Dead Zone Doldrums Test Skills of iPhone Customers

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, iPhone, Technology

Owners of iPhones know that their love for Steve Jobs’s touch-screen marvel comes at a price. The iPhone’s cellular coverage, provided exclusively by AT&T Wireless (NYSE: T – News), is notoriously spotty. In some parts of New York and San Francisco, it’s impossible to connect.
If you go for a dim sum lunch at Yank Sing restaurant on the edge of the financial district in San Francisco, you are likely to miss calls from the office. Some owners can’t use their iPhones in their own homes. Even AT&T Park, the city’s waterfront stadium, can be a dead zone.
The iPhone service is affected by several factors. First, AT&T’s 3G network doesn’t cover as much ground as Verizon (NYSE: VZ – News), America’s largest carrier. Second, urban areas packed with tall buildings are bad for wireless signals. Skyscrapers can block radio waves, or they can bounce them around to create what’s called multipath interference, where signals from different directions collide and cancel each other out.
But the iPhone’s worst enemy is the iPhone itself. So many Americans use them in the same places and at the same time that they are competing with one another for use of the network. “A hundred cellphones demanding bandwidth per cell site may not be out of the question in congested downtown areas,” said Tim Pozar, a wireless engineer who installs custom repeater systems to improve cellphone coverage at offices in the San Francisco area. IPhone owners have proved to be heavy consumers of network capacity.
What to do? There is no single magic bullet to improve iPhone service. You can spend hours trying to persuade AT&T to let you out of your contract. The time you spend doing that will cost more than the contract termination fee.
Knowing a few tricks might get you a connection. If your touch screen says “No Service,” the easiest fix is to hold the phone completely vertical, rather than slanted across your cheek. The iPhone’s antenna is meant to reach furthest if it is held straight up and down. If that doesn’t work, move. Indoors, walk to a window. Outdoors, cross the street.
For the newer 3G-capable iPhones, turning off the 3G in favor of AT&T’s older Edge network is sometimes effective. Go to the iPhone’s Settings icon. Tap General, then Network. Slide the Enable 3G toggle from On to Off. But you can’t talk and browse the Web at the same time on Edge.
Another alternative is to use a Wi-Fi hot spot to make calls. Skype, the popular Internet phone service, will make and take calls as long as you leave the app running and signed in. (Until an iPhone can multitask, that means you have to have the Skype app on all the time.) Calls with other Skype users are free, but calls to and from phones cost about two cents a minute. The app is available in the iPhone App Store.
Skype call quality varied in our tests from clear to sputtery, with a delay from one half-second to three or four seconds. Also, the app works only over Wi-Fi, so you will need to juggle between Skype and AT&T, depending on where you are.
Or, for $15 a month, you can subscribe to the Line2 app that mimics Apple’s phone in look and feel, but switches calls to a Wi-Fi network whenever the iPhone connects to one.
Line2 can start a call on AT&T’s 3G network and then transfer to Wi-Fi, whereas Apple won’t allow Skype to handle calls via AT&T. If left running, it will also receive inbound calls over Wi-Fi. (If Apple were to add a Wi-Fi option to the built-in Phone app, this wouldn’t be a problem.)
But for reliable service, there is no substitute for hardware that increases range. That is why AT&T has begun offering home 3G base stations that look like Wi-Fi routers, but send and receive 3G radio signals instead. These microcells, as AT&T calls them, connect to the Internet and offer wireless coverage of up to 40 feet in any direction. They work with any 3G AT&T phone, but not with Apple’s older non-3G model of iPhone.
The catch is that you will have to pay AT&T for the boost. There are two payment plans: If you buy the microcell for $150, AT&T will charge your voice calls made using the device against the minutes on your monthly wireless plan. Or you can sign up for unlimited calling for a $20 a month fee, and get the microcell free.
Many people consider it outrageous that AT&T isn’t handing out microcells to solve what they see as a problem that AT&T created. But you do get your own personal cellphone tower without needing the approval of your neighborhood’s opposition watchdog group.
AT&T’s microcell is built by Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO – News), a company with a reputation for solid network gear. Setup isn’t exactly plug-and-play, but it doesn’t require you to be a technician. You log in to attwireless.com — you’ll need to create an account if you haven’t already — and open a URL clearly labeled on a sticker that covers the microcell’s cable ports. Enter the microcell’s serial number and the 10-digit phone numbers of the iPhones you want it to serve. Then, as the instructions warn, you must wait up to 90 minutes while the microcell configures itself.
Call quality over the microcell was almost shockingly clear, ungarbled and free of the underwater sound that plagues many cellphone calls. You also might be less likely to experience the common many-second delays between your saying something and the other party’s hearing it. Cellular experts warn that delays and stuttering calls are still possible because these are caused by Internet traffic jams rather than the microcell.
If you make a call from inside the house and then walk outside, you can expect the microcell to reliably hand off the call to a local tower. Calls made outside, though, don’t transfer to the microcell when you get home. The only annoyance you may find with the AT&T unit is that whenever it is rebooted, as home networks sometimes are, it may take about 20 minutes to come back online.
AT&T’s solution will work for homes and small offices. But the company is clear that you can’t take it with you. It may not connect if plugged in somewhere else. So how to solve the restaurant dead-zone problem?
Mr. Pozar says the best fix is for the location to install its own repeater. For $1,000 to $5,000 in parts and labor, a hot dim sum spot could route calls through an outside antenna that connects to an inside amplifier.
That’s not cheap. But instead of a Free Wi-Fi sign, what better way to attract big spenders than one that says iPhone Hot Spot?

