App Store


'App Store' Articles Page 2

U.S. Supreme Court to Review Whether Lawsuit Accusing Apple of App Store Monopoly Should Proceed

In 2011, a class action lawsuit filed against Apple accused the company of operating an illegal monopoly by not allowing iPhone users to download mobile apps outside of its own App Store, reducing consumer choice. The antitrust case was eventually dismissed in 2013 by a U.S. district court in Northern California, due to errors in the complaint, leading to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowing it to proceed in 2017. That decision led to Apple's petition for a writ of certiorari, which was granted today, meaning that the U.S. Supreme Court will now review the appeals court's decision to reinstate the case last year, according to Reuters. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple, urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit's decision, arguing that it misapplied precedent from Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois. 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. Apple will now hope the Supreme Court agrees that the case should be dismissed again. No date has been disclosed for the

Apple's New App Store Guidelines Restrict Apps From Harvesting Data From iPhone Users' Friends

Apple last week updated its App Store Review Guidelines for developers after unveiling iOS 12, introducing rules for remote mirroring apps, banning cryptocurrency mining, and introducing clear rules to allow developers to provide free trials for paid apps. At the same time, Apple also quietly expanded its data sharing rules, as Bloomberg points out, introducing strict new guidelines that prevent app developers from collecting user data to build advertising profiles or contact databases. The rules also prohibit apps from harvesting data from an iPhone user's contacts. From Apple's updated 5.1.2 data sharing guidelines:(iii) Apps should not attempt to surreptitiously build a user profile based on collected data and may not attempt, facilitate, or encourage others to identify anonymous users or reconstruct user profiles based on data collected from Apple-provided APIs or any data that you say has been collected in an "anonymized," "aggregated," or otherwise non-identifiable way. (iv) Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don't collect information about which other apps are installed on a user's device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing. (v) Do not contact people using information collected via a user's Contacts or Photos, except at the explicit initiative of that user on an individualized basis; do not include a Select All option or default the selection of all contacts. You must provide the user with a clear

Apple Announces World Cup Content Coming to Siri, Apple TV, News, App Store, iBooks and More

Apple's personal assistant Siri has been updated with support for sports ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, Apple announced today. Sports support for Siri in the nine new countries expands Siri sports information to a total of 35 countries, including the United States. Specific to the World Cup, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and Mac owners can ask Siri questions like: When does France play Australia? What teams are in group A? Who is on the England squad? Who won the Argentina-Iceland match? In addition to expanding Siri sports support, Apple also plans to highlight football (soccer in the United States) apps and games throughout the month. Features will include tips on taking the perfect football photo and how to "get your football fix" on social media. Highlighted apps will include FOX NOW and BBC Sport, while featured games will include FIFA Mobile and PES 2018. The TV app on Apple TV and iOS devices will feature World Cup coverage via FOX NOW in the United States and TSN and RDS in Canada, with fans able to follow their favorite teams through the TV app's Up Next feature. Apple also plans to feature World Cup content in the News app through Eight by Eight magazine, and in Apple Music with featured playlists for each of the 32 participating nations. Podcasts will include a "The Beautiful Game" World Cup editorial collection, as will iBooks, with Apple highlighting World Cup-related podcasts and book selections. The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off later this

Free Trials for All Paid Apps Now Possible Thanks to Updated App Store Guidelines

Apple yesterday introduced updated App Store Guidelines, which bring a much-desired feature that both developers and customers have been wanting for some time -- free trial options for all apps. A modified 3.1.1 rule in the guidelines says that apps are now able to offer a free time-based trial period using no-cost in-app purchase options that will temporarily unlock app functionality. So, for example, you will be able to make a $0.00 in-app purchase in an app to unlock a free trial period that lasts for a set period of time, usually a few days to a week or two. With this change, all apps in the App Store will be able to free trials to customers should the developers choose to implement the feature. Prior to the guideline update, free trial periods for App Store apps were available only for subscription-based apps, where you had to agree to make a monthly or weekly payment to get access to a free trial. A lack of free trials for apps has been a major complaint for both the iOS and Mac App Stores, and especially so on the Mac App Store, where apps are often more expensive and offer more extensive functionality that customers may want to test before making a high-dollar purchase. Apple implemented several other changes to its guidelines, including restrictions on subscription apps that attempt to scam people out of money and new rules for remote mirroring apps like Steam

Apple Revamps App Store Guidelines, Sets New Rules for Remote Mirroring Apps Like Steam Link

