Apple launched a website to prove the App Store isn’t a monopoly

Apple launched a new website this week that says its App Store platform, the only way for most people to install apps on an iPhone, welcomes competition.

Apple recently lost a Supreme Court case involving competition on the App Store. One subsection on the page is titled “A store that welcomes competition.” The page highlights apps that compete with Apple’s built-in software and services, including Spotify.

App developers who make tools for controlling device addiction and family screen time recently said that they believed Apple was targeting its apps for removal from the store because they compete with Screen Time, a feature recently introduced to iPhones. Apple faces an EU antitrust complaint stemming from that episode.

Apple said in a statement at the time that the removals were related to privacy and security, and said the developers were misusing Apple software intended for other uses.

“All developers have the opportunity to have a rejection reviewed by the App Review Board. And the App Review team makes about 1,000 calls a week to developers to help them diagnose and resolve any issues that led to rejection — so they can get their app onto the App Store,” Apple said on its website.

App developers have also complained about the 15%-30% fees Apple charges for payments processed through the App Store.

“Like any fair marketplace, developers decide what they want to charge from a set of price tiers. We only collect a commission from developers when a digital good or service is delivered through an app,” Apple said on its website.

The site says 40% of apps are rejected per week through Apple’s approval process that relies on human reviewers, mostly due to software bugs and privacy concerns.

The site also lists a series of apps available in the App Store that Apple says competes with its own apps like Music, Notes and FaceTime.

The page was posted in the week before Apple hosts thousands of developers for its annual conference in San Jose. Apple said that over the past year, developers have made $120 billion on Apple’s platform.

Google Play is changing how app ratings work

Two years ago, Apple changed the way its app store ratings worked by allowing developers to decide whether or not their ratings would be reset with their latest app update — a feature that Apple suggests should be used sparingly. Today, Google announced it’s making a change to how its Play Store app ratings work, too. But instead of giving developers the choice of when ratings will reset, it will begin to weight app ratings to favor those from more recent releases.

“You told us you wanted a rating based on what your app is today, not what it was years ago, and we agree,” said Milena Nikolic, an engineering director leading Google Play Console, who detailed the changes at the Google I/O Developer conference today.

She explained that, soon, the average rating calculation for apps will be updated for all Android apps on Google Play. Instead of a lifetime cumulative value, the app’s average rating will be recalculated to “give more weight” to the most recent users’ ratings.

With this update, users will be able to better see, at a glance, the current state of the app — meaning, any fixes and changes that made it a better experience over the years will now be taken into account when determining the rating.

“It will better reflect all your hard work and improvements,” touted Nikolic, of the updated ratings.

On the flip side, however, this change also means that once high-quality apps that have since failed to release new updates and bug fixes will now have a rating that reflects their current state of decline.

It’s unclear how much the change will more broadly impact Google Play Store SEO, where today app search results are returned based on a combination of factors, including app names, descriptions, keywords, downloads, reviews and ratings, among other factors.

The updated app ratings was one of numerous Google Play changes announced today, along with the public launch of dynamic delivery features, new APIs, refreshed Google Play Console data, custom listings and even “suggested replies” — like those found in Gmail, but for responding to Play Store user reviews.

End users of the Google Play Store won’t see the new, recalculated rating until August, but developers can preview their new rating today in their Play Store Console.

SPOTTED! Toronto Students Getting ZOOTCHed! ZOOTCH App Helps Users Connect Instantly Without Exchanging Personal Information

ZOOTCH is a unique smartphone app that lets you instantly communicate with people close by, even if they’re not in your contact list.
TORONTO, ON – Over the next two weeks, ZOOTCH, a unique smartphone app that lets you make connections without contacts, has deployed their ZOOTCHmobile in Toronto to show Canadians that safely expanding their network and making friends out of strangers can be as simple as a quick download and a few screens taps.

Whether in a restaurant, a park, at the library, or in a classroom, starting a private conversation or a group chat with fellow ZOOTCHers is easy and instant. Users can instantly communicate with people, whether they are 10 meters or 200 meters away, even if they’re not in your contact list. The app will keep track of the last 100 contacts they have crossed paths with.

