app-store

Apple’s iOS update makes it easier to get to your subscriptions

Posted by | app-store, Apple, Apps, developers, iOS, Mobile, subscriptions | No Comments

Apple has made a small but important change to iOS that will allow users an easier way to manage their app subscriptions. In the latest release of the mobile operating system (iOS 12.1.4 and 12.2 beta), the company has relocated the “Manage Subscriptions” setting so it’s only one click away when you tap on your profile in the App Store, instead of being buried more deeply within the settings.

This may seem like a minor change, but it was a much-needed one.

As more mobile apps have adopted subscriptions as a means of generating revenue, it’s become critical to ensure consumers know how to turn off their subscriptions. And, based on a reading of many angry App Store app reviews, many people don’t know how to do this. Most assume they should reach out to the developer to have their subscription disabled — after all, it’s the developer who’s charging them.

It’s not really the customer’s fault for being unaware of how the process works, as Apple had made getting to the subscription management screen far more difficult than it should be.

In iOS Settings, for example, you would have to click iTunes & App Store –> Apple ID: –> View Apple ID –> then scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen to find the hidden setting.

In the iOS App Store app, it was a bit simpler.

You would first have to tap your profile icon on the top right of the Home page, then your Apple ID, then scroll down to the bottom of the page again.

By comparison, Google Play put subscriptions in its top-level navigation with no scrolling or extra clicks required.

With the iOS update, when you now tap your profile icon in the App Store, “Manage Subscriptions” is right there — and it’s accessible without scrolling. That’s a huge help in making this critical feature more accessible.

Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t made a similar change to simplify the path to subscription management in iOS’s main Settings.

The change was first spotted by MacStories Editor-in-Chief Federico Viticci, who shared a screenshot on Twitter.

Apple recently made a change (seems iOS 12.1.4 and 12.2 beta) to make it easier to manage subscriptions for iOS apps.

Now you just need to open the App Store, tap your profile, and choose ‘Manage Subscriptions’. pic.twitter.com/4PtxvAQjTm

— Federico Viticci (@viticci) February 13, 2019

Subscriptions are now one of the main driving forces behind the increase in consumer spending on iPhone.

A recent Sensor Tower report said that iPhone users in the U.S. on average spent $79 on apps in 2018, up 36 percent from last year. Much of that is due to mobile gaming, as always, but subscription-based apps are now playing a large role.

Unfortunately, not all developers have been playing by the rules. Many app makers were using misleading tactics to force users to subscribe — like hiding the true costs, using confusing buttons and user interfaces or suggesting they join a free trial that ends up only lasting three days.

Apple later updated its App Store guidelines to further spell out what is and is not allowed.

But making the rules and enforcing them are two different matters. In the meantime, being able to figure out which subscriptions you have and turning off those you don’t want needed to be simpler.

Also related to this is the fact that Apple is preparing to launch some new subscriptions of its own — presumably, its long-awaited streaming video service and perhaps the news subscription service as well — at a press event in March.

The update to subscriptions appears to be rolled out worldwide for those on the latest version of iOS.

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US iPhone users spent, on average, $79 on apps last year, up 36% from 2017

Posted by | app-store, Apps, Mobile, subscriptions | No Comments

Apple’s push to get developers to build subscription-based apps is now having a notable impact on App Store revenues. According to a new report from Sensor Tower due out later this week, revenue generated per U.S. iPhone grew 36 percent, from $58 in 2017 to $79 last year. As is typical, much of that increase can be attributed to mobile gaming, which accounted for more than half of this per-device average. However, more substantial growth took place in the categories outside of gaming — including those categories where subscription-based apps tend to rule the top charts, the firm found.

According to the report’s findings, per-device app spending in the U.S. grew more over the past year than it did in 2017.

From 2017 to 2018, iPhone users spent an average of $21 or more on in-app purchases and paid app downloads — a 36 percent increase compared with the 23 percent increase from 2016 to 2017, when revenue per device grew from $47 to $58.

However, 2018’s figure was slightly lower than the 42 percent increase in average per-device spending seen between 2015 and 2016, when revenue grew from $33 to $47, noted Sensor Tower.

As usual, mobile gaming continued to play a large role in iPhone spending. In 2018, gaming accounted for nearly 56 percent of the average consumer spend — or $44 out of the total $79 spent per iPhone.

But what’s more interesting is how the non-gaming categories fared this past year.

