Apple App Store downloads top 25B; customer in China wins $10K

With each major milestone in its App Store, Apple hands out some serious cash. And this time is no different.

After announcing that the App Store reached 25 billion downloads over the weekend, Apple today said that it has awarded Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card for downloading the app that put the marketplace over the mark. According to Apple, Fu downloaded Where's My Water? Free, a Disney game.

Apple has given out $10,000 gift cards in the past, including last January when its store hit 10 billion downloads. Although a gift card … Read more

Apple's App Store: 25 billion downloads

Apple's App Store has served up 25 billion downloads, the company announced today.

The iPhone and iPad maker's main Web site was festooned with a banner trumpeting the milestone, but the 25 billionth downloader--and consequent contest winner--has not yet been announced. That lucky individual will receive a gift card for the iTunes Store, worth $10,000. (That's a lot of Beatles ring tones.)

Last January Apple ran a similar promotion for the 10 billionth app downloaded, also awarding a $10,000 gift card. That was a follow-up to the company's 2009 award to the person who … Read more

Rewinery uncorks wine delivery app for iPhone

You're having a house party and the guests are all enjoying themselves, but oh no, you've just run out of wine! Normally, this would be a major party foul to be sure, but now, help's just a click away.

Rewinery has launched a new iPhone app that lets you order wine to be delivered right to your door. For a flat rate of $40, the company will send over three bottles of wine via bike messenger within an hour of placing your order. If you don't like a certain selection, they'll send a replacement bottle at no additional cost.

The app is available now for free and requires that you log in through Facebook so Rewinery can verify your identity and age. You'll then be asked to enter your delivery address (on a picnic? They'll even deliver to parks), but Rewinery says it's working on a GPS version so you don't have to manually input your address every time. Payment is due on delivery, and you can pay with cash or credit card. … Read more

Getting started with Clear (video)

Clear is in a class of its own when it comes to both user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) in an iPhone app. It's simple, yet elegant as Jason Parker described it.

The no-frills approach to adding, deleting, and completing tasks with such a minimal UI can confuse some people at times, though. This short video walk-through will cover the basics, enough to get you started using Clear.

Once you get the hang of the gestures, moving around the app is intuitive. As I mentioned in the video, you can unlock up to three themes, each changing the … Read more

Apple iOS developers: We'll adjust to privacy change

iPhone apps that access address book data will need to be updated but not overhauled to comply with a new policy from Apple that mandates prior user permission, developers say.

In response to complaints that some iPhone apps were downloading the entire contents of users' address books without asking users first, Apple announced a change earlier today in its developer guidelines. Now, iOS apps will have to get explicit user permission before collecting contacts data from their phones.

The change was prompted after a blogger last week discovered that photo sharing service Path was collecting address book data unbeknownst to … Read more

What the PS Vita really needs: Versatility

I went to Sony's PlayStation Vita page and counted the number of non-gaming apps promoted for its next-generation handheld game system: 18. That's it. The iPhone? Well over half a million (games included).

Sure, the Vita's 18 apps beat what most other handheld game systems have by a landslide. That's just on day one; I expect at least a solid handful of other apps to follow. Still, it's a concern. More than that, I see it as the Vita's biggest key to surviving: apps must be a focus. Games, too, of course, but most definitely apps.

We no longer use handhelds for a single purpose anymore, for the most part. The PlayStation Vita is, undoubtedly, a superior piece of gaming hardware. I've been playing with one for the past few days, and despite its familiar looks, the quality of the hardware bleeds out the pores. From the screen to the controls, it's designed to stand out. Sony's expertise in making games is also largely uncontested. Let's put both of those elements aside, because few will question the Vita's ability to play excellent games.

What many will question, though, is how versatile the Vita is, and how approachable to nongamers.… Read more

Lawmakers ask Apple to explain iPhone app privacy policies

One week after the photo-sharing service Path began taking heat for downloading user address books without user permission, a U.S. House subcommittee said it wants to know why Apple doesn't force iOS app developers to seek user permission before downloading their contacts.

"This incident raises questions about whether Apple's iOS app developer policies and practices may fall short when it comes to protecting the information of iPhone users and their contacts," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, wrote in a letter sent to Apple CEO Tim … Read more

iPhone users grabbed 6 million free apps a day in December

iPhone users were busy in December downloading more than 6 million of Apple's top free apps each day.

For the last month of 2011, the iPhone app store witnessed a record 6.04 million downloads per day, a 7 percent jump over the previous high of 5.45 million daily downloads in November.

Compiled by mobile ad firm Fiksu, the App Store Competitive Index looks at the total number of downloads of the top 200 free iPhone apps in the United States. The downloads have been gaining momentum since September when the average daily number was 3.8 million.… Read more

iOS, Android apps that go on sale see significant revenue jump

According to app store analytics researcher Distimo, developers who put their iPhone and iPad apps on sale in Apple's App Store see a significant jump in revenue, as do Android developers using the Android Market.

For the report, Distimo examined 100 of the top apps in Apple's App Store (for iPhone and iPad) as well as the top 100 for the Android Market. For apps in the iPhone and iPad divisions of Apple's App Store, the first day increase in revenue was 41 percent and 52 percent, respectively.

After 15 days, both the iPhone and the iPad … Read more

Games that make you rage on iOS

Old-school gamers will remember an age when there were no continues, no checkpoints, and no respawns. If you died during a level, that was it--you went back to the beginning of the level to do it all again. The craziest thing about it? You liked it even though it drove you crazy.

These days, a gaming purist might say games have gotten too easy and gamers have gotten too soft. When dying in a game doesn't mean anything, how can you truly enjoy the game? I'm not sure it matters, but I can see both sides. Maybe after checking out this collection--if you don't throw your iPhone through your computer screen from frustration--you can tell me what you think in the comments.… Read more