Archive for April, 2010

Apple acquire A4 chip maker to continue innovation

Steve Jobs (SEO of Apple Inc.) recently announced that Apple is the larged mobile device manufacturer in the world, beating the likes of Samsung, Sony and Nokia.

Apple have recently acquired  Intinsity (a small Texan company), the manufacturers for the speedy A4 chip inside the guts of the iPad.  This means that Apple will be able to strive for even faster hardware inside of their mobile devices.

Full article on this, see here.

Microsoft develop Windows Live Messenger for iPhone

Microsoft’s ever so popular instant messaging service is said to be available for the iPhone as early as June 2010.

The app will make use of photo sharing features, a social stream and Windows Live Wave.  Presumably the application will be free, leaving many existing iPhone MSN client developers out of pocket.

Application to wirelessly sync your iPhone with iTunes

iTunes sync over wifi is a commonly requested feature which should perhaps have already been implemented into the iPhone OS by Apple.  However, it has recently been implemented by a developer to remotely sync photos, music and applications with your iTunes PC/Mac.

This video on YouTube shows the developed application working, it appears to some how emulate a USB connection across WiFi.  iPhoneConnection suspect that Apple may already be working on this technology, or may even adapt this funcality as they previously have done with other Apple features (for example, Coverflow).

According to sources, the developer is to submit his application to the app store for review next week.

Cooking on gas: First Jamie Oliver, now Nigella iPhone App

You have probably seen the Jamie Oliver recipes app charting in the App Store over the last few months.  Following it’s success, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has placed some of her favourite meal recipes on the iPhone and iPod touch.

The application developed for Nigella has quickly hit the #2 position in the lifestyle category of the Apple App Store, pushing the naked chef (Jamie) down to #3.

The application is on sale for £4.99 and has the facility to create recipes based on what you have available in the fridge (very green indeed!)

Adobe admits defeat to iPhone/iPad

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but Adobe have finally given up all hope for the iPhone/iPod and iPad devices, after being “banned” by Apple.

Recently, Apple changed their developer agreement, prohibiting the use of third party tools to construct iPhone applications (including the heavily invested CS5 iPhone Exporter).

Apple have reason not to include Flash on their devices because it’s now said to be almost obsolete, with the rise of HTML5 to allow video/audio and animation: a feature which is heavily supported in Mobile Safari.

Adobe have said: “We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.”, instead they will focus their attention on the competing smart phone, Google Android.

New iPhone 4G prototype found lost in a bar!

Apple are renowned for their ability to keep secrets, but that may have all changed!

A report on the popular geek blog website gizmodo reports to have found the a lost iPhone 4G in a bar in Redwood City (California).

The phone itself was cleverly disguised as an iPhone 3G in order to prevent attracting attention.

New Features

  • Front facing camera (as rumoured!)
  • Improved back camera (larger lens)
  • Camera flash (finally!)
  • Micro-SIM rather than a regular SIM card
  • Improved display
  • Secondary mic
  • Split buttons for volume control
  • Power, mute and volume buttons are metalic

Whats Changed

  • The back is flat (unlike the iPhone 3G/S) and made of glass/shiney plastic
  • The screen is smaller but has a higher resolution
  • Everything is square
  • 3 grams heavier
  • 16% larger battery
  • Internal components are smaller

Apparently, the phone was remotely “killed” by Apple one they discovered that it was missing, so Gizmodo were unable to get the phone working.

Images courtesy of Gizmodo.

Marketing your iPhone application after development

We’ve put together some invaluable marketing and advertising tips for your iPhone/iPad application.

Social Networks

Twitter

Create a Twitter account for your publishing name or applications.  There are many different tools you can use to help you with this, see twitter tools.  (n.b. recent stats show Twitter gets around 18 billion searches a month, there must be some of those people with iPhones, right?!)

You must BE ACTIVE on Twitter, communicate with your fans and you will see your followers grow and grow.

Facebook

Create a Facebook fanpage and get your friends to join.  Update your fan page with screenshots of your apps and post updates/competitions on your feed/wall.

The Web

Blogging

Create a small marketing website/blog for your application, make sure you submit the URL for the website in with your App Store submission.  You could use wordpress.com for this (free) or tumblr.com (also free)

Forums

Spread the word on iPhone/iPad related forums.  This takes time but it’s free!

YouTube

Post videos of your app in use on YouTube.  It’s a great way to give your reviews a visual experience of your application and has an insane amount of traffic (approx. 200 million videos watched per day).

Get Beta Testers

Put your application on a beta tester website (such as iBetaTest.com), release the application to a small group of beta testers to generate some interest in your app.  The testers just might tell their friends or kindly post a link on their Twitter/Facebook feed.