Apple Bites the Hand That Feeds it with New App Rules

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch, Technology

Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
The new iPhone Developer Program License Agreement includes the following text: “3.3.1–Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”
This is essentially checkmate in the chess match between Apple and Adobe (ADBE). However, checkmate comes at the end of a well-played match as a result of superior strategy and tactics. Apple’s move is more equivalent to throwing a tantrum, taking your chess board, and going home.
I understand this strategy. I see it on a regular basis in games between my young children and their friends. All of the kids can be playing with a ball and having fun, but if the other kids won’t play the game that the owner of the ball wants to play, or if the owner of the ball is not winning, that child will simply storm off and take the ball home with them.
It is effective, but there are no real winners. And, I am not sure how well the immature toddler tantrum translates as a business strategy. Ultimately, Apple’s decision to slam the door on alternate development platforms limits the potential capabilities of iPhone and iPad apps, and increases the effort developers need to invest in order to provide the same app across multiple platforms.
By banning Adobe, Apple may be biting the hand that feeds it, though. Apple and Adobe have had a symbiotic relationship that has been mutually beneficial. The Mac computer has always been perceived as a superior platform for graphic arts and design, and Adobe has provided the fuel to drive that engine with products like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adobe is set to release CS5–its flagship Creative Suite product–next week. One of the key features of the new software is Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler that enables developers to create an application in Flash, then package it for use on the iPhone–circumventing Apple’s lack of Flash support.
While restricting development to the Objective-C programming language effectively blocks Adobe’s flanking maneuver, and arguably helps Apple maintain the stability and consistency of apps with a minimum of effort, it also hinders what developers can achieve.
Facebook’s Joe Hewitt stated via Twitter “I’m upset because frankly I think Objective-C is mediocre and was excited about using other languages to make iPhone development fun again.”
Setting those considerations aside, Apple’s war with Adobe puts developers in a tough spot as well. Apple has managed to establish itself as the de facto App Store–meaning that it is virtually a requirement to at least create an app for the iPhone and iPad, but it is not the only platform.
Developers want tools that allow them to develop an app once, and repackage or redistribute it across multiple platforms such as Android, Windows Mobile, WebOS, PC, etc. Flash is fairly ubiquitous, so developers could create an app in Flash that would work across most platforms, then use the Flash-to-iPhone compiler to port it to the iPhone and voila!
Unfortunately, those compiled apps won’t ever see the Apple App Store because they violate the new rules. So, developers will have to create one app for the iPhone and iPad, and then develop the same app all over again for other platforms.
The move by Apple seems petty. There may be some benefit to Apple, but Adobe, app developers, and ultimately iPhone and iPad users all suffer as a consequence.

