Users download less games now

Sensor Tower published a report on mobile gaming.

The U.S. mobile games market has faced significant challenges during the first half of 2022. Overall U.S. mobile game revenue fell by 9.6 percent Y/Y to $11.4 billion, while downloads declined by 2.5 percent to 2.4 billion. Looking at just 2Q22, revenue decreased by 11.4 percent Y/Y to $5.6 billion, though downloads were largely flat at 1.2 billion.

Sensor Tower
Sensor Tower

Sensor Tower: Most Mobile Game Genres See Revenue Declines in the U.S. During H1 2022 as Industry Headwinds Bite

Reference: We’re downloading fewer mobile games as lockdowns end and inflation bites

People spend 4 hours using their mobile devices

TechCrunch reports device usage statistics based on data.ai article (formerly App Annie).

Image by data.ai

Statistics also show top downloaded apps. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok top the list.

Image by data.ai

Read the full report, to get more details on each app category.

data.ai: Mobile Users In Two Regions Now Spend 5.7 Hours A Day In Apps

Reference: Mobile users are now spending 4-5 hours per day in apps

Apple invites developers to series of tech talks dedicated to App Store practices

Apple invites developers to attend series of online tech talks that cover app promotion best practices for App Store. Topics include TestFlight, in-app events, in-app purchases, subscriptions, family sharing and others.

Schedule and registration is available on Events website.

Apple Developer:

Apple reminds on App Store XML feed transition to API

Starting in November 2022 developers will have to use App Store Connect API instead of XML feed to automate in-app purchases, subscriptions, metadata, etc.

XML feed will keep existing functionality for Game Center content.

The App Store Connect REST API lets you customize and automate tasks across developer tools, giving you greater flexibility and efficiency in your workflows. Starting in November 2022, you’ll need to use this API instead of the XML feed to automate management of in-app purchases, subscriptions, metadata, and app pricing. The XML feed will continue to support existing Game Center management functionality.

Apple Developer

Apple Developer:

Third-party payment provides are available for in-app purchases on Apple platforms in South Korea

Apple publishes an update on regulations requiring Apple to provide third-party payment options in South Korea for in-app purchases.

As with Netherlands app developers should request specific entitlement and provide information on payment system used by the app.

Developers are to pay Apple 26% commission on purchases made through external payment providers. It is still developer's responsibility to calculate and report overall sales made through external systems, while Apple maintains the right to conduct audits.

Apple Developer:

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Apple starts WWDC22 with many great announcements for developers

WWDC22 is here! Apple's annual conference started with Special Event day, Keynote, State of the Union and Apple Design Awards.

Apple Developer Center

It actually started on Sunday June 5th. Apple presented its new Apple Developer Center to public. Center provides an opportunity to development teams to participate in workshops hosted by Apple and meet Apple teams while working on interesting projects. Overall, Apple Developer Center brings Apple Store aesthetics to developer-focused venue.

Apple did not provide any announcements on how often it would invite developers to visit Developer Center, but general recommendation is to monitor for emails and news in Developer app.

Keynote

Before going into OS updates, let's mention Apple M2 announcement which is iterates over success of M1. New chip is presented in new MacBook Air with design following recent MacBook Pro principles. New MacBook Air is fan-less and provides full day battery life.

M2 MacBook Pro 13" is also announced with no body changes.

iOS 16

iOS 16 brings many new features including:

  • Personalizable Lock Screen with widgets based on WidgetKit;
  • Live Activities which extends notifications on Lock Screen with realtime updates;
  • Focus mode API for developers – Focus Filters;
  • Live Text API;
  • Shared With You API;
  • Collaboration API to allow easy collaboration start via Messages app;
  • Improvements in Apple Pay, Apple Pay Later, Apple Pay Order Tracking;
  • SharePlay in Messages;
  • Developer mode should now be explicitly enabled on devices to allow debugging or UI automation testing;
  • Simpler way of integrating Siri support – App Intents.

iPadOS 16

iPadOS gets more desktop-like features:

  • M1 iPads will now be able to use Stage Manager – display up to four applications per screen (totaling with 8 apps when connected to external display) at the same time, and resize app windows;
  • Finally iPad gets its own Weather app.

watchOS 9

watchOS 9 brings many features focused on fitness and health including:

  • AFib constant monitoring will help people to monitor their condition and check how their behavior affects it;
  • New monitoring features will help better understand the quality of the workouts and overall fitness progress.

macOS 13 Ventura

macOS also gets attention this year:

  • Continuity camera now allows using iPhone in video conferencing;
  • Also FaceTime calls could be handed off to Mac easily;
  • Stage Manager is here to help with window clutter.

