iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 30 Jul 2015 08:09:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple Inc. (AAPL) Acquires HTML5 Web App Startup, Particle Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:12:15 +0000 Read More]]> Particle Apple HTML5

On Wednesday, Apple Inc. (AAPL) acquired HTML5 web app company, Particle. AAPL has acquired other companies in the past in order to develop a key part of one of their projects or create an entirely new one. CNET initially reported that Apple acquired the San Francisco based startup and that they acquired the company for its talents in the industry as opposed to any specific project that they were working on.

The company has done HTML5 work for Google, Motorola, Amazon, Yahoo, Sony, and Apple. The group has also created some “labs” projects including, an asynchronous video interviewing project. […]

The deal went through late last month, though not all its less than a dozen employees stayed on to work at Apple. Those who did are listed as “creative technologists” as well as one “user interface engineer,” according to their public LinkedIn profiles.

The report goes on to mention that Apple’s new employees will be put to work specifically on projects such as Apple’s website, iAd, and Apple may also utilize the company for other projects, such as bringing more of the iTunes software over to the web, similar to iTunes Preview.

It appears Apple has already brought a few employees from Particle onboard already, with TechCrunch noting that several Particle employees have changed their employees on LinkedIn as early as September.

{Via MacRumors}

]]> 0 Apple’s iAd not for iPhone / iPad Apps Targeting Kids Thu, 12 May 2011 19:30:13 +0000 Read More]]> iAds not for Kids Apple

Macstories recently reported on a fellow Apple app developer,Mike Zorner, whose app, Dex, hit rock bottom with an iAd fill rate of 0%. This made Zorner curious as to what was causing his iAd fill rate to drop so suddenly. When Zorner emailed Apple, he received the reply below. Bummer.

Hello Michael,
We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers. Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience.
We appreciate your understanding.
Best Regards,
iAd Network Support Apple, Inc. 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014

It has also come to the attention of many developers that Apple is now removing iAds from any applications in the App Store that target kids.

While Apple has confirmed that Zorner’s app is not appropriate for iAds, they have not yet released a press statement as to whether all kids focused apps are being pushed away from iAds. The age group of kids for which this application is being scrutinized is currently a very small part of the iAd network, bringing in to question why Apple would attack such a small target market.

It is however clear that Mr. Zorner’s application, Dex was labeled as “Kids” only last week. It is not a widespread issue at this point, although more developers may come forward throughout the week if their apps are also affected. Stay with us throughout the week. We’ll keep you updated as this issue furthur develops.

[via MacStories] ]]> 1 Apple Releases ‘iAd Gallery’ App for iOS Devices Tue, 05 Apr 2011 23:40:36 +0000 Read More]]> iAd GalleryOnly Apple can create excitement around ads in this day and age. When Apple launched iAd, its take on mobile advertisement, on iOS devices it aimed at providing an engaging platform for brands to connect to their audience.

iAd campaigns reportedly have a very high CTR (click through rate) and the time people spend in exploring the advertisement is also very impressive. Apple aims to provide developers an option to offer their app for free while integrating ads to make money.

If you have seen some of the iAd campaigns from companies like Nissan, GE and more then you would know that these ads are more like mini-apps which offer tons of things to explore, experience, download or even purchase.

Apple today launched a new app called ‘iAd Gallery’ which features “iAd campaigns from some of the world’s best brands and their advertising agencies.” The app “gives you easy access to a selection of iAd Gallery iPhonethe fun and informative ads that have run in some of your favorite apps.”

The app will be updated regularly to include a selection of the latest iAds and will allow you to easily view and experience iAd campigns using the ‘spinning wheel’ under the ‘browse’ tab.

It’s amazing to see initial App Store reviews where users have rated the app highly and are happy to see their favorite iAd. As I said in the beginning, only Apple can create excitement around ads!
iAd Gallery App iAd Gallery iPhone iAd Gallery Photo iAd Gallery ]]> 0 Tron is the First iAd for Apple (AAPL) iPad Wed, 15 Dec 2010 18:36:12 +0000 Read More]]> Tron Apple iPad iAd_3

If you have a little bit of geek in you then you probably can’t help but be excited about Disney’s upcoming sequel “Tron Legacy”. As part of the advertising push for its debut this Friday, Disney have partnered with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and used its iAd service to produce a rather beautiful Tron iAd for the iPad.

The Tron iAd has about 10 minutes of video footage, the ability to email a friend from within the ad itself, and some beautifully crafted menus and pages to what is simply a digital movie trailer at the end of the day. Some people have noted, rightly so, that this advert that runs within other apps, actually offers more content than some of the apps do themselves.

In many ways this promotion gels well with Virgin’s new iPad magazine, launched earlier this month, which also featured interactive Tron promotional material, interviews and profiles.

If this is the future of digital advertising and publishing then I am in.

It is worth noting that the memory footprint (at run time) of the iAd on the iPad is a little large, and has apparently caused a few iPads to crash.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the first iPad iAd once you’ve seen it.


Tron Apple iPad iAd_1 Tron Apple iPad iAd_2 Tron Apple iPad iAd_3 Tron Apple iPad iAd_4 Tron Apple iPad iAd_5 Tron Apple iPad iAd_6 Tron Apple iPad iAd_7 Tron iPad iAd_1 Tron iPad iAd_2 Tron iPad iAd_3 Tron iPad iAd_4 Tron iPad iAd_5

{via Business Insider}

]]> 1 Apple’s iAd Appearing in France Ahead of December Launch? Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:59:43 +0000 Read More]]> Apple recently announced that they would be launching the iAd network in UK and France in December however, according to one of our readers based in France the ads have already started showing on a free app called SunLite (View in iTunes).

iAd provides mobile ads for iOS devices and the brands which have committed to participate include L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever and many more.

When iAd was introduced in June, Steve Jobs during his keynote said that it had secured $60 million in pre-bookings. iAd was made available to users as a part of iOS 4.0 and the main objective of Apple providing mobile advertisements is to give developers another source of revenue and also bring a new level of interactivity to mobile ads.

The Cupertino company has undoubtedly been successful in raising the standards for mobile advertising by enabling brands to create more impact with creative ad campaigns.

Check out the screenshots of after the break.

Thanks Mickaël

]]> 0 Apple Posts iAd Network Highlight Video Fri, 19 Nov 2010 23:54:50 +0000 Read More]]> When Steve Jobs introduced the iAd network he was particularly very excited about Apple entering into the mobile advertising industry. iAd promises to deliver “The emotion of TV. The interactivity of digital. The power of mobility.”

