Archive for the ‘App Store’ Category

Apple Holding Contest to Celebrate 25 Billion App Downloads

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Apple has posted details about a new contest to celebrate the upcoming 25 billionth download from the iOS App Store, offering a $10,000 iTunes gift card as the grand prize. The contest launched late last week and will conclude when the 25 billionth app is downloaded.

This is not the first time Apple has run a contest like this. Apple held a similar contest last summer to note the 10 billionth app download, also offering a $10,000 iTunes gift card as the grand prize at that time. Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent in England was the winner of that contest.

As before, entering the contest is dead simple – all you need to do is download apps (or submit an alternate entry) and keep your fingers crossed. You can find the official rules here and you can find some great ideas about which apps to get in our official 2011 AppShopper App Picks or our Top 200 lists. Good luck!

Apple Announces iBooks 2.0 Update, New iBooks Authoring and iTunes U Apps

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Billed as a reinvention of the textbook, Apple announced iBooks 2 today, as well as a new textbook creation Mac application, and a new iTunes U iOS app at a special media event in New York City’s Guggenheim Museum.

The updated iBooks app offers more interactive elements to enhance textbooks well beyond their paper counterparts. An on-stage demo highlighted the multimedia features of iBooks 2 using a biology textbook, showcasing a video introduction, animated 3D models of cells, access to the glossary simply by tapping on a word, and comprehensive searching capabilities. Also shown was the ability to highlight text and add notes, which can be turned into digital index cards for studying.


A new Textbooks category is now available in iBookstore where high school textbooks will be available for $14.99 or less to start. Apple has partnered with major publishers Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, who have made several textbooks used by millions of students across the country available today in iBookstore with more coming soon.

iBooks 2.0 is available now in the App Store.

  • Books

    iBooks

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    iBooks is an amazing way to download and read books. iBooks includes the iBooks Store, where you can download the latest bestselling books or your favorite classics – day or night. Browse your...

Apple also announced a new Mac application today to create the interactive ebooks for iBooks 2. iBooks Author bears a strong resemblance to Apple’s Pages and Keynote applications, offering a WYSIWYG interface with drag-and-drop editing to add multimedia elements. iBooks Author also features a live preview function to display a work-in-progress on a connected iPad.


iBooks Author is a free app and is available today in the Mac App Store.

  • Productivity

    iBooks Author

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    Rating:
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    Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad and Mac. Start with one of the Apple-designed templates that feature a wide variety of page...

Apple also announced a new iTunes U iOS app that will offer direct access to content from universities around the world, storing courses on a bookshelf interface similar to iBooks. The iTunes U catalog will offer entire courses, with videos, audio files, transcripts, and supplemental material available from the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore.

iTunes U is free and available in the App Store now.

  • Education

    iTunes U

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    Rating:
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    iOS Universal

    The iTunes U app gives you access to complete courses from leading universities and other schools — plus the world’s largest digital catalog of free education content — right on your iPad,...

AppShopper Picks: 2011 Apps of the Year

Friday, December 30th, 2011

There are over 500,000 apps available for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store today and thousands of those debuted in the App Store this year. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of what’s new in the App Store (though our What’s New list can always help, of course) and we wanted to highlight the top new apps that caught our attention in 2011.

The popularity of Twitter, the micro-blogging social networking service, has exploded recently and there’s no shortage of Twitter apps in the App Store. Although Twitter has made several changes to its own official (and free) iOS app this year, Tweetbot by developer Tapbots continues to be one of the more popular alternatives. Tweetbot debuted to much acclaim in April and has an average rating of 4.5 stars in the App Store at the time of this post and it’s been a regular in the Top 200 Paid Social Networking iPhone apps.

  • Social Networking

    Tweetbot 2 (iPhone & iPod...

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    iOS iPhone

    *** If you are running iOS 7, do not purchase this version, please get Tweetbot 3 instead *** Tweetbot is a full-featured iPhone (and iPod touch) Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether...

To appease aspiring DJs without the turntables and equipment to go pro, algoriddim released its djay app for the iPhone and iPod touch this year, complementing a version that had debuted in late 2010 for the iPad only. djay essentially turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a portable DJ system so you can become the life of the party at the drop of a hat.

  • Music

    djay 1 for iPhone

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    Rating:
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    iOS iPhone

    *** NOTE: This is the old version of djay. A brand new version with over 30 new features is available now. Please look for djay 2 on the App Store! *** djay transforms your iPhone or iPod touch into...

Flipboard is another developer that brought a winning app previously only available for the iPad to the iPhone and iPod touch. Flipboard is a personalized social magazine app that compiles articles, images and videos from your Twitter and Facebook feeds and other sources you select. A universal version that added compatibility for the iPhone debuted just a few weeks ago and it’s proving to be just as popular on the iPhone as it is on the iPad.

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    Flipboard: Your Social News...

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    Rating:
    4.50 (147)
    Version:
    2.2.6
    iOS Universal

    Flipboard is your personal magazine. It is the most popular way to catch up on the news, read stories from around the world and browse the articles, videos and photos friends are sharing. To begin,...

