Both Google and Apple have come under regulatory scrutiny over the past few years due to practices with their respective mobile app stores and the lack of competition. As it turns out, Microsoft has been quietly working on its own mobile game store that would take on the Play Store and App Store, but it depends on a forthcoming acquisition.
App Store Stories October 19, 2022
App Store Stories June 8, 2016
Among other changes this morning, Apple announced a new 85-15 revenue split with developers of apps that have subscriptions. Recode is now reporting that Google has had the same plan in mind for the Play Store, but with an important advantage.
App Store Stories May 27, 2016
Google app on iOS gets faster load times, AMP articles in search, keyboard shortcuts, more
Faster load and search times are the highlight feature of an update to the Google app on iOS. Like on the mobile web and Android, AMP articles will now show up in search results. Other improvements include sport video highlights on Now cards and more keyboard shortcuts for iPad users.
App Store Stories May 3, 2016
Amazon is giving away $5 credits when you download select free Android apps
Amazon is once again offering a promotion for first time users of its Underground App Store that yields a $5 credit when select free apps are downloaded. The promotional credit can only be used to “purchase physical goods” at Amazon and expires 10 days after it is distributed. Full Terms and Conditions below. This is a great chance to load up your new $40 Fire Tablet with some top-rated games.
To redeem your $5 promotional credit, simply follow these directions:
- Visit the Amazon Underground promotional page and enter your email address to receive the download link.
- Access your phone’s Settings page and press Security or Applications
- Check the Unknown Services box and press OK when prompted
- On your Downloads or My Files page, find “Amazon_App.apk” and install
- Download any of these games to receive your $5 credit, which should arrive via email a few minutes later.
Amazon first launched the Underground app store last August with over $10,000 worth of free titles for Android users. Learn more in our coverage here.
App Store Stories April 19, 2016
For both Google and Apple, the operations on their virtual stores are hugely important, as they account for millions of dollars. However, there has historically been a disparity between the number of downloaded applications and the actual money generated by them, a trend that seems to have peaked in the first quarter of this year.
According to App Annie‘s Index Market for Q1 of 2016, in fact, Google’s Play Store saw a number of downloads that roughly doubles that of the iOS App Store, which in turns represents the platform with the highest profitability, with over 90% more revenue generated over its counterpart…
App Store Stories January 29, 2016
Google finally launches an AdWords app for iPhone and iPad
Google has finally launched a full-fledged iOS app for users of its AdWords advertising service. The AdWords app arrives today as the first official iOS app for the service and it’s available for both iPhone and iPad users now.
App Store Stories January 20, 2016
According to a new report out of app analytics company App Annie, Apple’s trend of bringing in more revenue via its App Store than Google does via the Play Store continued in 2015. Google, however, continued to see far more app downloads than Apple…
App Store Stories December 7, 2015
Google launches Reminders to bring to-dos into Calendar mobile apps
Today Google Calendar for both Android and iOS gains a handy new Reminders feature that works alongside the app’s to-dos feature.
With the Reminders feature, users will be able to keep track of to-do lists across Google platforms including Inbox, Google Keep, Google Now, and Calendar.
Here’s how the new reminders work:
You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do.
And since the reminders work across Google apps, you can create them from Inbox, Google Keep, Calendar, and even using Google Now voice commands: “Ok Google, remind me to buy birthday candles.”
The new Reminders feature for Calendar on Android and iOS is rolling out this week. Google says it will come to the web apps in the near future. The updated Google Calendar app for iOS also adds 3D Touch to create events or reminders.
App Store Stories December 4, 2015
Google soon pushing a fix for false 1 star App Store ratings in search results
According to a post today on the Google Search Help Forum, Google will soon push a fix for a long standing search bug that falsely shows iTunes App Store listings as having 1 star ratings (via MacRumors). The problem was first reported by several iOS app developers in late October, and it seems Google has finally acknowledged the issue…
Today, a Community Manager on the forum said that a fix is scheduled for the next release:
Hi everyone, thanks for your continued reports here. As Spencer mentioned, he’s been following up thoroughly with us regarding this and I’m happy to share that we’ve been working hard on providing a solution, and a new fix has been scheduled for the next release, which should be rolling out early next week. Appreciate your patience here.
