Category: iPhone/iPad App Store

Apple Introduces Subscriptions for All on App Store

Apple has today announced that subscriptions are now available to developers so that they can offer recurring billing in their apps. The subscription service was first seen in News Corp’s The Daily app released earlier this month.

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

There is also a lengthy comment from Apple CEO Steve Jobs on whether content providers can offer subscriptions outside of their app, which they can as long as they offer the same or better offer within the app.

“Our philosophy is simple – when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.”

Apple Denies Changing in-App Purchase Policy, Outlines Actual Changes

Earlier today it was revealed in by The New York Times that Sony’s e-reader app had been rejected from the iOS App Store by Apple because “from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple.”

Now Apple has come out and given firm word on what exactly has changed, a spokesperson has given comment to The Loop saying, “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” but added, “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”

Currently Amazon’s Kindle book reading app on the iPhone and iPad throws the user to the Amazon website to purchase books, according to these changes Amazon will have to offer the same books through the Kindle app and be subject to Apple taking its 30% cut.

App Store Downloads Surpass 10 Billion

App Store

Apple today announced that 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store by over 160 million iPhone, iPod touch and iPad users worldwide. The 10 billionth app downloaded, Paper Glider, was purchased by Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, UK. As the winner of the App Store Countdown to 10 Billion Apps, Gail Davis will receive a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card.

“With more than 10 billion apps downloaded in just two and a half years—a staggering seven billion apps in the last year alone—the App Store has surpassed our wildest dreams,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The App Store has revolutionised how software is created, distributed, discovered and sold. While others try to copy the App Store, it continues to offer developers and customers the most innovative experience on the planet.”

Apple Begins Countdown to 10 Billionth App Download

Apple has today begun counting down to the 10 billionth App Store download. To celebrate the milestone Apple will give away a $10,000 iTunes gift card to the person who downloads the 10 billionth app.

As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 10 billionth app, and you could win a US $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Just visit the App Store, and download what could be your best app yet.

iPad App Stores and iBookstores Go Live Internationally

iPad App Store in the UK

iPad App Store in the UK

Yesterday saw the slow roll out of iPad App Stores in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. The move is ahead of the release of the iPad in these nine countries on Friday, May 28.

Later in the day yesterday iBookstores began going live in the nine countries where the iPad is due to be released. Currently the stores are only showing free Project Gutenberg titles but titles are appearing often.

iPad is available in the UK for a suggested retail price of £429 for 16GB, £499 for 32GB, £599 for 64GB for Wi-Fi models and £529 for 16GB, £599 for 32GB and £699 for 64GB for Wi-Fi + 3G models. iPad will be sold through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorised Resellers.

Apple Updates iWork for iPad Apps

Apple iPad running iWork

Apple iPad running multi-touch versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers

Apple has today updated all three iWork apps for the iPad. Pages, Keynote and Numbers updates are all available from the iPad App Store and address stability and compatibility issues.

Apple’s release notes below:

Pages

  • Improves reliability when exporting Microsoft Word documents
  • Addresses issues with exporting documents previously imported from Microsoft Word
  • Fixes an issue with text wrapping in Microsoft Word after exporting a document with a frame around an image
  • Addresses a chart font size issue when exporting documents previously imported from Microsoft Word
  • Resolves an issue with scrolling after inserting and playing a movie

Numbers

  • Improves reliability when importing Numbers ’09 spreadsheets
  • Addresses a chart font size issue when exporting spreadsheets previously imported from Microsoft Excel
  • Fixes an issue when formatting a table pasted from Keynote or Pages
  • Addresses an issue where formulas did not properly update when dragging and dropping cells
  • Fixes an issue with applying a new style to a table in a template after an Undo

Keynote

  • Improves reliability when importing Keynote ’09 presentations
  • Improves reliability when importing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
  • Addresses a chart font size issue when exporting presentations previously imported from Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Fixes an issue preventing access to some table cell color fills in landscape mode with an external keyboard

iPad Apps Turn Up in App Store, WSJ Talks Subscription Plans

iPad App Store

Top selling list on iPad App Store | Image courtesy of Mac Rumors

This week saw the arrival and quick removal of Apps destined for the iPad when it goes on sale on Saturday, April 3. The listings were spotted by PadGadget but were subsequently removed by Apple.

