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?
If you’re looking for inspiration in choosing an app or apps to gift a mom in your life for Mother’s Day, then you may want to check out the Mother’s day Gift Guide featured section in the iPad App Store today.
The gift guide is made up entirely of apps and includes 9 sub-sections including:
Gifts for Foodies: Cookbook and culinary apps
Gifts for Photographers: Photo and video editing and effects apps
Gifts that Wow: An odd,eclectic section with apps ranging from iMovie to Star Walk and others about the universe around us
Apps for Kids and Games for Kids: Perhaps with the idea that a good set of distracting apps for the kiddos is a nice gift to help Mom get some relaxation in on Mother’s Day?
Gifts for Gamers and Gifts for Hardcore Gamers: For all the Gamer Moms.
It’s a good looking collection, with a lot of range to it. Even so, I ‘d say it’d be a good idea to make sure you’ve got some other gifts in store for the important mom/s in your life tomorrow – not *only* an app.
You can find the Mother’s Day Gift Guide in the Featured section of the App Store this week, right at the top among the rotating showcase app collections.
Apple Is Trying to Make Users More Aware of the Pitfalls of In-App Purchases
This week the iPad App Store has added a new section to help users understand In-App Purchases. The section is called Learn More About In-App Purchases and it’s included in the iPad App Store Featured area, in the section just below What’s Hot.
The new section provides a good, concise overview of In-App purchase, the different types of In-App purchases and how they work, and how to setup parental controls to disable the ability to make use of them.
Just a few weeks ago Apple made the ‘warning’ symbol for apps that contain In-App purchase options more prominent. It’s good to see their continuing efforts to raise awareness on this subject and try to avoid some of the sad stories we see so often where kids unwittingly rack up huge credit card bills for unsuspecting parents.
Last week Apple made some minor adjustments to the layout of iPad and iOS App Store pages. One of the more notable changes is in the way that age ratings for apps are presented – they’ve been made a little more prominent.
Age rating details are now displayed much higher up on the App Store window for individual apps – just below the app title and developer name. This follows closely on another recent update that made it easier to see which apps offer In-App purchases.
Now both of these bits of information – age rating and the indicator for apps with In-App purchase – are right up in the top section of the app window.
These changes should be good news for many iPad and iOS App Store users, and especially for parents.
One of this week’s featured collections in the iPad App Store is 10 Apps that Wow. Here’s the description of it:
From saving money on a last-minute hotel room to discovering the nether reaches of the cosmos, these apps offer truly awe-inspiring experiences. Each app is a bona fide conversation starter and as you progress through our top 10, you’ll find yourself increasingly amazed at what’s possible on your iPad.
It’s a great idea for a collection, and one Apple could consider running once a month on the iPad App Store. There are plenty of apps that fit the bill.
I’m especially fond of 3 of the picks in this collection: MLB’s At Bat, Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe, and the magnificent WWF Together. I’m also well aware of how great Paper by FiftyThree is, as I’ve seen the fantastic art produced with it and even shared some of it over at my iPad and iPhone Art site.
Here’s the full list of apps include in the 10 Apps that Wow collection: Paper by FiftyThree, Panna, Traktor DJ, MLB.com At Bat, The Orchestra, MyScript Calculator, Brian Cox’s Wonders of the Universe, Hotel Tonight, Foldify, WWF Together.
This collection is found among the top rotating items in the iPad App Store Featured section this week.
What do you all think of the collection? Any of your favorites in there?
After a number of recent headline stories about young children racking up huge bills with In-App purchases and Apple having to settle a class action lawsuit by parents relating to the iOS ‘freemium’ model. the iOS App Store now shows a sort of warning label on apps that offer In-App purchases.
For now, it’s a pretty innocuous little label just below the category and rating listing for an app in the iPad App Store. I think it could do with being a little more prominent, and perhaps even include the word ‘warning’ in front of it – or have a small symbol to indicate that it is a warning.
What do you all think? Is this label sufficient to make parents and kids aware or should the label be clearer?
It looks like the iOS 6.1 update has fixed the longstanding problem with the App Store Purchased section not loading. As I posted about recently this issue was affecting numerous users and was a known issue that Apple’s engineering team has been working on.
After the iOS 6.1 update I can once again load the Purchased section in the App Store on my iPad 3 and iPad mini. I can get both tabs of the section to load too – the All tab and ‘Not on This iPad’.
It still takes quite a while to load each page (a minute or more) and sometimes switching between tabs will make the App Store app crash back to the home screen – but most of the time it is working OK for me.
For those of you who were seeing this problem before, what are your results when trying this after the iOS 6.1 update?