Submit your app to review sites

Many sites will review your application for free, try a google search for “iPhone Review” and try a few of them.  You could even offer them a promo code.

Pay up $$££

Pay for your app to be featured on high traffic websites such as http://www.iphonedevsdk.com, it’s usually quite inexpensive to get featured on these websites.

Other

Lite versions

Offer a lite (free) version of your app with limited functionality (restrict the levels/information/usage) and advertise the benefits of upgrading throughout your application.

Competitions

Create competitions with prizes (iTunes vouchers etc) and advertise within your Applications (it could be posting a video on YouTube using your app, signing up to your newsletter or achieving a high score).

Use your friends (if you have any)

Get your friends to submit reviews for your application.  Ask them nicely/bribe with beer to post a link to your website/app store page on their Twitter/Facebook feed.

Open Days

Make your application free for a day or maybe for the weekend.  The app might just get people talking!  It might be a good idea to contact blog owners/review websites and ask nicely for a review, while the app is free.

Eye candy

Make your app icon as attractive/eyecatching as possible.  This is the ONLY visual you will get when potential customers are scrolling through the app store on their iPhone/iPod Touch.

Use the best visuals you can on you app store description page (remember to upload the worst ones first and leave the best ones until last – for some reason the order they appear on the app store after uploading is reversed).

Promotion codes

Offer promotion codes to review websites in exchange for a review (this will only work on US accounts).  You can create promotion codes using iTunes Connect.

Be descriptive

Be sure to tag your app with useful keywords and list the unique selling points of your application in the app store description.

Play with your pricing

Review your competitors apps and get a feel for the price range to sell your app at. Traditionally, posting your app at a £0.59 starting price was a decent tactic but due to the number of apps within the App Store, the chances of getting spotted are minimum.  Don’t be afraid to sell your app for more than your competitors, your description should list all of the unique features to add weight to your app.

Aim for under 20mb

The maximum size of an application that can be downloaded through a 3G connection is currently 20mb (this may change in OS 4.0).  If you try to keep your application under 20mb (could be difficult, depending on your app) you will have a larger target audience.  If you app is over 10mb and the user only has a 3G connection, they will see a message asking them to buy the app later when on a Wifi connection.

Target the lowest platform

Make your app compatible with OS 2.0 if possible.  Recent reports show they many iPhones in the wild are STILL using version 2 of the iPhone OS.

Number crunching your iPhone profits with AppViz

If you’ve used iTunes Connect before (the standard sales reporting facilities provided by Apple), you will know that it’s not very good (to say the least!).

You may want to consider a powerful friend for your sales reporting needs: AppViz.

AppViz will display a list of all your applications for sale within the App Store and will report the following:

  • See your weekly/monthly/3 monthly/6 monthly/annual/total sales
  • Graphical reports to show sales trends
  • Revenue/profit to date
  • Overall review
  • Ability to see reviews from all territorial app stores
  • Upgrade figures

Currently, it’s available through the Ideaswarm website on 30 day trial and is just $29.95 after.  iPhoneConnection is not affiliated with Ideaswarm in any way, but it’s a tool you simply must try as a developer or app owner.

Leaked photos of the new iPhone 4G

This article is marked as obsolete, see real leaked photos here.

As always, there are many different “mockups” of future Apple products; but the image featured here is supposedly a “leaked” photograph of Apples latest and greatest version of the iPhone (4G: 4th Generation).

Apple have refused to confirm if the image in question is a prototype of the new iPhone 4G, but judging from the brushed metal design of the iPad, it may well be similar in appearance.

The speculation behind the new iPhone will soon be put to rest, since Apple will be revealing it’s creation in June 2010. The release of the iPhone 4.0 SDK last week suggests the new iPhone will feature an 8 megapixel camera, a flash and also a front facing camera for video conferencing.

Opera Mini for iPhone: 1 million downloads in 24 hours

The new addition of the iPhone application “Opera Mini” has seen a surge of downloads from all over the world within the first 24 hours of it’s release on the Apple App Store.

The application took three weeks for Apple to approve the application (which is already available on other mobile platforms, such as Android) and is not the only alternative browser for the iPhone.

Opera have not yet developed a version of the application for the iPad, but claim that the browser will work on the iPad too (it should do, since the iPad OS is virtually identical to the iPhone OS).

We at iPhoneConnection have test driven Opera Mini and have found that it’s super quick in comparison to Mobile Safari. Apparently, the images and scripting are subjected to compression in Opera’s cloud infrastructure, before being dispatched to your handset.