App Store (iOS) Stories December 27, 2018

There’s an app currently circulating around Apple’s App Store pretending to be the official set-up companion for Amazon’s Alexa, and it’s fooled its way to the top of the download charts. At the time of this writing, the fake app sits at #60 overall in the general “Top Free” apps section, while in an even more concerning top 10 place under the Utilities sections at #6.

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App Store (iOS) Stories June 3, 2016

WWDC-Wallpaper-2016

Recently departed (but still friend of the site!) Mark Gurman went on the Jay and Farhad Show podcast this evening and gave his predictions for WWDC 2016 and beyond. Most of the conversation material was either posted previously on 9to5Mac or elsewhere but there were certainly some new “whispers”… expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories May 13, 2016

app-store

We heard last month that Apple has a team of around 100 people working on revamping the search functionality in the iOS App Store. If true, it’s long overdue because App Store search is a truly terrible experience. You know it, I know it, developers know it, everyone in the world knows it – except, it had always appeared, the Apple execs in charge of it.

If Apple is actually going to fix App Store search so that it works, that’s excellent news. But one part of the report sounded distinctly less encouraging.

One of the methods that Apple is considering is paid search. Essentially, developers and companies could pay to have their app shown more prominently in search results.

That gives the impression that Apple is more focused on generating additional revenue than delivering a great user experience …

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App Store (iOS) Stories May 5, 2016

app-store-search

[UPDATE: Users in comments and elsewhere are reporting similar issues with books and music, and Apple has now updated its status page.

Users are experiencing a problem with the App Store. We are investigating and will update the status as more information becomes available.]

[UPDATE 2: Apple says the issue is now resolved.]

A number of Reddit and Twitter users are reporting problems searching both iOS and Mac App Stores, with major iOS apps like Star Wars, Spotify and Google Apps failing to show up in search results – and even Apple’s own Xcode failing to show in searches of the Mac App Store. I’m seeing the same issues myself …

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App Store (iOS) Stories March 17, 2016

malware

Non-jailbroken iPhones are usually close to immune from malware thanks to Apple vetting every app before it’s made available in the App Store. So far, malware has relied on abusing enterprise certificates designed to allow companies to distribute apps to their own phones. But security company Palo Alto Networks has discovered a new piece of malware that can infect iPhones by exploiting a vulnerability in Apple’s DRM mechanism.

AceDeceiver is the first iOS malware we’ve seen that abuses certain design flaws in Apple’s DRM protection mechanism — namely FairPlay — to install malicious apps on iOS devices regardless of whether they are jailbroken.

AceDeceiver currently uses a geotag so that it is only activated when a user is located in China, but a simple switch could allow it to infect iPhones elsewhere …

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App Store (iOS) Stories January 27, 2016

Deliveries for Mac 'Add Delivery' input

Delveries by Junecloud has received major updates today for both their iOS and Mac applications. For the unitiated, Deliveries is an all-in-one package tracker for both iOS and Mac. Allowing the user to track multiple packages from various couriers, the app is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to have to jump between different delivery company sites.

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App Store (iOS) Stories January 4, 2016

How-to: Make built-in iOS apps vanish, and force app updates on iOS 9

One of the minor irritants for those of us who have slight OCD tendencies is that there’s no way you can remove built-in iPhone apps – the best you can do is tuck them away inside a folder, which in my case is called unused.

But YouTube user Jose Rodriguez has found a couple of ways to actually render them invisible – at least for now. The main method, shown in the video below, works for iOS 9 to 9.2. Essentially you drag the app toward the right edge of a folder, then let it go. You then repeat this, but the second time keep touching it while you press the home button – the app then disappears …

App Store (iOS) Stories November 26, 2015

Apple Black Friday Gameplan – knock out holiday shopping quickly, save tons of cash

Update: We’ve got hundreds of items in our Apple Black Friday Mac/iPhone/iPad accessories and software guide

As the Thanksgiving turkey and wine buzz starts to wear off and we head into the pinnacle of American consumerism known as Black Friday, we here at 9to5Mac have some tips which should make the shopping experience pleasant, efficient and productive. Over the next 24 hours, everything Apple related will be at the lowest prices of the year. We’re going to guide you to getting in, saving a bunch of cash and getting on your way.

