Blackberry’s Own App Store

27 03 2009

BusinessWeek says that RIM chief Mike Lazaridis will launch BlackBerry’s long-awaited App Store competitor from CTIA on April 1. Paid apps will start at $2.99, but like the Apple App Store, freebies will exist.

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App Store Tweaking

30 09 2008

Apple over the weekend instated a series of changes to the way its App Store operates in an effort to knock out loopholes that were being exploited by some developers seeking an unfair advantage.

Reviews

In particular, the store now requires that users purchase or download an application before they able to post a review of that particular application.

Users attempting to post a review of application that they haven’t downloaded are now met with a dialog box stating: “In order to write a Custom Review for this item you must have purchased or downloaded it.”

Apple hopes this move will mitigate the number of bogus, or agenda-driven reviews that have been used to raise or lower an applications overall rating, sometimes at the hands of developers themselves.

App Updates

Similarly, and more critically, the company also made changes to the way applications appear on the App Store after receiving a minor update.

App Store Changes

In the past, all applications were categorized based on their ‘release date.’ However, Apple had been determining release dates based on the last date the application received an update, rather than the first time it appeared on the store as a 1.0 application.

As a result, applications receiving updates would be pushed back to the first page of their respective category listing, often appearing on the App Store home page within iTunes as well, and the first page of category listings viewed on an iPhone or iPod touch.

The result was an immediate jump in sales, as noted by Krishna Vegesna, whose company TouchMeme offers three applications on the App Store. He posted the graph (below) illustrating this behavior, where each spike in sales coincided with the release of one of his app updates.

App Store Changes

“With the latest update to the AppStore, the above behavior is no longer holds true (and I am glad it doesn’t),” he said. “This is because the applications are now categorized according to the ‘Actual Released Date’ rather that the last updated date.”

Given Apple’s changes, new version 1.0 applications will have a longer shelf life on the first page of category listings, as they won’t be bumped down in the listings as quickly due to an influx of minor app updates.

The moves should also allow developers to shift their focus to “real innovation in functionality rather than focusing on who pushes the update first,” Vegesna said. At the same time, however, he raises the concern that tactical developers may now focus on rolling out new apps to generate high profits rather than improving their existing ones.





Remote 1.1- Now With Genius

16 09 2008

Apple updated its Remote app for iPhone and iPod touch, bringing the current version of the application to 1.1. According to Apple the new version allows you to create Genius playlists and create and edit playlists in iTunes.

Remote lets you control your iTunes library from the iPhone or iPod. You can also control control an Apple TV if you are using one of the devices in your home theater.

Using Remote you can scroll through playlists, artists, genres and search your music. When playing Remote will show you the album artwork of the current song and allow you to adjust star ratings and other settings, just like you would on an iPod.

Remote is a still a free download from the App Store.





App Store Downloads Hit 100mil, Spotlight on Games

9 09 2008

The App Store has served up more than 100 million applications since it first went online, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs announced the news during Apple’s “Let’s Rock” event in San Francisco on Tuesday.

The App Store launched in mid-July with about 500 applications to start. By the end of the first weekend it was open for business, iPhone and iPod users had downloaded more than 10 million copies of applications. The service is available to any iPhone or iPod touch user whose gear is running iPhone 2.0 software or later.

Now Jobs reports that there are over 3,000 applications available for download from the App Store, which is operating in 62 countries worldwide. The success of the App Store is “even more mindblowing,” said Jobs, when you consider that Tuesday marked the 60th day of operation for the venture.

Games took center stage as Jobs and Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller demonstrated how the App Store works. Jobs said that there are now more than 700 games available from the App Store. The abundance of games makes the iPod touch “the funnest iPod ever,” said Jobs.

Schiller demonstrated Spore Origins, EA’s new game which made it to the iPod touch and iPhone yesterday, while Jobs showed off the as-yet unreleased iPhone version of Iron Man, based on the popular movie. Gameloft’s Real Soccer 2009, an international soccer (football) game, and a version of EA’s popular Need for Speed racing game franchise, were also demonstrated.

EA, for its part, recently announced that Spore Origins and nine other games were headed to the iPhone and iPod touch this year alone.