News roundup on all things ‘Apple, iPad and Touch’
Last week we skipped the Weekly round up, simply because there was so much going on in the world of iPhone’s and iPad’s and Apple generally. Did you miss it?
What is interesting today as I review the last week is that a lot of the headlines are the same, or at least similar.
The iPhone has been hacked again. But this time it’s iPhone OS 4.0 that’s the victim. The iPad has been launched in the US and that also has been hacked. If you remember it was hacked before it was actually released!
AdMob advertising is now set to turn very firmly towards Android, but not for the reasons that AdMob intended. Most likely now because people developing for the iPhone have iAd from Apple to look forward to.
The iPad is selling well, and as we predicted Apple are having problems keeping the supply lines stocked.
Also Apple has upset a few people with changes to it’s Developer Contract… and caused a few ripples with some of it’s OS 4.0 features…
And the iPad review I think is the best of all at the end of this article.
iPhone hacked again!
As you all know Apple pushed out a Developer Preview of iPhone OS 4.0 on Thursday. It was hacked within hours. It’s clear that the hack was using an existing flaw in the OS, and it’s likely that this flaw will be plugged before the official release. However, the jailbreak method has not been made public yet just in case Apple don’t plug the hole and it can be used for a more significant OS update.
We reported the week before last that “legendary” hacker Geohot had cryptically announced on his Twitter feed, and also on his blog, that he had potentially hacked the iPad. Since the iPad’s public debut this has been confirmed. Although again, it is not public yet. Other hackers have taken this and run with it, and we have seen videos and images of Cydia (an app that provides an alternative App Store to Apple’s) running on the iPad also.
iAd excites some iPhone Developers
As part of iPhone OS 4.0 Apple has introduced iAd. It’s an in-app advertising system which is native to iPhone OS. And is scheduled to be launched as part of iPhone OS 4.0 in the summer. Because it’s designed by Apple for iPhone OS the generally quality of the integration into iPhone apps promises to be more seamless than offerings like AdMob. And also more ambitious; offering videos which can be watched while your currently running app pauses, if you choose.
I would also guess that advertisers will be more thoroughly vetted than AdMob’s, and as such overall developers and customers can expect slightly higher quality ads. This may result in slightly better revenue for developers too. Whilst developers are still getting 60% of the revenue generated from Apple for ads their apps serve up. The same as from AdMob. I think we’re going to see more premium ads running through a system which Apple holds the reigns of. Expect a lot of developers to jump ship when this comes along, and AdMob to become more dependant on Android and jail-broken iPhones for business.
iPad selling like hot cakes
The iPad has indeed been selling in the 100’s of thousands. We were up to half a million units less than a week after launch when Steve Jobs was able to announce that figure on stage at the iPhone OS 4.0 event. Steve also confirmed that they were having problems keeping the supply line stocked and were working on that.
Apple causes Adobe, Unity and a few others some consternation
The iPhone OS 4.0 developer preview was made available for download right after the “sneak-peek” event last Thursday. In order to get it you had to agree to a new Developer contract. The key part of that developer contract was a clause (Clause 3.3.1) which now restricts what tools you can use to produce iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad apps.
Taken literally it means that things like Adobe’s upcoming tool in CS5 which can produce native iPhone apps from Flash apps is now not allowed to be used to produce products for sale through the iPhone App Store. Technically it also means that hugely successful and popular middleware developer tools like MonoTouch and Unity cannot be used either.
There has been a lot of hot debate in the last few days about how all this will pan out. Adobe have even started talking to government agencies in the US saying that this move by Apple will damage their business model. It’s all got rather ugly.
Steve Jobs has even taken to answering a few emails on the subject. With this to say :
We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.
The bottom line in all this is Apple don’t want Flash on iDevices. There are varying views on why. But from my point of view it’s simply that Flash offers a layer of abstraction away from Apple’s OS that makes the overall experience on iPhones a resource hog, and not something Apple want’s to endorse. There is also some truth to the argument that Flash apps don’t play well with a touch interface as it stands right now. That’s a fault of Flash and not the iPhone OS.
Obviously Unity and other’s are concerned as this rule technically hits them too. I wouldn’t worry about that too much though. Unity and MonoTouch are incredibly successful and I am sure Apple will work with them to find a way they can co-exist on the iPhone OS platform.
This new rule is all about Apple keeping control of it’s eco-system and then administering a level of quality from a clearly defined set of rules which gives them authority over what is allowed on their devices. And it’s all about quality. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Apple also sent some ripples through Social Gaming this week too
Also in iPhone OS 4.0 is the exciting and mysterious Game Center. Some people were concerned that this Apple driven Social Network for gaming, with some very similar features to those networks offered by OpenFeint, Ngmoco and Scoreloop (and also some similarities to XBox Live’s gaming network) would be a death blow for existing iPhone and iPod Touch social networks. This is not the case at all. We have spoken to all those existing networks this week and all have said unreservedly that they welcome Apple’s move, look forward to working with them, and augmenting what Apple offer where necessary, including offering cross platform networking to Android and other networks… So panic over there. 😉
Apple (AAPL) shares just keep on rising:
As of today’s roundup Apple’s shares are at another all time high of $241 each. This is no doubt off the back of all the iPhone OS 4.0 announcements, and iPad sales success. But it’s rumoured that this week Apple will also launch updated portable computers too… It’s certainly a super busy time for the elves in the various Apple workshops around the world!
If you haven’t read it yet, pop over to Ars Technica for their in depth iPad review: The best iPad review so far. If you haven’t; got an iPad, and haven’t read a review yet.
This is the one to drool over : [arstechnica.com]
Let us know your thoughts below. Did we miss anything?