The official iOS App Store from Apple changed the way consumers think about and purchase software in a similar fashion to how the launch of the iTunes music store revolutionized the online music industry. The App Store was born in 2008 and has grown at a rapid rate over the last few years as millions of users tap into it on a daily basis to download and install apps spanning across multiple genres. Only recently Apple announced that the App Store had served up over 25 billion downloads since its inception, bringing proof if anyone needed it of the phenomenal success of the store.
The iOS App Store, like the Mac App Store, is essentially an online marketplace for mobile software. Developers use Apple’s SDK and development tools to produce apps that they then upload to the Apple’s internal review team to allow them to check that the produced software doesn’t breach any of the strict human interface guidelines that are in place. If accepted, the app is then made available for sale or download on the App Store, essentially becoming available across numerous countries on over a possible 330 million iOS devices. The infrastructure, development tools, guidelines, target audience and marketing are all pretty much handled by Apple due to the large scope of the store making it a pretty much perfect platform for software developers.
The App Store is also a thriving place for consumers to hang out. With hundreds, if not thousands of additional apps being added daily, users are able to browse through over half a million third party pieces of software and download them directly to their device over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. iOS Devices can hold as many apps as the internal storage capacity allows, meaning that users are often found to have pages and pages of installations, bringing almost endless functionality to an already powerful and capable gadget. But what happens when developers push an update to an app that a user has installed? Some users access the App Store daily and therefore will always be notified of an available update, whereas some users often go weeks or months without opening up the App Store on the device meaning that they could potentially miss an important security or feature packed update.
AppUpdateNotifier, available now for jailbroken devices through Cydia, aims to try and resolve that issue by turning App Store updates into a local device notification using the iOS 5 banner style notification system. When the tweak is installed on the device, it will constantly check behind the scenes for available App Store updates, alerting the owner immediately through a non obtrusive, native alert. AppUpdateNotifier also hooks into Notification Center should it be required, giving the user quick access to be able to toggle the system on or off. The core functionality of the tweak will ensure that application updates are never missed, or left un-downloaded again.
AppStoreNotifier is available from Cydia as a commercial tweak, costing $1.49 and I am pretty sure that this will be one of those tweaks that is sure to split opinions down the middle. The tweak itself requires iOS 5 meaning that it is only compatible for devices that have iOS 5 or above installed. However, in iOS 5 Apple introduced a behind the scenes feature that allows the App Store to badge its own icon when updates are available which serves to alert the user to their availability. AppStoreNotifier obviously takes this one step further by pushing a banner style notification, however, opinion will be split as to whether this is worth $1.49.
If you’d like to try this tweak out, AppStoreNotifier is available from the Big Boss repository for a cost of $1.49 and requires iOS 5 or above to function.
Of course, you will need to jailbreak your device to install this tweak. For jailbreaking the latest iOS 5.1 (tethered), follow the instructions posted here to jailbreak using Redsn0w, or here for Sn0wbreeze. For jailbreaking iPhone 4S and iPad 2, you can simply follow our step by step tutorial posted here to jailbreak iOS 5.0.1 using Absinthe on Windows or Mac. Those of you with an iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad 1, and iPod touches can use Redsn0w or Sn0wbreeze to untether jailbreak on iOS 5.0.1.