, as they believe going over that limit reduces the likelihood of spontaneous purchases.

Apple Says App Store 'Welcomes Competition' Following Criticism From Spotify and Others

Apple has faced increasing scrutiny as of late over the way it runs its App Store, ranging from Spotify's anticompetitive complaint in Europe to a class action lawsuit accusing Apple of operating an App Store monopoly in the United States, which the Supreme Court recently allowed to proceed. Apple has now responded with a new page on the App Store section of its website titled Principles and Practices, noting that the App Store was created with two goals: to be "a safe and trusted place for customers to discover and download apps" and "a great business opportunity for all developers." To achieve the first goal, Apple says it "takes responsibility" for "ensuring that apps are held to a high standard for privacy, security, and content" in accordance with its publicly accessible App Store Review Guidelines:We believe that what's in our store says a lot about who we are. We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store. But we also take steps to make sure apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and reject apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line — especially when it puts children at risk. For example, we strictly prohibit any app that features pornographic material, discriminatory references, torture and abuse, or anything else in exceptionally poor taste.Apple says an average of 100,000 apps are reviewed per week, most within 24 hours, by a combination of "hundreds of human experts" and "automated systems." Apple says 60 percent of submissions are approved, with

Apps Are Using Background App Refresh to Send Data to Tracking Companies

When Background App Refresh is enabled, some iOS apps are using the feature to regularly send data to tracking companies, according to a privacy experiment from The Washington Post that explores the relationship between apps and tracking companies. The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler teamed up with privacy firm Disconnect and used specialized software to see what his iPhone was doing and when. And while it's no surprise that apps are using trackers and sharing user data, the frequency with which apps took advantage of background refresh to send data off to tracking companies is surprising, as is some of the data shared. Fowler found that apps were sending data like phone number, email, location, IP address, and more.On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.Apps that were found passing data along included Microsoft OneDrive, Mint, Nike, Spotify, The Weather Channel, DoorDash, Yelp, Citizen, and even The Washington Post's own iOS app. Citizen shared personally identifiable information that violated its privacy policy (the tracker was later removed), and Yelp was sending data every five minutes, something the company later said was a bug. During the course of a week of testing,

Apple Pay Now Accepted for iTunes, App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud Purchases in Some Countries

Apple Pay is now an accepted payment method for iTunes, App Store, and Apple Books purchases, as well as Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document. To link any credit or debit cards set up in the Wallet app with your Apple ID account, navigate to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Next, select your Apple ID email and then tap View Apple ID > Manage Payments > Add Payment Method. The cards should be listed under a new "Found in Wallet" section. This functionality is rolling out as a server-side change in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, so it is not available for all users yet. In the United States, users can also link an Apple Pay Cash card to an Apple ID account. There are a handful of benefits to Apple Pay billing for Apple ID account-tied purchases, including the ability to conveniently add multiple credit or debit cards, the improved security of Apple Pay, and the ability to better manage Apple Music and iCloud storage subscriptions from the Wallet app. This functionality arrives ahead of the launch of the Apple Card credit card in the United States this summer. (Thanks, Dean Lubaki!)

Apple's New Warren Buffett Game Pulled From App Store Outside of United States

Just one week after Apple surprised us all with its first iPhone game since 2008, starring billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the game has been pulled from the App Store outside of the United States with no confirmed reason. Warren Buffett's Paper Wizard is a simple game that tasks players with flinging newspapers to collect Warren Bucks. The game gradually increases in difficulty as players make their way from Buffett's native Omaha, Nebraska to Apple's hometown of Cupertino, California, including a visit to Apple Park. Buffett was a childhood newspaper carrier who for years held newspaper-tossing contests during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting. Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the game during a surprise appearance at the annual meeting earlier this month. While the game's developer is listed as Wildlife Designs on the App Store, the app is copyrighted, maintained, and operated by Apple, making this its first iPhone game since Texas Hold'em back in 2008. Cook makes a brief appearance in the game himself, welcoming players to Cupertino, referred to as the home of Apple. Did Apple pull their new game, Warren Buffett’s Paper Wizard from the App Store already? It tells me it’s not available (but I was able to download it a few days ago) cc @MacRumors @rsgnl https://t.co/9fNi9ZLktb— Julian Schiavo (@justJS_dev) May 13, 2019 Given that Warren Buffett's Paper Wizard only takes minutes to complete, and that Buffett's high score of 15,350 is seemingly unbreakable, the game appears to be little more than a short-lived

