The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is set to launch an investigation to determine if Apple’s business practices in the mobile space are unjustly limiting competition, according to a new report. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that the investigation is the result of “weeks” of negotiations with the Justice Department over which body would look into allegations that companies are being shut-out of Apple’s newest computing platforms. It cites as examples Apple’s ongoing feud with Adobe over Flash on the iOS, Google’s complaints relating to Apple’s decision to effectively bar AdMob from its iOS devices, and it position on cross-platform development solutions. According to the report, this new investigation may be handled independently of other probes of Apple’s business, including the Justice Department’s probe into Apple’s digital music and media business.
Apple has released iTunes Connect Mobile, a new iPhone and iPod touch app designed to allow developers to access their sales and trend data from the iTunes Store directly on their devices. iTunes Connect Mobile allows users to view daily and weekly sales data related to application updates, paid apps, free apps, and In-App purchases. Although iTunes Connect Mobile provides sales numbers in terms of actual downloads, this version does not provide any reporting on more detailed information available from iTunes Connect such as actual dollar revenue, sales history, chart positions or customer reviews. iTunes Connect Mobile is available from the App Store as a free download.
iLounge has posted a set of two new high-definition hands-on videos of Apple’s iPhone 4 today, one focused on the externals of the new phone by comparison with the original iPhone and iPhone 3GS, and the other on its new software and interface.
The first video is a comparison of the iPhone 4, original iPhone, and iPhone 3GS (YouTube HD link), showing the final, working phone from all angles. It’s also available from Vimeo.
The second video is a full interface video for the iPhone 4 (YouTube HD link), showing off everything from FaceTime to iBooks, iMovie, iOS4 multitasking with the new Pandora application, and the iPhone 4’s other built-in applications. It’s also available from Vimeo.
Both videos are in 720p format.
U.S. antitrust regulators are preparing to launch an investigation into Apple’s decision to effectively bar AdMob from its iOS devices. The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that it’s currently unclear whether the Federal Trade Commission or the Justice Department will handle the investigation. Apple recently changed its iOS developer terms to forbid the sharing of user information with “an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple,” effectively barring AdMob from all iOS applications. Notably, the company also added language that bars third-party analytics services. Apple is already facing antitrust scrutiny from the Justice Department in relation to its digital music business and its blocking of Flash software from its iOS devices.
Apple has updated its iOS developer agreement to allow for some sharing of user and device data with third-party advertisers, while effectively banning Google-owned AdMob in the process. AllThingsD reports that in April, Apple changed its developer agreement to ban the sharing of user and device data with third party ad networks and analytics tools, a move that Apple CEO Steve Jobs later said was made in the interest of protecting user privacy, adding that the company might revisit the terms in the future. The new terms allow for the sharing of “UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes,” but only when prior user consent has been given, and then in only two circumstances: when the collection, use or disclosure is necessary “in order to provide a service or function that is directly relevant to the user of the Application,” or “is for the purpose of serving advertising” to the application.
Notably, the new terms specify that developers “may not use third party analytics software” to “collect and send device data to a third party for aggregation, processing, or analysis.” They also stipulate that third party advertising is only allowed when the advertising service is “an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent).” The new terms appear to ban both AdMob and analytics services such as Flurry, which was singled out in Jobs’ response explaining the initial change.
AdMob founder Omar Hamoui has responded to Apple’s move in a post on AdMob’s blog, saying the changes threaten to “decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well.” He added that the change in terms “is not in the best interests of users or developers,” and said the company would be “speaking to Apple to express our concerns about the impact of these terms.”
Apple has hired Rich Dellinger, a User Interface Design Architect at Palm, as a Senior User Interface Designer. According to Dellinger’s LinkedIn page, he was responsible for creating the “non-intrusive banner notification system used in webOS,” and also “co-developed the Application Framework used by webOS,” including the “CSS structure and defined HTML layout.” This will not be the first time Dellinger has worked at Apple, however, as he originally joined the company in December 1999 as a Senior Technical Support Engineer, before moving his way up to a User Interface Designer position in which he “designed applications for Apple products, including Mac OS X, iPod, and iPhone,” before leaving for Palm in April 2006. [via PreCentral]
As part of its ongoing WWDC 2010 event, Apple has given out its annual Apple Design Awards to notable iPhone and iPad apps. According to the company’s website, the Awards recognize apps that “demonstrate technical excellence, innovation, technology adoption, and quality.” This year’s iPhone winners included Lima Sky’s Doodle Jump, Firemint’s Real Racing, Sophiestication Software’s Articles, Steve Sprang’s Brushes, and Zolo’s 20 Minute Meals for Jamie Oliver. Among the iPad applications honored were The Financial Times’ Financial Times iPad Edition, Agile Partners’ TabToolkit, Vito Technology’s Star Walk for iPad, Firemint’s Flight Control HD, and OOO Gameprom’s Pinball HD. In an unusual move likely due to the iOS focus of this year’s conference, Apple did not include a Mac application category in its Design Awards event. [via Ars Technica]
Cisco has reached an agreement to license its iOS trademark to Apple. During its WWDC 2010 keynote address, Apple announced that it would be changing the name of iPhone OS to “iOS,” which was covered under a Cisco trademark relating to its “IOS” network infrastructure software. “Cisco has agreed to license the iOS trademark to Apple for use as the name of Apple’s operating system for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad,” Cisco said in a statement reprinted on a company blog. “The license is for use of the trademark only and not for any technology.” Notably, Cisco was also the owner of the iPhone trademark when Apple first introduced the phone in January of 2007; the dispute over the name led to a lawsuit which was eventually dropped when the two companies came to an agreement to share the iPhone name.
