Posts Tagged ‘app store’
The CARROT app is a sentient alarm clock that pulls no punches. It wakes you up with infernally cheerful music, then requires you to perform a series of tasks to force you to open your eyes and concentrate. If you don’t wake up, CARROT GET ANGRY, and it will probably threaten to kill a kitten.
If you do well, you score points to unlock less annoying alarm tones and tasks, such as mixing a deadly neurotoxin. You might be bleary eyed and ready to kill everyone, but your vulnerable early morning brain will become obsessed with point scoring, and you’ll feel compelled to beat the clock (literally).
Once you’ve unlocked the levels, it will read you a bedtime story. Whether you like it or not.
So, if you’re looking for the most abusive alarm clock in the world, CARROT can be yours for just £1.49 from the App Store. It might get you so angry that you actually get up and go into work to get away from it.
Or you might just kill yourself.
There has been mutterings for some time now about Windows 8. One of the biggest noises that the new operating system from Microsoft would featuring an app store.
Of course, this isn’t surprising at all given that everyone has an app store these days and, in addition to this, if Windows 8 is going to be Bill Gates move into the world of tablets, his company are going to need to muscle in on the lucrative app market.
It transpires that these rumours were indeed true as Microsoft today revealed that Windows 8 would be getting their very own app store, but the team working on it refuse to say what it will entail precisely.
One suggestion is that Microsoft will be allowing users to download software for their devices straight from the store, potentially doing away with hard copies forever, which is a neat development. If this is the case, then could we see issues such as viruses and malware being less common? Or, indeed, will this just kickstart a app blackmarket for hackers to exploit?
If you’re an Apple app store shopper, your world will never be the same again. All those apps you buy that cost a mere 59p are going up in price – to a walloping 69p. It’s part of a huge increase across the app price board. Here’s the new pricing structure in full….
59p is now 69p
£1.19 now £1.49
£1.79 now £1.99
£2.39 now £2.49
£2.99 still £2.99
£3.49 now £3.99
£3.99 now £4.99
£4.99 now £5.49
£5.49 now £5.99
£5.99 now £6.99
£6.99 now £7.99
£7.49 now £8.99
£8.99 now £10.49
£9.49 now £10.99
However, we’re learning that the price of apps in Australia has actually come DOWN instead of gone up. That’s because they do everything backwards down there or something – we learned that off of the Mr Men.
Amazon is attempting to cash in on the multi-billion dollar world of apps, with the launch of the Amazon appstore. Itlls be a store for Android apps (since Apple won’t share) and it’s due to be available from this morning, at least in the US (no word on UK availability yet, dammit).
As well as downloading apps from the site straight to their handsets, customers will be able to test-drive apps in their browser. There’ll also be an “App of the day” feature, which will see Amazon pick a paid-for application and offer it for free for 24 hours.
It all sounds very exciting. The only fly in the ointment is Apple, which at the eleventh hour has decided to sue Amazon. “Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile-software developer program,” Apple stated in the complaint filed on Friday.
“Amazon has unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States. We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers,” said a spokesperson. It looks like the dispute will go to court, too; according to Apple, they’ve contacted Amazon three times concerning the matter and are yet to receive any response. Hardball.
Recently, Apple began contacting developers concerning a change to the way customers can pay for subscriptions through their apps; any future content must be paid for via Apple, rather than online or through a company’s own e-commerce system.
Earlier in the month that change claimed its first major scalp, but it threatens to take many more. According to cnet uk, Sony‘s ebook reader was rejected by Apple, because it allowed users to buy ebooks direct through Sony, without Apple claiming a 30% share of the retail price.
So how can Sony’s attempt to retail through iPhone apps be denied, while Amazon’s Kindle app has been selling ebooks through their own payment system for nearly two years? They may not be able to in the very near future; Apple is expecting developers to submit updated apps that channel all sales through Apple by the end of June.