Some categories — including those where subscription-based apps dominate the top charts — saw even higher year-over-year growth in 2018, the firm found.

For example, Entertainment apps grew their spend per device increase by 82 percent to $8 of the total in 2018. Lifestyle apps increased by 86 percent to reach $3.90, up from $2.10.

And though it didn’t make the top five, Health & Fitness apps also grew 75 percent year-over-year to account for an average of $2.70, up from $1.60 in 2017.

Other categories in the top five included Music and Social Networking apps, which both grew by 22 percent.

This data indicates that subscription apps are playing a significant role in helping drive iPhone consumer spending higher.

The news comes at a time when Apple has reported slowing iPhone sales, which is pushing the company to lean more on services to continue to boost its revenue. This includes not just App Store subscriptions, but also things like Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, App Store Search ads, AppleCare and more.

As subscriptions become more popular, Apple will need to remain vigilant against those who would abuse the system.

For example, a number of sneaky subscription apps were found plaguing the App Store in recent weeks. They were duping users into paid memberships with tricky buttons, hidden text, instant trials that converted in days and the use of other misleading tactics.

Apple later cracked down by removing some of the apps, and updated its developer guidelines with stricter rules about how subscriptions should both look and operate.

A failure to properly police the App Store or set boundaries to prevent the overuse of subscriptions could end up turning users off from downloading new apps altogether — especially if users begin to think that every app is after a long-term financial commitment.

Developers will need to be clever to convert users and retain subscribers amid this shift away from paid apps to those that come with a monthly bill. App makers will need to properly market their subscription’s benefits, and even consider offering bundles to increase the value.

But in the near-term, the big takeaway for developers is that there is still good money to be made on the App Store, even if iPhone sales are slowing.

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Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking

Posted by | analyst, app-store, apple inc, Banking, iOS, iPhone, iTunes, Mobile, mobile app, mobile software, operating systems, privacy, Security, smartphones, terms of service, travel sites | No Comments

Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.

You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn’t work or if there was an error. Every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted — and sent back to the app developers.

Or, as Glassbox said in a recent tweet: “Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?”

The App Analyst, a mobile expert who writes about his analyses of popular apps on his eponymous blog, recently found Air Canada’s iPhone app wasn’t properly masking the session replays when they were sent, exposing passport numbers and credit card data in each replay session. Just weeks earlier, Air Canada said its app had a data breach, exposing 20,000 profiles.

“This gives Air Canada employees — and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database — to see unencrypted credit card and password information,” he told TechCrunch.

In the case of Air Canada’s app, although the fields are masked, the masking didn’t always stick (Image: The App Analyst/supplied)

We asked The App Analyst to look at a sample of apps that Glassbox had listed on its website as customers. Using Charles Proxy, a man-in-the-middle tool used to intercept the data sent from the app, the researcher could examine what data was going out of the device.

Not every app was leaking masked data; none of the apps we examined said they were recording a user’s screen — let alone sending them back to each company or directly to Glassbox’s cloud.

That could be a problem if any one of Glassbox’s customers aren’t properly masking data, he said in an email. “Since this data is often sent back to Glassbox servers I wouldn’t be shocked if they have already had instances of them capturing sensitive banking information and passwords,” he said.

The App Analyst said that while Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch sent their session replays to Glassbox, others like Expedia and Hotels.com opted to capture and send session replay data back to a server on their own domain. He said that the data was “mostly obfuscated,” but did see in some cases email addresses and postal codes. The researcher said Singapore Airlines also collected session replay data but sent it back to Glassbox’s cloud.

Without analyzing the data for each app, it’s impossible to know if an app is recording a user’s screens of how you’re using the app. We didn’t even find it in the small print of their privacy policies.

Apps that are submitted to Apple’s App Store must have a privacy policy, but none of the apps we reviewed make it clear in their policies that they record a user’s screen. Glassbox doesn’t require any special permission from Apple or from the user, so there’s no way a user would know.

Expedia’s policy makes no mention of recording your screen, nor does Hotels.com’s policy. And in Air Canada’s case, we couldn’t spot a single line in its iOS terms and conditions or privacy policy that suggests the iPhone app sends screen data back to the airline. And in Singapore Airlines’ privacy policy, there’s no mention, either.

We asked all of the companies to point us to exactly where in its privacy policies it permits each app to capture what a user does on their phone.

