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Apple Asks Google To Leave Off Multi-Touch For The G1

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Next to the iPhone, the T-Mobile G1 could be the most anticipated handset out on the market. With it being the first phone to utilize the Google Android OS, many were wanting to see what the G1 was capable of. Apparently, one feature that was going to come with the G1 was left off, per request from Apple.

Multi-touch, is a technology that as of now is exclusive to the iPhone. The idea of the phone being able to pick up multiple points of touch has really added to the value of the handset. Google was looking to provide its users with the same experience, but was asked by Apple to leave it out.

There have been no official reasons as to why Apple made this request. There’s of course the obvious reason that Apple wants to have the only multi-touch phone on the market. But could this in fact hurt Apple in the long run? No one likes a bully, and is the pressure Apple is putting on Google fair?

Of course, right now it’s all pure speculation as to what is really going on between the friendly companies. Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google is on the board of directors at Apple which could have something to do with the decision. It will be interesting to see if there’s a backlash from G1 users, and what will happen when they demand multi-touch capabilities. Quite a predicament indeed.

*UPDATED* – It should be noted that all of this is speculation, and rumor up to this point. Venturebeat cites an anonymous source for their tip, who happens to work on the Android team. This isn’t anything official though. Thanks to Eric for catching this.

[Source: Venturebeat]

Does The App Store Favor Cheap Apps?

Craig Hockenberry, of furbo.org has written a very interesting letter to Steve Jobs about the current state of the iPhone App Store. It’s mostly a letter of him whining about trying to be successful on the App Store. I might not agree with much he has to say, but it’s still none the less worthy of mentioning.

The main statement of Hockenberry’s letter is how the ‘$0.99 ringtone apps’ are starting to litter the App store market. He goes on further to say how this makes it hard to release more quality apps, like the ones his company provides…

“Before commencing any new iPhone development, we look at the numbers and evaluate the risk of recouping our investment on a new project. Both developers and designers cost somewhere between $150-200 per hour. For a three man month project, let’s say that’s about $80K in development costs. To break even, we have to sell over 115K units. Not impossible with a good concept and few of weeks of prominent placement in iTunes.

But what happens when we start talking about bigger projects: something that takes 6 or even 9 man months? That’s either $150K or $225K in development costs with a break even at 215K or 322K units. Unless you have a white hot title, selling 10-15K units a day for a few weeks isn’t going to happen. There’s too much risk.”

The problem I have with Hockenberry’s letter is how he thinks this line of reasoning is somewhat new in a capitalist market. Especially when said market is in the middle of a recession. Of course people are going to favor cheaper options in terms of electronic media. When the people look to favor that certain product, then developers will try and comply with the demand.

I’m not saying that particular line of reasoning is right or wrong. It’s just the way that markets work. The App Store market isn’t immune either, and we shouldn’t expect it to be. My personal feeling is why would I want to waste a $1 on an app that I’ll never use? When I can pay upwards to $5 for an app that I’ll get continual use out of. That’s my own personal feeling though, not a direction that I think everyone should follow.

Another problem that Hockenberry mentions is the vast amount of apps that are available to download. He believes it’s going to be harder, and harder for developers to compete as more apps are added daily. I whole-heartedly disagree with the point he’s making here. The prospect of continually trying new apps is my favorite thing about the App Store. Sure, there are a ton of crap apps out there but that’s what user reviews are for. The App Store market will always correct itself, because no matter the price (to a certain extent) quality will always trump cost in the App Store. I mean people have invested a large amount of money into their iPhones, and iPod Touches for a reason.

The thing that annoys me most about Hockenberry’s letter is that he gives no ideas on how to fix the problem. The entire tone of the letter comes off as desperate and a bit whiny. Developing software for mass production is always a costly venture. You should know the risks before getting into development like that. Don’t expect Apple to change anything to help your business. Apple is going to do what is best for the consumer, and themselves. Developers like Hockenberry should follow suit.

Why not try advertising your App through a blog or site? Heck, I feature apps all the time on here and I’d love to feature developer’s work, especially if the app is solid.

I hope you’re reading this Hockenberry, and other developers. Quit trying to write Apple about your unsuccessful app creations. It’s up to the consumers to decide what they want. Not for you to try and get Apple to decide for them.

Apple 3G iPhone – Should You Get One?

Getting a new cell phone can be a daunting task. With all the new features being released at blazing speeds it can be really hard to keep up. During your research you’ve more than like come across the iPhone. It’s one of the most searched terms on Google, and is one of the best selling phones on the market. But does that make it a good option for you?