The change may not only affect Amazon and online publications, but it could affect music subscription services too. Those businesses appear to have a very simple choice – let Apple skim 30% from their revenue; increase prices accordingly; or walk away from the App Store. An app isn’t strictly needed – web apps can be created for an iPhone browser – however web bookmarks are trickier to market and will mean zero marketing support from Apple.
The precedent Apple has set by rejecting Sony seems like a senseless, greedy change; Apple risk alienating many established companies and driving them to other platforms.
Perhaps Apple has predicted the future, and sees paid-for apps as a dwindling source of revenue, with consumers preferring free apps that allow them to select and purchase content and experiences relevant to them. It may be good news for Apple, but the consumer is likely to face their favourite apps being withdrawn or the price of content being increased.
Do you know where your child is? On your iPhone, you say? Well that’s alright, then. What could possibly go wrong? What’s that, you don’t bother checking what they’re up to? Not to worry – it’s not as if they know your iTunes password and can run up the best part of a grand in buying shoes for Smurfs, is it? Oh.
iPhones and iPads are pretty good for kids and parents alike – big and bright and touch sensitive, plenty of apps to keep them quiet, a 21st century pacifier. So are development firms that realise this and exploit the fact simply making a living or profiteering douchebags?
The Washington Post reports that 8-year-old Madison was playing Smurf’s Village, a free download from Capcom. Unfortunately, the virtual items that can be purchased for the Smurfs are a little beyond the pocket money of most pre-teen kids. Madison’s older sister knew the password to the family’s iTunes account, and days later their mother received a bill for around £900.
Who’s in the wrong? It depend how kind or cruel you want to be. The iPhone has safety features to prevent in-app purchases and the App Store is password protected, and parents shouldn’t be leaving kids alone unsupervised. When the app is first downloaded, there’s a big notification box explaining that buying virtual items costs real money, and the same warning is at the top of the game’s description in the iTunes Store.
The other side of the argument is simply this; why the bleeding hell is a game aimed at kids offering to sell them 2,000 smurfberries for £59.99? The cost of items in the game is completely disproportionate to the audience the app targets. And as Madison’s mother’s points out, the game is sold as suitable for children aged 4+.
Smurfs, those little blue bastards. Always causing trouble.
The always excellent Frackulous has advice for you if you’ve stumped up for buggy iPhone apps. Unlike Android, there’s no simple refund process (the Android market allows customers to get their money back with 24 hours of purchase for any reason) and it’s a bit of a chew on, but the option there if you want to try and claim your cash back.
Back in March we reported on the spankatronic wundergizmo, the Nintendo 3DS with its glasses-free 3D gaming experience. It’s due to be launched to the industry in a week’s time at the E3 gaming expo, and available to the public after that.
Not only would the 3D gameplay have the potential to create a new platform for developers, but Nintendo may be looking to introduce their very own app store for the handset. According to Electric Pig: “Capcom COO, Haruhiro Tsujimoto, says his firm is fired up about making 3D games for the Nintendo 3DS but it’s the prospect of an app store that’s really got it excited. He says: “What we’re looking forward to is the offering of a new business model.”
“Nintendo has been in the hardware business for a long time and I believe they are looking closely at Apple’s recent success.” His comments came just after he lavished praise on Japanese mobile network NTT DoCoMo which has its own iTunes App Store-style service.”
Whether such an app store would mean on-demand purchasing, or an open-platform for developers – or both – isn’t known. Of course it may not happen at all; Nintendo and games developers would think twice before blowing up a market already established and worth billions, and plenty of games are currently of a size that’d be irritatingly slow to download.
iPhone apps – how do the world’s greatest developers come up with the apps that have wasted our time, money and precious lifeforce revolutionised our lives? Here’s how Apple staff decide what apps they should offer on their devices. Or it might be another fratboy video in the style of The Office. Quite well done, though:
We know, you’re sick beyond the back teeth of Apple, iPhones and apps, but even the staunchest of critics will allow this exception. In fact, to pacify you further, we’re not even going to dribble on with an opening paragraph and just let the pictures tell the story:
We were disappointed to discover the app had nothing whatsoever to do with New Order, despite the titles. And if it all looks suspiciously like a half-arsed to-do list wrapped up in a lot of cosmic bollocks, that’s because it pretty much is. But with a beard. Don’t all rush at once.
