Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

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Pricey gold Apple Watch could make $5 billion per quarter

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38mm rose gold Apple Watch Edition. Photo: Apple
The high-end Apple Watch Edition could bring in the bulk of Cupertino's revenue from wearables. Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch Edition has perplexed many Apple fanboys with its ridiculously high price tag. We still don’t know how much the beautiful, high-end smartwatch will cost, but it’s expected be one of the most expensive Apple products ever, which has a lot of analysts wondering, how many is Apple going sell?

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that only 17 percent of the first 5 million Apple Watch orders were for the pricey gold Edition. That number sounds almost insignificant, but Daring Fireball’s John Gruber did some math and found that Apple is expecting to sell about 1 million of the exorbitantly expensive timepieces per quarter.

Hitting 1 million in sales for the super-expensive smartwatches in the first quarter would be an impressive feat. But what’s more surprising is that if Apple actually hits that number, the gold Edition Apple Watches would account for the most Apple Watch revenue, bringing in at least $5 billion per quarter.

Here’s why:

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The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 could have a Super Retina 461 PPI display

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iPhone6displays

With the iPhone 6 set to come in two separate display sizes — a 4.7-inch model, and a 5.5-model — Apple needs to increase the iPhone’s resolution to keep up. But what will the new resolutions be? Up until now, Apple has stuck with 326 pixels-per-inch for all Retina iPhones, but will larger iPhones require higher pixel densities.

Pulling out a spreadsheet, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber worked out the math for what he thinks the resolutions of the iPhone 6 will be. Using the Pythagorean Theorem, Gruber says that he thinks the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 will keep the current iPhone’s 326 pixels-per-inch, but the 5.5-inch model will have an astonishing 461 pixels-per-inch, making it practically Super Retina.

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Vesper, A Sublime Note-Taking App By Daring Fireball’s John Gruber

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vesperappiOS

 

There are hundreds of apps on the App Store that claim they’ll help you boost your productivity, keep your thoughts organized, and help you finish all of those great side project ideas you have floating around. Some of those apps are genuinely helpful, but famed Apple-blogger John Gruber just released a new note-taking app that challenges them all.

Vesper is a sublime note-taking app for iPhone that just hit the App Store. Its price tag is a bit steeper than most apps, but even at $4.99 it’s a pretty good deal. Designed by John Gruber’s new company, Q Branch, Vesper is a hybrid of notes and list-making features that helps you keep your thoughts organized.

“What’s the difference between a thought, an idea, and something you want to do? I don’t know exactly. That’s why we made Vesper.” – John Gruber

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Apple Testing 7.85-Inch iPad In Super Secret Cupertino Lab [Rumor]

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How would a smaller iPad fit into Apple's iOS product lineup?
How would a smaller iPad fit into Apple's iOS product lineup?

Rumors of a smaller iPad just won’t die. After months and months of speculation followed by debunking, the idea that Apple release a 7-8-inch iPad still persists.

Well-informed and long-time Apple pundit John Gruber recently dished on the possibility of a 7.85-inch iPad being testing in Apple’s super secret Cupertino labs.

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iPhoto Coming To iPad 3 [Rumor]

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The iPad 3's A6 processor and retina display would be perfect for iPhoto
The iPad 3's A6 processor and retina display would be perfect for iPhoto

Today’s pre-event rumors say that there may be a version of iPhoto announced for the iPad 3, and it certainly makes sense. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber and Panic’s Neven Mrgan both argue that iPhoto is an obvious candidate for an iPad with a beautiful Retina display, and Gabe Glick, writing at MacStories, makes the case for Aperture. I think at least some of them may be right.

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John Gruber: ‘Schiller Tells Me They’re Doing Some Things Differently Now’

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You won't be able to purchase Mountain Lion if your Mac can't handle it.
Instead of the usual high=profile launch event, Apple treated journalists to their very own personal keynotes

Imagine yourself at an Apple keynote event. A special, one-off launch for the newest version of Mac OS X. You see the familiar format: Phil Schiller and a couple of other Apple execs run through the successful sales numbers. Then they announce the new product, and then they work their way through a deck of pitch-perfect keynote slides.

It seems familiar, right? Only now imagine that you are alone. This presentation is for one person: you. This bizarro scenario is just what happened to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber last week when Apple briefed him on Mountain Lion.

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More Than Just Photos, Apple Is Integrating Twitter Deeply Into iOS 5

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Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 10.06.55 AM

Evidence is mounting that when iOS 5 debuts at WWDC next week, it’ll feature some deep integration with microblogging service Twitter. Not only has Twitter launched a new photo sharing service just days before Apple is expected to unveil the ability to share photos via Twitter in iOS, but now blogger and tech evangelist Robert Scoble is saying that “next week will be a huge week for those of us who have lived on Twitter for the last few years.”

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