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'App Store' Articles Page 2

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.

Invite-Only Game Fortnite Has Earned an Estimated $1.5M Since Launch

Epic Games' popular Fortnite Battle Royale game for iOS devices has grossed an estimated $1.5 million worldwide since its release last Thursday, according to figures shared this afternoon by app analytics firm Sensor Tower. Fortnite has topped the iPhone download charts in more than 40 countries since it was released, despite the fact that it continues to be invite only. As of now, it is the number one free app in the Games section of the App Store. According to Sensor Tower, Fortnite earned $1 million during the first 72 hours after in-app purchases first became live in the game for beta testers. In Fortnite, players can buy outfits, tools, weapons, emotes, gliders, and more using the in-game currency, V-Bucks. Players can purchase 1,000 V-Bucks for $9.99, which is the minimum in-app purchase. Higher quantities of V-Bucks are available for more money. Fortnite earned far more than other survival-style games that were released at the same time. Knives Out, a competing game, earned $57k, while Rules of Survival earned $39k. Fortnite could have some competition now, however, as Tencent today released the official version of PUBG Mobile, which offers the same kind of gameplay available in Fortnite. Compared to other popular games, Fortnite hasn't brought in quite as much money, but it is still in a beta testing phase. Pokémon GO brought in $4.9 million just four days after release, and Clash Royale earned $4.6 million four days after it was released. The goal in Fortnite is to be the last person standing, with players tasked with killing opponents using

Official PUBG Mobile Game Now Available From iOS App Store in the U.S.

The officially licensed app for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, today launched in the United States and several other regions around the world. PUBG is an extremely popular multiplayer online battle royale-style game that's been available for PC and Xbox One since early 2017 as part of a Steam early access beta, with the game officially launching back in December. In PUBG, up to 100 players fight in a battle to the death to become the last person (or team of up to four people) standing. The goal of the game is to kill other players without being killed, while also scouting through the game world for equipment, weapons, and other gear. Two mobile versions of PUBG were released in China in February by Tencent Games, and as of today the mobile version of the game is available in the United States, Canada, and other regions. According to the App Store description of the game, it's an authentic port of the PC version of PUBG, with 100 players able to fight one another to survive.An authentic port of the PC version. 100 players are dropped on an enormous 8x8 km battlefield. Players fight to survive and eliminate each other through strategy and skill. The last one standing wins! Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!Tencent says the game is compatible with the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad Air and later, the iPad mini 2 and later and the 6th-generation iPod touch. The company recommends the iPhone 6 or above to get the most out of the PUBG Mobile game. The release of PUBG Mobile in the United States, Canada, and other regions follows the launch of the

iPhone Users in Iran Now Unable to Access the App Store

It appears the App Store is no longer accessible to iPhone and iPad users in Iran, with Apple apparently implementing a countrywide IP ban. According to Bleeping Computer, Iranians have been unable to access the App Store since approximately noon GMT, and when attempting to use the App Store, they're receiving a message that the store is unavailable in the country. All Iranian IPs appear to be unable to use the App Store at the current time. Iranian security researcher Meysam Firouzi told Bleeping Computer that he was able to connect to the App Store when using a VPN, even though he has an account with Iranian details. Because of U.S. sanctions, Apple does not sell its products in Iran nor is there an Iranian App Store, but there are millions of iPhones in the country that have been smuggled from places like Dubai and Hong Kong. iPhone users in Iran have previously been able to access the App Store by setting their devices to other regions. Back in August, Apple began removing apps from its App Stores created by Iranian developers for Iranian citizens, such as Snapp, a popular app for an Uber-like ride hailing service popular in Iran. Apple has now gone one step further and appears to be preventing all users with an Iranian IP from accessing the App Store entirely. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100

Apple Denies Abusing French Developers, Says They've Earned 1 Billion Euros From App Store

Apple has issued a statement defending against allegations made by France's finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who earlier this week accused the iPhone maker of treating French startups and developers unfairly. In the statement, loosely translated from French to English, Apple said it has "strong relationships" with French developers, and added that they have collectively earned one billion euros in revenue from the App Store. Le Figaro via MacGeneration:We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who have earned 1 billion euros on the App Store. Many of these talented developers founded their companies with one or two people and then saw their teams grow to offer their applications to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple's investment in iOS, development tools, and the App Store. Apple has always defended the confidentiality and security of users and does not have access to user transactions with third-party applications. We are fully prepared to share our history in the French courts and to clarify this misunderstanding. In the meantime, we will continue to help French developers realize their dreams and support French students in their learning of the code through our coding program.Le Maire said France will be taking Apple and Google to court in Paris for "abusive trade practices." In a radio interview, he mentioned that Apple and Google "take all their data" and "can unilaterally rewrite their contracts.""I learned that when developers develop their applications, and sell to Google

Dozens of Popular Apps Still Don't Natively Support iPhone X, But Updates Are Coming Soon

