iPhone, iPad Games, Apps, Reviews, News Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:57:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apple relaxes iPhone Advertising Restrictions. Locks AdMob out Thu, 10 Jun 2010 15:10:49 +0000 Read More]]> At D8 last week Steve Jobs offered a rather weak argument for why Apple had changed clause 3.3.9 in its iPhone Developer Agreement. The changes appeared to ban third parties from collecting analytical data from apps running on customer’s iPhones. And, if you remember, caused some consternation when first reported, shortly after the iPhone OS 4.0 Preview event.

Steve’s explanation for the change was that companies like Flurry (who provide App Store analysis to developers and the media) were snooping on prototype devices on Apple’s campus, and Apple wanted to put a stop to that.

At the time he promised to look at ways that Apple could let third parties use data collected from users devices with their customer’s express permission, and also in ways that did not upset Apple’s need for secrecy when developing prototypes. Anyone else giggle when they read that last bit?

Whilst what Steve said made sense. By that I mean he used English when speaking the words. It certainly seemed like a fairly weak argument, dressed up in a vague concern for “consumer privacy issues”, and a rather bizarre whinge about prototype data getting leaked from Apple’s campus!

On the surface of it Steve seems to have kept his promise, as the iPhone Developer Agreement has been updated this week with the release of the iOS 4.0 Gold Master. The change now allows third parties to collect a subset of data from users iDevices when running apps produced by App Store developers.

With one fairly major exception though. Google’s AdMob, and any service Microsoft or any other rival smartphone maker might launch, are now all explicitly banned, rather then simply being banned collectively along with everyone else!
Apple’s new clause 3.3.9 reads as follows : (The relevant bit is in bold)

The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes.

The part highlighted in bold specifically targets AdMob, which is now part of Google, who are very clearly “a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems”.

Do you think this is fair play by Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…

]]> 0 iPhone 4 and iOS 4 WWDC 2010 Keynote Event Roundup Mon, 07 Jun 2010 20:28:31 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone 4

Well there we have it. The much anticipated and speculated WWDC Keynote for 2010 has come and gone. And while it is hardly the truth to say that an Apple presentation is underwhelming, it certainly didn’t have the intrigue, surprise product announcements, or John Hodgman-based farewell rumored to happen. Today’s announcement was totally about the new iPhone 4 and iOS 4 and it certainly dominated the nearly two hour presentation.

So what do we finally know about the new iPhone? Officially it is simply known as the iPhone 4. It will run the previously announced iPhone OS 4.0 although from now on Apple’s mobile operating system will be known as iOS. While Jobs pointed out during the keynote the new iPhone brings over 100 new features to the table, he chose to highlight nine key features of the new device:

The iPhone 4 will come in a 16GB model for $199 and a 32GB model for $299 in white and black. The iPhone 3G will no longer be manufactured and the iPhone 3GS will now sell for $99. The new phone 4 will launch on June 24th to the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan with pre-orders starting on June 15th. Availability in additional countries will roll out in July and August. As we reported earlier today, all current iPhone 3GS owners will be offered the new iPhone by AT&T for the price of a new two year contract plus a small fee.

While the new iPhone 4 was clearly the star of the show today, there were some additional interesting points. iOS4 will be available as a free upgrade to all current iPhone 3G, 3GS, and second generation and later iPod Touch owners on June 21st. Not all features of the new operating system will be available on the 3G and iPod Touch, chief of which is multitasking. Apple also demoed three new apps for the iPhone environment: NetFlix, Farmville, and Guitar Hero. NetFlix and Farmville will be available later this year while Guitar Hero is available right now for $2.99.

So even though we didn’t get a streaming Apple TV or or new Mac Minis, I would call this a successful and satisfying WWDC keynote. The new iPhone 4 once again catapults Apple to the forefront of the smartphone world with a unique feature set and slick operating system.

Poll Question

What do you think? Was this WWDC as interesting and exciting as those gone by? Are you already anticipating the new iPhone 4? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

iPhone 4 Image Gallery

iPhone 4 facetime onetap call iPhone 4 facetime camera both iPhone 4 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_1 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_3 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_4 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_5 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_6 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_7 iPhone 4 Photo Gallery_8 iPhone 4 White Photo Gallery ]]> 1 WWDC 2010 Live Keynote Coverage. New iPhone 4G / HD, OS 4 and more Mon, 07 Jun 2010 14:17:21 +0000 Read More]]> Apple WWDC 2010

WWDC 2010 Live Keynote Coverage

You don’t need to refresh this page! Live updates will appear below:

Steve Jobs will kick off the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2010 on Monday, June 7th at 10 am Pacific with a live keynote presentation.

Apple is widely rumored to unveil the new iPhone 4G, provide iPhone OS 4 update, announce Safari 5 and introduce new cloud based music streaming and storage services.

