Gifting Apps returns to iOS 6

Just in time for the holidays, you can now start gifting apps right from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This feature was available in iOS 5, but for one reason or another, Apple elected to leave it out when iOS 6 first launched. Now that it’s back, simply head to an app page in the App Store app, tap on the “action” icon located at the top right corner and select “Gift”. From there, enter the email of the person you’re sending the app to, leave an optional message (200 characters) and choose when you want the gift sent (today or a specific date up to 90 days in advance). This is especially handy when scheduling app gifting for someone’s birthday or other special occasions.

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Here’s your chance to win a $10,000 Gift Card as App Store approaches 25 billion downloads

And just like that, the iOS App Store’s rapidly approaching a staggeringly impressive milestone – 25 billion downloads. To mark the occasion and as their way of saying thanks (just like they did with the 10 billionth download), Apple will be giving away a $10,000 gift card to one lucky winner.

As of today, nearly 25 billion apps have been downloaded worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 25 billionth app, and you could win a US$10,000 App Store Gift Card.* Just visit the App Store and download your best app yet.

Aside from having to actually download any apps, you can also enter the contest by submitting your Countdown entry form, up to 25 times per day. Read up on the offical rules here, and start downloading some apps from the Top 25 All-time Paid/Free apps list while you’re at it. Good luck!

iTunes App Store gets Quick App Preview feature

Browsing for apps to add to your collection via iTunes has gotten easier thanks to the new quick app preview feature. Previously, users would have no choice but to navigate to each individual app page to find out more about the app. But with the newly implemented quick preview popup box, iOS users can now view the Description, What’s New and Screens shots without leaving the current page. Whenever you hover above any app icon throughout the App Store with a mouse/touchpad, an “i” info icon will appear on its bottom right corner. Click on that and you can easily glance at the app details, and even make the purchase right from within. Give it a try yourself. After a short while, you’ll probably be making extensive use of this neat little feature and not have to rely so much on that back button.

[iSpazio via MacStories]

Mac App Store tops 100 million download mark

Apple has announced earlier this morning that the Mac App Store broke the 100 million downloads milestone in less than a year. The App Store for iMac and Macbook users officially opened on Jan 9th, 2011.

“In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world.”

It is worth noting that the 100 million mark comes from the “thousands” of free and paid Mac App Store apps. By comparison, the iOS App Store houses more than half a million apps, with more than 18 billion downloads and more than 1 billion downloaded apps per month. The full press release can be found after the gap.

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App Store Set to hit Ten Billion Downloads…$10,000 Gift Card Waiting for One Lucky Winner

There’s no denying that the driving force behind the iPhone’s success has been in large part due to Apple’s enormous App Store (who said size didn’t matter?). First launched in July of 2008, it grew in number to a staggering 7 billion downloads last October. And a mere 3 months later, the 10 billion mark is about to be broken. To celebrate, Apple will be giving away a $10,000 iTunes Gift card to one lucky winner.

As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide. Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves. So we want to say thanks. Download the 10 billionth app, and you could win a US $10,000 iTunes Gift Card. Just visit the App Store, and download what could be your best app yet.

Aside from purchasing apps, you can also enter the giveaway by submitting the Countdown Entry Form (limit of 25 entries today). So get on cracking and start downloading ‘em apps. You never know if you’ll be the 10 billionth app customer. If my math serves me right, that iTunes GC is good for 10,000 one dollar apps and 10 of the App Store’s most expensive app, iVIP Black (aka the “Millionaire’s App”), which comes in at a cool $999. Good luck to all!

Full details can be found here.

[9to5mac]

Android Marketplace strangled by porn and piracy

The Android Marketplace cracked

The Android Marketplace has real success stories such as Aaron La’s Advanced Task Manager; its open slant gives opportunity to many developers who can’t afford a Mac to join a huge market place. Every day, Android grows, and barring the all-out success of Windows Phone 7, it is destined to remain at the top, at least as market share leader. But, all is not well.

According to the Reg, Google’s hands-off approach allows its Marketplace to drown in oceans of porn just as the App Store was chocked by useless apps (fart and flashlight) in its early days. There is another negative effect: piracy. Despite the fact that the average selling price for Android apps is less than their iPhone, developers are strangled by app pilfering. The net result is that 49% of Android developers are making less than they expected and only 27% making more than they expected. Again, there is no question that Android is the market leader. For developers, it is an attractive platform. But it isn’t the heaven and spice that disgruntled iPhone developers may think it is. Google needs to adapt to keep its most important customer, the developer, happy. Happy, loaded developers make great apps. Currently iPhone Development, while a lot more controlled, has a friendlier, more lucrative face; it also tends to sport much more high quality apps.

iTunes Link Maker back from the past

Apple's iTunes Link Maker enters the new millenium

Apple’s iTunes Link Maker, which links to the App Store, has been pretty lackluster for a long time. Today or yesterday, though, it underwent a nice upgrade. As always, users can go directly to Apps, Music, Movies, Audiobooks, Music Videos, Podcasts, and Short Films, but now the experience is much more Apple, with direct links to Apple’s store, support and the entire ecosystem. It’s nice to see you enter 2010, Apple.

‘Gift this App’ feature finally makes its way to iTunes

If you’ve previously used iTunes’ “Gift This…” feature for movies, tv shows and music, you then know how easy and convenient it is to purchase a variety of media for your friends and family. For some strange reason though, gifting apps was never an option – until now that is. iTunes has just implemented the ‘Gift this App‘ functionality and now you’re able to send and share your favorite apps and games without resorting to paypal or iTunes Gift Cards. To gift an app, it’s as easy as clicking on the drop down (next to Buy App button – see screenshot). You’ll then be taken to a familiar screen where the recipient’s info, along with a personal message are entered. Of course, a valid credit card is still required on your profile to gift an app (iTunes Store credit can’t be used).

Now go forth app lovers – go nuts and buy your loved ones all ‘em Top 100 apps!

Zits & Giggles – the incredible climb to #1

Forget Apple’s foggy review process. The game, Zits & Giggles which debuted at 0.99$ has surreptitiously climbed to one of the most expensive App Store seats. A short visit to its App Store page will reveal that Zits and Giggles, like a parody movie, is more substance than it is joke. In this case, the substance is philosophical: developer Tommunism have hit a wall: the app isn’t selling any more. And with nothing to lose, they are raising the bar – Zits & Giggles’ current price of 239$ proves that the sky is the limit. Either that or Apple’s ban hammer will fall, forcing the app back down to its humble roots. Part of me cringes at the price, but another part is rooting Tommunism on; enough time and loose enough App Store rules will help Zits & Giggles break the ceiling set by I Am Rich. And if only a handful of customers buy, Tommunism’s experiment will go well; even without a single purchase, their app will continue the iconic climb to the top.

Go Tommunism go!

Zits & Giggles Tommunism, Zits & Giggles – $239.99

Sexapp Shop – Nerd Porn on the Go!

News-porn-sexappshp0-1

When I decried Apple’s wishy washy stance toward iPhone porn, I was on to something. iPhone porn viewing won’t magically disappear because of a lack of official support. And with the constant rise of internet pornography, malicious sites are taking advantage of unwary users. So, rather than avoiding the issue of sex, why not commercialise a safe, phishing-free app or suite of apps for porn users? It has been a long time coming (pun?), but thanks to Sexapp Shop and the Premier App Shop, now there is a way. While not downloadable via iTunes or the App Store, Sexshop apps are real, legal apps which use “Apple-approved technology”, but the best bit is that from purchase to play, the process is discreet and mindful of the user’s privacy.

Screens and more info after the gap:

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