Supreme Court Allows App Store Monopoly Lawsuit Against Apple to Proceed [Updated]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against Apple in an anticompetitive case involving the App Store, allowing iPhone users to move forward with their class action lawsuit against the company, as first reported by CNBC. From the Supreme Court's ruling:In this case, however, several consumers contend that Apple charges too much for apps. The consumers argue, in particular, that Apple has monopolized the retail market for the sale of apps and has unlawfully used its monopolistic power to charge consumers higher-than competitive prices. A claim that a monopolistic retailer (here, Apple) has used its monopoly to overcharge consumers is a classic antitrust claim. But Apple asserts that the consumer plaintiffs in this case may not sue Apple because they supposedly were not "direct purchasers" from Apple under our decision in Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, 431 U. S. 720. We disagree. The plaintiffs purchased apps directly from Apple and therefore are direct purchasers under Illinois Brick. At this early pleadings stage of the litigation, we do not assess the merits of the plaintiffs' antitrust claims against Apple, nor do we consider any other defenses Apple might have. We merely hold that the Illinois Brick direct-purchaser rule does not bar these plaintiffs from suing Apple under the antitrust laws. We affirm the judgment of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 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

Apple Offering 10% Bonus iTunes Credit When Adding Funds to Your Apple ID

Apple has begun offering users the chance to add 10 percent extra credit to their App Store and iTunes accounts this week, similar to past offers from the company. For this deal, you'll have to add money to your Apple ID account from a credit or debit card connected to your account. To add the funds on your iPhone, visit the App Store, tap your profile picture, and then tap "Add Funds to Apple ID." Here you can choose from $1.00 to $200.00 to add to your account in order to get the 10 percent bonus credit. This means that the most you can get out of the offer is $20 in free iTunes credit when adding $200 to your account. The promotion will last through Friday, May 10 and is available in the United States as well as other regions, including Japan. With the credit in your iTunes account, you can rent or purchase iTunes movies and TV shows, buy books in Apple Books, pay for your Apple Music or iCloud subscriptions, and much

App Store Users Report Endless T&C Loop Preventing App Updates and Downloads

A number of iPhone and iPad users this morning are taking to Twitter and Reddit to report an issue with the App Store that prevents them from downloading or updating apps. The problem starts when a user taps the Get button on an app listing, whereupon a pop-up informs them that "Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions have changed" and that they must read and accept them to continue. Anyone facing this issue or is it only me ?Every time I click agree it pop up again & again! @Apple @AppStore @AppleSupport #Apple #IPhone #AppStore #AppleSupport #IOS12 pic.twitter.com/5RB7bhJtmx— sherif elseginy (@sherif_elsiginy) April 25, 2019 However, tapping OK and then agreeing to the terms and conditions simply sends the user back to the app's App Store listing where they're asked to read and accept the T&Cs again, thus begetting an endless loop. The T&C issue is being reported by users in different countries, and also appears to be affecting Apple's communication servers, with some users receiving multiple duplicate emails notifying them of a change in Apple Media Services terms. Yet Apple's System Status page is currently reporting no problems. One user reported that simply tapping Cancel when the T&C notification first pops up made it go away, allowing them to download or update the app in question, but this hasn't worked for others. Have you been affected by the T&C issue currently besetting the App Store? Let us know your experience the comments below. (Thanks, Mike!)