Worlds most advanced mobile operating system (iOS) certainly deserves unique and creative ways for brands to reach out to their audience. Apple’s iAd is setting new standards for mobile advertisement and raising the bar for the existing players. The level of interactivity these ads achieve is exactly what advertisers would hope to get when the big brands spend millions on their annual advertising budget.

The developers are also happy to adopt the iAd network in their apps as the CTR and CPM rates are very impressive which also motivates them to offer the best content to their customers at no cost.

Apple’s new ad network didn’t witness a perfect launch as it was initially criticized  for low fill rates, long production times and then there were reports about Adidas and Chanel pulling out due to repeated rejections and excessive control.

However, now it seems that the Cupertino based company is all set to expand its network aggressively as they recently announced the lineup for Europe where they have managed to attract L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio.

Check out the iAd video highlight after the break.

[via 9to5 Mac] ]]> 1 Apple’s (AAPL) European iAd Lineup and Launch Confirmed Thu, 18 Nov 2010 18:48:48 +0000 Read More]]> Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has today confirmed that it will launch iAd (its iOS based mobile advertising network) in Europe next month. Although this is much later than Apple had been expected to roll out the service in Europe, they’ve come out of the gate running with a premium portfolio of launch advertisers.

Included in the initial launch in France and the UK are L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio.

Germany will get iAd in January.

Many developers who have been wishing to leverage Apple’s iAd network in more countries should be happy.

Apple’s advertisers certainly seem happy about it all if L’Oréal are anything to go by:

As the world leader in the beauty business, L’Oréal aims to create the most meaningful connections between its brands and its customers, so iAd was a natural choice,” said Marc Menesguen, L’Oréal’s Head of strategic marketing. “We’re thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd’s user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty, hence our choice of Lancôme to lead our iAd campaign.

And those of us that try to avoid ads as much as possible can all heave a huge sigh of frustration and apprehension!

Here is Apple’s full Press Release in full…

Apple’s iAd Coming to Europe in December

Revolutionary Mobile Advertising Network Will Launch in Europe with L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier & Unilever

CUPERTINO, California—November 18, 2010—Apple® today announced it will expand its revolutionary iAd℠ mobile advertising network to the UK and France this December, with Germany to follow in January. iAd will launch in Europe with iAds from L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio. Since its US launch in July, iAd has emerged as a powerful new way for advertisers to reach millions of iPhone® and iPod touch® users right in their favorite apps, while providing a significant new revenue stream for developers. iAd has signed on over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months,* with a projected 21 percent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010 according to research firm IDC.**

“We’re thrilled to add leading global brands to the iAd Network in Europe and create even more great opportunities for developers,” said Andy Miller, Apple’s vice president of iAd. “In just four months, we’ve doubled the number of advertisers on the network and thousands of developers now have a valuable new source of revenue.”

“As the world leader in the beauty business, L’Oréal aims to create the most meaningful connections between its brands and its customers, so iAd was a natural choice,” said Marc Menesguen, L’Oréal’s Head of strategic marketing. “We’re thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd’s user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty, hence our choice of Lancôme to lead our iAd campaign.”

iAd, which is built into iOS 4, lets users stay within their current app while engaging with an ad, even while watching a video, playing a game or using in-ad purchase to download an app or buy iTunes® content. With user engagement times averaging more than 60 seconds per visit, iAds combine the narrative quality of TV ads with the interactivity of digital for something entirely new.

Advertisers can learn more at Developers who join the iAd Network can easily incorporate a variety of advertising formats into their apps. Developers will receive an industry standard 60 percent of the iAd Network revenue, which is paid via iTunes Connect. Developers can visit to join the iAd Network or to learn more about the iAd platform.

* Advertising Age “100 Leading National Advertisers” rankings for 2009 by spend, June 20, 2010.

** US mobile display advertising 2010 forecast, published by, September 26, 2010.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

How do you feel about more ads coming to your favourite mobile OS? Have your say in the comments…

]]> 0 Apple to introduce iAd for Video Content? Sat, 16 Oct 2010 21:50:24 +0000 Read More]]> Publishers who want to deliver premium content/service to their audience for free often have to rely on advertisements. Serving ads for publishers providing video content is very limited on Apple’s iOS devices due to the absence of Adobe Flash, however this might change as Apple is rumored to be working on iAds for video content which could be introduced very soon.

MacRumors today reported that NewTeeVee published a report which suggested that Apple is working on adding the capability to add “in-stream ads” for video content providers:

The ad product would not only enable video publishers to serve their own ads against videos on the iPhone or iPad, but it would give Apple the ability to act as a video ad network for those that don’t wish to sell their own inventory. The in-stream ad system is also expected to have some targeting capabilities built-in, with mobile location data and anonymous user behavior data to help deliver targeted ads to consumers.

This is certainly an interesting development as iAd for video content could open a whole new world of possibilities for iOS devices and would encourage even more publishers to come forward and provide their content. According to sources familiar with this matter Apple is expected to introduce the new ad product as early as Apple’s annual January event and will include the capability to target the ads geographically and would support both Quicktime and HTML5-delivered video.

]]> 0 In-app Purchases Outstrip Ad Revenue on Apple’s iOS Fri, 15 Oct 2010 18:40:19 +0000 Read More]]> Flurry Advertising Revenue Shift iOS

Flurry, the mobile app analytics company, has released figures that show that Advertisement Revenue is now the poor cousin of in-app purchases (virtual goods) on the iOS platform. Their survey was apparently conducted using data collected from a cross section of leading social networking and social gaming apps for iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

Breaking down the information that Flurry have provided in graph form it is clear that up until the end of 2009 mobile ad revenue was the main cash cow for these social apps. From January 2010 onwards, revenue from Virtual Goods purchases have grown extremely rapidly, equalling ad revenue in one month, quadrupling it the next, and growing to almost 9 times that of ad revenue from there on in.

The phrase “Better the Devil you know” keeps popping into my head for some reason.

It’s certainly a very striking change in where cash flow is coming from for this particular sub section of apps. I think the staggering nature of the figures should be tempered to some degree by an awareness of the kind of apps this is happening in, and the comparative transaction value of individual ad clicks against that of your typical downloadable or unlock-able content. A player would probably have to click on 10 or more apps to equal a $1 dollar virtual purchase, for example.

Nonetheless, income from virtual goods is a proven model, which already works very well on social networking sites like Facebook and home console services too. So downloadable content was always going to outstrip ad revenue once it established itself as a medium in the App Store.

Flurry conclude that advertising is also falling further behind virtual sales as advertisers are slow to adopt mobile advertising as a strategy. And they expect advertising to have something of a resurgence over time. But even with Apple’s own premium iAd service it is unlikely that ad revenue will reach the levels that downloadable content has.

