App Store Bundles Gain Support for Mac Apps and Free Apps With Subscriptions

Apple today announced expanded features for App Store bundles, introducing support for both Mac apps and free apps with subscriptions for the first time.

Mac app developers are now able to create bundles of up to 10 apps, allowing customers to purchase multiple Mac apps at once at a discounted price.

Bundles like these have long been available through the iOS app store for purchasing multiple games or apps at one time, but until today, Mac App Store developers were not able to create similar bundles.

Apple is also now allowing app developers to set up bundles that include free apps with auto-renewable subscriptions, letting users purchase an app bundle and access multiple apps at one subscription price.

For free apps with subscriptions, each app in the bundle must have an approved auto-renewable subscription. If a user subscribes in one app, they must be able to access all other apps

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A Quick Guide to iOS 12 Siri Shortcuts

macOS High Sierra Siri iconWith the addition of Siri Shortcuts in iOS 12, Apple’s intelligent assistant became a lot more powerful. Siri Shortcuts give iOS 12 users the ability to create their own voice commands for various built-in functions, but the real power comes from being able to control third-party apps that support the feature.

In this guide, we will not be covering the Shortcuts app that is also new to iOS 12. This app used to be known as Workflow, was purchased by Apple in 2017, and can be used to perform multiple actions on many apps through a sophisticated interface that includes a number of programming features. While these powerful shortcuts can be launched by Siri, we’re strictly targeting Siri Shortcuts that work with a specific app when invoked by voice. (Get more iOS 12 tips here)

What Apps Support Siri Shortcuts?
In order to create a Siri Shortcut for

"(Suggested
(A list of suggested Siri Shortcuts is created and updated by iOS 12)
(Check an app's version history to see if support for Siri Shortcuts has been added)
(Several suggested shortcuts for the Health app)
(The interface for setting a voice command for the Siri Shortcut)
(The phrase that will tell me how far I've walked and run today)
(Siri can now tell me how far I've walked and run)
(A suggested Siri Shortcut for a Trello board appears)
(The top of the screen to add a Siri command to open the Trello board)
(Saying "Show me future Rocket Yard posts" instantly displays the proper Trello board)

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12 things Apple’s Tim Cook told us this week

Apple CEO Tim Cook shared an interesting and in-depth interview with Vice recently.

You can watch the whole thing here or below.

Here also are the TL;DR highlights of what he had to say:

On privacy

  • Apple still sees data privacy as a human right
  • Cook says he has a long list of decisions the company has taken that favour privacy over convenience
  • “I see privacy as one of the most important issues of the 21stcentury. We’re at a stage when there’s more information about you on your phone than there is in your house.”
  • “I’m not a pro-regulation person, I believe in the free market. However, when the free market gets it wrong we need some regulation.”
  • “Technology itself doesn’t want to be good or bad, it’s up to the creator.”
  • We are not forming a detailed profile of our customers and then selling
    Alternative War: Unabridged

    Continue reading “12 things Apple’s Tim Cook told us this week”

How to Download macOS Mojave and Avoid Common Problems

One of the first steps in installing macOS Mojave is acquiring the Mojave installer from the App Store. While this is generally an easy process, it can have a few twists and turns that can leave you frustrated.

In this guide, we take a look at:

  • How to download the macOS Mojave installer
  • Problems you may encounter, including how to convert from beta testing to using the release version
  • Other issues you may experience

Before you start downloading, you should check to see if your Mac is able to run Mojave. You will find all the information you need in the Rocket Yard Guide: How to Get Ready for macOS Mojave.

How to Download Mojave

The Mac App Store is the primary host for macOS Mojave, and it’s likely that the new OS will be prominently displayed under the Featured tab. But finding the macOS Mojave tile at the top

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A Quick Guide to Preparing Your Devices for iOS 12

At Wednesday’s Apple “Gather Round” event, one of the expected announcements is the date that iOS 12 will be released to the public. It could be as early as this week, so The Rocket Yard wants you to be prepared for the release with this quick guide on how to prepare for iOS 12.

