Apple Launches Subscriptions on the App Store



CUPERTINO, California—February 15, 2011—Apple® today announced a new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store℠, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc. This is the same innovative digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp.'s “The Daily” app. 

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including cancelling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases. 

“Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,” said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. “All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers.” 

Publishers who use Apple’s subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app. 

Protecting customer privacy is a key feature of all App Store transactions. Customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe. The use of such information will be governed by the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's. Publishers may seek additional information from App Store customers provided those customers are given a clear choice, and are informed that any additional information will be handled under the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's. 

The revolutionary App Store offers more than 350,000 apps to consumers in 90 countries, with more than 60,000 native iPad™ apps. Customers of the more than 160 million iOS devices around the world can choose from an incredible range of apps in 20 categories, including games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. 

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Source: Taken from


What do you think of the latest advancements made by Apple? Join in on the vote and also tell us your opinion. 

Let EpicWin Put The Adventure Back Into Your Life



EpicWin To Do App 1EpicWin by Supermono Ltd

Type: Utility
Size: 22.9 MB
Price/cost: £1.79 (two unique and limited edition characters can be brought for 59p each if the user desires)
Updated: 7 January 2011
Official Site:

“EpicWin is an iPhone app that puts the adventure back into your life. It's a streamlined to-do list, to note down all your everyday tasks, but with a role-playing spin. Rather than just mentally ticking off your chores, completing each one improves and develops your character in an on-going quest to level-up, gain riches, and develop skills.”


EpicWin To Do App 2

A survey I found on my ventures estimates that more than 75% of people will break their New Year's resolutions within three months of making them, and nearly 1/3 of people will break them just one month into their new regime. I can't say that the rest of the year has such a bright horizon either, with approximately 90% of all people failing their goals as a consequence of either poor management, poor motivation and not knowing how to go about achieving such goal. It might be a health goal that you're trying to achieve such as losing weight. Or it could be that you want to stop smoking cigarettes; not only improving your health and well-being but saving a considerable amount of money as a result, hitting two birds with one stone. It could be a relationship objective, such as increase the quality time you spend with your other half, children, family and friends. Whatever your goal might be, careful management and great motivational help will give you the best possibly chance of completing your goal. Are you in the 75% that is currently lacking motivation, or in the 90% that is considering quitting or maybe putting off your goal for the time being (“I will start my healthy regime tomorrow, I will I promise” you procrastinator). The producers and developers at Supermono Ltd have definitely given a great shot at solving this problem with a utility to-do app called EpicWin.


Browsing through the App Store (as you do when your bored) I was very intrigued to find a utility to-do app that claimed “Make being organised as much fun as gaming with EpicWin the to-do list app with an RPG setting.” Now, I am a geek; so much so that I have a designated section for all my beloved RPG game such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Baldur's Gate, Mass Effect, Fallout 3 and my favourite Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. At only £1.79 I was really interested in seeing what the app was capable of achieving not only for myself but you, my readers. Let App Advisor do all the wasted buying and downloading so you don't have to.


EpicWin To Do App 3I am welcomed initially with the typical character selection screen named Birth of a New Adventurer. As of the latest patch 1.3, there is currently a total of five different characters a user is able to choose, two of which are special addition Warrior and Treeman Berzerker that have an extra price tag each of 59p; some extra options that might become too appetising for your demise. I am greeted next with several introductory goals that give the user, in this case me, an idea on the possibilities and capabilities of what this particular to-do app is able to achieve. More than anything I think an effective way of showing all the nooks, crannies and extra settings EpicWin has on offer; a dummies help guide of what to do. I was guided in creating my first goal; “Create first review for App Advisor, it's about time!” and set my point's marker to 300. The point's system is rather self explanatory allowing the user to set a value as low as 50 and as high as 300 depending on the epicness, importance and difficulty of that goal. When a goal is completed, these points are converted into experience (allowing you to level up your character RPG-esque style) and progress along a path where you can collect gold and rare loot which you can actually boast on the likes of Twitter and Facebook after acquirement if you so wish to do so. My first piece of loot was Face Cream of Vitality; “the only face-cream on the market to contain Vitalglobulons ™”I have been left wondering what my next goal might be so that I can use the to-do app EpicWin as a means of motivating me to achieve it (and gain levels and extra loot), watch this space.

EpicWin To Do App 4In somewhat more of a nutshell; “Rather than just mentally ticking off your chores, completing each one improves and develops your character in an ongoing quest to level-up, gain riches, and develop skills. Doing the laundry is an epic feat of stamina so why not get stamina points for it?! 

The more you do, the further you will journey and the further you go, the more loot you will uncover and the more your character will level-up in skills and stature. And unlike traditional video-games you'll then benefit from a tidier home, a more organised working day or succeeding in whatever other life goals you wish to achieve.”