One thing is for sure: Mobile games that require a drip feed from your credit card are here to stay. So, expect more and more lightweight games to choose from as software companies try to pump out apps as quickly as possible that will hook players into downloading content. Those that don’t keep players hooked will get dropped by the way side pretty quick.

Is this a healthy trend for a gaming market that already pumps out bargain bucket apps with an average lifetime of 2 launches and 8 minutes play time? Have your say in the comments.

[Flurry] ]]> 0 Adidas Pulls Out of Apple’s iAd Due to Repeated Rejections? Mon, 04 Oct 2010 20:35:08 +0000 Read More]]> Reports are circulating that Adidas – the sports equipment and clothing manufacturer – is the latest high profile company to pull out of Apple’s iAd service. Fashion powerhouse Chanel has already given iAd a miss, and apparently Adidas has had enough of Apple’s meddling, saying enough is enough after repeated rejections.

The issue, according to Business Insider, is the way Apple takes control of the whole process, operating their fledgling advertising platform in the same way they control their iOS App Store. Ads must be vetted by the Cupertino outfit in order to ensure a higher quality ad and in turn ensuring more taps. But here lies the issue. Info from ‘two mobile industry execs’ suggests Adidas has had a creative concept rejected not once, not even twice, but three times prompting them to pull out altogether.

Other advertisers also complain of Apple’s control freak nature (does all this sound familiar?) and the way ad agencies have very little control over when and where their ads are shown.

Apple’s iAd has suffered a stuttering start to life with few premium brands using the service and Adidas withdrawing over $10m of business can’t be good news. Considering it’s rare anyone actually sees an iAd on their device, it’s fair to say they need as many people on board as possible.

Unsurprisingly neither Apple or Adidas were willing to comment when asked to by Business Insider.

]]> 1 Apple iAd Gouges Other Advertisers for Mobile Ads Market Share Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:09:57 +0000 Read More]]> When Apple introduced iAd there were plenty of the usual nay-sayers around to predict that Apple’s foray into mobile advertising would not end well. And initially Apple seemed to be positioning their iAd advertising network to be a monopoly they controlled on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. They seemed to be ensuring that by locking other popular advertising networks like Google’s AdMob out of iOS.

Recently Apple has relaxed the rules that seemed as they were targeted at making AdMob less appealing on the iPhone. Opening up the playing field in the early stages of iAd’s emergence into the market. This may have been because of regulatory pressure in part, but is probably more indicative of just how confident Apple was of iAd very soon after announcing it to the world.

When Apple initially started selling advertisements many agencies and advertisers complained very vocally about the amount of control Apple chose to exert over the creative process behind producing ads. Primarily this was actually because Apple had not yet got its iAd creative tools up to speed, and in a state that they felt able to push out to agencies as software and systems that they could use as third parties.

Others expressed concern that Apple’s advertising rates were just too high.

Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo chimed in and predicted that iAd would fail because Apple was exerting too much control.

Well the figures are in…

Apple has gone from 0% of the mobile advertising market to 21% in a few short months. And the 21% of the market that iAd has grabbed for Apple has come directly from Google’s AdMob, and Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s advertising networks.

So, who’s looking silly now? Can Microsoft, Google and Yahoo learn something from Apple here? Have your say in the comments…

[BusinessWeek] ]]> 3 Apple iAd Global Roll-out [JCPenney Ad] Thu, 19 Aug 2010 14:03:33 +0000 Read More]]> Apple’s iAd has been a little slow at filling the available inventory and has been criticized for long production process. Mobile advertising is a new platform for Apple and they want to have complete control and offer the most interactive experience. Participating brands and developers who have integrated iAd into their apps have reported that Apple’s iAd has been successful in engaging the audience and keep them interested for longer duration when compared with other digital ads.

iAd NissanEarly today the developer of SimplyTweet (twitter app for iPhone) who is based in Singapore  updated his twitter status after noticing the first iAd on the lite version of his app. The initial launch of iAd was limited to iPhone users in US and now it seems that Apple is prepared to make its mobile ads available worldwide. The ads are now appearing for the Indian users too.

The JCPenney ad is yet another example of Apple’s rich media ads which attempts to bring motion and emotion to mobile advertising. When you click the ad you can be prepared to spend at least 10 minutes as it features a lot of content for you to explore.

The ad allows you to enter “style mixer” to create your own style and save it as an image. It features the “jcp store locator” and allows you to purchase “JCPenney Weekly Deals” app for iPhone in the background (even on iPod touch 2G) The ad also features back-to-school photo shoot, 40 seconds video of “cambio style” and allows you to purchase the tune which it previews within the app. The ad has a 3×3 grid navigation on the top right which helps you to explore the rich content. You’ll notice a mini game and some animation too.

The ad has so much of content to explore that it felt more like an app than an ad. Overall the JCPenney Ad was fun and certainly engaging. Checkout the image gallery below:

iAd Nissan JCPenney iAd 1 JCPenney iAd 2 JCPenney iAd 3 JCPenney iAd 4 JCPenney iAd 5 ]]> 5 Apple’s iAd now allow in-app downloads Mon, 09 Aug 2010 22:08:13 +0000 Read More]]> iAd apps download app storeDuring WWDC 2010 Apple introduced its mobile ad network for iOS devices called iAd. According to Steve Jobs the new interactive ad network for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad would provide developers an additional source of income and enable them to develop more free apps by integrating iAds.

The initial launch was criticized for low fill rate and only the big brands were included in the network. iAd aims to provide a very interactive experience for the customer to learn more about the advertised product. Apple has been successful in marketing their mobile ad network to a large number of brands which include Nissan, AT&T, Best Buy, Chanel and many more.

Apple recently addressed the low fill rate by opening the iAds network for iPhone developers and allowing them to advertise their iPhone/iPad apps using iAd. When a user taps an iAd for an iOS app it displays an app store like page with options to read app description, view screenshots and buying the app. If you click the buy option iAd will allow you to download the advertised app without exiting the app or game you were actually using.

This is a great way for iPhone developers to promote their apps. The fact the iAds don’t push you out of the app and provides an integrated experience would certainly help in greater adoption.

Have you noticed the new in-app downloads in the apps serving iAds? Let us know your thoughts or post more screenshots in the comments section below.

[iPodNN] ]]> 6 Apple and Friends Keep an Eye on You With iOS 4 Fri, 25 Jun 2010 01:29:20 +0000 Read More]]> iOS 4 went live on June 21 around 1PM EST. The update is jam-packed with over 100 new features including multitasking and folders.

