Blog Archives

The App Store Turns Five This Week and Apple’s Giving Out Free Apps and Games To Celebrate

apple 5 years app store birthday

It may be crazy to think but this Wednesday the App Store will turn 5 years old. Put simply it’s been an amazing 5 years with the App Store now home to over 900,000 apps and over 50 billion downloads. To celebrate this momentous occasion Apple has made five of the App Store’s most popular games and five of the most popular apps free for a limited time. The games include hits like Tiny Wings (and Tiny Wings HD for iPad), Where’s My Water?Badland, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and Infinity Blade II. In the apps area, Apple is giving away Barefoot World AtlasDay One (a journal app), How to Cook Everything, Over (a photo editing app) and Traktor DJ. All of these apps usually cost between $2 and $20 (Traktor DJ is the $20 one if you were wondering), making this a very nice gift from Apple.

The App Store officially doesn’t turn 5 until this Wednesday and we’ll keep you updated if Apple has anything else planned to celebrate. In the meantime, head on over to App Store from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch for all the details on these birthday deals.

More info: Apple

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Apple’s Closing In On 50 Billion App Downloads, And They’re Giving Away $10,000 To Celebrate

Apple 50 billion apps giveaway

It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s been almost five years since Apple launched the iTunes App Store, and it’s even crazier to think that in less than five years they are already rapidly approaching 50 Billion (yes that’s Billion with a “B”) app downloads. In the past Apple has celebrated major iTunes milestones with some pretty insane giveaways. For example, for the billionth app download in 2009 they gave away a 17-inch Macbook Pro, 32 GB iPod Touch, Time Capsule router AND a $10,000 Gift Card for the iTunes Store. So as you’d expect for this massive milestone, Apple’s giving away a few other big prizes.

This year the lucky downloader of that 50 Billionth app will receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card that can be used in the App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore. Considering that most paid apps, movies and books in the iTunes store are between $0.99 and $15 that’s an insane amount of money to spend in one place (and unfortunately it doesn’t look like you can use the gift card in the regular Apple Store to buy a new Mac, iPad or iPhone).

Now in the past Apple only gave away one grand prize for their iTunes contest but this time they’ve changed it up a bit. If you aren’t that exact 50 Billionth app downloader don’t worry, you can still win something as Apple will also be giving out fifty $500 iTunes gift cards to the people who download the next 50 apps after that 50 billionth app is downloaded. So if you do the math that’s $35,000 in free iTunes money up for grabs!

As of this writing the download counter on Apple’s website says that they have passed 49.85 billion apps, with about 1,000 apps being downloaded every second. That rate is only going to pick up as we get closer to that magic 50 billionth app so if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch go charge it up and get to downloading apps.

For more info and the latest counter either open up the App Store on your iDevice or head on over to Apple’s site here. And as always, good luck!

More info: Apple

Apple Announces Back To School Deal: Buy A New Mac And Get A Free $100 iTunes Gift Card

apple back to school 2011

Apple today finally took the wraps off its annual, highly anticipated back to school deal with a major new twist: the traditional free iPod Touch has been replaced with the new deal being the usual discounts on all Macs and a free $100 iTunes gift card that can be used in any of Apple’s iTunes stores (iTunes, App Store for iPhone/iPad, Mac App Store and iBookstore).

While we don’t know why Apple decided not to do free iPod Touches again this year (or even better, some discount on an iPad with the purchase of a new Mac) the deal, which runs from today, June 16th,  through September 20th, is still pretty good in our opinion. Think about it, most of us have iPods– or are using our phones as our iPods– now anyway so unless you really needed a new one, getting $100 to spend in iTunes and getting apps for your new Mac can be very valuable (as Apple puts it: “so you can get Pages, Numbers and Keynote for your studies. And still have plenty left for your study breaks.”). Oh, and the brand new, upcoming OS X Lion will be free to anyone who buys a new Mac now and before whenever the official launch date is, so you don’t have to worry about buying that for $30 next month either.

