Posts Tagged: apple

Apps are too cheap

iOS developer Dave Addey:

Apple’s iOS hardware business model – currently its largest revenue stream – is based on making a large margin from a premium hardware product. Their trick is hiding this fact from customers, and selling the iPhone and iPad not on their hardware specification, but on what you can do with them. And that, in every Apple advert, is all about the apps…

…This business model means that it is in Apple’s interest for the hardware to be as expensive as possible, and for the apps to be as cheap as possible.

True, and Dave has a lot of smart suggestions. But I don’t expect Apple to offer much of anything in terms of change, especially when iOS is still the considered the premier platform for third party developers. The numbers of the tech savvy begging for paid upgrades and trial periods are dwarfed by those that rarely make big purchases on the App Store.

Best iPhone and iPad games of 2012 roundup

2012 was the first year I really started taking iOS games seriously, and the first I found the device a life saver for gaming over long subway rides and vacation trips. A lot of great titles were released, and as usual Touch Arcade has a great handle on what stood out. (I still find Punch Quest and Pinball Arcade monopolizing far more time than I expected.)

iTunes 11

Lukas Mathis:

It seems as if Apple tried to hide iTunes’ complexity under a shallow veneer of simplicity. Unfortunately, a new coat of paint won’t fix the leaning tower of Pisa.

iCloud sharing done wrong

Macworld author Dan Moren brings up some relevant iCloud weaknesses. At its heart, there’s one huge problem:

Tying files to apps has its advantages, to be sure. But Apple’s way of implementing has a cost: Sharing files between applications is more difficult and unwieldy now than it was before.

iPhone 5 psd from Teehan+Lax

The always reliable design firm Teehan+Lax have released a new psd that contains all core elements from iOS 6 along with a great looking iPhone 5 shell. I’ve used Teehan+Lax’s work repeatedly in the past for my own design ideas. They are always very well organized, critical for psds of this size.

Dpreview reviews the iPhone 5 camera

I’ve written off most tech opinions on the new iPhone 5 camera because they aren’t written by photography professionals. Granted, it’s clearly better than the 4S, but how does it realistically stack up against a dedicated point and shoot? That’s exactly why DP Review’s recent look at the phone’s camera matters: you get their usual rigorous studio tests and the attention to detail you rarely find elsewhere. (There’s a reason that when it comes to new DSLR releases DP Review is pretty much the review benchmark.)

iOS screen fragmentation points to a shift in app development

We’re going to see a big change in a certain type of iOS app—the one designed for the device….In a sense, this could be a good thing—freeing up iOS from the constraints of specific screen shapes opens up developers to whatever Apple throws at them next and should also make apps simpler to port to competing platforms. But it also impacts heavily on those tightly crafted experiences that were designed just for your iPad or just for your iPhone.

With web having been down this road for a while, it will be interesting to see native apps designed in a more responsive direction.

The iPad 1

Marco Arment wrote an astute article regarding the iPad 1′s lack of upgrade potential:

The iPad 1 was the first modern “tablet”, and as we saw (eventually) from its competitors, its $499 price point and excellent battery life were difficult to achieve in 2010 (and even in 2011). More RAM would have added to the component costs and decreased the battery life, potentially making it less appealing and jeopardizing its success, so Apple chose to keep it at only 256 MB.

Whether that was a good decision or not, it significantly shortened the iPad 1’s useful software life.

A letter from Tim Cook on Maps

Major credit to the Apple CEO here: this is a flat out apology. No wiggle room, no “we’re sorry you feel this way”. And then there’s this:

While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.

Apple, naming five competitors as acceptable alternatives? Wow. I’m not a fan of revisionist history, but I doubt we’d see this candor during the Steve Jobs era.

On the timing of Apple’s map switch

John Gruber:

If you think about it, it makes strategic sense that, if Apple were going to break out on its own for mapping data, they would do so while there was significant time remaining on the maps license with Google.

Develop its own mapping data before the end of the Google contract? So far, makes sense. If you’re Apple, regardless of the end, having an Apple produced Maps in your back pocket is sensible.

An all-new maps back-end is the sort of feature that Apple would only want to ship in a major new OS release…I think everybody can agree this has been a major change, for users and app developers alike — should be delivered only in major new OS updates.

Significantly weaker argument here. Apple is famously a company devoted to what’s best for its consumers, right? So you’re telling me a flat out PR and technical disaster when it comes to their in house maps functionality (Apple’s current direction) is favorable over keeping the Google contract for a few more months to work out internal Maps kinks and yes, worse case releasing the app “mid cycle”?

It’s this lack of delay that’s infuriating about Apple’s switch to an in-house Maps client. There was effective time on the clock; yet Apple rushed out a half baked client and tried to package it during WWDC as though it was a superior option.