Only Abercombie responded, confirming that Glassbox “helps support a seamless shopping experience, enabling us to identify and address any issues customers might encounter in their digital experience.” The spokesperson pointing to Abercrombie’s privacy policy makes no mention of session replays, neither does its sister-brand Hollister’s policy.

“I think users should take an active role in how they share their data, and the first step to this is having companies be forthright in sharing how they collect their users data and who they share it with,” said The App Analyst.

When asked, Glassbox said it doesn’t enforce its customers to mention its usage in their privacy policy.

“Glassbox has a unique capability to reconstruct the mobile application view in a visual format, which is another view of analytics, Glassbox SDK can interact with our customers native app only and technically cannot break the boundary of the app,” the spokesperson said, such as when the system keyboard covers part of the native app, “Glassbox does not have access to it,” the spokesperson said.

Glassbox is one of many session replay services on the market. Appsee actively markets its “user recording” technology that lets developers “see your app through your user’s eyes,” while UXCam says it lets developers “watch recordings of your users’ sessions, including all their gestures and triggered events.” Most went under the radar until Mixpanel sparked anger for mistakenly harvesting passwords after masking safeguards failed.

It’s not an industry that’s likely to go away any time soon — companies rely on this kind of session replay data to understand why things break, which can be costly in high-revenue situations.

But for the fact that the app developers don’t publicize it just goes to show how creepy even they know it is.


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App Store developers have earned $120 billion since 2008

Posted by | app-store, Apple, Apps, Mobile | No Comments

Apple is kicking off the Entrepreneur Camp in Cupertino. Eleven female-founded app development companies have been invited to Cupertino for multiple workshops and meetings with Apple employees, and Apple used that opportunity to share a new number when it comes to App Store revenue.

Since the creation of the App Store, Apple has given back $120 billion in revenue to App Store developers. It means that the App Store has generated more revenue than that in total. But if you remove Apple’s cut, $120 billion have been wired to developers.

App Store revenue is still growing rapidly, as more than $30 billion of developer revenue has been generated in the last 12 months alone. Apple reported $100 billion in developer revenue at WWDC back in June 2018.

Apple only counts direct App Store revenue, such as paid downloads, in-app purchases and subscriptions. Developers also could have generated more revenue through ads and subscriptions on a website, for instance.

If you’re curious about the Entrepreneur Camp, Apple has invited the developers of Bites, Camille, CUCO: Lembrete de Medicamentos, Deepr, D’efekt, Hopscotch, LactApp, Pureple, Statues of the La Paz Malecón, WeParent and Seneca Connect. There will be a new session every quarter.

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App Store Review guidelines hint that users will soon be able to gift in-app purchases, not just apps

Posted by | app-store, Apple, Apps, developers, gifting, in-app purchase, iOS apps, Mobile, subscriptions | No Comments

Apple will allow iOS users to gift in-app purchases, not just paid apps, according to a change to the company’s App Store Review Guidelines spotted this week. This means developers may soon have the tools to allow users to purchase virtual goods or even subscriptions through their app, which can then be gifted to others.

The changes to the company’s App Store guidelines were first discovered on Wednesday by MacRumors, which confirmed both the prior and current wording as follows:

Before: “Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others.” 

After: “Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged.”

It’s unclear at this time how the change will be implemented, from the developer’s side. It’s likely Apple will soon share more information with its developer community to inform them of how to get started.

The move makes a lot of sense, given the App Store’s larger shift away from paid apps toward in-app purchases and more recently, subscriptions, as a way for developers to monetize their businesses.

Gamers would often like to receive in-app currency or other virtual goods as gifts. Meanwhile, subscriptions have become so popular they’re expected to contribute heavily to both iOS and Android app stores’ growth next year. Combined, the app stores are forecast to pass $122 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie.

However, some subset of apps have been abusing subscriptions by making it difficult for consumers to even use their “free” app without committing to a subscription, or tricking users into free trials that convert in just days, among other things. Apple will need to get a good handle on the bad actors before rolling out in-app gifting of subscriptions more broadly.

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App stores to pass $122B in 2019, with gaming and subscriptions driving growth

Posted by | App Annie, app stores, app-store, Apps, games, Gaming, Media, Mobile, mobile video | No Comments

Mobile intelligence and data firm App Annie is today releasing its 2019 predictions for the worldwide app economy, including its forecast around consumer spending, gaming, the subscription market and other highlights. Most notably, it expects the worldwide gross consumer spend in apps — meaning before the app stores take their own cut — to surpass $122 billion next year, which is double the size of the global box office market, for comparison’s sake.