We will bring you the all-in-one live feed from all popular news sources (Engadget, CNET, MacRumors, ArsTechnica, Wired, GDGT and more) and update you with the latest information. We will be updating you with the latest images and features of new iPhone (4G / HD), iPhone OS 4.0 and all other announcements. Live audio/video feed is unlikely to be available however, we will update this page if we find one.

We will also allow live comments and our team will be live a bit early to discuss the event. As soon as the download link to the WWDC 2010 keynote event is available we will update this page.

Don’t miss this event, bookmark and share this page today!

Check your time zone:

07:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris

]]> 25 iPhone OS 4 features native flashlight support? Wed, 02 Jun 2010 00:04:13 +0000 Read More]]> Today a YouTube user posted a video which shows that iPhone OS 4 could possibly feature native flashlight support. It is still not confirmed if this is a feature or a bug in the fourth beta of upcoming iPhone OS.

You can activate the flashlight in iPhone OS 4 by tapping the sleep/wake button thrice. If this turns out to be a new feature then all the flashlight apps you bought from the App Store would become useless.

Is this a feature or a bug? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 2 Apple’s WWDC 2010 Keynote: Truth and Rumors Mon, 31 May 2010 17:16:10 +0000 Read More]]> White iPhone 4G

As I look out the window here it’s a beautiful, sunny Summer day. So why does it feel like Christmas is about to arrive? Well, anyone tuned into the Apple universe will tell you that’s the way we feel every year before the WWDC keynote. Apple always arrives with a big sack of goodies for us. So what do our Cupertino benefactors have in store for us this year? While mitigating circumstances may have revealed some of the surprises in store for us next Monday, some may yet appear.

The truth part of the equation comes in the form of the iPhone 4G / HD and the iPhone OS 4.0. Both are known factors at this point. Thanks to an apparent Spring of misfortune for Apple’s research and development department, we already know most of the hardware details. The fourth generation iPhone will sport a forward-facing camera, improved IPS display, faster processor, and longer battery life. Many of the technologies going into the 4G / HD have already been rousing successes in the iPad. While some have argued the iPad was just a big iPod Touch it seems the reverse will be true of the new iPhone; with many of the innovations the iPad introduced, the next iPhone is a lot like a little iPad. On the software side of the equation, iPhone OS 4.0 should prove to use the new hardware to the fullest extent possible. The most anticipated known feature is multitasking. Long an item only available to native iPhone apps like Mail, Music, and Mobile Safari; Apple has opened it up for all to use. I am particularly excited about the general availability of multitasking although I am a bit worried as well. I recently used a jailbroken iPod Touch with the Backgrounder app running. For those that may not know, Backgrounder is a hack that brought multitasking to jailbroken iPhones and iPod Touches long before OS 4. While it was interesting to use a multitasking device running the iPhone OS, it seemed to burn through the battery life at an astonishing rate and it did seem to lag the OS some. Now, it was hardly a scientific test of the feature so any number of variables may have been in play but I hope official multitasking support addresses my lingering doubts.

With most of the iPhone announcements are already known, you may wonder what there’s left for Steve to surprise us with on June 7th. There are actually two prominent rumors floating around that might make a debut at the WWDC keynote. First was news late last week of a rumored new cloud-based Apple TV product. While Apple TV has never been much cause for interest in the iPhone OS crowd, this new device should cause a stir. Not only will it offer cloud-based streaming instead of the traditional local storage model, but it will also run the iPhone OS. In this new device we see Apple’s strategy of using the mature iPhone OS as the platform for a complete line of consumer content products, much like Google is attempting with Android.

The second rumor will serve as a compliment to the first. If the new Apple TV makes its debut at WWDC we should also see the unveiling of the much rumored “iTunes in the cloud” service. Video is a good starting point but Apple should see the obvious advantages of moving everything to a streaming model. The LaLa acquisition should finally start to bear fruit as Apple takes a multi-pronged and concerted approach to cloud-based content usage.

Regardless of what happens next Monday, it will be exciting to see what goodies Apple brings us. Just like kids on Christmas Day.

What do you think will come out of the WWDC keynote this year? Do you have a wishlist of products or features you’d like to see? Will there be more than new iPhones in store? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 7 iPhone 4G Hints in OS 4 and Features Round Up Sun, 30 May 2010 21:16:51 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone OS 4 News

Apple’s WWDC 2010 is scheduled to kick off on June 07 and Steve Jobs is widely rumored to unveil the new iPhone 4G / HD. If you have been following news reports and rumors about the new iPhone 4G then you would probably have a very clear picture of how the next iPhone will look and  know the exact hardware specification which will be offered.