App Store Stories December 3, 2015
Yahoo Messenger has long taken a back seat to other Yahoo products on mobile devices, but today the company is finally unveiling a revamped app that brings its messaging platform into this decade with a completely redesigned user experience and new features. expand full story
App Store Stories November 13, 2015
In the wake of some absolutely tragic and terrifying events tonight in Paris, Google has made international phone calls to France free on Google Hangouts. In other tragic past events, many companies that offer calling services have offered similar opportunities.
In a related initiative, Facebook has tonight launched a feature called Safety Check, which allows you to “quickly find and connect with friends in the area” and mark them safe if you know they’re safe. You can also let your friends know if you’re in the affected area.
You can head over to the Play Store or the App Store to grab the app for free, or head to hangouts.google.com to make free international calls to France straight from your browser.
Google has quietly launched a Chrome beta for iOS through TestFlight, the beta distribution service Apple acquired last year and integrated into its own developer services. Google has yet to make an official announcement for the beta release, but users can already sign-up and download the beta when visiting Google’s Chrome beta download page on iOS. expand full story
App Store Stories November 10, 2015
Hangouts hits version 6.0 on iOS with performance improvements, not much else
Google has kept Hangouts for iOS just slightly ahead of its Android counterpart when it comes to its version number, and today that tradition continues. Hangouts on Apple’s platform just got a not-so-big update to 6.0 (which you would think would be a major upgrade), but there only seems to be general performance improvements in this one…
Here’s the full — and very disappointing — change log:
What’s New in Version 6.0.0
• Other general notification improvements. • Accessibility bug fixes. • Fix for iPhone 6s sound quality.
You can head over to the App Store to grab the new version, but if you’re like me, updates to the Android app would be much more welcome. Actually, I wouldn’t be upset if we just got bug fix & performance improvements for the Android version for the next few releases. I will say, though, that the app has become much more usable in recent months.
App Store Stories October 30, 2015
OnePlus doesn’t exactly have the best reputation in the Android community anymore, but that’s apparently not doing anything to slow the company down. Just yesterday the company made the OnePlus X official, and now they’re releasing a completely unrelated app (or maybe somewhat related, considering the photos form an “X” after they’re taken?). Reflexion is a neat take on an app that captures one image that shows both yourself and a glimpse of the world around you… expand full story
App Store Stories September 24, 2015
Google today announced that it’s bringing its Google Keep note taking app to iPhone and iPad for the first time after originally releasing only for web and Android users a couple years back. expand full story
App Store Stories September 16, 2015
Sure, technically Apple’s first Android app was the now discontinued Beats Music which it picked up through acquisition last year and it’s developing Apple Music for Google’s platform, but it’s very fitting that Apple’s first in-house app is called Switch to iOS from Android. Apple first announced the new Android app this year alongside iOS 9 at its developer conference, and today with iOS 9’s official launch the Move to iOS app is officially available on the Google Play Store. Here’s how it works: expand full story
App Store Stories August 28, 2015
It looks like Google has been working behind the scenes to make searching for apps a much more intuitive and better-looking experience on Android. As spotted by the folks at Android Police, if you go searching for apps from the default search feature in Android, you’ll now get a very attractive, Material-themed grid of apps. Although it doesn’t work for every single term, simply search for anything followed by ‘apps’ and it’ll bring up a grid of downloadable options from the Google Play Store.
App Store Stories August 27, 2015
Instagram today announced that it’s rolling out two new orientations for photos and videos including portrait and landscape formats to add to the old square photo format that was previously the only option for users uploading content. expand full story
App Store Stories August 20, 2015
Winter is coming: Yahoo Weather app adds near-term rain and snow alerts
Yahoo is today updating its Yahoo Weather app for Android with near-term rain and snow alerts (not that we needed a reminder that summer is nearly over). With the updated app, users will receive alerts for rain and snow 15 minutes before an expected downpour.