Before updating you were met with Apple’s new Software License Agreement, which I’m sure all of you were quick to accept. I was lucky enough to grab a GM copy of iOS 4 last week and updated when iTunes 9.2 was released for Windows. Yesterday afternoon I accessed the App Store from my iPhone to download a game, the new Terms and Conditions appeared for me to accept, a whopping 42 pages on my iPhone that I wasn’t interested in reading.

Perhaps if I were to read over some of those pages I would have found what The Las Angeles Times did. The LA Times points out a change in Apple’s privacy policy included in the iOS 4 revised iTunes Store terms which specifies that Apple may collect “precise,” “real-time geographic location” data for users of its products. Under the updated privacy policy, the data may be used by Apple and unspecified “partners and licensees” in order to improve services and advertising.

Apple claims, “The data is anonymous and does not personally identify users.” Analysts have shown otherwise, that large, specific sets of data can be used to identify people based on behavioral patterns. The report notes that the new privacy policy does not specify which third parties may receive access to the collected data, nor does it mention how long Apple may keep the data. The report also quotes the relevant passage of the updated terms, “To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.”

Apple has since launched an official page that allows iOS device users to opt out of personal data collection, such as information regarding downloads and purchases, for its iAds mobile advertising service. Users can visit on any device running iOS 4 and Apple will allow the user to opt out of data collection for iAds. Apple said that users who opt out may see the same ads as before, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on their interests. Ads can also be related to the content in an application, or any other non-personal information.

Now, how do you feel about all this? Do you care that Apple and “partners and licensees” are keeping tabs on your real-time geological location, or could you care less? Share your thoughts in the comments.

]]> 0 First iAd placeholders spotted in iOS 4 Apps Mon, 21 Jun 2010 21:58:49 +0000 Read More]]> With iOS 4 going live today expect to see a lot of iAds in apps in the coming days on the iPhone and iPod Touch. At the moment iLounge are reporting that apps from Avantar, who produce OneTap Movies and Yellow Pages, have placeholders for iAds showing up in them already.

The placeholders are easily recognisable as they look a little like the Google AdWords or Admob boxes that surround adverts when served from those networks. No ads are showing right now, but they will surely pop up in the coming days. At the moment all there appears to be is a blank space with the Apple iAds moniker in the border.

As of today 17 advertisers are part of Apple’s advertising network, and there’s around $60 Million worth of advertising budget in the iAd pot from those partners. Meaning a veritable gold rush for $36 Million, which is the cut of the $60 million for app developers who can justify ads in their software.

Have you seen any iAds in your apps yet? Let us know how you feel about them in the comments. We’d particularly like to hear about adverts in paid apps.

[9to5Mac] ]]> 3 US regulators considering investigation into Apple’s mobile advertising policy Thu, 10 Jun 2010 22:20:02 +0000 Read More]]> Earlier today we reported that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) had amended its iPhone Developer Agreement, specifically clause 3.3.9 related to advertising networks. The amendment was written in such a way that it allowed Steve Jobs to make good on a promise he made at D8 to open up the SDK for third parties to collect data for services such as advertising. But at the same time it was worded very carefully so as to exclude Google’s AdMob mobile advertising network from the iPhone eco-system.

This was met yesterday with lots of grumbling from Google, and gnashing of teeth from Admob’s CEO. Whilst the wording of the clause excludes any rival smart phone maker, Google is the only real threat on the horizon that Apple probably cares about right now.

Wired make an interesting point about why Apple should block AdMob from collecting data from Apple devices:

If Apple were to allow Google to track user data within ads, Google would, by definition, gain insight into how people are interacting with advertising elements within iOS apps, and would be able to use that information to inform the process of building AdMob ads into its own Android platform.

But then again, I am sure Google could research information of that flavour in other ways if they really needed it. Still that argument might convince a government investigation of Apple’s reasons for its current strategy in this situation.

The Financial Times is reporting today that those same “sources close to the government” they quoted last time are sure that the FTC are still actively interested in all this. And that they may have moved their plans forward with regards to an investigation into Apple and Google.

According to two people close to the situation, US regulators have already taken an interest in Apple’s actions, though it is not yet clear whether it will be left to the Federal Trade Commission, which carried out the recent Google investigation, or the Department of Justice to take an investigation forward.

Apple’s latest rules for developers who create apps for its devices limit the situations in which they can send approved information about their apps’ audiences to advertising services. The information cannot be sent to advertising networks that are affiliated with companies developing or distributing mobile devices or operating systems – a definition that effectively excludes Apple rivals like Google and Microsoft.

Do you think Apple’s actions are “just business”, or unfair to Google? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 0 Apple’s iPhone set to become your Mobile ‘Shopping’ Assistant Thu, 27 May 2010 17:52:25 +0000 Read More]]> Shopping_Patent

This is an interesting Patent Application from Apple. And it seems to have some relevance to Apple’s new iAd mobile advertising network.

In simple terms the Patent describes the way an RFID reader built into the iPhone can be used to scan items in a store, and then check on the internet for more information on said item.

Verbiage in the patent tends to suggest that Apple intends to charge retail outlets, or their parent companies, to be included in the network. And also suggests that Apple will track our shopping habits when enquiries are made.

Presumably this could be used to both provide you, the consumer, with information on offers and similar / alternate items located in the store. But rest assured it will also be used by Apple and / or retailers to provide you with information they feel is “useful” to you too!

The service is called “Shopping” by Apple. And seems to be tied to Apple’s other iWallet / e-Wallet strategies surrounding the future of the iPhone, that we have reported on before.

Would you enjoy having a shop assistant in your pocket? Let us know in the comments.

[patentlyapple] ]]> 0 FTC Clears Google’s (GOOG) AdMob Acquisition. What does it mean? Mon, 24 May 2010 21:09:04 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iAd Admob

To little fanfare before the weekend the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US cleared Google’s acquisition of AdMob. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) dived in to snap up AdMob in late 2009, while Apple was mulling over the purchase itself.

The deal has been on hold while the FTC looked into it ever since then. The FTC’s initial concern was that Google snapping up a competitor in a market place that it is already dominant in could lead to antitrust worries.

In the meantime Apple purchased a similar, but much smaller and cheaper rival mobile advertising company called Quattro Wireless. This was morphed into iAd, Apple’s own entry into the mobile advertising arena, which is set to be an integral part of iPhone OS from version 4.0 onwards.

It is expected that, at least initially, Apple will only allow iAd to be used on its own devices. Whereas AdMob started out on the iPhone, but is now on Android too, and is expected to try and spread to as many platforms as possible. But its days on the iPhone seem numbered, at least in the iTunes App Store model. Because Apple seems to be locking other advertisers out by restricting their use of metrics to track consumers, so as to make their existence on its platform untenable.

