Posts tagged STORE

Google Brings The Play Store To China, Kinda Sorta

Google is finally letting Chinese app developers use the Google Play store to upload and make their apps available to customers. But there’s a big catch: the Android app for Google Play itself isn’t available in China, so developers can’t actually distribute these apps to mainland Chinese users.

Chinese users have adopted Google in a big way, making up more than half of the one billion Android users around the globe. However, Google hasn’t been available in China since 2010, when it shut down Google.cn amid hacking allegations against the Chinese government.

See also: Google Apps in China: It May Work, It May Not

Under the new Google Play support, Chinese developers will be able to distribute paid and free apps to Android users in 130 countries—just not China. Chinese users will continue to need to use third-party app stores such as Qihoo 360 in order to access apps made by both their fellow Chinese and other developers.

However, it could be that Google is also testing the waters for an app store in China. According to a Wednesday report in the Information, sources close to the company believe Google plans to launch a version of its Google Play store for Chinese consumers.

It’s hard to know if Google’s return to China will be a triumphant one or too little too late. By this point, Chinese Android users have been using third-party app stores for the better part of four years, and may prefer them to whatever Google can offer.

Lead image by Anita Hart

View full post on ReadWrite

Amazon Reportedly Hitting The Bricks With A Store In New York

Amazon.com, king of e-commerce, can’t seem to leave the physical realm alone—first e-readers, then tablets, TV boxes and smartphones. Now, Jeff Bezos wants a genuine brick-and-mortar shop to peddle them all, say the Wall Street Journal

Citing people familiar with the plans, the paper reported that the online retailer has its sights set on a New York City store, smack dab in the middle of a high-traffic Manhattan shopping district. If true, the new establishment would go up at 7 West 34th Street—just in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. 

A first for the tech giant, an Amazon store would give consumers some hands-on time with products. And, because the company is an expert at delivering the goods, the store may also front a warehouse of sorts.

From this site, Amazon would be able to send out same-day deliveries within the city, and let people pick up or return items they’ve ordered from the Internet.  

Amazon has quietly offered same-day delivery in New York and other cities for years. But a physical store would give Amazon an on-the-ground presence—a key advantage that Apple has when selling gadgets. 

Photo of 7 West 34th Street via Google Maps Street View

Update: In response to the Journal’s report, Amazon has said it hasn’t announced any plans for a store in Manhattan. 

View full post on ReadWrite

Amazon Set To Hit The Bricks With A Store In New York

Amazon.com, king of e-commerce, can’t seem to leave the physical realm alone—first e-readers, then tablets, TV boxes and smartphones. Now, Jeff Bezos wants a genuine brick-and-mortar shop to peddle them all.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the online retailer has its sights set on a New York City store, smack dab in the middle of a high-traffic Manhattan shopping district. Reportedly, the new establishment should go up at 7 West 34th Street—just in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season. (In response to the Journal’s report, Amazon has said it hasn’t announced any plans for a store in Manhattan.)

A first for the tech giant, an Amazon store would give consumers some hands-on time with products. And, because the company is an expert at delivering the goods, the store could also front a warehouse of sorts.

From the store, Amazon could also send out same-day deliveries within the city, and let people pick up or even return items they’ve ordered from the Internet.  

Amazon has quietly offered same-day delivery in New York and other cities for years. But a physical store would give Amazon an on-the-ground presence—a key advantage that Apple has when selling gadgets.

Photo of 7 West 34th Street via Google Maps Street View

View full post on ReadWrite

Why You Can’t Download Health And Fitness Apps From Apple’s App Store

An unannounced fitness tracker

Fitness-app developers who expected a lift from Apple’s release of iOS 8 and its new health-related features got a nasty surprise Wednesday.

Apple held up new apps that used its HealthKit software to store and present health-related data. And, it turns out, Apple completely removed existing apps which had added HealthKit from the App Store.

MyFitnessPal, a nutrition tracker with 50 million users, was one of the biggest apps affected, as were apps from major brands like WebMD and Walgreens.