Apple Adds Extra Confirmation Step When Purchasing Subscriptions in Apps

Apple has introduced an extra confirmation step when App Store users purchase an app available on a subscription basis or tap to subscribe to a premium service in an app, making sure no accidental subscription purchases occur. The new subscription feature was highlighted on Twitter by developer David Barnard this afternoon and appears to have been implemented recently. With this new confirmation step, when you download an app with a subscription or tap on a subscription option in an app where the subscription feature is optional, you'll see a second subscription popup warning after initially confirming a purchase with Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad. Whoa! Apple added an additional confirmation step for subscriptions. This new alert comes after you confirm with Touch ID/Face ID. I hope they address this in a more elegant way in iOS 13, but I’m thrilled Apple took a definitive step to curb scam subscriptions. 👏🏻 @pschiller pic.twitter.com/oktaEVdx0o— David Barnard (@drbarnard) April 11, 2019 The popup warns that the subscription will continue unless canceled in the Settings app at least one day before a subscription period ends, requiring users to confirm the notice with an OK button or tap cancel to cancel the initiation of the subscription. Adding a second confirmation screen to subscription purchases will thwart app developers who have been using nefarious tactics to trick users into purchasing subscriptions or making subscription costs and terms unclear. Accidental subscription purchases have been an ongoing problem with

Dutch Antitrust Watchdog to Investigate Whether Apple Gives Itself Preferential Treatment in App Store [Updated]

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, or ACM for short, today announced that it will investigate whether Apple abuses its position in the App Store by, for example, giving preferential treatment to its own apps. ACM says the investigation will initially focus on Apple because the majority of anticompetitive allegations it has received from other companies and developers have been about the App Store. More specifically, the investigation will revolve around Dutch apps for "news media" available in the App Store. ACM board member Henk Don:To a large degree, app providers depend on Apple and Google for offering apps to users. In the market study, ACM has received indications from app providers, which seem to indicate that Apple abuses its position in the App Store. That is why ACM sees sufficient reason for launching a follow-up investigation, on the basis of competition law.However, the antitrust watchdog stresses that Apple is innocent unless proven guilty, and also encourages developers to come forward if they experience similar problems with Google's Play Store. ACM launched the investigation upon completion of its market study that explores the influence of app stores. For numerous apps, the watchdog found that no realistic alternatives to the App Store and Play Store exist, potentially giving Apple and Google the opportunity to set unfair conditions.On the one hand, Apple and Google have an interest in offering many different apps from app providers in their app stores. On the other hand,

Apple Announces 'Apple Arcade' Cross-Platform Subscription Games Service With Access to Over 100 Titles

Apple today announced Apple Arcade, a new subscription-based games service for mobile, desktop, and the living room, featuring hundreds of titles from top video game publishing houses including Disney, Sega, Lego, Cartoon Network, and Konami. A subscription to Apple Arcade includes access to over 100 new and exclusive games that can be played both online and offline across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, and the whole family can play using Family Sharing with one subscription fee. Apple Arcade will have a dedicated tab on the App Store, and games will be curated by Apple's team of App Store editors. Apple says the emphasis will be on personalized recommendations, and Apple promises that Apple Arcade games cannot collect any data about the user without consent. All Apple Arcade games will be all-you-can-play experiences, with all features, content, and updates included at no extra charge, and with no ads or in-app purchases necessary. "The App Store is the world's biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room," said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Apple Arcade games will be great for families,

Apple Requiring New and Updated Apps to Support iPhone XS Max and 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Starting March 27

Apple today announced that all new and updated iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store on and after March 27, 2019 must be built with the iOS 12.1 SDK or later and support the iPhone XS Max and/or the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro. App Store screenshots for those devices will also be required. Likewise, all new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5.1 SDK or later and support the Apple Watch Series

