Tag Archive: App Store


30 per cent of your subs revenue belong to us

Apple has formally booted the Financial Times newspaper app out of the iTunes store for the newspaper’s refusal to hand over 30 per cent of subscription revenues to the Mac maker.

That said, FT devotees with suitable iTunes accounts can still obtain the app from iTunes Slovakia:

We suspect it won’t be there for long. Not that the FT cares – it transitioned to an HTML 5 coded alternative that runs on top of the browser techology built into all iOS devices – and a few others besides.

The FT released the new app in June, prompting Apple to relax its rules. A little. But not enough for the FT.

Now, the paper doesn’t have to give Apple a cut of subscription revenue and it can more easily support multiple smartphone and tablet platforms.

It’s not the only one. Amazon recently released an HTML 5 version of its Kindle e-book reader app, this time to bypass Apple restrictions on implementing links to external content sales sites in iOS apps.

Some China-oriented FT apps are still available on iTunes.

iPhone-5s-front-apps

Is it over for paid mobile apps? That’s the general thinking these days, as the App Stores fill up with “good enough” alternatives to paid apps, while major publishers game the charts with free offerings that make millions which can then be used for their ongoing user acquisition efforts. That’s one of the reasons why the top charts of the App Store have gotten so difficult to break into for new publishers today, in fact.

The evidence for the trend toward free apps was rehashed again in a series of blog posts and other online discussions over this past weekend, written by those in the know – app developers themselves who are today still trying to make things work. But the data presented was largely anecdotal. App developer David Smith and his wife spoke spoke it. Elsewhere, Instapaper founder Marco Arment wrote about his struggles to determine the appropriate business model for his own new app, Overcast.

These were more personal tellings of the same story which has been reported through harder data for months on end. But that data contains some nuances which shouldn’t be ignored, especially for paid app developers trying to squeeze out profits from a less competitive niche. Yes, apps overall are trending toward free, and a majority of the App Store is composed of free apps – but there are a few areas where a paid app might still work…at least, for now.

THE SHIFT TO FREE

Going back a few months, analytics firm Flurry reported this July what the shift toward free applications looked like at the time. From 2010 to 2012, the proportion of free apps on the App Store ranged from 80% to 84%, but by early 2013, that had grown to 90%. And 6% of paid apps fell into the 99 cents price point.

At the time of the original report, Flurry noted that it seemed like people wanted free content more than they wanted to avoid ads, or have the highest quality experience possible.

According to Flurry’s Director of Research, Mary Ellen Gordon, PhD., the most compelling piece of evidence to support the shift to free was Flurry’s observations of developer A/B testing. They watched as developers experimented with different price points over the past months, finally resolving themselves to free apps, often supported by in-app purchases.

“It suggests that developers are not just moving to free apps because everyone else is or it seems like the thing to do. Many of them have actually tested different price points,” she tells TechCrunch. “Based on the trends, I would guess that by next year the (weighted) percentage of apps that are free will be somewhere between 91% and 93% – greater than it is now, but not 100% because there will probably always be certain specialized apps that are able to charge for downloads.”

WHERE PAID APPS STILL WORK

So where might paid apps still have a shot? In other words, are there categories where those specialized apps are selling? We spoke to app analytics firm Distimo, which examined grossing data on the App Store’s leaderboards to determine where paid apps are doing well.

In the following categories, the firm found that at least half, if not more of the top ten apps are currently paid: Productivity, Medical, Business, Healthcare & Fitness, Navigation, Catalogs, Lifestyle, Photo & Video, Travel, and Weather. In some cases, paid apps also use in-app purchases to drive up revenue even further.

What’s interesting about this list is that it’s very utilitarian, for the most part. These apps about are about getting something done – booking travel, dealing with your health, checking the weather, working, photo editing – things users do often enough to make it worth paying for the upgraded experience or additional features beyond what you could get in a free version.

Notably absent, of course, are several of the larger App Store categories, like Games and Social Networking. Minecraft was the only top grossing game that was also paid, and Grindr Xtra was the only top grossing social app that was paid. In addition, highly grossing applications in Books and Newsstand categories also tended to be free applications to start.

In general, however, Distimo’s data confirmed Flurry’s in that it found free applications led most categories, with in-app purchases as a main driver of monetization, and this was especially true in the Games category. In addition, 67 percent of the current top 10 apps across all categories combined use in-app purchasing today.

