When updates are available, iTunes 11.0.3 will display a red “Update” ribbon on an application’s icon, similarly to how iOS displays a blue ribbon for “New” apps on the Home screen. In iTunes 11.0.3, updates are handled by the Updates area without requiring users to open the iTunes Store anymore.
After the launch of iTunes 11 in November 2012, the Updates screen remained surprisingly unchanged. The new app updates system is a welcome change — particularly because it doesn’t force users into an iTunes Store view anymore.
Update: Two more screenshots showing a contextual menu for apps that have an update, and the way iTunes 11.0.3 shows the changelog for an update with the same style of music albums.
With a press release published this morning, Apple formally announced the 50 billion app download milestone they hit yesterday, alongside the name of the $10,000 App Store gift card winner and 50 billionth app download. The 50 billionth app was Say the Same Thing by Space Inch, downloaded by Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio.
Apple would like to thank our incredible customers and developers for topping 50 billion apps downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers. We’re absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years.
In the press release, Apple quotes various developers, such as Shazam’s CEO, on the importance of the App Store and its evolution in the past five years.
The iOS App Store opened on July 10, 2008. After 1770 days, 50 billion app downloads make an average of over 28 million apps downloaded each day (28.2 million). Today, the App Store offers more than 850,000 apps (350,000 made for the iPad) in 155 countries, organized in 23 categories that span Productivity, Games, Newspapers, and more.
For the 50 billion app download contest, Apple has also offered a $500 gift card to each of the 50 people who downloaded an app after the 50 billion milestone.
As expected, Apple has hit the 50 billion app downloads milestone today. The countdown that the company launched two weeks ago was updated with a new “Thanks” image on Apple’s servers earlier today, which is now publicly available across Apple.com and the iTunes Store. On Apple’s website, there’s a new photo of an iPad running Paper by FiftyThree and displaying “Thanks” as a handwritten note; on the promotion’s webpage, Apple writes “50 billion app downloads. One really big thank you”.
Apple will award an App Store gift card of $10,000 to the lucky customer who downloaded the 50 billionth app, plus a $500 App Store gift card to each of the next 50 people to download an app.
In the past five years, Apple shared various App Store download milestones: three billion apps had been downloaded by January 2010; 10 billion by January 2011; 15 billion in July 2011; for the 25 billionth app download in March 2012, Apple awarded Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China — who downloaded Where’s My Water? Free — with a $10,000 gift card. Apple announced 40 billion App Store downloads in January 2013, with 20 billion of them in 2012 alone.
The iOS App Store opened on July 10, 2008. After 1770 days (4 years, 10 months, 5 days), 50 billion app downloads make an average of over 28 million apps downloaded each day (28.2 million). In January 2013, Apple announced 500 million iOS devices had been sold; assuming the number jumped to 560 million after Apple’s Q2 2013 results, that would make an average of 89.3 apps downloaded for each iOS device sold.
According to Apple, “the grand prize winner will be announced soon”.
Some great counterarguments by Marco Arment on the (annual) debate on App Store free trials.
Personally, I think that free trials would help the sales of apps priced at $9.99 and above. While it’s true that we, as geeks, tend to try as many apps as possible, I admit that I would feel uncomfortable with spending $40 on four apps that may not even be what I’m looking for. But I also agree that trials may create new problems for the “middle class” of apps that get tried but not bought. It’s a difficult problem to solve. Surely Apple must have better data and insight to corroborate whatever decision they’ll end up making.
From Marco’s post, I’d also highlight this footnote:
Abolishing the “top” lists from all App Store interfaces and exclusively showing editorially selected apps in browsing screens would do a hell of a lot more than trials to promote healthy app economics and the creation of high-quality software.
Some solid thoughts by Dave Addey. I disagree with the conclusion, though: if users could try apps for free and if a $9.99 app turned out to be exactly what they needed, I think many would (more comfortably) pay for it.
Alongside the countdown to 50 billion app downloads posted earlier today, Apple has also published a series of updated charts for the top downloaded apps of all time. Apple posted the same charts last year, after the App Store hit 25 billion downloads, and had done the same in January 2011 ahead of 10 billion downloads.
Apple’s charts of the Top 25 apps of all time provide a precious insight into the trends of the App Store for free and paid apps downloaded by iOS users on their iPhones and iPads. While the charts from 2012 and 2013 are largely similar in terms of presence of games and brands like Angry Birds and Facebook, there are some interesting differences worth noting.
Below, we have compiled the complete list of updated “all-time top apps”, alongside some notes about the differences from last year’s charts. (more…)
Good roundup of iTunes Store numbers (with subsequent inferences) by Horace Dediu.
I meant to include the following chart in our Q2 2013 overview, but I didn’t have time to create it. Below, you can see how the 850,000 App Store apps Apple touted last week are divided across the iPhone and iPad after the launch of each device’s App Store (July 2008 for iPhone, April 2010 for iPad).
The increase you see after the iPad’s 30th month corresponds to October 2012 — when Apple unveiled the iPad mini.
“Do we really need another weather app?” Actually, if it’s better, we do. Imagine if they’d stopped making new search engines after HotBot or new smartphones after the Samsung BlackJack.
I couldn’t agree more.
For free/inexpensive apps, the traditional rules of market saturation allow consumers to more comfortably try new apps; at the same time, annual OS updates enable developers to constantly experiment with more powerful technologies to fix problems consumers didn’t even think they had.
Good move by Apple. The page contains screenshots, links to support documents, and a clear explanation of Parental Controls. Apple knows that In-App Purchases are usually bought by children using their parents’ devices, and they also made sure to explain the differences between IAPs to “remove ads” and “buy virtual food”.
It’s strange that the, in the US, the page is only featured on the iPad App Store.
This doesn’t fix the several other problems with In-App Purchases and developers exploiting the platform. Games like this shouldn’t be approved to begin with. Hopefully a section that highlights clever, genuine implementations of In-App Purchases is next.