EpicWin To Do App 5

It's absolutely brilliant, an exciting to-do app but with a RPG-esque twist! EpicWin is a great way to organise goals in a fun environment where achieving even the smallest of tasks feels somewhat better and more rewarding than ‘ah well, at least the hoovering is done now'. A tad silly and extreme I admit, but I have actually started going out of my way to find goals now that I wouldn't usually think of partaking in. Just the other day actually I fixed a dodgy toilet roll holder in my bathroom which reluctantly should've been done months before; I obtained an extra 100 points and travelled an extra 7 miles nearer to acquiring my next piece of rare loot, exciting times! £1.79 is a small price to pay for a to-do app that only reaps you benefits; becoming more popular with the other half and getting things done. If you want to add fun to your boring and monotonous to-do lists or want a playful way of organising your goals, EpicWin is definitely an app the Advisor recommends.

     Score: 4.5/5


Did EpicWin help you achieve your goals, maybe vote and tell us your story? 

What Makes For A Good App?


I thought it would be a great idea before I started any reviewing to do some background research into what makes blockbuster apps such as Angry Birds blockbuster; what formulates for a good app where minority make it big and majority flop so to speak. For most people this is probably an easy hypothesis to explain, why make such an obvious and easy piece of research I can hear some of you shouting. Well originally this was for my good only, and was going to be used solely as a template to guide me through my first couple of reviews. I thought it would be nice and useful for some people such as designers and curiosity readers so decided to publish it, plus App Advisor could do with some extra posts at the moment.

So anyway, what makes for a good app? As most people would've probably done in my shoes, I was curious about what sites that were indexed in Google had to offer and potentially use this as the basis of my research. As a summary, this is what I found:

- With so many new apps being launched on a day to day basis all having the initial potential of making it big there is no imagining for some how stiff such competition actually is for a developer. We as app buyers and users only usually see the more popular apps or apps that we have specifically searched for. Sorry to break such things to an avid app buyer; but there is probably another 300,000 apps that you haven't yet seen or heard of knocking about on the iTunes store. So with this in mind, it is important to be different and be able to provide a unique experience that no other app offers. Is there a need or a niche for such app? Any similar apps already out there, how well are they doing? How well is the app going to be made (with regards to the developer's skill sets and utilising the latest technology the iPhone on hand)? Is it going to have worthy functionality that people are going to want to use? These are just a few of many questions you need to ask yourself before making a successful app.

FACT: Over 30% of apps available in the iTunes store are unused a day after downloading, either being deleted or left wasting space on the dashboard. The evaluation to this is; that approximately 90,000 of these apps on offer are not entertaining, helpful or enjoyable. This is only going to affect the resulted rest that do actually have something to offer.

- Many developers go out to make money and for this to be their main motivator, not considering the user as a valuable consumer. Don't get me wrong, this is all good in some cases as people do deserve to earn for their efforts and time consumed, but this is not always the right basis to initially release an app on. This is an especially good technique for smaller app developers that don't have the preliminary wads of cash needed to make an app big. Cover Orange for example is one of the latest phenomenon's to hit the app store. Not only was it unique in the physics puzzler genre, but originally (before 59p) was a free app to download. That is one example of a smaller app developer making it big off decisions such as that one. This along with developers that offer demo's and lite versions of their app lure potential consumers buying if they like. Remember, not everybody wants to take the risk of maybe buying a rubbish app, demo's and lite versions resolve any doubts the user might have, increasing the chance to snap up another sale.

FACT: Nearly 50 percent of iPhone users and 40 percent of iPod touch users buy at least one app every month. iPhone users download approximately 10 new apps, while iPod touch owners download an average of 18.

- Stable, reliable with quick load speeds. If a user is purchasing an app (even for the likes of 59p) they expect it to be tested under multiple conditions for its reliability and have understandable loading speeds of a few seconds tops. Not many people are going to sit around waiting for an app to load-up for 30 seconds. People don't have patience any more like they used to.

FACT: How did Angry Birds become such a blockbuster? After reading the article which is linked at the bottom of this post, it wasn't as obvious as some people first thought. They started promoting and gaining top ten's in smaller countries such as Finland before dominating the main market. They also put a massive amount of research, testing and money to make it what it is today. A great example of a unique app!*

- Easy to use and navigate. Users like to be able to start using an app as soon as possible and not need a PhD in Computer Science in order to figure out any of its features.

- Look and feel of an app is just as important as any of the above in this day and age. Overblown visuals, neglecting the use of the latest technological advancements such as GPS, accelerometer, retina display and other functions available are just two of the many things NOT to do in this department.

I will definitely be using some of these points to base my reviews off. Thanks for reading, and any comments and additions you might want to make I will be very grateful off,

App Advisor (Nathan)

* Here is the link to the Angry Birds article, hope you enjoy!