Alongside the debut of iOS 12, which is available to developers for beta testing as of today, Apple has introduced new App Store Guidelines. There are several tweaks that have been made to the App Store Guidelines, and one notable change appears to have been introduced specifically because of the Steam Link debacle that saw Apple approve and then renege on the Steam Link app for iOS. A new guideline, 4.2.7, says that all Remote Application Mirroring apps, such as Steam Link, must comply with a specific set of rules. Such apps are not allowed to offer a user interface that resembles an App Store view or a store-like interface, nor can they include the ability to purchase software not already owned by the user. Apple is allowing transactions to be made by remote mirroring apps, as long as purchases are made on the host device rather than the iOS device.The UI appearing on the client does not resemble an iOS or App Store view, does not provide a store-like interface, or include the ability to browse, select, or purchase software not already owned or licensed by the user. For the sake of clarity, transactions taking place within mirrored software do not need to use in-app purchase, provided the transactions are processed on the host device.With the clarification of Apple's stance on games streamed from a PC or Mac, the Steam Link app may be able to launch on iOS devices after all. Valve has not yet commented on the policy changes, and it's not clear what Valve will need to tweak to comply with the new rules. There are multiple other changes to the App Store

Apple Launches New 'App Store Connect' App for Developers

Apple today introduced a new App Store Connect app, which appears to be a replacement for the existing iTunes Connect app. iTunes Connect is, however, still available from the iOS App Store at this time. App Store Connect allows developers to manage their app, see analytics trends, and respond to App Store reviews, features that are also available in iTunes Connect. App Store Connect for iOS helps developers manage their apps that are available in the App Store. Developers can use App Store Connect to monitor their latest trends, receive notification from user reviews, as well as respond to customer reviews immediately from their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.App Store Connect is available for both the iPhone and the iPad and can be downloaded right now. [Direct Link]

Apple's iOS App Store Will Top $100B Paid Out to Developers This Week, Ahead of 10th Anniversary in July

During its WWDC keynote earlier today, Apple took a moment to celebrate the upcoming tenth anniversary of the iOS App Store, which opened to the world in July 2008. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that this week the App Store will hit its next major milestone: the money that developers have earned through the App Store will exceed $100 billion. In total, Cook mentioned that there are more than 20 million registered third-party developers, and more than 500 million customers visiting the storefront on iPhone and iPad every week. Cook went on to say that over the past ten years, the App Store has enabled "countless new companies" and created "tens of millions of new jobs." "This is beyond remarkable. The App Store is clearly the best place for you to be rewarded for your hard work and creativity." In iOS 11, Apple overhauled the App Store with an all-new look that introduced editorialized content that points readers towards new apps and games each day. Next, Apple is bringing a similar visual update to the Mac App Store in macOS Mojave later in 2018. There were plenty of other announcements that came out of Apple's WWDC keynote today, so be sure to head over to our recap post to catch up with the latest

Apple to Expand Digital Advertising Network to Third-Party Apps

Apple is aiming to expand its digital advertising network by offering ad deals to companies that include Snap and Pinterest, reports The Wall Street Journal. Apple is hoping to build an Apple ad network that would distribute ads across apps, providing a share of revenue to the apps that display the ads. With these Apple ads, searching for something like "Drapes" in Pinterest could show up an ad from Apple for an interior design app, as an example. Apple's App Store search ads Apple's App Store ads brought in nearly $1 billion in revenue last year, and its ad network ambitions would allow the company to grow its ad business significantly. Companies like Google and Facebook offer similar ad programs, which Apple would need to compete with. Targeting ads could be more difficult for Apple because it does not use the extensive data collection techniques of Google and Facebook. Apple limits its App Store advertising data collection to age, location, gender, device, and music, app, book, and video downloads. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is not known where Apple's planning for the ad network stands nor when it could launch. Apple previously had an ad program called iAd, which it shuttered in

Apple's Phil Schiller Explains Why Valve's Steam Link App Was Rejected

Apple recently made the decision to reject Valve's Steam Link app after initially approving it, leading to many unhappy Steam customers who had been looking forward to the feature. Apple has been silent on the issue despite several requests for comment, but today, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller explained the reason behind the rejection to a MacStories reader and other Apple customers on Reddit who emailed to ask Apple to reconsider. In the email, Schiller says the Valve app violates a number of guidelines and that Apple is working with the Valve team to rectify the issue.We care deeply about bringing great games to all of our users on the App Store. We would love for Valve's games and services to be on iOS and AppleTV. Unfortunately, the review team found that Valve's Steam iOS app, as currently submitted, violates a number of guidelines around user generated content, in-app purchases, content codes, etc. We've discussed these issues with Valve and will continue to work with them to help bring the Steam experience to iOS and AppleTV in a way that complies with the store's guidelines. We put great effort into creating an App Store that provides the very best experience for everyone. We have clear guidelines that all developers must follow in order to ensure the App Store is a safe place for all users and a fair opportunity for all developers.The Steam Link app is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. As our sister site TouchAr