According to the new forecast, the worldwide app store consumer spend will grow five times as fast as the overall global economy next year.

But the forecast also notes that “consumer spend” — which refers to the money consumers spend on apps and through in-app purchases — is only one metric to track the apps stores’ growth and revenue potential.

Mobile spending is also expected to continue growing for both in-app advertising and commerce — that is, the transactions that take place outside of the app stores in apps like Uber, Amazon and Starbucks, for example.

Specifically, mobile will account for 62 percent of global digital ad spend in 2019, representing $155 billion, up from 50 percent in 2017. In addition, 60 percent more mobile apps will monetize through in-app ads in 2019.

Mobile gaming to reach 60% market share

As in previous years, mobile gaming is contributing to the bulk of the growth in consumer spending, the report says.

Mobile gaming, which continues to be the fastest growing form of gaming, matured further this year with apps like Fortnite and PUBG, says App Annie . These games “drove multiplayer game mechanics that put them on par with real-time strategy and shooter games on PC/Mac and Consoles in a way that hadn’t been done before,” the firm said.

They also helped push forward a trend toward cross-platform gaming, and App Annie expects that to continue in 2019 with more games becoming less siloed.

However, the gaming market won’t just be growing because of experiences like PUBG and Fortnite. “Hyper-casual” games — that is, those with very simple gameplay — will also drive download growth in 2019.

Over the course of the next year, consumer spend in mobile gaming will reach 60 percent market share across all major platforms, including PC, Mac, console, handheld and mobile.

China will remain a major contributor to overall app store consumer spend, including mobile gaming, but there may be a slight deceleration of their impact next year due to the game licensing freeze. In August, Bloomberg reported China’s regulators froze approval of game licenses amid a government shake-up. The freeze impacted the entire sector, from large players like internet giant Tencent to smaller developers.

If the freeze continues in 2019, App Annie believes Chinese firms will push toward international expansion and M&A activity could result.

App Annie is also predicting one breakout gaming hit for 2019: Niantic’s Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which it believes will exceed $100 million in consumer spend in its first 30 days. Niantic’s Pokémon GO, by comparison, cleared $100 million in its first two weeks and became the fastest game to reach $1 billion in consumer spend.

But App Annie isn’t going so far as to predict Harry Potter will do better than Pokémon GO, which tapped into consumer nostalgia and was a first-to-market mainstream AR gaming title.

Mobile video streaming

Another significant trend ahead for the new year is the growth in video streaming apps, fueled by in-app subscriptions.

Today, the average person consumers more than 7.5 hours of media per day, including watching, listening, reading or posting. Next year, 10 minutes of every hour will be spent consuming media across TV and internet will come from streaming video on mobile, the forecast says.

The total time in video streaming apps will increase 110 percent from 2016 to 2019, with consumer spend in entertainment apps up by 520 percent over that same period. Most of those revenues will come from the growth in in-app subscriptions.

Much of the time consumers spend streaming will come from short-form video apps like YouTube, TikTok and social apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

YouTube alone accounts for 4 out of every 5 minutes spent in the top 10 video streaming apps, today. But 2019 will see many changes, including the launch of Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, for example.

App Annie’s full report, which details ad creatives and strategies as well, is available on its blog.

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US mobile app stores had their biggest day ever on Black Friday 2018

Posted by | app-store, apple-app-store, Apps, black friday, black friday 2018, Google Play, Mobile, sensor tower | No Comments

Black Friday wasn’t just a boon for e-commerce retailers, it helped the mobile app stores break new records, too. According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the combined consumer spending across the U.S. Apple App Store and Google Play on Black Friday 2018 reached $75.9 million — a record for the most ever spent in a single day on both stores.

The App Store accounted for most of that figure, however, with U.S. consumers spending a record $52 million on Black Friday. That’s a 31.6 percent increase in spending over last year’s shopping event, when consumers then spent $39.5 million.

It’s also notably higher than Christmas 2017, when spending reached $39.8 million — typically a strong day for app purchases and in-app sales, as consumers unwrap new iPhones.

The App Store’s $52 million was more than double the $23.9 million spent on Google Play during the same time.