Apple has released the Golden Master Candidate version of iOS 4, as well as iTunes 9.2 Beta, to registered iPhone developers. The iOS 4 GM Candidate is a near-final version of the next-generation iPhone and iPod touch operating system, offering a number of new features including multitasking folders, the unified Mail inbox, rotation lock, and more. iTunes 9.2 will include a number of new features, including support for iPhone 4, the ability to sync and organize books on the iPhone and iPod touch and PDFs on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, the ability to create iOS Folders from within iTunes, faster back-ups when syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 installed, and performance improvements. Both iOS 4 GM and iTunes 9.2 Beta are available for download now from the iPhone Dev Center. Apple will launch iOS 4 on June 21 as a free upgrade for all applicable products, including the second- and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS; iTunes 9.2 will likely appear around this time, as well.
Update: Apple has announced that developers can start submitting iOS 4 applications for approval on June 10, 2010.
Apple has posted an on-demand Quicktime streaming video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address from WWDC 2010. During the address, Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4, discussed some of the new features of iOS—formerly iPhone OS—4, and gave several updates regarding the iPad and App Store. For more coverage of yesterday’s event, see our full transcript, our Flickr photostream, and our News section.
During its WWDC keynote address, Apple and several third-party developers announced notable new and upcoming app releases for the iPhone and iPod touch. Most notably, Apple announced a new version of iMovie for iPhone 4. Described by Apple as a “feature-rich video editing app,” iMovie will offer a Multi-Touch interface for selecting and editing video, with the ability to add photos customized with a Ken Burns panning effect, and soundtrack audio chosen from a built-in, custom-scored music library or from the device’s own iPod library. The app can detect audio such as conversations or narration and automatically reduce the soundtrack volume, and can export in one of three sizes—medium (640x360), large (960x540), or HD (1280x720)—with sharing options including email, MMS, MobileMe, and YouTube. Edited movies can be further enhanced by applying one of five built-in themes, with custom titles, transitions, and maps based on the geotag information of the video clips being used. iMovie will soon be available from the App Store and will sell for $5.
Activision got on stage to announce the release of Guitar Hero for the iPhone and iPod touch. Based on the popular music videogame for traditional consoles, Guitar Hero offers new gameplay mechanics including slide, strum, and whammy gestures, built-in social network feeds, the ability for users to personalize their in-game personas and share them with friends. Six songs, including selections from The Rolling Stones, Queen, Vampire Weekend, and The White Stripes are included, with other tracks available via in-app purchase. Guitar Hero for the iPhone and iPod touch is available now and sells for $3.
Announced for a release this summer was Netflix for the iPhone and iPod touch. Similar to the company’s well-received app for the iPad, Netflix for the iPhone and iPod touch will allow users to instantly stream movies and TV shows to their devices, with features including the ability to resume content in progress that was started on another device, queue access, and optimization for playback over 3G or Wi-Fi. Finally, Zygna announced that it will be bringing its Farmville virtual farming game to the iPhone and iPod touch, with touch screen-based controls, the ability to visit Facebook friends’ farms, and an in-app store. It will be released by the end of this month.
Alongside the iPhone 4, Apple today announced a pair of accessories for its latest handset. Bumpers are case-like rubber and molded plastic accessories that appear to wrap around the edge of the iPhone, with metal covers for the volume and power buttons. Available in six two-tone color combinations—white, black, blue, green, orange, or pink—they will sell for $29. In addition, Apple will offer a redesigned iPhone Dock for the iPhone 4, roughly matching the width of the device and leaving the sides of the iPhone exposed; it too will sell for $29. Apple will launch the iPhone on June 24; it is unclear whether the new accessories will be released at the same time, or at a later date.
