Those of you who have jailbroken your iPhone or iPod Touch may have inevitably used the Cydia app store to browse and install one of those applications not available on the Apple App Store. Now Jay Freeman, the developer of Cydia has released a new version of his app store that will make it easy for users to easily reinstall previously purchased applications using the ‘Manage Account‘ feature.
The new feature is extremely useful for users who have upgraded their handset to a new iOS firmware or for users who have upgraded to a new handset altogether. Jay Freeman has also indicated that yet another Cydia update is on the cards and that this new version should come with features to rate and comment on apps besides backing up the installed jailbreak apps.
Looking to get some free iTunes gift cards? This week could turn out lucky for you. Apple has launched a ‘Countdown to 10 billion apps‘ site that rewards one of its users with an iTunes gift card worth $10,000. To win the gift card, users can either wait to hit the download button on their favorite app close to the 10 billion mark (the download count is currently hovering around the 9.79 billion mark) or use an alternate entry form to enter the fray without any download or purchase.
The announcement is reminiscent of the contest that Apple held in February last year when the company marked the download of 10 billion songs from iTunes. It is worth noting that the winner back then was rewarded with a similar iTunes gift card. You can check out all the contest details and rules in the official website here.
How much money does Apple make from the App Store? This is a question that gets asked pretty often. Cupertino has said in the past that they do not make significant profit from the App Store and most of the revenues only help in keeping the servers running.
But according to a new report from Citibank, Apple should be expecting revenues close to $2 billion in 2011. This is for a period that is expected to see terrific growth in app usage. Citibank estimates the total value of the app market to grow from $4 billion in 2010 to $27 billion in 2012.
What this means is that Apple could be expecting a significant profit line from the App Store for the first time this year. While the company does not reveal its revenues from particular properties, we do expect Steve Jobs to make an announcement about the App Store becoming cash positive in one of the media events next year.
Now this is something you may not have seen it coming. Jay Freeman, aka Saurik, the founder of the Cydia App Store – the application marketplace that several million iDevice owners use to install customizable apps, extensions and themes on their jailbroken iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad – has announced that a Cydia app store for Mac is launching in weeks.
This is unexpected considering that unlike the iOS platform, Mac is so much more customizable and open. So, it really may not need a third party app store. While Freeman has not elaborated on what users could expect from a Cydia store for Macs, the new marketplace is speculated to contain an easy way to install themes, system mods and tweaks.
Anyway, we will keep following news on this front and let you know when we hear an update.
According to sources, Steve Jobs has been keen on rolling out the new application store well ahead of the Christmas holidays and developers were in fact asked to be ready for a December 6 launch. However, that day having passed now, Apple is learned to be working closely with developers to make a December 13 launch a reality.
A December 13 roll-out would be significant since that would bring significant business to Apple via the sale of software products ahead of the Christmas gifting season. It will be interesting to see if and whether the launch actually happens though.
It has been a long frustrating wait for iPhone users who had been waiting to set up Google Voice on their iPhones. And finally 16 months after Google submitted their application to the App Store, Apple has finally cleared the app and it is now available for download at the App Store. If you can’t wait to read through this entire article before getting hold of the download link, well, it is here.
Some bit of history – Apple initially stayed the approval of Google Voice citing its similarity to the native iPhone dialling system. Also, the company stated that they had not rejected the app but were instead putting it on hold. Not only that, Apple had also pulled several other third party applications that were built upon the Google Voice system. All this had forced Google to take the web app route to reach iPhone users. Things seemed to be easing a bit after Apple was subjected to government inquiries over these anti-competitive measures. Today’s approval is perhaps a result of the pressure from the government bodies.
Nevertheless, early reviews are now in and users have been raving about this new application. If you have downloaded it yourself, don’t forget to tell us your experience in the comments.
There has been a little bit of debate over the past week about the exact number of apps that are now available on the Apple App Store. During the September 1 media event, Steve Jobs had announced that their App Store was home to close to 250,000 applications. On Saturday, a few websites “broke” the news that the store had already crossed the 300,000 app mark.
An addition of 50,000 apps in the span of a month and a half looks phenomenal, if not unbelievable. But are those numbers correct? According to a Fortune report, the websites that broke the news may have erred in picking the right metric to count the number of apps – which is still a guesstimating process. The announcement was made using the metrics used by Mobclix; an ad exchange that counts the number of apps based on the number of apps where their ads appear. The report notes,
“A better way to count iOS apps is to write a program that runs through the App Store looking at all the titles and comparing that list to the titles that were there the day before. That way you know which apps are still live and which, for whatever reason, have been pulled from the store. That’s the method used by 148apps.biz and AppShopper.com, our two favorite app trackers. According to 148apps and AppShopper, the number of iOS apps available for download in the U.S. as of Sunday morning was just shy of 280,000.”
So there you go. A more realistic number of apps on the App Store is close to 280,000. That means you still have a month or so before the 300,000 mark is reached.
Apple has been acting pretty benevolent in recent times with a modified App Store policy. The company has now approved the VLC Media Player app for iPad that will let users watch movie files that are not compatible with the iTunes format on their iPad. A month back, this may have been unthinkable. But ever since Apple made a move to get friendlier with the app developer community, things appear to have changed.
But this is no voluntary benevolence. Speculations are that Apple may be acting to protect itself from the prying eyes of the government who have been accusing Apple of being too closed for healthy competition. Another speculation is that Apple is trying to win back developers that it seems to be losing to the Android platform that has been growing in popularity over the past one year.
Earlier this month, Apple announced that they were easing their restrictions on third party applications. Cupertino soon followed it up by making the App Store review guidelines public thus bringing the much needed transparency to the App Store system.
Now following these moves, Google Voice apps – one of the segments that was banned last year following Apple’s growing enmity with Google – are making a comeback to the App Store. One of the first apps to be made available is GV Connect – a Google Voice based application that allows users to send text messages, make calls and voicemails. Another popular application, GV Mobile is learned to be stuck at the approval stage still, though indications are that the application should soon make its way to the App Store.
You can check out GV Connect on the App Store by clicking here.
Did you have that ‘Where-did-that-come-from?‘ feeling when Steve Jobs unveiled the new iTunes icon during the media event earlier this week? Apple has a logical answer to the makeover. The sale of digital music is fast outpacing CD sales and is supposed to overtake the sale of these physical goods by next year. So it’s time the CD was pulled off the icon.
And like it is with most changes, many people thought the new icon sucked. Designer Joshua Kopac thought that way too. And he decided to write to Jobs about it.
Enjoyed the presentation today. But…this new iTunes logo really sucks. You’re taking 10+ years of instant product recognition and replacing it with an unknown. Let’s both cross our fingers on this…”
Jobs incidentally replied,
Sent from my iPhone
So, what’s the verdict? Does it suck or not? Doesn’t matter actually. People will get used to the new icon over time. But what matters is if the new design actually captures what the product is. And in this case, the new iTunes 10 icon does a poor job in reflecting what iTunes does. Of course, iTunes is still primarily an online music store and the icon perfectly reflects that. But what is not reflected is the change that iTunes has gone through in the past few years and what it will be moving forward.
iTunes today includes the App Store. And this means you can purchase not only music, but also movies, TV shows, ebooks, games, media tools, business applications,etc. The list is virtually endless. That being the case, the new iTunes store does not clearly reflect these changes.
So Steve, you are right. But you are also wrong.