Clean Up Your Device

We’re not referring to physical cleaning of your device — although that’s not a bad idea. Instead, we’re talking about doing a digital cleanup of the apps and files on your device as well as documents that may be stored locally.

iOS 12 will probably require about 2GB of free space on a device in order to be installed. The installer can actually offload some apps temporarily to free up space, but it’s not a bad idea to occasionally go through your devices and eliminate outdated or unused apps.

On your iPhone, iPad

(iPhone Storage - showing ways to optimize available storage)
(An app listing listing showing app size and storage used by documents and data)
(Turn on Automatic Downloads, but turn off cellular data to avoid overages)
(Settings > Apple ID at left, iCloud Backup controls at right)
(Click 'remove profile' to opt out of the iOS 12 beta program)

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Privacy Policies Will Be Required for All Apps and Updates Beginning October 3rd

If you go to an app’s product page on any of Apple’s app stores, sometimes you’ll see a link to a privacy policy and sometimes you won’t. That’s because when iOS, macOS, or tvOS apps are submitted for beta testing or sale, developers have the option but aren’t required to link to a webpage with a privacy policy or, in the case of tvOS, include the policy directly in the app’s product page because the Apple TV doesn’t support web browsing. That will change soon.

As of October 3, 2018, any new app or update uploaded for beta testing or sale must include a privacy policy. Apple announced the change on its App Store Connect developer portal, which requires a developer account to access. Apple also noted in its announcement that a developer’s privacy policy link or text will only be editable when a developer submits a new version of Continue reading “Privacy Policies Will Be Required for All Apps and Updates Beginning October 3rd”

All New and Updated App Store Apps Required to Have a Privacy Policy Starting October

Apple has announced that, starting October 3, 2018, all new apps and app updates will require a privacy policy in order to be submitted for distribution on the App Store or through TestFlight for beta testing purposes.



Apple already requires a privacy policy for apps that access personal information, including apps that offer subscriptions, accept Apple Pay, or use Apple frameworks such as HomeKit, HealthKit, or CareKit. Now, the requirement will extend to all apps, including basic ones that do not share data in any way.

It does not appear that existing apps on the App Store will be affected by this move until they are updated on October 3 or later, so long-outdated apps may remain without a privacy policy if they are no longer maintained.

Apple detailed the upcoming changes in the News section of its App Store Connect portal for developers on Thursday:

Starting October 3, 2018,

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Facebook violates Apple’s data-gathering rules, pulls VPN from App Store

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Facebook is the latest company to violate Apple’s new app guidelines surrounding data collection. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook pulled Onavo Protect, a VPN app, from Apple’s App Store after the iPhone maker determined that Onavo violated its data-collection rules.

Facebook purchased the Israeli company Onavo back in 2013. Since then, its free-to-download app has been marketed as a VPN service that blocks harmful websites and keeps users’ personal data safe.

However, Onavo also allows Facebook to track and analyze customer usage data. That treasure trove of data lets Facebook understand how customers use their mobile devices when they’re not using the main Facebook app. The app’s description in the Google Play Store (where it remains available to download) includes a statement about how Onavo works to Facebook’s benefit.

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Facebook Removing Onavo VPN From App Store After Apple Says It Violates Data Collection Policies

Facebook today removed VPN app Onavo Protect from the iOS App Store after Apple decided that it violates App Store data collection policies, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Apple earlier this month told Facebook officials that the Onavo app, which serves as a virtual private network, violates June App Store rules that prevent apps from harvesting data to build advertising profiles or contact databases.

Earlier this month, Apple officials informed Facebook that the app violated new rules outlined in June designed to limit data collection by app developers, the person familiar with the situation said. Apple informed Facebook that Onavo also violated a part of its developer agreement that prevents apps from using data in ways that go beyond what is directly relevant to the app or to provide advertising, the person added.

Facebook and Apple met last week to discuss the Onavo app, and last Thursday, Apple suggested that

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Apple Accepting Mercy Corps Donations to Help People Affected by Flooding in Kerala, India

Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices as well as its homepage allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps to support those who have been affected by massive flooding in Kerala, India.

Flooding began in Kerala earlier this summer with the arrival of monsoon rains, and picked up again on August 8 following days of torrential downpour. Approximately 420 people have died since the flooding began, and more than a million are living in relief camps.