Paid apps aren’t going away entirely, says Distimo, but getting traction for a paid application will depend on a number of things, including target audience, category, competition, and more – just like in any business.

Still, Distimo’s analysis focused on the top of the charts, so it doesn’t necessarily paint the most accurate picture for what it’s like for a smaller or medium-sized developer competing today. Breaking into the top charts is often a function of marketing dollars, and money spent on user acquisition strategies, as well as a combination of more subjective things, like app quality, social impression, utility, and of course, luck.

At least breaking into the top charts on the App Store is easier for paid app makers, in terms of sheer number of downloads, that is. According to other data from this summer, getting into the top 10 requires around 4,000 downloads for paid apps, versus 70,000 for free apps. Getting into the top 50 only required 950 downloads for paid apps, versus 23,000 for free apps. Some of these figures were basically reconfirmed this month, when a well-known developer Readdle reported it took between 3,500 and 3,800 downloads to break into a top ten paid app list on the App Store.

The window for paid apps is definitely getting smaller, but there are still a few success stories out there to analyze, for developers determined to try the paid upfront business model. Yet even then, developers have to make sure they don’t alienate their current user base, if launching an upgraded experience as the new paid app, like Clear just did before having to change its course.

In the long run, unless a paid app doing something unique and notably better in a less competitive niche, consumers are looking for the free apps first.

Developers lament this trend, noting that most paid apps are worth less than a cup of coffee, and that’s a “hard pill to swallow,” as developer Florian Kugler recently put it in a widely circulated post on Hacker News.

From a user’s standpoint, though, it’s not about whether that app is worth the money, it’s about how that money adds up over time. There are nearly a million apps to choose from now – who can afford to buy a new one every day or every few days, the way you do a cup of coffee? Come to think of it, if you’re buying a fancy latte every day instead of snagging the free stuff from the break room on occasion, then you might have some other financial management issues, too.

pokki

Lenovo has agreed to preload onto all of its new PCs the full range of SweetLabs’ Pokki software, which tweaks the Windows operating system, the companies announced today.

The deal is the second major OEM partnership this summer for Pokki, which runs a platform for installing and using Windows apps, making the desktop experience feel more like a mobile one. Back in June, Acer began preloading a Pokki-powered game “arcade” onto all of its new PCs.

Today’s announcement is broader than that, though. Under the Pokki brand, SweetLabs makes the games launcher, a custom Start menu that launches apps via a mobile-esque interface, and an app store for discovering new apps. All of those products will be bundled together in the Lenovo deal.

That’s potentially a big deal for Windows developers who are having a hard time gaining traction. Baked into the Pokki suite is a recommendation engine, which surfaces new apps for users to download in visible places like the bottom of the start menu. Some of those recommendations are populated Netflix-style, targeted to users based on what they already use, which the software “learns” over time.

But other recommendations are sponsored, said Chester Ng, co-founder and chief marketing officer of SweetLabs. He pitches sponsored and targeted apps as a better alternative to the “outdated and irrelevant” crapware preloads that have historically padded the profits of OEMs like Lenovo. For example, a computer sold during tax season might have TurboTax automatically preloaded through the Pokki store, while one sold in the summer or fall would have no need for it.

In the past, the Pokki store has hosted desktop-optimized versions of Web apps like Facebook, Gmail and Hulu. SweetLabs is also announcing today that it will soon be possible to distribute native Windows and Windows 8 Store apps alongside Pokki-specific apps in the same store.

Orbitz has launched an extension of its top rated mobile app for iPad, which will enable users to book and acquire details about hotels, flights, and cars. Orbitz app is fully native app which will let the consumers to experience searching and booking of all the three categories mentioned above to organize their successful trip.

The Orbitz app for the iPhone has already won award in 2012 and inductee itself in the App Store Hall of Fame. It is the only travel booking app which has won the Editor’s choice designation in the App Store. Thus this new Orbitz app is extensively designed for users of iPad to provide same speed, easiness of use and discounts, only for mobile users.