In addition to the new weather alerts, Yahoo notes that the app is now more accurate with improvements made to the methods it uses to “determine and serve forecasts.” As an example, Yahoo says the app will now “even zoom in on microclimates.”
The updated Yahoo Weather app with rain and snow alerts, version 1.8, is available for Android on Google Play now.
What’s New in Version 1.8
Introducing new weather alerts around the world!
Yahoo Weather, our beautiful and intuitive weather app, will alert you 15 minutes before rain or snow is expected so you can grab your jacket, boots and umbrella!
App Store Stories June 15, 2015
Adobe has today released a new Photoshop app for Android called Photoshop Mix, a new attempt at bringing the company’s photo editing software to mobile. While Photoshop Express has been around for a while, it’s not exactly the most powerful photo editing tool on the Play Store. Adobe Photoshop Mix, in light of Photoshop Touch’s removal from the store, is an attempt at filling the gap for those that are looking for something a little more robust. expand full story
App Store Stories May 14, 2015
Snake Rewind (from the creator of the original Snake) lands on the Play Store
Snake Rewind has been getting a lot of hype, mostly because it was—at least partially—created by the maker of the original “Snake” mobile game from the 90s. Taneli Armanto in partnership with a game studio by the name of Rumilus Design announced the game earlier this month, but now it has officially landed in the Play Store.
The game is definitely inspired by the ancient dumbphone game, but this version has been updated to meet the tastes of a 2015 mobile gaming crowd. You’ll find a variety of fruit that the Snake can eat, 10 levels all with their own style and music, and the ability to compete against others via leaderboards and Facebook connect.
Here’s the full feature list:
– Rewind the snake to continue the game even after crashing! – Many different types of special fruit, with unique powers and effects! – 10 levels with distinct visuals and music, unlocked by completing fun and challenging missions! – Fruit store where boosters and items can be upgraded and purchased, using fruit that you collect while playing! – Compete against other players for higher scores and rankings on the leaderboards, connect with friends on Facebook and Game Center! – Fill the whole screen with the snake and find out what happens then!
You can get Snake Rewind on the Play Store for free (but don’t be surprised if you stumble on a few in-app purchases along the way).
App Store Stories May 8, 2015
Sega to remove games that no longer meet its standards from the Play Store
Sega announced in a post on its blog this evening that it is going to remove a number of games from its catalog of apps on the Play Store. Sega says that a number of its games on the Play Store no longer meet its “high-quality” standards. Sega will also remove the games from the Apple App Store, the Samsung App Store and the Amazon App Store.
App Store Stories April 23, 2015
SwiftKey is one of the most popular third-party keyboards across both iOS and Android, and the company today released the latest beta version of its Android app. The app’s main functionality hasn’t changed, but this update brings a completely redesigned options menu—and I think it suits the keyboard pretty well… expand full story
App Store Stories April 7, 2015
Instagram Android app adds Fade and Color tools, post notifications
Instagram is adding a few new features to its Android app today including two new creative tools for editing photos and a new post notifications feature.
For the two new creative tools, the Fade feature offers “a quiet tone to your photos by softening colors,” while the Color tool allows you to apply a yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, cyan or green tint to the shadows and highlights in your photos.
Also new in the updated Instagram app is a Post Notifications feature that allows you to receive notifications when people you follow post once enabled: You will see an option to “Turn on Post Notifications.
The updated Instagram app, version 6.19.0, is available on Google Play now.
App Store Stories February 19, 2015
BlackBerry today has revealed a major software update for all of its BlackBerry 10 devices. Most notably, the update adds the ability for all BB10 devices to access Android applications. Bumping the build number to version 10.3.1, this update is rolling out to all BlackBerry 10-powered devices, including the Z10, Q10, and Z30. The company announced announced its intentions to add this feature in June of last year.
