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Posts tagged with "appstore"

App Store Gets a Smarter Search Engine

As reported by TechCrunch, Apple appears to have tweaked the search algorithm of the App Store over the past few weeks, leading to more consistent results:

According to multiple sources, including developers who tracked their own rankings, as well as app store analytics firms, the change that began November 3 included several adjustments. Apps are now ranking in search results on a mix of contextual keywords for the app, including partial keyword matches, along with competitor brand names and other matches.

I’m curious to see how this latest change will affect independent developers over the next couple of months. For better or worse, search – not the Store’s curated Explore section – is still the easiest way to find any kind of app. A major change to the search algorithm can potentially affect the livelihood of thousands of indie developers.


Command-C: A Local Clipboard Sharing Tool for OS X and iOS 7



Even if my workflow these days primarily consists of reading and writing on the iPad, there are still times when I need to share content – either text or pictures – across my iOS devices, from my iPad to my Mac, or from OS X to iOS. While I can normally achieve inter-device communication using something like Evernote to keep my notes in sync everywhere, it’s not an ideal solution: why having to save and sync a temporary bit of text that simply needs to be acted upon once? Command-C, created by Italian developer Danilo Torrisi, is a clipboard sharing tool that I’ve been testing for the past couple of months and that has allowed me to eschew syncing services when I just want to quickly copy & paste between my Mac and iOS devices.

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Video Trailers Debut On The App Store With ‘Clumsy Ninja’

Apple is featuring Clumsy Ninja, an iOS game that was first announced at the iPhone 5 keynote in 2012, with a custom page on the App Store that, alongside a description, features a 1-minute trailer for the game. The custom “Featured” page is live on the UK App Store at the moment and it features Clumsy Ninja as Editor’s Choice for the week; it’s likely that the game will also be featured on the US App Store and other international stores later today.

The big news is, of course, the fact that Apple is embedding a video in the App Store, which has historically only allowed developers to include up to five static screenshots for their apps. Clumsy Ninja’s video opens the built-in iOS media player in portrait mode, and it features music playing in the background with no voiceover or custom App Store branding. It is, effectively, a game trailer on the App Store; right now, it’s only available in the special Featured page for the app, as the app’s regular App Store page doesn’t show the trailer.

The possibility of including videos alongside screenshots on the App Store has long been one of the most requested features by third-party developers who, over the years, have struggled to explain App Store customers the purpose of their app or game with just text and images. With iOS 7’s focus on motion and animations, the lack of videos on the App Store was particularly surprising, and it led many to wonder as to whether Apple would soon add support for videos besides screenshots. When iOS 7 was first announced in June, even Apple produced a series of short videos for the OS’ official website, where they showcased the new features and design through animations and quick demonstrations of Messages and other apps.

It’s unclear at this point if Clumsy Ninja will remain an isolated case or become the norm for the App Store going forward. It’s also not clear whether any developer will be able to add a video for their app on the App Store, or if trailers will be limited to Editor’s Choice and managed by Apple’s curation team on a weekly basis. Developers have traditionally resorted to creating videos and screencasts of their apps for their websites or YouTube channels, and an integrated solution available in the App Store alongside screenshots, description, and buy buttons would be a fantastic addition to better illustrate an app’s feature set, flow, and user experience.

The Sweet Setup

When my friend Shawn told me about the project he was working on a few months ago, I was immediately excited by its potential and premise. The Sweet Setup, launched today, wants to recommend the best apps for iOS and OS X. Not the newest ones – the best ones.

Here’s how Shawn describes The Sweet Setup:

The Sweet Setup exists because I wanted a site that highlights the software that has proven to be the best, not necessarily the newest.

Here we will be recommending only the apps which are proven to be the best rather than new (I already write plenty about what’s new and cool over at and Tools & Toys). Additionally, by focusing on only the best, it means all the content on our site is relevant all the time. I didn’t want to post our articles in a reverse-chronological order that, by nature, would cause still-helpful reviews to be pushed out of view once new reviews get published.

I think that Shawn had the perfect idea at the right time. With over a million apps now available on the App Store, people need a “Wirecutter for apps” with recommendations thoroughly researched and written by people who test and use apps every day.

The Sweet Setup looks great, the initial line-up of recommendations is solid, and more will come in the next few weeks.

I’m honored to be part of Shawn’s new project from the start, too: what’s the best Markdown writing app for the iPhone? Here’s my answer.


Apple Announces 40 Billion App Store Downloads, Almost 20 Billion In 2012 Alone

With a press release published today, Apple announced the App Store has reached 40 billion unique App Store downloads (excluding re-downloads and updates), with almost 20 billion of them happened in 2012. Apple says the App Store has now 500 million accounts, with 2 billion downloads happened during December 2012. The App Store has also reached the number of 775,000 apps available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, with seven billion dollars paid to developers so far.

It has been an incredible year for the iOS developer community,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “Developers have made over seven billion dollars on the App Store, and we continue to invest in providing them with the best ecosystem so they can create the most innovative apps in the world.

The press release includes additional facts, numbers, and quotes from third-party iOS developers who were successful in 2012. For instance, Temple Run, a game developed by “husband and wife team” at Imangi Studios, saw over 75 million downloads; development studios Backflip and Supercell “brought in over $100 million combined” for freemium games DragonVale and Cash of Clans; and Autodesk is now offering 20 apps to iOS users, with over 50 million downloads thanks to the App Store. You can read all the third-party experiences and numbers in Apple’s press release here.

The revolutionary App Store offers more than 775,000 apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in 155 countries around the world, with more than 300,000 native iPad apps available. App Store customers can choose from an incredible range of apps in 23 categories, including newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand, games, business, news, sports, health & fitness and travel.

