iOS App Store Stories May 13

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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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iOS App Store Stories February 4

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iOS App Store Stories October 14, 2015

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The latest data from App Annie shows that Android has pushed further ahead in the number of apps downloaded worldwide, but iOS has increased its lead in app revenue.

Downloads in India and Southeast Asia in particular saw Android opening up its download lead from 85% in Q2 to 90% in Q3 2015, but that boost in low-cost handsets did nothing for app revenues. iOS apps increased their revenue lead from 70% to 80% in the last quarter …  expand full story


iOS App Store Stories January 15, 2015

I was extremely surprised when Apple made the decision to drop its Single of the Week, after doing the same thing with its 12 Days of Christmas promo. As I wrote then, the free single seemed a win-win-win: consumers got free music, lesser-known artists got exposure, Apple got the goodwill that stems from giving away free stuff.

But thinking more about it, perhaps there is method in Apple’s madness after all. Let’s start with the obvious point: the company is about to launch an Apple-branded Beats Music service, and it would then make sense to say that this, not iTunes freebies, is the way to discover new music.

But it’s not just music: 12 Days of Christmas was content of all types, apps included, so I think there could be a bigger picture here. Bear with me while I make that case in a slightly roundabout fashion …

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iOS App Store Stories December 11, 2012

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the situation to The Verge:

Microsoft has confirmed its latest SkyDrive iOS update is being delayed by Apple. A spokesperson says: “Similar to the experiences of some other companies, we are experiencing a delay in approval of our updated SkyDrive for iOS. We are in contact with Apple regarding the matter and hope to come to a resolution.”

According to a report from The Next Web that cited sources close to Microsoft, Apple is currently preventing Microsoft from updating its SkyDrive iOS app due to a disagreement over whether Apple should collect its usual 30 percent cut of additional storage purchased through the service. TNW explained:

The difficulty began when Microsoft rolled out the ability for SkyDrive users to purchase more storage space on the service. From that point, the company was not permitted to update its application in the iOS App Store.

The reason? It doesn’t pay Apple a 30% cut of subscription revenue generated by the application through the paid, additional storage. Microsoft, TNW has learned, has a new version of the application ready to go, including a key bug fix that would rectify a crashing bug, but cannot get it through.

In other words, Apple is apparently not allowing apps that offer or work with a subscription service outside of in-app purchases or the App Store. While we imagine that many smaller developers have been able to get around this stipulation, Apple’s App Store review guidelines clearly states, “Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.” It also stipulates, “Apps that unlock or enable additional features or functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store will be rejected.”

According to the TNW, Microsoft attempted to compromise by offering to remove all subscription services from the app. Apple apparently refused:

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