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

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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

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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”

Steve Jobs Interview Covering the First Month of the App Store Released by The Wall Street Journal

One month after the App Store debuted, Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal sat down with Steve Jobs to see how it was going. Today, The Wall Street Journal released a full transcript and audio of the interview on their site. The interview is behind the Journal’s paywall, but it’s worth a read or listen if you have access to it.

At the time of Jobs’ conversation with Wingfield, there were over 1500 apps on the Store, and Jobs estimated around 50 were being added each day. According to Jobs, of the 1500+ apps on the App Store:

27% of them are free, leaving 73% paid. Of the paid apps, over 90% are under $10.

Jobs put the numbers in perspective by comparing them to iTunes downloads:

Users have downloaded over 60 million apps from the App Store in the first 30 days…. That is 30% as big as Continue reading “Steve Jobs Interview Covering the First Month of the App Store Released by The Wall Street Journal”

The Decade-Long Road to Trism 2

Variety has an in-depth profile of Steve Demeter, the former Wells Fargo software developer who created Trism, one of the App Store’s earliest hit games.

Demeter became the face of the App Store gold rush for many people. His game, Trism, was one of the 500 apps that debuted on the App Store 10 years ago next Tuesday. The game, which incorporated the iPhone’s accelerometer, earned $250,000 in its first two months. With 3 million lifetime downloads, many at $4.99 each, Demeter quit his job as a developer at Wells Fargo to work on a sequel, eventually pouring all of the original game’s earnings into the effort:

Lost in the shadow of his initial success and worrying about a sophomore slump, the development of “Trism 2” became a nightmare cycle of starting and restarting, creating and destroying.

Eventually, Trism’s earnings dried up and Demeter got a job at Continue reading “The Decade-Long Road to Trism 2”

10 years of the App Store in 10+ facts

Apple has a big anniversary coming – the App Store will be ten-years old on July 10.

“We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store,” said VP, Phil Schiller, in an Apple release celebrating this looming anniversary.

I thought it might be good to find 10 interesting facts about the store as it celebrates its tenth anniversary.

Steve Jobs knew how to listen

Steve Jobs wasn’t keen on launching an App Store at first, he was concerned third-party apps could damage device or network performance or attract viruses.

Not for the first time, Jobs listened to what people said and changed his mind.

Apple launched the App Store alongside the iPhone 3G in 2008. This is what he said when he announced the store in March 2008: “…You’re a developer and you’ve just spent two weeks or maybe a

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Apple Shares App Store Retrospective Ahead of 10th Anniversary

Ahead of the App Store’s upcoming 10th anniversary on Tuesday, July 10, Apple today shared some App Store history, exploring significant App Store milestones and sharing testimonials from Apple execs, app developers, and more on how the App Store put mobile businesses first, transformed gaming, improved accessibility, bolstered health, revolutionized education, and changed lives.



The App Store launched on July 10, 2008 with a total of 500 apps, which Apple says ignited a “cultural, social, and economic phenomenon” that has, over the past decade, created a place for iOS users of all ages to get the best apps. From Phil Schiller, Apple marketing chief:

“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations — from the innovative apps that developers have dreamed up, to the way customers have made apps part of their daily lives — and this is just the beginning. We could

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Apple Celebrates the App Store’s 10th Anniversary

Next week the App Store turns 10. Ahead of that momentous date, Apple has published a new retrospective feature on what the last 10 years have been like:

When Apple introduced the App Store on July 10, 2008 with 500 apps, it ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more. Over the past decade, the App Store has created a safe place for users of all ages to get the very best apps and a vibrant app economy for developers of all sizes, from all over the world, to thrive. Today, customers in 155 countries are visiting the App Store more often, staying longer and downloading and using more apps than ever before.

While there have been many notable moments since apps first came to iPhone and later iPad, the milestones and testimonials below reflect some of the most Continue reading “Apple Celebrates the App Store’s 10th Anniversary”

Bethesda Sues Warner Bros for Copying Fallout Shelter With New Westworld iOS Game

Warner Bros’ new Westworld game for mobile devices is a “blatant rip-off” of Bethesda game Fallout Shelter, according to a lawsuit Bethesda filed in a Maryland U.S. District Court this week.

At issue are the similarities between the two games. In Fallout Shelter, which was first released in 2015, you run an underground bunker in the Fallout universe, directing your bunker inhabitants to build and run new facilities, go out on expeditions, and more, with the ultimate goal of building up the bunker.



Westworld, based on the popular HBO show and released this week, uses a similar concept, with an underground Delos facility that players are required to build out to create AI hosts and satisfy guests in the park. The ultimate goal is to build up your underground Westworld facilities along with the above-ground park.



