Over the past few years there have been quite a few changes here at appFigures. We’ve added support for new stores and ad networks. We’ve expanded our app store data offerings. We’ve seen folks create apps in our ecosystem, both publicly and privately. With all these changes, API v1.1 was getting a little dusty, so a new version of the API was in order.
Today we’re happy to officially announce API v2.
API v2 adds access to public data and supercharges reviews, featured, and ranks. New, unified,
product_ids let you ask for sales and public data by the same id easily. Along the way we’ve fixed quite a few bugs, added some features and cleaned up some representations that were clunky. Overall, it will make using the API even better than it was before.
Here’s a quick overview of the new features. You can check out the documentation for a full list of changes.
API v2 brings with it a few new routes to enable access to datasets that were only available on the site until now. The new routes include:
/ranks/snapshot. You can probably tell what datasets they represent by their name.
New app reviews engine
We’ve been working really hard on a very powerful engine for app reviews. You’ve probably seen some of the announcements. API v2 takes full advantage of this new engine and exposes a brand new
/reviews route written from the ground up to support searching, filtering, sorting, and translating reviews with ease.
OAuth for 3rd party access
Basic Auth is great when you need to use the API for yourself and don’t need the overhand of a security provider. It isn’t that great however for 3rd party integrations because it means your private credentials will be exposed to that 3rd party.
New in API v2 is OAuth support, which is required for 3rd party access, making your username and password invisible to to everyone without limiting access.
Public Data API
Until today the API only enabled access to apps you own, forcing you to visit the site to get ranks, reviews, and other information about apps you don’t. API v2 removes that limitation with a new add-on so you can get public data for any app you wish. Check out the Public Data Access page for more details.
We’ve taken the time to make small improvements across the entire API such as: improved date management, more options to pivot on, and access to all ad networks. Check out the complete list of changes, or dive right into the documentation.
The unofficial kick-off to summer is finally upon us. No matter how you choose to celebrate this Independence Day, we’ve created a list of our 10 favorite apps to have fun and stay safe this weekend, and throughout the summer.
Fireworks Artist Pro
What would July 4th be without fireworks? For those of you planning on traveling someplace this weekend without a fireworks show (or for those stranded on the West Side of Manhattan), the “Fireworks Artist Pro” app allows you to create your own. With a variety of backdrops and cityscapes, you don’t have to leave home to watch fireworks around the world.
View on: iTunes | Google Play
Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App
With fun in the sun comes the looming danger of exposure to harmful UV rays.This app helps find a healthy balance of sun-time, by calculating how long your skin can be exposed to the Sun without burning based on your skin type, location, time, and the level of SPF you might be using.
View on: iTunes
GrillTime is the perfect app for anyone playing host this weekend. It advises on cook-time based upon the type of food, thickness and “level of doneness”. The app will also automatically alert you when it’s time to flip, and when the meat (or vegetable) is fully cooked, so you don’t have to neglect your guests in between.
View on: iTunes
Declaration for iPhone and iPod Touch
If you’re feeling inspired and looking to explore the history behind the holiday, be sure to check out the Declaration app. It also provides historical notes, for an in-depth look at the text that started it all.
View on: iTunes
Help Pyro Pete collect his fireworks and get him to the venue on time to set off his fireworks display in this fun, seasonally-appropriate game.
View on: iTunes
America’s National Parks
Your guide to everything the National Parks have to offer. You’ll find information on park activities, as well as park maps and topographic maps for hiking. It also has integrations with Flickr and Google, so you can record your memories. Just make sure the tour for each park is loaded beforehand, so you can use them offline.
View on: Google Play
This free app’s main goal is to educate users on rips and currents, and how to safely avoid the danger of getting caught in them while enjoying the beach. There’s also some helpful information about treating jellyfish and blue bottle stings, and info on sharks.
View on: iTunes
This app is all you need for that epic road trip you’ve been dreaming about. Not only can you plan and sync trip itineraries with your co-pilot, but you can also save places to bucket lists, discover places around you and view details while you are on the road. Wherever you’re headed, this app will ensure you enjoy the ride.
