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Category Archives: App Store

GetJar debuts mobile app developer awards

Multi-platform application storefront GetJar announced the introduction of the Gettie Awards, a program to recognize developer innovation across all major mobile platforms. GetJar will award $15,000 in pay-per-download credits and 80 hours of free Devi…

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One million iPad sales later, Apple has the last laugh

Four weeks after the U.S. retail release of Apple’s iPad, it’s clear the company has another hit on its hands. On Monday Apple announced sales of the tablet have already surpassed the 1 million benchmark–by comparison, the company needed 74 days to s…

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Validate Build Product

In the last post, I mentioned Xcode 3.2’s new Validate option that runs the same checks the App Store Review Team will use before looking at the content of your app and which may be used by Build and Archive (or any other Build command, for that matter), I probably should have mentioned what determines whether it will get run. It’s your project settings. To turn it on or off, select Edit Project Settings from the Project menu, and it’s under the Build Options, and it’s just a checkbox you can turn on or off.

Screen shot 2010-05-01 at 10.14.00 AM.png

I would recommend not waiting until App Store submission to run validate. Do it before you send to testers or to your client. It will allow you to address problems before your app gets tested, reducing the need for regression testing.

©2008-2010 Jeff LaMarche.
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GetJar launches mobile app conversion tracking tools

Multi-platform application storefront GetJar announced the introduction of new conversion tracking tools enabling developers to measure downloads across the Android, BlackBerry, Flash, Java, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms. The automated GetJar pr…

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Cartoonist wins Pulitzer, sudden respect from Apple

Frustrated because Apple rejected your iPhone application and looking for a surefire approach for earning App Store approval? The answer is simple: Win a Pulitzer Prize. It worked for’s Mark Fiore, who last week became the first online-only…

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Are mobile ads the future of mobile apps?

Consumers worldwide will download about 4.51 billion mobile applications in 2010 according to a new forecast issued by research firm Gartner, increasing from 2.51 billion downloads last year–that translates to app store revenues close to $6.8 billion, up from $4.2 billion in 2009. Gartner anticipates that free applications will represent 82 percent of app store downloads in 2010, a number that will grow to 87 percent of downloads in 2013 even as expected revenues jump to $29.5 billion: Gartner estimates corresponding mobile advertising revenues will leap from $600 million per year in 2009 to about $7 billion in 2013 as developers embrace a host of mechanisms to subsidize their efforts. Gartner contends that developers have little choice but to pin their hopes on mobile advertising, arguing that as smartphones continue to come down in price, the new wave of mass-market users will be reluctant to pay for mobile software. “Growth in smartphone sales will not necessarily mean that consumers will spend more money, but it will widen the addressable market for an offering that will be advertising-funded,” Gartner research director Stephanie Baghdassarian said in a prepared statement. “The value chain of the application stores will evolve as rules are set and broken in an attempt to find the most profitable business model for all parties involved.”

But some experts question whether existing mobile advertising concepts and approaches are on the right track. The doubters are said to include Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who believes “mobile ads suck” according to BusinessWeek, citing a source familiar with Jobs’ thinking. So Apple reportedly is exploring new approaches to mobile advertising in the wake of its recent agreement to acquire mobile ad network Quattro Wireless, plotting ways to exploit consumer data to better serve mobile advertisements. Insiders say Apple’s efforts seek to make ads more relevant to consumers, factoring into the equation data like purchases and downloads from iTunes and the App Store as well as geo-location. “[Apple] could also use the iPhone’s capabilities in creative ways–say, having someone shake the device to win a rebate the same way they do to roll dice in games,” the report notes.

Despite Gartner’s app store revenue projections for the year ahead, more than half of developers are pessimistic about their immediate financial outlook. A new Mobile Entertainment Forum study examining the state of the U.S. mobile content value chain reports that among 100 respondents from 80 companies spanning across the mobile entertainment landscape, 42 percent said they expect at least a 20 percent revenue increase in 2009, and 58 percent anticipate comparable revenue growth in 2010–app developers are less optimistic than any other industry segment the MEF polled, with only 48 percent believing revenues will increase 20 percent or more this year. MEF Americas chairman Jim Beddows theorizes developers have serious doubts about the longterm viability of current marketplace conditions: “The explosion of app stores and applications continues to feed consumer demand, but it’s still not proven whether there’s a sustainable revenue model,” he said in an interview with FierceDeveloper. Nor is it proven that mobile advertising is the solution to those concerns, but if not, then what is? –Jason

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Verizon Wireless opens binary submissions for V Cast Apps

Verizon Wireless announced it is now accepting binary submissions for its forthcoming V Cast Apps mobile software storefront. According to an email sent out last week to Verizon Developer Community members, programmers who’ve successfully submitted concepts to V Cast Apps can now upload binary files as well as provide additional information including Icons, Application Descriptors, Pricing, Export Compliance and Version Information. Upon accepting a binary submission, V Cast Apps will notify developers of certification results via email. Verizon Wireless adds it has updated its VDC forums with new links to app submission resources.

During the recent Consumer Electronics Show event in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless said it is “on the cusp” of launching V Cast Apps, originally slated to go live in late 2009. Verizon Wireless director of business development Todd Murphy did not offer a specific launch date, but said the storefront would initially be available across five of the operator’s BlackBerry smartphones: The Storm 1 and 2, the Curve 1 and 2, and the BlackBerry Tour. “We’re just waiting for that inflection point” of enough quality applications, Murphy said, adding “We believe that when we put this out into the marketplace, it will have a significant impact.” Murphy said Verizon Wireless currently counts about 3,500 developers registered in the VDC program.