First some don’ts:

  • Don’t for any reason actually go to a physical store. The 2-3 $150 50″ Best Buy TVs per store isn’t worth being in the vicinity of Black Friday shoppers and the “Door Busting”. It’s a nightmare out there. Go to a park. Play with your kids. Spend a few minutes with us and we’ll knock out that gifting.
  • Don’t actually buy anything online until Black Friday. Prices keep dropping in the runup to Black Friday. Wait. Enjoy the time with your family, watch some football. If you must, grab some small ticket items and get those out of the way. If you miss something, it will likely be around again on “Cyber Monday”.
  • Don’t buy anything at an Apple Store or Apple.com. Apple has outsourced Black Friday to their retail partners and have normal prices across the board. The stuff you buy at Target/Best Buy/Walmart/Amazon/etc.com is the exact same product and warranty you get at Apple. Pro-Tip: Apple Stores are for showrooming and repairs.
  • Don’t touch that dial. Stick with us here at 9to5Mac, 9to5Google and most importantly 9to5Toys for all of the best deals. Heck, now’s the time to subscribe to 9to5Toys TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications. We’ve got a team of 20 people scouring the web for the best deals out there and tomorrow it is going to come fast and furious.

As for Apple products, we’ve distilled the absolute best deals out there into just a few options. Important considerations include state tax at time of purchase, gift cards vs. actual savings, shipping and rewards. Also, AppleCare discounts. Here’s the quick rundown:

Apple Watch

Target, B&H and Best Buy in the US have the biggest discounts we’ve seen this year. Best Buy will knock off $50 on Sport and $100 on Stainless. Target gives you a $100 gift card on both models which is of course good for an additional 5% cash back using their RedCard. Both sites charge tax in all 50 states but offer free shipping.

However, the best option might be B&H Photo which offers the Apple Watch in fewer varieties than Best Buy but for the same $50 off Sport/$100 off Stainless. In addition, B&H throws in a $50 gift card, B&H only charges Tax in New York State which may save you big money.

B&H Photo:

Best Buy:

Target:

Apple Watch Sport starts at $349 and comes with a free $100 Target Gift Card. Use your REDcard to save an additional 5% and your effective net cost is just $231.55. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen on new Apple Watches. Target will throw in the free gift card on any in-stock Apple Watch.

Apple TV

Target has the New Apple TV for ~$50 off in store but those prices will likely hit retailers like Walmart ($112) tomorrow. HHGregg also is expected to have some availability on Black Friday at reduced cost. Staples has $25 off if you checkout with Visa Checkout. The 3rd Gen Apple TV is $50 in a number of places and $40 Geek squad refurb at Best Buy. Stay tuned.

iPods

For those of us that still love the iPod touch, there are a few nice deals around. Best Buy cuts $50 across the board, Target cuts $40-$60 and Walmart cuts $35.

iPhone

iPhones with plans from the major US carriers are marked down significantly in a number of retail outlets

iPad

iPad Air/2

iPad mini 2/3/4

iPad Pro

Macs

Mac prices and inventory will fluctuate wildly on Black Friday. Best Buy gives an extra $50 off to students on iMacs and MacBooks

Retina 12-inch MacBooks are now widely available in Gold, Silver and Space Gray. The best prices as of this writing are:

MacBook Airs: B&H are running the table as of this writing with $120 off across the board, Tax only in New York and 6 months of Parallels Access but things will likely change – stay tuned.

MacBook Pro

B&H is leading the way with $150-$500 off 13-inch MacBook Pros and $200-$500 off 15.4-inch MacBook Pros. We expect to see some lower prices at eBay and other locations through the day.

iMacs

The entry level iMac is a whopping $200 off at Best Buy ($899) and with the .EDU  credit drops down to $850 shipped. After that B&H is leading the way with at least $100-$300 off on standard models and MacMall leads the way on custom configs. We’ve heard whispers that a retailler is going to do some serious price drops so we’ll post those when they happen.

Mac mini:

B&H takes $50 off the base model which now starts at $449 and $70 and $100 off the higher models. Other places take off less but will likely drop prices tomorrow.

Mac Pros:

Again, B&H has the lowest base model price and most of the configurations along with MacMall.

The above prices and inventory will likely be all over the place on Black Friday so we’ll be updating frequently. Thanks again for joining us for Black Friday 2015.

App Store (iOS) Stories November 24, 2015

Vine comes to the Apple Watch with favorite videos and a complication

Twitter’s Vine today launched an application for the the Apple Watch, bringing the ability for Vine users to watch videos that interest them on their wrists. As noted in Vine’s announcement, the simplified Vine interface allows users to quickly watch videos from either the featured category or from their favorite Vine accounts. Of course, the application also allows users to like and Re-Vine clips from the Apple Watch. Notably, the application also includes a watch face complication so users who post videos to Vine can quickly measure their loops. In related news, Vine’s updated iPhone application now lets users more easily swipe between videos.

App Store (iOS) Stories November 23, 2015

Apple celebrates App Store records as it notes iTunes Connect’s usual holiday break

Apple has posted the dates of the usual holiday shutdown of iTunes Connect, running for eight days from 22 to 29 December inclusive. During this time, developers will not be able to submit either new apps or updates to existing ones.