On the surface of it the basic reason why the FTC cleared this acquisition by Google now is because of Apple’s move into the mobile ad arena with iAd. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) did Google a favor. Even if it didn’t intend to. Because as it stood, back in late 2009, Google had simply paid top dollar for a company which was potentially of no great strategic value to it, other than in a move to stymy Apple’s aspirations in the Google’s sandpit.

The FTC’s decision was probably also swayed to some degree by their perception of Apple’s dominance in the mobile market place generally. Their thinking being that some competition for Apple might be a good thing. And perhaps that Apple seems big enough and ugly enough to go toe to toe with Google in a market that it is traditionally dominant in.

If neither of those factors had been in play it is likely Google would have had to go to war and fight the FTC for this acquisition to be approved. Because as it stands even now AdMob has a de-facto monopoly on mobile advertising. Even if it may be short lived now.

“As a result of Apple’s entry (into the market), AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward, whether AdMob is owned by Google or not,” the Commission’s statement explains.

But the hands off approach that the FTC has taken at this stage is certainly not one that comes without caveats.

Google is The (with a capital ‘T’) advertising powerhouse on the web globally, and the FTC is not without its concerns over that.

However, Google’s mobile phone market share at the time the FTC was looking over this, was to Apple’s mobile phone market penetration what Apple’s iAd is to Google’s global advertising behemoth currently. Of course things can change.

In some ways it could be said that the FTC feels it is creating some balance with its decision, and recognises that there is going to be healthy competition between Apple and Google in the future – which should in theory be good for the consumer. By consumer one could infer both us clicking on ads, and also advertisers who buy exposure from Apple (via iAd) and Google (via AdMob). But let’s remember Apple has not served a single ad yet.

Google is also a company that preaches, and to some extent practises, openness to all. Where as Apple presents a slightly less accessible front to its “partners”. Google has also played nice in terms of the US government’s world-view when it comes to things like China. It spends a bit more on lobbying than Apple does too. All these things may count for something.

Having said all that the FTC did have the following to say, “Though we have determined not to take action today, the Commission will continue to monitor the mobile marketplace to ensure a competitive environment and to protect the interests of consumers.”

In other words if iAd fails (which is unlikely) they may look at this again.

Notice also that the FTC don’t specifically say “mobile advertising” in their statement. They say “mobile marketplace”. The FTC obviously have concerns over the mobile marketplace generally. And probably also feel that they still have a lot to learn too. It’s worth noting that they may still be mulling over an antitrust investigation into Apple over Flash, and also Google over some of its recent acquisitions of internet communications companies.

An interesting twist is to consider what would happen if Android gains massively in market share. Which if you believe Google, and certain analysts, is already happening. In that case AdMob will still be the only advertising network available to advertisers on Android, unless Apple opens up iAd. And it will be the only mobile advertising marketplace on a very large eco-system controlled by a company which is already The King of Advertising – globally!

When you look at this that way it’s hard to see who the FTC is actually protecting. Google has its own mobile phone ecosystem, which is actually quite closed from an OEM point of view. And it has an advertising network which is likely to be used more and more exclusively on their devices only. That is until HP or RIM get their act together.

Apple has an extremely closed mobile device ecosystem, and its own very closed advertising network – which is purportedly charging advertisers a premium to play on, as well as potentially being choosey about who can leverage the network in their apps. Two aspects that advertiser and consumers have yet to form solid opinions on, but have been heard to be apprehensive about.

The whole equation may be a little too complex for the FTC to form an opinion on, or effectively legislate for right now. Almost to the point that making a decision about advertising networks alone becomes moot currently.

Moving forward its likely that AdMob and Android will become synonymous with one another, likewise the iPhone, iPad and iAd will do the same.

At that point the FTC will have to decide if two companies, both with an effective monopoly for advertising in their own handset eco-systems is something they need to look at again.

When you look at it in its entirety, what choice did the FTC have today? And what have they actually achieved?
More to the point, what could they have achieved?

The FTC probably realised all this. Saw it had no effective decision to make. And so decided that the best thing to do was let this all play out, while keeping a close eye on both Apple and Google with regards to their mobile devices, OS and advertising networks in their entirety moving forwards.

What do you think? Are both Google and Apple monopolies in their own right? Should the FTC do something now, or later? Let us know in the comments…

]]> 0 Apple Antitrust Investigation Update Tue, 04 May 2010 17:33:51 +0000 Read More]]> Yesterday we reported a rumor from The New York Post that Apple (AAPL) may be facing an antitrust probe from the FTC or DOJ. Today a few other sources have weighed in on this issue with differing views.

Whilst there has still been no comment from either Apple or any government office on this subject, some journalists and industry insiders are already offering Apple advice .

The advice is basically to let developers choose their development tools by modifying the now notorious clause 3.3.1. Some believe this will be enough to mollify any investigators in a government probe. To me it smacks a little of desperation when the sources that this advice is coming from are analyzed more closely.

Allegedly the spark which ignited the possible investigation was indeed a complaint from Adobe about Apple’s new rules. But it has potentially been reenforced from a couple of different sectors of the tech industry.

Advertisers and agents, as well as corporations employing them, who were hoping to advertise with Apple are not enamoured with the price Apple wants to charge for blocks of advertising. Or the fact that Apple will also hold the whip hand initially at least, when it comes to producing iAds. A service which Apple will also charge a pretty penny for. And will hold a monopoly over until it makes tools for producing iAds available to advertisers and their agencies.

Furthermore mobile advertising companies like AdMob are not too happy that other parts of Apple’s Developer Contract apparently stop third party advertising services using customers information, particularly habits and location awareness, to tailor ads to their audience. That is something now reserved for iAd alone since the iPhone SDK Developer Contract update, as transmission of data from apps to third parties is now outlawed in clause 3.3.9.

All of these put together could possibly give the FTC and DOJ enough meat to get their teeth into while they weigh the possibility of a probe. But it would still be messy and complicated. As has been shown by some rather rudimentary questions that have come out of the FTC over the last day or so and been addressed to industry experts in what seems to be an information gathering exercise.

Most sage sources in the industry still think this probe won’t fly. And I tend to agree.

Are all these niggles enough to add up into a big ball of antitrust trouble for Apple? We’ll keep you posted.

Let us know in the comments if you think Apple should or should not be investigated.

