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Dr. Touch #010 – "A New Decade"

I hope you had a good transition into this new decade. 2010 always was the future to me. Close enough to live to see it and enjoy it. Far away enough so that amazing technologies could develop. Also can you believe that it’s been already a decade since Y2K caused lots of IT projects looking for places where the dates could not handle the jump to 00. Well in any case, it’s been an amazing ride so far and we are on tenterhooks to see what Apple has in store for us in this decade or even this year.

Play

The show notes aka my script you find after the break.

News

Apple announces … no actualy they didn’t announce it as such, they mentioned in passing on a telco conference that in the 18 months that the app store is open they hat 3 billion downloads. Wasn’t it just recently that we reached 1 Billion? Seems that nobody doubts the success of the app store any more.

TUAW did an open survey with manual tabulating of the wishes iPhone users have on the next big iteration of the iPhone OS. The most wished for features where:

  • Most people asked for a different lock screen and/or
  • A new customizable home screen, that’s location aware
  • Being able to access it via vertical swiping
  • Some sort of method to better categorize your 11 full pages of app icons on the phone
  • 80% of respondents asked for Flash, even if it’s a bad idea.
  • 70% want to be able to lock the orientation, like if you are reading on your side in bed.
  • 65% want to be able to remove Apple apps especially if you purchased an app that does it better
  • 60% would like a shared Documents folder
  • Also 60% would like support for more video codecs to be able to get something from sites with Windows Media videos
  • And finally, 50%, would like a proper disk mode for the iPhone.

I also participated and my main request was to be able to develop and sell widgets for an improved lock or home screen. With so many people requesting this, I think I was dead on. It would be great if we could develop widgets and also sell them for 1 dollar a piece. Widgets would be much easier to make if they are similar how you program them on Mac or Windows. But the perceived value is much higher because you see them all the time as opposed to this 4$ app on page 11 of your springboard.

Apple supposedly ordered millions of LED flashes to go with 5 megapixel camera sensors. So future iPod Touches and iPhones are likely to be the recipients of those. And it also makes sense have in a flash, iPhone users keep their phones on them all the time and there are many situations where you still cannot make photos due to low light conditions.  Also the competition does not sleep and Apple simply has no choice but to catch up on the next iteration.

Good news for us developers! Apple appears to have supercharged app store review process as of beginning of 2010. We’re getting reports that some apps have been approved in as little as a day or even less, a couple of hours in one example. Since this significant  improvement started around the beginning of the new year we can assume that Apple has hired way more staff just for reviewing apps. New staff would start at the beginning of a month naturally. Or do we think that these where simply Apple’s New Year’s Resolutions? Probably not. Apple does not resolve or announce. They produce facts, aiming to keep the world in a state of constant astonishment.

Apple has introduced two now statusses for apps: Invalid binary and Upload Received. The really seem to like giving names to the various stages of the submission process. I’m sure we’ll soon see a “Steve Jobs farted” status if your app is giving Apple’s CEO indigestion.

Apple would like to remind you once again to make sure you have good keywords to increase visibility of your apps. You can assign or edit keywords for each update to your binaries.

An interesting recent introduction are vanity-URLs of sort. Instead of using the Apple app ID you can now make itunes links to apps and developers. For apps you write http://itunes.com/apps/appname, for developers http://itunes.com/apps/developername. A combination is also possible: http://itunes.com/apps/developername/appname. This is all very easy if you have a simple name. I tried it out with several variants but I could never find a working URL leading to my company. itunes.com/apps/luckywheel worked though. There is a detailed guide on Apple’s site telling you what to do with special characters.

Apple has acquired mobile advertising company Quattro Wireless after having lost the bid on AdMob. Shortly after that I found a targeted spam e-mail from Quattro in my inbox asking to basically switch to them. I call it spam because it pretends to be not, but it makes the following mistakes:

  • your address is in the BCC
  • it pretends to have a personal relationship with you by claiming that somebody at Quattro found your apps to be “looking great”
  • it claims to be by a single person, of title “Business Development Manager” aka “fisher for customers”
  • BUT even though it is written in a familiar tone he does not mention my name,
  • nor where he got my e-mail address from

According to the buy’s LinkedIn profile he is doing this job for 8 months, so he should know better than to try convince serious developers to switch to Quattro by means of a spam e-mail. You’re either in the targeted advertising business or in the spam business, you can’t be both. Shortly after I tweeted about my dismay Mr. Boffoli sent me an e-mail stating that he’s sorry for the “numerous mails” and that we will take me off his list. The subject of the e-mail was “opt-out”. He just doesn’t learn.

Cult of Mac reports that there is a bug in the power management functionality of the Magic Mouse. It will report batteries that are half-drained as empty. An experiment proved that this seems to be really be true. So we Magic Mouse users are again waiting for Apple to issue a fix via software update. In the meantime make sure you have new batteries available should you reach the threshold.

A good idea why there where no iPhone OS updates recently is that because the same SDK is used for iPhone, iPod Touch and iSlate you have lots of references to the tablet throughout the SDK and even OS. So that’s probably why the next update will bear version number 4 and be published after Apple finally makes public their next bombshell, the iSlate. If rumors are true in as early as two weeks.

Interview

On this episode I interviewed Ortwin Gentz of FutureTap who together with Luc Vandal of Edovia recently open sourced InAppSettingsKit.


Categories: Podcast

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