After our launch of Where To? 10 which includes an iMessage app, I was fascinated how it would perform in the new iMessage App Store. Similar to the Apple Watch App Store, Apple chose to build a new, separate App Store for iMessage apps.
The US store differs from other stores in that it has categories (similar to the iOS App Store but with fewer categories) and Top Charts. I didn’t check many other countries but it looks like the US is unique in this regard.
Update Sept 16: Top charts and categories seem to roll out worldwide. At least in Germany and Italy, they’re now available, albeit with fewer categories.
Top Charts are interesting because they offer an insight how the market works and which categories and business models are most successful.
I went through the list of 150 apps in both the Top Free and Top Revenue charts and made an analysis on the type of content and the business models used. Some items were hard to categorize because there are apps that are essentially just sticker packs. Or there are iOS games that have a sticker pack attached. I tried to categorize them according to their actual content.
First, sticker packs drastically outnumber apps and games. The revenue share generated by sticker packs is even higher than the free download share of sticker packs. So clearly, users have no problem whatsoever to open their purse for well-designed pixels.
The relatively small number of games was surprising to me. Apparently, only a small percentage of games benefits from iMessage integration, specifically turn-based games.
The distribution of business models is even more interesting. In contrast to the iOS App Store where freemium titles dominate the top-grossing charts, the overwhelming revenue in the iMessage App Store comes from paid titles. This reminds me of the early days of the App Store where In App Purchase wasn’t even available.
Probably the #1 reason for this is the lack of IAP in no-code sticker packs. These sticker packs consist only of the actual artwork and are easy to create for designers who don’t want to code.
Nevertheless, even the three of four games in the grossing charts are traditionally paid and 9 of the 12 apps.
Another observation I made: the sales and the ranking of iOS apps including an iMessage app seem to be independent in both stores. For instance, at the time of writing these lines, Where To? ranked #73 in the (overall) US iMessage Top Revenue charts but didn’t rank at all in the US iOS App Store, even on the category level.
US iMessage App Store added top lists. Where To? scored #73, or #11 when excluding Sticker apps. Excited & thankful! pic.twitter.com/JZpleXmHIF
We’re only at day one of the iMessage App Store so it’s hard to predict what the future will hold but I expect (and kind of hope, as an app developer) the number of apps and games in the top charts to increase. Stickers are new and fresh and everyone wants to try them but after the initial excitement levels down and after users have already filled one screen with sticker packs, users will probably gravitate towards deeper apps and games that promise longer lasting benefit. Another reason for this is development time. Developers only had three months of time since Apple introduced the first beta of iOS 10 at WWDC16 – actually less because of bugs in early betas. Developing a great app or game takes time so we’ll definitely see more non-sticker titles in the future.
I also believe the ratio of freemium titles will increase vs. paid-upfront titles, even for sticker packs. It’s not hard to see that there will be tools to automatically generate sticker pack apps with only a few free stickers and the rest of them locked behind an IAP wall. As soon as designers have the (easy) choice, they’ll make use of it.
Overall, it’s fascinating to follow the launch of this new economy with its own new laws of physics and I’m really curious to watch this fourth baby (after the iOS, Mac and Apple Watch App Stores) grow over time. For us, it’s an exciting business opportunity and I’m glad we’re part of it since day 0!
Where To? 10 is available. The big new feature of this update is Where To? for iMessage. The included iMessage app allows you to search for locations and share them with your friends in a conversation. Whether you’re meeting for lunch or having drinks or whether you want to share a special shop or hotel, you can now do so without even leaving the Messages app.
And if you want to share the location of a contact with privacy in mind, you’re covered too: Where To? for iMessage only sends the map area with the name and the address. Your contact details such as email, phone numbers, birthday and notes remain private.
The main app also learned some new tricks. You can access your recently viewed places under the Recents tab. Also, appropriate for an update focused on messaging, you can search for all kinds of categories simply by typing an emoji in the search field. So you can easily find the next ⚽️, 🏈, ⚾️, or 🎾 court, grab a quick ☕️ or watch the latest 🎞 with 🍿. In the previous 9.0.5 update this already worked in Spotlight, now you can search by emoji in the iPhone or iMessage app, too. You won’t believe it but more than 300 categories can be searched via emoji! Can you guess the appropriate emoji for dentists?
