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

Apple Delaying Plans to Limit Third-Party Tracking in Kids Apps

Apple is delaying its plans to limit third-party tracking and ads in apps designed for children, reports The Washington Post. The company's decision comes following an inquiry from The Washington Post about app developers who are unhappy with the changes and what it means for the way free apps for children function. Earlier this year, there were reports suggesting Apple would limit third-party ad tracking in apps aimed at kids to better protect their privacy, and Apple formally announced changes in June. Apple initially planned to roll out these changes in September, but is now holding off to give developers more time to adjust to the new rules.Following an inquiry from The Washington Post, Apple said Friday that it now plans to delay the rule changes. "We aren't backing off on this important issue, but we are working to help developers get there," Apple spokesman Fred Sainz wrote in an emailed statement. The statement said some developers had asked Apple to clarify the new rules, but that "generally we have heard from them that there is widespread support for what we are trying to do to protect kids."Apple's new App Store guidelines prevent apps for kids from using third-party analytics services, which can collect a lot of data about usage habits. Apple is also "severely curtailing" ad sales in kids apps.In order to help keep kids' data private, apps in the kids category and apps intended for kids cannot include third-party advertising or analytics software and may not transmit data to third parties. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must

Apple Says Simulated Gambling Apps Will Be Rated 17+ in All Countries Starting Today

In an email to developers today, received by MacRumors, Apple has announced that apps marked as having "Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling" will be rated 17+ in all countries and regions starting today. Gambling apps meeting certain related criteria will also be newly available to users in South Korea, but only to users 19 years of age or older. Apple's full email:Dear Developer, In an effort to open up additional opportunities for developers, we've worked with the government of the Republic of Korea on making more apps available on the App Store in the Republic of Korea. And to ensure that our global age rating system continues to help make the App Store safe for kids, apps that feature Frequent/Intense Simulated Gambling will be rated 17+ in all countries and regions starting August 20, 2019. If your app meets at least one of the criteria below, you'll be able to offer it on the App Store in the Republic of Korea to users 19 years of age or older. You'll need to enter a Rating Classification Number from the Game Rating and Administration Committee in App Store Connect, and can do so starting August 20. Apps with a number entered at this time will be published later this week. If you don't have a Rating Classification Number, you can apply for one now. - Apps in the Casino subcategory with age rating 17+ - Apps in the Games or Entertainment categories with Frequent/Intense selected for at least one of the following content descriptions: -- Simulated Gambling -- Sexual Content or Nudity -- Alcohol, Tobacco,

App Developers Claim Apple's iOS 13 Location Tracking Changes Are Anti-Competitive

Apple in iOS 13 made changes to the way location tracking permissions work, and there's no longer an option for apps to ask to "Always Allow" location tracking. Instead, Apple allows users to select "Allow While Using the App," "Allow Once," or "Don't Allow," which some app creators have taken offense to. The leaders of seven companies that make apps for iOS devices banded together to write an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak out about the changes, with the details shared by The Information. There's no longer an "Always Allow" option on privacy popups in iOS 13 for enabling permanent location access The companies that wrote to Cook are upset that there's no longer a readily available "Always Allow" option. Users can still turn on "Always Allow" in the Privacy section of the Settings app, but it's not available by default and requires additional steps. As an example, Zenly, a location tracking app owned by Snap, needs to have location tracking on permanently to function. Since there's no option to turn on "Always Allow," Zenly has to have a clunky secondary display screen that instructs users to open up the Privacy settings on their iPhones to change the location setting. This makes consumers more aware of apps that are tracking them continually, but it is an extra step that app developers must contend with. Apps that want continual location data must instruct customers to enable it in the Settings app According to the companies who wrote to Cook, the changes could potentially lead users to think their apps are broken unless they're "savvy

App Store 'Today' Stories Now Fully Available on the Web

Apple redesigned its App Store app in iOS 11, introducing a new "Today" tab with editorials about featured apps and developers, tips and how tos, and more to help customers discover new and useful apps. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple recently extended these Today stories to the web, making the content fully accessible on the desktop. The new two-column layout features a title card on the left and content on the right, ranging from text and images to app lists and links. Previously, the web previews simply directed users to the App Store on an iOS device. Today stories can be read on the web by opening a story from an iOS device, scrolling down to the bottom, and tapping "share

PS3 Game 'Journey' Launches on iOS App Store for $5

Seven years after first launching on the PlayStation 3 to critical acclaim, thatgamecompany's "Journey" has today launched on the iOS App Store for $4.99 [Direct Link]. The iOS port includes touch controls, and supports the original game's feature that lets you anonymously interact with another player online. In the game, you play as a character who is exploring the remnants of an unknown world, trying to reach a vast mountain peak. You can play the entire game alone, but if you have the multiplayer feature turned on, the game will randomly introduce companions that can aid you on your journey. thatgamecompany is also behind "Sky: Children of Light" on iOS, which first premiered on stage at Apple's iPhone X event in 2017. Sky finally launched last month, and it shares many gameplay features with Journey. You can download Journey on iOS for $4.99 [Direct Link].

