As in previous years Apple is shutting down iTunes Connect, the tool through which developers manage their apps available in the Mac and iOS App Stores, for the holidays from December 21 through December 28. This means that Apple isn’t approving or releasing any new apps, app updates, or allowing price changes during this entire period. Since AppShopper gets its information in real-time directly from Apple, our price drop, updates, and new apps lists on our site and in our app will consequently not change during this time.
So if you see these lists look the same to you over the next few days, don’t worry – nothing’s wrong or broken on our end. Our site and app are just reflecting the lack of activity in the App Store because of this closure. You’ll start seeing new apps, updates, and price changes on December 29 when iTunes Connect opens back up. Note that our Popular lists will continue to change during the closure since they rely in part on other data that doesn’t come from Apple.
If you’ve been waiting for price drops to buy some apps, I’m pretty sure the time has come for you to go through your Wish List and browse our Price Drops list and open up your virtual wallet and buy it all because it feels like everything is on sale right now. It’s not possible for me to list every app sale in this post but I’d like to at least highlight some of the significant ones, particularly for apps that were featured or reviewed here on AppShopper this year.
First up are a few notable paid apps that are completely free for a very limited time. Snowman’s location-aware tasks app, Checkmark, is free for today only while Blux Camera for iPad has also dropped to $0 from $1.99 for a short time. WhatsApp Messenger, the incredibly popular cross-platform text messaging app, is now free as well, down from $.99.
WhatsApp Messenger is a smartphone messenger available for iPhone and other smartphones. WhatsApp uses your 3G or WiFi (when available) to message with friends and family. Switch from SMS to WhatsApp...
Clear, the lists app for iOS and Mac made by Realmac Software, Impending, and Helftone, is on sale for Christmas. The iOS version (my review) is 50% off, bringing it down to $.99 from $1.99 and the Mac version (my review) is 30% off, bringing it down to $6.99 from $9.99. (Realmac Software’s other apps are also on sale for Christmas and you can find a full list of these here.)
Life is messy. Keep it together with Clear, the amazing app for list-keeping that is unbelievably simple, quick and satisfying to use. Clear for Mac stores your lists in iCloud so you can use them...
Though you may not want to be thinking about taking notes for class or work meetings or Microsoft Office documents over the holidays, there are a couple of apps now on sale that you should know about. Dataviz’s Documents To Go Premium is on sale for 40% off, bringing the price of the universal iOS app down to $9.99 from $16.99 while Noteshelf, an excellent handwriting notes app for iPad is now 70% off, bringing its price down to $1.99 from $5.99.
Note-takers rejoice! Noteshelf is easily the best note-taking app for iPad. See for yourself what our users have to say in the “Ratings & Reviews” section. *** ON SALE 40% OFF! *** ...
If you plan to play DJ at any holiday parties, algoriddim has reduced the price of its impressive djay for iPad by 50%, bringing it down to $9.99 from $19.99. If you’re not going to get a chance to inflict your DJ skills on friends and family in person, you can chat with them via Skype, Facebook, Google Talk, instant messaging, and more with Shape’s IM+ Pro for iPhone and iPad which is now 50% off, putting it at $.99 down from $1.99.
As some of you may have noticed, our official AppShopper App has been removed from the App Store. The App was removed by Apple due to a conflict with some new rules that Apple introduced with the iOS 6.
Current users of the AppShopper App will be able to continue to use the app, and we are working on a new version that we hope will be approved by Apple.
That new version will support the taller screen of the iPhone 5, that I know many have been waiting for:
We don’t have any more details quite yet, but will post more when we can.
Readers should also be reminded that Apple shuts down their iTunes Developer portal around the holidays, so from the dates of Dec 21 to Dec 28th there will be minimal to no activity in the App Store. As a result, AppShopper will also show little activity during that time.
Apple has released a significant update today to iTunes, its media store and management app for Mac and Windows.
The update was initially announced at the company’s media event in September along with the iPhone 5. At that event, the release timeframe for iTunes 11 was announced as late October but an Apple spokesperson stated late last month that it would be pushed back to the end of November.
iTunes 11 features a redesigned interface for the media library, a new look for the iTunes store, and additional iCloud features. The complete list of the changes is as follows:
Completely Redesigned. iTunes makes it more fun to explore and enjoy your music, movies, and TV shows. You’ll love the beautiful edge-to-edge design, custom designs for each album, movie, or TV show in your library, and getting personal recommendations any time you click In the Store.