“Our app which supported HealthKit integration was removed from the App Store this morning,” MyFitnessPal CEO Mike Lee told me in an email. “We’ve been working with Apple on a solution, and a version without HealthKit should be available shortly.”

Lee said Apple approved a new version of MyFitnessPal without HealthKit shortly after the company submitted it.

As of Monday afternoon, MyFitnessPal was not yet back in the App Store, but Lee said he expected it to return quickly.

That’s the good news for developers.

The bad news, according to Apple, is that the bug that required HealthKit apps’ removal will not be fixed until the end of September.

That’s a blow for startups like Big Health, which had pegged the release of its Sleepio sleep-therapy app to the availability of HealthKit. Sleepio doesn’t do its own sleep-tracking: Instead, it relies on HealthKit-connected fitness trackers or manual input of sleep data in Apple’s Health app, which also uses HealthKit to transfer data.

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iTunes App Store SEO: Getting your game recognized via search-engine … – VentureBeat


VentureBeat
iTunes App Store SEO: Getting your game recognized via search-engine
VentureBeat
In spite of all the varying pontifications of experts in the SEO field, most agree that your game's keywords still matter. SEO specialists usually state that when it comes to getting recognition for your website or game, you're generally going to want

and more »

View full post on SEO – Google News

Verizon’s Planned App Store Is The Dumbest Carrier Idea In Some Time

Reporting from the world of terrible ideas, The Information claims Verizon Wireless is scheming to create a new Android app store to compete with Google’s own Play Store. 

The carrier’s plan is currently at an early stage, according to reporter Amir Efrati, who adds that there’s no concrete launch timeframe. As a result, it’s hard to know whether Verizon’s plan, if it exists, is much more than a trial balloon at this point.

Still, let’s hear it out. Verizon is supposedly wheeling and dealing behind the scenes, hoping to give its upcoming store a global reach by getting other wireless operators and tech companies on board. For now, its supposed plan is to use data—like user location, time of day and social data—to power app recommendations.

Cue the eye roll. 

Verizon Makes A Play … For Your Wallet

Telecoms have long wanted to prove that they’re more than just dumb pipes channeling in data for other companies’ benefit. Unfortunately, that ambition usually—make that, “almost always”—translates into unwanted features and pricey services forced on consumers.

No one likes having their Internet service or real estate on their phones held for ransom. One big reason the iPhone took off the way it did was that Apple managed to wrest away control of the phone from the carriers, much to the benefit of users everywhere.

In that context, this reported plan looks like little more than a lame money grab. Verizon subscribers already have access to Google Play, and they can even pay for those apps from their wireless bills. So an alternative app store doesn’t seem to fill any need or solve any problems for people.

There’s also no reason to believe that Verizon, whose own stock apps are for the most part awful bloatware, really understands very much about app development. It would have to, if it wants build relationships with the developers who would populate its store.

Let’s not forget that Verizon tried this before in 2010, with little to show for it but a big bucket of fail. That store, aimed at Android and BlackBerry users, limped along for three years before the carrier finally pulled the plug in January 2013. 

Follow The Money

If the Verizon plan is a reality, it seems to reflect a collective fear among carriers that they’ve failed to dip their buckets deeply enough into the app revenue stream. Sprint also just announced its own app store, called App Pass, a subscription service that assumes users will be happy paying $5 a month to use a collection of paid apps selected by Sprint. That might be a bargain if you believe Sprint has your best interests at heart—as opposed, say, to those of its corporate partners.

Unsurprisingly, money likewise seems to be at the heart of whatever Verizon thinks it’s cooking up. The Information reports that its app-store strategy is a direct response to Google scaling back its app revenue-sharing arrangement with carriers and hardware manufacturers.

How unlike the mobile carriers we’ve come to know and love.