Sketch Nation Shooter iPhone App Lets You Draw Your Own Games

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Do you remember the OS X game SketchFighter, the shooter made from pencil drawings? Sketch Nation Shooter is certainly very similar, letting you draw your own levels, players, and even enemies. You pretty much design the game yourself!
It’s 99 cents / 59p, and from what I can tell sounds worth every cent. Or penny. It’s compatible with iPhones, iPod Touches and the iPad, and if you’re not feeling too creative then you can download other players’ attempts too. The game is apparently available on Facebook too, meaning you can send your lovingly hand-crafted game to Facebook players as well.
[iTunes Link]

Opera Mini Approved for Inclusion in App Store – Now Available

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPhone, iPod Touch

Opera today announced that its Opera Mini browser has been approved for inclusion in Apple’s App Store. Opera Mini is available on the App Store.
Opera Mini, with more than 50 million users worldwide, enables fast mobile Web browsing by compressing data by up to 90 percent before sending content to the device, resulting in significantly improved page loading. Users of the app will notice an uptake in speed, especially on slower networks such as the 2G Edge network. Surfing the Web with the Opera Mini App on iPhone and iPod touch will also help users save money because of its data compression capabilities. This will hold especially true while the user is incurring roaming charges.
Opera submitted its browser to Apple late last month and started a count-up timer to keep track of how long it had been in Apple’s hands for review. Some observers had wondered whether the browser would be accepted by Apple, as it directly competes with the mobile Safari browser application included with the iPhone and iPod touch.
Opera Mini is now available [iTunes link] in the App Store.

ABC Player for IPad Offers Free Full Episode Streaming

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, iPad, Technology

Want to catch up on the latest adventures of your favourite ABC program while you’re waiting at the departure terminal? With the ABC Player application for the iPad you’ll be able to do just that. And did we mention that it is entirely free?
We had an inkling that it was coming and that’s been confirmed as ABC has officially unveiled its iPad app on the App Store. ABC Player currently has about 20 of the network’s most popular shows, with the likes of Desperate Housewives, FlashForward, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Modern Family, and V making the list.
The app will allow you to browse through the shows and check out the network’s primetime television schedule. You’ll be able to watch full episodes for free, with a sprinkling of advertisements thrown in. However, video streaming is only supported over Wi-Fi. The app will maintain a history of the episodes you’ve watched and allow you to resume watching any of them from the point where you’d left off.
ABC Player is available on the App Store for free and is compatible with any iPad running iPhone OS 3.2 or later.

How To Develop A Simple iPhone App & Submit It To iTunes

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

The process to develop an iPhone app is not as hard or as simple as one might think. I am not a programmer, but wanted to see if I could teach myself how to develop an iPhone app. The news features all sorts of articles about kids as young as 9 that can make them. If they can do it, surely the rest of us can, too?
Like cooking, there is a bit of a process involved in “cooking” up an app. This article isn’t about your style of cooking, per se (i.e programming), but just the general steps necessary to get it from your head and into iTunes.
Creating an app isn’t entirely free, so it is important to know up front that, at some point in this process, you will be shelling out $99 (USD). Also, it is important to know up front that you will need to use a Mac at some point, and will need to use specific Mac-happy code to create your app.
Now that we have all seen the fine print, here are the exciting steps to app happiness!
Step 1: Craft A Brainy Idea
Have a unique idea for an app? There are, as you probably know, a trillion (OK, may not a TRILLION) apps out there. So what makes an app stand out? Why would anyone want to use your app? Why would they pay money for it if you are going to charge?
Be sure to check that there aren’t other apps that do the same thing that you are proposing. Or if you want to create something better than an app that already exists, think about how your idea will be better. Draw it out on paper or on the computer.
Step 2: Get A Mac
The iPhone is an Apple product and uses a variation of the Mac OS. Currently, the iPhone development tools are only available for Mac users (even though there is evidence of designing in jail break mode on a PC), but in order to get it up in the App Store, you will eventually need a Mac to get it there. You can buy a Mac mini relatively cheaply if you don’t have a Mac at your disposal.
Step 3: Register As An Apple Developer
To work with the Mac tools, you will need to become an official Apple Developer. Registration is free so you simply have to give them your information and agree to their terms. You only need to register once, and you are able to use the same username and password used for your iTunes account. Once you are an Apple Developer, you can develop iPhone apps for any of the Mac products.
Step 4: Download The Software Development Kit For iPhone (SDK)
Once you are an official developer, you can download the SDK for iPhone. The version you need depends on the OS you are currently running. This download is HUGE because it comes with all sorts of documentation, sample codes, and all sorts of things you will be glad to have later on. It could take a few hours, so you might want to start the download, put in a good movie, and wait.
ManiacDev is a really great site with TONS of information geared to both uber-newbies like me and tech gurus. Just start with the first video, watch and take notes as you go. Really and truly, these are the best tutorials I have found!
Step 5: Download XCode
If you don’t already have it, download XCode. According to Apple, “Xcode is a complete, full-featured IDE built around a smooth workflow that integrates the editing of source code, with the build and compile steps, through to a graphical debugging experience – all without leaving the view of your source code.” This is another huge download, so you might want to rent a second movie.
Step 6: Develop Your iPhone App With The Templates In The SDK
Once you have your app drawn out on paper or in Photoshop, you can start designing it with the templates provided in the SDK. This is where that HUGE amount of download time will be a huge benefit. You will have lots of templates to choose from, and there are a lot of great YouTube clip tutorials on how to use the templates effectively.
Step 7: Learn Objective-C For Cocoa
If you love programming languages, you will love Objective-C. If you don’t know how to program, this is the part that can get pretty sticky, so you might want to find a programmer friend or hire someone. It really does help to get a book, too, for reference.
Step 8: Program Your App In Objective-C
Once you at least understand the basics of Objective-C (or at least know how to find answers to programming questions), you are ready to program your app. It helps to take screenshots as you go along so you can remember what you tried. Some apps can take just a few hours to program while other Apps can take months. Only you know how much detail you want out there for its maiden voyage in the App Store!
Step 9: Test The App In The iPhone Simulator and on relevant devices
The SDK comes with a lovely iPhone Simulator. You will need to load up your app and do your own testing. You should try to work out as many bugs as possible and think about all the ways someone might use your app.
Step 10: Host A Bake Sale
Remember when I told you in the fine print that you would have to raise some cash? This is that moment. Sadly, loading an app into iTunes costs a one time member fee of $99 (USD). There is no way out of this fee, but you might earn it back in triplicate if your app is worthy! Truly though, you DO get a lot for your $99. For one, you get access to some of the coolest people on this side of Pluto!
Step 11: Have Others Test Your App
Once you pay your fee, you will be able to have others in the app community test your app and help you work out final bugs. This is a great community, and testing new stuff is lots of fun. If you are a newbie like me, you will be in awe of the kings and queens of geeky stardom. Depending on the nature and complexity of your app, this process can take some time.
Step 12: Submit Your App For Approval
After testing your app in the community and working out all the bumps, you can submit the app to iTunes for approval. You will be able to upload it right from the community. The process of approval can take some time, so be patient!
Step 13: Watch The Dough & Traffic Roll In!
If you created a paid app, just wait for the money to roll in to shore. If you created a free app, watch the traffic!