The listings show that Apps are beginning to be approved by Apple but also that developers have opted to use “HD” and “XL” to differentiate iPad apps from iPhone and iPod touch apps.

Despite these listings being removed, Mac Rumors has gained access to iPad-only section of the App Store and viewed best seller lists and inspected some of the presumed launch-day apps.

It is notable that the pricing for iPad apps seems to be around $9.99.

In related news the Wall Street Journal revealed this week that it will charge $17.99 a month to subscribe to the newspaper on the iPad. The article from the Wall Street Journal itself strangely quotes people “familiar with the matter” as the source of the pricing.

$29 is the current fee to subscribe to the paper Wall Street Journal and $1.99 a week for the iPhone.

Apple Invites Developers to Submit iPad Apps

iPad

Apple iPad

Apple has officially invited developers to begin submitting apps specifically designed for the iPad to the App Store for approval. In an email Apple informed iPad app developers that submissions are now being taken for the inclusion of apps on the grand opening of the iPad App Store on April 3rd.

iPad will begin shipping soon and your opportunity to be part of the grand opening of the iPad App Store starts today. Submit your iPad app now for an initial review by the App Review Team and receive feedback on its readiness for the grand opening.

Submit Your App by March 27.

- Build and test your iPad app using iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 5 available on the iPhone Dev Center. Only iPad apps built with iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 5 will be accepted for this initial review.

- Upload your distribution signed app through iTunes Connect by Saturday, March 27, 5pm PDT.

- The App Review Team will review your app on iPad and email you details about the readiness of your app.

- You will also receive additional information about submitting your app for final review before iPad ships.

- Only apps submitted for the initial review will be considered for the grand opening of the iPad App Store.

In related news it is now possible to gift apps from the App Store to other people. Those using the iTunes Store today were asked to accept new terms and conditions that outlined the ability to gift apps.

The “Gifts” section of the iTunes Store Terms of Sale has been changed to clarify that Gifts may not be used for in-app purchases, upgrades, or the iPod Touch OS, to explain that some gifts require compatible hardware and parental control settings so they can be redeemed, and to notify you that, while gifts are non-refundable, this is without prejudice to your statutory rights to a refund in the event that a gift is faulty or has been misdescribed.

A new “Gifts” section has been added to the App Store T&C explaining the conditions under which Apps can be gifted, including an explanation that Gifts may not be used for in-app purchases, upgrades or the iPod Touch OS, and to explain that some gifts require compatible hardware and parental control settings so that they can be redeemed, and to notify you that, while gifts are non-refundable, this is without prejudice to your statutory rights to a refund in the event that a gift is faulty or has been misdescribed.

Apple Adds ‘Explicit’ Category to App Store

Following severe criticism and a furore following Apple pulling over 5000 “overtly sexual” apps from the iPhone and iPod touch App Store it seems that Apple is attempting to right a wrong.

It has been revealed that a new category is available for Apps but not yet visible to the public. The category available to developers submitting Apps is labelled “Explicit” which has since been removed.

The addition suggests that Apple could wish to add Apps to the store which are beyond a 17+ rating.

Apple Strips App Store of Questionable Apps

A furore began towards the end of last week when it became apparent that Apple had begun removing up to 5,000 apps from the App Store for containing “overtly sexual” content.

The change in policy has caused some confusion and some apps remain untouched despite still containing questionable content. The New York Times spoke to Apple worldwide product marketing head Phil Schiller who helped clarify the situation.

According to Schiller, “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see”.

Despite this an app from Sports Illustrated that shows bikini-clad women is still in the App Store. When questioned on this Mr. Schiller outlined that Apple looks at the intent of the content, “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format”.

When asked about the needs of developers who have had there revenue stream pulled from underneath them Schiller said that Apple needs to “put the needs of the kids and parents first”.