- March 10, 2008
Sir Paul McCartney has reportedly signed a deal worth an estimated £200 million to bring the Beatles’ back catalog to iTunes. Citing industry insiders, the Daily Mail reports that the deal will bring the much-anticipated release to the store by the end of the year. Due to various deals signed in the past, EMI, Sony and Michael Jackson will all receive a portion of the payout as well. McCartney said last November that he was “pretty sure” the Beatles’ music would be available digitally in 2008, adding, “The whole thing is primed, ready to go—there’s just maybe one little sticking point left, and I think it’s being cleared up as we speak, so it shouldn’t be too long. It’s down to fine-tuning.”
Update: Both Apple and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company jointly owned by Sony and Michael Jackson, have issued statements downplaying the report. A Sony/ATV spokesperson said the report was “untrue,” while an Apple spokesperson called it “unsubstantiated speculation,” adding that “This is not news nor is it a scoop.”
- March 7, 2008
- Apps + Games
According to the official iPhone Human Interface Guidelines recently published by Apple, only one iPhone application may run at a time, and third-party iPhone applications will not be able to run in the background, posing a potential challenge to developers. “Only one iPhone application can run at a time, and third-party applications never run in the background,” the document states. “This means that when users switch to another application, answer the phone, or check their email, the application they were using quits. It’s important to make sure that users do not experience any negative effects because of this reality. In other words, users should not feel that leaving your iPhone application and returning to it later is any more difficult than switching among applications on a computer.” These guidelines may limit the usefulness of apps which benefit from a persistent network connection; it is unclear whether Apple will allow select partners, such as AOL and their AIM client, to bypass these rules. [via Daring Fireball]
- March 7, 2008
- Apps + Games
Gameloft has announced its intentions to develop games for the iPhone, with plans to release more than 15 titles by the end of 2008. Utilizing the newly-released SDK, the company’s development teams have already begun working on the games. “The iPhone gaming environment opens a new era in mobile gaming and is exactly what we’ve been waiting for,” said Michel Guillemot, President of Gameloft. “The Apple iPhone has changed the way consumers perceive and interact with their mobile phones, and the release of the SDK is a tremendous opportunity for Gameloft to apply its creative and innovative approach to mobile gaming. Due to our investment in creating one of the most advanced and creative development studios to date, we are ideally positioned today to seamlessly integrate new opportunities and quickly produce games that are as evolutionary as they are enjoyable.”
- March 7, 2008
The BBC has launched a beta version of its iPlayer for iPhone. BBC iPlayer allows UK residents to browse and watch TV programs from the last week via streaming or download. The new iPlayer for iPhone uses H.264 encoded videos instead of the Flash format used by its PC counterpart. Anthony Rose, head of Digital Media Technologies for BBC, explains that the iPhone was the first browser-enabled device to get a custom iPlayer application “because it is the device most optimised for high quality video currently available.” Rose added, “It displays the BBC iPlayer site and BBC programmes nicely.” The BBC iPlayer for iPhone can be accessed now by visiting bbc.co.uk/iplayer/ from a UK-based iPhone or iPod touch.
- March 7, 2008
ID Software co-founder John Carmack has posted his thoughts on Apple’s iPhone SDK announcements. “Just based on the blurbs, it looks very good—a simulator plus debugging on the native device is the best of both worlds, and a 70% royalty deal for apps over iTunes is quite good,” Carmack wrote. “The iTunes distribution channel is really a more important aspect than a lot of people understand. The ability to distribute larger applications than the over-the-air limits and effectively market your title with more than a dozen character deck name, combined with the reasonable income split make this look like a very interesting market.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made several comments about the iPhone yesterday during an appearance. Speaking about Apple’s business model of taking 30 percent of iPhone application revenue, he said “It’s a good business if you can make it.” On Exchange support for iPhone, Ballmer said, “We’ve licensed ActiveSync for a while. That’s been an option that’s been available to Apple,” adding, “It was certainly an option we knew Apple might take advantage of.” In an unrelated interview, Terry Myerson, corporate vice president for Exchange, said that Microsoft and Apple began talks about Exchange support “before the launch of the iPhone last year.”
Game developer Freeverse has posted a “first peek” of its iPhone development plans, including Flick Sports games of Golf, Bowling, Soccer, Baseball, and Moto Racing. The games will make use of the handset’s multi-touch screen as well as the built-in accelerometer.
