Category Archives: iPad App Store

iPad App Store Now Shows Warning for Apps with In-App Purchases

Offers In App Purchases

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?

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Looks Like iOS 6.1 Update Fixed the App Store Purchased Section Loading Issue

iPad Purchased Not on This iPad

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?

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App Store Featuring Super Bowl Apps & Games This Week

Super Bowl Apps

We’re only 8 days away from what looks like a great Super Bowl XLVII. And the iPad App Store is featuring Super Bowl apps and games this week.

The selection of apps and games for this Super Bowl focused section is not huge. There are only 10 selections – 5 apps and 5 games – but it’s a good selection. It includes a couple of official NFL apps (one that’s a guide to this year’s game) and some fun games. NFL Quarterback is a particular favorite of mine.

You can check out this new topical section by opening the App Store and going to the Featured area – it’s one of the rotated featured sections at the top of this page.

Have you got any favorite NFL related iPad apps or games?

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Can’t Access Purchased Section in iPad App Store: Apple Says It’s a Known Issue with ‘Extensive Purchase History’

iPad App Store Purchased section

Have you had problems getting the App Store Purchased section to load on your iPad? Spent time staring at a screen like the one shown above just saying ‘Loading’ for a long while and then the App Store app crashes back to the home screen? Me too. On both my iPad mini and my iPad 3 for at least several weeks now.

I’ve rebooted the iPads more than once, hard rebooted them, and signed out and back in to my Apple ID account in the App Store. I’ve also searched and noted that there are numerous threads on this issue – here’s just one example: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4313321?start=15&tstart=0.

So today I decided to call Apple Support about it. I’ll offer full details below, but the short story is that Apple’s Engineering team is aware of the issue and is working on a number of reported cases. Mine was ‘escalated’ and added to those cases this morning. The issue appears to be with those of us who have what an Apple senior advisor called an ‘extensive purchase history’ when it comes to iPad and iOS apps. My purchase history shows 1,212 iPad apps and 1,276 iPhone apps – so it looks like I qualify.

The only suggested workaround right now is to open up iTunes on a PC and sync any apps you previously purchased and want to get back onto your iPad or other iDevice.

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App Store Milestones: Over 300,000 Native iPad Apps

iPad App Store

Apple announced a set of staggering numbers for their App Store today. The headline number is 40 billion. 40 billion app downloads that is, and that’s unique downloads too – not counting updates or re-downloads.

An even more striking number is this one: there were nearly 20 billion downloads in 2012 alone.

Another impressive and iPad-specific number is 333,789. That’s the number of native iPad apps currently available. Apple announced that there are more than 300,000 – that more precise figure comes via Appshopper.com.

Apple’s press release on these numbers highlights the success of a number of iOS app publishers – from a husband and wife team to some of the big outfits who have had incredible results on the App Store, such as Autodesk:

“Our success on iOS has been incredible,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products for Autodesk. “We set off with the modest goal of bringing SketchBook to iPhone users as a way of introducing them to Autodesk. Fast forward three years, we now offer 20 apps to iOS users that have achieved more than 50 million downloads, and we continue to roll out new creativity and design tools that appeal to both professionals and consumers.”

It’s long been held that ‘apps make  the platform’ and the superb scope and quality of apps available for the iPad continues to be a major reason why it’s such a killer device.

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Ability to Gift Apps on the iPad is Back, with Some New Bells & Whistles

Gift an App on iPad

When iOS 6 came out it removed the ability to gift an app directly from the iPad or any iOS device – so you had to got to iTunes on a desktop PC to use the feature.

A recent update to the App Store has brought back this handy little feature. Now we can gift apps directly from the iPad (or iPhone) easily again. There are even a couple of nice new options to go along with gifting an app on the iPad.

Here’s a quick run-through of how to gift an app on the iPad, and those two new options you can use:

— Open the App Store app

— Tap the app you would like to gift, so that you see the popover page for it.

— Tap the Share button at the top right of that app page. That will bring up the sharing options as shown in the screenshot above.

— Tap on ‘Gift’

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App Store Best of 2012 Features Paper, The Room & More

App Store Best of 2012

Apple has got a new featured section in the App Store this week, celebrating their selections for the best iPad and iOS apps and games of 2012. It’s called App Store Best of 2012.

