Apple has been experiencing a series of outages this morning to it’s Cloud services and online stores, including the App Store, iTunes, the iBook Store and the Mac App Store. As of this posting, these stores remain offline, and have been since just before 5 am EST. In addition, their iCloud services, including Mail and iCloud account management were offline from the same starting time, but were restored 4 hours later.
Clear is a task manager centered around dragging and re-arranging your to-do list. There are no due dates, no tags, and no notes section (though I do miss the latter). All you do in Clear is choose a task list, then pull down to create a new task. It’s beautifully simple.
If that has piqued your interest, you’re free to try the app out for yourself, because it’s currently free for 24 hours. The developers at Realmac Software have made the decision to pull one version of the app, Clear+, from the App Store and leave the original Clear as a universal app. If that sounds a bit confusing, this letter from the developers should explain the situation.
However, the takeaway here is that there’s a great $5 task manager has gone free for the day. If iOS Reminders are a bit too cumbersome to create, and hardcore apps like OmniFocus or Things are too complicated, then Clear may be perfect for you.
Apple announced some huge numbers yesterday for the App Store. Crazy big numbers in fact:
– Customers spent over $10 billion in the App Store in 2013
– Over $1 billion was spent last December alone
– Almost 3 billion apps were downloaded in December, which was the most successful month in App Store history.
Jon Gruber adds some useful perspective on how striking this is:
Interesting comparison to today’s App Store announcement. Apple’s retail stores, which the company started in 2001 and which sell hardware costing thousands of dollars a pop, generate $20 billion in annual revenue. The App Store, which started in 2008 and predominantly sells apps costing a few bucks a pop, is already at $10 billion in annual revenue.
These are incredible numbers and it’s still a little amazing to see the momentum and impact of mobile apps. I know I’ve done my share to contribute to those crazy figures – to the tune of hundreds and hundreds of iOS apps purchased.
If you’ve ever used Paypal as your payment method for the App Store / iTunes you may have noticed that Apple seems to have quite a serious vendetta going against Paypal. I’ve used Paypal as my payment method since the very beginning of the App Store and several times over the years the iTunes Store has hit me with messages and roadblocks suggesting that Paypal was ‘not an accepted payment method’.
Well, I’m here to tell you that is nonsense. Paypal has always been an accepted method and it still is now.
This morning I had one of these occasions where the App Store got its knickers in a twist – apparently because there was some issue with payment for an In-App purchase I made recently. For some reason the payment did not clear successfully with Paypal. My balance in Paypal is always far larger than needed to cover any iTunes purchases – so I imagine on that particular day the App Store was just unable to hit the Paypal authorization server or some such circumstance. In any case, I never received any sort of notification of a failed purchase at all – from the ITunes store or Paypal.
The App Store is heading for another big milestone – one million apps. And apps designed for the iPad now account for more than one third of those available in the App Store, despite the iPad being released nearly two years after the App Store opened.
The last announced numbers from Apple, back on their Q3 earnings call, were 900,000 apps total and 375,00 iPad apps. Appsfire.com recently tweeted that the store had hit the 950,000 apps mark – and Appshopper.com shows 953,218 available apps as I type this.
One million apps will be a notable milestone for the App Store. 500,000 iPad apps will be a big one for the iPad as well – and I imagine that’s not far off. We should see a new iPads Apple event next month and I’m sure we’ll get plenty of detail on all these big numbers.
It looks like Apple has now fixed the issue with the blank Updates page in the iPad App Store. As of late last night, app updates are showing up fine again on my iPad mini.
I’ve also heard from several users this morning via comments, email, and Twitter that updates are showing up properly on their iPads too.
Are you all seeing the same? Let us know in the comments.
For the last several days many iPad users have been seeing a blank Updates page in the App Store, while the App Store app icon shows there are updates available.
There are numerous threads about this on the Apple Support Community pages. So far the best, and still quite clumsy, workaround is to go to the Purchased tab in the App Store and scroll through and install your updates from there. This works for me on my iPad, though it’s a pain in the neck to do because even the All tab under Purchased only shows about 50 apps, while I have over 200 installed and well over 1,000 purchased total. So I have to use the alphabetical listing on the left of the Purchased page and go through letter by letter.