In the lawsuit, which was shared by Polygon, Bethesda accuses Warner Bros

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U.S. Supreme Court to Review Whether Lawsuit Accusing Apple of App Store Monopoly Should Proceed

In 2011, a class action lawsuit filed against Apple accused the company of operating an illegal monopoly by not allowing iPhone users to download mobile apps outside of its own App Store, reducing consumer choice.



The antitrust case was eventually dismissed in 2013 by a U.S. district court in Northern California, due to errors in the complaint, leading to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowing it to proceed in 2017.

That decision led to Apple’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which was granted today, meaning that the U.S. Supreme Court will now review the appeals court’s decision to reinstate the case last year, according to Reuters.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of Apple, urging the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision, arguing that it misapplied precedent from Illinois Brick

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This is What Apple Sends You When You Request Your Data

Privacy is a big topic right now, especially with the European Union’s recent move to enforcing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the European Union, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, anyone can request an immediate download of all of the data Apple currently has stored about them. While this convenience will make it to the USA and other countries later this year, it’s still possible to request to see your Apple data and have Apple send it to you. In this article, I’ll show you how to make that request, and also discuss what information they’ll provide you with.

Making The Request
Your journey to personal data transparency begins at apple.com/legal/privacy/contact/. On this page (see screenshot below), select the location of your account. For American, Canadian and Puerto Rican Apple customers, that will be the left-most button.

Click the button corresponding to the location of your Apple ID

(Click the button corresponding to the location of your Apple ID.)

Select the region or country you're in
Complete and submit this form to receive your personal data
Response from Apple's Privacy Response Team
A portion of the iCloud log file
A listing of all mail server logins
The CRM AppleCare Case Header file shows all AppleCare calls made and their resolution
Apple supplied the author with every sign-on he had made since September 2003
Some of the author's earliest iPhone app purchases from 2008
Details of every repair requested on any of the author's Apple devices since 2004

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Apple bans developers from creating, selling user Contacts databases

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

Apple is trying to make it harder for developers to abuse users’ information collected through apps. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple updated its App Store Review Guidelines last week with more detailed rules on what developers can do with users’ Contacts address book information. Now, developers cannot make databases using address book information collected from iPhone users, nor can they share or sell such databases to third parties.

“Do not use information from Contacts, Photos, or other APIs that access user data to build a contact database for your own use or for sale/distribution to third parties, and don’t collect information about which other apps are installed on a user’s device for the purposes of analytics or advertising/marketing,” states the updated guidelines. Those found in violation of

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Apple’s New App Store Guidelines Restrict Apps From Harvesting Data From iPhone Users’ Friends

Apple last week updated its App Store Review Guidelines for developers after unveiling iOS 12, introducing rules for remote mirroring apps, banning cryptocurrency mining, and introducing clear rules to allow developers to provide free trials for paid apps.

At the same time, Apple also quietly expanded its data sharing rules, as Bloomberg points out, introducing strict new guidelines that prevent app developers from collecting user data to build advertising profiles or contact databases. The rules also prohibit apps from harvesting data from an iPhone user’s contacts. From Apple’s updated 5.1.2 data sharing guidelines:

(iii) Apps should not attempt to surreptitiously build a user profile based on collected data and may not attempt, facilitate, or encourage others to identify anonymous users or reconstruct user profiles based on data collected from Apple-provided APIs or any data that you say has been collected in an “anonymized,” “aggregated,” or otherwise non-identifiable way.

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Apple Announces World Cup Content Coming to Siri, Apple TV, News, App Store, iBooks and More

Apple’s personal assistant Siri has been updated with support for sports ahead of the World Cup in Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, Apple announced today.

Sports support for Siri in the nine new countries expands Siri sports information to a total of 35 countries, including the United States.



Specific to the World Cup, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and Mac owners can ask Siri questions like:

  • When does France play Australia?
  • What teams are in group A?
  • Who is on the England squad?
  • Who won the Argentina-Iceland match?

In addition to expanding Siri sports support, Apple also plans to highlight football (soccer in the United States) apps and games throughout the month. Features will include tips on taking the perfect football photo and how to “get your football fix” on social media. Highlighted apps will include FOX NOW and BBC Sport, while featured games will

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Apple Clarifies App Review Guidelines to Promote Free Trial Options

It’s tough selling a paid up front app on the App Store. Users have no way of knowing ahead of time whether an app will fit their needs or not, and no one wants to spend money on an app only to find that it wasn’t what they expected. Fortunately, App Store review guidelines have been updated this week to address that problem. Matthew Humphries reports for PCMag:

The updated guidelines state that, “Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: “14-day Trial.” Prior to the start of the trial, your app must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality.”

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