Before I get into the dissection of the iPhone, let me first say that it’s a wonderful handset. Any feature you could think of for being on a cell phone is theoretically possible on the iPhone. Think for a second though; just because the iPhone can do all these, does that make it the right fit for me?

Here are some tech specs for the iPhone those who are into that kind of thing:

Height: 4.5 inches (115.5 mm)
Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm)
Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3 mm)
Weight: 4.7 ounces (133 grams)

UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 ppi

Ok, now that you’ve seen the technical specs of the 3G iPhone let’s look at the most important issue. Price. Well if you’re on budget then price is a factor, which might be where you start to feel iffy about the iPhone.

Prices For the 3G iPhone w/ Two Year Contract
8 GB – $199
16 GB – $299

Prices for the 3G iPhone w/o Two Year Contract
8 GB – $599
16 GB – $699

3G iPhone
3G iPhone..aka..Phone Of The Future

So if for whatever reason you want an iPhone without signing a two year contract, might I suggest a cheaper notebook, or even desktop computer? The price gouging doesn’t end there either. How AT&T and Apple really hit the pocket book is with their data plans. The standard data plan for the 3G iPhone is $29.99. That is just for using the network for internet, text etc… Then you have to add on the voice plans which start at $39.99. Mind you this is just the bare bones of cost for the 3G iPhone.

Like I mentioned earlier the iPhone has more features and extras then any cell phone on the market. The App Store is littered with all kind of different programs which are useful on your 3G iPhone. Most of them are free, though some of them like Super Monkey Ball have a small fee. You can listen to music, watch videos, and eventually will be able to stream your iTunes playlist to your iPhone. After looking at the features of the iPhone, that $199/$299 price seems more and more reasonable.

When deciding on purchasing an iPhone, just remember all of these facts. Think to yourself, “Is the high price worth it to me for all it can do?”
If you think that you’ll use the iPhone to its full potential then definitely go purchase on immediately. If you want your handset to just call your friends, and family; and sending out the occasional text message then there’s definitely better/cheaper options.

Video: iPhone 3G vs. Samsung Instinct

Check out this video from Cnet on how the iPhone 3G stacks up against the Samsung Instinct. Just don’t get distracted by the massive blonde streak going through the dude’s hair.

Apple’s Safari Bundled iTune’s Update – Wrong Or Just Good Business Savvy?

“Tsk…tsk…tsk”, should have been the header of John Lilly’s blog last friday when he criticized Apple for its’ latest iTunes update. Software updates can be a real hassle in this fast paced, “I want to get things done at this very second” world we live in. I’d venture to say that most of you don’t even read what’s in your software updates (me included).

For those of you who didn’t know, Mozilla is the company that is behind the popular, and beloved by all Firefox browser. The CEO of Mozilla, John Lilly has updated his blog about certain practices that Apple has implemented in their newest iTunes update for Windows XP users.

So what could be inside an iTunes software update that could have Lilly all flustered? Well it’s really nothing to do with iTunes, but it’s the fact that Apple decided to bundle its’ Safari web browser in with the update. So should Apple be putting software installs inside updates for other software that you might have on your computer?

According to Lilly the answer is, no. Here is an excerpt from Lilly’s blog, “What Apple is doing now with their Apple Software Update on Windows is wrong. It undermines the trust relationship great companies have with their customers, and that’s bad — not just for Apple, but for the security of the whole Web. What they did yesterday was to use their updater for iTunes to also install their Safari Web browser –what follows is some background and analysis.”

So is this Safari bundled iTunes update a much ado about nothing or is Lilly right in saying it violates the trust between company and consumer? I believe it’s alittle bit of both. What I think we should learn from this, is how much more we need to be aware of what we’re putting on our computers. We need to stop just hitting the “enter” button so we can get to the applications we want to use faster. Was it kind of shifty of Apple to bundle Safari with the iTunes update? Yes, it was definitely pretty shift. I really don’t want unneeded software to be put on my computer when all I want is my iTunes to work better. But I don’t blame Apple for the decision, it will more than likely lead to more Safari usage on Windows.

What do you all think of the Safari bundled iTunes update? Feel free to leave your comments below

Apple patent may thwart iPod thieves

Apple’s technology for disabling an electronic device by not charging it when plugged into an unauthorized charger could help reduce some thefts.

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