This morning I spoke to Apple Support about this issue and was told the following:
– Apple is aware of the issue and says it has been a problem for at least the last 3-4 days.
– It is only affecting the iPad.
– Apple is working on resolving the issue, but there’s no ETA as yet for when it may be fixed and of course no system status type page where users can check on progress or see when the issue is resolved.
Today marks 5 years since the App Store officially opened. I can still remember the long wait for that day to arrive. I was already using a number of jailbreak apps on my iPhone back in those early days, but I knew there was so much more to come once the App Store arrived.
I had very high hopes for the App Store and I’m happy to say it has exceeded all my expectations. Like many people, I use apps for just about everything these days. Calendar, contacts, note taking, research, web browsing, drafting and writing articles, reading – newspapers, magazines and books, task management, social networking, fitness and health tracking, and so much more. It’s hard to think back to times when I didn’t have an app available for just about anything.
There are some great iPad apps and games available for free right now to mark the App Store 5th anniversary. Apple’s own offer of 10 landmark, groundbreaking apps and games for free is still ongoing, and includes titles like Infinity Blade II, Where’s My Water?, and Traktro DJ for iPhone.
Today I’ve noticed a few other notable titles gone free: Mirror’s Edge for iPad, Dead Space for iPad, and Homerun Battle 2.
I’m sure there will be quite a few more apps going free and big sales to mark this anniversary week – it’s a great time to pickup some top notch iPad apps and games at little to no cost.
One of the featured app collections in the iPad App Store this week is titled ‘Fun Summer Learning for Kids’. That may be a sight for sore eyes for many students and parents as the hot summer rolls on.
The collection highlights 30 apps that should prove engaging for kids of all age groups. Many are aimed at quite young ages, while others are more suitable for older elementary school students.
There’s everything from fun little coloring and numbers games to the Hopscotch visual programming app. I’m happy to see that my family owns about 1/3 of these apps and several of them have already got a lot of good use by my 10 year old daughter.
It’s great to see Apple featuring one sort of educational app collection or another so often in the App Store recently.
You’ll find the Fun Summer Learning for Kids collection among the rotating featured sections in the Featured tab of the iPad App Store.
One of the featured app collections in the App Store this week is titled ‘Father’s Day Gift Guide’. So if you’ve got a dad in your life who’s partial to a great iPad app you may want to give it a look and get some inspiration.
The collection has 8 sections: Gifts for Music Lovers, Gifts for Photographers, Gifts to Get Stuff Done, Gifts for Foodies, Gifts for Casual Gamers, Gifts for Hardcore Gamers, Apps for Kids, and Games for Kids. Each section features 10 apps.
One notable thing about the collection is that it highlights a number of Apple’s own apps – including GarageBand, iPhoto, and Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
There are plenty of good app choices in each of the sections, so this collection should offer some good ideas for all the dads out there who aren’t looking for a new pair of socks or a fancy new drill for Father’s Day.
You can find the Father’s Day Gift Guide app collection right at the top of the App Store featured section, in the rotating set of images for featured collections.
Apple announced yesterday that the App Store hit the much-anticipated 50 billion app downloads milestone:
Apple® today announced that customers have downloaded over 50 billion apps* from the revolutionary App Store℠. Customers are downloading more than 800 apps per second at a rate of over two billion apps per month on the App Store.
In iTunes on the desktop you can see a listing of the Top 25 All-Time Paid Apps and Free Apps, with separate listings for iPad apps and iPhone apps. There are no huge surprises in the iPad Top 25 list, but here’s a few things I find interesting:
– Skype for iPad is the Number 1 All-Time Free App. I think Skype’s iPad app is great, better than its desktop version – but I’m still a little surprised to see it right at the all-time chart.
– 10 of the Top 25 paid are not games, and 6 out of those 10 are Apple apps – Pages, Keynote, Numbers, GarageBand, iMovie, and iPhoto. Another reminder of the huge piles of money Microsoft is leaving on the table by not bringing Office to iOS.
– Facebook is Number 6 on the Top Free list – I’m a little surprised it’s not higher.
– Angry Birds HD and Angry Birds HD Free are the highest listed games in the Paid and Free lists.
Anyone want to start a pool on when downloads hit 100 billion?