Sensor Tower attributes the increased spending to a variety of factors, largely driven by mobile gaming. Game makers this year got in on the Black Friday action by offering players discounts on in-app purchases and other special bundles.

On the U.S. App Store, mobile gaming accounted for 68 percent of Black Friday spending, with consumers spending $35.4 million on games. That’s a 63 percent increase from the week prior, the report notes.

Other categories saw a boost, too, including Food & Drink and Sports — both reflective of the leisure time consumers had over the holidays. Food & Drink grew 34 percent while Sports grew 49 percent, Sensor Tower found, with top apps like NYT Cooking and ESPN: Live Sports and Scores benefiting from the surge.

Though the Black Friday shopping holiday is heavily associated with the U.S. because of its ties to Thanksgiving, the sales event is making its way around the world, too.

On the mobile app stores, that meant worldwide consumer spending saw a jump this year, as well.

The firm found that $117.3 million was spent by App Store users outside the United States on Black Friday, bringing the global total to $169.3 million, up 18.4 percent from 2017. The spending outside the U.S. was up 13.9 percent year-over-year, but that’s lower than the U.S.’s year-over-year growth of 31.6 percent between Black Friday 2017 and Black Friday 2018.

Also of note: While Amazon had its biggest day ever on Cyber Monday 2018, Cyber Monday didn’t perform as well on the app stores. In the U.S., app revenue was up about 20 percent versus the previous Cyber Monday, to reach an estimated $37 million.

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Google Fi now officially supports most Android devices and iPhones

Posted by | Android, app-store, fi, Google, iOS, iPhone, LG, Mobile, Motorola, project fi, Samsung, smartphones, TC, vpn | No Comments

Google is making a major move to expand the availability of its Fi wireless service.

It’s been a few years since Google launched Project Fi with the promise of doing things a bit differently than the large carriers. Because it could switch between the cell networks of multiple providers to give you the best signal, the service only ever officially supported a select number of handsets. You could always trick it by activating the service on a supported phone and then moving your SIM card to another (including an iPhone), but that was never supported.

That’s changing today, though. The company is opening up Fi — and renaming it to Google Fi — and officially expanding device support to most popular Android phones, as well as iPhones. Supported Android phones include devices from Samsung, LG, Motorola and OnePlus. iPhone support is currently in beta, and there are a few extra steps to set it up, but the Fi iOS app should now be available in the App Store.

One thing you might not get with many of the now-supported phones is the full Fi experience, with network switching and access to Google’s enhanced network features, including Google’s VPN network. For that, you’ll still need a Pixel phone, the Moto G6 or any other device that you can buy directly in the Fi store.

Fi on all phones comes with the usual features, like bill protection, free high-speed international roaming and support for group plans.

To sweeten the deal, Google is also launching a somewhat extraordinary promotion today: If you open a new Fi account — or if are an existing user — you can buy any phone in the Fi shop today and get your money back in the form of a travel gift card that you can use for a flight with Delta or Southwest, or lodging with Airbnb and Hotels.com. There’s some fine print, of course (you need to keep your account active for a few months, etc.), but if you were looking at getting Fi anyway, like to travel and want to get a Pixel 3 XL, that’s not a bad deal at all.

The fine print is below:

Travel on Fi with Any Device Purchase Promotion Terms (Google Fi)

Limited time, 24-hour offer applies to any qualifying device purchased from fi.google.com from 11/28/18 12:00 AM PT through 11/28/18 11:59 PM PT, or while supplies last. When you purchase a qualifying device on fi.google.com, you can redeem a travel gift card in the amount you paid for the device, excluding taxes (details below).

To qualify for this promotion, a device must be activated within 15 days of device shipment and remain active for 60 consecutive days within 75 days of device shipment. The device must be activated within the same plan that was used to purchase the device. Activation must be for full service (i.e., activation does not apply to a data-only SIM).

This offer is available for new Google Fi customers as of 11/28/18 12:00 AM PT and existing, active Google Fi customers. If the customer is new to Google Fi, the customer must transfer (port-in) their current personal number over to Google Fi during sign up. The number being transferred must be currently active and have been active with the previous carrier and the customer since 8/28/18 12:00 AM PT.

After the terms have been satisfied, the customer will receive an email from Google Fi (around 75 – 90 days after device activation) with instructions on how to obtain a gift card from Tango subject to Tango’s terms and conditions. The user can redeem gift card amounts with select travel partners: Airbnb, Delta Airlines, Hotels.com, and Southwest Airlines. Gift cards may also be subject to the terms of the travel partners.