What follows is a reverse chronological transcript of our WWDC 2010 Keynote coverage, discussing the launch of iPhone 4 and iOS 4 (formerly iPhone OS 4) in June, 2010. The event was presented by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at 10 AM Pacific Time in San Francisco, California at the Moscone Center.
Click on the title of this article for the full transcript.
Apple today renamed its mobile device operating system, replacing the former iPhone OS moniker with “iOS.” Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the change during his WWDC keynote address, and used the opportunity to highlight some of iOS 4’s previously revealed features, including multitasking, folders, the unified Mail inbox, rotation lock, and enterprise features like Exchange Server 2010 support, wireless app distribution, mobile device management, data protection, and SSL VPN support. In an update on the new iAd advertising service, Jobs mentioned a number of large brands that have signed on to the service, including Nissan, Citibank, GE, Sears, Target, Best Buy, and others; the service will go live on July 1 for all iOS 4 devices, with $60 million committed for the second half of 2010.
New to the OS will be an option to use Bing search instead of Google or Yahoo!; Jobs also revealed that the 100 millionth iOS device will be sold this month. Developers can download the gold master of iOS 4 beginning today by visiting the iPhone Dev Center; iOS 4 will launch on June 21 as a free upgrade for all applicable products, including the second- and third-generation iPod touch, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS.
During his keynote address today at the company’s WWDC event, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave several updates regarding the App Store. As of today, there are 225,00 apps available in the store, with 8,500 available for iPad users. iPad users have downloaded over 35 million apps thus far, for an average of 17 apps per iPad, while the App Store overall has seen over 5 billion downloads, with more than $1 billion in revenue paid out to developers. Jobs said that Apple is seeing over 15,000 new app submissions each week, with apps coming in up to 30 different languages, and despite the constant influx, 95% of all submissions are approved within seven days.
iLounge’s editors are on site at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco and will be offering live coverage of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote address, which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time/1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Jobs is expected to unveil the fourth-generation iPhone during the event, and will likely discuss further details of iPhone OS 4, as well as other topics. As we have done in the past, iLounge.com will take you to our streamlined special event page half an hour or so before the event; you can set your bookmarks ahead of time to live.ilounge.com, and we also hope to update our Flickr account with new photos.
New changes to Apple’s MobileMe account type labels suggest the service may be moving to a tiered membership scheme. Ars Technica reports that several MobileMe subscribers have reported seeing their accounts, which were previously listed as either “Individual” or “Family Pack,” now listed as “Full Member.” Previously, only “Trial,” “Individual,” and “Family Pack” were possible account types. The report notes that recent rumors have suggested Apple will move the service to a tiered pricing scheme, possibly offering some services for free to better compete with Google.
Earlier this evening, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave an on-stage interview with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher to open this year’s D: All Things Digital Conference. Jobs touched on a number of subjects, ranging from the App Store approval process to the purchase and subsequent publication of details relating to the fourth-generation iPhone. Perhaps most notably, Jobs revealed that the basis for the iPhone OS originally started as a software project for a tablet, and was only re-focused on a phone once Jobs saw the initial user interface coming together. He later made an analogy between traditional PCs and trucks and tablet computers and cars, saying that he thinks PCs will be more like trucks, and over time, less people will need them.
Asked about his own open letter regarding Apple’s stance on Flash support for the iPhone OS platform, Jobs depicted the company as having fewer resources than some competitors, and explained that it tries to look for technology that is up and coming, instead of on its way out. He noted Apple’s history of both abandoning outgoing technology earlier than competitors, such as with the 3.5-inch floppy disc in the iMac and optical drives in the MacBook Air, and adopting new, upcoming technologies earlier than others, pointing to USB support in the first iMac. He described Flash as waning, and said he only wrote the letter after Adobe publicly complained about the lack of Flash support on the iPad.
The United States Justice Department’s probe into Apple’s business practices has expanded beyond digital music to include other types of media, according to a new report. Citing unnamed sources, the New York Post reports that the DOJ is now contacting large media and technology companies in addition to the major music labels and Internet music companies to learn their views on Apple. “The [Justice Dept.] is doing outreach,” an unnamed Hollywood industry source told the Post. “You can’t dictate terms to the industry. The Adobe thing is just inviting the wrath of everybody.” Another Post source at a media company said, “If Apple thinks it’s going to increase its monopoly with the iPad, it should look at the history of other walled gardens.” The New York Times reported last week that the Justice Department was looking into possible antitrust issues regarding Apple’s digital music business, in particular its efforts to keep music labels from giving Amazon early access to new release music.