Probably the most advertised “flaw” of the iPhone is, of course, Flash (or lack thereof). Well, at least until the recent Antennagate Anyhow, after the whole Apple vs Adobe saga over the last year or so, one would be safe to assume that hell will freeze over before the infamously resource-hungry platform finds it’s way onto the iOS. Well, it seems it’s time for the Devil to start shopping for a new pair of wooly underwear because Comex, the developer responsible for the most recent iDevice jailbreak, has just updated Frash – the port of the Android flash player for the iOS.
Some of you maybe pleased with yesterday’s announcement of free Bumper Cases for every iPhone 4 purchased, while others may have felt that Apple did not do enough to address the reception issues. With much at stake, and 17 more countries selling the iPhone 4 come July 30th, Apple has posted a page dedicated to antenna performance - one aimed at showing all current and potential owners that signal lose in smartphones (depending on how it’s held) is unavoidable. Images and videos demonstrating a drop in signal strength for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Droid Eris, Samsung Omnia II as well as the iPhone 4 and 3GS are included in the webpage.
And to show the world that they do in fact test antenna performance on all their products, Apple has also posted some info on their very impressive antenna design and test labs. More than $100 million has gone into this state-of-the-art facility and you can bet that the iPhone 4 had gone through all sorts of testing right here before being launched.
If all this recent drama has raised some doubts about buying an iPhone 4, perhaps checking out these two webpages will help make your decision a little easier.
Apple seems to be on a roll of late with App Store app lists. First came The Best Games You’ve Never Played, a roundup of hidden gems that haven’t quite burned up the app charts. Now they’ve released the Awesome iOS 4 Apps list, a collection of apps and games that have been updated to take advantage of iOS 4′s new features, like support for the Retina Display and Multitasking/Fast App Switching. Here are some notable that have made the list:
- Apple Inc. , iMovie – $4.99
- Element Collection , The Elements for iPhone 4 – $9.99
- Software Cellular Network Ltd, Truphone – Free
- PopCap Games, Plants vs. Zombies (TMA Review) – $2.99
- PopCap Games, Bejeweled 2 + Blitz – $2.99
- Steve Sprang, Brushes – iPhone Edition – $4.99
- Marco Arment, Instapaper (TMA Review) – $4.99
- TomTom , TomTom U.S.A. – $49.99
- Sophia Teutschler, Articles – $2.99
- Gogo Apps, Inc., Tap Tap Revenge 3 – Free
Now I haven’t tried all 42 apps on the list, but I don’t think I’d consider all of them to be awesome. I suppose it’s all a matter of personal preference and interests (and of course, apps that actually have been updated for iOS 4 already). The entire Apple roundup can be found right here on iTunes.
Only several days ago, Apple released their Apple Store app to allow users to browse and shop for Apple products, reserve the latest iDevices and even make appointments for 1-on-1 help sessions (Genius Bar). And now, the big A has released another handy lil app to help users locate their lost/stolen iPhone and iPad. Should you be unfortunate enough to lose your iDevice, simply install the Find My iPhone app on another iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to see where it is on a map. You can then display a personal message on the lost device (telling the other party to return it or else…) and even have it remotely locked and ensure that all the data is wiped. Of course, the one catch here is that you have to subscribe to the mobileme service ($99/yr or 60 day free trial) in order to make use of this app. If you’re not already a subscriber, perhaps being a new owner of the upcoming iPhone 4 will change your mind. More info after the gap.
Apple, Find My iPhone - Free
With all of the hype surrounding the magnificent iPhone 4 and the imminent release of the iOS 4.0, Apple has snuck in an amendment to their infamous and controversial ToS 3.3.1 that made it seem no code interpreters, other than Apple’s are allowed. What this did originally was bar all of the would be Flash-to-native-iOS apps created using the Adobe CS5 suite from ever hitting the AppStore.
At the same time this paragraph technically made all of the widely distributed multi-platform engines, like Unity as the most widely known example, illegal. Despite this, the extent to which Apple was going to enforce this rule was uncertain. Thankfully, with the latest change it is obvious Apple was a bit harsh in their original implementation of the rule and have appended ToS 3.3.2, stating that with Apple’s prior written consent an app may use embedded interpreted code in a limited way if such use is solely for providing minor features or functionality (full wording after the gap).
Whether this will truly exclude the developers using tools such as Unity remains to be seen, but it is definitely an indication that the big A wants to calm the community down a bit.
With the recent update to the developer’s agreement and the dreaded ToS 3.3.1, which restricts the devs to compile their application to Apple’s tools, the immediate target was obvious – Adobe and their Flash CS5 with the export to iPhone native app feature. I will not go into the whole shamole, but just FYI – thank God they did this. We have enough crappy apps flooding the App Store already and my heart shudders at the thought of the onslaught of the terrible, resource hogging and simply silly Flash ports if Apple was to let this go.
But, unfortunately, a bunch of other companies and their products got caught in the crossfire. It’s still not clear the extent to which Apple is going to enforce the ToS 3.3.1 rule, since stretching a bit it could even apply to any in-house engine any developer could brew up. But for the moment products like Unity (a popular 3D game engine), it seems, are safe from the app-police with Apple not only not pulling the Unity-engine powered apps from the store, but accepting new ones and even promoting them in the various featured sections of the store.
One bit of technology that has been all the craze lately is Near Field Communication – NFC. The casual user mostly likely has come in contact with it in the form of contactless keycards, bonus cards and even some credit cards (think Visa PayWave). A logical extension of that is integrating such technology into a device most of the people have with 99% of the time when they go out – the mobile phone.
Spurred on by comedian Ellen DeGeneres’ recent repentance for her iPhone spoof, the Big Apple, Steve Jobs, will apologise for Apple’s spurious Get a Mac adverts. The now quaint campaign painted Microsoft-powered PC’s as hard to use, prone to viruses, and outmoded. Needless to say, Microsoft aren’t amused.
Similar to last year’s iPod touch P announcement, Steve Jobs, Mr. Macintosh himself, has officially retracted his company’s salacious campaign. He opened up to TMA via email with this poignant explanation:
Apple may rock, but its not cool what we did with the Get a Mac ads. I wanted to ‘boom!’ attack those bald Ballmer bas*ards at Microsoft for their incompetent dominance. Get a Mac did the trick. I mean, come on, Apple is way better. We got iPhoto and the world’s best most innovative music/movie/podcast/app/book/advertising/ripping software/genius/search engine installed on every Mac.
We’ve got no viruses. We’ve got no repellent Authorize or Deny system. But the really neat thing is that we still create new platforms. Think iPad. Think iPhone. Think Different.
Still though, I think we need to back off Microsoft. Apple may not be able to take a joke, but Microsoft can’t handle the competition or clever advertisement campaigns.
TouchMyApps (haha, love the name – it reminds me of… naw, shouldn’t say that), please get the word out. I really am humble pie.
Though a little late, look for Steve Jobs to apologise to Microsoft at the Steve Jobs Show aka the WWDC this summer.
While the analytics are still recovering from the shock of more than 100% increase in iPhone sales last quarter, there’s a new star on the stock market today. I’m talking about ARM Holdings – a UK based chipmaker that is responsible for the innards of the dream device – the iPad.
Fashionistas see the iPhone and iPod touch as more than just an accessory. To them, it is an integral part of an outfit, a statement, a clever way to enhance their get up, or vica versa. It’s all part of the game and it makes sense. At the other end of the spectrum are the geeks. This fun-sucking group keep their portable devices locked away in Otter Boxes and wear only the most manly of earphones, swearing that it’s girly to accessorise a piece of steel and glass.