The prototype leak and iPhone OS 4 beta code has revealed some interesting information about upcoming features and heres a round up of what we know so far.

iPhone 4G Hints in OS 4

The values for video capture in the third beta hint at a high resolution camera which could record 720p high-definition video.

iPhone OS 4 beta code had various references to error messages which prompted the user about video call being disconnected because the local Wi-Fi connection was lost.

Various news sources have confirmed that the code in iPhone OS 4 had reference to titles like “Flash is disabled” The design of the leaked iPhone 4G prototype also confirmed that next iPhone will support a camera with flash.

iPhone OS 4 Features Round Up

This has been one of the highly anticipated features for iPhone and Apple will finally allow you to customize the home screen of your device with new wallpapers in the background.

The average number of iPhone apps a user installs is increasing as more and more apps are made available. iPhone OS 4 will enable you to manage your apps with ‘Folders’ You will be able to group 9 apps in one folder to save the number of icons appearing on your home screen. This will also enable users to easily access the frequently used apps and games.

iPhone OS 4 will imporve the SMS app and now you’ll be able to Limit character count, Repeat alert, Show preview, Toggle MMS and group messaging and Toggle subject field viewer.

The fourth beta of iPhone OS 4 had an option in the settings menu which suggests that AT&T will finally be offering internet tethering on iPhone.

Apple provides seven multitaking services as APIs to developers which include Background audio, Voice over IP, Background Location, Push Notifications, Local Notifications, Task Completion and Fast app switching. These APIs will allow you to stream internet radio using Pandora in the background while you surf the internet and receive incoming Skype calls even when when the app is not active.

Multitasking is only supported on iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 3rd gen and iPad.

Mail app on iPhone OS 4 will include Unified Inbox, Multiple Exchange Accounts, Fast inbox switching, Threaded messages and the ability to open attachments with apps. This will certainly make emailing on iPhone much more efficient and provide an enhanced user experience. iPhone OS 4 will also add support for Gmail Archive.

If you love reading eBooks on the go then you will finally be able to access the iBooks library on your iPhone running OS 4.

iPhone OS 4 will add software support for orientation lock which will make reading eBooks and performing various actions on your iPhone in the orientation set by you and will not rotate the screen when you change your angle of viewing.

iPhone OS 4 will add new iPad-style spelling correction features to iPhone and iPod touch. If you misspell a word it will be underlined with red color and you will be able to correct it with suggested words which will appear in blue color.

With more than 50,000 games and entertainment titles on iPhone and iPod touch Apple realized the importance of native social gaming network. Game Center will include Matchmaking and leaderboards too.

iPhone OS 4 Rumors

]]> 5 iPhone OS 4.0 To Include More Bing Sat, 29 May 2010 17:15:04 +0000 Read More]]> bing microsoft logo

It appears the war between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has escalated and to some it may seem that Apple has chosen the nuclear option. According to reports originating on TechCrunch, Apple is currently in talks to expand the breadth and availability of Microsoft services in iPhone OS 4.0. Traditional foes during the original Silicon Valley wars, increasingly Apple has taken a pragmatic, “enemy of my enemy” approach in Silicon Valley War 2.0. How ironic would it be if Microsoft, who once famously injected a 150 million life saving dollars into Apple, was in turn saved by their former nemesis?

Reports earlier this year suggested that Apple and Microsoft had been in talks to include Bing as an iPhone search option or replace Google entirely. If Apple is serious about ridding their operating system of Google-branded products, Microsoft and their Bing division certainly have the services to do it. Bing provides replacements for basic web search, image and video search, news, maps, and visual search. In some cases these products are more highly regarded than similar offerings from Google. Although we shouldn’t expect a wholesale expulsion of Google from the iPhone OS immediately, it certainly sets the stage for further moves if these first ones are successful. Microsoft has hungered for a way to get more eyeballs on Bing and the iPhone ecosystem is certainly prime real estate. Bing already offers a very popular iPhone application, it wouldn’t take much for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple to work together to integrate these services into the operating system. This integration could be as simple as letting a user choose which services they want right up to the eventual end game of wholesale Google replacement.

These negotiations with Microsoft demonstrate the incredible acumen with which Apple manages their products. Talking to Microsoft serves two primary purposes. First, Apple gives a company desperate for a foothold in the mobile space a chance for success. Apple is very good at selecting partners who are in need of the boost inclusion provides. Originally it was the music industry with the iPod and iTunes. After that it was the print industry with the iPad. Now Apple recognizes that partnering with Microsoft puts them in a position of power to deal for the services they need. When the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Google was in a similar situation. They wanted and needed a foothold in mobile that Apple was happy to provide. Now that Google has shown its desire to go an independent route, Apple is more than happy to move away from them.