A New Store. The iTunes Store has been completely redesigned and now features a clean look that makes it simpler than ever to see what’s hot and discover new favorites.
Play purchases from iCloud. Your music, movie, and TV show purchases in iCloud now appear inside your library. Just sign-in with your Apple ID to see them. Double-click to play them directly from iCloud or download a copy you can sync to a device or play while offline.
Up Next. It’s now simple to see which songs are playing next, all from a single place. Just click the Up Next icon in the center display and they’ll instantly appear. You can even reorder, add, or skip songs whenever you like.
New MiniPlayer. You can now do a whole lot more with a lot less space. In addition to showing what’s playing, MiniPlayer now includes album art, adds Up Next, and makes it easy to search for something new to play—all from a smaller and more elegant design.
Improved search. It’s never been easier to find what you’re looking for in iTunes. Just type in the search field and you’ll instantly see results from across your entire library. Select any result and iTunes takes you right to it.
Playback syncing. iCloud now remembers your place in a movie or TV show for you. Whenever you play the same movie or episode from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV, it will continue right where you left off.
iTunes 11 is a free download available from Apple’s site for Mac and PC.
Today is the day when online retailers get their turn to drop prices drastically to entice you to spend your hard-earned money in a wild holiday shopping spree all while sitting comfortably at your computer. And it’s also a day that app developers use as an excuse to reduce app prices since you’re already at your computer and buying stuff anyway so, why not?
A few of the app deals we mentioned on Black Friday are still going but a few new deals have popped up, so hop to it if any of these sales look good to you.
For Mac, the fantastic Fantastical calendar utility is down 50% to just $9.99 from $19.99 while Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing is down 25% to $29.99 from $39.99. And Apple’s subsidiary, Filemaker, has joined in on the app sale fun by bumping down Bento to $29.99 from $49.99.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: FileMaker will stop offering Bento Sept. 30, 2013. Learn more >www.filemaker.com/bento/en Bento® is the leading personal database. Now you can organize contacts, track...
For the iPhone, the location-aware reminders app Checkmark and the daily diary/journaling app Momento are both down to $.99 from $2.99 while Ultralingua has knocked 20% off the prices of several of its foreign language dictionary apps (here’s a full list of all of Ultralingua’s apps).
Download Ultralingua and get instant access to 65,000 English definitions and synonyms, 5,500 fully conjugated English verbs, 4,500 English phrases, and updated slang and technical language. Works...
If you’ll be traveling over the holidays, Cynapse’s Localscope is just $.99, down from $1.99 (our review) and it’s a great resource for finding businesses and other local information while you’re traveling.
Location Browser for your iPhone Localscope is a window to your world that lets you explore your surroundings like never before. Discover and find places, people and information around you using...
If digital magazines are your thing, Future has reduced the price of back issues for several of its magazines down to $.99 for the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza. Future publishes Mac Life Magazine and Mac Format, among many others. While the apps themselves are free, the back issues can only be obtained via in-app purchase. Here’s a full list of all of Future’s magazine apps.
Today is Black Friday and retail stores aren’t the only ones offering massive discounts for you to get your holiday shopping started with a bang– app developers are also using this as an excuse to offer deals on iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps.
I wanted to highlight a few of these sales for you but first, here a few links for you to check out now and bookmark since they can be used at any time to find the biggest deals–when developers lose their minds and make their paid apps completely free:
You just bookmarked those links, right? Also, don’t forget about our Wish List feature so you can mark those apps you want to buy when they go on sale. Our Wish List feature can automatically notify you by email when this happens (or you can get a push notification through our official AppShopper app for iPhone and iPad).
Navigation apps are often the most expensive ones in the App Store because of the map data they requires (getting and updating map data for the millions of miles of roads in countries around the world is not a cheap endeavor) but many of the big name brands in this category have reduced app prices this weekend. TomTom has knocked $20 off of many of its offerings and Garmin/Navigon has gone big by knocking 50% off its iPhone apps for today only.
If you’ll be documenting your holiday adventures with friends and family photographically, there is no shortage of camera apps for the iPhone and iPad and several popular ones are on sale today and this weekend. Hipstamatic is now 50% off, and both Blux Camera and ProCamera are currently down to $.99 from their regular price of $2.99,
ON SALE！BUY NOW BEFORE THE PRICE GOES UP! Celebrating for Blux camera Pro being selected in App store "Essential Photography 101". WINNER OF TAMAM'S "GOLDEN...
