iOS App Store

Security firm finds sketchy ‘fleeceware’ apps in iOS App Store

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app-store
The App Store may not always be impervious to "Fleeceware."
Photo: Apple

A cyber-security firm in the United Kingdom has identified 32 iOS apps that it dubs “fleeceware” for subscriptions and in-app fees that amount to a form of online fraud.

More than 3.5 million iOS users installed the apps, most of which were image editors, QR and barcode scanners, horoscope and fortune-telling apps and face filters for selfies. Two astrology apps making the list are among the first 20 in top-grossing iPhone apps in the UK.

Amazon Prime Video mysteriously disappears from App Store [Update: It’s back]

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Missing from App Store
For a while today, this was all you got if you tried to download the Amazon Prime Video app.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Update: The Amazon Prime Video app is back in the iOS App Store after mysteriously disappearing for much of the day. Why this high-profile app went missing for so much of the day remains unknown.

Whether its disappearance resulted from a simple glitch or some sort of quickly resolved dispute between Apple and Amazon isn’t yet clear.

Apple goes all in on classic Texas Hold’em app

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Apple Texas Hold’em
The updated version of Apple’s Texas Hold’em doesn’t need a clickwheel to play.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

If you loved playing Texas Hold’em on your iPod in 2006, we have great news for you. Apple has brought this classic game back with a significant redesign.

And, unlike the original version, it’s free.

iWork apps for iOS and Mac get a massive update

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iWork
iWork could expose user data to U.S. authorities.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s suite of iWork productivity apps received a big batch of updates today for both the Mac and iOS versions.

Keynote, Numbers and Pages for the two platforms added a bunch of new features. The biggest addition is some new outline styles. There are also a couple of new customization options for Apple Pencil and a face detection feature that intelligently positions people in placeholders and objects.

App Store testers plow through up to 100 apps per day

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Apple removes 17 malware apps which secretly clicked on ads
Nothing makes it onto an Apple App Store without a human looking at it. That takes less time than you might think.
Photo: Apple

With close to two million applications in its software stores, Apple reportedly doesn’t have much time to devote to testing most new submissions. Details leaking out about the process show that a typical app either gets approved or blocked in 5 or 10 minutes.

A lot of them get blocked.

Apple’s App Store sets record: takes in $1.22 billion in a week

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The App Store had a great Q4, including its best week ever.
The App Store had a great Q4, including its biggest week ever.
Graphic: Apple

The Apple App Store had its best week ever between between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. And New Year’s Day was the best single day of sales ever.

This is just the kind of news the company needs, as Pres. Trump’s trade war with China is hurting iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales in that country.

Apple App Store revenue almost double that of Google Play

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iPhone App Store
Apple's redesign of the App Store with iOS 11 probably helped increase software downloads and revenue.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In the battle of the mobile software stores, Apple has a huge lead. Consumers spending in the iOS App Store during the first half of this year was almost double that of rival Google Play.

But there’s good news for both companies, as each experienced solid year-over-year growth. 

Steve Jobs envisioned the App Store in 1983

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Steve Jobs on the cover of Time magazine in 1982.
Steve Jobs on the cover of Time magazine in 1982.
Photo: Time magazine

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a visionary. That’s a phrase that gets tossed around a lot, but in Jobs’ case we have solid evidence.

Speaking at a conference in the early 1980s, a decade before the Internet became a household name, he described something we do everyday: buy software online.

6 things the Mac App Store can learn from iOS

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App Store_3
The Mac App Store could use some support.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

This is a guest post by Karthik Suroju, a digital marketer at CloudMagic.

The iOS App Store is a one-stop destination for everything consumers need on the iPhone and iPad. However, that’s not the case with the Mac App Store. At the beginning of January 2016, there were 1,234,267 apps for iPhones, 662,984 for iPads and a mere 27,011 for Macs.

China overtakes U.S. for iOS app downloads

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App Annie
China is now beating the United States on iOS downloads. Photo: App Annie

 

Tim Cook has been staunchly outspoken in his belief that it’s only a matter of time before China overtakes the U.S. as Apple’s biggest customer.

According to a new report from app analytics company App Annie, that benchmark has now been passed when it comes to app downloads — with China leading the way in the first quarter of 2015.

But which country is winning in the all-important revenue generating category?

How App Store reviews can help indie developers

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The NASAViz Universal app. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC
Five-star reviews are great, but there's another type of App Store review that's truly stellar. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC

Customer reviews on the App Store are good for business. It’s not just that good reviews can improve your app’s ranking. Reviews have also helped me build a better app.

But with all the fake reviews and haters out there, it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. The trick is to know exactly which reviews to pay attention to — and the secret is all in your stars.

Apple is getting into search? Pleeease

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Could Apple really dump Google search? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
Search? Don't make us laugh. Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple needs to go a long way before it thinks about launching its own search engine. Smartphones? Sure. Tablets? Absolutely. Search? Fuggetaboutit!

As much as we all love Apple, nobody can deny that its search products are oddly bargain basement in quality. iTunes discovery is horrible, the App Store is abysmal and Siri’s painful.

Could Apple fix it? Sure it could, but it’s going to take a lot more than one poor new employee to do it. Here are the worst offenders when it comes to all things Apple Search:

Why the Mac App Store is Shangri-La for developers

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Mac App Store
Coding for the Mac App Store could be your ticket to professional bliss.

The iOS App Store gold rush might be played out for all but the luckiest developers, but there’s another part of the Apple empire where coders can find breakout success: the Mac App Store.

“Compared to iOS, it’s definitely easier to have a hit in the Mac App Store,” says Andreas Hegenberg, the creator of successful gesture-based Mac app BetterTouchTool. “I think it’s still pretty easy to develop a Mac App Store app that can feed you very well. But it all depends on how you define a ‘big hit.'”

While games rule the increasingly cluttered roost in the iOS store — with many unimaginative developers looking to get rich quick with yet another Flappy Bird clone — the Mac App Store is home to more pedestrian offerings like accounting software and productivity tools.

The Mac App Store might not mint a new millionaire each day, but the developers we spoke with said writing this type of bread-and-butter software can provide a reliable source of income. Here’s why.

GymPact Teams Up With RunKeeper To Earn You Money When You Exercise

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Every morning, I scrape myself off of the bottom of my hangover’s hobnailed boot and try to make it down to the gym. About two-out-of-five times, I’ll oogily succeed and manage to douse myself in the pool until I’ve either done fifty laps or turned the water fifty proof, whichever comes first.

If only there was a way to be better motivated, I’ll often think to myself. Which is why I’m intrigued by a partnership between GymPack and RunKeeper, that will not only award me real money when I successfully drag my carcass to the gym, and actually penalize me money when I don’t.

Android Piracy Is So Bad, You Can’t Even Charge For Apps Anymore

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deadtrigger

If you thought the iOS App Store had issues with piracy, think again. The Google Play store, home to over 500,000 Android apps, is in a much worse position. Apparently, piracy on the Android platform is such an issue that developers are, in a sense, beginning to give up.

The developers behind Dead Trigger, an FPS available on both Android and iOS, have decided to give up the fight, and are now making the popular game completely free on Google Play, due to the outrageous piracy.