Apple’s Top Free Charts Incorrectly Ranking Apple Apps on Some iOS Devices

Apple’s Top Free Charts on some iOS devices appear to be incorrectly ranking Apple apps like iMovie, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. As discovered by Sensor Tower and shared by TechCrunch, on some iOS devices, the App Store’s Top Free Chart lists Pages, Numbers, and Keynote at higher ranks than on the desktop App Store and on other iOS devices.

For example, on an iPad mini 2 and an iPhone 5s, we found iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers all listed within the top 10 free apps, all at different positions. On an iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro, the only Apple app in the top 20 free apps is iTunes U, which also matches up with the desktop version of the App Store. iTunes U, according to Sensor Tower’s data, is the only app along with GarageBand that should be listed in the top 10 of the free chart.

App Store Top Free Charts on iPad mini

While MacRumors did not see the errant chart behavior on more recent devices, both TechCrunch and Sensor Tower have seen problematic ranking numbers on a range of different devices running iOS 9.1. Devices running iOS 8.3 did not seem to be affected by the problem.

App Store Top Free Charts on iPhone 6s Plus

As TechCrunch points out, it’s not clear if the discrepancy between App Store Top Chart listings is a bug or an intentional manipulation by Apple, but given the significantly different results from device to device, even those that are the same generation, it seems more like a bug than something done deliberately.

The discrepancy, of course, could be related to a bug in Apple’s App Store ranking algorithm, but it’s a persistent one if that’s the case.

It doesn’t appear to be impacting the relative rankings of most other Top applications, besides Apple’s. That is, Facebook Messenger is still at the top of the App Store, followed by newcomer Acapella from PicPlayPost, then YouTube, and then Facebook.

Apps like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie are listed in the Top Free Charts because they are provided to iOS users at no cost with the purchase of an iOS device, but these apps are not free, an issue that could potentially be causing chart problems. All of the above listed apps sell for $4.99 to $9.99.

Apple has, however, manipulated the App Store results in the past to highlight its own apps, so it could be the result of a direct work to promote its line of iWork apps to specific devices or specific users, but without comment from Apple, it’s difficult to tell.
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Apple’s Top Free Charts Incorrectly Ranking Apple Apps on Some iOS Devices

How to Customize Default Replies on Apple Watch

With watchOS 2, Apple added some features to the Mail app that make it possible for you to actually respond to email right from Apple Watch. Similar to responding to text messages on Apple Watch, users can now use voice dictation, send an emoji, or respond with a preset default reply.

Additionally, Facebook recently updated its Messenger app to work on Apple Watch. So, now you can read and reply to chats with Facebook contacts.

Apple provides room for about 20 default replies for Messages and about a dozen for Mail. Facebook provides six. You are not confined to the premade responses, however, and you can customize them to say whatever you’d like.

We’ve got a quick tutorial explaining how to customize your quick responses to fit your personality. The steps are very similar for customizing default responses in all three apps.

Messages

  1. On iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and navigate to the My Watch tab.
  2. Select Messages from the menu.
  3. Tap „Default Replies.“
  4. Tap a premade response and replace it with your own.

Mail

  1. On iPhone, open the Apple Watch app and navigate to the My Watch tab.
  2. Select Mail from the menu.
  3. Tap „Default Replies“ under the Mail Settings section.
  4. Tap a premade response and replace it with your own.

Facebook Messenger

  1. On iPhone, open the Messenger app and tap the Settings icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Apple Watch from the menu.
  3. Tap a premade response and replace it with your own.

From personal experience with Apple Watch, we recommend you try to make your responses as personal as possible. A dry response from a normally animated person may cause the recipient to question whether you are upset. Include exclamation points and emoticons if that is how you normally text friends. Be sure to save a few lines for more serious responses.

With Mail, crafting a good response is a little harder. Luckily, you can write a lot in a default email reply. We counted to 400 characters before giving up, and hopefully you won’t need to be sending premade replies longer than that from your Apple Watch.

When crafting a default email reply, remember that the recipient will question why you can’t respond further if you are capable of responding at all. It might be a good idea to include that you are sending the message from Apple Watch so that the recipient understands why you didn’t address the email specifically.

It is likely we will see support for customizable default replies for other chat-related activities as developers update their apps for watchOS 2, so feel free to share any discoveries in our discussion thread.



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How to Customize Default Replies on Apple Watch

Pro Tip: Get Facebook Messenger to stop buzzing you during chats

Facebook Messenger keeps buzzing at me while I’m in the app itself. It’s annoying. It seems like I’m getting messaged more and more via Facebook Messenger these days as my buddies and family take to the mobile messaging platform to connect in real time. But the incessant buzzing, when I’m right there staring at the […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Pro Tip: Get Facebook Messenger to stop buzzing you during chats

Zagg Announces Two Keyboard Cases for iPad Pro

Just a day after Logitech announced the first third-party keyboard case for the iPad Pro, Zagg revealed its keyboard case lineup for Apple’s newest iPad line. However, unlike Logitech’s keyboard, which was developed with Apple and utilizes the new Smart Connector, ZAGG’s cases require a Bluetooth connection.

The first keyboard case for the iPad Pro is the Slim Book Pro, which will retail for $139.99. The iPad Pro’s Slim Book is essentially a larger version of the same keyboard case that’s available for the iPad Air and iPad Mini, which is a keyboard that comes with a detachable case for the iPad. The second case is a new product called the Messenger Universal, which will retail for $69.99. Zagg has not yet detailed how the Messenger Universal works or what it looks like.

Zagg also announced the new line of keyboard cases for the new iPad Mini 4. The Slim Book with backlit keys will retail for $119.99 and be available on September 15. Two Folio cases will be available on September 25, with the backlit keys option available for $99.99 and the non-backlit option available for $79.99.

The Slim Book Pro and Messenger Universal for iPad Pro will both be available for purchase in November. Zagg also hints that it will offer a full range of accessories for both the iPad Pro and iPad Mini 4, including InvisibleShield screen protector and power and audio products.



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Zagg Announces Two Keyboard Cases for iPad Pro

Facebook Testing Siri Competitor ‘M’ Inside Messenger App

Facebook today rolled out a new virtual assistant called „M“ inside its Messenger app for a limited number of users in the Bay Area, reports Wired. „M“ is powered by both artificial intelligence and Facebook employees, enabling Messenger users to ask questions and complete tasks such as making restaurant reservations, ordering birthday flowers or discovering the best places to go hiking in California.

Using „M“ is as simple as beginning a conversation with the assistant through the Messenger app, at which point it will begin providing you with recommendations or ask further questions to narrow down your request. Unlike Siri, „M“ does not have a gender, nor it is possible to know whether you are being helped by a bot or a real Facebook employee – but Facebook aims to make sure that every request is answered.

„M“ aims to take on Siri, Google Now, Cortana and a growing selection of virtual assistants as the „first stop for anyone looking to do or buy anything“:

It won’t take long for Messenger’s users to realize M can accomplish much more than your standard digital helper, suspects David Marcus, vice president of messaging products at Facebook. “It can perform tasks that none of the others can,” Marcus says. That’s because, in addition to using artificial intelligence to complete its tasks, M is powered by actual people.

Marcus believes that „M“ will slowly expand beyond the Bay Area and eventually reach all of Messenger’s 700 million users around the world.

Facebook Messenger [Direct Link] is free on the App Store for iPhone.



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Facebook Testing Siri Competitor ‘M’ Inside Messenger App