Things you won’t find on the ZOOTCH app include monthly subscriptions or in-app purchases and no pop-ups either. ZOOTCH wants users to spend the time making connections, not fielding ads. And with safety and security in mind, everything posted to ZOOTCH stays 100% secure and encrypted.

The ZOOTCHmobile will be at York University and University of Toronto over the next two weeks with street teams handing out coffee, t-shirts, winter hats, and more.

York University
Monday, March 11 – Wednesday, March 13 | 10:00AM – 4:00PM
University of Toronto
Monday, March 18 – Wednesday, March 20 |10:00AM – 4:00PM
SOCIAL
@zootchapp | #zootchapp | #zootchmeFor more information, B-Roll Video, or images visit https://www.zootch.com or contact Amanda Gun-Munro, AGM*PR at amanda@agmpr.net or Gary Yentin at gary@app-promo.com.
ABOUT ZOOTCH
Launched in 2019, ZOOTCH is a unique smartphone app that lets you instantly communicate with people close by, even if they’re not in your contact list. ZOOTCH is free and can be found in your App Store and Google Play store!

ABOUT APP PROMO
App Promo is a marketing and promotional agency helping hundreds of developers, brands, advertisers and content providers take their app to the next level. As innovators in app strategy, marketing and monetization, our mission is to educate and empower the app community at large on the necessary strategies and tactics required to make a business out of app development. Our team has years of proven experience in strategy, marketing and increasing revenue for companies with their digital offerings. We provide services to increase discovery, optimize revenue and better position applications to set them up for success. For more information visit www.app-promo.com

@AppPromo named Top Mobile Marketing Agency of the Week- Feb 21, 2019

@AppPromo is proud to be selected the Top Mobile Marketing Agency of the week for Feb 21, 2019. We appreciate the honour and continue to deliver the top quality services to our customers. It’s only February and more awards are coming …………… It’s going to be a banner year (excuse the pun….😀)

US iPhone users spent, on average, $79 on apps last year, up 36% from 2017

revenue-per-iphone-2018-hero

 

Apple’s push to get developers to build subscription-based apps is now having a notable impact on App Store revenues. According to a new report from Sensor Tower due out later this week, revenue generated per U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent, from $58 in 2017 to $79 last year. As is typical, much of that increase can be attributed to mobile gaming, which accounted for more than half of this per-device average. However, more substantial growth took place in the categories outside of gaming — including those categories where subscription-based apps tend to rule the top charts, the firm found.

According to the report’s findings, per-device app spending in the U.S. grew more over the past year than it did in 2017.

From 2017 to 2018, iPhone users spent an average of $21 or more on in-app purchases and paid app downloads — a 36 percent increase compared with the 23 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, when revenue per device grew from $47 to $58.

However, 2018’s figure was slightly lower than the 42 percent increase in average per-device spending seen between 2015 and 2016, when revenue grew from $33 to $47, noted Sensor Tower.

As usual, mobile gaming continued to play a large role in iPhone spending. In 2018, gaming accounted for nearly 56 percent of the average consumer spend — or $44 out of the total $79 spent per iPhone.

But what’s more interesting is how the non-gaming categories fared this past year.

Some categories — including those where subscription-based apps dominate the top charts — saw even higher year-over-year growth in 2018, the firm found.

For example, Entertainment apps grew their spend per device increase by 82 percent to $8 of the total in 2018. Lifestyle apps increased by 86 percent to reach $3.90, up from $2.10.

And though it didn’t make the top five, Health & Fitness apps also grew 75 percent year-over-year to account for an average of $2.70, up from $1.60 in 2017.

Other categories in the top five included Music and Social Networking apps, which both grew by 22 percent.

This data indicates that subscription apps are playing a significant role in helping drive iPhone consumer spending higher.

The news comes at a time when Apple has reported slowing iPhone sales, which is pushing the company to lean more on services to continue to boost its revenue. This includes not just App Store subscriptions, but also things like Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, App Store Search ads, AppleCare and more.

As subscriptions become more popular, Apple will need to remain vigilant against those who would abuse the system.