View on: iTunes | Google Play
This app is powered by Surfline for the most current info on surfing conditions. It utilizes GPS to find the breaks nearest you, and allows you to also track the swell, tide, wind, etc. It provides a 2-day forecast, so you know what to expect throughout the weekend, and provides easy access to Surfline’s HD Cam, reports and videos.
View on: iTunes | Google Play
4th of July Coloring
A mobile coloring book for children, this app has everything you need to celebrate with red, white and blue. A fun way to keep kids entertained throughout the long weekend.
View on: Google Play
Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Yo. has been taking the app store by storm. With $1 Million in funding, and a media frenzy, the social networking app has been ascending the ranks with great velocity. It turns out most people have an opinion about it, so we thought it’d be fun to list of our 15 favorite reviews from around the world. Real or fake, these reviews are a great way to end the week:
Yo is one of the single greatest communication tools our generation has seen yet, the new phone call, text, Skype etc. is Yo!
Just what i needed.
I feel like im reborn, never in my life an app just translated all my feelings into a coherent sentences.
Science has proven that dolphins are one of the most intelligent mammals out there. Humans teach dolphins how to communicate and train them how to speak. But we never have been able to speak back. Until now.Yo. Has made it possible to finally communicate with dolphins. All you have to do is Yo. Them. They Yo. Back. Now my best friend just got married to a 9 year old male dolphin because of Yo. They are very happy together. Thank you Yo. God bless.
Yo is a new, innovative way to keep in touch. It cuts away at all the anxiety of worrying about what to say, and brings conversations down to their bare basics. Yo has changed my life for the better, now I’m keeping in touch with people I haven’t seen in years, and I owe it all to Yo. This app is starting to catch on, and it will spread like wildfire. Spread the word about this ingenious app, and make the world a better place.
Since yo. I, again, my life has a meaning.
This. Changes. Everything.
Before this app I was a nobody. Now I’m still a nobody. But I have this amazing app that lets me communicate like never before. I have now overcome my fear of public speaking because there is no need to speak publicly when I can just send “Yo” to people. I look forward to the time when the entirety of the English language is replaced by the word “Yo”.
Yo saved my life
I was in a hostage situation held up in a bnak with 20 other hostages, the protagonist and leader of the bank bust had a phone jammer in which i could not contact the outside world. I found wifi in a corner of a meeting room and Yo’d my best friend who immediatley called the police, showed up and saved the day. I am in debt with my life to yo. It also changed the way i communicate with my friends and family. Thank you Yo. 5 star app. ADD ME @ YOSK
Yo I love this app
Yo is an app that is ages ahead of its time. It offers simple communication at the push of a button. I don’t know how I even communicated before YO!
In a world…
In a world where we need an app to do the job of 1980’s technology but dumbed down
Very cool app.
A yo, sometimes says it all…
I’m from Philly, so saying Yo is very important to me. Thank you, Yo!
I can predict the future with Yo
Getting YOs from THEWORLDCUP actually come in before they air on the Watch ESPN App. So know I can predict the future. Thank you, Yo!
Not sure what it’s meant to do but it seems useless and a waste of time
YO IS LOVE… YO IS LIFE
Usually I don’t write app reviews, but yo, this app is the next big thing
isn’t this just like paging someone?
World Cup fever has descended upon the iOS app store, both globally and in the United States. Apps designed specifically to follow the world’s largest sporting event are surging up the ranks with none benefiting more than the official FIFA app.
Univision Deportes and watchESPN, two apps that offer live streams of first-round matches, have kept pace with the official FIFA app. As of June 16th, these three are ranked one, two, and three in the US Sports category as well as one, three, and seven in the US Top Overall category.
World Cup Fever extends even to fans supporting their teams in the digital realm. FIFA 14 by EA Sports is enjoying similar love in the iOS app store.
Enjoy the games!
Earlier today thousands of cab drivers took to the streets for large-scale protests over the famous ride sharing company, Uber. Protests in London, Madrid, and Berlin over the use of a mobile app to handle payments have forced a gridlocked stop.
With all the commotion, however, Uber is seeing substantial gains in the App Store. As you can see in the chart below, the Uber app for iPhone has been climbing the App Store charts in major European countries immediately after the protests were announced.