Apple Rejects Valve's Steam Link App Due to 'Business Conflicts'

It looks like Valve's planned Steam Link app for iOS devices isn't coming after all, because Apple has rejected the app due to "business conflicts." In a statement, Valve said that Apple initially approved Steam Link for release on May 7, but ultimately decided to reject the app because of conflicts that had not been recognized by the original review team.On Monday, May 7th, Apple approved the Steam Link app for release. On Weds, May 9th, Valve released news of the app. The following morning, Apple revoked its approval citing business conflicts with app guidelines that had allegedly not been realized by the original review team. Valve appealed, explaining the Steam Link app simply functions as a LAN-based remote desktop similar to numerous remote desktop applications already available on the App Store. Ultimately, that appeal was denied leaving the Steam Link app for iOS blocked from release. The team here spent many hours on this project and the approval process, so we're clearly disappointed. But we hope Apple will reconsider in the future. Valve's appeals have not been successful at the current point in time, and the company is now hoping that media attention may spur Apple to change its mind. The Steam Link app for iOS, which was announced on May 9, is designed to allow Steam users to play their Steam games on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV using either a 5GHz WiFi network or a wired Ethernet connection to a host PC or Mac. Valve was planning to launch the Steam Link app this week, and Valve had worked to add Steam Link support for the Steam Controller and

App Store Developers Form a 'Union' Ahead of WWDC Calling for Free App Trials, Better Rates

A group of App Store developers calling themselves "The Developers Union" today published an open letter to Apple asking the company to commit to allowing free trials for apps and a "more reasonable revenue cut." The group says that it is first aiming to get Apple to implement free trials for all apps in the iOS and Mac App Stores by July 2019, with plans after that to advocate for other changes.We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store. Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we'll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.The initiative is led by Brent Simmons (MarsEdit, Vesper, and NetNewsWire creator), Jake Schumacher (App: The Human Story documentary maker), Loren Morris (product designer), and Roger Ogden (software designer). The Developers Union is not a "trade union" in the traditional sense of the word, but it is aiming to bring developers and supporters together to advocate for App Store changes. In an interview with WIRED, the team behind The Developers Union said the aim is to gain a thousand members this week and 20,000 by early June, when the Worldwide Developers Conference takes place. "It's a non-union union in a way," Morris, the product designer, said when reached by phone. "I'm not super interested in creating a traditional union; I'm

Apple Starts Removing Apps That Share Location Data With Third Parties

Apple has stepped up its policy of removing apps from the App Store that violate its guidelines by sharing location data with third parties without explicit consent. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple appears to have ratcheted up its software scrutiny in the last few days by informing affected developers by email that upon re-evaluation, their app violates two sections of the App Store Review Guidelines and will therefore be removed from sale: Apple finally decided to start enforcing guidelines on selling location data via @jeromep1970 pic.twitter.com/YKAWfMBq35— Thomasbcn (@Thomasbcn) May 7, 2018 Legal - 5.11 & Legal 5.1.2 The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the users and for unapproved purposes.Apple's contention is that the apps in question don't provide enough clear information to users regarding what their data is used for and how it's shared once it's been collected. There also seems to be concern that the data collection isn't specifically for improving the user experience or enhancing app performance. The company's retrospective action is likely related to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets the rules for how businesses manage and share the personal data of customers. GDPR is a European Union rule to protect EU citizens, but as with its website cookie consent policy, basically every company with an online presence is affected by the law. An updated version of the GDPR goes into effect on May 25 to underline this applicability. Interested readers can find a summary of the key changes to the

All App Updates Must Be Built With iOS 11 SDK and Include iPhone X Display Support Starting in July