- March 6, 2008
In addition to unveiling the App Store, a section of the iTunes Store devoted to selling software for iPhones and iPod touches, Apple today announced that it would enable selected developers to create their own private pages on the App Store to distribute content to a limited audience, rather than the entirety of the Apple customer base. Developers interested in creating their own App Store pages must register for the iPhone’s $299 Enterprise Program, rather than its standard $99 program.
iLounge Editor Jesse Hollington notes that private pages have already started to appear on the iTunes Store for limited distribution of standard media, such as unprotected audio and video, as shown in the screenshot above. These pages can be university- or company-specific, providing educational or other types of materials, and are not visible to the general iTunes user population. In the Education First Educational Tours example here, a user registered with an international travel tour is provided access to TourCast audio and video tracks through the iTunes U section of the iTunes Store. Unusually, the private page features an image of a touchscreen iPod/iPhone-style device with curves and a Home button-pressing dock never seen before; it is unclear whether this is meant to generically suggest iPod and iPhone compatibility, or represents a yet-to-be-announced Apple product.
Update: An Education First designer has responded in the comments to say that the mysterious device shown above was actually the result of image editing, and does not depict any current or future Apple product.
- March 6, 2008
Though the announcement may have been dampened by the earlier release of third-party iPhone instant messaging applications, and a widespread hope for an Apple-developed iChat application, AOL today demonstrated the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for iPhone, an early version of an program that will provide native rather than web-based instant messaging access to iPhone and iPod touch users. In addition to displaying your buddy list and separate discussions, AIM for iPhone enables you to skip from discussion to discussion with swipe gestures, use a photo from your iPhone’s camera or iPod touch’s collection as your buddy icon, and update your current profile on the AIM network. The application’s release date and price, if any, are currently unknown.
- March 6, 2008
- Apps + Games
Confirming details previously disclosed to iLounge, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and VP Scott Forstall today used the iPhone Software Roadmap event to officially discuss the development requirements for iPhone and iPod touch software. Under the iPhone Developer Program:
Abilities: The iPhone and iPod touch Software Development Kit (SDK) will enable developers to access most of the iPhone’s hardware functionality, including its sensors, camera, EDGE and Wi-Fi antennas, as well as its Mac OS X-like software resources such as Core Animation, Core Services, Core Audio, and OpenGL. Applications will not be able to access the devices’ Dock Connectors, other than for purposes already specified by Apple. Tools will be provided to help developers create and debug applications quickly, using either an iPhone Simulator or an actual iPhone/iPod touch device.
Development: The SDK will be available to developers for free starting today, however, strings are attached. Apple will charge a $99 fee to join its new iPhone Development Program, which will include the generation of a digital certificate that will identify the company when its applications are published, and the ability to run your applications on an actual iPhone or iPod touch. Additionally, the SDK will only run on Macintosh computers. A $299 fee will be charged for the Enterprise Program, specific to developers “who are creating proprietary, in-house applications for iPhone and iPod touch.”
Publishing: Apple will publish all iPhone applications, regardless of the developer, making them accessible through iTunes and a new App Store icon on the iPhone and iPod touch. The applications will be hosted and distributed solely by Apple, and all transactions will be processed by the company, with a 30% cut of all sales going to maintain the App Store. This figure, roughly the same percentage as what is paid to Apple by artists selling music through the iTunes Store, leaves 70% to the developers, who will be paid on a monthly basis. Developers who do not want to distribute through iTunes can create web applications or stay off of the platform altogether.
Limitations: Apple will not distribute pornographic or malicious applications, or ones that will invade privacy, but has suggested that its interest is in getting as many applications out as possible, not in restricting applications. The company plans to use both the digital certificate program and the App Store to prevent bad applications from affecting too many users: users will be able to report malicious applications, enabling Apple to disable access to them from the App Store, and the company claimed that it will track and contact developers of problem applications. During a Q+A session, Apple also said that it will limit the ability of VOIP applications to use the cellular network, but will not restrict that over Wi-Fi, and that it will not allow carrier unlock software to be distributed through the Store.
Funding: Venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has developed the iFund, a $100-million pool of funds designed to help the firm find and back budding iPhone developers. The goal is to locate and build up entrepreneurs whose talents can grow what the firm believes to be an even more significant invention than the personal computer, given the iPhone’s mobility and access to communications networks.
Limited, U.S.-based Developers Only: According to the page, “The iPhone Developer Program will initially be available to a limited number of developers in the U.S. and will expand to other countries in the coming months.”
