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App Store Weekly Digest #16

2 min read

Apple’s new developer guidelines signal that scammy subscription apps’ time is up



Apple is sending out a message to app developers: stop tricking users into subscriptions. The company updated its guidelines for mobile developers to more clearly spell out what is and what is not allowed, according to 9to5Mac, which spotted the recent changes. The improved documentation comes at a time when subscriptions are becoming something of a plague on consumers.

Apple could be working on game subscription service



Apple is planning a subscription service for games, according to five people familiar with the matter.

The service would function like Netflix for games, allowing users who pay a subscription fee to access a bundled list of titles. Apple ($AAPL) began privately discussing a subscription service with game developers in the second half of 2018, said the people, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss unannounced plans.

It’s unclear how much the subscription will cost or what kind of games Apple will offer. The service is still in the early stages of development, and Apple could ultimately decide to abandon it.

App Store developers have earned $120 billion since 2008



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.

Alibaba’s alternative to the app store reaches 230M daily users



AliPay, the payments solution affiliated with China’s ecommerce juggernaut Alibaba, today announced it surpassed 230 million daily active users and 12 million lite apps. For some context, Tencent’s WeChat said it topped 200 million daily users and one million mini apps last November.

Top 10 US subscription video apps pulled in $1.3B last year, a 62% increase from 2017

Subscriptions are booming on the app stores, and particularly subscription video apps, thanks to the growing number of cord cutters who are choosing to stream their TV shows and movies instead of paying for cable or satellite. In the U.S., the top 10 subscription video apps by revenue pulled in $1.27 billion in 2018 across both the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Mobile ad spend to take over TV this year


Global mobile ad spend is poised to take over TV spending in 2019 according to new research by WARC.

Mobile ad spend within key markets is estimated to increase to $153.2 billion in 2019.

A whopping 52% of the world population (3.9 billion) now have Internet access on their mobile devices. Advertisers are estimated to have spent around $137.9 billion on mobile ads last year. That’s an average $35.36 per mobile user.

Facebook to encrypt Instagram messages ahead of integration with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger

Facebook is adding end-to-end encryption to Instagram messages. That will bring a new level of security and privacy to Instagram users for the first time. Facebook will also begin encrypting Facebook Messenger by default, which has, to date, required users to manually switch on the feature.

So far, only WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted by default.

Facebook is shutting down Moments


Facebook Moments

Facebook Moments, the standalone mobile app designed to let users privately share photos and videos, is shutting down next month.

Facebook confirmed the app’s services will end February 25. Facebook decided to end support for the app, which hasn’t been updated in some time, because people weren’t using it.

Whim, the all-in-one mobility app for ridesharing, public transit and rentals is coming to the US

Whim, which offers a subscription service for public transportation, ridesharing, bike rentals, scooter rentals, taxis or car rentals, will be making its U.S. debut later this year.

The company will choose its American launch city from Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Miami, according to Sampo Hietanen, the company’s chief executive.

GSMA Announces Nominees for the Global Mobile Awards 2019


The GSMA today announced the nominees for the Global Mobile Awards 2019 (GLOMO Awards). Winners of the awards will be presented throughout MWC19 Barcelona, which takes place 25 – 28 February.


  • PayPal joins $40m funding round in fintech app Dosh
  • Investment app Groww bags $6.2m in fresh funding
  • India’s bike taxi app Rapido drives off with $10m

Top Charts of January 29, 2019 from Mobile Action

App Store Top 10 Apps for January 29, 2019
Play Store Top 10 Apps for January 29, 2019

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