Xcode 14

Xcode 14 focuses on developer performance and adds multiple useful features for developers. Xcode Previews were rebuilt and are expected to run more smoothly.

Frameworks

As always, many existing frameworks get important updates:

  • SwiftUI gets new charts library, new approach for navigation and navigation views;
  • Metal 3 focuses on performance for resources and shaders;
  • Nearby Communications (UWB) improvements;
  • MapKit brings Maps features including Look Around to third-party apps;
  • WeatherKit for weather apps;
  • And many more...

App Store Review Guidelines are updated

2.5.4: Deleted requirement that apps using location background mode include a reminder that doing so may dramatically decrease battery life.
4.2.3: Deleted requirement to include sufficient content in the binary for the app to function at launch.
4.7: Deleted restriction on lotteries or charitable donations in code that is not embedded in the binary.
5.2.5: If your app displays Apple Weather data, it should follow the attribution requirements provided in the WeatherKit documentation.
5.3.3: Deleted restriction on purchasing lottery or raffle tickets or initiating fund transfers in the app.

Apple Developer

New Human Interface Guidelines are published

New Apple Human Interface Guidelines are now unified across platforms, provide links to relevant talks and design resources.

Apple Newsroom:

Apple Developer:

Updates to prices and taxes are coming to App Store in several countries

In coming days App Store prices in Cambodia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Uganda will be updated. According to Apple these updates include:

  • Cambodia: New value-added tax of 10% for developers based outside of Cambodia
  • Kazakhstan: New value-added tax of 12%
  • Kyrgyzstan: New value-added tax of 12% for developers based outside of Kyrgyzstan
  • Uganda: New value-added tax of 18%

In addition, prices on the App Store in Indonesia will not change, but proceeds for developers based outside of Indonesia will be adjusted to reflect an increase of value-added tax from 10% to 11%. 

Apple Developer

Apple Developer: Upcoming tax and price changes for apps and in-app purchases

Apple shares report highlighting successes of third-party apps

Apple publishes case study that shows financial success of third-party apps, even comparing those to Apple's own apps.

Third-party apps are the only options for consumers for entire types of apps, including social networking, dating services, travel planning, and food and drink.

Leaders in app types often vary across countries, with many regional leaders outperforming their globally competitive counterparts.

Third-party apps are the most popular among iPhone users in most regions for major app types, including music streaming, TV and movie streaming, reading, communication, and mapping apps.

Across many app types, Apple’s own apps account for a relatively small share of app usage among iPhone users. This is the case even though some Apple apps are preinstalled to enable core functionality of the device.

iPhone users often use multiple apps within a single category, especially apps for communicating, reading the news, watching videos, or navigating — underscoring how easily users can switch between apps and the breadth of opportunity for developers.

Apple

Apple Newsroom: Report finds third-party apps see global success on the App Store

Full report (PDF): The Success of Third-Party Apps on the App Store

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Apple could allow subscription price updates to be automatically charged

Apple is said to be piloting new feature that will allow to increase subscription price without having users to explicitly resubscribe.

Other developers noticed similar behavior for different subscriptions, and an Apple spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that it is running a pilot test on a new subscription system.
"We are piloting a new commerce feature we plan to launch very soon. The pilot includes developers across various app categories, organization sizes, and regions to help test an upcoming enhancement that we believe will be great for both developers and users, and we'll have more details to share in the coming weeks," the spokesperson said.

MacRumors

Reference:

Apple updates App Store Review Guidelines allowing ‘reader’ apps to have link for account registration

Apple made an update for App Store Review Guidelines allowing 'reader' apps to link to website for account registration.

Last year, Apple announced an update coming to the App Store in early 2022 that would allow developers of “reader” apps to include an in-app link to their website for account creation and management purposes. Starting today, with the update of App Store Review guideline 3.1.3(a), developers of reader apps can now request access to the External Link Account Entitlement. This entitlement lets reader apps link to a website that is owned or maintained by the developer, so that users can create or manage their account outside of the app. Reader apps are apps that provide one or more of the following digital content types — magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, or video — as the primary functionality of the app.

Apple Developer

At the same time, Apple also made new change for external payment processing for dating apps in Netherlands. Now apps do not require to have separate binary to use external payment processing.

This proposal is yet to be accepted by ACM.

Apple Developer:

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