Future Versions of the SDK to Come: Interface Builder, a UI development application discussed by Apple during the Event, is not included in the initial SDK release. “Future releases of the iPhone SDK will include Interface Builder to make designing a user interface as easy as drag and drop.”
Enterprise Developer Benefits: As a component of the $299 fee, “iPhone enterprise customers will be able to create a private page on the App Store accessible by their employees only.”
Free SDK Available Now: The SDK can be downloaded from this link.
- March 6, 2008
- Apps + Games
Having previously released titles for the iPod, Electronic Arts and Sega today showed demonstrations of advanced games running on the iPhone platform. The first demonstration, Electronic Arts’ Spore, was based on a Will Wright title previously announced for current-generation game consoles, computers, and handhelds. Spore places you in control of an evolving spore-like creature that can be customized to grow stronger and bigger as it defeats enemies, eventually evolving into a multi-cellular creature capable of leaving the planet. Unique iPhone features of the game include touchscreen and tilt sensor-based controls. Spore has been announced for a late 2008 release on other platforms; Electronic Arts says that the game will be available to “play” on iPhone in September. No price has been announced.
Sega’s demonstration of Super Monkey Ball has not yet been confirmed as a full-fledged iPhone game, but is highly likely to become one based on comments from the company at Apple’s iPhone Software Roadmap event. Based upon the Nintendo GameCube game and subsequent releases, Super Monkey Ball places you in control of a monkey inside of a ball, who traverses grid-like mazes in 3-D. Control is achieved by tilting the iPhone, rather than using an on-screen controller; the game looked slightly below PSP quality in the demonstration form, but still impressive by handheld game or cell phone standards. No release date or pricing has been provided.
- March 6, 2008
Amongst numerous other announcements related to the iPhone and iPod touch software roadmap, Apple today announced that version 2.0 of the iPhone and iPod touch software will arrive in June of this year, bringing with it features designed to support corporate and enterprise customers, as well as downloadable applications developed using a new iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK). The 2.0 software, which will be available to certain of Apple’s enterprise customers on a test basis before June, will enable users to download iPhone and iPod touch applications through a section of the Mac and PC iTunes Store called the App Store, as well as directly via a new iPhone and iPod touch App Store icon, which parallels the iTunes Wi-Fi Store designed specifically for software applications. Apple will replace the current iTunes icon on iPhones and iPod touches with one that stays purple but features a musical note in the center, while the App Store will gain the same icon, only in blue, and with an applications icon in the center.
Enterprise features announced by Apple today include integrated support for Microsoft Exchange servers via ActiveSync, improved Cisco IPsec VPN functionality, enterprise class wireless features with support for 802.1x and WPA2 security, and the ability to protect data if an iPhone is stolen. Most interestingly, ActiveSync has been licensed by Apple from Microsoft for installation on the iPhone, such that the 2.0 software update will enable business users to receive “push” e-mail, contact, and calendar data without manual checking or physical synchronization; each can be sent directly from an Exchange server to the iPhone, wherever it is connected to an EDGE or Wi-Fi network. Similar push technology will enable a company to wipe an iPhone clean of data automatically if it is stolen. No new iPhone applications will be needed to use these features; the existing e-mail, calendar, and contacts applications will handle pushed data.
Apple’s 2.0 software update will be free of charge for iPhone owners and available for a “nominal” fee to iPod touch users.
- March 6, 2008
- Apps + Games
iLounge is currently live at the Apple iPhone Software Roadmap Event in Cupertino, California. The event will begin at 10:00AM Pacific Time, 1:00PM Eastern Time. We will provide updates from this link as the event progresses.
The scene inside Apple’s Building 4, where the Event is being held. Journalists, analysts, and certain developers are currently awaiting entrance into the small Apple auditorium chosen for this event.
Representatives of companies such as Nike have been spotted inside. We plan to offer additional updates as the Event progresses.
As of 9:51AM PT, the crowd was welcomed into the Town Hall auditorium. At 10:00AM, the event began.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO: Thank you for joining us this morning for this special event. A few statistics: for the first 8 months, the iPhone has garnered 28% marketshare of smartphone market. The iPhone is really bringing internet to mobile device for the first time. You really have the Internet in your pocket. iPhone is 71% of the US mobile browser usage.
Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall will be doing the heavy lifting. iPhone in the enterprise is first.
