Showing posts with label App Store. Show all posts

Apple today introduced a new feature that will be available to iOS, macOS, and tvOS app developers via App Store Connect: subscription offers. Apps that offer auto-renewable subscriptions will soon be able to offer a limited time discount for existing or previously subscribed customers. 


The subscription offer is intent to help you win back customers who have cancelled your subscription or push customers to upgrade their subscriptions at a discounted price, even for the customers who have already used an introductory offer, they can still accept the offer. Developers should be able to provide up to 10 promotions at once.

In addition to the introductory offer, here are three categories of promotional offers that developers can choose for previous subscribers: 
Free
Customers access your subscription for free for a specific duration — for example, a 30-day trial for a subscription with a standard renewal price of $4.99 per month.

Pay As You Go
Customers pay a promotional price for each billing period for a selected duration — for example, $1.99 per month for three months for a subscription with a standard renewal price of $9.99 per month.

Pay Up Front
Customers pay a one-time promotional price for a specific duration — for example, $9.99 for the first six months of a subscription with a standard renewal price of $39.99 per year
According to Apple, the feature is current being tested in the latest beta version of iOS 12.2, macOS 10.14.4, and tvOS 12.2. And will be publicly available once Apple released the updates to all users.

Despite the fact that Apple lowered its 1Q 2019 revenue forecasts and announced that they saw "fewer iPhone upgrades" than anticipated, the company said in a press release today that new worldwide App Store spending records have been set over the holidays, with the customers spent $1.22 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, and $322 million on New Year’s Day 2019 alone, setting a new single-day record.

"The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year's Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year's Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million," said Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang."
Breaking down, Apple claims that gaming and self-care were the most popular app downloads and purchases during the holidays. Battle Royale games such as Fortnite and PUBG were some of the most downloaded games over the period, accompanying with Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9, and Monster Strike. Its own services like Apple Music, Cloud Services, Apple Pay, and the search ad business also setting new records.

Image: Apple
Picture this: The holidays have come to a close, and you received that Apple device you wished for, but, you don’t know what apps to download. No need to fear, for I have created a list of my favorite apps for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch so that you can get to downloading them.

1. Procreate — Procreate: $9.99, Procreate Pocket for iPhone: $4.99

Image: Procreate
For me, the most powerful creative tool on the App Store is Procreate. Developed by Savage Interactive, Procreate is the most powerful sketching, painting and illustration app ever designed for iOS, built from the ground up for creative professionals.

According to Savage Interactive, “Procreate is a multi-award winning creative app designed to free creative professionals from their desk. Create beautiful sketches, inspiring paintings, and stunning illustrations wherever you are.”

Image: iMore / Serenity Caldwell
There are two versions of Procreate: Procreate is designed for iPad users and works with your finger or Apple Pencil (Generation 1 & 2) with the iPad 6th generation, or iPad Pro, and Requires iOS 11.1 or later.

Another option is Procreate Pocket for iPhone. Procreate Pocket brings the power of Procreate on iPad in the palm of your hand. “Create anything you can imagine with the most powerful painting software on iPhone, incredible 64-bit color, massive canvas resolutions, an advanced layer system, and beautiful cinema-quality effects.”

According to Procreate, “Procreate Pocket is packed with a studio’s worth of features. There’s advanced selections, powerful transform options, customizable perspective guides, and stunning filters and adjustments, all in the palm of your hand. New Interface Procreate Pocket’s interface has been carefully designed specifically to be easy to use, whether you’re sitting on your couch, at a café, or passing time on the train. Intuitive toolbars stay out of your way, and leave the focus where it should be: on your creations.”

You can buy Procreate Pocket here, or Procreate here.

2. Fresh Air – Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map — Free, Premium: $2.99

Image: Fresh Air 
I will admit, I am a sucker for good design. I would much rather choose something that looks visually appealing than something with a ton of other features. But, in reality, do you really need all those features other weather apps have?

I stumbled upon the app called “Fresh Air—Hyperlocal Weather & NOAA Radar Map” when I was looking at weather apps for my iPad. If you don’t know, Apple does not offer their weather app on the iPad, only for iPhone and Apple Watch, so, you are left with deciding over a number of apps in the app store.