President of Orbitz.com, Mr. Chris Orton shared that “Nearly 30% of the US adults have their personal tablet, which was only 2% three years back. During this new era of growth in tablet market, Orbitz has brought a winning app for the iPad users. This is to let the users avail benefit from the amazing travel booking app in easiest way and by getting great deals. Other competitive travel apps send users to the numerous booking site, whereas, Orbitz iPad app takes the users directly for booking cars, hotels and flights in seamless, in-app experience.”

Features available in Orbitz iPad app includes:

  1. Ease of use and unrivaled speed: Booking and searching of hotels, rental cars and flights in a blink of eye with dual list and map view of the hotels. Users will also allow to compare the flight, hotels and car details on a single screen via powerful filtering and sorting capabilities.
  2. Exclusive deals for mobile: Orbitz App allows users of mobile phones to avail 50% discount on hundreds of hotels worldwide.
  3. Convenient traveling tools: Travel itineraries are available 24/7 even if the internet connection is not available.

Related posts:

  1. Last minute hotel booking is now possible with HotelTonight on Android tablets
  2. New Generation Cars technological development, iPhone app has reduced MOT booking in just two minuets step
  3. Travelzoo Launches new iPhone App – Faster, sleeker, more visual access to unbeatable travel and leisure deals

Shazam is out with what is self-described as a “major update” to the app, version 5.0. It delivers a groundbreaking new feature thanks to rewritten software that enables users to tag audio and Shazam will identify it within a single second.

Now, you can launch the Shazam app, put your phone up to a speaker that’s playing back a song, television show, or television advertisement, and in one second figure out what the hell you’re listening to as well as save or share it on your social networks. The app also brings up its trademarked LyricPlay service which scrolls through lyrics to songs while keeping pace with the song playing and information such as links to purchase, music videos, tour dates and the like. Shazam is able to do all of this far faster than any of its competitors, e.g. SoundHound or IntoNow.

Some of the minor, but still notable updates that made it into version 5.0 include a somewhat revamped user interface, the ability to add a comment to tags shared to Facebook or Twitter, and support for new languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Korean and Spanish for South America.

It’s interesting to see how Shazam has evolved over time. I remember when it was a simple app for tagging music. Then fierce competition arose and Shazam sprung to its full potential, bringing features for tagging television programs and much more. Shazam 5.0 with one-second tagging is another step ahead.

The update is only for iPhone and iPod touch in the App Store. It applies to the free Shazam app as well as Shazam Encore and (RED), both $6.

appstore 520x245 Apple quietly debuts App Store vanity URLs for developers with Star Trek Super Bowl ad

Apple didn’t join BlackBerry, Samsung and others in producing a Super Bowl ad but the company did unveil something significant during the commercials, via a promo for Paramount’s upcoming ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ film.

As CNET first noted, the end of the commercial includes a vanity link for the app — appstore.com/startrekapp — rather than the usual long link for the download. That’s a hugely significant, if subtle, introduction with the potential to massively increase traffic to apps, as well as the promotional aspect for developers and publishers. Suddenly app links can be memorable, logical and more easily searchable for users.

Screen Shot 2013 02 03 at 5.15.50 PM 520x289 Apple quietly debuts App Store vanity URLs for developers with Star Trek Super Bowl ad

Apple detailed the feature in new documentation published last week which explains that short links can be created for company app pages, as well as landing pages for iOS and Mac apps. With some 800,000 apps in the App Store, giving users a dedicated URL is likely to massively increase the potential for downloads. Discovery has always been a key bug-bear for developers and users alike — even though the Google Play has more problems on that front — and app makers will rush to get hold of memorable URLs for their creations.

With this introduction, it is likely that we will see more App Store links being promoted in the media, and alongside Facebook Page URLs and other key links.

Importantly, Apple points out that generic phrases will be directly to search engines. That’s a sensible move since the opportunity to grab a ‘hot’ short URL could promote unhealthy squatting and competition. Vanity URLs had previously been available using iTunes links, but the new appstore.com/xx will replace that.

In case you were wondering, CNET reminds us that the much sought after appstore.com URL was given to Steve Jobs by Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff back in 2008.

Headline image via glenbledsoe / Flickr, movie commercial still via CNET

“Apple Maps was so bad that people refused to upgrade to iOS 6 until they could get Google Maps, says data from massive mobile ad exchange MoPub,” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “The 12,000 apps it supports saw a 29 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users in the five days after Google Maps for iOS was released. Chitika reported just 0.2 percent growth immediately after the launch but it seems people waited for the weekend to do the long install.”

