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.
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.
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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each week the iPad App Store offers up a handful of topical or themed sections in its Featured area. One of the notable ones this week is ‘Start Your Business’ – which is a good looking, eclectic collection of productivity and business oriented apps.
The section highlights 30+ app, and categories and types of apps including note-taking and writing apps, productivity apps, social networking apps, utilities, and finance and business apps.
There are several of my favorite and most used iPad apps in the section – titles like 1Password, Evernote, OmniFocus, Dropbox, Skype, Calcbot, and Keynote.
It’s a solid selection of apps for business users, and a great advert for how much you can get done on the iPad – despite what the ‘only for consumption’ crowd might say.
Family Game Night is one of the topical featured sections in the iPad App Store this week. It’s a good looking selection of a number of classic board games’ iPad editions and some other notable picks as well.
There are 28 games included in the section and they include some old school standards like Scrabble Monopoly, and Battleship for iPad, Trivial Pursuit Master Edition for iPad, and RISK; along with UNO HD, Carcassonne, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and quite a few other promising titles.
All the games are under $10 and should serve as good alternatives to or replacements for some popular board games.
This is one of the rotating highlighted sections in the iPad App Store featured area for the week, and it should stay there until the store is refreshed next Thursday.
When you’re having a family games night does the iPad feature at all, or is it strictly board games?
Every Thursday the Featured area of the iPad App Store gets a refresh and adds some new and often topical featured sections. This week one of these is titled ‘Education Collections’ and it’s one of the best and most complete sections of this type that I’ve seen.
Just in time for the back to school period, this featured section is packed with very good, curated selections of educational apps across a wide range of categories.
Each week the iPad App Store has a few featured sections that highlight a particular category of apps. This week Music Discovery is one of these and it’s a great looking group of apps that are highlighted.
The Music Discovery Apps section is among those rotating at the top of the Featured are of the iPad App Store – and it includes 21 apps. It includes Band of the Day and Songza, two of our past picks for Best Free iPad App of the Week, as well as Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Shazam for iPad and a number of other very good apps. I’m always on the lookout for more ways to discover good new music, so it’s great to see this category growing in the iPad App Store.
I’m not sure Apple’s own Podcasts app really deserves a place in this list, but maybe there are enough good music discovery podcasts featured to justify the pick.
If you’re fond of using the iPad to help you discover new music you may well want to give this week’s featured section a look. There’s also an Apps for Foodies section this week, just below the New and Noteworthy section.