Immediately, I was blown away by how visually stunning the app is, and how the app displays all the necessary information in a minimalistic way.

The app is free to download and is offered on iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. For iPad, this is a great weather app to have, and on iPhone, it’s a great alternative to the stock weather app.

The app does have Ads if you stick with the free version. You can purchase the Premium version via In-App Purchases for a one-time fee of $2.99.

Fresh Air was named “Top 15 designed apps of the year” by Venture Beat, and “few weather apps are as nicely designed and useful as Fresh Air,” by Gizmodo.

You can buy Fresh Air here.

3. LastPass — Free, Premium: $2.00 per month, $24.00 per year.
Image: LastPass 
We have all been there, we can’t remember what password we used, or which of the dozens of inboxes we have were used. Well, that’s about to change.

Gone are the days of trying to remember passwords or writing them down in a journal to end up losing it. Honestly, most people carry an iPhone or Apple Watch with them every day, so why not store your passwords safely, securely, and within reach at all times?

LastPass simplifies your online life by remembering your passwords for you. With LastPass to manage your logins, it’s easy to have a strong, unique password for every online account and improve your online security, the company says.

LastPass uses strong encryption standards like AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes, to keep your private information safe. You’ll create an account with an email address and a strong master password to locally-generate a unique encryption key. Furthermore, your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level, not in the cloud.

For devices, you can add two-factor authentication for increased security, and for iOS device users, Touch ID or Face ID for secure access to your passwords anywhere.

Also, new in iOS 12, LastPass can now autofill usernames and passwords within iOS apps. So you don’t have to exit an app and open LastPass, it will automatically know you’re entering a password and give you access to the vault.

LastPass is free for all users, but, they offer a $2 per month single plan, $4 per month family plan for up to 6 users, and enterprise options. You can view them here.

4. Darkroom – Photo Editor — Free, Pro: $9.99

Image: Darkroom
Darkroom is an excellent mobile photo editor for iPhone and most recently iPad. It offers full RAW support, Depth Editing, and full control over Brightness, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Saturation, Vibrance, Fade, Vignette, Sharpness, and Split Tones.

Being that I am a photographer and am usually on the go, I always carry both my iPad and iPhone in my bag, so Darkroom enables me to have a full suite of powerful tools to edit my photos from anywhere.

Image: Darkroom, Editing Interface
Earlier this month, Darkroom added support for iPad. Here’s the official press release, “The new iPad interface is designed to take full advantage of the bigger screen real estate and be a first-class citizen on the new platform. With support for multi-tasking and keyboard shortcuts, Darkroom now sports a desktop-grade photo editing experience, in the same mobile-friendly, easy-to-use package you’re familiar with.”

Darkroom is free to download, but, you can purchase a Pro version through in-app purchases with Curves and Color tools, Premium Filters, and unlocks the full power of Darkroom. The full Pro package is $9.99.

You can get Darkroom here.

5. Unsplash — Free

Image: Unsplash 
Who doesn’t love great, free, photos to use as wallpapers? Honestly, I spend more time changing the wallpaper on my devices than I do in any app.

Unsplash is a Montreal-based photography sharing platform fueled by a community that has generously gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos.

What originally started as a Tumblr blog with 10 high-resolution photos in 2013, has quickly grown to over 90,000+ photographers and creators around the globe, over 6 billion image requests per month, millions of users per month, and 550,000+ photos shared so far.

In April of this year, Unsplash debuted their official iOS app to the world. With the largest library of freely usable, high-resolution photos anyone can use for anything, right are your fingertips.

We have used many photos from Unsplash in our articles, and many photographs from Unsplash have even made it to Apple Keynotes. It’s a no-brainer that I love this app, and I love downloading new wallpapers.

You can download Unsplash here.

Apple has made a small adjustment to its App Store Guidelines today that developers will be able to set the in-app purchase content as a gift, meaning iOS users could gift subscriptions to their friends and family, for example, you purchased a Spotify Premium subscription, you can give it as a gift. The move is likely another sign that Apple is going big on its Service Business.


Before the adjustment: "Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others.". The revised version is: Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged."