For example, a number of sneaky subscription apps were found plaguing the App Store in recent weeks. They were duping users into paid memberships with tricky buttons, hidden text, instant trials that converted in days and the use of other misleading tactics.

Apple later cracked down by removing some of the apps, and updated its developer guidelines with stricter rules about how subscriptions should both look and operate.

A failure to properly police the App Store or set boundaries to prevent the overuse of subscriptions could end up turning users off from downloading new apps altogether — especially if users begin to think that every app is after a long-term financial commitment.

Developers will need to be clever to convert users and retain subscribers amid this shift away from paid apps to those that come with a monthly bill. App makers will need to properly market their subscription’s benefits, and even consider offering bundles to increase the value.

But in the near-term, the big takeaway for developers is that there is still good money to be made on the App Store, even if iPhone sales are slowing.

App Store developers have earned $120 billion since 2008

Since the creation of the App Store, Apple has given back $120 billion in revenue to App Store developers. It means that the App Store has generated more revenue than that in total. But if you remove Apple’s cut, $120 billion have been wired to developers.

App Store revenue is still growing rapidly, as more than $30 billion of developer revenue has been generated in the last 12 months alone. Apple reported $100 billion in developer revenue at WWDC back in June 2018.

Apple only counts direct App Store revenue, such as paid downloads, in-app purchases and subscriptions. Developers also could have generated more revenue through ads and subscriptions on a website, for instance.

Apple App Store caps record-breaking 2018 with blockbuster holiday week

Customers Spent $1.22B During the 2018 Holiday and Kicked off 2019 With a New Single-Day Record on New Year’s Day

A collage of the year’s best-selling apps.
Apple today announced that App Store customers worldwide set new spending records over the holidays, wrapping up a record-breaking year. App Store spending topped $1.22 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Customers also spent over $322 million on New Year’s Day 2019 alone, setting a new single-day record.
“The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year’s Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year’s Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Thanks to the inspiring work of our talented developers and the support of our incredible customers around the world, the App Store finished off an outstanding 2018 and kicked off 2019 with a bang.”
Apple announced Wednesday that the App Store helped drive Services revenue to an all-time record in the holiday quarter. Apple services set new all-time records in multiple categories, including the App Store, Apple Music, Cloud Services, Apple Pay and the App Store’s search ad business.
Gaming and self-care were the most popular categories of app downloads and subscriptions during the holidays. Globally, multiplayer games including Fortnite and PUBG were among the top downloaded games over the holidays, along with Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9 and Monster Strike. Productivity, Health & Fitness and Education apps are already capturing the attention of customers in the first few days of the year with 1Password, Sweat and Luminosity charting in their respective categories.

Apple’s App Store had double Google’s million dollar publishers in 2018

In 2018, Apple’s U.S. App Store minted 164 new millionaire publishers compared to 88 for the Google Play store according to a new store intelligence report by Sensor Tower.

Google Play in the United States took the top spot in total growth of the number of new publishers to hit $1 million year-over-year with a rise from 71 publishers in 2017 or 24 percent, while Apple had 15 percent growth with a rise from 143 publishers in 2017.

In the App Store, games was the most popular category of apps, making up 33 percent of the publishers who made their first $1 million or more in revenue in 2018. That amounts to 60 percent of the platform’s total revenue in 2018.

FoxNext Games, which publishes Marvel Strike Force and is a division of 20th Century Fox, topped the gaming category with $15 million in revenues in 2018. Released in March, Marvel Strike Force is a role-playing game that allows users to play popular characters from the Marvel Universe like Hulk, Black Panther and Spider-Man. The game itself is free to play but users pay real world money for in-game add ons called “Power Cores.”

Health & Fitness and Lifestyle were also important categories for the App Store with 12 percent and 10 percent of the total representing the publishers who created popular downloads including meditation app Breethe, initially released in 2015, and guided workout app 30 Day Fitness Challenge, which launched in 2013.

Overall, the gaming category was even more important to Google Play’s bottom line with 65 percent or 55 of 84 publishers grouped into this category. Social apps were second most popular for Google Play after games with six percent of publishers.

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