One of the minor disadvantages of buying an iPhone X early is having to wait for developers to update their apps with support for the smartphone's taller display. Many popular apps were updated within a few weeks after the device launched, but over four months later, there are still some notable omissions. MacRumors recently asked our readers to share their favorite apps that have yet to be optimized for the iPhone X display. Then, we reached out to the developers of each app to ask them if and when they will release updates with iPhone X support. We've included comments from every company that responded below. Apple Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment. iMovie iTunes Connect iTunes Remote Beats Pill+ AirPort Utility Music MemosGoogle Google said it does not have anything to share at this time. Google Authenticator Google Analytics Google Admin Google Street View Google Wifi Google Cloud Console Inbox by Gmail Chrome Remote Desktop SnapseedMicrosoft Microsoft confirmed it is working on updating its remaining apps to be optimized for the iPhone X, but it did not provide a timeframe.Microsoft Remote Desktop Microsoft Solitaire Collection Office 365 AdminBanking and FinanceChase — "We constantly evaluate changes in the market while listening to customer feedback and regularly update our mobile app based on that feedback. Watch for an update in the near future." TD Canada — "The next release of the TD mobile app, expected later this month, will be optimized for the iPhone X display." National Bank of Canada — "The app will be

Apple Shares Tips on Avoiding App Store and iTunes Phishing Emails

Apple last week shared a new support document that's designed to help App Store and iTunes users avoid phishing emails that mimic legitimate emails from Apple. In the document, Apple outlines techniques to identify an actual App Store or iTunes email, which the company says will always include a current billing address, something scammers are unlikely to have access to. An example of a well-crafted phishing email Apple also says that emails from the App Store, iBooks Store, iTunes Store, or Apple Music will never ask customers to provide details like a Social Security Number, mother's maiden name, a credit card number, or a credit card CCV code. Apple recommends that customers who receive emails asking them to update their account or payment information do so directly in the Settings app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, in iTunes or the App Store on a Mac, or in iTunes on a PC rather than through any kind of web interface. Customers who receive a suspicious email can forward it to reportphishing@apple.com, and any customer who may have entered personal information on a scam website should update their Apple ID password immediately. Scam and phishing emails like those Apple describes in this support document are not new, but at the current time, there's a new wave of legitimate-looking emails going around that look much like Apple emails that can easily fool customers who don't know what to look

Five iOS Apps Worth Checking Out - February 2018

Over on our YouTube channel, we're continuing on with our new monthly series that highlights new, interesting, and useful apps that we think are worth checking out. Because there are so many apps available on the iOS App Store, it can be hard to find new content, and it's also easy to overlook great older apps. Our app lists are designed to include apps -- both new and old -- that we personally recommend and have used over the course of the month. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Hooked (Free) - Hooked is actually a book app that offers up short stories in a unique format -- chat messages. Hooked stories are all presented as text message conversations, so it's a little bit like you're reading someone else's chat history. With Hooked, you can read little bits at a time in moments when you have a free minute or two, and the stories are always engaging. Hooked is free to download with a free trial period, but unlimited access costs $14.99 per month. App in the Air (Free) - Whether you're a frequent or infrequent traveler, App in the Air is a useful app that serves up details like real time flight status, airport maps, security wait times, walk time to your gate, airline point tracking, and more. It works with more than 1,000 airlines around the world, and key information like gate changes and updates to flight status are delivered via SMS. The app is free, but there are premium features like real-time flight status updates that require a subscription, which is priced at $34.99 per year. Timepage (Free) - Timepage is a calendar app

MoviePass Founders Say Subscription Service 'Would Never Have Happened' Without iPhones in New App Store Feature

Apple today on the iOS App Store shared a new interview with the founders of MoviePass, touching on the service's origins and its integral ties to the iPhone and modern smartphone app development. MoviePass debuted in 2011, but grew in popularity last August when the company dropped its subscription price to $9.95/month, which lets customers see one standard 2D film every day in the theater In Apple's new interview with Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt -- the pair of entrepreneurs who founded MoviePass seven years ago -- the conversation eventually focuses on where the idea for MoviePass emerged. According to Spikes, the kernel of the idea that would become MoviePass originated from art-house theaters in New York City that let customers see unlimited movies for a flat donation fee. He tried to install a similar model for his own Urbanworld Film Festival in the late 1990s, but admitted it was "too early," and that iPhones, apps, and the advances in development that emerged from this technology were all needed to address the technical roadblocks of such a service. "The idea was almost too early," says Spikes. "We didn't have iPhones and apps to figure out payment and interfacing. If it weren't for that development, MoviePass would never have happened." MoviePass works through the use of both the iPhone app and a paired debit card that is sent to subscribers through the mail after they sign up. If you want to see a movie, you travel to your local theater (MoviePass is supported at over 90 percent of theaters nationwide), select a 2D showtime, "check in," and at that time

App Store Pages Now Able to Feature Up to 10 Screenshots

Apple this morning informed developers that they're now able to offer up to 10 screenshots in their App Store product pages for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV apps, allowing them to show customers more of an app's experience. In the App Store, each app has its own product page that offers up a description and images to explain its function or gameplay. Previously, app developers were limited to a total of five screenshots plus up to three 30-second preview videos for demonstrative purposes, which is increasing to 10 images plus videos. For apps that run on multiple devices, developers will be able to provide 10 tailored screenshots for each device. For customers, the expanded screenshot limit means developers will be able to offer a clearer, more expansive picture of what an app is capable of, providing a better idea of an app's feature set ahead of