Lead photo courtesy of Shutterstock

UPDATE: Verizon denies that it’s readying an app store, but The Information’s Amir Efrati is sticking to his guns, tweeting, “Verizon spokeswoman says ‘no plans’ for app store. I and @theinformation stand by this report 100%…” 

View full post on ReadWrite

Verizon’s Planned App Store Is The Dumbest Idea A Carrier Has Had In A While

Reporting from the world of terrible ideas, The Information claims Verizon Wireless is scheming to create a new Android app store to compete with Google’s own Play Store. 

The carrier’s plan is currently at an early stage, according to reporter Amir Efrati, who adds that there’s no concrete launch timeframe. As a result, it’s hard to know whether Verizon’s plan, if it exists, is much more than a trial balloon at this point.

Still, let’s hear it out. Verizon is supposedly wheeling and dealing behind the scenes, hoping to give its upcoming store a global reach by getting other wireless operators and tech companies on board. For now, its supposed plan is to use data—like user location, time of day and social data—to power app recommendations.

Cue the eye roll. 

Verizon Makes A Play … For Your Wallet

Telecoms have long wanted to prove that they’re more than just dumb pipes channeling in data for other companies’ benefit. Unfortunately, that ambition usually—make that, “almost always”—translates into unwanted features and pricey services forced on consumers.

No one likes having their Internet service or real estate on their phones held for ransom. One big reason the iPhone took off the way it did was that Apple managed to wrest away control of the phone from the carriers, much to the benefit of users everywhere.

In that context, this reported plan looks like little more than a lame money grab. Verizon subscribers already have access to Google Play, and they can even pay for those apps from their wireless bills. So an alternative app store doesn’t seem to fill any need or solve any problems for people.

There’s also no reason to believe that Verizon, whose own stock apps are for the most part awful bloatware, really understands very much about app development. It would have to, if it wants build relationships with the developers who would populate its store.

Let’s not forget that Verizon tried this before in 2010, with little to show for it but a big bucket of fail. That store, aimed at Android and BlackBerry users, limped along for three years before the carrier finally pulled the plug in January 2013. 

Follow The Money

If the Verizon plan is a reality, it seems to reflect a collective fear among carriers that they’ve failed to dip their buckets deeply enough into the app revenue stream. Sprint also just announced its own app store, called App Pass, a subscription service that assumes users will be happy paying $5 a month to use a collection of paid apps selected by Sprint. That might be a bargain if you believe Sprint has your best interests at heart—as opposed, say, to those of its corporate partners.

Unsurprisingly, money likewise seems to be at the heart of whatever Verizon thinks it’s cooking up. The Information reports that its app-store strategy is a direct response to Google scaling back its app revenue-sharing arrangement with carriers and hardware manufacturers.

How unlike the mobile carriers we’ve come to know and love.

Lead photo courtesy of Shutterstock

UPDATE: Verizon denies that it’s readying an app store, but The Information’s Amir Efrati is sticking to his guns, tweeting, “Verizon spokeswoman says ‘no plans’ for app store. I and @theinformation stand by this report 100%…” 

View full post on ReadWrite

Surprise! Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet Returns To Apple App Store

More than six months after Apple’s controversial Bitcoin wallet ban, Blockchain is back in the App Store with a new wallet.

In February, Blockchain was the only Bitcoin wallet remaining in the App Store after Apple deleted Coinbase in November 2013 and BitPak back in 2012.

That is, until CEO Nicolas Cary got a message from Apple stating Blockchain had been “removed from the App Store due to an unresolved issue.”

See also: Apple Deletes Blockchain, The Last Remaining Bitcoin Wallet For iPhone

Apple never did elaborate further on that statement, but for reasons we can only speculate on, the tech giant relaxed its “purchasing and currency” policies this June immediately following its Worldwide Developer’s Conference 2014. The update states:

“Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions.”

That shift was a signal to Cary to begin working on the next generation of the Blockchain wallet, he told Coindesk. Built from scratch, the new app not only allows users to exchange bitcoins from wallet to wallet like the former version, but also to make purchases from the growing list of merchants who now accept Bitcoin payments.