Phil Schiller: Customers have wanted to adopt iPhone into the enterprise. Genentech, leading biotech company. They have thousands of iPhones deployed within the enterprise: company says it’s a watershed event for their mobile computing. Also, universities are large customers with huge networks: Stanford has hundreds deployed from faculty and staff.
A lot of things people have told them would make iPhone huge in the enterprise. First, great e-mail integration. They want push e-mail directly from servers. They also want great calendar integration, no matter where, pushed to them. Also pushed contact information. They want more VPN, with Cisco support built right into the iPhone. They want enterprise class Wi-Fi and 802.1x, WPA2 security. And they want to be able to protect data if an iPhone is stolen. Apple is doing all of those things in the next version of iPhone software.
Microsoft Exchange support right into the iPhone. Licensed ActiveSync so it can go directly into the iPhone, work with corporate exchange servers. The old way of doing this is to get updates from network operations center, which needs to get info from inside of a proprietary messaging server inside of a firewall. Takes a lot of money to maintain. That’s the old way. Microsoft has a more advanced way. ActiveSync now lets you work directly with an Exchange server, which is more reliable and portable. You will get push e-mail, push calendaring, contacts, and global address lists. It will be built into the apps already on the iPhone. Same e-mail app on iPhone will work with Exchange server, same calendar. Same contacts. Provides the best solution possible, best integration.
Product demo, with help from Bob Borchers from product marketing (previously shown in the iPhone introduction video) sending information from a computer within the room. Information such as contact, e-mail, and calendar data is being created by Bob and sent to the iPhone, appearing right away on the iPhone’s screen. That’s what push is about—having stuff get sent directly, instantly from the server to you without forcing you to refresh or wait around. In the event of a theft, the phone can be pushed to be wiped, protecting your data.
Nike has let Apple deploy the enterprise features of iPhone on test within their site, and is happy with it; Disney has done the same. These are the features customers have been asking for, and that’s it on the enterprise.
Scott Forstall: Talking about the iPhone SDK. First, an update on web apps: Developers can built apps with web technologies. Has been incredibly successful, with over 1,000 web apps for the iPhone. They have continued to get better over the last 8 months, enabling developers to put icons on the home screen of the iPhone to take you to apps. Facebook and Bank of America have great web apps. BOA is the largest bank in the USA, and the industry meter for mobile banker. Now lets users bank from the iPhone. Already the most popular device for BOA mobile banking customers - over 25% of all mobile banking. Web apps will get even more, soon.
Apple will give same internal native APIs and tools to third-parties, letting them build the same SDK Apple has been using. There are a lot of pieces that make up the SDK. Mac OS X has four layers - core OS, core services, media layer, and Cocoa, the UI app framework. The first three went straight to the iPhone. Cocoa is the best app framework out there, but it’s based on keyboard, so Apple updated it for the iPhone with a touch API, called Cocoa touch. This is the architecture of the iPhone OS.
Core OS: This is the same OS X kernel as used in Mac OS X. Optimized in certain ways, for low-memory on the iPhone, but it’s the same kernel. Networking kernel is the same. Power management is even better on the iPhone—automatic. Core Services: Address book. You can have applications talk directly to contact database. Also, you see that you can triangulate your location through Google Maps; now you have this in an API for location-aware other applications. Media layer: iPhone is a great iPod. Core Audio is part of it, on top of this you have OpenAL, an industry standard audio API for multi-channel three-dimensional positional audio, great for game developers. Built in. Video playback is seamless, using H.264 codec. Core Animation, powerful APIs to create layered animation. It was built in many ways for the iPhone; every animation on the iPhone comes from this. OpenGL Embedded is a screamer for 3-D graphics on the iPhone. Everything is heavily hardware accelerated with great, long battery life.
And Cocoa touch: built around touch as an input concept. Everything from single finger, multi-finger, to gestures. Multi-touch controls know all about accelerometer and other sensors in the iPhone. You mightn’t know that it’s a full three-axis sensor that applications can access. Web; there’s a Safari-based API. Also camera features. Years ahead of any other mobile platform for any mobile device.
A comprehensive set of tools will help developers build, debug, and create apps. Xcode was the basis, enhanced for the iPhone. Xcode is used for all apps on the iPhone. Knows all about APIs. Everything is managed for you. Integrates with your source code management system, letting you check codes in and out, create new branches, etc. You can plug your iPhone into your Mac, run the app live on your iPhone, and debug live from your Mac.
Interface builder is a tool to let you build your iPhone user interface. This is as simple as drag and drop. A complete library of all the UI controls from Cocoa touch is available. You can also localize to all languages you want to support.