Apple is allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps using credit and debit cards that are already on file with the iTunes Store and App Store for a no-hassle donation process. Apple customers can donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, or $200, 100 percent of which goes to Mercy Corps.

Apple often uses the iTunes Store and App Stores to raise money for charity during

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Apple complies with China’s rules again, pulls gambling apps from App Store

Enlarge / A customer inspects the 2013 iPhone at the Wangfujing flagship store in Beijing. (credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Apple removed thousands of gambling apps from China’s App Store after the company came under fire from state-run media. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant removed as many as 25,000 illegal gambling apps, many of which were disguised as official lottery apps, from China’s App Store after China Central Television criticized the company for not doing more to catch and remove banned content.

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in an emailed statement to The Wall Street Journal. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the

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Apple Confirms Removing as Many as 25,000 Illegal Gambling-Related Apps From App Store in China

Apple today confirmed it has removed “many” illegal gambling apps, and developers distributing them, from its App Store in China.

The Wall Street Journal:

“Gambling apps are illegal and not allowed on the App Store in China,” Apple said in a statement Monday. “We have already removed many apps and developers for trying to distribute illegal gambling apps on our App Store, and we are vigilant in our efforts to find these and stop them from being on the App Store.”

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said 25,000 apps have been removed as of Sunday—which would be less than two percent of the estimated 1.8 million apps on the App Store in the country—but Apple hasn’t confirmed any numbers.

Apple began cracking down on gambling-related apps earlier this month, providing affected developers with the following explanation:

In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply

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Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions

Kif Leswing reports for Business Insider on a meeting Apple held with select app developers last year where the subscription model was pushed:

An Apple representative said at the meeting that paid apps represent 15% of total app sales and is on the decline, according to a person who was there who did not want to be identified to maintain their relationship with Apple.
[…]
The message was clear: successful apps now focus on getting regular engagement from their users, not one-time sales. For developers, that meant embracing the subscription model.

If you focus on paid apps, instead of subscriptions, Apple warned, your business will eventually hit a cap.

This report comes hot on the heels of Apple’s recent quarterly earnings report, during which Tim Cook shared, “Paid subscriptions from Apple and third parties have now surpassed 300 million, an increase of more than 60 percent in Continue reading “Apple Privately Advocates for Developer Adoption of Subscriptions”

InfoWars app will stay in the iOS App Store—here’s Apple’s reason why

(credit: Steve Rhodes)

Apple will continue to allow the InfoWars mobile app on its App Store even after removing almost all of the podcast episodes associated with Alex Jones’ conspiracy-theory website from its platforms. The iPhone maker released a statement to BuzzFeed News explaining its decision to allow the InfoWars app to remain downloadable from its store.

“We strongly support all points of view being represented on the App Store, as long as the apps are respectful to users with differing opinions, and follow our clear guidelines, ensuring the App Store is a safe marketplace for all,” the company’s statement said. “We continue to monitor apps for violations of our guidelines and if we find content that violates our guidelines and is harmful to users we will remove those apps from the store as we have done previously.”

The decision comes after Apple removed five out of the

Continue reading “InfoWars app will stay in the iOS App Store—here’s Apple’s reason why”

Numerous Apps Caught up in Apple’s New App Store Review Policy to Ban Gambling-Related Apps

In an attempt to crack down on gambling-related apps in the App Store, Apple has today implemented a new App Review policy for individual developers, but many apps that are being banned as a result appear to have very little to do with gambling at all.

Apple has been providing affected developers with the following reason for their app’s removal from the App Store:

In order to reduce fraudulent activity on the App Store and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity, we are no longer allowing gambling apps submitted by individual developers. The includes both

Continue reading “Numerous Apps Caught up in Apple’s New App Store Review Policy to Ban Gambling-Related Apps”

Apple Accepting Red Cross Donations for California Fire Relief

Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices allowing Apple customers to donate to the American Red Cross to support those who have been affected by the fires that have devastated Northern California.

