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.

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.

Apple Releases iPad Tablet, New SDK, iBooks and iWork Apps

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

At today’s highly-anticipated media event, Apple announced the iPad tablet device, featuring a 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 display and 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB capacities. Carrying a custom 1 GHz “Apple A4″ chip, the iPad weighs in at 1.5 pounds and is .5-inch thin. The iPad will be priced at $499, $599, and $699 for the varying capacity models without 3G, and $629, $729, and $829 with 3G. Wi-Fi only models are scheduled to ship in 60 days, with 3G-capable model shipping in 90 days. A video preview is also available.

In terms of standard connectivity, the iPad offers Wi-Fi (802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, with 3G models also offering cellular data connectivity. All iPad models have an accelerometer, compass, speakers, a microphone, and a 30-pin dock connector. The iPad also offers a claimed 10 hours of battery life for viewing video, with 1 month of standby battery life.
Models with 3G will be unlocked and will be able to use GSM micro SIMs. In the U.S., AT&T will offer two data plan options ? $14.99 for up to 250 MB per month and $29.99 per month for unlimited data. No contract is required for either option, and free access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi hot spots is included. Data packages for iPad users outside of the U.S. will by in place by June.
The iPad will have standard apps for personal information management, including an address book and calendar, along with e-mail, Safari, Google Maps, and Notes. A special version of iTunes is also on board to provide an optimized browsing experience on the device’s 9.7-inch screen.
Accessories will also be available for the iPad, including a dock with a mechanical keyboard that will accommodate the iPad in portrait orientation and a case with a built-in stand for video viewing. Prices on these accessories were not announced. The iPad also supports Bluetooth keyboards.
Multiple demos showed unmodified iPhone apps working on the iPad at original resolution and scaled up to take advantage of the iPad’s increased screen real estate. According to Scott Forstall during his time on stage, the iPad can run “virtually every” app without modification, with an on-screen button to scale an app’s resolution up and down as desired. iPhone users will not need to re-purchase apps to load them onto an iPad.
The event was also rife with demos, showcasing Gameloft’s N.O.V.A., an art app called Brushes, Electronic Art’s Need for Speed Shift, and video within a Major League Baseball app.
As expected from recent rumors about Apple’s negotiations in the past few weeks with major media publications, the New York Times was on hand to demo a dedicated New York Times app, stating they were proud to “pioneer the next generation of digital journalism.” The app offers an expanded view of the paper’s content with in-line video viewing and synchronization capability with the iPhone app.
Jobs then unveiled the iBooks app, referencing Amazon’s Kindle and describing that they wanted to “stand on their shoulders and go a little further.” The iBooks app has a store – the iBookstore – featuring content from Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group. iBooks uses the open ePub standard and offers tables of contents and intuitive page navigation on the iPad, along with the ability to read in portrait and horizontal orientations using the built-in accelerometer. Jobs highlighted True Compass by Edward M. Kennedy, describing its $14.99 price tag in the iBooks store.

New iPad-specific versions of iWork applications also made an appearance at the event, with demos of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers by Phil Schiller on the iPad. Schiller pointed out specialized on-screen keyboards and drop-down menus to spotlight the ease of use of these apps on the iPad. The iWork apps will cost $9.99 each.
At the end of the event, Jobs described the iPad as the company’s “most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” He also pointed out that there are over 125 million iTunes accounts with credit cards and that using the iPad will be second-nature for the more than 75 million iPhone and iPod touch users.
Developers can access the new iPhone SDK 3.2 today, offering tools for developing iPad applications including guidelines, sample code, and a simulator application.