Now a lot of you want to know what’s different between this new 2011 Apple back-to-school deal and Microsoft’s offer of a free Xbox 360 with any new PC $699 or higher. There actually is a lot. Beyond the fact that Microsoft’s deal is cheaper (you can buy a PC for $699 and get the free 360 whereas the cheapest MacBook– the one from last year and not the new MacBook Pros— is $899 even after the $100 discount), Microsoft’s deal is also open for any current high school or college student unlike Apple’s which looks to be only college (the official language is “college students or students accepted to college” so incoming college freshmen you’re still good. Parents of college students and teachers of any grade are also eligible so if you’ve got a sibling in college or a nice teacher you can still get in on this deal). Microsoft is also giving away more in terms of the free add-on (an Xbox 360 4 GB is $200 whereas even if you include Lion in the Apple deal you’re still at $130).

I guess what it really comes down to which would you rather game on: Xbox 360 or Mac/iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch? Let us know your pick of which deal you think is better in the comments.

Info from Apple

The Apple Mac App Store is Out– Get it Now for Your Snow Leopard Running Mac

mac app store pic 1

Before today, finding good apps for a Mac (or Windows for that matter) has been incredibly hard. Up until last year’s announcement at Apple’s October Mac event, there wasn’t even any word from Microsoft or Apple regarding releasing an app store for their OSes to make getting new apps on your Windows or Mac PC as easy as it is for your iPhone, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry or Android phone. That all’s changed now, with Apple’s launch of their Mac App Store for all Macs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard. The App Store is pretty much everything you’d expect Apple to put in an App Store. It looks pretty much the exact same as the iPhone and iPad App Stores, offering an easy way to search, download and update apps using the same Apple ID you use in iTunes.

We’ve been playing with it for a little bit and we’re really liking it. As we said above, finding good apps for your computer has long been a very annoying and frustrating experience. The Mac App Store makes this process a lot easier (for both free and paid apps), with tabs along the top to let you see apps you’ve already purchased as well as updates for those apps. This means you don’t have to go searching around online to find where to get those apps you’ve had if you get a new computer. Simple, but very clutch.

But the best part here has to be that this isn’t replacing the ability to go online and download apps (though Apple of course would like you to only use their store. There was some concern online that with this update, Apple would make it harder to download and install apps straight off the internet). Instead, this is just another great, easy way to make your Mac even better.

The Mac App Store is available now as a free update for all Mac OS X Snow Leopard users. To get the App Store, click on the Apple logo in the upper left of your Mac and then go to software update, click install, and then let your Mac install and restart. That’s it!

Info from Apple.

Apple’s App Store Turns 1– What’s your Favorite App?

apple app store turns 1

If you haven’t been paying attention to the giant banners in iTunes for the past week (like the one you see above), the Apple App Store for the iPod Touch and iPhone turned 1 yesterday, and Apple is taking the time to celebrate by promoting some it’s favorite apps– both free and paid. Apple’s got a lot to celebrate– 1 billion apps, tons of new iPhones and iPod Touches sold thanks to the App Store, and the envy of pretty much every other cell phone maker– think bout it,   because of the App Store, there is now a BlackBerry App World,  Palm’s App Catalog, Google’s Android Marketplace, a Windows Marketplace for Mobile (coming to Windows Mobile phones later this year in Windows Mobile 6.5) and countless other mobile app marketplaces trying to get in on the action.

But we’re not writing this post just to congratulate Apple, but seeing as the App Store is the most popular of the “App Stores”, we wanna know what’s your favorite apps– whether for iPhone or iPod Touch, free or paid.

Me? My favorite apps (right now at least) are ESPN ScoreCenter (free), MLB At Bat (paid version– about $10), AIM (free version), Tap Tap Revenge2 (free), iheartradio (free), and Facebook (free).

Sound off with your favorites in the comments.

