China downloads more iOS apps than anyone


The App Store continues to bring in the revenue for Apple.
The App Store continues to bring in the revenue for Apple.
Photo: Apple

When it comes to app downloads, China and Mexico surged in the first fiscal quarter of 2015, says a report by the mobile analysts at App Annie.

China took the top spot for iOS downloads while Mexico now ranks among the top five countries for Google Play downloads, surpassing South Korea this quarter.

While we’ve seen Google Play lead the number of downloads across the globe and iOS facing a shrinking lead in revenue, Q1 2015 showed a huge jump for iOS in terms of revenue, to the tune of about 70 percent more (up from 60 percent higher in Q3 2014). Google Play continues to be top dog in downloads, though, with 70 percent more downloads than Apple’s digital storefront.

Want to make your own Toy Story?


The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar
The software that made this happen is now free. Photo: Pixar

Steve Jobs was, of course, formative to developing the software for the Mac, iPhone and iPad, but he was also formative to the development of another company and its software: Pixar, the computer animation studio behind Toy Story, Ratatouille, Up and more.

Now Pixar has released RenderMan, the company’s in-house rendering software, to the public for free. It’s the tool that gave the world Toy Story and countless other modern day classics, and it is now totally free to download for non-commercial use on the Mac, as well as Windows and Linux.

Only 5% of Monument Valley installs on Android were paid for



One of the biggest reasons why many app developers continue to snub Android is piracy. The platform’s “open” approach, which allows applications to be downloaded from third-party sources and installed manually, makes it incredibly easy for users to circumvent Google Play and obtain paid apps completely free.

Piracy on Android is so rampant right now that just 5 percent of installs of Monument Valley — one of the best mobile games of 2014, which is currently priced at $3.99 in the Play Store — have actually been paid for.

A streaming milestone: Spotify overtakes iTunes in Europe


Photo: Kobalt/TechCruncg
Downloads are dead, long live music streams. Photo: Kobalt/TechCrunch

If you’re searching for further evidence that music streaming is overtaking downloads, look no further than a new report claiming that over the last quarter European revenue from Spotify streams were 13% higher than revenues from iTunes downloads.

The report comes from Kobalt, a company that helps collect music royalties on behalf of thousands of big-name artist. Currently it only collects earnings from Spotify streams in Europe — which means it’s unknown if similar figures are true in the U.S.

This time last year, iTunes’ earnings were 32% higher than that of Spotify in Europe, although streaming revenues have tripled over the past two years.

Surprise! Digital Content May Actually Cost Less After U.K. Tax Change



Following a change to VAT (value added tax) legislation in the United Kingdom, there have been a lot of reports suggesting that Apple customers in the U.K. may soon have to pay more when buying from iTunes and the App Store.

As it turns out, those reports are likely incorrect.

You see, Apple has been charging Brits 23% VAT on digital content until now — but the U.K. VAT rate is only 20%.