“MoPub monitors over 1 billion ad impressions a day across more than 12,000 apps and a dozen ad networks, making its data set more reliable than individual ad network Chitika,” Constine reports. “MoPub provided TechCrunch with data showing a 13 percent increase in iOS 6 users just from Monday to Wednesday, indicating many people switched to the newest Apple mobile firmware as soon as Google Maps’ standalone app arrived in the App Store.”

Constine reports, “MoPub’s CEO laid it out for me, explaining ‘we observed since the launch of Google Maps for iOS 6 a 30 percent increase in unique iOS 6 users, and we think it’s related to Google Maps. It verifies the hypothesis that people were actually holding back to upgrade until Google Maps was available.’”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bzzt! This fails our logic sensors. It’s a bit too much for us to believe that so many users would hold off on all of the iOS 6 goodies simply due to a whole bunch of Maps FUD (some issues, yes, but 95% of the debacle was concocted FUD amplified beyond recognition in the Internet echo chamber).

Logically, you’d think that if these maps addicts were savvy enough to hold off on a major iOS upgrade over some perceived issue, they’d easily have had the fortitude to simply visit Google Maps via Safari, tap “Add to Home Screen,” and then proceed to update iOS as usual. For that reason alone, we’re not buying it.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
iOS 6 adoption after Google Maps release stays flat, any negative impact of Apple Maps highly exaggerated – December 15, 2012

Apple’s iPhone device is able to performing a tremendous variety of different tasks, but people are not quite as popular as the image resolution capabilities of the device. Coming from sharing programs to those used to transform on a daily basis shots directly into masterpieces, there are various incredible apps to choose from on the App Store. Some of the following apps will be the “must haves” all iPhone users need to be certain to down load on their phone!

Perhaps the most widely used sharing app of the is Instagram, which allows users for taking snapshots in addition to apply filter systems at the mouse click of a hand. Choose from many different filters in addition to borders, that is applied to existing shots and also new shots taken through the app. All these photos have been in turn distributed across the Instagram wearer’s feed, along with networks which are connected to the application.

Hipstamatic is an additional popular app, if you will have to spend a few dollars have fun with all that is available. This app intentions to transform pics into pictures that are harking back to analog photography. The base app is sold with plenty of diverse film plus lens solutions, though extra packs can also be purchased immediately through the app. Remaining products may be easily shared throughout selected networks.

Camera+ is one of the most popular paid apps within the entire App Store, obtaining received awards from a lot of reviewers, include things like TIME magazine and Born. The Camera+ app develops upon the existing features of the iPhone’s video camera, giving an individual tools which make it easier to acquire beautiful images. Take advantage of 6x digital zoom capabilities, picture stabilization, and many effects to help spruce up the very last product. Just for a dollar, this brilliant app is truly a new steal!

HDR FX is another favorite option for consumers trying to add a small spice so that you can existing images on their mobile phone. Different presets allow it to be easy to optimize the specific elements of each photo, with the snapshot analyzer suggesting presets that could work best regarding particular photos. The HDR Forex app also capabilities textures that will add a totally new level of curiosity to any photo. The app furthermore features a difficult set of tools that enable consumers for you to edit facts like the photo’s opacity and dark areas.

Of course, Apple company itself boasts a powerful photograph editing in addition to cataloguing tool for your iPhone: iPhoto. Mac customers can recognize iPhone in the iLife suite associated with productivity software program found on each desktop in addition to notebook computer coming from Apple. The particular mobile model of the program includes a lot of the great features found on the desktop opposite number, which have been developed to comprehend multi-touch expressions. The app permits consumers to easily create slideshows as well as photo online journals that can be distributed to friends, while also incorporating giving options for social media marketing. Photos can also easily be printed out via Airprint.

A chance to carry around some sort of high-quality camera around one’s wallet is arguably among the best features of the actual iPhone. The countless incredible photo apps for the device additional positions it as being one of the leading devices for individuals who are generally obsessed with acquiring great pics wherever lifestyle takes these people. By installing some of these apps to your iPhone, you’ll sign up for the masses who are finding that taking creative shots is not reserved for people that have expensive camcorders anymore. Instead, everyday buyers can take as well as share astounding photos through taking advantage of a number of the available assets on the App Store.

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