App Store Stories February 13, 2015
Google has today pulled the mobile apps for its Helpouts service from the Play Store and the App Store (via TechCrunch), less than a year after they launched. The service, which allows you to offer on-demand real help to others in live time for a price (or for free), is seemingly no longer available on mobile despite the fact that the apps only launched in April of 2014. expand full story
App Store Stories February 4, 2015
It appears that Google is about ready to jump into the kid-friendly mobile app space, as Launchpad toys has today announced that they’ve been acquired by the Mountain View company. Known for its Toontastic storytelling app for kids, the company is joining Google to “create even more amazing creativity tools for kids.”
App Store Stories January 20, 2015
Google gives Chrome for iOS a Material redesign, OS X Handoff support, & iOS 8/iPhone 6 optimizations
Google is today rolling out Chrome 40 for iOS and with it bringing Material Design to Chrome users on iDevices, OS X Handoff support, and optimizations for iOS 8 and the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
App Store Stories January 14, 2015
The latest numbers from app metrics tracking firm AppFigures reveal that Google’s Play Store topped Apple’s App Store based on total number of apps and developers for the first time in 2014. Google moved ahead of Apple with 1.43 million Android apps in the Play Store, compared to 1.21 million on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. expand full story
App Store Stories December 11, 2014
Back in October, Amazon updated its official Android app with hidden yet fully functional access to its own app store. Amazon then vaguely mentioned the new feature in a subsequent press release, perhaps hoping the move would go unnoticed. But it hasn’t taken long for Google to catch wind of what happened, and the search company clearly isn’t happy about the move. expand full story
App Store Stories December 9, 2014
Blackphone, the Android-powered smartphone that aims to be the most secure handset in the world, has announced a slew of new features for an upcoming revamp of its PrivatOS operating system. Most notable is the addition of “Spaces,” which will provide users an easy way to separate apps and secure accounts & data between multiple “environments.” Blackphone has also announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s very first privacy-focused app marketplace…
App Store Stories November 28, 2014
TechCrunch points to a newly published patent filed by Nintendo that shows the company is interested in bringing Game Boy titles to mobile devices through emulation technology. Many emulators exist online to mimic old consoles and allow gamers to play back catalogs of games converted to ROM files on Macs and PCs, and Nintendo could possibly do the same to officially bring titles to mobile devices without much heavy lifting in terms of rewriting the games: expand full story
App Store Stories October 29, 2014
Google today announced it’s adding new ways to add money to its Google Wallet service in addition to some new features that will make keeping an eye on your balance easier. The app also appears to be getting a bit of a Material Design update on Android (as pictured above).
First up, you will now be able to setup automatic bank transfers that will ensure there is always money to spend in your Google Wallet account. The recurring transfers allow you to schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposits and can be cancelled at any time: expand full story
App Store Stories October 15, 2014
A new report from App Annie revealed that application downloads from Google Play exceeded downloads from Apple’s App Store by around 60 percent compared to statistics from the same time period last year. Although the Play Store saw a fair share of growth, iOS downloads managed to earn more money during Q3 2014, with a gap of nearly 60 percent. It’s possible that these changes could be due to Google Play’s expansion into emerging markets where people typically don’t download paid apps.
App Store Stories September 26, 2014
MLB At Bat app will for the first time live stream every World Series game, select Postseason games
The MLB.com At Bat app was updated today alongside a couple notable announcements including the league’s plan to live stream every World Series game and select Postseason games to all of its MLB.TV Premium subscribers through the app. The 2014 World Series is set to kick off on October 21.
The release notes add that the app will now also offer “Live Postseason coverage for every game through the 2014 World Series” and a Postseason.TV feature with “Live companion coverage featuring up to 10 alternate camera angles for the AL Wild Card, AL Division Series and AL Championship Series (TBS broadcasts only).”
The update MLB.com At Bat app is available Google Play for Android smartphones and tablets now. Regular $129 for the full year, an MLB.TV Premium subscription is available to purchase now for $3.99 for the remainder of the season, World Series, and postseason.