Secondly, it gives Apple options. They can choose to use a contract with Microsoft as leverage with Google or as their exit strategy. If Apple isn’t quite ready to cut the cord with Google they could use an agreement with Microsoft to gain concessions from the search giant. Rumors have circulated about how much Google is paying Apple for relatively exclusivity on the iPhone platform but no hard numbers have ever been revealed. With Bing in their back pocket, Apple could sting their former friends in Mountain View with demands for more money or other concessions to maintain that exclusivity, or at least primacy, in the operating system. By the same token, Apple may well have decided the end has come for their partnership with Google and be readying a phased exit strategy. They’ll gradually introduce Bing-based services into 4.0 and subsequent releases until all traces of Google have been removed. It may be hard to see the break up happen but it may be time and best for both companies to go their separate ways.

What do you think of the Apple – Microsoft negotiations? Will the inclusion of Microsoft services help or hinder the iPhone OS? Do you Google or Bing? We’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject.

]]> 2 Apple Seeds iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4 to Developers. New Features Wed, 19 May 2010 15:40:52 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 4 is now available for developers.. This is usual on alternate Tuesdays in the lead up to an iPhone OS launch. Releases may accelerate to every Tuesday as we get closer to WWDC, and the official final release of date.

We will of course keep you updated on what people discover in the new SDK in coming days / weeks.

So far it seems that developers have found some swanky new wallpapers for the new iPhone OS, and also some tell tale dialog changes which seem to suggest AT&T customers may finally be getting tethering.

Of course there is no detail of the costs that may well be incurred for activating that service. It’s likely that AT&T feel more comfortable doing this now that they have technology in place for the iPad which limits video download quality over 3G. Expect that to be put in place for the iPhone also.

Are you excited to finally be perhaps be getting Tethering for your iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

iPhone OS 4 tethering iPhone OS 4 Wallapers iPhone OS4 Wallapers 1 ]]> 0 Apple Patent Suit against Kodak. ITC to Investigate Fri, 14 May 2010 18:50:26 +0000 Read More]]> In a move reminiscent of HTC’s recent patent counter-suit against Apple (AAPL), Apple itself is fighting back against a patent claim made against them by Kodak, by filing it’s own counter-suit.

This is also a similar strategy to the one that Apple employed when sued by Nokia for allegedly infringing the Finnish company’s mobile handset patents.

Apple was originally hit with a suit by Kodak for various imaging patents it claims Apple infringed on. The ITC agreed to look into Kodak’s claim in February of this year.

The two patents that Apple cites in its counter suit are :

What is interesting about this pairing is that I have to wonder if it has any bearing on the lack of cameras we are seeing in iPods and iPads.

And how does the timing of this suit work with the upcoming more advanced camera in the new iPhone 4G, and imaging technology going into iPhone OS 4.0?

It seems that when the big boys get involved in Patent Suits the idea is to stack up all your various claims against one another and then play top-trumps to see what compromise can be reached.

Expect lawyers to get rich from this, and it to all probably be settled out of court.

Does Apple have a case? Or is this simply a tactic, similar to HTC’s, to try and back Kodak off? Let us know in the comments.

[AppleInsider] ]]> 1 Apple Rejects iPhone Wi-Fi Sync App Fri, 14 May 2010 18:29:13 +0000 Read More]]> We reported last month about Greg Hughes’ iPhone WiFi app which allows you to sync wirelessly with iTunes much the same way as you do normally over USB. At the time, with the scant details available about the app, and Greg’s assertion that he was not “break[ing] any rules” we were positive, overall, about its prospects at getting approved by Apple.

Apparently the iPhone Wi-Fi Sync app communicates via a desktop client app, and the two work together to talk to iTunes, and spoof it into thinking it is connected to a device via USB in some way. There are various ways this can be done. But the end effect is an iPhone, iPod or iPad is talking to iTunes using the protocols it is supposed to.

At the time I had this to say:

Being pessimistic I can certainly see Apple taking a close look at how this desktop client bridges the connect between iTunes and the iPhone, and how the files are transferred. But it is certainly possible it is not breaking any rules that Apple has set, or are that concerned about enforcing. But app approvals are a rocky unpredictable road sometimes with Apple. And reasons given for rejection are not always very clear or transparent initially.

Even though we were optimistic about Wi-Fi Sync’s chances we always knew Apple would take a long hard look at it. And when they did, they rejected it.

Engadget have spoken to Greg and quote his version of the explanation he got from an unnamed Apple representative.:

While he agreed that the app doesn’t technically break the rules, he said that it does encroach upon the boundaries of what they can and cannot allow on their store. He also cited security concerns.

So there you have it. Clear as mud. But not a huge surprise.

Greg has subsequently released the App for $9.99 on the Cydia network. If your iPhone is jailbroken and you want this functionality it’s available there now.

Are you disappointed that Apple rejected this? Can we perhaps expect this to be provided by Apple in iPhone OS 4.x in future? Or not? Let us know in the comments.