Associated Press Announces Plans for iPad Application

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad

The Associated Press today announced plans to create a new business unit known as “AP Gateway” that will focus on mobile platforms, with an application for Apple’s iPad tablet device set to serve as the launch product from the division. AP Gateway will also seek to leverage the technology behind its iPad application to assist its local news affiliates with creating packages of their own content.
It appears likely that the application will require a paid subscription as the new organization continues its attempts to monetize mobile distribution of its content, although an AP executive suggested that it may appear as a free application at first.
The group already has drawn up plans to charge for an application designed for the iPad, a 1.5-pound tablet computer that Apple Inc. is scheduled to release at the end of March. The price of the application has yet to be determined, although it might start free, according to Jane Seagrave, a senior vice president who becomes the AP’s chief revenue officer Monday.
Much like the AP Mobile news product, the iPad app will show custom packages of headlines, stories, photos and video from the AP and from newspapers and broadcasters that choose to contribute their content and share the revenue. AP members also could use the same system to offer their own iPad apps that show their own content.
Attempts to bring newspaper content to the iPad have hit a few hurdles as the device’s launch approaches with internal units of The New York Times reportedly vying for control over the distribution and disagreeing over pricing for the newspaper’s content. Newspaper and magazine publishers have also been expressing concern over revenue sharing with Apple and the company’s unwillingness to share subscriber information that publishers depend on for marketing and tailoring their content.

iTunes Store Reaches 10 Billion Songs Downloaded

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, Technology

Apple’s iTunes Store today reached 10 billion music downloads since its inception in 2003, and along with the milestone comes the end of the company’s “Countdown to 10 Billion Songs” promotion. The winner of the promotion, who is yet to be announced, will be awarded a $10,000 iTunes Store gift card.

iTunes Store Music Download Growth Since Launch
The milestone is being featured prominently on Apple’s main page, iTunes page, and the iTunes Store, among other locations.

Flirtation Creation launches new logo design and website

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, Facebook, Flirtation Creations, Google Buzz, Graphic Design, Internet, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter, Web Design

Flirtation Creations Inc, an app development and design consultancy offering exceptional graphic and website design launched a new website to better serve its clients.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 24, 2010 – Boston, MA. USA – Premier online design company, Flirtation Creations, announced it has recently launched a new website to better serve its clients. The new website, http://www.flirtationcreations.com, features the full spectrum of the companies exceptional services, including app development for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, graphic and website design, and corporate and personal branding. The website was launched to give clients even greater access to and understanding of the company’s services, as well as to showcase its portfolio of past work.
As leading app and web developers in Massachusetts, Flirtation Creations has been offering clients high quality, cost-effective graphic design and website solutions since 2000. The companies commitment to providing exceptional customer service combined with Internet expertise has attracted clients throughout the United States, Europe and Africa.
Flirtation Creations offers clients an expansive selection of app development services, graphic design services including logo design, custom website development and more. By establishing long-term relationships with its clients and offering high-end quality online marketing solutions at medium-level prices, Flirtation Creations excels at meeting the needs and budget of every client.
Along with highlighting the companies breadth of services, Flirtation Creations new website also emphasizes what sets it apart from competitors. This includes the companies commitment to providing no hidden contracts or costs, issuing copyright ownership to clients for all work completed, as well as its ethical, honest business approach.
Additionally, Flirtation Creations new website allows clients to review the companies online portfolio, giving them a taste of the firm’s exceptional quality of design. Through the new website, clients can choose to review examples of the companies app development, as well as past logo and website designs.
“Establishing long-term customer relationships is extremely important to Flirtation Creations, which is why we strive to make sure our clients are comfortable and informed throughout the entire design and development process. With our new website, now even more clients can benefit from the extraordinary customer service and online marketing solutions we offer”, says the company’s CEO.

Herbs n Spices app approved and on the App Store

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

The latest app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from Flirtation Creations “Herbs n Spices’ has been approved by apple and is on the App store for purchase and download.

App Store App Store

Herbs n Spices has been designed as a quick reference showing what herbs or spices blend with what food category. There are no recipes or long drawn out details about herbs or spices, just a simple list of common everyday kitchen products and how they can be used.
Remember you still have ultimate control over what your taste is and there is no stopping you from experimenting.
Bon Appetit!

The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need – Try Natural

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Essential Oils, Natural Healing