Apple's App Store Turns 1– What's your Favorite App?

apple app store turns 1

If you haven’t been paying attention to the giant banners in iTunes for the past week (like the one you see above), the Apple App Store for the iPod Touch and iPhone turned 1 yesterday, and Apple is taking the time to celebrate by promoting some it’s favorite apps– both free and paid. Apple’s got a lot to celebrate– 1 billion apps, tons of new iPhones and iPod Touches sold thanks to the App Store, and the envy of pretty much every other cell phone maker– think bout it,   because of the App Store, there is now a BlackBerry App World,  Palm’s App Catalog, Google’s Android Marketplace, a Windows Marketplace for Mobile (coming to Windows Mobile phones later this year in Windows Mobile 6.5) and countless other mobile app marketplaces trying to get in on the action.

But we’re not writing this post just to congratulate Apple, but seeing as the App Store is the most popular of the “App Stores”, we wanna know what’s your favorite apps– whether for iPhone or iPod Touch, free or paid.

Me? My favorite apps (right now at least) are ESPN ScoreCenter (free), MLB At Bat (paid version– about $10), AIM (free version), Tap Tap Revenge2 (free), iheartradio (free), and Facebook (free).

Sound off with your favorites in the comments.

Apple Contest to Download the 1 Billionth App

apple-1-billion-apps

We all know how popular the iPhone and iPod Touch are (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year– in that case your excused 😉 ), and how awesome it is to be able to download apps right to the device using the App Store. Well, for those of you who don’t believe how popular the iPhone and iPod Touch have become, just check this: Apple right now is running a contest for the person who downloads the BILLIONTH app. Yup, as we said in the title, thats BILLION with a B!

This is rather amazing, considering it’s been really under a year since the App Store launched (technically it came in July of  ’08), but it gets even better for us users! Like what Apple did a couple of years ago when they were closing in on selling their 1 billionth iTunes song, they’re giving away a boatload of gear to the lucky soul who happens to download that 1 billionth app. What kinda gear you ask? Well, try a 17″ MacBook Pro; an iPod Touch 32GB; a $10,000 iTunes Gift Certificate (yes 10 GRAND– honestly, this is crazy!); and an Apple Time Capsule (basically a back up hard drive for your Mac or Windows PC that will automatically back up your hard drive using your wireless network). Total Retail Value of all the prizes? $13,746 (again– WOW!). You can follow the countdown to 1 billion apps at Apple’s site here.

Wanna know something even better? The app you download doesn’t necessarily need to be a paid app! You can just download a free one and you could win.

Listen, this won’t be easy to win, especially as they’re going at about a thousand apps every 10 or so seconds (at the time I’m writing this at least), but hey best of luck to ya!

BlackBerry Launches App World

blackberry-app-world

BlackBerry App World

Today was a pretty big day for anyone out there with a recent Blackberry with OS 4.2 or later in addition to either a touchscreen (currently referring to the Storm, a phone we already anticipated getting an App Store last year here) or a trackball (most BlackBerry’s made within the last 2 or 3 years). As of today you finally get… APPS!!!!

Yup, RIM (the makers of BlackBerry’s) finally released it’s own app store for the BlackBerry called App World — a much lamer title than the iPhone/Touch’s App Store), and boy does it look great.  Not only does it give you easy access versions of all your standard programs, including games, Facebook and MySpace, AIM, Pandora (a radio app that lets you listen to music on your phone over the internet) but also boasts apps resembling ones for the iPhone, like Shazam (it finds all the info for the song you’re listening to by just listening in).

Like on the Apple App Store, some apps will be free, others will cost money, though going through apps look to be just as easy as on the App Store’s for the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. You can download App World for your BlackBerry here, and see a video of App World here.

So now all you BlackBerry users not only get the famed, awesome BlackBerry keyboard for texting, but you also get apps! How you feel bout this, and what apps you get so far?

(Oh, and by the way, this is NOT an April Fools joke 😉 )

iPhone/iPod Touch Software 3.0 is Coming Soon!

iphone-os-30

Apple today let loose some pretty cool info, saying that come next Tuesday, it will show the world the next verison of the iPhone/iPod Touch software: Version 3.0!

