Apple is reportedly experimenting with incorporating app ratings as a factor for its App Store Top Charts rankings. This move isn’t unexpected, as developers have entered into a silent war against Apple, pleading for it to remove the ranking charts from iTunes altogether. This is due, in part, too the ability for developers to pay to artificially inflate their app store positions with fake downloads.
Apple has applied for a patent detailing “Power Management for Electronic Devices,” a new system that will see mobile electronic devices (like new iPhones) learning from their surroundings and altering their running programs to conserve battery life based on how long it’s been since the device has been charged.
Apple’s latest earnings report has revealed continually strong sales numbers for iPhone, while iPad sales came up short of expectations. Apple reported quarterly revenue of $35.3 billion with $6.9 billion in net profit. This is in keeping with the company’s $35 billion in net revenue and $8.8 billion in net profit in the year-ago quarter.
Apple has quietly made some of its most popular games and applications free, perhaps in conjunction with the iOS App Store first launching five years ago this week. With original prices ranging from $0.99 to $19.99, the applications seem to be hand selected as some of the store’s most popular and successful.
The App Store will celebrate its fifth birthday on July 10th and Apple has already begun sharing statistics to show how far it has come. At WWDC earlier last month, the company announced that it had accumulated 575 million app store accounts. These users are selecting from a catalog of apps surpassing 900,000.
Investigative website ProPublica is the latest in a growing group of companies that’s looking to mobile for new projects and growth. In the case of ProPublica, this means the launch of ProPublica The Magazine on Apple’s Newsstand for iOS devices.
In addition to the announcement of iOS 7 at WWDC 2013 yesterday, Apple also introduced iTunes Radio, a new music streaming service. While Apple’s venture into the space has been long rumored, this is Apple’s first iteration of a radio-like service. iTunes Radio will be free to all iOS device users and available in the fall.
iTunes Radio will provide a service exactly like Pandora, as it identifies users taste to find and play similar music. Users of iTunes Radio will gain access to the entire iTunes catalog which currently stands at over 26 million tracks. Prior to iTunes Radio, Apple used a tool called Genius, a playlist builder in iTunes which compiled similar sounding music in a user’s library.
With the introduction of iTunes Radio, Apple seems to be making a push in becoming a leader in streaming music. iTunes Radio will include access to the entire iTunes library, but will not have on-demand streaming capabilities similar to Spotify or Rdio. iTunes Radio also lacks the social component that is offered with other music streaming apps.
For many music streaming applications, users who do not want to receive ads can subscribe to the service for a monthly fee. Apple currently provides a subscription-based service called iTunes Match that shares a user’s iTunes music via iCloud. Unlike Spotify, which allows users to simply stream anything from its robust library, iTunes Match requires users to own all of their music via iTunes purchase or uploaded data.
The strength of a service like this resides in the library, which iTunes has in its favor. Working with Sony, Universal and Warner, Apple has compiled a much stronger music catalog than its competitors. As mentioned before, iTunes has a library of over 26 million songs while Google Play only has 18 million and Pandora has 20 million.
By being able to offer music that is not available elsewhere, iTunes Radio may provide a service that cannot be duplicated. Apple has built a strong enough library of music to make a significant impact on the space.
Google has acquired crowd-sourced mapping application, Waze, as announced from the company’s official blog.
It was long rumored that both Facebook and Apple have shown interest in acquiring the Israel based startup, but have been beat out by Google. While acquisition price is still up in the air, it has been speculated at 1 billion to 1.3 billion dollars.
The Waze product development team will still operate separately in Israel for the time being and plans on using each mapping application complementary to each other. Google also plans on focusing on the Waze community who is seen as the “DNA of [the] app”.
“The Waze community and its dedicated team have created a great source of timely road corrections and updates,” said Google’s Brian McClendon, Vice President of Geo, in a statement. “We welcome them to Google and look forward to working with them in our ongoing effort to make a comprehensive, accurate and useful map of the world.”
According to AppData, Waze is currently the #2 of top free navigation app for iOS. With Google Maps” at number one of top free navigation apps, Google has taken a significant stronghold of the navigation app landscape.
Apple has debuted the newest iteration of iOS at its annual developers conference in San Francisco today. iOS 7, which releases in beta for iPhone today, will receive an official release for current iOS devices in the fall.
With iOS 7, Apple has done a major overhaul both in design and feature set. The updated mobile operating system boasts a completely new look which highlights a flatter design; a new color palette; different, hybrid font; and updated stock app icons. The lockscreen also has a new look, where the slide to unlock bar is now transparent and the notifications center is accessible without unlocking the device. From a functionality standpoint, all of the stock applications have also been updated with new gesture-based, sliding navigation.
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