It's not clear how Apple will handle the in-app purchases, and it's possible to add gift-giving options to the interface. I believe that developers will receive further details on Apple in the near future. As more and more apps become Free Download + In-App Purchases or Subscriptions model, Apple's change is very responsive.

Now if users want to gift a paid app, they need to click the "..." button in the upper right corner of a paid app page in the App Store app and then select the "Gift App..." option, then fill in the other user's Apple ID.

Image Via Apple Support

Apple has kicked off a new App Store promotion for users in the United States, allowing them to get a 10% bonus when adding funds to their Apple ID accounts between December 17th - 20th. Apple will give up to $20 bonus credit if you add $200 funds to your account, the minimal funds that you can get the bonus is $10.


Noted that this only applies to App Store purchases, not Apple Store, which means you can use the funds on movies, iTunes, subscriptions, and paid apps purchases. To add funds to your Apple IDs, you can go to the App Store -> tap your profile picture -> iTunes & App Store -> click on your Apple ID -> View Apple ID-> Add Funds to Apple ID.
Now you can load money to your account more conveniently than ever right from the App Store. Then use your balance to enjoy games, apps, books, TV shows, Apple Music, iCloud storage, and more. Try it today and get an extra 10% added to your account.
Adding money to Apple ID requires to have valid payment method, although prepaid credit cards are best for this sort of promotion.

Apple has shared a new "Developer Insights" video on its developer portal explaining the benefits of use subscriptions based payment method. For that, Apple invited developers from Dropbox, Bumble, Elevate and Calm what benefits they have received.


In this short video developers predicting their subscartion revenue, tips on subscriptions, and how they are encouraged to improve the app. Apple has told app makers to embrace in-app subscriptions instead of prefer the one-time initial payment, which is a payment method that has been around since the launch of App Store in 2008. Tyler Sheaffer from Calm:

If you're a subscription business, your incentives are actually perfectly aligned with your customers, because they need to continue to get value out of the product in order to keep subscribing, which means that you have to continue making the app better

According to Apple, paid apps are accounts only 15 percent of total app sales,and is still declining. So it is about time to focus on subscriptions. However, some users (including me) hate subscription model, in which they said it would be useful if an app is providing services, so users urge rest of the app developers to not adopt this kind of method.

Image Via FirstPost

The App Store launched on July 10, 2008, exactly ten years from now. Since its launch, the App Store has changed the way how we working, learning, teaching, socializing, etc. From day one, it created many significant changes to the society we had.

In 2007, the first generation of the iPhone was born, the multi-touch screen made it amazing. But even then, the phone was just a niche product. Only til July 10, 2008, which App Store was launched, even though there were only 500 apps, it opened a new era of smartphone apps.


The emergence of App Store demolished the monopoly of big companies on the software industry, so small businesses and individual developers can also get a platform for app distribution and profit from it. Furthermore, it also has greatly motivated developers and helped Apple establish an iOS ecosystem.

Currently, the App Store has been launched in 155 countries and regions, with more than 1 billion users. According to Appfigures, at the end of last year, the number of apps in the App Store topped 2 million. If we say the iPhone changes the shape of the smartphone, then the App Store allows the app to change the way we use smartphones.

Image Via MacRumors

First spotted by Bloomberg, Apple is introducing strict new rules that app developers will no longer able to collect user data to build advertising profiles or contact databases. The same rules also apply to apps that harvesting data from an iPhone user's contacts.


Sharing and selling that database with third parties is also now forbidden. And an app can’t get a user’s contact list, say it’s being used for one thing, and then use it for something else — unless the developer gets consent again. Anyone caught breaking the rules may be banned.

Prior to the rules, developers were capable of viewing iPhone contact lists, which includes sensitive data including users’ phone numbers, email addresses, photos, and more, for advertising and data collection purposes, Facebook is an example of the practice.

Even though Apple can’t simply retrieve all the information that developers already have, which is very obvious, the company’s latest move on user data will be resulted in preventing further obtain and abuse personal data for a harmful reason.

Image Via MacRumors

Apple has released the latest App Store Guidelines, and one of the updates is quite necessary: App can provide users with a free trial, the developer's discretion, and applies to both iOS and Mac App Store. This is in response to that before WWDC started, thousands of developers jointly suggested that Apple enable this feature.