]]> 3 Apple’s iAd to be a Premium Mobile Ad Service Thu, 29 Apr 2010 18:14:55 +0000 Read More]]> The Wall Street Journal is reporting some interesting, and I think quite exciting, news about how Apple intends to position its iAd service.

I have been saying for quite some time that I believe that Apple’s ad service would have to conform to some pretty high standards for Apple themselves to be happy with it. And because of that I would be very likely to choose them as my ad partner over AdMob if I was going to put adverts into my (free) apps.

This is because not only do I believe that Apple’s iAd service will be tasteful and of high quality in execution, but I also believe that Apple’s advertisers will be of premium quality and pay very well.

This seems very much to be Apple’s aim. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that some advertisers used to paying hundreds of thousands for the kind of ad package Apple is selling are being asked for as much as $10 Million Dollars to be part of Apple’s advertising partners at launch, and around $1 Million Dollars for normal packages after that.

Apple will be charing a penny for every iAd impression (view) a consumer on one of its devices sees. And $2 for each click-through. Ultimately this will all add up and come out of the prepaid $1 Million Dollar, or more package they have bought.

Apple is also said to be being quite picky about who can advertise with them.

For us as consumers this is great news. We are far less inclined to be upset if we get bothered by well executed ads for Movies, Ferraris and Porches in free apps, than if we get hassled for dating and gambling sites.

Likewise as an app developer I would feel more comfortable having a guaranteed level of quality and taste in the iAds I might be foisting on my customers who choose a free version of my app.

Of course, the extra money from these advertisers, who are paying a premium rate to Apple, is also going to filter down to app developers in their cut. Which is very welcome.

Of course the drawback there is that many people may be tempted to put more adverts in their software now. Perhaps even in paid titles. But I think that Apple will be keeping a watchful eye out for that. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if having iAds in your app is not automatic for all developers or all apps.

Let us know your thoughts on how Apple plans to implement iAd in the comments.

[] ]]> 0 Apple iPhone Developer Clause 3.3.9 iAd Competitive Advantage Thu, 15 Apr 2010 13:18:47 +0000 Read More]]> Apple was very clear in it’s statement of intent about iAds and iPhone OS 4.0. The company stated that it would not prevent third-parties from providing advert services to developers creating apps for it’s platform.

However, taking a closer look at the new iPhone Developer Contract, there is another clause that is causing some consternation for advertising firms like AdMob, Analytics companies such as Flurry, and even individual app developers who like to analyse their customers gaming habits to provide a “better gaming experience”.

The crucial part of Section 3.3.9 of Apple’s new developers agreement states the following :

The use of third-party software in Your Application to collect and send Device Data to a third party for processing or analysis is expressly prohibited.

There are many ways to interpret this.

Firstly, if you are collecting your own analytics and not sending it to another party then you seem to be in the clear. This would be my interpretation anyway. Further subsections of the clause do state that you need to let your customers know about data you are collecting. But then this is fairly standard fare in a world where we are supposed to respect our customers privacy; something Apple takes very seriously.

Getting into the nuts and bolts of the wording a little further we need to figure out what “Device Data” means. Is this referring to an iPhone’s specifications and information such as it’s UDID (a unique identifier each iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad has)? Or is it also referring to any data generated by your app?

Either way it can be seen as giving iAds a competitive advantage over the likes of AdMob, and also hobbling analytics companies like Flurry and Distimo; who offer plugins as well as direct monitoring for developers so they can track app usage, as well as allow them to create wide ranging industry reports on app sales and usage for general consumption. In Distimo’s case they actually hook directly into your Developer Account at Apple. I would have to wonder how this is affected, if at all, by this clause – as your device is not sending any data back to them in that scenario.

In simple terms what this clause could mean is that AdMob may potentially not be able to produce targeted ads, whereas Apple’s own iAds would be able to. It could also mean that any analytics data that other companies might like to collate for general consumption, or on the app developers behalf, would not be as fine grained as it has been able to be in the past.

Peter Farago, who runs marketing for Flurry, has said that they are still trying to interpret exactly what the clause means, but feels that there will be a way to work with Apple moving forward. I would tend to agree with that analysis.

Apple, as they have done with 3.3.1, has set a base line they can fall back to in any disagreement with another party. How, and when they actually enforce the strict wording of this contract is entirely up to them.

Flurry goes on to say :

It’s too early to tell. No one’s freaking out. There’s more to understand about it, and we’re dialoguing with Apple about it, but it looks we may have to modify the way we collect and distribute information.

Do you feel that some of these companies have been too free and easy with your personal data in the past? Or do you think Apple is simply trying to unfairly crush any and all competition?

Let us know in the comments.

]]> 1 News roundup on all things ‘Apple, iPad and Touch’ Mon, 12 Apr 2010 21:17:36 +0000 Read More]]> 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.

iPad hacked

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 : []

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

]]> 1 iPhone OS 4.0 Initial analysis and Developers perspective Fri, 09 Apr 2010 19:38:14 +0000 Read More]]> The next major iteration of Apple’s strongest facet in it’s increasing domination of the mobile marketplace is upon us, in the form of iPhone OS 4.0

Of course this is just a “sneak peak” of an OS which Apple promises boasts more than 100 new user features, and over 1500 new APIs for developers…

Let’s take a look at the seven main features of the announcement. Most of this is from my perspective as a developer and industry watcher. Obviously some of the features are pretty self explanatory and don’t really fall under my purview. For those I’ll give you my personal reaction and thoughts as an iPhone OS user.

I am playing with iPhone OS 4.0 on my iPod right now. It’s a bit buggy, and obviously until I or someone else writes apps that take advantage of some of these new features (like “multitasking”) I can only speculate about what is in the public domain, and what is blatantly obvious.

If you want to try out iPhone OS 4.0 be aware that it is not 100% stable yet. Nor is it feature complete either. You will need to pay $99 to Apple and register as a developer, and it’s not that easy to downgrade reliably once you’ve upgraded your device. Not in my experience so far anyway. This should be something you should be particularly careful about if you are putting it on your day to day iPhone. You have been warned.

Also remember that these are the “7 Tentpoles” of the new OS. By that I assume that Apple mean that, apart from minor usability changes, all the 100+ features and 1500+ APIs that Apple tout will fall broadly under these categories as the OS matures towards it’s Gold Master release.


Everyone was excited about the possibility of this. But I had my apprehensions. We will have to see how it all pans out. One thing we now know for sure is that only devices from the third generation upwards will support multitasking. i.e. iPhone 3GS, iPod 3G and the iPad.

Apple are explaining that away with a glib statement about “hardware capabilities”. Translated this means that basically they are saying that the 3G iPhone, 2G iPod Touch and original iPhone do not have a powerful enough processor, or enough RAM. Whilst those comments are reasonable, they don’t convey the whole truth.