Developers can still schedule apps for release during these dates, but they will need to be submitted and approved beforehand. Other iTunes Connect functionality, such as access to analytics data, will remain available.

In the post on its developer website, Apple notes the record downloads, revenue and active customers for the App Store.

Because of your incredible apps, the App Store crossed 100 billion cumulative downloads. Revenue from the App Store increased 25% year over year, and the number of transacting customers grew 18%, setting a new all-time record. We want to thank you for all your hard work and dedication to our platforms.

Apple announced at the start of the year that developers have now collectively earned more than $10B from the App Store.

App Store (iOS) Stories November 20, 2015

verge-2015-11-06_16-40-28.0

Developers of pro apps have long complained that Apple’s App Store policies are a barrier to them creating iOS versions of popular Mac apps. The launch of the iPad Pro has brought the issue front and center, with a number of developers sharing their thoughts with The Verge.

There are two key issues, they say. First, pro apps are expensive, and users want to satisfy themselves that they are worth the money before they pay. Free trials are the usual way to achieve this with desktop apps, but the App Store doesn’t allow them to offer the same option for iOS apps …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories November 4, 2015

xcodeghost-s

Security firm FireEye said in a blog post that XcodeGhost – a fake version of Xcode that injected malware into genuine apps – remains a threat. FireEye has identified a more advanced version of the compromised app development tool, XcodeGhost S, which has been designed to infect iOS 9 apps and allow compromised apps to escape detection by Apple.

XcodeGhost is planted in different versions of Xcode, including Xcode 7 (released for iOS 9 development). In the latest version, which we call XcodeGhost S, features have been added to infect iOS 9 and bypass static detection.

We have worked with Apple to have all XcodeGhost and XcodeGhost samples we have detected removed from the App Store.

The company said that by monitoring its customers’ networks, it identified 210 enterprises with infected apps running inside their networks – a third of them in the USA – generating 28,000 attempts to connect to the XcodeGhost Command and Control (CnC) servers …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories November 2, 2015

indoor-survey

Apple has an Indoor Survey app on the iOS App Store, designed to help pinpoint locations inside a store, restaurant or other business – but it doesn’t show up in a search, and you need to register in Apple Maps Connect to download it.

By dropping “points” on a map within the Survey App, you indicate your position within the venue as you walk through. As you do so, the indoor Survey App measures the radio frequency (RF) signal data and combines it with an iPhone’s sensor data. The end result is indoor positioning without the need to install special hardware … 

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App Store (iOS) Stories October 12, 2015

status

Some users on Reddit and Twitter are reporting that iTunes and the App Store are down. Other are able to access normally, suggesting that the issue is either small-scale or intermittent. Apple’s status page is not yet showing an issue, though it is common for Apple to be very slow to update the page.

The issue doesn’t seem to be specific to any one country, with reports from the U.S., Europe and Asia (including me in the UK) …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories September 29, 2015

Screenshot 2015-09-29 10.42.38Image via Jon Brodkin

Tomorrow will mark three months since the launch of iOS 8.4 and Apple Music, and this means that the first free trial sign-ups will begin expiring. In its latest push to retain users, Apple has begun emailing users with set-to-expire trials as well as pushing notifications to their devices. As can be seen in the image above, the notification encourages users to renew.

As we learned in the summer, users who do not manually end their free trial with Apple Music will be automatically opted into continuing their subscription for either $9.99 or $14.99 (family plan). Users who wish to not continue with Apple Music can disable their subscriptions manually via their iTunes account page. Last week, our own Ben Lovejoy weighed the pros and cons of Apple Music in order to make his own renewal decision.

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App Store (iOS) Stories September 24, 2015

xcodeghost-apps

Apple has named the top 25 apps infected by the XcodeGhost malware, stating that “the number of impacted users drops significantly” for other compromised apps. Most security researchers now agree that the total number of infected apps is in or around four figures, with many of them still present in China’s App Store …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories September 23, 2015

xcodeghost

Apple is to make Xcode available for local download from servers based in China as part of its response to the XcodeGhost malware issue. The announcement was made on the Chinese social media site Sina by Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing (via CNET). It’s believed that many Chinese developers inadvertently downloaded the fake version because the official download was taking too long.

“In the US it only needs 25 minutes to download,” Schiller told Sina, admitting that in China getting Xcode “may take three times as long.” He told the Chinese publication that, to quell this problem, Apple would be providing an official source for developers in the People’s Republic to download Xcode domestically.

Analysis of infected apps by security researchers appears to be revealing a mix of good and bad news …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories September 22, 2015

xcodeghost

App analytics company SourceDNA – whose clients include Google, Amazon and Dropbox – claims that the compromised versions of many apps remain live in the Chinese App Store. This includes CamCard, which is a very popular app ranked #94.