Instruments is a comprehensive suite of performance analysis tools. You can compare interactions of different aspects of the app’s performance, and figure out easily how to optimize code based on realtime data from different parts of the app.
Xcode, Interface Builder, and Instruments will be joined by iPhone Simulator. This runs on a Mac, simulates entire API stack of iPhone, and includes some existing iPhone applications solely for the purpose of letting you see how they work. Full iPhone Safari is built in, with clicks simulating touches on the screen.
He’s going to build a Hello World application from nothing on stage. Single click from build to go. It’s just as easy to build live on an iPhone. Plug standard 30-pin cable into the Mac and iPhone. You can compile and drop into the iPhone with a click. Demonstrates use of touch, multi-touch, and use of the accelerometer in a new way—shake the phone to undo a change. Or use it to steer within a game application. And you can hear audio move around with 3-D positional audio. While you’re playing your game in debug mode, you can be tracking how it performs, and saving it on the computer to figure out how to optimize it—a stack trace will show you exactly where the frame rate falls, and what was happening to make it fall.
They’ve let a handful of coders send out a couple of engineers to see what they could do in two weeks with an SDK they have never seen before—some had not even used Mac before. Here are the engineers. Electronic Arts is first. They’re a leader in making mobile games. Travis from EA comes to the stage. They wanted to use a lot of iPhone features—video, audio, etc. They’re starting with Spore. Using accelerometer lets you control Spore. Goal of the demo is to beat things smaller than you and become bigger. You can customize the gameplay using the touchscreen, adding additional limbs to the spore character, and move things around. They’re only demonstrating 2 levels in the demo, but have gotten all 18 working already. They threw in a cutscene just to show how the video of the iPhone could be used.
Next up is Salesforce.com. They provide software as a service, world’s leader in on-demand CRM services. Chuck Dietrich. 63,000 platform applications can be brought to the iPhone, and company’s customers will enjoy using them. Salesforce Automation (SFA) application lets you manage who and what is being sold on the road. Reps would love to see how they’re doing towards their monthly goals, providing rich reporting and analytic details to provide key metrics of business performance on the road. Goal is to let people who know how to use iPhone use apps developed for iPhone—simple. Reps can be shown exactly where to focus on sales opportunities; the iPhone lets you send more data to people if they’re detected on Wi-Fi than on EDGE network, which lets Salesforce choose how much data to push out to people on demand.
Next is AOL, which runs AIM Instant Messaging. AOL in two weeks has created AIM for iPhone. Provides status messages and buddy lists with icons instantly. Starting a conversation, live over the AIM network, was really exciting for the first time. You can swipe between multiple active chats that are going on at once. There is also a status panel so you can update what’s going on with you for your contacts. You can also pick a photo from iPhone and use it as your contact image, sending it directly to AIM servers so friends can see that as your image.
Every doctor knows about Epocrates. Company rep comes up to explain how doctors will be able to access drug formulation information, most common drugs prescribed, adverse reactions, and lots of clinical content. Also, existing functionality from company lets you do a check as to whether a new medication added to existing ones in person’s system can have a harmful effect. All of the animation between menus is handled by the iPhone. Drug identifier helps you do something new when a patient comes in and says they don’t know what the drug was they’ve taken—a drug can be IDed by matching it against known physical characteristics of a drug in the database.
Last is Sega. What would be great to bring to iPhone? Super Monkey Ball. Powerful SDK gives you ability to create 3-D graphics, tilt the iPhone to control the monkey ball on screen. Even if you don’t know what to do, you can figure out how to move the iPhone around to control it. This is not a cell phone game. It’s a full console game. And Sega underestimated what the iPhone could do: they had to bring an extra artist in to produce the graphics for the demo. The game looks sub-PSP quality but very, very good.
Once you have all of these amazing apps, how do you get them on your iPhone? Back to Steve Jobs.
Steve: What is your dream as a developer? To get it in front of every iPhone user. That’s not possible today because developers don’t have those resources. Apple will solve it by selling through the App Store, an application that will deliver apps to the iPhone through the next release of the software. Apps will be downloadable through iPhone. You can browse the Store in an interface similar to the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. If you’re interested in getting an app, it gets wirelessly downloaded through cell network or wi-fi. Also through iTunes to browse and download. If you download an app, and it’s been updated by the developer, app store will tell you, and you can instantly get an updated version of the app. The App Store will be the exclusive way to get iPhone applications directly to iPhone users.