The App Store’s fast reaction to the protests means even more new users for Uber, which recently raised a massive round of funding to fuel further global expansion.
Controversy of this kind is nothing new to Uber. This time it’s working in their favor. Remarks from Uber executives show they embrace the protests as a way to display the convenience and functionality of the service.
More than two full days after the strike and the Uber app is still holding on to its chart position.
It’s that time of the year again where iOS and Mac developers flood San Francisco’s streets for Apple’s biggest event of the year. Just like years before, we’ll be there too.
Our co-founder Ariel will be attending both WWDC and AltConf this year sporting an appFigures shirt so he’ll be easy to find. Ariel is very friendly so don’t hesitate to say hi.
Ariel will also be moderating a panel of experts on Marketing and discovery in the app store at AltConf. Join him and four experts discuss getting found on Thursday (6/5) @ 1pm.
This year we’re also doing something new:
The appFigures truck will be driving around the conference area from Monday morning to Thursday evening. Snap a picture of the truck and tweet/instagram it @appfigures with the hashtag #wwdc14 for a chance to win fun appFigures prizes.
We’ll announce different prizes every day so follow us on twitter for details.
One of our core features is showing you all of your revenue. Whether it’s app sales, in-app purchases or advertising, you need to see an accurate bottom line in a single place, without having to log into multiple providers. To make that happen, in the last few months we’ve been focusing on ad networks. A few weeks ago we rolled out two new integrations and today we’re rolling out four more: AdColony, Playhaven, RevMob, and Vungle.
To link your ad networks, open Account settings → Linked accounts and click the Link account button. Reports from the newly linked account(s) will be available within a few minutes on the site, as well as through the API.
We now support nine ad networks including: iAd, AdMob, InMobi, Chartboost, Tapjoy, Playhaven, AdColony, RevMob, and Vungle.
P.S – If you’re using a network we haven’t integrated yet, please let us know.
A couple of weeks ago we quietly added a new filter to the new reviews report: a date picker.
The report already has a bunch of filters so you can get to the reviews you really want to see but with a date picker you can now focus on specific dates.
Simple date selection
You’ll notice that this date picker is a slightly improved version of the picker we introduced in the featured report a while back. The new picker uses our natural language date parser so it understands terms like today, last 7 days, and even more complicated terms like last Christmas.
It’s always great to hear from our members, but when a Middle School teacher told us how her class uses appFigures to track downloads from an app the students built, we were thrilled. Many engineers will confess that they wish they’d started coding earlier, and with more efforts and initiatives than ever before bringing this subject to the forefront, it looks as though the next generation is getting an early start on just that.
We spoke to Karine Boulle Nguyen at St. Anne’s-Belfield School about how this unique project taught her students two languages when they developed an app while strengthening their French comprehension skills:
As a language teacher, I believe the most important skill one can have is to communicate with others, not just through language, but also through admiration and respect of others. Our app project gave my students those skills, and we didn’t know this would be the outcome.
Tell us about the app the class developed
The project started with the idea of teaching others French in a fun and natural way using the 2Lingua approach to languages. I wanted to incorporate the same thinking process that bilingual people use when they speak, where the flow between one language to the other is like a beautiful dance. No grammar rules, no verb conjugations, no translation needed, just context.
Our app includes a story written in English with about 250 French expressions incorporated in it (with beginner and advanced level). This is a non-threatening way of learning a language. You pick up expressions at your own level, at your own speed. No pressure. In the teaching world, we call this “differentiation.” In the end, you still understand what you read because the main story is in English, but you get a wonderful sense of accomplishment. The stories my 8th graders write are performed as a play by the 5th graders, for the 4th graders. Since our 4th graders do not know a word of French, it is important that the French expressions are included in a natural and logical way.
To begin our project, we took a field trip to the French embassy in Washington, D.C. We interviewed a diplomat and toured D.C. In general, teachers take a field trip at the end of their unit to reinforce what they have taught. We did the opposite. We went on our field trip not knowing what we needed to take out of it, which forced my students to take notes and observe as much as they could. Any details they grabbed could be used in their story. When asked what was the best part of the project, some students said coding, others mentioned how much French they learned, but all commented on how special the field trip was! To use their words, they “felt free.”