If Fi service is paused for more than 7 days or cancelled within 120 days of activation, the value of the gift card will be charged to your Google Payments account to match the purchased price of the device. Limit one per person. This offer is only available for U.S. residents ages 18 and older, and requires Google Payments and Google Fi accounts. Unless otherwise stated, this offer cannot be combined with other offers. Offer and gift card redemption are not transferable, and are not valid for cash or cash equivalent. Void where prohibited.

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Black Friday drove half a million new users to the top shopping apps

Posted by | app-store, Apps, black friday, eCommerce, Mobile, sales, sensor tower, shopping | No Comments

More U.S. consumers were shopping on mobile devices on Black Friday this year, with $2.1 billion in sales coming from smartphones. This trend was also reflected across the U.S. App Store. According to new data from Sensor Tower out this morning, the top 10 shopping apps on the App Store added half a million first-time users on Black Friday. That’s up 16.3 percent from the same day in 2017, the firm found.

Overall, new shopping app installs grew 9 percent over last year, to reach approximately 1.8 million. To be clear, this number is new downloads, not re-downloads from someone who previously had the app installed on their device, but deleted it at some point. (Of course, those consumers may have already been customers on the web.)

Not surprisingly, Amazon’s app was the most installed, as it has been in years past. But Walmart’s app gained steam as it saw more significant year-over-year growth, the report said.

This year, Amazon added around 115,000 new app users, up 11.7 percent from 2017. Walmart, however, added 95,000 first-time users, up 39.7 percent over last year. Target’s app, which was the third most installed this year, grew 3.3 percent, from 2017 with around 62,000 new users.

The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by Wish, Best Buy, eBay, Offer Up, Fashion Nova, Macy’s and JCPenney. This includes both brick-and-mortar and online retailers.

In terms of online-only retailers, the list looked a little different. Amazon was still in the lead, but was then followed by Wish, eBay, Offer Up, Fashion Nova, GOAT, Poshmark, Letgo, Zaful and Shein.

Walmart, meanwhile, was the most-downloaded app out of all the brick-and-mortar retailers, followed by Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, JCPenney, Nike, Ulta, Forever 21, Hollister and Sephora.

Overall, new downloads from the brick-and-mortar apps were up 24.7 percent over last year’s Black Friday, while the online-only apps grew around 20 percent.

Of these, Best Buy also had a good year in terms of new installs, the firm said. Around 34.5 percent new users installed its app for the first time, with about 39,000 new downloads in 2018 compared to 29,000 in 2017.

Sensor Tower wasn’t the only App Store intelligence firm predicting a boost in mobile shopping for this year’s Black Friday. App Annie also forecast the sales holiday in 2018 would break new records.

In the two-week period including Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, App Annie was predicting a 25 percent increase in time spent in shopping apps on Android devices — nearly double from the four years prior.

However, the Google Play numbers aren’t in yet to confirm this. They should be available later in the week.

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You can play Alto’s Adventure on your Mac now

Posted by | altos adventure, app-store, Apps, Gaming, iCloud, mac app store, Mobile, mobile gaming, TC | No Comments

Everyone’s favorite endless, serene snowboarding game just made the leap from mobile to the Mac App Store. Available now for $9.99, Alto’s Adventure for Mac is a desktop port of the side-scrolling snowscape game that’s won hearts and accolades since it first hit iOS in 2015.

Earlier this year, the team behind Alto’s Adventure introduced a second game, Alto’s Odyssey, which trades the first game’s snowy terrain for sand and sun while maintaining its charm. If you’ve already spent some time with Alto’s Odyssey, the Mac version of the classic is a good reason to circle back.

The game’s serene setting and blissed out music make Alto’s Adventure eminently replayable, even if you’ve already sunk tens of hours into lengthening your scarf in an infinite procedurally generated snowy world dotted with charming villages, dramatic slopes and many, many things to trip over.

If you’ve yet to dive into Alto’s Adventure, and we really recommend that you do, the Mac version is probably a good starting place. For everyone else, progress in the game syncs across devices through iCloud, so it’s a good excuse to push a little further into one of the most thoughtful, pleasant mobile game experiences to date.

And while you’re hanging out in the Mac App Store, don’t forget to update to Mojave — Apple’s latest desktop operating system is available now.

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