Developers want to know the business deal. Developer picks the price, gets 70% of revenues. Apple keeps 30% for hosting, credit card, marketing and running the App Store. Pay is monthly. Developers can also give apps for free. No charge for free apps hosted through Apple. Limitations: Apple will not distribute porn, malicious apps, or ones that will invade privacy. But Apple wants to get a ton of apps out there.
How will this be delivered: it will come in iPhone 2.0 software update. It will combine SDK plus all the new enterprise capabilities. Beta release going out today to thousands of developers and hundreds of companies, to get feedback. iPhone customers will get it in June, as a free upgrade. One other part: it’s not just the iPhone, it’s also the iPod touch. Same software will run on the iPod touch too, including the enterprise features. There will be a nominal charge for the iPod touch update.
How to become an iPhone developer: Go to Apple’s website. Get the SDK for free, run it on a Mac. But then you have to join the iPhone developer program if you want to run it on an iPhone or an iPod touch. Then you can distribute the app. It’s $99 to join the developer program.
One last thing: Kleiner Perkins, a leading venture capital company. Kleiner loves Apple-related entrepreneurs. Jobs’s own story is one of entrepreneurialism, failure, and then resurrection. Funding—they announce the iFund for the iPhone platform. It took millions to start some major companies. iFund is $100-million fund. Today, launch of the SDK will create the next big platform for Apple, providing a broadband pocket solution that knows who and where you are. They see it as bigger than the personal computer. They want to recruit great talent to build amazing companies. Matt Murphy and others at the firm will run the fund, and help entrepreneurs to create the next generation of companies.
Refreshments for everyone outside. Press will be staying for the next few minutes for a Q+A.
Steve Jobs: Ten minutes for Q+A. What does the $100 million do for the iPhone developer community? It gives small companies an opportunity, and Kleiner a chance to fund great new developers.
This is about serving customers, and enterprise needs. iPhone has been out for less than a year, and Apple is moving very fast to get people as happy as possible.
Application limitations: It’s a big concern that apps can be viruses, violate privacy. On one side, there is a closed device like the iPod that always works. On the other side is a Windows PC where people spend time every day trying to get it back up to be usable. Apple wants best of all worlds. No malicious apps. Apple will have developers register for $99, giving an electronic certificate that tells Apple who the devs are. The distribution will be through the App Store, so if there is a problem, they can turn off the spigot. Other forms of limitation are being kept by Apple to itself right now. They’ll do best job they can and learn as they go.
If something slips through the cracks, they can turn off access very easily.
VOIP: The initial take is that Apple will only limit VOIP over the cellular network. It will be allowed over Wi-Fi. They won’t be usable at all over the cellular network, at least initially, this may liberalize over time.
Exchange/Enterprise: You can have multiple e-mail accounts, contact databases, calendars, etcetera. You can only have one Exchange account at once, however.
Apple as exclusive distributor, monopoly? If they don’t sign up with Apple, they cannot distribute their apps on the iPhone. Web apps will continue to be supported without using the SDK. Apple does not intend to make money off of the App Store, says Steve. It’s just like the iTunes Store. They just want an efficient channel for developers. This system, notes Phil, provides a great way to provide free apps to people as well, with Apple’s servers and store there to provide support that developers themselves couldn’t afford to provide.
Will carrier unlock software be permitted? No.
How much will iPod touch software update cost? Will accounting change for iPod touch over time? Apple does not look at this as a profit opportunity.
IT managers - how can they convert from Blackberry to iPhone? Because of Exchange server with ActiveSync, it’s easy. Tools will be given to IT managers to let them configure devices via e-mail or a secure web site.
Rollout: This is international, and will be in all of iPhone countries. This is not an open-source project. It is for profit, to help sell iPhones.
How can enterprises distribute their own apps to their employees? There will be a special system for this.
What if an enterprise does not want employees loading their iPhones up with applications? Steve says they will have to discuss and think about that. However, Scott suggests that parental controls will let people turn off things like Safari or the App Store, and perhaps this can be extended to enterprise.
Why change your mind from last year, only allowing web applications: They have worked really well, but developers gave feedback that they wanted to do even more with the iPhone. To create an SDK is a lot of work, and it’s taken some time. Teams have been working tirelessly going through single API calls over 10 iterations, trying to make sure it all works.
Will there be a waiting period before apps are available to customers? The iPhone software development program is new, letting devs securely submit applications in a whole new process electronically. No additional details.
