Illustration in the iOS 11 App Store

Khoi Vinh, writing about one of my favorite aspects of the iOS 11 App Store:

Apple’s dramatically redesigned App Store got a decent amount of attention when it debuted last year with iOS 11, but its unique success as a hybrid of product design and editorial design has gone little noticed since. That’s a shame, because it’s a huge breakthrough.

I myself paid it scant attention until one day this past winter when I realized that the company was commissioning original illustration to accompany its new format. If you check the App Store front page a few times a week, you’ll see a quietly remarkable display of unique art alongside unique stories about apps, games and “content” (movies, TV shows, comics, etc.). To be clear: this isn’t work lifted from the marketing materials created by app publishers. It’s drawings, paintings, photographs, collages and/or animations that have been created expressly Continue reading “Illustration in the iOS 11 App Store”

Apple cracks down on CallKit-enabled apps in China’s App Store

Enlarge (credit: ymgerman / Getty Images News)

A new group of apps in China’s App Store is facing scrutiny from Apple. According to a report from 9to5Mac, the iPhone maker is curtailing apps with CallKit framework due to a “newly enforced regulation” from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Apple started sending notices to developers whose apps use the CallKit framework, notifying them that CallKit functionality isn’t allowed in China due to the new regulations. Developers reportedly have two options: remove CallKit framework from their apps, or remove their apps from China’s App Store entirely.

Apple introduced CallKit with iOS 10. It allows developers to build calling services into related applications, but it doesn’t actually make calls. CallKit provides the interface, allowing the application to have a more native look, while developers can use a VoIP system on the back-end to handle making the calls.

The Chinese government frowns

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Small group of iOS devs form “Developers Union” to request App Store changes

Enlarge (credit: Apple)

A small group of developers for Apple platforms has banded together to request new features and policies from Apple, and its members say they have ideas for ways to make it easier to make a living on the platform, Wired reports. They’re calling it “The Developers Union,” and they launched a website where devs can sign up to share their support of a free trial feature for the app store.

The union has some notable names attached, including Jake Schumacher, director of the documentary App: The Human Story, and NetNewsWire and MarsEdit developer Brent Simmons—along with a product designer named Loren Morris and a software developer named Roger Ogden.

The group says it will start with the free trial push but that it will follow that up with “other community-driven, developer-friendly changes” including a “a more reasonable revenue cut.” The starting revenue share is 70-30 in

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App Store Developers Form a ‘Union’ Ahead of WWDC Calling for Free App Trials, Better Rates

A group of App Store developers calling themselves “The Developers Union” today published an open letter to Apple asking the company to commit to allowing free trials for apps and a “more reasonable revenue cut.”

The group says that it is first aiming to get Apple to implement free trials for all apps in the iOS and Mac App Stores by this July, with plans after that to advocate for other changes.

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.

Continue reading “App Store Developers Form a ‘Union’ Ahead of WWDC Calling for Free App Trials, Better Rates”

Apple reportedly removing apps that share location data with third parties

Enlarge (credit: ymgerman / Getty Images News)

Apple is reportedly enforcing some of its privacy rules more stringently for apps in its App Store. According to a report by 9to5Mac, the iPhone maker started removing apps that share location data with third-parties without “explicit consent” from users.

Apps that have been removed from the App Store in this instance have been cited for violating sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines, which state, “The app transmits user location data to third parties without explicit consent from the user and for unapproved purposes.” According to a letter sent to developers that have had their apps taken down, they must “remove any code, frameworks, or SDKs” that aid location sharing without clear user consent and then resubmit their app for review.

The details of Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines suggest the company wants developers to

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Mac 101: How to Avoid Mac App Store Scams

The Mac App Store was supposed to be the place to find and purchase apps for a Mac without having to worry whether the seller, developer, or some other third-party had somehow tampered with the app for nefarious purposes. You also weren’t supposed to need to worry about the download sites being full of ads that could contain malware, ransomware, or other worrisome possibilities.

For the most part, the Mac App Store, along with the other Apple app stores, has lived up to this expectation of being a place where malware and deceptive practices don’t exist. For the most part…

Unfortunately, it’s still advisable to make use of the various stores with caution; not so much about the worry of malware being embedded within an app, though it may happen once in a while, but of scammers trying to acquire personal information by using the Apple stores as bait.

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Total Number of App Store Apps Shrank in 2017 Thanks to Apple’s Quality Crackdown

The number of apps available in the App Store shrank for the first time ever in 2017, according to data shared today by App Store analytics company Appfigures (via TechCrunch).

At the end of 2017, there were 2.1 million iOS apps available in the App Store, compared to 2.2 million apps at the beginning of the year.



Starting in September of 2016, Apple told developers it would be removing old, outdated apps that had not been updated with compatibility for more recent devices or no longer complied with current review guidelines.

Apple also created new App Store guidelines limiting apps created from commercialized templates or app generation services, and officially banned virus scanning apps, plus it cracked down on clone and spam apps, all of which contributed to the company’s App Store cleanup efforts.

