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Amazon’s Unlocked program will make paid apps and games free

Posted by wicked March - 21 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

amazon-accounts-hackedAmazon will reportedly kick off a new program for their App Store soon, called Unlocked. The Unlocked program essentially takes paid apps and games, and ones with in-app purchases, and makes them completely free. Free to download, free to buy things in-game, and free to unlock extra features without spending a dime.

An internal presentation showcasing some of the functionality was leaked, showing off how users can sort out to only see Unlocked apps, and how it’ll look when users buy apps or make in-app purchases. This will all have to be done on Amazon’s own App Store, of course, but getting that installed isn’t too tough, even if Google yanked it from the Play Store

This program takes the free app of the day promotion that Amazon currently runs and takes it one step further by creating a catalog of apps and games, plus extending it to include the in-app purchases. There’s only one small catch to the whole deal; once an Unlocked app leaves the Unlocked program, those in-app purchases are no longer free. Anything you’ve bought or used won’t cost you anything, and you can continue using the app, but if you’re hooked in the middle of a mobile game and want to keep buying extra lives or power-ups, you’ll have to pony up the cash for it. It’s not the most direct way of bringing in revenue and users, but it’s clever, and it might pay off for Amazon.

Unfortunately, other details about the program were a little scarce, like if it’ll cost anything extra per year, if it’ll be offered as part of Amazon Prime, and when it’ll launch. It looks like Amazon has the program ready to go fairly soon, though, so I’d expect to hear something sooner rather than later.

source: TechCrunch

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Apple doubles app size to allow for bigger and better iOS games

Posted by Tom February - 14 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

However much memory our phones have, we’ve all faced the not enough memory notification and had to decide whether to delete the games that take up the most space (Infinity Blade, I’m looking at you).

That dilemma’s doubled in size now as Apple has increased the app size limit from 2GB to 4GB.

This is another reason to go big when it comes to memory and smartphone collections. A little more money on the original outlay will mean fewer infuriating memory message and a better resale value down the line.

Keep an eye out for the first 4GB app.

Via engadget

Amazon launching tons of digital deals for Christmas, including free apps and deep discounts

Posted by wicked December - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

amazon_logo_kindle_hdIf you’ve invested in Amazon’s digital ecosystem, you’ll want to keep an eye on some of the deals they’re going to be offering right around Christmas. There are tons of offers on everything from apps to movies and TV shows to Kindle books, some of which are completely free.

Starting on Christmas Even and running until December 26th, the Amazon App Store will be offering the biggest free app bundle Amazon has ever done. There will be tons of free apps for you to preload on your Kindle devices, including  games from developers like Rovio and Sega, and Amazon is offering discounts on Amazon Coin purchases on top of that. Following into the New Year, you can expect more discounts on other apps and games, too.

Leading up to Christmas, Amazon is discounting many holiday titles and kids movies and TV shows up to 50% off. On the music front, Amazon has released a holiday music playlist featuring over 40 songs that Prime subscribers can listen to at no extra cost. They’re extending the trial of those songs to anyone who visits Amazon up until Christmas Day, so if you want to listen to some cheery Christmas music while you knock out your online shopping, Amazon has you covered. On Christmas, you can also expect some digital Gold Box deals from Amazon on many popular music albums.

Between Christmas and the new year, Amazon is also discounting tons of Kindle books up to 85% off to give you a reason to load up your new devices with things to read in 2015. Those discounts cover tons of different author and extend to audiobooks, too.

If you’re looking for a new way to view your digital Amazon content, you’ll even be able to pick up some of their hardware at a discounted price. The retailed is taking $20 off of the Fire TV, Kindle, and Kindle Paperwhite, and $25 off of the Kindle Fire HD 7. No deals on the floundering Kindle Fire Phone, but at least you can pick them up pretty cheaply now, anyway, right?