Carrier relationship: Apps were previously released through carriers. How does this work with carriers? Bandwidth would be a concern. This, says Steve, is part of the new relationship: Apple is responsible for the software on the phone, not the carriers.
Will developers be allowed to interface with Dock Connected accessories: In iPhone 2.0, there will not be APIs for this, anything different from what iPhone does now.
That’s the end of the event.
- March 6, 2008
Fortune has published a series of excerpts from an interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, covering a broad range of topics including the iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. Worth reading in their entirety, the excerpts include several interesting details on each of Apple’s major initiatives, such as:
iPod. Before the iPod, Jobs explained, slow Mac sales had led Apple to a crisis of confidence; the company had to “wonder sometimes whether [we were] wrong,” said Jobs. “Maybe our stuff isn’t better, although we thought it was. Or maybe people don’t care, which is even more depressing.” Strong iPod sales were “a great shot in the arm for everybody.”
iPhone. After an extended period of living with the originally designed enclosure for the iPhone, Jobs concluded that he didn’t “love” the shell, an emotion that he would need to feel for what he believed was the company’s most important release ever. “[W]e pushed the reset button. We went through all of the zillions of models we’d made and ideas we’d had.” And, with too little time remaining before the device’s announcement, he challenged the designers to do better, quickly. “It was hell because we had to go to the team and say, ‘All this work you’ve [done] for the last year, we’re going to have to throw it away and start over, and we’re going to have to work twice as hard now because we don’t have enough time.’ “
Apple TV. Jobs suggests that the original version of Apple TV failed because people didn’t really want to send iTunes content from a Mac or PC to a widescreen TV; they wanted, he says, to watch movies—the reason the company negotiated with Hollywood studios for rentals, and dropped the starting price to $229. “Will this resonate and be something that you just can’t live without and love? We’ll see. I think it’s got a shot.”
Control. Being able to write and control software is, Jobs explained, the key to the company’s current and future product plans. “[W]e didn’t want to get into any business where we didn’t own or control the primary technology because you’ll get your head handed to you.”
On PDAs. Despite years of pressure to release a Newton-like PDA, Jobs said that the company was smarter not to release such a product. “I realized one day that 90% of the people who use a PDA only take information out of it on the road. They don’t put information into it. Pretty soon cellphones are going to do that, so the PDA market’s going to get reduced to a fraction of its current size, and it won’t really be sustainable.” Instead, Jobs said, the company put its efforts and resources into the iPod.
- March 5, 2008
Following Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ statement yesterday that the company is holding to its target of 10 million iPhones sold in 2008, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has said that according to his models, Apple will easily beat that target. “We are currently modeling for 12.9m iPhones in CY08,” said Munster. “Exceeding the goal by 2.9m units or 29%.” Fortune reports that Munster also received confirmation that the goal is for 10 million iPhones sold in 2008, not 10 million iPhones sold from its release on June 29, 2007. “We confirmed with Apple,” he said, “that the goal is to sell 10m iPhones ‘in CY08’ alone.”
- March 5, 2008
- Mac Software
Sci-Fi Hi-Fi software has announced PodWorks 2.9.3, the latest update to its iPod song transfer application for Mac. According to the company, PodWorks 2.9.3 “includes a large number of changes aimed at increasing the performance, reliability, and ease of use of the application’s existing iTunes integration, as well as a new “metadata only” transfer feature that can set a song’s play count, last played date, star rating, and other attributes based on its counterpart on an iPod or iPhone.” PodWorks 2.9.2 is available for $8 and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
- March 5, 2008
Apple has dropped its prices on the iPod classic and iPod nano (wth video) in several European markets by 10-20€. In France, the 4GB and 8GB iPod nano models have dropped from 159€ and 209€ to 149€ and 199€, respectively, while the 80GB iPod classic was reduced from 259€ to 249€ and the 160GB model went from 359€ to 349€. In Germany and Italy, both nano models saw price reductions of 10€, while the iPod classic was reduced by €20. Similar price cuts were seen in Spain, as well. These cuts follow similar drops for the iPod touch, which saw its French pricing reduced by 20-30€ back in January.
Update: Apple has also reduced its prices on the iPod nano (with video) and iPod classic in Canada. The 4GB iPod nano dropped from $169 CAD to $159 CAD and the 80GB iPod classic was reduced from $279 CAD to $259 CAD; similar price adjustments were also made to the 8GB iPod nano and 160GB iPod classic.