[Engadget] ]]> 0 Apple Incorporating Facebook into iPhone OS 4? Thu, 13 May 2010 17:37:40 +0000 Read More]]> Rumors are surfacing again that Apple (AAPL) are working with Facebook to integrate some of the social network’s functionality directly into iPhone OS 4. Business Insider are reporting that this will be announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote on June 7, 2010.

The least we will see, apparently, is the ability to pull Facebook contacts into your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch directly from Facebook. But as Business Insider themselves say, this is a no-brainer. It’s little different than Apple offering automatic setups for Yahoo and GMail email accounts, for example.

It’s interesting to note that this last week or so Facebook have been busy altering some aspects of the way their security and privacy works. Quite often to the chagrin of their users, as things have not always gone smoothly (if Tweets I am seeing are anything to go by). I have to wonder if this is partly because of pressure that Apple may have put on Facebook before they commit, and the short time frame to the WWDC.

Other sources say that it’s possible that we may see some Facebook integration into the iPhone SDK, so that app developers can integrate social networking features more easily directly into their products.

Another rumor is some kind of Facebook messaging integration, or even a feature that ties phone caller info and Facebook profiles together.

It is worth noting, as Business Insider also point out, that Apple’s iPhoto app already offers Facebook features. And that some 34.2 million people were using the Facebook iPhone app as of last month. So it shouldn’t be surprising if the two companies decide to work together to some greater or lesser degree.

I am no fan of Facebook personally. But from a business perspective it seems Apple perhaps would be silly to ignore a service which is obviously so popular with the masses.

Will you welcome tighter Facebook integration on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

[businessinsider] ]]> 0 Apple responds to NPD’s Android sales figures Tue, 11 May 2010 17:14:18 +0000 Read More]]> Apple responds to NPD’s Android sales figures

The Loop got word from an Apple spokesperson today in regards to sales figures released by NPD yesterday on US smart phone sales for the first quarter of 2010.

Natalie Harison had this to say to The Loop :

This is a very limited report on 150,000 US consumers responding to an online survey and does not account for the more than 85 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide.

IDC figures show that iPhone has 16.1 percent of the smartphone market and growing, far outselling Android on a worldwide basis. We had a record quarter with iPhone sales growing by 131 percent and with our new iPhone OS 4.0 software coming this summer, we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.

There is no direct reference to the US sales figures in this rebuttal. But then NPD’s report doesn’t actually cover several other pertinent details. So I’d say that is fair enough. Especially, as we noted yesterday, that this report may not be as accurate as it claims to be.

The Loop and Technologizer point out, on Apple’s behalf, that smart phones other than those made by Apple are being offered in deals such as buy-one-get-one-free, and even from Amazon for as little as 1 cent.

There is no doubt that one of the reasons US sales of Android are on the rise is because they are available on networks which are more popular than the only network the iPhone is available via. US consumers can only hope that Apple address this. But Android and RIM smartphones are also being offered at bargain bucket prices in the US, whilst the iPhone is not, and never has been. Apple obviously don’t feel the need.

And when you look at their market share globally it is easy to see why.

Do you think it is crucial for Apple to get the iPhone on another network (Verizon?) as well as AT&T? Sure we’d all love cheaper toys, but should they join battle with Android and RIM and slash their iPhone prices? Or are they doing just fine with their current pricing model? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 0 iPhone OS 4 Beta brings new spelling features Sat, 08 May 2010 21:54:16 +0000 Read More]]> Developers are reporting that the new iPhone OS 4 beta will add new iPad-style spelling correction features to Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch.

OS 4 for iPhone will let users touch a word that is misspelt and then replace it with a suggested one. An incorrect word is underlined in red (a feature which exists in Mac OS X) and the correct suggested words are in blue. You simply tap the one you want to use and it replaces the word with one touch of the button.

These features are currently available only on iPhone OS 3.2 for iPad. iPhone OS 4.0 is expected to be released this summer.

Earlier this week we reported iPhone OS 4 beta 3 added software support for ‘orientation lock‘ and various references which suggest iPhone 4G will support HD video recording. You can follow our iPhone OS 4 coverage here.


[AppleInsider] ]]> 0 More details about Apple’s ‘iWallet’ plans emerge Wed, 05 May 2010 06:39:17 +0000 Read More]]> We reported last month about some of Apple’s (AAPLplans to turn the iPhone into your day to day device for financial transactions. In effect making it an “iWallet”.

We also theorised that their purchase of Siri would allow them to integrate purchases into a new kind of search engine as part of the iPhones OS.

Plans and Patents that Apple have seem to point towards the ability to fund your iPhone from a bank account or credit card, perhaps through iTunes, and then use it to buy plane tickets, concert tickets and other items or services.

