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Dr. Touch #002 – "Catch Up"

So much is happening currently that I could not wait for the second episode if I wanted to be able to do it in under 15 minutes.

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My script (aka “Show Notes”) after the fold below.

First a service message: Second Trojan, this time malicious, steals bank details from jailbroken iPhones. To endager yourself: 1) jailbreak, 2) install SSH 3) leave root password “alpine”. The usual jailbreaks do not require installation of SSH, but if you DO decide to install it, please change your root password. All trojans so far work by finding jailbroken iPhones over WiFi, logging in with the default password and then either displaying a message to send money or logging your banking data.

The News

VIEDA, German Association of iPhone Developers was founded Holger Frank and Hanno Welsch. With a focus on the German language market the association is planning a big marketing campaign offering promoting 46 apps made by German-language developers throughout December. Centerpiece of the promotion will be a collective app advent calendar coupled with a companion website. Future plans introducing quality certification of iPhone apps as well as being the collective voice of developers. Also VIEDA is working on a “web shop” (in their own words) for high-quality apps with German interface to make it easier for users to select only the best apps for their needs.

Google acquired iPhone advertising provider AdMob for $750,000. So far nothing was substantially changed for developers who have implemented AdMob ads. Though generally users saw a dipping in fill rates around the beginning of November as low as 43%.  This number means that less than half of ad requests could actually be served, be it either because of technical problems or because AdMob simply did not have sufficient Ad inventory. But of the past two days this number has recovered and started to go as high as 100% after the acquisition was announced. Possibly this was caused by a surge in trust coming from Google getting involved so that more advertisers are willing to spend money on the AdMob platform.

Letting your Mac inhale cigarette smoke may void your warranty. Consumerist reports of two separate incidents where Mac owners where refused warranty repairs due to signs of passive smoke. AppleCare Technicians refused to even work on the devices because of the Biohazard that these Macs now are, contaminated with cigarette smoke. Apple is reported to be stubborn in these cases, so you better not smoke in front of your favorite machine to save yourself from losing your development box and not getting a free warranty repair. You have been warned: smoking kills.

Apple relaxes their internal guideline that was known to overly protect their trademarks. Previously Rogue Amoeba had gotten their Airfoil app rejected because they where using imagery of Apple products to show where sound was coming from. Generally speaking Apple would reject any app that used anything that could be seen as an Apple trademark. This includes photos of Apple hardware, icons that look similar to iPhones and even using iPhone in the name of an app. Apparently this internal guideline now allows for reasonable uses of such images, version 1.0.2 of Airfoil is now available on the app store. A win that was probably caused by the major outcry and negative publicity for Apple that Rogue Amoeba was able to generate. On their website they still don’t think developing for the iPhone makes business sense. So for the immediate future this will be their only app.

Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Product Marketing granted a rare interview to Business Week. In it he claims that developers actually “like” the approval process because of the rigorous testing some crashes and bugs can be found that devs prefer to fix before they embarrass themselves in the eyes of a customer. Some statistics: 90% are technical problems like this. 10% are inappropriate content of some sort that are either against the law or help users break the law. And less than 1% are apps that are trying to steal user data or help users to cheat in casinos. Something that Apple had not anticipated when formulating the SDK agreement.

So Schiller basically says that it’s because you iPhone developers suck at debugging your code and a tenth of you are downright criminal bastards Apple’s role as gatekeeper of all that is good and iPhone is legitimate and needed.

This week reports of developers turning their back on iPhone and those scaling back their Android efforts levelled each other out. Generally the first reaction against app store frustrations seems to be to do more Android stuff. But then it turns out that there is even more rampant piracy and much less customers willing to pay for apps, so then the pendulum swings back in favor of iPhone development. Gameloft is the most recent example of pro-iPhone.  They scaled back their Android development due to weaknesses in the Android store.

Piracy on Android starts to become a financial problem for development. Developers who know both the iPhone store and Android store report that while you have a chance of doing a bit against piracy on iPhone, there are no measures you can take at all on Android. On Android phones the process of Jailbreaking is called “Rooting” and on a rooted device you can simple copy the binaries.

AdMob October Report has been published. It shows iPhone in a solid lead with 55% share, Android 20%, Blackberry 12% and Windows Mobile 4%. AdMob does not use the number of sold handsets for their statistics, but rather 15.000 apps and web sites.

Apple launches 2 new TV ads showing that you can be in a phone call and at the same time use apps and the internet “without ever leaving the call”. This aims to show that AT&T, the exclusive US-partner of Apple’s, is supposed to have such a great network to allow for all of this. And possibly also that Verizon which now heavily bets on the Droid has an inferior network and/or handset.

Preview

The makers of Zen Bound are readying their latest game Stair Dismount. What’s new about this is not that it’s a new idea. But that it is an idea that was blatantly stolen from Box Shaped Games who where previously rejected for having a game with “inappropriate content”. Then they replaced dolls with less livelike ones and their game “Max Injury” finally made it to the store. The basic idea is that you push a jointed dummy down stairs and who ever does the most damage wins. So the novelty in my eyes is that those guys somehow seemed to have convinced the app review team with extra fluffy dummies and Zen music. Apple does not even seem to object to the mode where you can past a friend’s face from facebook onto the dummy and then mail them a picture of their dummy lying hurt at the bottom of stairs.

Your Opinion

I’ve had an article on my blog on how to ask the user for a review after a certain number of app launches. Also there is ready-made code for that by the name of AppiRater. Now we all know that leaving a review is not high a priority for customers and thus reviews are skewed towards the overly bad ones. Should you ask customers to leave a review after 3 runs? What’s your opinion. Please leave a comment on the article. The URL is in the show notes.


Categories: Podcast

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