So the good news for iPhone loving music chums is that the Spotify app has now been approved by Apple and will be available in the App Store shortly. This means you’ll be able to compile playlists on your desktop or your iPhone – choosing from millions of songs – and then cache them offline so you can effectively keep any 3,300 songs on your handset at any time.
The bad news is that to use the app, you’ll have to subscribe to Spotify’s Premium service at a cost of £9.99 per month. Although this means you can enjoy music on your desktop app at far higher quality (320kbps), access to exclusive tracks and none of those bleeding Kate Moss ads, it’s going to cost you £120 a year. And unless Spotify have done some extraordinary deal with Apple by which it can operate as a background app, you can’t do anything else with your handset while music is playing. That, frankly, is a complete pain in the arse.
So on the one hand you have access to millions of tracks on your iPhone or iPod and you never need bother with iTunes again, and on the other you’re £120 out of pocket. So which is it to be? Vote, comment and let us know. And if you’re not an iPhone fanboy, chances are you’ll pay the same price if and when Spotify is released for your handset, so don’t be shy and vote too:
It’ll be denounced by moral crusaders as yet another sign that the end of civilisation is nigh – an iPhone app called Cannabis that lets you locate dealers in your area. Obviously it only provides details of registered suppliers for medicinal reasons, and not where you’ll find Little Vince to tap him for a couple of ounces:
Having said that, it then goes on to provide details of coffee houses in Amsterdam and contact details for legal representation if you find yourself in bother with the law. “Our goal is to put the power of cannabis change in your pocket!” Amen to that.
Palm once said it had no interests in taking on Apple over the iPhone – the Pre will attract a different type of consumer, they said. So it’ll be interesting to see not only how Palm markets the Pre once it reaches the UK in the Autumn, but what sort of apps will be available to buy for it. Yes, for a phone that isn’t challenging the iPhone, they’re doing a decent job of suggesting otherwise.
But then the Pre isn’t the iPhone, is it? One key aspect of the handset’s operating system is that it can run background apps, something the iPhone should be able to do, but can’t. Gah. It’s simple features like this that open up a whole new world of apps to developers, and now they have their chance to create them – the Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Pre is now available. By the time the handset is available in the UK, the Pre App Catalogue should be rammed to the rim with apps.
What everyone is waiting to see, however, is whether Palm make a better job of managing their App Catalogue than Apple do of the App Store. Plenty of developers are considering giving up on Apple because of their inconsistencies in policy, the lack of communication and an endless list of problems and queries besides.
There’s also a opportunity for Palm to better manage the type of content available. For example, will Palm filter submissions so that their catalogue doesn’t fill up with 30 different shades of iFart? Some sort of quality threshold would be an ideal way to distinguish the App Catalogue, but that would potentially hurt Palm’s profits – apps that appeal to the lowest common denominator can also sell very well. How brave will Palm be in the months to come?
Real life, eh? It’s alright, but there’s something missing. For some of us, it’s love and cheap hookers. For others, it’s wealth and a sense of security. That’s where augmented reality steps in. These mobile applications look at the real world through the camera of your smartphone, then display the image with a overlay of details, images and directions. It’s Reality 2.0, but only if you’re a new media marketing wanker that thinks up phrases like that.
These have been in development for several months since the onslaught of the iTunes App Store, but the first big player to launch is in Holland for the G1 Handset. It’s called Layar and it looks not unlike this:
Unfortunately the results you see in the augmented reality appear to be sponsor-led, with Layar securing deals with local companies for their content to appear. That presumably means there are huge gaps in the type and breadth of information available, until further companies pay up at least. What would make the app invaluable work is a version that has both general sightseeing information with information scraped from a database likes Travelwiki and the ability to view a Yellow Pages of nearby businesses and details. Then the app would be useful even when you’re not looking for a house to buy or an ATM.
A UK version launches later in the year, and an iPhone app for the 3GS is also on the cards.