See also: Here Are All The New Ways To Spend Bitcoin While You Weren’t Paying Attention

With 1.9 million users, Blockchain is the most popular Bitcoin wallet available. However, Apple’s newly relaxed policy may lure competitors into trying to create a better one.

(Apple has not yet returned ReadWrite’s request for comment.)

View full post on ReadWrite

The Coolest Objects For Sale In Amazon’s New 3D Printing Store

If 3D printing doesn’t take off, it won’t be for Amazon’s lack of trying. Last year, it created a dedicated retail section to sell 3D printers and materials. Now it’s at it again, this time pushing actual 3D-printed goods—and feeding an ongoing debate about the role 3D printing should play in our lives. 

Amazon’s new 3D Printing Store launched Monday with a distinct focus on people who want to buy, not build, 3D-printed wares. Amazon already had a “3D Printers & Supplies” department which sells 3D printers, plastic filament, parts, accessories and software—stuff which will only be of interest to you if you want your own mini-factory in your house.

Shoppers can now browse through more than 200 3D-printed toys, jewelry, home goods, and other tchotchkes from vendors like Sculpteo, Mixee Labs and others—no printer required. 

Some items sold in Amazon’s store are customizable—like Mixee Labs’ toy figurines—while others have set designs, but offer a range of colors or exceedingly intricate detail.

3D printers—desktop machines that can produce three-dimensional objects from digital designs—have a direct and obvious appeal for designers, inventors, hobbyists and other “makers.” They’ve been less successful with mainstream shoppers, however.

If there’s one thing Amazon knows, it’s shopping. The site makes it easy for customers to discover, search and preview products (even in 360 degrees), while letting vendors offer their own wares by enrolling as an Amazon Seller.

If Amazon does this right, it could capture profits on both sides of the 3D printing business, by helping equip would-be creators and by providing them a place to sell their wares.

3D printing has been a subject of fascination for the technology sector and maker communities, but it’s still a hard sell for your average consumer. That’s one reason 3D-printing marketplaces shifted focus from offering 3D-printer blueprints to stores with completed products. Early pioneers Shapeways, Thingiverse and 3DLT got in on that action, inspiring newer competitors such as Threeding, Layer by Layer and Cuboyo. Even online auction site eBay and Etsy, the sellers’ site for hand-made goods, sell 3D-printed items.

With Amazon plunging further into this niche, it could spark mainstream interest in 3D-printed goods. That may ultimately be good for all players.

Some of our favorites in the new store:

“Create Your Own” Mixee Me

Some people find hyperrealistic 3D-printed figurines kind of creepy (and expensive). But this adorable “Mixee Me” doesn’t overdo it with the details, allowing it to ship quickly in just 6 to 10 days and at just $30. 

Fractal Leaves iPhone 5 Case

This fractal leaf could be your meditation on the fragility of life—or the fragility of your phone. Either way, this $28 bumper case is uniquely pretty and offers some protection for that handset without totally covering it up. 

HP Lovecraft-Inspired Cute Gameboard pieces

Put a little Cthulhu into your Chutes and Ladders. I can’t wait to see these little Lovecraftian gamepieces trounce across my chess board, and every other game I own. 

Unisex Space Invader Ring

You can wear your gaming cred on your sleeve, but why not on your finger? This blocky little ode to Space Invaders can appeal to retro gaming geeks as well as modern-day Minecraft fans. 

Chaos Table Lamp

The most expensive product on this list, the Chaos Lamp will wreak havoc … on your wallet. The $740 price point is steep for any kind of lamp, 3D-printed or no. But oh, if money was no object, having a sculpted art piece that’s also functional would be really appealing. 

 Images via Amazon

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3 Tests to Determine if Mobile Ads are Right for Your Online Store

Mobile is big, and getting bigger. But are mobile search ads a good investment for your site? Ask these questions to help determine your potential for mobile success, and Google Analytics reports you can run to help answer those questions.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

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