To put that in perspective think back a few years to the oldest machine you had with multitasking and how powerful it’s processor was, and how capacious it’s RAM was, when compared to any iPhone of any generation.

I’ll let the marinade in your mind for a while. Answers on a postcard, or in the comments please.

Apple wants to sell more devices, and this is a good way to drive upgrades. Steve Jobs said as much himself in the iPhone OS 4.0 presentation when he let slip that “if this drives sales” then that would be a bonus from his point of view.
The other issue some may have with iPhone OS 4.0 “multitasking” is that it’s not really multitasking as we understand it. It’s a very neat technical solution for running multiple apps on a mobile device. But it’s effectively a way that apps are put to sleep, and then their core can then respond to certain callbacks that a developer registers with the iPhone OS. At the moment this is focussed on Music Playback, Location Awareness, and other common iPhone app requirements. What it does not allow us to do is have two or more apps running full bore on our devices. With the possible exception of the “Lengthy Task” feature of multitasking, which I will have to investigate further. So in effect a better name for iPhone multitasking would be “hot-switching” with notifications for “active but paused” apps.

That in itself begs the question again, “Why did Apple restrict it to newer devices”. Even the original iPhone can run music in the background without degrading app performance. One of the new feature’s primary boasts, alongside location based services. We already had that level of “multi-tasking” to some measurable degree, on the iPhone out of the box, with earlier OS incarnations: We can play music from iTunes, while we are playing games, and take calls while running other apps today. All Apple has really done is expose this existing functionality to all apps, albeit with some new bells and whistles.

Some bloggers are saying the reason earlier devices won’t support multi-tasking is down to limited memory. Those of us that have had more than one page open in Mobile Safari on an iPad know that when we switch between things the iPad can get short on memory with it’s 256MB. Anyone had Mobile Safari “forget” what we were doing on one page when we swapped to another yet? Currently the iPad has double the memory of the original iPhone, and the same as the 3G iPod Touch and 3GS iPhone. So Apple will need to address this with some kind of caching or paging on those devices anyway. Why not do it across the board?

All in all iPhone “multitasking” is nice, but it’s not multitasking as people who use Android and Palm know it. And certainly not desktop style multitasking. That is not necessarily a bad thing on mobile devices with memory and power management challenges, because of ever more complex apps and Operating System features. So all in all a good call, but nonetheless frustrating and inconsistent.

Having said that all that, the way it is implemented, will make for a better user experience overall, which is what Apple is all about. It not being available on earlier iDevices was to be expected to be honest. But I think Apple is being disingenuous about the reasons why. That’s what niggles me.

To Summarise : Apple are already going to have to do some clever memory management on more recent iDevices, as I have just explained. Scott Forstall a;sp said as much when pushed at the presentation on memory and multitasking. So why not on earlier iPhones and iPods?

To drive sales and simplify OS development for Apple! They are the simple reasons.


This is something that a lot of people have been hoping for. Our devices are becoming increasingly cluttered with each of our own subsections of the gazillions of apps available to us from the App Store. And app management has become a bit of a drag. Not to mention some of us have simply run out of effective space in the current Springboard implementation. From a developers perspective there is not a lot I can say other than it does what it says on the box. And it is a welcome addition to the OS. Although why it got such high billing in the announcement I am not sure. Perhaps because Apple realised it was a problem which needed addressing publically, and a headline grabber at the same time.

Enhanced Mail

Mail has been long overdue for an overhaul on the iPhone and iPod Touch. People whipped themselves into a frenzy when the iPad was launched, and even emailed Steve Jobs begging for a Unified Email inbox across all iDevices. He replied affirmatively. They got their wish. I suspect that Steve already had it on his todo list anyway.

I don’t use Mail on my iPhone much. Most of the time I use IMAP enabled accounts, and use it for quick checks, and firing off short replies to urgent emails. So I would work around many of the limitations that the app has by limiting how much I use it.

But features such as being able to organise messages by threads and open emails in third party apps. i.e. The apps I make. Well, that’s a very welcome addition too. And I do plan to use mail more comprehensively on my iPad so all this is welcome news.

iBooks for iPhone

Again, not much I can add here to the announcement. It’s certainly something that many people, myself included, expected. I for one have been considering writing my own book on the iPad (partially as an experiment), and then trying my hand at getting it published in the iBookStore. Knowing that I now have 50 million iPhones and 35 million iPod Touches making a total of 85 million out there as a market, ontop of the half a million or so (and counting) iPads in the wild, certainly makes that idea more appealing.

I also use my iPhone for most of my reading when travelling so this is good news for me personally on that front too. There are certainly some competent eBook readers for the iPhone and iPod already out there. But it’s nice to have an iTunes like eco-system, and Apples software to do my reading on. The main attraction for me there is the ability to read sample pages before I buy.


iPhone OS 4.0 will bring a number of enhancements relevant to Enterprise users. They include increased data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution, multiple Exchange accounts, Exchange Server 2010 support and SSL VPN support. Ooo.. Feeling a bit sleepy there.

For those that are interested in that kind of thing (yawn, sorry!) Apple have it covered here : []

I suppose the Wireless App Distribution of in-house apps is quite cool when allied with Mobile Device Management. But do be aware that Apple are not allowing anyone to distribute paid for commercial apps outside of the App Store with this.

Almost dropped off to sleep again there.

Onwards and upwards.

Game Center

This is the most surprising and confusing announcement of the entire iPhone OS 4.0 event.

It certainly shows, finally, that Apple is taking gaming on it’s various mobile devices pretty seriously. Not something Apple have been known for in the past. Cue light applause for Apple.

It’s also unclear exactly how Apple will provide services like matchmaking and leader-boards to developers. Nothing was discussed at the presentation, which leads me to believe that certain aspects of Game Center are still in flux. Will there still be room for SDK developers like GameSpy in all this? Networking perhaps building off the back of existing parts of the SDK for multiplayer gaming? Certainly hope so. But only time will tell.

I think that Game Center will only succeed if Apple can get Ngmoco, Scoreloop and OpenFeint on board as community members. Fragmentation is bad for Apple, and bad for existing Social Gaming Network providers. I presume there are negotiations going on behind the scenes now, frankly. Apple would not have announced this if they didn’t have some plan going forward.

Scott Forstall also himself said that ideally everyone would come together under one roof. I wonder what concessions Apple will have to make, and how willing the existing networks will be to work with them?