Here are their choices for iPad App of the Year and iPad Game of the Year: Paper by 53 and The Room. The Room was reviewed by my colleague, Beth, a few months back and she sang its praises.

There are a few other apps and games chosen by Apple that are favorites of mine – including iA Writer, and The Sonnets. One thing that stands out to me is how games-heavy the Apple selections are. I will be publishing my own list of the Best iPad Apps of 2012 soon. In the meantime, you may want to take at my Best iPad Apps of 2011 list.

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Holiday Apps & Games Featured in iPad App Store

App Store Holiday Apps

No great surprise here, but still fun to see this. A Holiday Apps and Games section is featured this week in the iPad App Store.

The section includes just shy of 100 holiday-themed apps and games, in three sub-sections: Seasonal Stories, Holiday Cheer, and Festive Games.

All three sub-sections offer a good mix of fun titles for family and kids of all ages. The Stories section will be a particular favorite at my house. I’m sure  we’ll end up reading a bunch of the stories together at bedtime over the next few weeks. A Charlie Brown Christmas is already a big favorite of ours – and there are lots of other classic tales and promising looking titles to check out.

I expect this featured section will hang around for a few weeks in the App Store. You can find it in the rotating block right at the top of the iPad App Store Featured area.

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Latest Cannot Connect to iTunes Store Errors: Apple Techs Working on It

Cannot Connect to iTunes Store

The infamous ‘Cannot connect to iTunes Store’ errors have been a frequent issue for many iPad and iOS users for months now. I did a post on the Best Fixes for Cannot connect to iTunes store errors back in August – and those fixes have resolved the problem for many users.

Today I’m seeing the error specifically when trying to use Search in the iPad App Store, as are lots of other iOS users. I can still update apps and install new apps without a problem – but as soon as I tap in the search bar I get the error, and of course cannot carry out any searches.

I’ve tried all the fixes listed in my best fixes post and they don’t solve today’s issue – which looks like another issue at Apple’s side. I’ve spoken to Apple support today and they have verified that they can reproduce the issue, that their techs are aware of it, and they’re working on it. There is currently no ETA on when it is expected to be resolved and I couldn’t get any details on what’s causing the issue.

Have any of you seen this problem today with App Store searches? Or seen any fixes for it?

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‘New to iPad? Start Here’ – Featured Section in iPad App Store This Week

NewToiPadFeaturedSection

A new featured section in the iPad App Store this week is titled ‘New to iPad? Start Here’ – to go alongside the launch of the iPad mini and the iPad 4th gen, or iPad 4. It gets near top billing in the iPad App Store too – positioned just below the rotating Editors’ Choice block, and above even the New and Noteworthy section.

The section offers up an eclectic mix of popular and notable apps across a broad range of categories, with a good sprinkling of some of Apple’s own leading titles. For productivity there are the apps that make up the iWork suite: Keynote (presentations), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Pages (word processing); as well as the excellent Evernote app. For those who like the idea of getting their news on the iPad, there are the CNN and Flipboard apps. For those looking to get social on the iPad there’s Facebook and Pinterest. Entertainment apps in the selection include Netflix and Vimeo.

Of course the selection also includes some critically acclaimed and high-profile iPad games – such as Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, which is said to be one of the most stunning games on retina display iPads, The Room, and the recently released Letterpress word game.

One notable family / education app that’s included is Star Walk – 5 Stars Astronomy Guide.

There are now over 275,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad and a great number of stellar ones for nearly any category you’re interested in – but this featured section should do well as a jumping off point for new iPad users.

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Featured Area Layout Changes for the iPad App Store This Week

iPad App Store

Every Thursday afternoon the iPad App Store gets refreshed with new featured apps and content. This week there are also several notable changes to the layout of the Featured area – or at least I’ve only just noticed them this week.

The first change I noticed is that the Education category now has its own featured area. While the main page of the Featured area highlights apps from all categories and shows popover lists for Games, Newsstand and More, if you tap on the Education tab you get another full featured page treatment but filled with just apps from the Education category. This page has its own New and Noteworthy, What’s Hot, app collections (e.g. Reading, Physics, Geography, Astronomy & Earth Science etc), and Quick Links sections.

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