App Store users now have a convenient way to gift apps to friends and family. Apple has restored this function to iOS 6 by including the option on the sharing screen directly in the App Store. Not only can you gift an app today, but you can even schedule delivery of your gift for a future date.
The purchase you make will be sent to the gift recipient, who can download and install the gifted app for free. Charges for the gift will be applied to the iTunes account associated with your Apple ID. So how can you access this feature that comes to iOS 6 users just in time for the holidays?
Apple has released the App Store Best of 2012 list, which includes this year's Editor's Picks for best app and game, and the most downloaded free and paid apps of the year. The Editor's pick for App of the Year is Action Movie FX, with the $0.99 music app Figure nabbing the runner-up slot, and Rayman Jungle Run was voted the best Game of the Year.
Rovio Entertainment once again topped the paid charts with Angry Birds Space, and YouTube was the most downloaded free app (I wonder why?). Paper was announced as the iPad App of the Year, and The Room was chosen as the iPad Game of the Year by Apple. Read on for the complete App Store Best of 2012 results.
Not too long ago, iPhone owners outside of Japan needed an app to unlock emoji characters, otherwise known as emoticons with their own special keyboard. Now that iOS 6 has launched the feature is no longer restricted to a particular country.
This means that many apps that existed to provide access to emoji are no longer needed. Turning on emoji is simple, requiring only a few easy steps. Apps like Emoji Free! have over 40 million users who have used the trick to unlock emoji ahead of the iOS 6 release.
In celebration of E.T.'s 30th anniversary, Universal Pictures and Chillingo Ltd have released a brand new iOS game called The Green Planet. The app is basically a farming sim game where users must help E.T. save his dying planet by planting gardens and breeding new plants. Of course this means there is a lot of waiting around for things to grow and in-app purchases to buy cooler plants and decorations. However, the game looks amazing on the iPhone and is pretty addictive if you enjoy sim-type games. E.T. The Green Planet is free to download for both the iPhone and iPad via the App Store.
Universal also released an Anniversary Edition Combo Pack of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial a few days ago. There was also supposed to be an Amazon exclusive E.T. Spaceship w/ BD Combo Pack available, but it hasn't materialized yet. Check out the trailers for E.T. The Green Planet and the Anniversary Blu-ray combo pack below.
Apple is finally rejecting copycat apps that confuse users by mimicking other applications' icons and names. iOS developer Benjamin Mayo shared an app rejection notice with CultofMac that shows the app Clear Todo was rejected for violating the App Store guidelines by containing "false, fraudulent or misleading representations". Clear Todo looks a lot like the list-keeping app known as Clear.
Mayo explained on his blog:
"Traditionally, Apple has steered clear of protecting app trademarks which has resulted in a lot of copycat apps hitting the store."
"It appears this policy has changed and Apple is taking a much more proactive role; rejecting apps which attempt to mislead users by aping successful apps’ trademarks. In short, Apple is helping to protect real developers from being ripped off. This is a good thing."
Apple and Android users who download the new Mitt's VP app will be the first to know who the Republican nominee chooses as his running mate for the 2012 election . Beth Myers, senior advisor to Romney made the announcement on Tuesday:
These last few months, I've had the privilege and honor of leading Governor Romney's search for a vice presidential running mate. While I won't be breaking any news today, I wanted to let you know how to be the first to get the VP scoop with our new Mitt's VP app. Just download the free app on your iPhone or Android device and when Mitt decides on his running mate, you'll get an exclusive notification of his VP selection before anyone else.
Romney supporters can download the free iOS app from the App Store, and sign in using their MyMitt or Facebook accounts to receive a notification when the announcement is made. MyMitt is a photo sharing app which allows you to customize photos with a variety of "Mitt-inspired artistic frames." It's also free to download from the App Store.
Ever wonder why Apple requires an Apple ID linked to a credit card to download free apps on the App Store? Obviously it makes sense when you're purchasing something, but there are so many free apps that many iPhone owners never buy anything.
iDownloadBlog now says the latest beta of iOS 6 has dropped the requirement to sign in for free apps, meaning if you aren't interested in linking a credit card to your App Store downloads, you won't have to. This is a welcome change for many iPhone users watching their wallet, and their security.
Apple has pulled a malicious app from its App Store after the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab reported that it was a Trojan that uploads a user's contact info to the developer's servers.
"At first glance, this seemed to be an SMS worm spread via sending short messages to all contacts stored in the phone book with the URL to itself," explained Kaspersky Lab‘s Denis Maslennikov. "However, our analysis of the iOS and Android versions of the same application showed that it’s not an SMS worm but a Trojan that uploads a user’s phonebook to remote server. The ‘replication’ part is done by the server – SMS spam messages with the URL to the application are being sent from the remote server to all the contacts in the user’s address book.”
The application mostly attacked Russian users, but it was available worldwide via the App Store and Google Play for Android devices. Kaspersky Lab reminded everyone that "there have not been any incidents of malware inside the iOS Apple App Store since its launch 5 years ago."
According to an email sent to iOS developers, Apple is adding a new dedicated "food and drink" section to its App Store. The new category will include “apps that help users cook and bake, mix drinks, manage recipes, find new restaurants and bars, and learn what their friends like to eat and drink”. Food & Drink won’t include diet, grocery shopping, coupon clipping, or food-related game apps”. Most of the food apps, which are normally listed under "Lifestyle" by their developers, will be automatically migrated to the new Food & Drink category starting on July 8th.
Here's a list of some popular apps that you should be able to find under the new "Food & Drink" section:
Chefs Feed (free for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch) - A great app for Foodies or people who are overwhelmed when visiting major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. The app features over 100 famous chefs' favorite dishes, places to eat and it allows users to receive up to the minute updates via its live feed.
It may seem like the App Store is everywhere, but Apple is still rolling out the service to various countries around the globe. The latest batch of 32 countries received App Store access last Thursday. Apple followed through on its WWDC announcement to add the countries, putting the total at 155.
Last time we counted, there were 196 countries in the world. For those who don't feel like doing the math, this means Apple still has work to do to bring the iOS App Store to the remaining 41 countries on the planet. In the meantime, the App Store now offers 650,000 individual pieces of mobile software.