The generally fairly positive feedback coming out of the likes of Ngmoco and OpenFeint lead me to believe that negotiations are fairly well advanced already. Scoreloop seems a little more bullish in articles I have read. But these articles are speculative. I wonder where they are at?


I idly wondered aloud earlier in the week if this would be the only announcement at the iPhone OS 4.0 event. I was of course wrong. But it was certainly the one that Steve was most excited about. The audience didn’t seem to share his enthusiasm though. Perhaps we all feel a little jaded with advertising these days!

What is appealing about this addition to the SDK is that devs. can put their advertising revenue, and their app revenue, under one roof with Apple. But more importantly than that the way that ads are displayed is tightly woven into the iPhone SDK. I have to admit to being enthused about that from a purely academic stand point. I am not a huge fan of ads in any medium.

The integration into the SDK means that working with ads will be even more seamless than it already is when using modules like AdMob, and that we can display movies and other rich media as part of the ad experience for users.
What I would like to see is the possibility of sponsorship in apps. For example, say in a skateboarding or racing game to have images or movies pasted onto billboards along the road or racetrack. If this came to fruition then I would see adds as contributing to the in game experience without detracting form it with immersion breaking popups.

I also think that if Apple are the gatekeeper to what is advertised on iPhones, iPods and iPads then we can expect higher overall revenues as advertisers will pay more, and we’ll also potentially get a higher quality of advertiser and consequently advert content.

What concerns me is that some developers may go mad with this, seeing it as an easy and more legitimate revenue stream now it has tacit Apple endorsement. I hope I am wrong. And I hope that we don’t see ads in paid apps. That would be bad.

One thing I can say for absolutely certain. If I do any work on apps with ads I will be dropping AdMob and moving to iAds. I wonder how many other iPhone Devs are thinking the same thing, and how worried AdMob are?

Well that’s my initial thoughts on the iPhone OS 4.0 sneak peak.

I’ll try to come back with more specifics on each facet of the “7 Tentpoles” as I learn more, In the meantime feel free to give us your views, and feelings, good or bad, on what iPhone OS 4.0 means for you, in the comments.

]]> 0 Download iPhone OS 4 Keynote Event Fri, 09 Apr 2010 02:41:32 +0000 Read More]]> Apple has updated their website with information about the upcoming iPhone OS update for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. In the iPhone OS 4 event Apple gave us a sneak peek into the future of iPhone OS. The update will bring many highly anticipated features.

If you missed our live coverage here, you can read our event roudup here.

You can also download the iPhone OS 4 Keynote Event here

The major enhancement for gamers was the introduction of GameCentere which integrates social gaming, friend invites, matchmaking, leaderboards and achievements.

Multitasking, Enhanced Mail and folders will make common tasks on iPhone easier and more efficient.

iPhone OS 4.0 will be available this summer for the iPhone and iPod Touch and in the fall for the iPad. The iPad, iPhone 3GS, and 3rd generation iPod touch will be able to support all of the new features. The iPhone 3G and 2nd generation iPod touch will run most features but multitasking will not be supported.

Apple did not say anything about the price for the upgrade for iPod touch users and they might offer this as a free upgrade so that they can get maximum people adopt the iAd platform.

]]> 1 Apple iPhone OS 4.0 Keynote Event Roundup Thu, 08 Apr 2010 19:20:34 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone OS 4 Live keynote event

Apple has certainly been on a streak lately. The public release of the iPad has been a complete success and now the details of the much anticipated iPhone OS 4.0. The new operating system has been the main object of speculation and rumor since the unveiling of the Apple tablet in January. Today’s announcement finally threw back the curtain and gave us all a vision of the future of the iPhone and iPad platforms. While the tech media machine discerned and speculated most of the features beforehand, there were still a few surprises no one saw coming.

Let’s review the seven main features of the announcement:

This was the big feature everyone has been waiting for. While it remains to be seen whether this is true multitasking in the sense that the application runs in the background or is preserved in some kind of frozen state, this feature should enhance the iPhone experience greatly. What we do know is multitasking will support audio, VoIP, location and navigation applications running in the background. In addition to this multitasking will include enhanced push notifications, local notifications, task completion, and fast app switching.

One of the main complaints about the iPhone user interface is the endless succession of home screens full of icons. The Folders feature allows a user to create a pile of icons that appear as a folder on their home screen. Tapping the folder provides access to all of the apps in the folder.

iPhone OS 4.0 will enhance the native Mail app in several significant ways. The most significant is a unified inbox. All of a user’s e-mail can now be delivered to one location. On the e-mail side, messages can now be organized by thread and attachments opened with an external app identified for that purpose or file extension.

Apple will bring the iBooks application to the iPhone.

iPhone OS 4.0 will bring a number of enhancements relevant to Enterprise users. They include increased data protection, mobile device management, wireless app distribution, multiple Exchange accounts, Exchange Server 2010 support and SSL VPN support.

This was an enhancement no one saw coming. GameCenter provides an Xbox Live type interface for iPhone gaming. It integrates social gaming, friend invites, matchmaking, leaderboards and achievements. It will be interesting to see how developers use this enhancement and how much it cuts into the business of applications like OpenFeint.

iAd is Apple’s entry into mobile advertising. While this may seem like a rather mundane enhancement, iAd will feature rich, in-app interactive and video advertisements. The advertisements demoed at the presentation seemed more like applications than static ads. Apple will sell and host the ads and split revenue 60/40 in favor of developers.

Multitasking was easily the most exciting and interesting announcement. The single criticism most used against the operating system is now gone and if Apple is prepared to release it, you know it has been tested and works extremely well. It may not be the full, preemptive multitasking users are familiar with from a desktop computer paradigm but I think it will be enough to make users happy without running into the problems encountered on mobile platforms like Android.

The move to version 4.0 seems like more of a major upgrade than the move to version 3.0 a year ago. I think this has a lot to do with the fact the iPhone OS now supports a major device in the iPad. I think it’s also indicative of Apple’s vision for the future, a vision where the iPhone OS and its ancestors are the future of Apple computing. Sure, Mac OS will always exist as a full operating system, but as Apple shifts focus from computers to consumer electronics the iPhone OS represents the lightweight operating system required to make such a change. Version 4.0 will be available in the summer for the iPhone and iPod Touch and in the fall for the iPad. The iPad, iPhone 3GS, and 3rd generation Touch will be able to run all of the new features. The iPhone 3G and 2nd generation Touch will run most features but notably multitasking will not be available. No word on pricing as of yet.

What are your thoughts on today’s announcements? Did Apple fill some of the major gaps in the iPhone OS? Would you be compelled to buy a product that runs the new operating system? Are you encouraged by Apple’s vision of the future based on the new OS? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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