If you’re making New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, you may want to check out the official P90X app that hit the App Store in November. P90X is a home exercise program that’s been around for several years and used by millions around the world. The app offers the popular program’s workouts in a format that’s easy to use on the iPhone.

  • Healthcare & Fitness

    P90X

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS iPhone

    P90X3™ scheduling and tracking is now available! P90X® has evolved. The breakthrough workout program that revolutionized home fitness now has a companion app that lets you Bring It!® on your...

Though it’s been a while since I played the piano after years of lessons as a kid, an iPad app that debuted in September got me excited to get back on that hard, unforgiving bench to try it out again. Tonara is a sheet music display app that can actually hear what you’re playing and automatically turn to the next page, avoiding the need to free up a hand to make the transition. How cool is that? Tonara is free and has a in-app library of sheet music that can be purchased.

  • Music

    Tonara Interactive Piano Sheet...

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS iPad

    *** “Something interactive like this will do to sheet music what Kindle did to hardback books.” (Wired Magazine)  Not all scores were created equal.   With Tonara’s patented interactive...

Even though you’d think it’s a mundane topic, knowing the weather forecast is critical for iPhone users if the number of weather apps in the App Store is any indication. Unfortunately, this glut makes it hard for developers to stand out but ITWC Association managed it earlier this year with the release of Fahrenheit, an app that uses push notifications to show the current temperature right on your home screen through a badge on the app’s icon. (There’s a Celsius version as well.)

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    Fahrenheit - Weather and...

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    Fahrenheit displays the temperature on your Home Screen icon, Notification Center and Lock Screen. Fahrenheit is a stunning weather application that uses latest technology to show you the current...

Games

We defer to the experts at our sister site, TouchArcade, for recommendations in this area since they live and breathe iOS games. This year, TouchArcade selected Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery by Capybara Games as the 2011 Game of the Year. The first runner up was Chillingo’s Anomaly Warzone Earth and honorable mentions included Infinity Blade II, Mage Gauntlet, and SpellTower. You can read the full Game of the Year article over at TouchArcade here and even hear our editors discuss these selections in their podcast here.

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    Superbrothers: Sword &...

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    Selected as a "landmark title" by Apple to celebrate Five Years of the App Store! *****UNIVERSAL VERSION. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an exploratory action...

I consider myself a casual gamer, dabbling in some Xbox 360 games here and there but spending most of my time playing games on my iPhone and iPad. In particular, I love shooting games and just about anything involving killing zombies and I’ve also found myself sucked into easy-to-play games with fun achievements and special in-game equipment to unlock. Given all of this, a couple of games stood out to me this year: Zombieville USA 2 and Jetpack Joyride.

Zombieville USA 2 by Mika Mobile is a cute zombie shooter with a ton of weapons, skills, and characters to choose from. It also has a great co-op mode where you can pair up with a partner to kill zombies galore over Bluetooth or through Game Center. You can read a full review of the game at TouchArcade here.

Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios (those brilliant folks who also made Fruit Ninja) is incredibly straightforward to play with a simple tap mechanic to make the main character, Barry Steakfries, jump. It may not sound like much but it’s absorbing and easy to play in short bursts and there are a ton of achievements that will compel you to jump through hoops in order to earn them. You can read a full review of Jetpack Joyride at TouchArcade here.

  • Games

    Zombieville USA 2

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    Rating:
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    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    The definitive zombie shooter returns, reborn with stunning new graphics, gameplay and more! Brought to you by the creators of Battleheart, OMG Pirates!, and the original Zombieville USA - this...

  • Games

    Jetpack Joyride

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    Rating:
    4.50 (2775)
    Version:
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    iOS Universal

    You're going for a ride - from the creators of FRUIT NINJA! Now updated to support the beautiful Retina display for the new iPad! ** Winner ** - Apple Design Award 2012! - Pocket Gamer - Best...

That’s it for our 2011 selections! We here at AppShopper wish everyone a fun and safe New Year’s Eve celebration and a fantastic 2012!

Happy Holidays! (Also, iTunes Connect is Closed for the Holidays)

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Happy holidays! We here at AppShopper wish everyone a safe, joy-filled holiday season! We plan to spend the Christmas holiday quietly with friends and family and we’ve still got our fingers crossed that we’ll get some snow to make it feel a little more complete.

Apple is also taking a break around the holidays and they’ve let developers know that iTunes Connect, the portal through which developers upload and manage apps in the App Store, will be closed from December 22 through December 29. Since AppShopper gets its information straight from Apple, many of our lists and feeds will show little to no changes during this period as well. So don’t be alarmed – we’re still here and providing you with the latest on app deals and updates but we’re forced to take a little break when Apple does as well.

Mac App Store Surpasses 100 Million Downloads

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Apple announced this morning that more than 100 million apps have been downloaded from its Mac App Store. The Mac App store, which debuted less than a year ago, currently offers more than 8,000 applications for Macintosh computers running Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or higher.

In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world.”

An Apple PR spokesperson pointed out that this download milestone makes the Mac App Store the #1 PC software channel in the world, exceeding all sales of the shrink wrap software market according to sales information from market research firm NPD.