If you’re a current Where To? 9 user, make sure to update to iOS 10 and head over to the App Store to grab the free update with all the iMessage goodness. Or if you’re new to Where To?, check it out in either the App Store or the App Store for iMessage. No matter how you download it, Where To? includes both the iPhone app and the iMessage app – and the Apple Watch app, if you have one!
The Where To? 9.0.5 update released today supports Emoji search in Spotlight. You’re dying for a pizza or a burger? Just type 🍕 or 🍔 in the Spotlight search field! More than 300 of our 700+ categories can be searched with an emoji. So it’s easier than ever to find a 🍻 or a 🍴 or some 🎤. Or are you more into seeing a 🎞? No matter what, if you need a 🚖 or a 🚍 back home you should be covered, too.
We also took the time to squash several 🐛 and prepare Where To? for the upcoming iOS 10.
Grab the update and don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating for the update! 💗🎆
Today’s Where To? 9.0.4 update adds support for a few more public transport routing apps.
UK Transport by our friend Amy Worrall is a UK-wide public transport routing app with realtime departure boards.
SNCF is France’s national rail service and their app includes an Apple Watch app.
Despite its name, Salzburg Verkehr provides public transport routing for all of Austria including realtime information and multi-mode routing such as Bike & Ride, Park & Ride and more.
Where To? 9.0.4 also displays more location photos and adds several bugfixes and minor improvements. Download the update in the App Store and if you appreciate our work, consider leaving us a nice rating.
Since the introduction of the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard, keyboards on iOS are becoming more popular. iOS 9 makes keyboard usage more convenient by showing a nice cheat sheet of all supported keyboard shortcuts when holding down the ⌘-key. We now support keyboard navigation, too. The following keyboard shortcuts are available in Streets 3.1:
move the map
+ and –
zoom in and out
Open the panorama
Go to current location
Mark as favorite
⌘1 ‑ ⌘4
Switch to Map, Hybrid, Satellite, or Terrain mode
Go back to map
Move the panorama
+ and –
Zoom in and out
⌘↑ ⌘← ⌘↓ ⌘→
Step to next panorama
⎇↑ ⎇← ⎇↓ ⎇→
Move the mini map
⎇+ and ⎇-
Zoom the mini map
Expand Mini Map
Mark as favorite
Switch tabs (Favorites / Recents / Gallery)
Previous or next row
In addition to keyboard navigation, Streets 3.1 writes EXIF metadata when saving panorama images to the photo album, so the panorama’s location is retained.
Finally, we improved user location search by showing the current address, not the address of the nearest panorama and fixed several small bugs.
If you purchased Streets 2 at full price, the Streets 3 Upgrade bundle allows you to upgrade to Streets 3 with 50% off the regular price. The App Store detects that you already purchased Streets 2 and you can tap “Complete My Bundle” to purchase it at the indicated price1). Then, the missing app from the bundle, the new Streets 3, will download. Your recent searches will automatically be imported from Streets 2 in Streets 3 and you can subsequently delete Streets 2.
Where To? + Streets
Where To? and Streets go well together. From Where To? you can switch to Streets to view Street View panoramas of restaurants, hotels, or other locations. From Streets, you can check for nearby shops and services in Where To? for any panorama you’re currently looking at.
If you bought just one of the apps so far, simply complete the Where To? + Streets bundle to add the other app at 1$/€ off1). And if you’re new to both apps, this bundle is the best way to discover the world using Where To? + Streets at a bargain!
1) The App Store calculates the “Complete My Bundle” price by subtracting the original price you paid for Streets 2 from the price of the bundle. If you bought Streets 2 at regular price, the Complete-my-Bundle price is roughly 50% off the price of the standalone Streets 3 app.
2) Discount applies if the other app was purchased at regular price.
Since the very first version of Streets, our ambitious goal was to deliver the best Street View browser on iPhone and iPad – an app dedicated to discovering, navigating, storing, and sharing the popular 360° street level views.
After months of hard work, after having received great and valuable feedback from our beta testers, we’re finally shipping Streets 3 for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Streets 3 features an all-new user interface fully optimized for iOS 9. We put a lot of effort into the panorama viewer. It’s not only more fluid and the perspective more realistic. We also improved how to navigate from panorama to panorama. The arrow buttons to step through panoramas oftentimes don’t cut it. So we invented a new, interactive and expandable mini map in the corner that lets you move to a new panorama easily. Street View coverage is indicated in blue, while businesses offering indoor panorama views are designated in orange.
