Archive for April, 2010

Apple iPad to cost 20% more in the UK

As we all know, the UK usually ends up getting stung when it becomes to the price of consumer electronics.  A recent report by VoucherCodes.co.uk has compared the cost of major Apple products (iPods/iPhones) and have discovered that the UK pays up to 21% more for our electronic products than our american counterparts.

The 16GB Wi-Fi iPad model was recently launched in the US costing $499, leaving we brits with a £399 price tag (including the 20% mark up).  That said, Apple have not yet released their pricing information and will only do so on the 10th May 2010, when it officially releases it for the UK.

Apple listen to developers by removing app rating prompt

The next version of the iPhone OS is said to remove the rating prompt users will see when they attempt to delete an application from their iPhone or iPad device.

In the past, developers have complained that the prompt negatively affects their rating within the app store as users will only be asked for a rating when they decide to delete the app (ie. when they don’t like it).  However, the iPhone OS doesn’t encourage users to give ratings at any other point (for example, for apps that are used frequently.

The App Store has a history of problems surrounding app reviews.  A little over a year ago, Apple modified their review policy, stating that reviews can only be made on app’s which have been downloaded (purchased) by the reviewer.

Furthermore, the App Store has faced problems with developers “buying” reviews or making reviews using dummy accounts.  This is commonly done by using “pre-paid mastercards”, allowing the developer to have many different iTunes accounts.

iPhone Safari browser vs Opera

A few days ago, Apple (much to our surprise!) agreed to letting a competitor browser within the App Store.

Opera Mini is a version of the popular Opera browser, which is available for Mac OS and for the PC.  Sources suggest that the Opera Mini achieves a much faster page load on the iPhone in comparison to Mobile Safari due to the way it caches and converts pages.  Opera Mini also uses a cluster of powerful services in a data centre to compress content originally designed for desktop browsers, in order to make the pages load faster on a mobile internet connection.

Apple clamps down on iPhone development tools

Up to now, developers for the iPhone have been able to create a broad range of apps for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad using third party tools.  However Apple have recently modified their developer license agreement to restrict using such tools in order to improve the quality of the applications appearing within the App Store.

However, many developers have argued Apples decision to do this, claiming that it is “limiting creativity”.  Apple counteracted the accusation stating that letting developers use tools other than Apple XCode would create “sub-standard apps” and hold back the overall progress of the iPhone.

We at iPhone Connection develop our applications using Apple XCode without using third party tools, reducing the concern of getting your application rejected when it comes to the reviewing process.

Apple planning to release 3D glasses: iSpec

Rumour has it that Apple may be developing 3D glasses (iSpecs?) in order to give people the same experience as 3D cinemas and TV.

Apple fan boys have already dubbed the specs “iSpecs” (although we a dubious about that one!) which will give users the illusion that the image is being watched in 3D at two different frame rates; one for each eye (known the geeks as “stereoscopic” glasses).

Apparently, the glasses will also vibrate during the film to enhance the cinematic experience and can easily be installed by plugging the iSpecs into the dock connector at the bottom of the iPhone or iPad touch (maybe even the iPad!).

iPad gets Jailbroken, a week after release

Many sources around the web suggest that the iPad has been hacked to run the “Blackra1n” jailbreaking software, allowing users to illegally download “cracked” applications from the App Store.

Although the sources may be only be hype, we suspect that it won’t be long before the iPad platform is hacked, given that the API is more or less identical to the iPhone OS.  Apple have recently taken measures to suspend accounts suspected to be downloading such software illegally, so watch out jailbreakers!

Twitter buys Tweetie developers

Tweetie is acquired by TwitterThe (very) successful Twitter application, Tweetie (+ Tweetie 2) for the iPhone and iPod touch has been purchased by Twitter.

Tweetie was developed originally by a single man developer (Atebits), which will now be working for Twitter to provide updates in the future.

Mobile Entertainment states that Tweetie will be renamed to “Twitter for iPhone” and will become a free download in the APple App Store (a big drop from it’s original price of $2.99).

However, it is said that the deal is highly controversial, since there are many other Twitter apps available (Tweetdeck, Echofon, etc) who may frown upon the competition from Twitter, especially if Tweetie can somehow get additional data (and an unlimited rate limit) from Twitter via a “closed” API.

iAd targets users by geo-location

iAd for iPhoneThe latest major update of the iPhone OS (4.0) unveiled iAd, Apples own advertisement API (via it’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless).  The API will allow iPhone /iPad developers to easily add advertisements into their apps, leaving Apple to handle the sales of the advertisements themselves.

As a result of including advertisements within apps, the owner of the application will receive a healthy 60% taking of the ad revenue.  During the iPhone OS 4.0 unveiling, Steve Jobs (SEO of Apple, Inc.) mentioned that there will soon be as many as 100 million devices using the iPhone OS around the world, stating that iAd addresses a “serious opportunity” and “doesn’t suck” like most iPhone advertising SDKs.

According to Steve Jobs, clicking on an iAd provided advertisement will be “safe” to the user as it leaves them inside the application (i.e. opening the advert target as a modal window, on top of the application).

We are very excited about this!  Almost as much as when Apple announced “InApp purchasing”!

Adobe fears business loss due to iPhone/iPad

It’s a well known fact that Apple and Adobe do not get on with each other, probably due to the fact that the introduction of Flash support for the iPhone/iPod/iPad will severely effect sales of games within the App Store (we all know plenty of websites which offer free flash games).

A recent report filed by Adobe mentions that the restrictions placed on the company states that it’s making it increasingly difficult for Adobe to survive, since customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies (HTML5?).

Mac Rumours mention that the filing comes just one day After the release of the iPhone OS 4.0 developer preview, which has a modified licensing agreement that prohibits the use of Adobe Flash Professional CS5 features (which allows Flash developers to export flash content to native iPhone format.

iBooks is coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch

iBooks is coming to the iPhoneAfter the big unveiling of the next version of the iPhone OS (4.0), Apple have announced that iBooks (an eBook reader originally designed for the iPad) will be available on iPhone OS 4.0 later this year.

The iPhone version will allow iPhone an iPod Touch users to purchase eBooks (much in the way they can purchase songs and apps) on the device itself.

The iBooks store will only work within the United States, but Apple will extend access internationally as the release date for the next iPhone creeps closer.

From a business perspective, the iBooks application will directly compete with the Amazon Kindle, which already offers 450,000 books.  The recent launch if the iPad in the United States has already produced iBook sales of up to 600,000 downloads.