Amazon is one of the best in the business at offering great value for customers, and these holiday deals are no exception. Are you planning on giving or receiving any Kindle devices for Christmas this year?

source: Amazon

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Xiaomi app store hits 10 billion downloads, plans to go international

Posted by wicked November - 26 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Although it is not a well-known name outside of the Chinese market, you may recall that Xiaomi managed to grab the number 3 spot as a global manufacturer of smartphones during the third quarter. The phenomenal growth Xiaomi has achieved in the sales of smartphones is helping the company in other ways, like the recent accomplishment of having 10 billion apps downloaded from their app store. That has translated to 364,000,000 yuan ($59 million USD) paid to developers from January to October of this year. This strong growth has prompted the company to start looking outside China.

Users are currently downloading apps from the Xiaomi App Store 50 million times a day. The interest in the Xiaomi store is no doubt aided by the lack of a presence in China by Google. Currently, Xiaomi has opened access to an international version of their app store to users in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore to go with all of the users in mainland China accessing the app store. Xiaomi is also poised to enter the Indian market which is likely to produce another huge surge in interest in their app store.

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source: MIUI
via: phoneArena

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Xiaomi opens up app store to more countries, celebrates 10 billion downloads

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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There’s no other way to put it: Xiaomi is simply on fire. The company is doing so well in fact, that huge tier 1 competitors like Samsung have taken notice, although vocally expressing the doubt they have in Xiaomi’s business model.

If the sales figures for Xiaomi devices aren’t enough proof of its success (the company beat Samsung in China and occupied the third place in global shipments for smartphones in Q3), then perhaps the launch of Xiaomi’s new international app store, along the celebration of its Chinese app store’s 10 billionth app download are.

Xiaomi announced that its Chinese app store is currently averaging 50 million downloads a day, which is a staggering number for what is in essence a third-party Android store. Back in May, the company launched its Mi Pad tablet, and currently it boasts over 3000 applications and games designed specifically for it.

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If that wasn’t impressive enough, the company is also reporting that a total of 364 million RNB (around $60 million) has been paid out to app developers. Xiaomi is now opening an international app store that will allow developers from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore to upload their apps and showcase them to a wider audience. This store will probably open up soon to devs and users in more countries, as Xiaomi continues to expand into more markets, including India.

Google’s Play Store isn’t currently available in China, though rumor has it Google might make a return to the country soon. As such, Xiaomi users in the largest market of the world use a variety of app stores, including Xiaomi’s.

Free is lawsuits, get is free from blame – the Apple linguistics shift

Posted by Tom November - 22 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

The Apple App Store has had a subtle makeover. So subtle, in fact, that it’s just one word – but one word that appears a lot.

Until recently, apps that didn’t demand an initial payment sat next to a button that said ‘Free’. This led to lawsuits a’plenty, with parents suing the company when they got massive bills from their children clicking away on in-app purchases.

Those days are behind them, they hope. Free is gone and has been replaced by ‘Get’.

‘Get’ this app implies nothing. Get it, and then see how it goes.

This blame-free simple shift should save the company some money in legal fees.

Mystical early-2000s Australian soothsayers The Vines saw it all coming.

Via gizmodo

Google Play Store downloads beat out iOS App Store downloads in volume by 60%

Posted by wicked October - 15 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

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According to the latest numbers about app store downloads, Google’s Play Store sees about 60% more volume for downloads than Apple’s App Store. There were roughly 160 million downloads in Q3 on the Play Store, while the App Store only saw about 100 million. Both are impressive numbers however you slice, but Android’s enormous market share globally is really showing through here.

On the opposite end of that, however, the App Store is still consistently bringing in more revenue. Apple makes about 60% more revenue than Google does with their store, much of which can be attributed to the fact that Android gets a ton of its market share from developing countries that are significantly less likely to make any purchases on an app store. When customers do make purchases on the Play Store, it seems like the majority of those buys are on games. Just about all of Google’s revenue growth in the US and South Korea this quarter came from mobile games, not apps.

