March 12, 2015 Last Updated 7:49 am

Apple App Store back online, press team still MIA; Oyster updates mobile apps

Paula Deen game and other apps miss their release dates, while publishers lose issue sales – all without an explanation from Apple’s press team

The Apple App Store is still live this morning. That wouldn’t be news except that the store was down for much of yesterday. PR folks continued to send out their releases for new apps, however, blissfully unaware that their client’s apps were, in fact, not released yesterday as planned.

PD-screenOne of those new apps was for a game from, of all people, Paula Deen: Paula Deen’s Recipe Quest. TNM does not write about game apps, and I never thought I’d ever mention Paula Deen on this website. But I watched the promotional video (seen here at right, watch on an empty stomach) and that was more than enough to convince me that it would be a good idea to take a pass on this one.

During much of yesterday, all anyone knew about the problems at Apple was that the App Store, the Newsstand, and the iBooks Store were all unavailable. A single page on the Apple website that shows the status of their services was all the communications that came from the company. Finally, BuzzFeed reported that a “spokesman” had told them that Apple’s problems were DNS related.

As is the custom, the Apple Press team were missing in action – completely silent, and totally worthless. One wonders how one gets a job working for Apple press relations as it must be the closest one can get to retirement – and it pays better, too.

As Apple makes approximately $7 million a day in its App Store, and at least some of that money (far too little) goes to publishers, one might think these “partners” deserve to know what is going on with an important retail outlet.

OysterBooks was one of the companies unfortunate enough to release an app update yesterday. The update made it into Google Play, but only appeared later in the Apple App Store. The app description says “This release will have the book club going up… on a Tuesday. Put it up to eleven. 1.11 to be precise. Throw on your favorite R&B jam and enjoy yet another edition of What’s New.”

Oyster-iPadRather cute. I’m sure they were not pleased to find that the app update would not appear as planned, though it probably was vital.

In any case, the update:

◇ Features ◇

  • We added how far you are into a book (% read) back into Continue Reading for downloaded books.
  • Fixed issues causing a crash for some users.
  • Performance improvements to scrolling smoothness on Home. More silk-like now.
  • Edits to your profile are now reflected instantly.

Other app updates that were seen to come through includes a bug fix update for Next Issue Media, as well as updates for Spotify Music, TuneIn Radio, and Twitter (which releases updates every couple of weeks).

Business reporters (I would like to imagine) were sitting at their desks, eating popcorn and watching the fate of the Euro yesterday. Several stories wondered what the consequences of the Euro reaching parity with the dollar will mean for both the U.S. and European economies. Most are probably too young to remember that after its launch, the Euro fell to $0.85 to the dollar, only surpassing the dollar in value in 2003.

Today, the Euro has gained a small bit of its value back, currently trading at $1.0622.

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