Once at checkin at an airport, or the ticket turnstiles of a concert an NFC (Near Field Communications) antenna, which Apple has a method for implanting into touch screens, will allow transactions / tickets to be verified.

Now it seems Apple may be getting ready for yet another acquisition. That of Santa Clara based ViVOtech. A Contact-less/near field communications (NFC) payment systems software specialist.

Also yesterday a Press Release from Visa had this to say :

Visa Inc. and DeviceFidelity, Inc. are working to allow Apple iPhone(TM) users to make payments by simply waving their iPhone in front of a contactless payment terminal. The new technology, developed by DeviceFidelity and certified by Apple, combines a protective iPhone case with a secure memory card that hosts Visa’s contactless payment application, called Visa payWave. The technology will work for both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G devices.

Apple seem to be well advanced in their plans to make the iPhone our credit card of the future.

Are you excited to be able to use your iPhone to pay for things? Or does the security of all this worry you? Let us know in the comments.

]]> 0 Apple iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 3 Adds ‘Orientation Lock’ Tue, 04 May 2010 20:35:21 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone OS 4 Beta 3 Orientation Lock

We recently reported that Apple has released the iPhone OS 4.0 beta 3 and now Gizmodo is reporting their experience with the new beta and some new features.

iPhone OS 4 Beta 3 has improved the overall stability of the OS and also restores the ability to take screenshots which was missing in the earlier build. The update makes closing apps in the multitasking drawer easier by allowing you to close multiple apps at once.

The iPad has a dedicated hardware button for orientation lock as reading on the device could be quite frustrating if the device changed its orientation when you changed your angle of reading. iPhone OS 4 will add iBooks app and in order to counter the same issue on iPhone and iPod touch the beta 3 version of iPhone Os 4 adds software support for Orientation Lock.

Have you spotted any undocumented feature in iPhone OS 4 beta 3? Feel free to email us screenshots of any new features you find.

[Gizmodo] ]]> 0 Apple adds ‘Gmail Archive’ to iPhone OS 4 Fri, 23 Apr 2010 04:28:24 +0000 Read More]]> GMAIL archive iPhone OS 4

Apple have added a Gmail “Archive” feature to the iPhone’s native Mail app. It works in a similar way to “Delete”, in that you swipe the mail you want to archive, but choose to archive instead of delete.

Seeing as Gmail accounts have “unlimited” space for archiving to this seems like a neat addition.

The Mail app will bring significant improvements in iPhone OS 4. You will also be able to manage your email accounts in a unified inbox, switch between inboxes more quickly, organize messages by threads, and even open attachments in third-party apps.

What other minor feature bumps are you hoping will show up in iPhone OS 4.0? Let us know in the comments.

[9to5Mac] ]]> 0 Lost iPhone 4G Prototype Is Real. Apple Reacts Tue, 20 Apr 2010 12:25:35 +0000 Read More]]> Apple iPhone 4G Prototype Real

Apple iPhone 4G Revealed [Update 3]

So it’s all over bar the wailing and screaming.

It turns out that Gizmodo had this iPhone 4G prototype for a week. They bought it for US$5000 from a guy who “found it in a bar”. Apparently it had iPhone OS 4.0 on it at that point, but was quickly disabled by Apple so that only a very high resolution iTunes sync screen could be seen. And yet in all the time Gizmodo had it they didn’t manage to make one shot of that screen? A lot of things there just don’t add up.

There are rumors that Steve Jobs spoke off the record with Gizmodo asking for the device to be returned. But they are just rumors.

Finally though Apple Senior VP and General Counsel Bruce Sewell sent a letter to Gizmodo asking for the device to be returned. This is the final confirmation that this is indeed a device of some sort that does originate from Apple.

The questions we need to ask now are:

Is this anything like the iPhone 4G or iPhone HD we expect to see in June / July? Bearing in mind that shots of this phone have been around since February I am not convinced that it is the final design. Apple are known to make many iterative design changes, and many prototypes, leading up to a final product definition.

Will Apple take action against Gizmodo? Even Gizmodo’s email back to Apple is strange, and somewhat disingenuous. They refer to the prototype iPhone as “stolen”, whereas Apple’s letter gives no indication of this information. So when did Gizmodo learn that it was stolen if they had not spoken to Apple before? And if they knew it was stolen, and have not spoken to Apple before now, they have broken the law?

Gizmodo have also posted a veritable novel where they publicly crucify the Apple employee who “lost” the phone, and give lots of background, without elaborating on their own involvement. They have technically received stolen property knowingly. But proving that the original guy who “found” the phone “stole” it is going to be hard, as he did allegedly try to contact Apple and even got a “ticket number” from them. Unfortunately for Apple the message didn’t seem to make it to the upper echelons of the company. And although Gizmodo bought the iPhone prototype they have always said it was Apple’s and all Apple had to do was ask for it back.