Now why would this be so important? Like Version 2.0 of the iPhone/iPod Touch software that came out last July, this proves to be a pretty big software update that promises to bring a lot of cool (and in some cases very needed!) features. These features could be anything from finally allowing Apps to run when you’re not using them directly — for example, having AIM continue to run while your playing a game in a different app (this feature is called Push Notifications) — to full usage of the GPS, to a wireless headphone option, to copy and paste, to something insane that Apple just thought of!

Luckily though, Boy Genius Report.com has learned some of the new features to expect in the 3.0 update:

  • send and receive picture messages (called MMS or MultiMedia messaging),
  • use you iPhone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet on your computer using your cell phone signal (something we’d assume Apple and AT&T would make you pay extra for)

Those we know are coming for the iPhone, as for what would also be included for the iPod Touch we’ll have to wait till Tuesday.

Oh, and if you develop apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Tuesday’s also your lucky day, as Apple also plans to show off a whole new SDK which should promise to give you the ability to create even more cool things!

Let’s hope that both the software and the SDK get released to all of us soon after Apple shows it off; whatever it ends up that they show off on Tuesday, we know we’ll probably want it asap!

We’ll of course have it all covered here on Tuesday, so don’t worry, and make sure to check back 😉

Anyways, we gotta ask– what are you praying/hoping/wanting to see in the new iPhone software 3.0, and while we’re at it, what apps you still wanna see out on the iPhone/iPod Touch (you never know who’s reading and could make it happen 🙂 ). Let us know in the comments.

Sprint Drops Instinct Apps Contest

instinct-app-contest-closed

Yeah, I just became aware of this myself, and it really sucks, I know. Apparently, Sprint decided late last year that they were not interested in following through with their Instinct contest, and decided to just pull it entirely. Yup — no apps nor contest winner. Their reason? Pretty dumb I’d say: (and I quote below)

All,

The Samsung Instinct(tm) Java Developer Contest closed on August 29th, 2008. We appreciate the interest in the contest.

Unfortunately, we are unable to announce contest winner or release any information about the applications submitted. Our objective is to deliver a meaningful opportunity for developers and foster the creation of entertaining and useful applications for our customers.

In the future, we expect to offer additional contests and incorporate the lessons learned from this initial effort.

Again, thanks for your interest and participation.

The Sprint ADP Team

Listen, I’m as annoyed as you probably are: the Instinct was already an awesome phone, and giving it apps and an App Store would’ve made it even better (who knows, apps plus it’s cheaper pricing and more features like TV and radio, it could’ve even matched or beaten the iPhone). I’d understand if the Instinct just couldn’t handle apps, but then again — as commenter Robert pointed out on a previous post on the subject (our initial post on the topic, linked to at the end of this post) — there are unofficial apps out there running perfectly fine on the Instinct.

I don’t know, but I’m gonna try and contact Sprint to try to find exactly what’s up (though I’m not 100% confident they’ll listen to a teenager on this), and I’ll update this post if they answer me back.

To all you Instinct owners looking to get some good apps like your iPhone rivals, I’m sorry; we really didn’t know that Sprint would do this and just cancel it pretty much (from what we currently know) out of the blue. We were only reporting on something we had from Sprint that in retrospect was too good to be true.

We’d like to apologize to those of you who, like us, thought this was accurate information that Sprint would end up following through with this and not canceling it in the end, and we understand the frustration some you are feeling. As bloggers, we try not to post rumors and such without the greatest level of information we can get (and if we ever do post on rumors, we make sure we classify it as such).

Here’s some links:

Sprint’s post on cancellation of Instinct apps contest: Here

Our initial post on Sprint’s possible Instinct “App Store” and apps contest: Here

The first “delay” of Sprint’s Instinct “App Store”: Here

Again, we’re sorry for all of this confusion; feel free to vent in the comments.