We then started to work on our app. There were so many components to think about!
- The logo had to reflect the purpose of our app.
- The cover page and the title needed to show the theme of our story.
- Coding: students learned coding for the first time (CSS and HTML) and ended up coding the entire text. We then finished up the app using the Laker Compendium framework, the Baker framework, and custom code from 2Lingua.
- Our text needed to respect copyrights and could not include trademarks. The info boxes needed information provided by sites that allowed us to use their information for commercial use.
- The photo album included our own pictures, which we had to reformat for the app. We also had to make sure any other pictures we used were from Creative Commons (for legal issues).
- Our story needed to include cultural references, humor, interesting combinations of sounds to make the French more catchy, and suspense to make people want to swap pages.
- Spelling and punctuation had to be perfect.
- The recordings had to be perfect (or close to perfect) both for the beginner and the advanced level.
- There was also the “behind the scene” work, such as the description of our app for the app store, as well as which key words we needed to submit so people could find our app during their search.
- Finally, the whole product had to look professional.
What inspired you to teach the kids how to code?
Our kids need to be prepared for their future and as educators it is our responsibility to guide them in the right direction. Education is changing. Just like our world, it doesn’t have boundaries anymore. We cannot teach just history in one class, or just math. We need to combine skills with technology, so our kids can get the global experience they need, in order to live in a world without frontiers. My first goal for making this app is for people to learn a language for free. I also hope our story will inspire other educators in many different ways. Not everybody will make an app, but we hope educators and students will feel inspired to try something new in the classroom, step out of their comfort zone to include new essential skills, such as coding.
How did the kids respond to the coding lesson?
Our coding lesson reinforced the strengths and challenges that my students experience with learning a language (seeing patterns, following rules, attention to details…). Students with great writing skills understood coding right away, but students who are strong orally and struggle with spelling and grammar experienced more difficulties with it. Learning how to code was truly like learning a new language. Because coding was new to all, the whole class’ hierarchy ceased to exist. Quiet students emerged as leaders and ended up helping others. Through coding, my students got to see many other facets of their peers, which made them value each individual more.
The new talk in education is about “Project-based Learning” and “21st century skills.” Our project was both. Such open projects force students to brainstorm, communicate with each other, collaborate, listen to others, and show off their skills. When I asked my students what they got out of the project, the most surprising answer came from Henry D., who answered: friendship. They learned to respect other people’s opinion, verbalize their reasons for disagreeing, compromise, and appreciate other people’s talent.
What do you think other Middle Schools should do to promote Computer Science education from an early age?
Computer Science does not need to be promoted. It simply needs to be incorporated. In the world our kids are growing up in, Computer Science is an essential tool to acquire. In my mind, it is the pencil you need in order to transform your thoughts into words on a paper. I used to think that Computer Science was a completely separate subject, and it might have started as such, but now I realize how intertwined everything is.
What proved to be the biggest challenge in teaching such technical lessons to this age group?
The first year we taught coding, our biggest challenge was to simplify it as much as possible, so it would be accessible to Middle School students who had zero experience in the domain. We then realized that we did not need to simplify the coding process, as long as we explained the role of coding. We used Mozilla Thimble to show how to code and how the commands we gave to the computer changed the text. The program allowed my students to see the results as they were coding the text. Such instant gratification was the key to their success.
How is the app doing so far?
In just a couple of weeks, we had more than 86 downloads from 22 countries. The map from appFigures representing which countries downloaded our app was an effective way to teach geography. That map also made an incredible visual impact when my students presented our project to Middle School parents and teachers. The daily report is extremely valuable, as it shows students that their project is not something they did in class that will be forgotten as soon as the test is over.
Google recently improved game discovery in the Play store by adding 12 new game categories. We’re now tracking all of those categories so you can easily check which apps are ranking high (with the Top Apps report) or how any app is trending (with the Ranks report).
Here’s the full list in case you’re curious:
- Role Playing