In the press release, Apple also stressed the importance of the tools they make available to developers to release and promote their apps on the App Store. Apple specifically mentioned “great ways to monetize apps” including in-app purchase, subscriptions, and advertising.

For context, Apple announced 10 billion App Store downloads in January 2011; 15 billion downloads in July 2011; and 25 billion downloads in March 2012. It took the App Store 1642 days to go from 0 downloads on July 10, 2008 to 40 billion today, with an average of 24 million downloads per day; however, it took 310 days to go from 25 billion downloads to 40 billion, with an average of 80 million downloads per day in the past 310 days.

To give a graphical visualization of the App Store’s growth, here’s a chart by Horace Dediu showing iTunes total downloads by medium (Horace also notes average revenue per app download is 25c).

And above, our charts showing the growth of the total number of apps, and the apps availability per platform (iPhone, iPad) months after the App Store’s launch, based on Apple’s official data (click images for full size).

Judge Denies Apple’s Attempt For Injunction Against Amazon Over ‘Appstore’ Name

is reporting that a Californian judge has denied Apple’s attempt to quickly stop Amazon from using the term ‘Appstore’, which they have been using for their Android app download service. Apple had earlier this year filed a trademark lawsuit that claimed Amazon was improperly using the ‘App Store’ name in a way that will “confuse and mislead customers”. Amazon had claimed that the term was generic and therefore not protectable.

Whilst the full trial is set to take place in October of next year, this decision was in response to Apple’s request of an injunction against Amazon from using the name. In her decision, U.S. District court Judge Phyllis Hamilton said she did not agree with Amazon’s claim that it was “purely generic” but similarly found that Apple had not established “a likelihood of confusion” required to get an immediate injunction against Amazon’s service.

If the injunction had been successful, Amazon would have had to nearly immediately ceased using the name for their service. Neither Apple nor Amazon responded to Reuter’s requests for comment on the news on the injunction. This trial has attracted the attention of other players in the smartphone app market including Microsoft, Nokia and HTC, all of whom have filed complaints against Apple’s attempt to file a trademark for the term ‘App Store’.

[Via Reuters]

Microsoft, HTC, Nokia File Complaints Over Apple’s “App Store” Trademark

Several technology company heavyweights including Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson this week filed formal complaints against Apple’s attempt at getting the terms “App Store” and “Appstore” trademarked. In their complaints they formally ask the Community Trade Mark office in Europe for a declaration of invalidity, claiming that the terms are far too generic.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said that Apple’s application was an “unsupportable claim of exclusivity” and noted that the terms “App Store” and “Appstore” are like “toy store” or “book store” – a generic tem “that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.”

Microsoft has also heavily invested in a legal battle started in 2008 when Apple first attempted to trademark the term “App Store” with the US Patent and Trademark Office. That dispute is ongoing and both sides have hired linguists in their legal battle.

Furthermore Apple sued Amazon in March this year, in Amazon’s response to the trademark suit they used a quote from Steve Jobs to further illustrate that even he, as Apple’s CEO was using the term “app store” as a generic term to describe online stores that sell apps:

So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone

[AllThingsD via CNet] tries to toss Apple ‘app store’ trademark suit tries to toss Apple ‘app store’ trademark suit, cites Steve Jobs in its own defense today responded in court to Apple’s lawsuit over the name of its Android Appstore — calling the iPhone maker’s claim to the “App Store” trademark baseless, and pointing to a statement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs as one piece of evidence in its favor.

“So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.”

Amazon’s argument is if App Store is specific to Apple, why did Steve Jobs generically refer to the Android Marketplace as an “app store?” The argument is that he voided his own definition of what he considers the App Store to really be. If you ask me, I’d say Apple probably won’t secure the App Store branding as it is too generic. You can get away with specifically calling it the iOS App Store, the Mac App Store, and the iTunes Store, but calling it the App Store as one inclusive generic entity is a stretch don’t you think? As with everything else, Apple may have been better off appending an “i” in front of the name and calling it day. Amazon’s Appstore stands a fair chance of keeping its name, no matter Apple’s requests to speed up the process.


LogMeIn Ignition Update Includes File Manager: Manage Files Between Computers & iPad/iPhone

LogMeIn Ignition For iPad

LogMeIn Ignition For iPad

While I could have jumped on this update as soon as it was announced by the LogMeIn crew, I wanted to go hands on with LogMeIn Ignition’s new features before passing final judgement of whether the new file sharing capabilities are simply cool or deservedly awesome. Using LogMeIn’s free client, all of your computers are accessible to your iPad and iPhone by simply logging in with your username and (strong) password. Similar to how you navigate between open pages in Safari, you can navigate between File Managers on different computers in LogMeIn Ignition to copy & move files between computers, to your iPad, or from your iPad. It works extremely well, and I was able to move files between two Windows boxes and my iPad while tethered to a 3G enabled device. You can open a variety of file types in LogMeIn (I tested .PDF, .TXT, and .RTF files), and once those files are on your iPad you can choose to open files in other applications if permitted (GoodReader is handy to have around for this). Even if LogMeIn Ignition can’t open the file, you should still be able to move and copy files between computers. Interestingly, you don’t even have to copy files to your iPad to open them - LogMeIn Ignition temporarily caches the file and enables you to keep the cache or discard it as needed. You’ll have to get used to navigating LogMeIn Ignitions’s File Manager, as tapping on folders highlights the folder for copying & moving while tapping on its blue arrow will reveal its contents. I think LogMeIn Ignition will refuse to copy certain folders based on size (if the total contents won’t fit on your iPad) or type (I couldn’t copy the entire C:\ to my iPad for example). Otherwise, navigating and using the available tools to manage your files was straightforward.

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