App Store Stories September 23, 2014
Google’s Currents iOS app redesigned & renamed ‘Google Play Newsstand’
Following the renaming of its Google Currents news reader app to “Google Play Newsstand” on Android back in February, Google has now given a similar treatment to the iOS app. The app, like the Android version earlier this year, also receives a makeover in the process with a streamlined design and new features:
What’s new • New navigation helping you easily access the articles and editions you love including: – Read Now – Easily access articles you subscribe to and discover new articles and editions all in one place – Topics – Subscribe and get news from topics you are most interested in – My Library – All of your subscriptions will be found here • A brand new design giving you a streamlined news reading experience
The Google Play Newsstand app is available for free for iPhone and iPad on the App Store now.
App Store Stories August 20, 2014
Update: Verizon tells Re/code it has no plans to create an app store, adding “Been there. Done that.”
According to a new report from The Information, Verizon is looking to launch its own global app store and in the process has held talks regarding building an “industry coalition” of sorts with other carriers to do so. The app store would of course be a direct competitor for Google’s own Play Store that currently controls the majority of app downloads made on Android devices. expand full story
App Store Stories August 8, 2014
Analyst: Play Store and iOS App Store rapidly growing, Windows Phone fails to impress
Analyst Alex Barredo today tweeted a photo today depicting the size of the app stores on all major mobile platforms. According to the chart, Android’s Play Store has the most apps, with iOS’ App Store not too far behind it. Both are growing rapidly, and both are approaching the 1.4 billion mark.
App Store Stories July 17, 2014
Google has added yet another official application to its iOS App Store portfolio: Google Analytics. Analytics is Google’s popular service that allows website owners to manage and view data such as page views, demographics, and the technologies users utilize to access the website. The iPhone app also has the neat Real Time reports feature that allows website owners to view how many people are on the website at the current time. Google launched an optimized version of the Analytics app last year on Android and debuted a related AdWords app on iOS just last week. Like all Google apps, the Analytics program is on the the App Store for free.
App Store Stories July 16, 2014
NFL Sunday Ticket streaming to be supported on Android without a satellite subscription for 2014 season
For the first time ever, users who do not subscribe to DirecTV service will have access to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service on their mobile devices and computers for the 2014 season. During previous seasons, Sunday Ticket users had to have an active DirecTV satellite subscription to stream the games. While no official announcement has been made, DirecTV has published a promotional page for the service, advertising the fact that users can now “access live, out-of-market NFL games without a DIRECTV satellite TV account.
App Store Stories June 30, 2014
Google today in a blog post announced that it is closing down its first attempt at a social network, Orkut. Google says the network will officially bite the dust on September 30th, though starting today, it is no longer possible to create an account for the service. Leading up until September 30th users will be able to make the transition to Google+ or another social network of their choosing. Users will also have the ability to export their profile data, photos, and posts through Google Takeout. The Orkut app will be removed from the Play Store and App Store today.
App Store Stories June 29, 2014
Way back in 2012, Google announced that it was acquiring the mobile document editing company Quickoffice. At the time, Google said that it had no intentions on shutting the service down, but would also work to integrate the unique features of QuickOffice into its own suite of editing apps. Following the announcements of new features for Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets at I/O, the company has announced that Quickoffice will soon be shutting down (via The Google Operating System Blog).
“With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.”
Quickoffice for Android was last updated on February 14th of this year, while the iOS client hasn’t seen an update since January 6th. We knew that eventually, Google would be forced to shut down Quickoffice to focus exclusively on the Google Drive suite of apps. Google never promised to keep Quickoffice running forever.
App Store Stories June 20, 2014
The private social network Path updated its Android app today with a simpler chooser for posting content and a tabbed navigation bar for moving around the app. It’s biggest feature, though, follows a growing trend with mobile apps: Path Messaging has moved to a standalone app called Talk that’s rolling out today.