- March 4, 2008
During Apple’s annual shareholders meeting, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made several comments about the iPhone regarding its lack of an Adobe Flash player and the upcoming Software Development Kit. Jobs said the iPhone needs something more advanced than the Flash Lite player Adobe currently makes for cellphones, but that the full-blown Flash player “performs too slow to be useful” on the device. “There’s this missing product in the middle,” Jobs said. “It just doesn’t exist. We enjoy a good relationship with Adobe.” Fielding a question about what to expect from the SDK release, Jobs said, “you’ll see a lot of apps out there this summer.” He also reiterated the company’s goal of selling 10 million iPhones in 2008, and in response to a question about Apple’s succession plan, he said, “we’ve got great talent, and I think the board would have a few really good choices,” while pointing out that it was the board of directors’ job to “make sure everybody is a potential successor to me.”
- March 4, 2008
Fortune has announced that Apple tops its 26th annual list of America’s Most Admired Companies. In an interview with Fortune Senior Editor Betsy Morris, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “We do no market research. We just want to make great products.”
French electronics retail chain Fnac is in discussions to distribute the iPhone in France, according to a Le Figaro report. The French daily cites Fnac head Denis Olivennes as saying that Orange’s exclusive rights for the iPhone in France are “inadmissible.” The report also stated that should negotiations fail, Fnac plans to take legal action.
Although it has been reported by several readers in our comments, Apple has officially acknowledged that a bug where SMS text messages would appear in the wrong order has been fixed in the latest iPhone software. On an Apple support page discussing the problem, the solution now listed is “Use iTunes to update to iPhone Software 1.1.4 or later.”
A new article posted to intstructables.com explains how to make an iPod Video Projector. The project requires cardboard, a mirror, a couple of lenses, does not require any power, and can be made to support any video-capable iPod or iPhone.
- March 4, 2008
- iPod nano
Nike and Apple have announced a new initiative that will offer the Nike + iPod experience in gyms worldwide this summer. The two companies are currently working with major gym equipment manufacturers such as Life Fitness, Precor, Star Trac, and Technogym to make their cardio exercise equipment Nike + iPod compatible, so that users can track their workouts on machines like treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and stair climbers. Users will plug their iPod nanos directly into the equipment at the beginning of their workout to automatically record their progress. It appears that this will function as an alternative to the Sport Kit, allowing for the same kind of statistic and goal tracking, but using the equipment’s built-in measurement systems instead of the Kit’s wireless components. Users will still be able to log and track their data on nikeplus.com, just as they would if using the Sport Kit. To date, Nike + iPod runners have logged close to 50 million miles on the website, making it the world’s largest running club.
“The Nike + iPod experience revolutionized running. Now we’re revolutionizing the gym cardio experience,” said Trevor Edwards, Nike’s Vice President of Global Brand and Category Management. “We’re enabling people who go to the gym an opportunity to set goals, track progress, and compete in challenges with their friends and with other members of www.nikeplus.com. It’s a groundbreaking tool for people who want to maximize their workouts.”
“The iPod is an essential part of millions of people’s workouts and now users can easily set goals and track their progress with Nike + iPod,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing for iPod. “We’re excited to be working with Nike and leading equipment manufacturers to bring the Nike + iPod experience to the gym.”
- March 4, 2008
- iPod Accessories
Numark has introduced its TTi turntable, which offers direct recording to iPod or a computer. The TTi features an integrated Universal iPod Dock, and can record directly to the fifth-generation iPod, iPod classic, and the second- and third-generation iPod nano. Included software lets the TTi record directly to a user’s iTunes Library via the USB interface, and also reduces pops and clicks found on some old vinyl recordings. Other features include line-level output, pitch control, and a metal platter. The Numark TTi will be available in the second quarter of 2008 and will sell for $450.
- March 4, 2008
During the announcement of iTunes Movie Rentals in January, Apple said it hoped to offer 1,000 films by the end of February. According to a new report, it fell far short of that goal. AppleInsider reports that as of Monday, only 384 movies were available for rent through iTunes, less than 40% of Apple’s stated target. Only 91 films were available in HD, and out of those, 40 lacked Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. In addition, 21 titles came from the 1980’s and earlier, pre-dating modern filmmaking techniques which allow movies to see the greatest benefit from HD resolution and surround sound. This limited number of titles puts Apple at a disadvantage compared to competitors like Amazon’s Unbox and Netflix’s streaming service, which currently offer 10,440 and 5,000 titles, respectively.