Essential Oil iGuide limited time SALE

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, iPhone, iPod Touch, Natural Healing, Physical, Psychological

************************************************
Celebrate Passover and Easter with us.
Essential Oil iGuide at the discounted price of 99c for a limited time (March 28, 2010 to April 6, 2010).
************************************************

iPhone App – Essential Oils iGuide

App Store

Screenshots

Summary

A few things to note:

Essential Oils iPhone App has been designed as a simple and easy to use guide for the average person wanting to add a little alternative options to their daily living.
The concept of the application is to provide you with access to 3 basic features.
A list of essential oils (and this is by no means all there is).

Some General Uses listed alphabetically.

Then we have created a group of Recipes that show the versatility and wondrous uses of Essential Oils.

A few things to be aware of:

The information provided in this application is for general information purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

General Safety Information:

Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin.
If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses.
It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you’ve never used before.

Apple Features iWork Applications for iPad

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, iPad

As information on the iPad continues to spill out from Apple in the wake of the launch of pre-orders in the U.S., more screenshots and feature information on iWork applications for the iPad have surfaced on Apple’s site. Announced alongside the iPad’s introduction in late January, iWork for iPad will offer multi-touch versions of Apple’s Keynote, Pages, and Numbers productivity applications priced at $9.99 each through the App Store.
Keynote features 12 Apple-designed themes for users to choose from as a basis for their presentations, as well as tap-to-add functionality supporting photos, video, shapes, tables, charts, and text. Items can be easily dragged, resized, or rotated using the iPad’s multi-touch technology. Keynote also supports animations, as well as routing to external video displays using an optional iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter.
Document editing on the iPad is performed using Pages, which offers 16 templates for easy creation of simple text documents, newsletters, brochures, flyers, and other content. In landscape mode, Pages offers a large on-screen keyboard that enables rapid text entry, which is also facilitated by the iPad’s auto-correct feature that corrects spelling, inserts punctuations, and suggests words. Finally, Pages offer a number of page layout tools, allowing users to add and resize images, create lists, format text, and set margins, tabs, headers, and footers.
For Numbers, Apple highlights the 16 included templates for spreadsheet formatting, table functionality with automatic sum, min, max, and count display for data selections, and simple forms for easily entering data on the go and automatically updating spreadsheets. Finally, Numbers offers high-quality charts in a number of different styles that can be copied and pasted into Pages or Keynote documents, and multiple intelligent keyboard layouts to allow users to take full advantage of Numbers’ more than 250 functions.
All iWork applications for the iPad support import of their respective traditional iWork file formats, as well as the corresponding Microsoft Office formats. Users have the option of exporting their finished documents in iWork, Office, or PDF formats.