After releasing our latest iPhone App Essential Oil iGuide it was interesting to note how many non-natural chemicals harm us.
It’s become so common in our culture to assume we need things – a lot of things. Over-consumption is not only a strain on our bank accounts and environment, it can also be harmful to our health. Whether there’s a warning label or not (usually not), many of the things we buy have associated health risks.
Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don’t need. And, once you read about them, you probably won’t want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks.
1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Instead, ventilate well and choose natural deodorizers, such as zeolite or baking soda, which contain minerals that absorb odors. How to Freshen Indoor Air Naturally includes recipes for other homemade remedies. Plants are also helpful for purifying your indoor air.
2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners – and these are the three nastiest. Corrosive or caustic cleaners, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are the most dangerous cleaning products because they burn skin, eyes and internal tissue easily.
* To clean extra-greasy ovens, mix together 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda, then add enough water to make a paste; apply the paste to oven surfaces and let soak overnight. The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime; and rinse surfaces well.
* Prevent clogged drains by using hair and food traps.
* To de-grease and sweeten sink and tub drains, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down drain followed by 1 cup vinegar; let bubble for 15 minutes; rinse with hot water. You might have to repeat the whole procedure more than once. This same mixture can be used prior to scrubbing your toilet bowl to deodorize and scour away grime.

3. Canned food: It’s probably shocking to find a food item on a toxic product list, but it’s no mistake. Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Most experts believe this is our main source of exposure to BPA, which has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven’t found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes). Opt for fresh, frozen, dried or jarred foods.
4. Pesticides: This is a huge category of products, but they deserve inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They’re made to be. That’s how they kill things. But, solving your pest problem may leave you with another problem – residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds – next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.
5. Dry-cleaning: Okay, it’s a service and not a product per se, but the chemical used to do it, perchloroethylene, has been linked to cancer as well as nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive disorders. Even bringing dry-cleaned clothes home is risky. EPA studies have found that people who reported visiting a dry-cleaning shop showed twice as much perc in their breath, on average, as other people. EPA also found that levels of perc remained elevated in a home for as long as one week after placing newly dry-cleaned clothes in a closet. A Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc “to measurably increase their risk of cancer” – by as much as 150 times what is considered “negligible risk.” Try wet-cleaning, CO2 technology, or even hand-washing.
6. Bottled water: Most people buy bottled water thinking they’re avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water – just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution – making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.
7. Rubber duckies: How does such a cute toy end up on a toxic product list? When it’s made from PVC – the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle, according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ). When it’s in your home, PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) – contaminating air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product). If a plastic is not labeled, call the manufacturer. Learn more.
8. Couch cushions: No, you needn’t get rid of all your cushions and consign yourself to a future of discomfort. Just avoid cushions, pillows, and anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation. Don’t worry about increasing your fire risk, data does not show that this standard has resulted in increased fire safety. Look for foam and cushions made with polyester, down, wool, or cotton as they are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants.
9. Perfume and cologne: Colognes and perfumes may make us more attractive. But mixed in with the colors and scents are a wide variety of unattractive chemicals. Perfumes and fragrances can consist of hundreds of chemicals. Testing of Calvin Klein’s Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds. Among the chemicals of concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP) that is absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in human fat tissue. Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders.
It’s not so simple to avoid phthalates by switching products because they are rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Phthalates are claimed as a part of trade secret formulas, and are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.
10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options – ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax based wood finishes.
Healthy Child Healthy World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Learn more at HealthyChild.org

Apple’s iPad Chip Development Cost Estimated in $1 Billion Range

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS

In an article from The New York Times, the cost for a company like Apple to develop an ARM-based mobile chip such as the A4 used in its forthcoming iPad tablet is estimated at approximately $1 billion, even without the need to invest in manufacturing facilities for the chips due to agreements with existing chip foundries for production.
At the same time, Apple, Nvidia and Qualcomm are designing their own takes on ARM-based mobile chips that will be made by the contract foundries. Even without the direct investment of a factory, it can cost these companies about $1 billion to create a smartphone chip from scratch.
Chip industry expert Fred Weber notes in the report that Apple’s iPhone was the first “really aspirational device” not based on Intel chips, demonstrating the power and versatility of ARM-based chip designs. The iPhone’s success has consequently driven a surge of interest in the platform from other mobile vendors and even more traditional notebook vendors like HP and Lenovo looking to incorporate the power-saving yet capable chips into their products.
“Apple was the first company to make a really aspirational device that wasn’t based on Intel chips and Microsoft’s Windows,” said Fred Weber, a chip industry veteran. “The iPhone broke some psychological barriers people had about trying new products and helped drive this consumer electronics push.”
Apple acquired chip design firm P.A. Semi in early 2008, reportedly enabling Apple to pursue in-house ARM-based designs for system-on-chip platforms for the iPad and iPhone.

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