Original iPhone Game 'Rolando' Returning to App Store

Back in 2008, we wrote about Rolando, a platform-style puzzle game that was one of the first games back when the iPhone and the App Store were both new. At the time, our sister site TouchArcade said it was among "the best games the App Store has to offer." The original Rolando game is no longer on the App Store because of the 2017 crackdown on 32-bit apps, but Rolando developer HandCircus today announced that a remastered version of the game is coming on April 3rd, which will be good news to fans of the Rolando series. Rolando: Royal Edition is an overhauled version of the original Rolando game from 2008, with updated graphics, redesigned levels, and new mechanics. HandCircus says that the entire game has been updated with new content. The award-winning iPhone classic is back and better than ever! This brand-new 'Royal Edition' is a completely remastered Rolando - every interaction, every course, flower, trampoline, bomb, catapult and squirrel has been given a thorough scrub, buff and shine, making this the most gorgeous version yet!In Rolando, the goal of the game is to guide a gang of Rolandos through traps and puzzles on a quest to save the sages from the Shadow Creatures. With the exception of new mechanics and updates to the design, the original Rolando gameplay appears to be intact. Rolando: Royal Edition can be pre-ordered from the App Store for $1.99, a 1/3 discount off of the planned launch price. [Direct Link]

Apple Offering 10% Bonus When Adding Funds to Your Account for App Store and iTunes Purchases

Apple today sent out emails letting App Store and iTunes users know about a new promotion that offers a 10 percent bonus when adding funds to an Apple ID account. When you add money directly to your Apple ID from a credit or debit card for making App Store, iTunes, and iCloud purchases, Apple is adding bonus credit. Apple says the offer is valid on amounts ranging from $1.00 to $200, so customers who add the maximum $200 in funds to their Apple IDs will receive a total of $220 with the bonus ($20 free). Funds can be added to your Apple ID account by opening up the Settings app, tapping on your account name, selecting the iTunes and App Store option, choosing your Apple ID, and then selecting "Add Funds to Apple ID." From there, you can see the promotional bonuses available and choose the amount of money you want to add to your account. You can also get to these options in the iTunes Store by tapping on your Apple ID or in the App Store by scrolling to the bottom (or tapping your profile picture) and selecting the Add Funds option. To use this feature, you will need to have a valid payment method added to your Apple ID account. The promotion will be available from March 10 through March 14 in the United States, and it is also available in other countries as well, such as Germany, where Apple is offering a 15 percent bonus. No bonus funds are available in the UK, Australia, or Canada, however.

Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren's Plan to 'Break Up' Big Tech Companies Could Affect Apple's App Store

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is in the running for the 2020 presidential race as a Democratic candidate, today outlined her proposal for "breaking up" tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook in an effort to combat monopolistic behavior (via CNBC). Apple is not directly mentioned in Warren's post on Medium, but a representative from her campaign confirmed the plan would affect Apple. Image via CNBC and Scott Olson/Getty Images In essence, Warren wants to make "big, structural changes" to the technology sector in order to promote increased competition. The presidential candidate says that these companies have too much power "over our economy, our society, and our democracy," in the process hurting small businesses and stifling innovation. To combat this, Warren proposes a path to restoring competition to the tech sector in two major steps. The first is by passing legislation that requires large tech platforms to be designated as "Platform Utilities" and broken apart from any participant on that platform. This first step is what would directly affect Apple, as the App Store would become a Platform Utility, and any of Apple's first-party apps on it would not be allowed. So, the company would have to choose between running the App Store or building and selling its own apps, according to Warren spokeswoman Saloni Sharma. The same law would hit Amazon on its Marketplace and Google's ad exchange. Second, the Warren administration would appoint regulators committed to reversing anti-competitive tech mergers. These include "unwinding" mergers like

Apple Cracking Down on Developers Spamming the App Store With Duplicate Apps

Just one day after exposing a handful of developers spamming the App Store with duplicate VoIP apps, a clear violation of the App Store Review Guidelines, TechCrunch reports that Apple has removed many of the apps from the App Store. However, the report notes that plenty of duplicate apps remain available in other categories, such as photo printing. MailPix Inc., for example, has released three different apps that all offer same-day photo printing at nearby CVS or Walgreens locations. All three apps appear to be virtually identical in functionality. By releasing duplicate apps on the App Store, developers are able to game the search results by using different names, categories, and keywords. As the report mentions, the primary issue here is that Apple is not consistently enforcing its App Store Review Guidelines, which warn developers that "spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program." This can lead to an unfair playing field for developers who do abide by the rules. With millions of apps on the App Store, it is likely that quite a few other duplicate apps have slipped through the cracks, but hopefully the increased awareness results in Apple cracking down more on these rule-breaking developers.