Bad weather can wreak havoc on your holiday travel plans and a few app developers out there are making it less expensive for you to get comprehensive weather information on your iPhone or iPad. Weather Alert USA, an app we’ve recommended before that provides NOAA weather forecasts and a bajillion severe weather alert options, is down to $2.99 from $3.99. And the recently-released Check the Weather, which gives you forecast information plus short-term precipitation forecasts powered by Dark Sky, is down to $.99 from $1.99 through tomorrow only.
"It’s fast, it’s clever, and it’s distinctive...You’re nuts if you don’t buy it." John Gruber, daringfireball.net "...a gorgeous interface with clean design and...
While any time off from work you have during the holidays will probably be spent with friends and family, you’ll probably have some time to kill (or need to escape from said friends and family) here and there and games are a perfect way to while away those minutes. Chair Entertainment has reduced the prices of both Infinity Blade and Infinity Blade II by 50% while Electronic Arts has knocked down a boatload of its games to just $.99 (click here for a full list of all of EA’s offerings).
We hope you’re recovering well from any tryptophan-induced lethargy triggered by Thanksgiving turkey consumption and that any holiday shopping you’re doing this weekend is safe and filled with the best bargains!
As promised last week, Realmac Software, Impending, and Helftone have released Clear for Mac today. Clear for iPhone made quite an impression at its release (I loved it and use it almost every day) with its fluid, gesture-driven interface and it’s been a regular in the Top 200 Paid Productivity iPhone apps since. The new Mac version offers synchronization with its iOS counterpart via iCloud and I’ve found over the past week that it manages to keep the spirit of the iPhone version’s button-free interface alive on the Mac.
Clear is, at heart, a simple lists app. You can create lists for items you need to buy or do or anything your little heart desires. There are no alarm options or sub-levels to break list items down into multiple parts. It’s meant to be straightforward and effortless to use so you’ll need to look elsewhere if you want a tasks or lists app that lets you customize every last thing six ways from Sunday.
When you first open Clear for Mac, you’ll get a short and very helpful tutorial that walks you through how to create lists, add to and modify them, and navigate through the app. After this, using Clear for Mac will feel very familiar if you’ve already used the iPhone version with a few minor changes to accommodate and even work around the mouse-driven interface of a computer compared to the iPhone’s touchscreen. For example, you can just start typing to create a new list or add a new item to an existing list and to create a new item in between other existing items in a list, you can just hover and click in between them to insert the new item in that spot.
Here’s a video overview I recorded of Clear for Mac in action:
You couldn’t tell in the video, but navigating through Clear is easy with a mouse and keyboard but really shines with a trackpad on a laptop or if you have a Magic Trackpad or even a Magic Mouse for your desktop Mac. The swiping and pinching gestures these devices allow you to use are what keep the spirit of the iPhone version of Clear alive on the Mac. It’s not exactly the same but it’s still enjoyable and unique compared to most desktop apps where pointing and clicking rules the day.
Like the iPhone version, there are several color themes to choose from. In the iPhone version, you can unlock bonus themes by installing and using other selected apps (Tweetbot, Temple Run, and others) or doing certain things (using Clear for 7 days straight or between 12:00 am and 3:00am) and these bonus themes sync over to the Mac version accordingly. Clear for Mac also has the same cute sound effects as the iPhone version though you can elect to turn them off if you want.
I’ve been using Clear for Mac for about a week now and the only issue I’ve found is that it’s a little too easy to create lists and new items or navigate to lists I don’t mean to when using a mouse. I often scroll up or down too far, which will prompt the creation of a new list when I’m in the Lists view or a new item when I’m within a list. Other than this, Clear for Mac is just as functional and almost as fun to use as the iPhone version. The iCloud synchronization between the Mac and iPhone versions has worked very quickly and reliably in the short time it’s been available (the iPhone version was just updated yesterday to add iCloud synchronization in time for today’s Mac version release) though it’s not all unicorns and sunshine for everyone and Realmac has posted a troubleshooting support page if you’re seeing slow syncs.
Clear for Mac hit the Mac App Store last night and it’s on sale at a special introductory price of $6.99 through Monday, November 12 Sunday, November 11. After this it will go up to its regular price of $14.99 so mash that Buy Now button below before the price goes up. It’s a worthy purchase, particularly if you already have Clear for iPhone.