The apps were infected with malware by a fake version of Xcode dubbed XcodeGhost which legitimate developers were fooled into downloading, believing it to be a copy of the genuine Apple app. A partial list of infected apps has been posted by security company Palo Alto Networks …  expand full story

App Store (iOS) Stories September 3, 2015

Screenshot 2015-09-03 12.09.39

Apple is making its App Store a bit more social. The company today opened up a new Twitter account dedicated to the App Store’s gaming section. The account, @AppStoreGames, is yet to be officially verified by Twitter, but it was retweeted this morning by the official and verified @AppStore account, which launched a few years ago.

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App Store (iOS) Stories August 31, 2015

android-wear-iphone-6

Android Wear finally has iOS support after Google pushed its iPhone-compatible software to the App Store. This means that Android has beaten Apple Watch to the cross-platform game. Or, at least it would, if iOS didn’t restrict it to a state of almost uselessness. The only device officially supported is the LG Watch Urbane although — as we previously revealed — the older generation Android Wear watches do work. I got it set up with my Moto 360, and have been mostly disappointed by my experience so far.

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App Store (iOS) Stories August 22, 2015

Screenshot 2015-08-22 17.16.22

Apple is continuing to transition its three main retail outlets, its physical retail stores, online store, and main website, into a single experience. Following the deep integration of the Apple Online Store throughout Apple.com, Apple is set to integrate its appointment scheduling services for the Genius Bar and in-store workshops deeply into the main website, according to sources briefed on the plans. The latest indications are that Apple will roll out these significant retail changes as soon as Tuesday, August 25th.

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App Store (iOS) Stories August 17, 2015

Getting your app Featured in the App Store may not be good news, suggests noted startup investor

If you submit your brand new app to Apple and they offer to make it a featured app when it hits the the App Store, you might think you’d have to be crazy to refuse. But startup investor M.G. Siegler suggests in a Medium post that you may want to think twice.

If you’re not familiar with the name, Siegler is a guy who ought to know a thing or two about startups. He’s a general partner at Google Ventures, was a founding partner of TechCrunch and has worked with startups since 2005.

There are two problems with having your app get a lot of exposure at launch, he argues. First, if your app is free, you may get the downloads but not the revenue.

Talking to a number of early stage companies that have been featured at launch recently, they all have similar stories: a ton of downloads that resulted in very few users that actually stuck around.

Second, whether free or paid, brand new apps are rarely ready for the big time – and if you leave people disappointed with version 1.0 of your app, you may not get a second chance.

So you’re featured and get all those downloads. Lots of high fives that Thursday afternoon. Come Thursday evening, the first realization sets in: while some of those downloads are converting into initial users, they’re having all sorts of issues actually using your app. Bugs are exposed not by flashlight, but by sunbeam.

The result is that you lose most of those initial users, plus they bad-mouth you and your app.

Of course, Siegler is a guy in a position to help startups get that much-needed publicity later – whereas a lone developer who is lucky enough to catch Apple’s eye at launch may not get a second chance. But if nothing else, it does show the importance of testing your app to death before launch, and getting feedback from as many beta users as possible.

That and not spending too much money on champagne if Apple offers to feature your app, as the evidence shows that fame and fortune may not necessarily follow.

App Store (iOS) Stories August 14, 2015

App Store currently showing all apps as having only five reviews (Update: Fixed)

Update: The issue was resolved after a few hours.

A glitch in the iOS App Store means that all apps are shown as having only five reviews on category listings screens. The correct number of reviews is shown once you click through to the app.

Apple last month moved to fix another issue with App Store reviews. Those using iOS betas were leaving poor reviews for apps simply because they didn’t work with as-yet unsupported versions of the mobile OS. Apple solved the issue by blocking attempts to write reviews while using iOS betas.

Thanks, Phillip

App Store (iOS) Stories July 30, 2015

Angry Birds 2 released for iOS, free to download on the App Store

Rovio has finally released the long-awaited sequel to the original Angry Birds hit mobile game. Since the first title saw phenomenal success on the iOS App Store, the game has gone on to amazing heights with tons of spinoffs. With several official movie tie-ins, including the popular Star Wars titles, Angry Birds is the ultimate success story of the mobile app world. And now, Angry Birds 2 is available to download.

The game retains the key features, in that you fling birds with a catapult in an attempt to destroy blocks and kill green pigs. However, it does have some new features. Some levels now have multiple stages to complete, and you have to choose which bird to launch next. You can challenge other players and there are even more magic spells too, to help you complete difficult levels. As always, there are plenty of pig bosses to wipe out.

It’s free to download and has the expected in-app purchases. Download the app from the App Store.

You can watch the official gameplay trailer below

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