Weekly news roundup on all things “Touch” | 03/20/2010

iPad Developers have one week to get their app into Apple for a chance at making the iPad App Store Grand Opening. Apple plans to sell around 13 million iPads in the next few years. “Elite” iPad Devs get iPads to test on. HTC hits back at Apple’s lawsuit against them, while more lines are drawn in the virtual sand in the growing Google v Apple mobile cyberwar! Apple decides it doesn’t like screen protectors anymore, apparently. And some random iPad Developer bits and pieces..

Developers Developers Developers! iPad Developers that is…

Apple sent out a rousing call to all it’s iPhone, iPod and iPad Developers as the week closed, informing them that they have until the 27th of March to get their iPad apps in for review, or risk missing the iPad App Store Grand Opening. Apps submitted in time are not guaranteed a place in launch offerings, but Apple promise to get back to devs who have submitted stuff with more info after the 27th.

What is very interesting is that the vast majority of developers have not even seen an iPad in the flesh, let alone had one to test their software on. So a lot of these apps will have only been tested using a pre-release SDK and a Simulator. Some developers who have asked, and been turned down, for iPad test units have taken some innovative steps to test their app strategies, including making life-size cardboard cutouts of the devices to get an idea of how touches and swipes will work when actually holding a device! Sounds like fun indeed!

Anyone up for a 6 day iPad programming challenge? I am thinking of seeing what I can get together for submission right on the deadline.. Perhaps an iPad sized Zombie Game?

With regards to how well the iPad is selling. Something I’ve not touched on specifically in this roundup. Erin wrote an interesting article on how persuasive Steve Jobs is as a salesman, and how that has driven iPad sales, here : [TouchReviews.net]

“Elite” iPad devs get their toys early

As we reported earlier in the week, certain iPad developers that Apple considers a good bet for app awesomeness have been tied to restrictive “Mission Impossible” style conditions, with multi-page legally binding contracts in order to be allowed access to pre-release iPads this week.

“Would-be testers of the tablet-style computer, due to be released Apr. 3, must promise to keep it isolated in a room with blacked-out windows, according to four people familiar with the more than 10-page pact that bars partners from disclosing information about the iPad. To ensure that it can’t be removed, the iPad must also remain tethered to a fixed object, said the people, who asked not to be named because their plans for the iPad have not been made public. Apple won’t send out an iPad until potential partners send photographic evidence that they’ve complied.”

Meanwhile rumours are spreading today that some of those “elite” devs have already broken their agreements. If anything awesome is leaked, that you need to know about, I am sure it will come to a web site near you very soon. My guess is still that for Apple to even consider letting devices out to non-Apple staff prior to launch, it’s because there is no super secret stuff in those “pre-release” units. Most likely this is geared towards helping certain high profile reviewers and devs spread the word with articles on the iPad on launch day.

Apple plans to sell 13 million iPads

Details of LCD screen manufacture deals for iPads have been leaked. Doing the math based on contracts Apple purportedly has with Samsung and LG this gives us an idea that Apple plan on producing a total of 13 million iPads over the next few years. One hopes that the two manufacturers produce screens of the same quality. Or we may end up with A and B grade iPads, like we had A and B quality 13″ Unibody MacBooks last year.

But in any case that’s a lot of iPads Apple are planning to sell!

HTC hits back at Apple Lawsuit. More lines are drawn in the virtual sand in the coming Google v Apple cyberwar!

HTC released a press release this week with a statement on their feelings about the Apple lawsuit against them. A lawsuit which is related to multi-touch and other smart phone patents. Although, when you read the press release it’s more of list of what they perceive as their accomplishments, and does little to address Apple’s case points.

Here’s a link to the Press Release for those interested : [prnewswire.com]

Perhaps they are still waiting for instructions from Google on how best to proceed?

In the meantime Rupert Murdoch, predictably (he has a pre-release iPad by his own admission) praises the iPad and criticises Google. Some of you may know that Murdoch and his corporation NewsCorp are very likely to find themselves somewhere on the same side as the Apple camp as future conflict lines are drawn in the search and mobile communications industry.

If I was forced to pick a side I’d be nervous of having Murdoch in my camp. But that’s just me.

In Android related news the Nexus One will be available on all four of the big US networks. This is to compensate for a somewhat lacklustre start for the device on TMobile.
For those of you that have not read it already, you can read my take on part of the brewing Apple v Google war here: [TouchReviews.net] , and a slightly longer piece from the New York Times here : [nytimes.com]

Apple stops selling screen protectors in it’s stores

I personally have a screen protector on every mobile device I own. Most often I buy the type that can be taken on and off multiple times, rather than the type that physically sticks to your screen. I also get one of the nice girls at our local stores here in Bangkok to put them on for me. When they do it, using some kind of Asian Girl magic, they never get dust or hairs stuck under the protector.

Apple see this dirt and dust as an issue with screen protectors, and also are busy pimping their “Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating” screen technology for the iPhone 3GS and iPad, which repels fingerprints and oil stains. Personally I’ve not found that coating to be all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps I am just super greasy! (No comments required on that – thanks!)

In any case, vendors that Apple is dropping from it’s stores insist they’ll keep selling their screen protectors as they, like me, see the need for them. Perhaps Apple need to get some Thai Girls to work in their Genius bars. I am sure they’d love a chance to work in the US and elsewhere.

iPad Developer bits and pieces

Some little titbits of info here for devs:

There is a new version of the iPhone Developer Application Loader available from Apple now, which presumably has been updated for iPad Apps. May make getting your new masterpiece to Apple a little easier. [Download File]

Apple has given developers more control over the way that their App prices change. What developers used to have to do was change the price of their app live and wait for it to propagate through the global iTunes system. This made it a little bit of a hit and miss affair across regions for sales and free promotional periods. Now Apple has actually added some scheduling control to the application management area in iTunes, to make this all a bit more predictable. Nice touch Apple.

Yet another exciting week in “Touch” land… Two weeks to go until the world explodes and the Jesus Tablet finally arrives!

Let us know your thoughts below. Did we miss anything?

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Stephen NorthcottWeekly news roundup on all things “Touch” | 03/20/2010

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