This report is pretty consistent with what we usually see. Android maintains the lead in volume and numbers, while iOS tends to bring in more money.

source: The Next Web

 

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49 percent of app users are willing to pay a monthly subscription

Posted by wicked October - 7 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

MobileSubscriptionPriceSurvey Mobile Study

The question of whether users will pay for online content has hung over traditional media for years. Now, we are seeing a pattern for mobile platforms going forward which includes more customers paying monthly for content.

According to a Harris survey, 43 percent of mobile users say that they have paid for an app and 49 percent of mobile users say that they would be willing to pay for a monthly subscription app.

Among those who have paid for an app, 83 percent say they have paid $9.99 or less, 63 percent have paid only $4.99 or less and 31 percent have paid $1.99 or less. The study found that streaming TV and movies is the category in which most people will pay the most for on a subscription basis.

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In maybe the biggest surprise, mobile users are now much more willing to commit to a subscription model that has escaped most online publishers for years. In fact, more than a third of smartphone/tablet owners currently subscribe to one or more app-based services. Though as Media Post points out, Netflix is likely responsible for many of those subscriptions.

But the gains in subscriptions from outside the movie and TV category is still quite surprising:

  • 11 percent of subs are in the productivity app category,
  • 30 percent in games, 27 percent in streaming music and
  • 25 percent in news and magazines.

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While the study clearly shows a public that is more accepting of a subscription model for apps, it is also clear that on the whole the public is still skeptical and picky about whether they want to pay a monthly fee for content on a mobile device.


Source: Fierce Wireless, Mobile App Study;

Over $135 of Android apps now free on Amazon AppStore

Posted by wicked September - 25 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Amazon_Tablet_AppFor a limited time, dozens of Android apps are absolutely free from Amazon’s AppStore. The apps on sale are of all genres, from games to productivity apps. Among the apps: OfficeSuite Professional 7 ($15 value), Genius Scan+ ($7 value), Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II ($5 value), and mSecure – Password Manager and Secure Digital Wallet ($10 value). If you’re interested, head to the link below and get downloading.

Source: Amazon

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Most smartphone users download this many apps per month: zero

Posted by wicked August - 23 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

In summer of 2008, Apple introduced another game-changer that would affect the way people used smartphones moving forward – the iPhone App Store. This has now contributed to the global consciousness about apps, and Google saw that this was the only way to go to peddle its apps as well through the Android Market, concluding in the current incarnation of the Google Play Store. But why does comScore’s new data point to a staggering truth – that most smartphone users average ZERO app downloads in a month?

According to the same study, 52 percent – a little over half the time people spend on digital media (Internet, smartphones, tablets) are on apps. Yet the numbers of the report say this – that 65.5% of all smartphone users in the country average zero app downloads in a month. Only one third – roughly 30% — download any apps at all, and that would be around 1 to 3 apps.

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What’s the deal? It’s not like these apps aren’t useful – the usage numbers say that more than half of US smartphone owners tapped and used apps on a daily basis (comScore). Are good apps too pricey? We all know that most apps are free, and even then, most paid apps average on from a few cents to a few dollars, and the market is such that it pushes prices down rather than up.

One suitable explanation maybe that over the years, the app saturation has gone on to very high levels that it pushes users to have an “app routine” – that is, get to know the apps that do the job for you, and stick to them like glue. Once a user falls into a routine, they will still have the same apps even if they upgrade devices – the Google Play Store has made this tremendously easy, and even I can say that I am glad for it.

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Another explanation may be that the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store – but more Apple than Google, really – has made it very difficult to discover new apps. The Apple App Store ecosystem is notorious for relying heavily on “top lists” and also known for not improving its search functions over the years. This only makes “editor’s picks” and bigger companies get all the profit and pushes an app – however ingenious it is – to the bottom.

The numbers won’t lie, the app ecosystem has pushed people to a state of non-discovery. It falls a lot to Android journalists and writers to discover and recommend the cool apps that need to be unearthed out the pile. But it also points to Apple and Google having to improve their market ecosystems, or else it might die a slow and painful death.

VIA: QZ