Changes in iOS 11 may have had the biggest impact on the

Continue reading “Total Number of App Store Apps Shrank in 2017 Thanks to Apple’s Quality Crackdown”

Apple’s Services Category Set to Be the Company’s Main Revenue Driver Over the Next Five Years

Apple’s services revenue is growing at a rapid pace and is on track to be the company’s primary revenue driver in the future, according to a note Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty shared with investors this morning (via Business Insider).

Huberty believes that over the course of the next five years, services revenue growth will contribute more than 50 percent of Apple’s total revenue growth. The iPhone, meanwhile, will make up just 22 percent of revenue growth during the same time period, despite the fact that it’s contributed 86 percent of Apple’s revenue growth over the past five years.

Although “over the last five years, the vast majority (86%) of Apple’s 8% annual revenue growth was driven by iPhone sales, it is through monetization of Apple’s Services business that we see the company still generating mid single digit revenue growth,” she said.

Huberty estimated that roughly 60% of revenue

Continue reading “Apple’s Services Category Set to Be the Company’s Main Revenue Driver Over the Next Five Years”

Apple’s Greg Joswiak Talks Mobile Gaming

In a piece covering growing consumer interest in mobile gaming, TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino spoke to Apple’s vice president of product marketing, Greg Joswiak, and several prominent game developers to get opinions on the state gaming on iOS.

According to Joswiak, with developers now able to bring full multiplayer console-style experiences to iOS devices, like the recently released Fortnite and PUBG mobile games, mobile gaming is at a tipping point. Platforms like iOS are able to offer unique combinations of hardware and software that see regular updates and improvements, which has led to impressive new gaming technology over the course of the last few years.

“Every year we are able to amp up the tech that we bring to developers,” he says, comparing it to the 4-5 year cycle in console gaming hardware. “Before the industry knew it, we were blowing people away [with the tech]. The full gameplay of

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Apple Denies Abusing French Developers, Says They’ve Earned 1 Billion Euros From App Store

Apple has issued a statement defending against allegations made by France’s finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who earlier this week accused the iPhone maker of treating French startups and developers unfairly.



In the statement, loosely translated from French to English, Apple said it has “strong relationships” with French developers, and added that they have collectively earned one billion euros in revenue from the App Store.

Le Figaro via MacGeneration:

We are proud to have strong relationships with tens of thousands of developers across France, who have earned 1 billion euros on the App Store. Many of these talented developers founded their companies with one or two people and then saw their teams grow to offer their applications to users in 155 countries. This was only possible thanks to Apple’s investment in iOS, development tools, and the App Store. Apple has always defended the confidentiality and security of users and

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Dozens of Popular Apps Still Don’t Natively Support iPhone X, But Updates Are Coming Soon

One of the minor disadvantages of buying an iPhone X early is having to wait for developers to update their apps with support for the smartphone’s taller display. Many popular apps were updated within a few weeks after the device launched, but over four months later, there are still some notable omissions.



MacRumors recently asked our readers to share their favorite apps that have yet to be optimized for the iPhone X display. Then, we reached out to the developers of each app to ask them if and when they will release updates with iPhone X support. We’ve included comments from every company that responded below.

Apple

Apple did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

  • iMovie
  • iTunes Connect
  • iTunes Remote
  • Beats Pill+
  • AirPort Utility
  • Music Memos

Google

Google said it does not have anything to share at this time.

Apple Shares Tips on Avoiding App Store and iTunes Phishing Emails

Apple last week shared a new support document that’s designed to help App Store and iTunes users avoid phishing emails that mimic legitimate emails from Apple.

In the document, Apple outlines techniques to identify an actual App Store or iTunes email, which the company says will always include a current billing address, something scammers are unlikely to have access to.

An example of a well-crafted phishing email


Apple also says that emails from the App Store, iBooks Store, iTunes Store, or Apple Music will never ask customers to provide details like a Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name, a credit card number, or a credit card CCV code.

Apple recommends that customers who receive emails asking them to update their account or payment information do so directly in the Settings app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, in iTunes or the App Store on a Mac, or in iTunes

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Apple Sending Ad Spend and Install Reports to the Wrong Developers

Apple this morning has apparently sent several developers report emails for Search Ads Basics that belong to other developers.

The reports, which relate to promoted ads that show up in App Store search queries, have been received in error by several developers this morning, as noted on Twitter.




Introduced late last year, Search Ads Basic works so that developers only pay out if a user installs the app. It includes suggestions on how much a developer should pay based on historical data pulled from the App Store based on the type of app being marketed, and uses App Store trends to target the ideal audience.

Today’s communications error harks back to a similar issue Apple had with iTunes Connect that

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Telegram iOS app removed from App Store last week due to child pornography

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The encrypted messaging app Telegram was mysteriously removed from Apple’s App Store last week for a number of hours. At the time, little was known about the reason why, except that it had to do with “inappropriate content.” According to a 9to5Mac report, Apple removed Telegram after the app was found serving up child pornography to users.

A verified email from Phil Schiller details that Apple was alerted to child pornography in the Telegram app, immediately verified the existence of the content, and removed the app from its online stores. Apple then notified Telegram and the authorities, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Telegram apps were only allowed to be restored to the App Store after Telegram removed the inappropriate content and reportedly banned the users who posted it.