Apple today informed developers that starting in July of 2018, all app updates submitted to the iOS App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must offer support for the iPhone X's taller display. Introduced in back in September, the iOS 11 SDK includes new technologies for app developers like Core ML, ARKit, revamped camera APIs, additional SiriKit domains, drag and drop features for the iPad, and more. Going forward, iOS apps will need to adopt these technologies, and more importantly, Apple will be forcing developers who have not yet implemented support for the new display of the iPhone X to do so. While most major apps have added support for the iPhone X, there are still many apps that have not been updated and continue to have ugly black bars when used on the iPhone X. This includes some Apple apps, such as iTunes Connect, iTunes Remote, Beats Pill+, Music Memos, and AirPort Utility, so presumably Apple will be updating its own apps with full iPhone X support in the near future given the new guidelines.iOS 11 delivers innovative features and the redesigned App Store to hundreds of millions of customers around the world. Your apps can deliver more intelligent, unified, and immersive experiences with Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, new SiriKit domains, Apple Music integration, drag and drop for iPad, and more. Starting July 2018, all iOS app updates submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK and must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X.Apple's requirement for app updates to introduce iPhone X support will be implemented just a

Apple's Services Revenue Up 31% Year-Over-Year in 2Q 2018, App Store Sets New Quarterly Revenue Record

Apple's services category has continued to see rapid growth and it is becoming an increasingly important revenue driver for Apple. In the second fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple's services brought in $9.19 billion in revenue, up 31 percent compared to the $7 billion in revenue services earned in the second quarter of 2017. For the last several quarters, Apple's services revenue has grown so quickly that Apple sets a new record with each earnings announcement, and the second quarter of 2018 is no exception. Apple's services category includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that in Q2 2018, the App Store, Apple Music, Apple and iCloud set all time revenue records. Apple Music set a new record for both revenue and paid subscribers, which, as was announced recently, has hit 40 million. Apple's paid subscriptions surpassed 270 million, up 100 million from a year ago and up 30 million in the last 90 days alone. Recently, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicted that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth. Huberty estimated that services revenue is at $30 per device, with just 18 percent of Apple's total device install base subscribing to paid Apple services, leaving a lot of room for growth in the coming years. Apple in 2016 set itself a goal to double its services revenue by 2020, and the company is well on its way towards hitting that goal. Apple in 2016 earned $24 billion in revenue from services,

Featured Apps in Revamped iOS 11 App Store Can See 800% Download Boost

Earning a featured spot in the revamped iOS App Store can increase app downloads by up to 800 percent, according to new data sourced from app analytics site Sensor Tower and shared by TechCrunch. The data, collected from September 2017 to the present, suggests an app that's highlighted using either the "App of the Day" or "Game of the Day" feature in the U.S. sees the greatest increase in downloads. Specifically, "Game of the Day" apps have seen a median download increase of 802 percent for the week following the feature, while "App of the Day" apps have seen a boost of 685 percent. Other features, such as a developer story or an app list can increase downloads by up to 240 percent. Stories resulted in a 222 percent boost in downloads, while app lists increased downloads by 240 percent. A theme feature had the lowest impact at a 164 percent increase in downloads. Sensor Tower has also outlined what kind of data Apple has chosen to highlight through the new App Store design. Many of the top publishers that have been featured are larger companies, like Electronic Arts, Warner Bros., Square Enix, Gameloft, Noodlecake Studios, and King, which is unsurprising as these companies have put out some of the most popular apps in the App Store. 13 of the top 15 featured publishers had at least one million U.S. iPhone downloads since the launch of the new App Store. Apple has, however, also focused on highlighting indie apps. 29 percent of apps featured since the launch of the new App Store have been from publishers who had fewer than 10,000 downloads at the

Total Number of App Store Apps Shrank in 2017 Thanks to Apple's Quality Crackdown

The number of apps available in the App Store shrank for the first time ever in 2017, according to data shared today by App Store analytics company Appfigures (via TechCrunch). At the end of 2017, there were 2.1 million iOS apps available in the App Store, compared to 2.2 million apps at the beginning of the year. Starting in September of 2016, Apple told developers it would be removing old, outdated apps that had not been updated with compatibility for more recent devices or no longer complied with current review guidelines. Apple also created new App Store guidelines limiting apps created from commercialized templates or app generation services, and officially banned virus scanning apps, plus it cracked down on clone and spam apps, all of which contributed to the company's App Store cleanup efforts. Changes in iOS 11 may have had the biggest impact on the available number of apps in the App Store, though. With iOS 11, Apple stopped supporting 32-bit apps, which the company began phasing out in 2013. 32-bit apps do not open on devices running iOS 11, nor can older 32-bit apps be found in the App Store. Since 2015, Apple has required all apps and app updates to use 64-bit architecture, so apps that became defunct with iOS 11 had not been updated in at least two years. Appfigures says that the decrease in apps can also be attributed to a dip in the number of new apps submitted by developers in 2017. Just 755,000 new apps were added to the App Store in 2017, down 29 percent from the previous year. This too could be attributed to Apple's more restrictive

