Tag Archives: app of the year

Instagram v2.1: Apple’s 2011 ‘App of the Year’ has new UI, notifications, filter, and enhancement feature

Instagram, Apple’s 2011 “App of the Year,” just released an update to its iOS application that includes a sleek user interface, tappable notifications, a new filter, and an enhancement feature.

The app is a free photo-manipulator that allows users to snap pictures, apply hip vintage filters, and then share their edited images through a built-in social network. Users can also share their creations through other services, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr.

The newest version allots a much-needed facelift and provides a more modern appearance than the previous variant by displaying an overhauled header and menu buttons (as seen in the image to the right).

“We’ve simplified the look of Instagram,” announced the San Francisco-based Company in a blog post.

Perhaps most important: Instagram now asks users if it is O.K. to upload contacts to its servers—not wanting to become the next Path.

More screenshots are available below.

The simplified service does not stop with a revamped look, however. The notification upgrade in the iOS Notification Center now brings users directly to an image, comment, or profile within the app. The company said these improved tweaks are the “first steps toward” making Instagram more interactive and understandable.

The Sierra filter also makes version 2.1 noteworthy. The element powerfully pops the yellow saturation of an image to create a warm 1970s feel while adding an eggshell-colored square border. Meanwhile, the Lux enhancement feature amplifies dull details by brightening any under-lit photograph. The app developer even provided a blog post to users interested in knowing more about Lux and how it functions.

Instagram version 2.1 is a free update and available now at the App Store. Oh, and in related news, the girlfriend of Instagram cofounder Mike Krieger recently unveiled Lovestagram— a Valentine’s Day-themed spinoff. The website uses Instagram photographs to create personal valentines for loved ones. Users can sign into their Instagram accounts through Lovestagram to start editing something special before the Cupid holiday occurs.

Anyway, back to those Instagram screenshots:



Distimo: Drastic increases for Chinese App Store downloads and in-app purchases in 2011

Apple’s App Store is currently taking approximately four times more revenue generated by the 200 highest grossing apps in comparison to the Android Market. According to research firm Distimo’s recently published 2011 report, a significantly increasing portion of app downloads are originating in China.

Likely further increased by Apple’s recent announcement to begin accepting App Store payments in Chinese Yuan, Distimo said when comparing the United States and China, 30 percent of downloads are coming from China. This is up from approximately 18 percent reported by Distimo in January 2011.

Growth in China is even more impressive when looking at just iPad numbers with China now accounting for 44 percent of all downloads from the two countries. Distimo reported late last month that App Store downloads for the top 100 paid apps in China nearly doubled just days following Apple’s decision to accept Yuan.

During Apple’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Cook called the progress in Chinaamazing” and said the country represents “enormous opportunity.” As of that time, revenues from China accounted for 16 percent of Apple’s revenue for the September quarter – approximately $4.52 billion.

Some of the other interesting numbers reported by Distimo, include: 50 percent of App Store revenue for iPhone is now generated by freemium apps and in-app purchases for the 200 highest grossing apps; there are currently 79,077 games for iPhone, 28,683 for iPad, and 46,045 for the Android Market.

While the report noted App Store downloads have been on the decline for the year, downloads peaked following the release of the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S. Distimo attributed the increase to what they call the “anticipation effect” for Apple’s new devices.

Distimo put together their App of the Year Award based on total downloads worldwide across all platforms. Not surprisingly, Angry Birds took the top spot, followed by Facebook, Skype, Google Maps, and iBooks. Check out the full top 10 below.