Forget the battle of the bands: A looming fight between streaming music provider Spotify and Apple's recently-launched Apple Music service has stirred up considerable curiosity among developers over an attempt to do an end-run around the App Store.
While HBO isn't forthcoming about its subscriber numbers, particularly for its shiny new standalone service HBO Now, an online video industry analyst pegged the number of subscribers to the OTT variant at more than 850,000, "and the number could very well be around 1 million."
Although it may somtimes feel like the charts never change, 32 percent of the top iOS developers were not even ranking in Apple's App Store a year ago, according to ACT/The App Association. The group's iOS App Economy Report spanned the top 400 apps across key categories in the App Store, offering insight on growing app categories and the state of developing.
I don't get a lot of email from Apple, and I'm perfectly fine with that. On the other hand, I probably pay more attention to messages from the company behind iOS than the many other firms that somehow managed to acquire my address. That means Apple has the potential to influence my behavior as a consumer, so when it chooses to use that power to help independent developers, I pay particular attention.
Apple is not immune to global currency fluctuations. Last week it changed the prices of mobile apps in multiple markets, including Canada and Europe. The move marks perhaps Apple's most concerted push yet to counteract currency changes.
Most companies wait until the end of the year to announce their biggest successes, but Apple decided to kick off 2015 with news developers were equally eager to share: a sharp rise in App Store sales of 50 percent.
"Panic" seems like the appropriate name for an app developer when you hear about a recent App Store fracas the creator of Transmit iOS recently got into with Apple. As the firm recounted in a strange (and no doubt sympathy-inducing) blog post, it recently removed what sounded like a popular feature in its file management tool: the ability to share files to iCloud, Dropbox and similar services. Anyone who has grappled with Apple in the past will probably not be surprised about iCloud.
Apple put a lot of new things into the market this year--the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the iPad Air 2 and plans for an Apple Watch--but 2014 will also mark the moment it took out something important: the word "free" from its App Store.
The advantages of developing software for a device that stays pretty much glued to consumers 24 hours a day appear to be paying off. According to Yahoo!-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry, time spent on mobile devices has grown to 177 minutes per day on average, surpassing time spent with the TV, which stayed flat at 168 minutes per day.
The rankings within app stores--any app store, from any provider--shouldn't be harder to interpret than Egyptian hieroglyphics. Unfortunately for developers, however, the thinking of some platform vendors, Apple in particular, can be more inscrutable than the Sphinx.