Posts in Apps (95)
Apple have recently added a new question into the iTunes Connect flow when submitting a new app, or an update to an existing app.
"Does your app contain, display or access third-party content?"
If you answer "No", you can continue with the submission, if you answer "Yes" you are asked a further question, "Do you have all necessary rights to that content or are you otherwise permitted to use it under the laws of each App Store territory in which your app is available (for example, fair use).
If you answer "Yes", you can continue, if you answer "No" you are shown a warning, and a link to the trademarks section of the App Store Guidelines.
This doesn't appear to be any new policy on Apple's part, but we can guess that Apple is planning to enforce the guidelines more strictly in future, in particular guideline 8.5:
This seems most likely to affect apps which use the brand names or logos of other companies, for example apps which show fashion products, sports teams, TV network logos, etc. Be prepared to submit written documentation that you have the right to show such content, even in the past Apple has not rigorously required this.
To our fans:
Thank you for downloading, playing, and loving our apps! ReignGames has enjoyed creating such fun and high quality games. As our products evolved, we were able to gain experience in the market and develop a variety of applications. However, maintaining too many apps can be detrimental for all of them. That’s why we’ve decided that it’s time to retire some of our older apps. By “retire”, we mean that the app will no longer be updated, and this includes bug-fixes.
By the end of 2013.
The following apps will not be updated, but they will be available in the app store.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for your patronage! We appreciate our millions of fans, and we look forward to creating more entertaining and cutting-edge apps for you!
Logging on to iTunes Connect to upload a new version of an iOS app now shows a new section within "Contact Details" for an app.
According to Apple, "to offer your app on the Korean App Store, you must provide additional information that will be displayed alongside your app. Note that this information will only appear in the Korean App Store."
In particular you must give a full name, postal address, phone number and email address for you or your "trade rep", and these will be shown on your App Store listing in Korea.
Understandably developers, particularly one-man shops may have concerns about this. Previously it was necessary to provide a phone number but this was only visible to Apple, while showing developer's full addresses raises some privacy concerns. The fields are opt-in but Apple implies your apps will not be shown to users in Korea unless you provide the new contact details.
It's long been a complaint of computer users in Europe that they have to pay more for their software from companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Apple compared to prices in the US. The App Store has generally been immune to this: price tiers are based on the US dollar price, and most prices in foreign currencies are within 10% of the dollar price, for example a Tier 1 app is 0.99 USD, 0.69 GBP (equivalent to 1.07 USD) or 8 HKD (equivalent to 1.031 HKD).
In June Apple quietly introduced new "Alternate" price tiers which publishers can optionally use for their apps. I can't think of any reason for this except to allow traditional media companies to get back to their usual practice of screwing over consumers in Europe, particularly the UK.
I downloaded the price tier data from iTunes Connect, and created a small spreadsheet to show the difference in price between Price Tier 1 and Alternate Price Tier 1. Brits now have to pay 0.99 GBP, equivalent to 1.53 USD, a 43% increase on the old price. The EU price has risen by 11% so Europeans are now paying a 33% premium over the US.
Six countries, marked below, have suffered an increase of more than 20%.
I've made the data available as a Google Doc if you want to experiment.
My advice to developers: stick to the traditional prices. Don't let it all end in tiers...
For mobile app developers, it's been a two-horse race up to now: iOS versus Android. We've been keeping an eye on the progress of Windows Phone, and there are finally signs that it may be solidifying it's position in third place, it's edged up to a 3.7% market share worldwide according to a recent survey.
The time seemed right to dip our toes into the Windows Phone ecosystem, so we decided to port one of our existing apps, Bible Promises, to Windows Phone. Why choose Bible Promises? First, Bible Promises has a large community of active users on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr. Second, as a content-based app rather than a game, it would allow us to explore the native UI elements provided by Windows Phone.
Our first step was to identify a mininum viable feature set. Bible Promises for iOS and Android are both mature products which have gained a lot of features over the year. We didn't necessarily need to port everything over on the first version. In Basecamp, we brainstormed on the most important features:
We also decided which features we should include that would make the app work well in the Windows Phone environment. At the Bibletech conference earlier this year, I spoke with Matthias Shapiro, a Windows Phone evangelist, and asked him one one feature he would add to an app to make it feel native on Windows Phone. He recommended adding a Live Tile. We decided to use the Live Tile to promote the Daily Verse, one of the most popular features of our iPhone and Android apps.
The next step was to get our development environment set up. This was a little painful: we're used to working on our Mac laptops, so had to resurrect an older PC, install Windows 8 on it, and then install Visual Studio Express. Despite a lot of messing about with settings, we weren't able to get the Windows Phone Emulator to work, so all of our testing had to happen on a device.
For a device, we purchased the excellent value Huawei Ascend W1 from Taobao. We had no problem getting this registered as a development device and running our apps on it.
For the app UI, we decided to follow the Windows Phone design guidelines as much as possible. This meant that the app has a distinctive feeling from our iOS and Android apps. We used the Panorama control to allow the user to swipe between verses. To ensure that the app still "felt" like Bible Promises, we carried over the colors and fonts from our existing apps, such as using Georgia as the main font. This ensured the final app felt like a Windows Phone app, but was still familiar as Bible Promises.
Finally, we submitted to the Windows Store! The app is now available to download. There's a trial version which allows you to sample the first half of the category list, the full version is just $0.99 or equivalent.
We'd love to hear your feedback if you have a Windows Phone. Please get in touch!