All items tagged with "App Store"

Facebook Messenger’s app store is here, and it sucks

Facebook Messenger apps

Facebook Messenger’s app platform is off to a pretty ‘meh’ start. Photo: Alex Heath/Cult of Mac

Facebook is building its own kind of app store around Messenger, or so was the pitch at the social network’s F8 conference last week.

But now that the new platform, which manifests itself as a list of approved iOS apps that integrate with Messenger, is out in the wild, it’s not that impressive.

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App Store, iTunes and other Apple services are down

Ain't that just the way that life goes down, down, down, down. Photo: Apple

Ain’t that just the way that life goes down, down, down, down. Photo: Apple

Update: Apple has updated its service status page to reflect the problem, although there’s still no word on when it will be fixed.

Apple is having problems with a number of its services, with the iTunes Store, App Store and Mac App Store all experiencing sporadic outages, while app submission service iTunes Connect is also down and beta testing platform TestFlight is unavailable to some.

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Apple rejected Buzz Aldrin’s space app for having too much Buzz Aldrin

Photo: Polar Motion

Photo: Polar Motion

Buzz Aldrin was one of the first humans to step foot on the moon. Now he’s trying to make the big leap toward becoming an iOS developer, but Apple keeps rejecting his app, Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager, because of one tiny problem: It features too much Buzz Aldrin.

The App Store admissions team reportedly told Aldrin’s development team that the his game “contains well-known third parties.” What?!

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Celebrate Chinese New Year with these great apps, movies and books

Photo: Cult of Mac

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with your favorite apps. Photo: Cult of Mac

The Year of the Goat is finally upon us and to celebrate the start of the Chinese New Year, Apple has curated a special section in iTunes full of apps, movies, books, and music to mark the special occasion.

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New App Store section showcases non-freemium games

Apple is now promoting "Pay Once & Play" games on the iOS App Store. Photo: MacStories

Apple is now promoting “Pay Once & Play” games on the iOS App Store. Photo: MacStories

Let’s face it: Freemium games and games with an inordinate number of in-app purchases are out of control on the App Store. To a certain extent, that’s understandable: Developers are hard-pressed to get anyone to download their games if they charge money for them, which means it’s all a race to the bottom. The only way to get any visibility is for developers to release their games free, then hope they can make money later.

In a refreshing move, though, Apple is trying to do something about its freemium problem, by highlighting “Pay Once & Play” games that charge players once upfront, then never bug them for more money again.

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Apple finally enforces ‘no guns in App Store’ rule

Developers are having to blur guns from App Store screenshots. Photo: Touch Arcade

Developers now blur guns in App Store screenshots. Photo: App Store

Apple is turning away developers who try to submit apps with guns in their screenshots or icons. But this isn’t a case of Apple introducing new rules to the App Store, so much as it is one of the company finally enforcing rules that have been there all along.

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Apple reinstates cannabis discovery app in 23 states

Photo: MassRoots

Apple took the higher ground rather than relying on half-baked App Store policies. Photo: MassRoots

Despite being a brand targeted at creatives, along with Steve Jobs’ background as an acid-dropping hippie, Apple’s always been pretty resolutely anti-drug in its message. Perhaps that’s not such a surprise, really: When you become the most valuable publicly-traded company in history, it makes sense not to do things that could offend your investors.

Previously, Apple’s anti-drug ethos has meant that “Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes, will be rejected.” Even when apps like the controversial cannabis-growing game Weed Firm do somehow slip through the cracks and make it to the top of the free iPhone games chart, Apple has booted them out as soon as it’s made aware of their existence.

But as marijuana laws change, so too does Apple.

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App Store doubles max app size to a whopping 4GB

Apple is finally on the "same planet" as iPhone 6 demand. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Since the App Store’s debut in 2008, apps have never been able to be larger than 2GB. Today that changes.

Apple has notified third-party developers that they can now submit apps that are a max of 4GB in size. The change reflects the needs certain apps, namely games, have for larger file sizes as iOS becomes a more mature platform.

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Apple teams up with Pinterest to help you find the next great app

Apple's new deal will help improve App Store discovery.

Apple’s new deal will help improve App Store discovery. Photo: Apple/Pinterest

If you’re a Pinterest user with an eye on app discovery, Apple has the perfect deal for you. The companies have partnered to create “App Pins,” allowing users to install iOS apps without having to leave the Pinterest app.

App Pins work like regular pins on Pinterest’s virtual pinboard, only with the added functionality of an “Install” button next to the regular “Pin it,” alongside an extra “view this on the App Store” option. App Pins can be spotted by way of a small “App Store” badge that incorporates Apple’s logo.

“We can be a really powerful service for app discovery, which is a problem that still really hasn’t been solved,” Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp told The New York Times. “Our specialty is really connecting people to the things they want to do.”

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Crazy iPhone rig shows how Chinese workers manipulate App Store rankings

Forget building a quality app; this is the way to score a hit in the App Store.

Forget building a quality app; this is the way to score a hit in the App Store. Photo: Weibo

An app manipulation farm sounds like someplace developers would go for a weekend retreat, complete with chiropractor sessions. In fact — according to a photo which has gone viral on social media in China — it’s a place where devs can pay for their apps’ download numbers to be artificially inflated.

Why would anyone want to do this? Simply put: because more downloads (perhaps accompanied by positive reviews) enhances apps’ chart position, thereby raising their discoverability level, and hopefully prompting people to download them.

The photo in question appears to show a worker at one such place, sitting in front of what look like around 100 iPhone 5c units. Reports claim that her job is download, install, and uninstall specific apps repeatedly to boost their App Store rankings. Another similar table can be seen opposite her.

The image is accompanied by a second one, showing the alleged prices being charged to get your app to the top of the App Store rankings. Here’s how much you need to pay to secure a no. 1 rated app for yourself:

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