“The App Store team worked with the developer to have them remove this illegal content

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Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ Initiative Adopted in 70 Education Institutions Around Europe

Apple today announced that 70 colleges and universities across Europe have adopted its “Everyone Can Code” initiative, which aims to help people learn to create mobile apps for the App Store.

Education institutions in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, and Portugal are now offering Apple’s App Development with Swift curriculum, which is a full-year coding course designed by Apple educators and engineers.

“Coding is an essential skill for today’s workforce, and through Everyone Can Code, we’re giving people around the world the power to learn, write and teach coding,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Since launching Everyone Can Code two years ago, we’ve seen growing excitement for the initiative from schools around the world, who are increasingly incorporating the curriculum into their classrooms.”

Institutions highlighted in Apple’s press release include: the Technical University

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Mac and iOS App Store Web Preview Pages Get a Makeover

Apple has introduced new web preview pages for the App Store and Mac App Store. The new design more closely tracks the App Store changes debuted as part of iOS 11. Interestingly, the web previews for Mac apps share the same refreshed design despite the fact that the Mac App Store has barely changed since its introduction in 2011.

The new design features bigger images and more white space. Reviews are laid out horizontally as cards near the bottom of the page. Longer reviews open in a pop-over card that hovers above the page when the ‘more’ link is clicked. Mac apps include a ‘View in Mac App Store’ button near the top of the page too.

The new web previews are only accessible from search results loaded in the desktop version of Safari or another desktop browser. The mobile version of the browser offers to take you to the Continue reading “Mac and iOS App Store Web Preview Pages Get a Makeover”

Apple Debuts Redesigned Web Interface for iOS and Mac Apps

Apple recently introduced an all new design for App Store apps on the web, with a new, cleaner interface that puts screenshots and critical information front and center.

You can see the new redesigned interface by accessing or searching for any iOS or Mac app while on the web. With iOS apps, you’ll see a clear notice that you need to open up the App Store to download the app, while with a Mac app, you’ll get a notice letting you know you need to open up the Mac App Store.



App listings include the app’s name, icon, and screenshots, along with information like star rating, ranking, purchase price and whether or not there are in-app purchases.

While an app’s description used to be the first thing that came up when accessing an app on the web, it’s now listed underneath screenshots, which, as 9to5Mac points out, are iPhone X

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Quick Tip: Disabling iOS App Rating and Review Pop-ups

Toggle this switch off to disable rating/review pop-ups

Toggle this switch off to disable rating/review pop-ups

Positive reviews on the App Store drive sales and downloads of apps, so it’s no wonder that iOS app developers like to inundate us with pop-ups that plead with us to “review this app”, “remind me later”, and occasionally give us a “No thanks” button that only delays the inevitable return of the pop-up in a week or so. The pop-ups can be mildly annoying or enough to make you delete an app. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a built-in way to stop being nagged by your iOS device so often? There is — and we’ll show you how to disable those rating and review pop-ups in this short article.

The ability to disable the app review and rating pop-ups was first beta-tested for iOS 10.3 in early 2017, although the feature didn’t actually appear until later. If you’ve updated to iOS 11, you’ll find

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Confide Introducing New ‘ScreenShield’ SDK That Will Allow Developers to ‘Screenshot-Proof’ Their Apps

Private and secure messaging app Confide is gaining an interesting new feature that will successfully prevent its users from taking a screenshot within the app, and the team behind Confide is also planning to release the anti-screenshot technology as an SDK that can be used by other app developers.

Called ScreenShieldKit, the new SDK prevents screenshots, screen recording, QuickTime recording, Screen mirroring, Xcode screenshots, and viewing an app’s contents in the App Switcher on both the iPhone and the iPad.



There is no dedicated API to stop screenshots from being taken in iOS like there is in Android, so ScreenShieldKit is using a whiteout feature instead. In an app that has ScreenShieldKit enabled, screenshots taken are a blank aside from a single status bar at the top. The same goes for recordings.

Apple does have a feature that prevents screenshots from being taken in apps that stream video content from

Continue reading “Confide Introducing New ‘ScreenShield’ SDK That Will Allow Developers to ‘Screenshot-Proof’ Their Apps”

Panic to Discontinue Development of Transmit iOS

Panic has announced that it will remove Transmit iOS from the App Store soon. In a blog post today, Cabel Sasser explains that the revenue generated by the paid-up-front app was insufficient to justify its continued development. Sasser doesn’t rule out a return of Transmit to iOS some day, and the move does not affect the company’s other iOS apps or Transmit 5 for the Mac, but adding features to the iOS app to match those debuted in the Mac version last year would make Transmit iOS ‘a guaranteed money-loser.’

This is not Panic’s first pull-back from the App Store. In 2016, Panic pulled the plug on Status Board, its widget-style app for tracking data through web APIs. Why Transmit wasn’t sustainable on iOS is unclear:

Was the use case for this app too edge-casey or advanced? Did we overestimate the amount of file management people want Continue reading “Panic to Discontinue Development of Transmit iOS”