WSJ: Apple Apps Unfairly Dominate App Store Search Results

Apple's mobile apps are often first in App Store search results ahead of competitors, according to a new analysis done by The Wall Street Journal. For basic searches like "maps," Apple's apps ranked first more than 60 percent of the time in the WSJ's testing. Apps that generate revenue like Music or Books showed up first in 95 percent of related searches. Apple, in response to questioning from the Wall Street Journal, did its own testing and said that it had different results where its apps didn't rank first. Apple says that it uses an algorithm that uses machine learning and past consumer preferences, leading to app rankings that often fluctuate. Apple suggested that its apps ranked first in the WSJ's testing because those apps are popular with consumers. Apple says that all apps are subjected to the same search algorithm, including its own."Apple customers have a very strong connection to our products and many of them use search as a way to find and open their apps," Apple said in a statement. "This customer usage is the reason Apple has strong rankings in search, and it's the same reason Uber, Microsoft and so many others often have high rankings as well."Many of the Apple apps in the App Store are installed by default on iPhones and iPads, though they can now be deleted if desired. Having them available in the App Store lets customers who have deleted them restore them when needed. In one example, the WSJ highlights the audiobooks search category. The top spot was held by AudioBooks.com for two years before it was unseated by

Apple Relaunches 'Texas Hold'Em' Game to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of App Store

In a surprise move tied to the App Store's 10th anniversary last year, Apple has revived its classic "Texas Hold'Em" game for iPhone. As noted by 9to5Mac, version 2.0 of the game was released on the App Store today. Apple says it has completely redesigned, rebuilt, and re-rendered the game to use high-resolution graphics, as well as added new characters, more challenging gameplay, and many other new features. Apple's release notes:Apple's Texas Hold'em is back! To celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the App Store, we've brought back one of its first games, a popular classic. Originally created for iPod, then brought to iPhone, fans will love the polished redesign, featuring new characters, more challenging gameplay, and stunning graphics for the newest iPhone and iPod touch.Texas Hold'Em is a variation of poker. In the game, players bet and bluff as they attempt to advance through 10 distinctive locations, including Las Vegas, Paris, and Macau. The new version is entirely free-to-play with multiplayer support for up to eight players via Wi-Fi or offline playback against 24 computerized opponents. The new version requires a device running iOS 12 or later and is optimized for the latest iPhone and iPod touch models. Texas Hold'Em first debuted on the iPod in September 2006 before launching on the iPhone when the App Store launched on July 11, 2008. The game was pulled from the App Store in November 2011, leaving Apple without its own iPhone game until it released "Warren Buffett's Paper Wizard" in May.

Apple's Difficult App Store Decisions Determined by Executive Review Board Run by Phil Schiller

When Apple has to make a difficult decision regarding an app in the App Store, its fate is determined in a meeting of a group called the Executive Review Board or ERB, led by Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller. The detail was shared in a CNBC report on how the App Store works, which gives an inside look at Apple's App Store review team. The Executive Review Board meets once per week and discusses controversial apps or iPhone apps that might be infringing on App Store guidelines, and it has the final word on whether an app can stay on the store or if it's going to be removed. The ERB also creates the policies for Apple's Worldwide Developer Relations department, otherwise known as the App Review team that looks over every app submitted to the App Store. Last year, the ERB was the team that decided to ban the controversial Infowars app from the App Store for violating Apple's content policies. Apple runs multiple App Review teams around the world, and according to CNBC, recently opened up new offices in Cork, Ireland and Shanghai, China. Over the course of the last few years, hiring for the team has ramped up. People on the app review team are paid hourly, have employee badges, and receive healthcare, like any other Apple employee with Apple opting to use a full in-house team rather than relying on contractors. The main App Review team is based out of an office in Sunnyvale, California, which is close to Apple's Cupertino campuses. According to CNBC, new hires start out on iPhone apps,

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!)