Apple’s App Store has generated 15 billion downloads since its launch in July 2008, Apple has announced.
The App Store now offers more than 425,000 apps, 100,000 of which are created specifically for Apple’s tablet, the iPad.
Apple has paid developers more than $2.5 billion to date. Given Apple’s 30/70 revenue split with app developers, that means Apple itself has netted more than $1 billion directly from app sales.
In January 2010, the App Store surpassed 3 billion downloads, and in January 2011, Apple announced that the App Store surpassed 10 billion downloads. It took Apple’s App Store only six months to jump from 10 billion to 15 billion downloads.
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Quick Pitch: Frenzapp is a free app that allows users to automatically discover and easily share the best apps with their friends.
Genius Idea: App Store app crawler that checks twice daily for price changes, updates and new apps.
In November, Singapore-based mobile app shop Bitsmedia released Frenzapp to help iPhone users better navigate the hundreds of thousands of applications available in the App Store.
The idea, far from original with the likes of Chomp competing in the same arena, was meant to provide a practical solution for discovering and sharing applications with friends.
“It’s a natural for people to pull out their iPhones and share apps when they meet face-to-face,” says creator Erwan Macé. “We tried to reproduce these behaviors.”
Despite receiving positive reviews after launch, the first version of Frenzapp fell flat with users — but not for lack of originality. The application was the first in its genre to automatically detect the applications on a user’s phone, and the first to connect to Facebook to show the user the applications his Facebook friends’ like.
Still, “the adoption rate was pretty low; the usage rate was even lower,” admits Macé.
Macé and the rest of the four-person team found that the on-boarding process was far too complex, that users experienced a sense of loneliness if their Facebook friends were not using it and that there was very little incentive for the user to return.
Thursday evening, the Bitsmedia team is trying again with several significant additions in version 2.0 of the Frenzapp application.
To solve the loneliness problem, Frenzapp has introduced a much improved friend finder with Twitter, Apple Game Center and native address book integration. Users can also now discover and follow new people using Frenzapp, including popular and nearby users of the service, who may not be in their pre-existing social media circle.
One new feature that might encourage more repeat usage is the enhanced push notification system that users can configure to receive notifications when their favorite applications release updates. Bitsmedia has developed an application crawler capable of indexing the entire App Store two times per day. The crawler checks for price changes, version updates and new applications, which means that this information is also accessible to users in the form of push notifications.
Frenzapp has also dumped the three-step user on-boarding process and instead drops application users instantly into the app experience.
Perhaps best of all, Frenzapp version 2.0 comes with nine options for discovering new applications. The “Find Apps” tab includes buckets such as Trending, Popular, Now on Sale and Most Recent to provide users with a plethora of choices for browsing apps.
Macé has high hopes that this release will finally help Frenzapp attract a sizable user base. Should the release prove successful, bootstrapped but profitable Bitsmedia’s focus will shift from building applications commissioned by clients to raising venture capital and making Frenzapp its priority.
The application makers get a 4 to 5% cut of all the App Store application sales it helps to generate — if it crosses a certain threshold of users, Frenzapp will finance itself.
Up next: Version 3.0 of the application. It’s already in the works, says Macé. The plan is to extend the application discovery experience to music. “Music is even more emotional than apps,” he says, “and technology-wise we can use 99% of what we’ve already built.”
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More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Apple to remove an app from the iTunes store that was created by an anti-gay Christian organization.
Exodus International, which according to its website has ministries that “provide support for individuals who want to recover from homosexuality,” released the app on February 15.
The app has a 4+ approval rating from the Apple app store, and the organization is quick to point out that this rating is reserved for those apps that “contain no objectionable material.”
Gay rights activists obviously disagree.
“No objectionable content? We beg to differ,” reads the Change.org petition that was started by non-profit LBGT advocacy organization Truth Wins Out. “Exodus’ message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer ‘freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ’ and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients.”
The app is like a portable version of Exodus International’s website. It has a calendar of events, news, links to Exodus’s social media sites and videos. Those items, like corresponding features of its website, reflect its anti-gay message — in particular its belief that someone can be counseled away from homosexuality.
In a blog post, the organization writes that it intends to broaden its reach with the app.
Despite the petition calling for the app’s removal, which suggests Exodus International is dangerously broadening its reach toward youth, and a storm of negative complaints posted on the app’s download page, Apple has not taken the Exodus International App [iTunes link] down.
Apple responded differently to a similar situation last year. According to Pink News, the company shut down an anti-gay app created by a Christian group after a mere 7,000 people signed a change.org petition calling for its removal.
At the time, Apple said in a statement that they had removed the app because it violated its developer guidelines by “being offensive to large groups of people.”
More About: Anti-Gay App, apple app store, Exodus International
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