Apple Outlines Developer Tools Available for Complying With the EU's New Data Regulation Rules

Apple today told developers that it is offering a set of tools to help them fulfill data requests made by users in the European Union or other places around the world to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that goes into effect in May. Following the implementation of the GDPR developers will need to comply with customer requests for accessing, managing, restricting, and deleting data. To facilitate this, Apple says developers can let users manage data that's associated with an app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs.You can let users manage data that's associated with your app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs. Providing User Access to CloudKit Data Give users access to the data stored by your app on their behalf. When a user requests a copy of the data associated with their Apple ID, it includes only the data that Apple maintains directly, such as documents in iCloud Drive. Data stored in third-party CloudKit containers are not included in any export that Apple provides. Developers should provide their own method for users to get a copy of data stored in their CloudKit containers. Responding to Requests to Delete Data Provide options for users to delete their CloudKit data from your app.Apple too will be implementing new features to comply with the new European regulations. Starting in Early May, the company will introduce an updated Apple ID website that will allow users to download all of their data stored with the company. Apple also plans to allow customers to use the site to correct personal

Apple's Services Category Set to Be the Company's Main Revenue Driver Over the Next Five Years

Apple's services revenue is growing at a rapid pace and is on track to be the company's primary revenue driver in the future, according to a note Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty shared with investors this morning (via Business Insider). Huberty believes that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth. The iPhone, meanwhile, will make up just 22 percent of revenue growth during the same time period, despite the fact that it's contributed 86 percent of Apple's revenue growth over the past five years. Although "over the last five years, the vast majority (86%) of Apple's 8% annual revenue growth was driven by iPhone sales, it is through monetization of Apple's Services business that we see the company still generating mid single digit revenue growth," she said. Huberty estimated that roughly 60% of revenue growth is now attributable to services. That, coupled with wearables, like the Apple Smart Watch, "will drive almost all of Apple's growth over the next five years," she added.For the last several years, Apple's services category has been setting continual quarterly revenue records thanks to its rapid growth. In the first fiscal quarter of 2018, for example, services brought in $8.5 billion, up 18 percent year over year. The services category includes iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare. According to Huberty, services revenue is at roughly $30 per device, up from $25 two years ago, but that might not be an accurate reflection of

Apple's Greg Joswiak Talks Mobile Gaming

In a piece covering growing consumer interest in mobile gaming, TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino spoke to Apple's vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, and several prominent game developers to get opinions on the state gaming on iOS. According to Joswiak, with developers now able to bring full multiplayer console-style experiences to iOS devices, like the recently released Fortnite and PUBG mobile games, mobile gaming is at a tipping point. Platforms like iOS are able to offer unique combinations of hardware and software that see regular updates and improvements, which has led to impressive new gaming technology over the course of the last few years. "Every year we are able to amp up the tech that we bring to developers," he says, comparing it to the 4-5 year cycle in console gaming hardware. "Before the industry knew it, we were blowing people away [with the tech]. The full gameplay of these titles has woken a lot of people up."Joswiak says Apple is able to bring a "very homogenous customer base to developers" with 90 percent of devices running the current version of iOS, which allows developers to introduce new features and target the capabilities of new devices more quickly than on other platforms like Android, giving Apple's App Store a competitive edge. Ryan Cash, one of the developers behind the newly released Alto's Odyssey game, told TechCrunch that there's a "real and continually growing sense that mobile is a platform to launch compelling, artful experiences.""This has always been the sentiment among the really amazing community of

Apple is Tightening the Rules on 'What's New' Changelogs in App Store

Apple this week informed members of its Developer Program that it will be enforcing stricter rules for "What's New in This Version," the section on the App Store in which developers can list changes they made to their apps. Starting in April, developers will only be able to edit the "What's New" text when submitting a new version of their app. In other words, any changes to the text will now be subject to Apple's standard App Store review process. The requirement will extend to editing an app's support URL or marketing URL, according to Apple's announcement posted in iTunes Connect. While this is a minor change, Apple evidently felt the need to have a little more control over information passing through the App Store without its approval. It's possible that a few developers were taking advantage of the flexibility for bad reasons, such as pointing support or marketing URLs to malicious websites.