Apple Releases iOS 5

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

As announced at last week’s press event, Apple has released iOS 5 today for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The most recent version of Apple’s mobile operating system includes several new features, such as improved notifications, wireless syncing, Twitter integration and much more.

Some of the apps included out-of-the-box on iOS devices will see major upgrades. iMessage will replace Messages on the iPhone and will be a new addition for iPad and iPod touch users. It offers free text and multimedia messaging between iOS device users and will offer read receipts. The Camera app will have a shortcut button on the lock screen to make capturing images even quicker. The Photos app will offer some basic photo editing capabilities like crop and rotate.

New apps include Newsstand, an iBooks-like app specifically for magazines and newspapers, and Reminders, a tasks app with geolocation capabilities that can notify you of a pending task when you near a specific location.

On the new iPhone 4S, iOS 5 will include Siri Assistant, a system-level voice-centric interface that can handle tasks such as scheduling appointments, reading and creating text messages, and much more.

Apple has created an overview video highlighting some of the new features and changes in iOS 5:




iOS 5 is a free download for all users. It is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, the 3rd-and 4th-generation iPod touches, and the iPad and iPad 2. To update to iOS 5, you’ll need to plug your compatible iOS device into your computer, open iTunes, and follow the update prompts.

Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Steve Jobs passed away last night. His death came as a shock to me personally and I am at a loss for words to describe how I feel even though I never knew him personally. Without his vision, AppShopper and many other sites may not have ever seen the light of day. Rest in peace, Steve.


Apple iPhone Media Event Scheduled for October 4

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Apple has sent invitations to the media for a press event on October 4 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, as reported by The Loop. The invitation image features four iOS app icons and states “Let’s talk iPhone” to clearly designate this event as the much-anticipated announcement of the next iPhone model.

There has been much speculation about the design and features of the new iPhone model but with only purported 3rd-party iPhone 5 cases as a guide, there have been no leaks that provide a definitive view of the actual device. This Is My Next had posted a mock-up of the next-generation iPhone based on information from a trusted source in April, showing a device with a larger screen and a thinner and tapered casing. Our sister site MacRumors had commissioned renderings of the iPhone 5 based on the purported leaked case designs, revealing a thinner and slightly wider device than the iPhone 4.


iPhone 5 render commissioned by MacRumors.com

When Apple previewed iOS 5 in June, its release timing was announced as “in the fall” and more news about iOS 5 is expected at this upcoming event.

It is fantastic to finally have an official date nailed down for this event and to have an end in sight to all of the iPhone 5/iPhone 4S rumors. Of course, we’ll post news of what’s announced on October 4 here at AppShopper.

Apple Removes Financial Times App from App Store

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Remember how Apple said that developers needed to give Apple a 30% cut of sales for content sold within apps (and that this content had to be available for purchase at the same or a lower price outside of the app) and then backtracked on it all in June?

Though Apple no longer requires price parity between content purchased within an app and externally, any content available for purchase within an app is still subject to Apple’s 30% cut and developers can’t provide links to external stores where content can be purchased. Several ebook sellers updated their apps accordingly in July.

However, the London-based Financial Times is most definitely not in agreement with this requirement and never updated its app to allow users the ability to purchase subscriptions using an iTunes account (and therefore give Apple its 30% cut) by the June 30 deadline. Apple has now removed the publication’s app from the App Store, according to paidContent.

iPad and iPhone users aren’t left out in the cold completely though since the Financial Times began offering an HTML5 web app to access its content earlier this summer.


Ebook Reader Apps Updated to Comply with App Store Rules

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Several ebook reader apps, including those of Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), and Kobo, have removed in-app links to their online ebook stores in order to comply with App Store guidelines. Updates for the Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Google Books app hit the App Store in the past few days, the timing of which suggests a deadline not announced to the public.

Kobo sent out an email to customers noting this change yesterday:

Last month Apple revised its App Store Review Guidelines, removing a requirement that all apps that accessed content purchased elsewhere also offer the ability to purchase that content within the app at the same or a lower price. In conjunction with this removal, Apple clarified that apps that include a link to purchase content outside of an app that is not also available for purchase within an app — and therefore subject to Apple’s 30% cut — would be rejected.

The enforcement of these guidelines leave Apple with the only ebook store easily accessible from its iOS devices through its own iBooks app.

I purchase ebooks from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I am disappointed to see these handy in-app links to their respective ebook stores go away, though it’s an inconvenience easily remedied by simply bookmarking them in Safari.

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    Kindle – Read Books, eBooks,...

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    iOS Universal

    The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface....

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    NOOK from Barnes & Noble -...

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    NOOK™ for iPad and iPhone from Barnes & Noble offers an incredible reading experience for NOOK Books, magazines and newspapers including New York Times Best Sellers, new releases and hot...

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    Kobo Books

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    With Kobo, you can read on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch anywhere, anytime. Visit Kobo and browse more than 3.5 million free and affordable titles in the Kobo Store, including bestsellers, award...

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    Google Play Books

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    Rating:
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    With Google Play Books for iOS start reading today with millions of titles from Google Play on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Take your favorite books with you on the go and personalize your...