Earlier this year, Realmac Software, Impending, and Helftone partnered to create Clear, a gesture-driven list app for the iPhone with nary a virtual button in sight. I thoughtClear had a beautiful and fluid interface and it remains one of my most often-used apps on my iPhone today. I have occasionally wished that I could access my Clear lists on my Mac to avoid interrupting my workflow to grab my iPhone to make changes and RealMac, Impending, and Helftone will be making that wish come true soon with the release of Clear for Mac on November 8.
Clear for Mac will synchronize your lists between your iPhone and your Mac through iCloud. Check out the teaser video to get a peek at it in action:
With a mouse-driven interface, Clear on the Mac won’t have quite the same feel as on the iPhone but it looks like the spirit of Clear is still intact.
The preview video also gives a sneak peek of at least one change coming to the iPhone version in the next update that will also be released on November 8 –– the ability to swipe left and right between lists (at about 0:38 into the video).
We’ve learned that Clear for Mac will cost $15, a price I will happily pony up to get those lovely lists on my Mac and synchronization with my iPhone.
Clear for iPhone currently costs $1.99 and it’s worth every penny (see our review for more details if you want more info before making that $2 leap, you penny-pincher, you). If you have a Mac and have a need to make lists for grocery shopping, tasks, or count the myriad ways you love AppShopper, go buy it now and stay tuned for a closer look at Clear for Mac when it’s released.
Tapbots, the maker of Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client for the iPhone and iPad, and Netbot, an identical client for the Twitter-like upstart App.net, has released Tweetbot for Mac. Tweetbot had been released as a free public alpha in July and made it into the App Store today at $19.99, a price that’s notably higher than several competing Twitter clients for the Mac.
Because of Twitter’s recent enforcement of token limits, we only have a limited number of tokens available for Tweetbot for Mac. These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can have. The app’s limit is separate from, but much smaller than, the limit for Tweetbot for iOS. Once we use up the tokens granted to us by Twitter, we will no longer be able to sell the app to new users. Tapbots will continue to support Tweetbot for Mac for existing customers at that time.
Tapbots goes on to explain that the price could change if Twitter allows developers more tokens in the future and encourages users to reach out to Twitter to request this:
This limit and our desire to continue to support the app once we sell out is why we’ve priced Tweetbot for Mac a little higher than we’d like. It’s the best thing we can do for the long term viability of the product. We know some will not be happy about Tweetbot for Mac’s pricing, but the bottom line is Twitter needs to provide us with more tokens for us to be able to sell at a lower the price. We spent a year developing this app and it’s the only way for us to be able to make our money back and continue supporting it with updates in the future. Feel free to let Twitter know how you feel about it.
I’ve been using the alpha and beta versions of Tweetbot to date and just downloaded the official Mac App Store version. Its look and feel has not changed significantly from the pre-release versions and it offers several useful features for avid Twitter users and even those who manage multiple Twitter accounts. However, at $20, it’s probably not an insta-buy for many and understandably so. Comparatively, The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific and my previous favorite, Osfoora, are just $4.99. These apps are also subject to Twitter’s token limits, which may prompt these developers to revisit their pricing.
I really like Tweetbot and I have no problem paying a bit more for a useful and well-designed product that I will use on a daily basis. If you feel the same way, Tweetbot is a great Twitter client for the Mac. If not, there are plenty of other less expensive or free apps that work just as well or maybe even better depending on your needs.
If you’ve used the alpha or beta versions of Tweetbot but don’t plan to buy the official Mac App Store version, Tapbots asks that you release your tokens so they’ll be available to others, which you can do by logging into your Twitter account on the web, going to the Apps section, and finding Tweetbot in that list and clicking the Revoke Access button next to it.
The Loopreports that Apple has sent out invitations for a media event to take place on October 23 at 10:00 am Pacific Time at the California Theater in San Jose, California.
Apple is widely expected to announce a smaller iPad, dubbed the iPad mini by the press so far, at this event. A strong focus on iBooks is also expected according to a report from The Next Web. If Apple does release a smaller iPad with a 7-inch screen, it will compete directly with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and tablets made by Samsung, Google, and others.
An updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with a retina display to complement the 15-inch model that debuted earlier this year may also be on the docket for this media event based on a report from 9to5Mac.
I’m hoping for an iPad mini, which I think could easily replace my current iPad 3 that I’m finding just a little too large and heavy for the amount of ebook reading I use it for. I also wouldn’t mind a version of the iPad that’s a bit more portable –– I rarely lug my iPad with me out of the house unless I’m going on a trip that will last more than a day. What are you hoping to see out of this event?