Apple announces 50 billionth app download winner, awards $10,000 App Store gift card

Apple-50-billion-app-downloads

Apple today has officially announced the winner of its $10,000 iTunes gift card giveaway in a press release after reaching 50 billion app downloads yesterday.

And the app that marked the 50 billionth download goes to: Say the Same Thing by Space Inch, LLC. Lucky winner Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio will be receiving a $10,000 App Store gift card for his download.

Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue provided the following statement:

“Apple would like to thank our incredible customers and developers for topping 50 billion apps downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers. We’re absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years.”

Apple’s full press release below: Read more

Apple’s App Store reaches 50 billion downloads

50 Billion

In just over a year since its 25 billion milestone, Apple’s App Store has just crossed the threshold of 50 billion downloads. As a reminder, the App Store launched just shy of five years ago, on July 10, 2008. The App Store has celebrated three major milestones since its launch, the first for the 10 billionth download in January of 2011, followed by 25 billion just a little over a year later.

In a press release this January, Apple noted that over 40 billion apps had been downloaded, meaning that one-fifth of all downloads from the App Store have already come in 2013. It remains quite remarkable that five years after launch, the App Store is still seeing such accelerated growth.

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Square adds gifts cards/passbook support, Instagram, BBC News, British Airways, Snapheal, VLC Streamer, more

Square Passbook gift cardsSquare Register version 2.5: Square is rolling out Passbook compatible gift cards for local businesses that users of the Square Wallet iPhone app can purchase and share with friends. To welcome the new feature, Square’s Register app also gets an update with the ability to accept the new gift cards via Square Wallet, Passbook, or QR code, as well as iPhone 5 support:

- Accept gift cards for your business from Square Wallet, Passbook and printed QR codes.
- iPhone 5 support and various improvements.

Instagram: Instagram has released a pretty big update to its app this afternoon, adding a revamped camera and camera roll access. Additionally, there are new grids for easy photo taking, new filter access page, and the addition of Foursquare data.

  • Instagram-themed shutter & shutter release button.
  • A preview of the most recent photo on your camera roll.
  • Improved Camera Roll image selector (iPhone 5 only) for quick access to your last photograph.
  • Optional grid guide for live photos and a permanent grid guide for the scale & crop screen.
  • Speed and reliability improvements.

BBC News version 1.7.7: Official iPhone 5 support for the BBC News iOS app:

- iPhone 5 support
- bug fixes

British Airways version 4.0: A big update to the BA iPhone app brings a completely redesigned UI that provides easy access to upcoming flights from the My Flights screen, as well as improvements for retrieving bookings and alternative boarding pass options. The updated app is also now fully iPhone 5 and iOS 6 compatible.

We’ve completely redesigned the app to make it easier to access all your upcoming flights and to address a number of issues

Snapheal version 2.1: Snapheal for Mac received an update today that includes a new and improved UI, a new crop tool, a “new algorithm for image retouch and adjust,” and much more:

- Brand new look and improved user experience, including 1 click to erase objects, faster selection, better way to save and share images, etc.
- New crop tool
- New algorithm for image retouch and adjust: faster performance, better color processing
- Enhanced lasso tool
- Improved algorithms for erasing multiple objects
- New clone&stamp tool, with better customization of brush opacity and softness

Instamac version 1.1: The recently launched Instamac Instagram client for Mac receives a ton of UI refinements, full Retina display support for Retina MacBook Pros, improved slideshow features, and more.

-We’ve spent a lot of time going through each and every user interface element to make Instamac the most elegant Instagram Client for the Mac.

Dungeon Hunter 3 version 1.4.0: Read more

Best Buy ratchets up the Apple sales with dedicated Apple ad against increased pricing competition [video]

The above ad has entered heavy rotation this weekend, while Best Buy has new deals on Apple- and Apple-related products (including $25 off $250+ purchases):

Best Buy takes 15 percent off all iTunes Gift Cards, both physical and digital, with free shipping.

Best Buy also continues to have significant discounts on iPod Touches, Nanos and Shuffles, as well as the rest of Apple products (including refurbished Airports starting at $39).

The competition is also moving, as MacMall continues to have big savings with its Cyber Monday sale and impressive “Door busters”:

11.6″ MacBook Air dual-core Intel Core i5 1.7GHz, 4GB & 64GB Flash Storage $849.99 ($150 off)
13.3″ MacBook Air dual-core Intel Core i5 1.8GHz, 4GB & 128GB Flash Storage $1,019.99 ($180 off)
iPad 2 16GB Wifi: $329 ($70 off and the lowest price we’ve ever seen new)

…while Amazon continues to match many competitive prices.

Of note, MacConnection’s Tech Holiday sale has some pretty remarkable prices, including: MacBook Airs starting at $699Retina MacBook Pros starting at $1,559  ($140 off Apple’s Price), and Mac Minis starting at $549.

As always, check our Apple product pages for the latest best prices on iPadsiPad MinisiPod TouchNanoShuffleMacBook ProsAirsiMacsMac Minis, and Apple TVs. More of our holiday shopping coverage below: Read more

Best Buy knocks 15% off of iTunes gift cards (Update: 20% off for Rewards members)

From 9to5Toys.com:

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Today only, Best Buy is knocking 15% off of iTunes gift cards in all denominations both in physical and online with free shipping. Update: Best Buy Reward Zone members can get 20% off (free to sign up). The discount applies to all of Apple’s media including music, videos, movies, books, iOS and Mac Apps and more.

Perhaps you can knock out your holiday shopping a little earlier this year?
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Walmart offers $100 iTunes/App Store downloadable gift card for $80

From 9to5Toys.com:

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For a limited time, Walmart.com is offering a $100 downloadable Apple iTunes/App Store gift card for just $80. These popular gift cards can be used on iBooks, iTunes Movies, Videos, music, Mac and iOS Apps.  We’ve heard these do work internationally if paid for with a US source and used in the US iTunes/App Stores.

You are basically getting 20% off every Apple media purchase you make.  Also makes a great gift…we imagine.

Update:

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