For example, users can now use the fee-based software for a period of time at no cost. The developer can limit the trial period for several days, one week, or two weeks. However, following the trial period ends, the user needs to be reminded to pay for all the services.

Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: “14-day Trial.” Prior to the start of the trial, your app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality. 

After this update, all apps in the App Store can use the trial period mechanism, which is obviously good news for many professional apps. Such apps are usually pretty pricey, especially in the Mac App Store. The features of the app may only be known to be inappropriate for the user after use, and the addition of the trial period will definitely promote the app to some extent.

Image 9to5Mac

Even though the new App Store design has shown sign of greatly improved app downloads, still, a group of more than 130 App Store developers called themselves as Developer Union, today sent an open letter to Apple asking the company to launch free trials for apps and a more reasonable cut of revenues, reports Wired


Its main goal is to ask Apple to implement free trial for iOS and Mac apps by July of this year. The Developers Alliance stated app creators who make great software should be able to rely on these apps to live a normal life. Indeed, the free trial feature allows users to better experience the App and facilitate the final purchase.

We believe that people who create great software should be able to make a living doing it. So we created The Developers Union to advocate for sustainability in the App Store.

Today, we are asking Apple to commit to allowing free trials for all apps in the App Stores by the tenth anniversary of the App Store this July. After that, we'll start advocating for a more reasonable revenue cut and other community-driven, developer-friendly changes.

The Developers Union said that it plans to acquire 20,000 members by early June. Developers have been wanting free trials for Mac and iOS App Store for many years, but Apple has not yet launched. The developer alliance hopes to persuade Apple to provide free trial features to all applications, not just those that provide subscription-based.

Image Via 9to5Mac

Last week, Apple has rolled out its long-awaited iOS 11.3 update to users, the update brings several major features like the "Battery Health" that's designed to provide iOS users with more information about their batteries, four new Animoji characters, Business Chat for customer support, and more. Now, according to Macerkopf, they have found a handy App Store feature.

Yes, you can now updating apps from foreign App Stores without switching Apple IDs. Prior to the update, users are required to switch Apple IDs or App Store regions when updating apps obtained from foreign App Stores.


For example, you have downloaded an app in the Chinese App Store, and when you switch to the US, even though the app receives an update, you won't get it unless you switch back. Well, with iOS 11.3, that is no longer the case anymore!

By simply hit the Update button in the App Store, all apps will getting updated no matter what the country they were downloaded from. It should be noted here that you still need to confirm the password for your foreign App Store account just for the sake of your identification. 

Apple announced on the its Developer News blog that apps can now have up to 10 screen-shots per device form factor, increased from the previous limit of 5 per device. This new change applies to the iOS, tvOS, and watchOS App Store, to shows customers more of an app's experience.

Prior this, app developers were limited to offering five screenshots and with up to three 30 second preview videos for demonstrative purposes in the app description page, which now is increasing to 10 images plus videos. But the number of screenshots that display in a search result is still limited to three portrait screenshots or one horizontal screenshot.

Image Credit SD Times
This should be win-win situation for both developers and customers, where developers will be able to provide 10 tailored screenshots for each device, which will give the customers a clearer, more expansive picture of what an app is capable of, providing a better idea of an app's feature set ahead of purchase.

As stated in the above, it only applies to iOS, watchOS, and tvOS App Store, for the sake of time being, Apple didn't choose to updates for macOS App Store, meaning that the number of screenshots in the Mac App Store remains unchanged.

Apple has redesigned its App Store web interface. The new redesign replaces the outdated and clunky interface that previously housed the App Store on the web. The decision of new web interface comes following Apple removed the App Store section from the new iTunes desktop application.


The new redesign implements lot of elements from the all new App Store in iOS 11, which offers larger images, a focus on curation and reviews, and more. On the all new webpage, you’ll see a larger app heading, preceded by “This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.”

Apple is showcasing app screenshots from the iPhone X. In the case of screenshots from apps that are not optimized for iPhone X, Apple still shows the screenshots from older iPhone devices. Beneath the screenshots are the app description, update information, reviews, and specific details such as app size, device compatibility, etc. `


What do you think of the new webpage experiences? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Via 9to5Mac
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