I wonder if Apple will take this any further. Personally I doubt it. But what was a low level employee doing with sensitive equipment off campus? On the one hand this kind of suggests this is a very old prototype. Perhaps even more goodness is yet to come in the real iPhone 4G?

We now know though, that an iPhone prototype exists which has a front and rear facing camera, a flash, a higher resolution screen, more than 64GB of on board storage, and perhaps a different kind of casing from any previous iDevice.

Do you think this it the iPhone we will see in June or July? Let us know in the comments.

Letter from Apple to Gizmodo :

apple legal iPhone 4G to gizmodo

[Gizmodo] [Image] ]]> 6 iPhone OS 4.0 3G Special multitasking “hacked” edition Sat, 17 Apr 2010 05:13:26 +0000 Read More]]> We predicted that multitasking would not be available on earlier iPhone devices, and were correct. Even still I was personally a little insulted by Apple’s statement that earlier hardware simply can’t support it. That statement taken in its broadest terms could be seen as true, but overall the statement is disingenuous.

It must have had a similar effect on the various hacking teams out there too..

The iPhoneDevTeam have rushed a preliminary beta of their redsn0w jailbreaking tool out. It’s certainly not their usual consumer orientated click and jailbreak solution, and as such it is aimed at experienced developers who operate on the fringes of the developer community. This jailbreak is not for the faint of heart, and will update bits of your iPhone that are not easy to fix and rollback to a previous iPhone OS version. You have been warned.

The idea is that this release by the hacker community gives developers who work on apps which are sold outside the Apple AppStore an opportunity to prepare their apps for the new iPhone OS.

Most noticeably though, this jailbroken version of iPhone OS 4.0 runs multitasking just fine on the iPhone 3G.

Sure, memory is a legitimate argument against multi-tasking on the 3G iPhone. It has 128MB of RAM as opposed to 256MB on all newer iDevices. However, the iPad (Apple’s newest iDevice) has potentially similar issues to the 3G due to the amount of extra RAM it uses both for apps and for its larger screen.

Here is a video if the jailbreak for those that like that kind of thing :

Would you consider jailbreaking your iPhone 3G for multitasking alone? Let us know in the comments..

]]> 0 Apple drops unpopular “Rate on Delete” for iPhone OS 4.0 Apps Thu, 15 Apr 2010 17:06:59 +0000 Read More]]> Some developers who have been trying out iPhone OS 4.0 have noted that the “Rate on Delete” “feature” is not present in the new operating system.

This “feature” has been a controversial facet of the iPhone OS for some time. With a lot of developers feeling that the score people gave to their apps when deleting them may be arbitrary at best, and possibly vindictive at worst. So I doubt it will be missed by people with apps to sell.

It possibly will not be missed by users either, who may have even vented their frustration at another step to go through when removing an app, against the app they were deleting. In any case rating an app when you delete it, for any reason, is probably not the best time to do it – for anybody concerned. I am sure Apple have seen this in their own metrics.

It’s clear to see the “Rate on Delete” does not really work if you scroll through top apps in the App Store. Even supremely popular apps like “Tap Tap Revenge 3″ have almost the same number of 1 star ratings as they do 5 star ratings. And both the 1 and 5 star ratings are an order of magnitude larger than any intermediate scores. Very clearly not representative.

What’s your view on “Rate on Delete”? Will you miss it? Or was it an additional step in app removal you found tiresome?

Let us know in the comments.

]]> 1 Apple’s iPhone HD / 4G to be Revealed in June during WWDC? Wed, 14 Apr 2010 19:54:30 +0000 Read More]]> iPhone HD 4G WWDC 2010

With the iPad publicly available and the iPhone OS 4.0 out in the open, the only remaining item anticipated from Apple this year is the new revision of the iPhone hardware. Rumored to be called the iPhone HD, this new phone will now be the object of rumor and speculation until it goes public as well. As has been the case with past iPhone announcements, a new version of the software was revealed in the Spring and now a new version of the hardware should come out in the summer. Rumors surfacing today would seem to confirm Apple will hold to that schedule.

According to Apple and iPhone community site, Apple has reserved the same convention center they’ve used to announce previous iPhone versions for June 22nd. Although no official dates have been released yet for WWDC, this is within the usual timeframe of the Apple developer’s conference where the iPhone has been revealed in the past. If you get out your calendars you’ll also notice June 22nd is a Tuesday so that meshes with Apple’s modus operandi as well. While at this point we’re still doing a lot of reading of the tea leaves; the fact this date has been reserved, it falls within the usual dates of WWDC, and it’s on a Tuesday are fairly strong circumstantial evidence. I think it will be a pretty safe bet we’ll see a new iPhone on that day.

