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.
As part of celebrating 5 years of the App Store Apple is offeringup 10 ‘amazing, groundbreaking’ apps for free for a limited time. As you can see above these include some flagship iOS games like Infinity Blade II and Where’s My Water and some impressive apps like Day One and Over.
This is quite an interesting promotion – since none of these are Apple’s own apps or games. The App Store’s 5th anniversary is Wednesday, July 10 – and on the same page as the apps promotion Apple highlights a timeline of milestones in the store’s history.
The Milestones section is fun to browse through – with lots of crazy, huge numbers, dates when some flagship apps were launched or featured in the App Store, and more. Here are a few of these milestones that caught my eye:
July 14, 2008: 10 Million apps downloaded in the first weekend the App Store is open
September 9, 2008: 100 million downloads reached
January 16, 2009: App downloads top 500 million worldwide
April 4, 2009: And less than 3 months later, App Store downloads top 1 billion.
April3,2010: iPad goes on sale
April 30, 2010: TIME Magazine launches on iPad
June 7, 2010: App Store downloads top 5 billion worldwide. 11,000 apps designed for iPad available.
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?
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.
This is a question I see come up a lot in iPad and iOS forums: how to change your location for iTunes and the App Store. Luckily, it’s very easy to do – right on the iPad itself. Here’s how:
— Open the Settings app on your iPad.
— Tap on the entry for iTunes & App Stores in the left sidebar – as shown above.
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?