App.io brings its HTML5 iOS app demos to interactive ads on mobile devices

I’ve covered App.io a few times in the past. The service, which allows app devs to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS apps on the web, first launched under the name “Kickfolio” back in 2012. The goal for the company was originally to let devs bring demos of their apps to promotional webpages and it eventually expanded the platform to include Facebook and other channels. Today, and around 2 million interactive app demos later, the company is announcing that it’s bringing those same app demos directly to mobile devices as interactive ads.

The ads go a step beyond the interactive app-like experience that Apple promised, but never quite delivered, with iAd, and allows users to play a demo of the app before deciding to purchase/download or even visit the App Store at all. The ad starts off as a banner or like any other ad but turns into a demo version of a native iOS app that is fully playable for a set period of time before prompting the user to visit the App Store. The company tells me in its initial tests it saw “3-5x higher conversion rates than normal mobile ads.” Read more

Microsoft says Office iPad apps hit 12 million downloads a week after release

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After announcing the release of the Office for iPad apps late last month, Microsoft announced today that the separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPad have collectively reached 12 million downloads a week after release. The number also included downloads of the OneNote app for iPad, which has been available for a couple of years leading up to the release of the Office apps, but Microsoft didn’t provide a breakdown of sales by app. Read more

Apple updates iWork for Mac and iOS with read-only sharing modes and much more

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Following today’s iWork for iCloud update, Apple has pushed out new versions of the iOS and OS X version of the productivity suite, providing feature parity with the online version. Pages (iOS / Mac), Keynote (iOS / Mac), and Numbers (iOS / Mac) each received a new read-only sharing mode to work with the iCloud version of that feature.

Each app also got a long list of changes and enhancements, which are listed below. You can get all of the updates for free if you already own the latest version of iWork. Apple recently started including a copy of the iWork and iLife suites along with new iOS devices and Macs, but users with older devices will need to purchase the current version separately if they haven’t already. Read more

XTouch turns any surface into touch-enabled controls for iOS apps

XTouch, an SDK created by a group at the University of Toronto’s Mobile Applications Lab and funded by JOLT, turns any surface into a touch-sensitive controller for iOS apps with no additional hardware. Since XTouch uses acoustics and vibrations to recognize taps on a surrounding surface, the only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad is placed on the same surface you want to use as a touchpad. An SDK is coming soon that will allow developers to think up many interesting implementations, but for now the company has released two apps that show off what XTouch is capable of. Read more

iTunes Connect issue halting new app and update submissions for developers (U: Apple says fixed)

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After just over a month since the last similar episode, several developers from around the world have reported a critical issue with iTunes Connect that is preventing new app and software update deployment to the App Store. Apple has noted the disruption on its developer system status page with a brief message: “Some users are experiencing a problem with [iTunes Connect].” The system status page lists the service disruption as occurring around 8 PM EST yesterday, but developers first began reporting problems with app and update submissions much earlier on Wednesday. The system status page does not report issues with any other developer services, and all consumer services report no issues. Apple does not provide a timeline for when it expects the disruption to be resolved nor does it offer the cause of the disruption.

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Apple launches new featured App Store section dedicated to taking selfies

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Apple has added a new section to the iOS App Store today promoting apps used to share selfies (via MacStories‘ Federico Viticci). Among the apps included are classics like Snapchat and the Justin Bieber-backed Shots and lesser-known apps such as selfie-editing app Facetune and an app called Front Flash that’s design to make it easier to take selfies in low light…

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