Impacting Shasta County and the town of Redding, the Carr Fire has become the sixth most destructive fire in California’s history, ripping through more than 125,000 acres and destroying or damaging over 1,500 homes and buildings. Other smaller fires, such as the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park, are also raging in California due to the hot, dry weather.



The Carr Fire started on July 23 after a car caught fire on California State Route 299. Six people have been killed, including two firefighters. The fire is 39 percent contained at this point, but high winds expected this weekend could hamper efforts to put it out.

Apple is allowing

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Apple shuts App Store affiliate program, imperiling recommendation sites

Enlarge / The note sent to affiliate program members letting them know a major source of revenue will be going away. (credit: TouchArcade)

Apple is shutting down an App Store affiliate program that shared a small percentage of revenue generated by third-party links to purchase apps or in-app content. The move will likely have an outsized impact on sites that provide editorial reviews and recommendations of mobile games and other apps, which rely on that affiliate revenue for much of their budget.

The announcement, which will become effective October 1, comes just over a year after Apple cut the program’s revenue sharing rates for mobile apps from 7 percent to 2.5 percent. Affiliates will still continue to earn a commission on linked sales for iTunes movies, TV shows, music, and books, as well as subscriptions to Apple Music.

In a note sent to affiliate program members, Apple said

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Apple Announces Apps and In-App Purchases Will Be Removed from its Affiliate Program October 1st

Apple has announced that apps and In-App Purchases will no longer be part of the iTunes Affiliate Program effective October 1, 2018. The iTunes Affiliate Program pays a commission from Apple’s portion of the sale of apps and other media when a purchase is made with a link that contains the affiliate credentials of a member of the program. Anyone can join, but the Affiliate Program is used most heavily by websites that cover media sold by Apple and app developers.

This isn’t the first time Apple has had this part of its affiliate program in its crosshairs. In April 2017 Apple gave participants in the program 6-days notice that it was reducing commissions on apps from 7% to 2.5%. The angry fallout caused Apple to issue a face-saving ‘clarification’ that the change would only apply to In-App Purchases.

What I said then holds true today:

With ad revenue Continue reading “Apple Announces Apps and In-App Purchases Will Be Removed from its Affiliate Program October 1st”

Apple’s Services Revenue Up 31% Year-Over-Year in 3Q 2018, Company is ‘Thrilled’ About Upcoming Services Pipeline

Apple’s services category continues to see rapid growth, further cementing its position as an important revenue driver for Apple.

During the third fiscal quarter of 2018, Apple’s services revenue brought in $9.55 billion in revenue, up 31 percent from the $7.27 billion in revenue services earned in the third quarter of 2017.

The services category includes iTunes, the App Store, the Mac App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare.



According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple “feels great” about the momentum in its services business, and the company saw double digit growth in its active services installed base. This quarter’s growth was driven by strong performance in a number of area.

Subscriptions from Apple and third parties have surpassed $300 million, an increase of 60 percent year over year. Cook called the revenue from subscriptions “significant” and an “increasing portion of services.”

There are now

Continue reading “Apple’s Services Revenue Up 31% Year-Over-Year in 3Q 2018, Company is ‘Thrilled’ About Upcoming Services Pipeline”

9 iPhone apps Steve Jobs was using in 2008

In August 2008, Steve Jobs spoke with journalist Nick Wingfield to discuss the future of mobile devices, apps and the iPhone. Apple had only opened its App Store up for business a few weeks before. Steve Jobs revealed he was using the following apps on his iPhone:

Who recalls how the App Store looked in 2008?

The apps Steve Jobs used in 2008

As well as Apple’s stock apps, Mail and Safari, Jobs also admitted to having the following apps installed on his iPhone:

  • Yelp
  • Mandarin Phrasebook
  • New York Times
  • Bloomberg
  • Epocrates
  • Anatomy
  • Facebook (“The Facebook app’s pretty cool. A lot of people are using it,” said Jobs.)
  • Units
  • Sudoku

7 Jobs insights for the future of mobile

More seriously, the interview also saw Steve Jobs share a whole bunch of information about how he saw the future of mobile devices. Apple had only opened its App Store up Continue reading “9 iPhone apps Steve Jobs was using in 2008”