For more on V Cast Apps’ progress:
– check out the Verizon Developer Community website

Related articles:
Developer Community membership soars in first month
Mobigloo wins Verizon‘s Apply Your Ideas contest

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Apple accelerates the App Store approval process

Nearly two weeks into January, most of us have long since abandoned our New Year’s resolutions, but Apple’s App Store continues its march toward self-betterment. In the wake of a bumpy 2009 that culminated in a handful of developers forsaking the iPhone platform while their applications lingered weeks and even months in approval purgatory, 2010 is off to a much more promising start: Developers are now reporting that the App Store is processing their software submissions at record speeds, indicating that Apple has made dramatic strides in improving how the digital storefront operates.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports that iTunes Connect, the portal developers use to submit their iPhone and iPod touch applications, was offline from Dec. 23 to Dec. 28. What happened during that blackout period is anyone’s guess–this is Apple, after all–but whatever Steve Jobs’ elves did to improve the app submission protocol, the results speak for themselves. At least one startup, Atomic Cactus, tells TUAW that its new puzzle game Artilect earned Apple’s stamp of approval in less than 12 hours, while its previous submissions took two to three weeks to run the gauntlet. “Today at 4:00 am I submitted for approval our latest app, which isn’t exactly a ‘fart app’ (it’s a pretty polished puzzle game with OpenFeint),” Atomic Cactus developer Yuri writes. “As of 1:30 pm today, the app is in the App Store.”

In related news, the App Store exceeded the 3 billion download benchmark last week–the latest milestone came less than four months after the store surpassed 2 billion downloads, a moment that itself arrived roughly five months after consumers downloaded the first billion iPhone and iPod touch applications. “Three billion applications downloaded in less than 18 months–this is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Jobs said in a self-congratulatory press release. “The revolutionary App Store offers iPhone and iPod touch users an experience unlike anything else available on other mobile devices, and we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.” It’s posturing, of course, but if the App Store is indeed solving the problems that have caused developers so many headaches in the past, Jobs might be speaking the truth. –Jason

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Verizon Wireless promises imminent launch of app store

LAS VEGAS–Verizon Wireless is “on the cusp” of launching its own branded app store–an action that essentially stands as an answer to the wildly successful Apple App Store for the iPhone (currently only available through Verizon rival AT&T Mobility). Verizon’s Todd Murphy, director of business development, did not offer a specific launch date, but said the carrier’s VCast Application Store would initially be provided to five of the carrier’s BlackBerry smartphones: the Storm 1 and 2, the Curve 1 and 2, and the BlackBerry Tour.

Verizon first announced its application store intentions in July, and at the time promised to launch it by the fourth quarter of last year. However, Verizon’s Murphy indicated the carrier needed to delay the launch to ensure that the store contained enough applications to make it worthwhile.

“We’re just waiting for that inflection point” of enough quality applications, Murphy said during a Verizon developer event here on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show. Added Murphy: “We believe that when we put this out into the marketplace, it will have a significant impact.”

Murphy said the carrier currently counts 3,500 developers registered into its program, and “thousands” of application “concepts” for its store.

Further, Murphy promised the application storefront would initially be available for BlackBerry devices, and would launch on Windows Mobile devices in the “middle of the year.” Murphy declined to provide a launch window for Verizon’s VCast Application Store for Android phones, but did note the app store is heading to Verizon Android phones.

Interestingly, and perhaps unintentionally, Murphy offered a jab at Apple and its trailblazing app store by noting that Verizon’s storefront effort would focus on “quality, not quantity.” Apple’s App Store recently passed the 100,000-app mark, a number that dwarfs app store efforts by the likes of Android and BlackBerry.

Related articles:
Verizon Wireless to launch VCast Application Store in Q4
Verizon Wireless introducing VCast Apps store in Q4
Verizon: No registration or testing fees for new app store

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iPod touch app downloads top iPhone over Xmas

Application downloads via iPod touch devices eclipsed iPhone downloads by 172 percent on Christmas Day 2009, according to data compiled by mobile application analytics provider Flurry. Total iPod Touch download volumes grew by nearly 1,000 percent on Dec. 25 compared to the average of all previous Fridays during the month– Flurry speculates that in addition to new iPod touch 3G models received as gifts, iTunes gift cards also drove downloads across earlier generation iPod touch devices. In addition, iPod touch download volumes topped iPhone downloads by 104 percent on Dec. 26. Cumulative App Store downloads increased by 51 percent in December 2009 compared to November totals, Flurry reports.

In early December, Flurry reported the iPod touch accounts for about 40 percent of all iPhone OS-based devices sold worldwide–moreover, the firm contends that the portable media player may boast even greater long-term strategic value than its smartphone sibling, because it’s building a loyal consumer base among teens and pre-teens representing the next generation of iPhone users. “When today’s young iPod touch users age by five years, they will already have iTunes accounts, saved personal contacts to their iPod touch devices, purchased hundreds of apps and songs, and mastered the iPhone OS user interface,” Flurry notes. “This translates into loyalty and switching costs, allowing Apple to seamlessly ‘graduate’ young users from the iPod touch to the iPhone.” As of June 2009, the iPhone accounted for 57 percent of application user sessions tracked by Flurry–the iPod touch represented 31 percent, and Android devices were responsible for 10 percent. As of late November, total user sessions increased across all three devices, with the iPhone accounting for just 50 percent of sessions on average–the iPod touch’s share of user sessions grew to 35 percent, followed by Android at 14 percent.

For more on the App Store’s December growth spurt:
– read this Flurry blog entry

Related articles:
Study says iPod touch users slower to upgrade mobile OS
AdMob: iPod touch ad requests triple

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