It should be very interesting to see what Apple does bring to the table in the new iPhone hardware. Much speculation has centered around what the new hardware will integrate. Judging from recent rumors of references to iChat in iPhone OS 4.0 the much desired forward facing camera is a lock. The new iPhone will also probably leverage the Apple-designed A4 system-on-a-chip currently powering the iPad. And of course, what will make this iPhone “HD”? With many of its competitors starting to make use of OLED and AMOLED screens, it is thought the new iPhone will get an upgrade in the display department.

Are you anticipating the new iPhone? Will the combination of upgraded hardware and software place the fourth generation iPhone back at the top of the smartphone market? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

[Image] ]]> 8 Apple’s First Generation iPhone to be retired Mon, 12 Apr 2010 22:51:26 +0000 Read More]]> At the iPhone OS 4.0 “Sneak Peek” the original iPhone was conspicuous by it’s lack of a mention. The 3G was mentioned, but only in terms of it’s version of iPhone OS 4.0 being unable to multi-task.

Today Steve Jobs, who has been quite busy emailing from his own iPhone recently, replied to a customer enquiring about the future of the original iPhone. In his characteristically short reply he confirmed that the first version of our beloved iDevice family will not get iPhone OS 4.0, and will not get any further updates going forward.

Sorry, no.
Sent from my iPhone

I have to wonder how long it will be before we see iPhone OS 4.0 hacked to run on the first iPhone. There is absolutely nothing making it technically impossible. And we’ve already seen that the iPhone 3G is capable of running iPhone OS 4.0 with multitasking enabled : []

Would you break away from Apple and jailbreak your original iPhone to get OS 4.0 goodness? Or to have your 3G multi-task? Let us know in the comments We promise not to tell Steve!

[] ]]> 0 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 Jailbreak Confirmed (Video) Sat, 10 Apr 2010 09:21:59 +0000 Read More]]> We reported yesterday that iPhone OS 4.0 had either been jailbroken already, or was on the verge of being jailbroken : []

Well overnight iPhone Dev Team member MuscleNerd (@MuscleNerd) managed to complete the jailbreak, and released a video online of his exploits:

In the video we can see a VNC server running on the new iPhone OS 4.0 Developer only Beta release, and his ability to remotely connect, view and control his iPhone from his computer.

We need to remember two things here though :

Firstly, Apple have released this version of iPhone OS 4.0 way ahead of any official launch of the new mobile OS. So they are unlikely to show their hand with any new protection measures, and give hackers advance time to try and work on exploits ready for the official release.

Secondly, the jailbreakers are aware that if they show their hand by making this hack public Apple will certainly plug it before any new release. That is assuming they (Apple) are not already aware of the exploit being used, and don’t plan to plug it anyway.

So don’t expect this to become a publicly available jailbreak solution any time soon. The game of cat & mouse between Apple and Jailbreakers continues. Right now it’s a kind of stalemate.

Let us know your views on these “naughty” hackers, and “oppressive” Apple in the comments.

]]> 2 iPhone OS 4 SDK Hints At Improved Hardware Fri, 09 Apr 2010 20:55:47 +0000 Read More]]> We have the iPad and iPhone OS 4.0. The only major item of speculation left for this year is the new iPhone. It is widely expected new iPhone hardware will be introduced at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) some time this summer. Thanks to some digging by MacRumors and TUAW it now appears a bit more of the new hardware has been revealed.

High on the wish list of many tech pundits and Apple fans has been video conferencing on the iPhone. Many had hoped the iPhone 3GS would implement a forward facing camera but it ultimately did not. What MacRumors has discovered are references to the front facing cameras interspersed in the new 4.0 SDK. Independently, TUAW discovered a process running in the new code called iChatAgent. iChat is Apple’s video chat application that runs on Mac OS. These two pieces together would seem to suggest the long awaited video conferencing capability is on its way.

A dual camera iPhone would have important implications for both the general consumer and enterprise user. Mobile video conferencing would be a differentiating application no current competitor has. If it could be implemented on a more powerful iPhone with the same style and functionality all Apple products carry, it would certainly be another feather in the iPhone’s cap. Apple’s focus this year on adding hardware and software features to the iPhone is also indicative of their realization the competition is getting closer. While no one is yet ready to say Android and Android handsets are an equal of the iPhone environment, Android 2.1 is a world closer to being competitive with the iPhone than earlier versions like 1.5 and 1.6. Apple saw its edge in the 80s lost to Microsoft in the computer operating system space, it isn’t willing to lose the smartphone space to competitors like Android. Its good to see Apple respond instead of resting on previous success.

What do you think of Apple innovating the iPhone platform? Will the software and hardware features being built into the new iPhone allow it to remain the standard for smartphones? Would you be more compelled to wait and buy a new iPhone this summer instead of getting a phone available now? Leave us a comment and let us know.

]]> 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.

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