With its new Talk app, Path wants to replace SMS and Facebook as it focuses on privacy with a feature called Off the Record. While it’s not quite as ephemeral as instantly self-destructing messaging app like Snapchat and Cyber Dust, Path promises its users that messages sent via Talk automatically erase from the social network’s servers after 24 hours from sending the message…
App Store Stories June 16, 2014
Angry Birds Transformers mash-up game coming soon from Rovio and Hasbro
Rovio has a lot in the works. The Finnish-game maker last week released Angry Birds Epic, an RPG-style game and a first for the series, and later this year Rovio will release Angry Birds Stella led by the lady bird in the saga.
On top of all that, Rovio is announcing something they’ve been working on with Hasbro: Angry Birds Transformers. The latest title in the series will be like Angry Birds Star Wars, another Hasbro partnership for Rovio, combining the iconic gameplay with characters that resemble those from the movies.
App Store Stories May 20, 2014
If you’ve ever been on a trip, taken tons of photos and then done nothing with them afterwards, or shot a bunch of video that is still just sitting on your phone, Google has launched a couple of new services aimed at you: Google+ Stories and Google+ Movies.
No more sifting through photos for your best shots, racking your brain for the sights you saw, or letting your videos collect virtual dust. We’ll just gift you a story after you get home. This way you can relive your favorite moments, share them with others, and remember why you traveled in the first place.
Stories will be available this week on Android and the web, with iOS coming soon …
App Store Stories May 16, 2014
Google under fire from Italian antitrust regulator over freemium app sales model
Italy’s Antitrust and Competition Authority says it is investigating “freemium” apps offered in Google’s Play Store along with similar stores operated by Apple and Amazon, saying that customers could be misled by the “free” label, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
According to the regulatory group, users who download these apps for free could believe that the game is completely free and not know when downloading the app how much it will actually cost.
If Google is found to have misled customers, the company could be fined as much as €5 million. It’s not likely to put a big dent in Google’s cash reserve, but the Italian antitrust committee has previously convinced Apple to change its policy regarding AppleCare marketing, and could affect similar changes in this case at Google and the other companies.
App Store Stories May 7, 2014
D-Link’s new Wi-Fi Smart Plug offers full Android control over electronics w/ energy monitoring & thermal safety features
D-Link has just launched its new Wi-Fi Smart Plug designed to offer users full control over their electrical outlets via the free mobile apps. The small adapters communicate with any existing WiFi network and plug into any electrical outlet. The user can then control power to any of the devices plugged into the adapter.
They come with a few handy features along with basic on/off control. You can create custom schedules for particular outlets and monitor your energy use on connected devices.
You can set device schedules so that you walk into a brightly-lit home every day after work with your favorite song playing and the AC exactly where you want it.
The system also includes a thermal protection system that allows you to manually shut down power on an outlet and includes a thermal sensor that will automatically turn off over heating appliances.
The D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug comes in at a slightly lower price tag than the popular $60 WeMo options from Belkin. D-Link is launching its smart plug at $49.99 right now (temporarily out of stock on Amazon) and the mydlink Smart Plug apps for Android and iOS can both be downloaded for free via Google Play and the App Store .
App Store Stories April 17, 2014
Google announced today on its Chrome blog that Major League Baseball is adding support for its $35 Chromecast streaming stick through the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS. That means that users with the app and an MLB.TV Premium subscription will be able to stream live and on-demand video content from the app (or from a browser tab in Chrome through MLB’s site) to a Chromecast connected TV. You’ll also be able to use the phone or tablet you’re streaming from as a second-screen experience to “check scores, stats and news” while watching the game on the bigger screen:
MLB.TV is the latest live streaming service to come to Chromecast, so now MLB.TV Premium subscribers can invite their friends over to watch live, out-of-market games. While casting a game to the big screen, use your phone or tablet to check scores, stats and news from around the league. You can even choose between home or away broadcasts to steer clear of the opposing team’s announcers when your guys are on the road.
The updated apps are rolling out today for the MLB At Bat app for Android and iOS on Google Play and the App Store, but the Chromecast feature will require an MLB.TV Premium subscription to get started. Those cost $129.99/year or $24.99/month in comparison to the regular $19.99/season or $2.99 month At Bat subscription and offers “every 2014 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD” across platforms.