Panoramas can now be viewed full-screen and marked as favorites that are automatically synced between devices.
Streets always included a list of Gallery Places, special locations you may never otherwise had a chance to experience. The new Gallery Browser lets you select from various categories such as Museums, Science and Technology, Monuments and more. Discover the breath-taking view at the Grand Canyon, take a peek at the Atlantis space shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center, or view a masterpiece in Amsterdam’s van Gogh museum! Gallery places also include background information such as descriptions and links.
Apple Watch App
Streets 3 also includes the world’s first Apple Watch app that lets you view full 360° panoramas right on your wrist. Just use the Digital Crown to navigate within a panorama. The watch app automatically syncs favorites and recent searches with the iPhone, so the latest Street Views are always available for viewing. Or you can start a search using your voice. The Gallery Browser is also available on the Apple Watch, offering the ability to view the various Gallery Places.
The features I described are just the tip of the iceberg. So for the curious, here’s the complete list of what’s new:
Complete optimization for iOS 9, including an all-new user interface
A new interactive mini map which makes it easier to walk through panoramas
Supports all iOS devices with their native resolution, including iPad Pro, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus
Split View and Slide Over support
Mark panoramas as favorites and automatically sync them between devices
Switch the map to terrain mode
Gallery Browser offers 1000+ Gallery Places that can be browsed by categories
Gallery Places now offer more information, such as descriptions and additional links
Spotlight surfaces street panoramas in the system-wide search
Handoff support allows easy transfer of the current panorama between iPad and iPhone
Siri can create reminders with Streets panorama links
And … Action!
Here’s a video of the new Streets 3 in action:
Streets 3 is a new app on the App Store. That means: Existing users need to purchase the new app again. To accommodate all our loyal users (and early birds new to the app), Streets 3 is available for $0.99 until April 15 April 25. After that the price will go up to the standard $1.99.
However, activating a BonBon prepaid SIM card and booking a data plan on it is a bit complicated since it involves Croatian-only text messages. For those of you not fluent in Croatian, this guide might be helpful.
How to activate a BonBon SIM card?
You need a BonBon SIM card and a prepaid voucher (I recommend an 80 kn voucher: “bon 80”) that can be purchased in various shops and newsstands or ordered from the bonbon website (they ship to Croatian addresses). To order a BonBon SIM card ahead of time before traveling to Croatia there are offers on ebay.
Send a text message with broj to the number 13977.
You’ll receive a text message. Reply to it by typing 2.
You’ll receive another message. Reply to it by typing DA.
Now you should activate your SIM card by calling someone (preferably a Croatian number).
Now redeem your voucher. The easiest way to do this: dial
*123* <14 digit Cash-Code> #
then press .
Now to order a data plan, you can either call 097 0700 or use the following instructions to order via text message.
How to order the data option?
Send a text message with HOCU to 13977
Reply with 3 to order a data plan
With the next text message we select the data plan:
reply 1 for 120 MB valid for 30 days
reply 2 for 800 MB valid for 30 days
reply 3 for 2.5 GB valid for 30 days
reply 4 for 5 GB valid for 30 days
I recommend option 4 with 5 GB for 45 kn.
Confirm the option by replying with DA:
Now your data option is booked und Internet should work.
By the way: by texting STANJE to 13977 you can check your current data plan usage:
Thanks to Kristijan for helping me with instructions how to book the options. Since it’s all Croatian, it’s not that easy to find out!
Since a few months we’re working on a major new version of Streets, our Street View app for iPad and iPhone. Streets 3 has an all-new user interface, supports iPad Pro, Split View and Slide Over. We also added favorites, a gallery browser, more details for gallery places, Spotlight, Handoff, Siri support, and much more. And there will be an app for Apple Watch.
Streets 3 will be a paid upgrade and is separate from the old version. We will offer an upgrade package similar to the way we offer it for Where To?. Streets 3 requires iOS 8 or newer and will seamlessly import recent places from Streets 2.
Streets 2 will continue to be available for older devices that can’t be updated to iOS 8 or 9. However, we no longer actively work on Streets 2 and concentrate our resources on Streets 3.
We have no release date to share yet. Depending on the feedback we receive during the beta and depending on Apple’s review time we’re currently targetting a release in the March/April timeframe.
In the meantime, check out the beta and let us know your feedback!