AdWords and iPhone apps: lessons learned

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Applications, Google, Internet, iPhone

Found this incredible article on the internet:
via WeAreUproar
We built Gratuitous in order to learn about developing and selling iPhone applications. We’re always looking for ways to improve our visibility in the App Store. Recently, though, we’ve been looking for ways to increase our visibility from outside the App Store into the App Store.
AdWords to the rescue! Right? Maybe not. AdWords didn’t work out for Gratuitous, so we quickly changed course and moved on. But I’d like to share our findings with you
Keyword Pricing
We didn’t know anything about AdWords when we started, so we kicked it off with default settings. We typed up our ad title and body, and hit “go.” The default setting in AdWords is to optimize for impressions (how many times an ad is displayed) by automatically bidding on clicks. For our keywords (iphone tip calculator), the bid went to $2-3 per click. While that may not be bad for a lot of products, it doesn’t make sense for an iPhone app that sells for $1-2. Even if you were able to get the cost per click down to $0.50 – $1, remember that an ad click doesn’t guarantee a purchase – far from it.
So, we switched over to manual pricing. We figured if we could get some clicks for $0.10 – $0.15, then they might be worth it. At that price, we didn’t see enough ad impressions to be worth our time. When bidding high we saw 3 clicks for 10,000 impressions. At 10 cents, the impressions went down to just a few per day. There is no way we’re going to see enough clicks to make that worth our while. If you’re selling a $10 app, then AdWords might be worth looking at.
Copyright and “Limited” Distribution
When we first submitted our ad, it went into review by the AdWords team because it included the word “iPhone.” It’s kind of hard to sell an iPhone app without saying “iPhone,” so we trusted that Google would see that our use of the term “iPhone” was an instance of fair use. After a few days, our ad was approved, but was marked as “Approved (limited).” Limited, to Google, means US-only. That was good enough for us, so we left it as is. If you need ad distribution outside the U.S. you can email Apple and ask them to approve your use in AdWords. Email lwidup@apple.com with your AdWords account number and a nice, friendly note.
Moving on
It’s pretty obvious that AdWords isn’t going to work out for Gratuitous, but apps are only part of our business. “Apps for your life. Consulting for your business.” Instead of advertising Gratuitous, we’re now trying AdWords as a way to generate leads for our consulting service. This is agile business. We tried something, quickly evaluated the results, and adjusted strategy decisively.
I resisted the temptation to spend a bunch of time becoming an expert in AdWords and going in 100%. There may be a way to make AdWords increase Gratuitous sales a bit, but it’s not worth our time. It’s clear that AdWords will not sell thousands of dollars worth of Gratuitous, so the experiment is concluded and we move on and adjust strategy. As a small business owner, I knew I needed to be quick and just test the waters. You’re going to do a lot of new things as a small business owner. Having a good sense for what to spend time on and what to do “just good enough” will be very valuable.

Rupert Murdoch Confirms Plans for Wall Street Journal iPad Application

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Internet, iPad

The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription required) on comments from Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of parent company News Corp., who noted that the newspaper will be present on the iPad and that Apple has provided the company with access to one of the tablet devices. The newspaper’s iPad device is apparently kept under very tight security overseen by Apple itself.
Mr. Murdoch said the Journal planned to be on Apple Inc.’s iPad tablet computer. “In fact, we’ve been allowed to work on one, and it’s under padlock and key. The key is turned by Apple every night,” he said in response to a question. “But we will be on that with The Wall Street Journal.” Mr. Murdoch said he believed in a year or so there will be a half dozen or more devices on which consumers will be able to receive newspapers and other media.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently traveled to meet with executives at The Wall Street Journal and other publications in order to sell them on the promise of the iPad. Jobs’ visit to the Journal also reportedly included arguments against the use of Flash on Apple’s mobile devices, making the case to newspaper executives that they should embrace alternative technologies.

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes