Be aware, Play Store approval times will now take longer

Google is increasing the scrutiny of new apps submitted to the Play Store which means approval times will now be longer.

The official Android app store has witnessed a spate of malware-infested apps making it past Google’s current approval process. Just a few days ago, Trend Micro announced that it reported 85 apps posing as photography and gaming apps to Google...

By Ryan Daws, 19 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple launches accelerator in China to boost app design and development

Apple has cut the ribbon on its first app design and development accelerator in China.

The accelerator, located in Shanghai, aims to help Apple scale its operation in one of the world’s biggest markets.

Apple will hold regular lectures and networking sessions for developers at its new accelerator. All of Apple’s platforms will be covered, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS.

Enwei Xie, Apple’s Head of Developer Relations in Greater China, said:

"Local...

By Ryan Daws, 11 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Design, iOS, Mac, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei trademarks Android replacement, asks for help filling AppGallery

Huawei’s replacement for Android inches closer as it files a trademark for the OS while calling on app developers to help fill its Play Store alternative.

The ongoing saga following Huawei’s ban from dealing with US companies, of which it's been granted a temporary reprieve, has had many twists and turns.

Reports over the past week suggested Huawei was

By Ryan Daws, 14 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Developers of banished iOS parental control apps demand screen time API

A group of iOS developers who had their parental control apps pulled from the App Store are demanding a screen time API.

The apps were pulled from the App Store over concerns they violate user privacy. Protecting users is fair, but the developers want a way to provide their apps safely.

Seventeen developers have banded together with a technical proposal for implementing such an API.

The developers believe Apple is preventing competition by only allowing its built-in parental...

By Ryan Daws, 31 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Google tightens Play Store policies around weed, sex, hate, and loot

Google is taking a tougher stance on apps featuring things such as marijuana, sex, loot boxes, and hate speech with new Play Store policies.

Part of Google’s reasoning behind the changes is to protect young minds from being influenced by apps and games they stumble across.

Developers now have to define target age groups for their apps in the Play Console. When minors are included, new ‘Designed for Families’ policies must be applied.

Google provides some examples of common violations:

  • Apps that promote play for children in their...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google will closely vet first-time Android developers for security

Google has announced plans to closely vet Android developers without a track record in a bid to boost platform security.

Android security has vastly improved since its early days but that hasn’t prevented some rogue developers from abusing Google’s platform.

Sameer Samat, VP of Android Product Management, wrote in a blog post:

“From the outset, we’ve sought to craft Android as a completely open...

By Ryan Daws, 16 April 2019, 2 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

Play Store enables ‘pre-registration’ feature for all, plus larger app bundles

Google added some welcome new features to its Play Store ahead of its appearance at GDC this week.

The first is not strictly an addition but more of an expansion. ‘Pre-registration’ is now available for all developers, allowing hype for a game or app to be generated prior to release.

Next up is a new store page A/B test allowing multiple versions to be trialled with a subset of users. Performance stats will be provided for each to decide the optimal version before a full rollout.

To account for...

By Ryan Daws, 19 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Mobile, Platforms.

Microsoft boosts developers’ revenue cut across its app stores

Microsoft has updated its app store policies to give developers a much fairer revenue cut of up to 95 percent.

There are some caveats to Microsoft’s revenue cut. To receive the full 95 percent, the app must be purchased through a deep link directly to your app. If the app is purchased through Microsoft listing it or marketing it somewhere, the developers will receive 85 percent.

App store fees have become a hot topic in recent months. The general feeling among developers is the platform holder’s...

By Ryan Daws, 06 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Industry, Microsoft, Platforms.

App Store requires devs in ‘Account Holder’ role to enable 2FA

Apple has announced that developers with the ‘Account Holder’ role on the App Store will have to enable two-factor authentication.

The change is compulsory and will come into effect from February 27th.

“In an effort to keep accounts more secure, developers with the Account Holder role in a developer program will need to enable two-factor authentication to sign in to their Apple Developer account and Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles,” the company wrote.

Apple has not disclosed a...

By Ryan Daws, 21 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mac.

Play Store now accepts PWAs which use Trusted Web Activities

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API are finally supported on the Google Play Store following its 2017 announcement.

TWA is an API for PWAs which allows web content to be displayed in fullscreen with system-level features and limited native code.

Some will note the existence of PWAs like Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, and Twitter Lite on the Play Store. Most of these use WebView and required a lot of added native code for things like notifications. TWA allows web developers to publish...

By Ryan Daws, 04 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

App Store developers have pocketed $120bn since 2008

Apple has used the start of its Entrepreneur Camp in Cupertino as an opportunity to announce some of its latest App Store statistics.

The firm announced that App Store developers have pocketed $120 billion in total since 2008. An impressive $30 billion was distributed to developers in the last 12 months alone.

With Apple still taking a 30 percent cut from App Store sales, the company is raking in the cash. Recent reports that iPhone sales are slowing appear to have had little impact on App Store revenue.

App...

By Ryan Daws, 29 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Google uses machine learning to purge Play Store of spam reviews

Google has created a machine learning-powered anti-spam system to get rid of fake reviews from its Play Store.

The multinational tech company’s distribution platform has been plagued by millions of apps that hire users and companies to write fake reviews which boost exposure.

Google has officially listed three categories it classes as violating its guidelines:

  • Bad content: Reviews that are profane, hateful, or off-topic.

  • Fake ratings: Ratings and reviews meant to manipulate an app's average rating or top reviews. We've seen different approaches to manipulate the average rating; from...

By Developer, 19 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple provides app analytics on the Mac App Store

Apple is adding app analytics to its revamped Mac App Store which launched with macOS Mojave earlier this year.

In a post on its developer portal today, Apple wrote:

“Your app data from the new Mac App Store on macOS Mojave is now available in App Store Connect.

Now you can find out how many times your app was seen on the Mac App Store, how many times your product page was viewed, and how many new customers downloaded your app.

By Ryan Daws, 14 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Apple, App Stores, Mobile, Platforms.

Supreme Court leaning against Apple in App Store monopoly claim

The day for Apple to defend itself against App Store monopoly claims in front of the Supreme Court arrived Monday, and it’s not looking good for the company.

Attendees claim the case appears to be leaning in favour of the claimants; Robert Pepper and three other Apple users who joined him in a class-action lawsuit.

The claimants brought the case in front of the Supreme Court with the allegation that Apple is forcing users to get apps from the iOS App Store with no alternative. That means Apple can take...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

App Store bundles can now include Mac and subscription apps

Apple has announced developers can now include Mac and free apps with subscriptions in their App Store bundles.

With the new functionality, developers can offer a bundle of up to 10 of their apps. This increases visibility while allowing users potentially discounted access.

In its announcement, Apple wrote:

“App bundles make it easy for customers to buy up to 10 of your apps in a single purchase. And now, you can create app bundles for Mac apps or free apps that offer an...

By Ryan Daws, 17 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mac, Platforms.

Apple Watch apps became 64-bit due to ‘Bitcode’ feature

Apps developed for the Apple Watch transitioned from 32-bit to 64-bit last month thanks to the ‘Bitcode’ feature hidden in Xcode.

The feature was added to Xcode 7 three years ago in November 2015. While optional for iOS apps, it was mandatory for watchOS and tvOS. Now we know why,

Rather than update and recompile each app for 64-bit, Bitcode sits between human-written code and machine code to prevent this being necessary. Bitcode provides a partially-compiled app to Apple which can be completed...

By Ryan Daws, 02 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Development Tools, Platforms, Wearables.

Analyst: Supreme Court won’t rule on App Store fees until mid-2019

Developers awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case against Apple over its App Store fees may have to wait until mid-2019.

Benjamin Schachter, Analyst at Macquarie Research, expects the verdict will be heard soon but the ruling won’t be made until early next year. Furthermore, any potential financial impact will be at least a year away.

The case against Apple was filed in 2011 by a group of app developers who allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviours in taking a cut from...

By Ryan Daws, 28 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Monetisation, Platforms.

Google will soon be reviewing every WearOS app for quality

Google will soon be reviewing every WearOS app to ensure those on the platform are high quality as part of its bid to revitalise the platform.

WearOS has struggled to take off quite as people hoped. Part of the reason is a perceived lack of reason to hand over hundreds of pounds for a glorified notification extender.

To help ensure users find good apps for WearOS, Google will soon be assessing whether submitted apps are of a decent standard.

Having a WearOS app review by Google was optional as of Android Wear...

By Ryan Daws, 16 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Platforms, Wearables.

Apple’s crackdown on gambling apps has wider casualties

Apple's crackdown on gambling apps in the iOS App Store is having some wider casualties as others get caught in the crossfire.

Developers who’ve been affected received a message from Apple saying it was removing gambling-related apps to “reduce fraudulent activity … and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity.”

Here’s the full message:

By Ryan Daws, 13 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Platforms.