Thursday, July 29, 2010

Steve Ballmer: Apple Has 'Sold More Than I'd Like Them to Sell'

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Steve Ballmer talks about Apple and the iPad during a presentation on Microsoft's consumer focused efforts to analysts.

BusinessInsider relays the following quotes from Ballmer:

"Today, one of the top issues on my mind, hey there's a category -- tablets. Apple has done an interesting job. They've sold more than I'd like them to sell. We think about that. So it's our job to say, we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with Slates."

He continues with a jab at the iPad. "We think about these devices. Not one size fits all. Been to too many meetings with journalists struggling to set up iPads for notes. We've got to push with our hardware partners...as soon as they are ready. It is job one urgency. We are working with those partners to deliver something people want to go buy. We've invested in touch, in ink. Mark up annotation, you'll see us try to bring it together to deliver slates and convertibles people will be excited about."

During the presentation Ballmer also demoed how Microsoft Phone and Desktop offerings would interact. According to BusinessInsider 'it looks good'. Windows personal cloud will be available to Windows users and Windows Phone users this fall.




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A New and Revolutionary Feature is Coming to Mac OS X

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Apple is hiring a Software Engineer to help create a revolutionary new feature in the very foundations of Mac OS X, according to a Job Posting discovered by AppleInsider.

-----
Are you looking to help create something totally new? Something that has never been done before and will truly amaze everyone? Are you excited by the prospect that what you helped create would be used every day by millions of Apple customers? Then come and work on with the Mac OS X software engineering team to help build a new and revolutionary feature for Mac OS X.

We are looking for a senior software engineer to help us create a revolutionary new feature in the very foundations of Mac OS X. We have something truly revolutionary and really exciting in progress and it is going to require your most creative and focused efforts ever.

An ideal candidate will have a degree in Computer Science (or equivalent), five years of professional experience developing C / C++ / Objective-C libraries or frameworks for use on end user systems, experience with developing for Internet technologies and services, and a passion for doing “really hard” things that have never been done before.

An exceptional candidate will also have up close and personal experience with the HTTP protocol as well as other protocols layered atop it, have participated in or lead the architecture of large web scale systems, have shipped multiple “platforms” for use by millions of users.

Additional Desired Skills and Experience:
● Mac OS X platform development experience
● Knowledge of Objective-C
● UNIX development experience
● BS in Computer Science or equivalent; 5+ years experience
-----

Any thoughts on what this new feature might be?



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Shipping Error Causes Vodafone New Zealand to Cancel iPhone 4 Launch?

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A shipping error may have caused Vodafone New Zealand to cancel its iPhone 4 launch tomorrow, according to MacRumors.

According to local reports, Apple's deal with Vodafone has been canceled in that country as all mentions of the device disappeared from the carrier's site yesterday and no launch plans had been announced. We also received word that Vodafone has posted signs in its stores this morning stating that the launch will not be taking place today.

Update: We've heard that both Vodafone and JB Hi Fi are claiming that a "shipping error" is responsible for the cancellation of today's launch in New Zealand.

Purchasing an unlocked iPhone 4 model at unsubsidized prices through Apple's online store is currently the only available option to customers.

Apple is launching the iPhone 4 in 17 more countries tomorrow.




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Asphalt 5 Updated for iPhone 4 Gyroscope, Retina Display, iOS 4

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Asphalt 5 has been updated to add support for the iPhone 4 gyroscope, retina display, and iOS 4 software.

Get in, start up and punch it in the fastest dream cars ever created by some of the most prestigious manufacturers in the world. Everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing behind the wheel is here on your iPhone/iPod Touch. Stop dreaming and get in!

THERE’S A DREAM CAR FOR YOU
Take a ride in over 30 of the fastest, most prestigious cars you’ve ever dreamed, from manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and Ducati.

THE WORLD IS YOUR RACETRACK
Highly polished HD graphics let you see every detail and animation of the track as you speed over snow, mud, dirt and more in 12 beautiful locations around the world including St. Tropez, Aspen and Las Vegas. Discover hidden shortcuts and jump off ramps!

NEW WAYS TO PLAY
Challenge yourself to 8 different racing events including Drift Contest, Cop Chase, Time Attack, Duel Mode, Last Man Standing and Escape.

RIDE WITH THE PACK
Six-player Bluetooth and Online Multiplayer lets you compete against friends and anyone around the world in tournaments and join the Asphalt Academy on asphalt-5.com. Speed your way to the top of the online leaderboard!

THE SOUND OF SPEED
Tune your car radio to play your favorite songs stored on your iPhone/iPod Touch during the race and let the music move you.

What's New In This Version:
● Sharper physics allowing for smoother driving thanks to the gyroscope
● Crisp, gorgeous high-resolution graphics to take full advantage of the iPhone 4 Retina Display
● Support for iOS 4 multitasking on compatible devices: Switch between your favorite apps instantly

You can purchase Asphalt 5 from the App Store for $4.99.















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GPS Tracking 1.1 for iPad

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GTX Corporation, the developer of GPS Tracking, has just launched a new iPad version of their tremendously successful application. As it roars past 425,000 downloads in eighty-two countries and hits number two on iTunes' social networking Top Grossing Apps list, GTX Corp (OTCBB: GTXO.OB) subsidiary LOCiMOBILE's GPS Tracking app has just launched on Apple's iPad(R), offering an iPad-specific full-featured version for about the cost of a grande latte, $4.99.

GPS Tracking App is dedicated to parent company GTX Corp's guiding principle, "With You." GPS Tracking brings people together, locating family, friends and co-workers. GPS Tracking isn't a toy. It isn't a game. It offers privacy, lets users share and upload pictures to Facebook and Twitter and simply said, it's the most direct, purest, location-based check-in app on the market. GPS Tracking is cross-platform compatible with LOCiMOBILE's GPS Tracking apps installed on other devices and smartphones such as Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

What will users be able to do with GPS Tracking? One click and kids can find each other at the mall, amusement park, anywhere. Parents can keep track of their children at school, with friends, or on the go. Employers can use it to keep tabs on employees in the field, or at conventions. Friends can find each other at graduation, a concert or across the country at a new collage. These are the edible fruits of GPS Tracking's promise, deemed a futuristic concept in science fiction movies only a few years ago. Now this game-changing concept has fueled an explosion in location-based check-in technology - but GTX Corp has been a leader in this space for eight years - putting GPS tracking technology in the hands of athletes, health care professionals - even in shoes - and now, perhaps everyone with a smartphone.

"We're delighted to launch our GPS Tracking app on the iPad," says GTX Corp CEO Patrick Bertagna. "It provides industry standard location-based check-in to iPad's projected 10 million devices, expands our brand onto Apple's estimated 100 million i-Phone, Pad, and Pod user base and of course adds another commercial product to our revenue stream."

iPad is the latest innovation that has helped propel Apple to a market capitalization in excess of $200 billion, just behind Microsoft, who famously invested $150 million in Apple back in 1997.

Analyst/commentator Steve Kanaval, of World Market Media concludes, "This is a unique space with wind at its back and certainly the apps market is a niche to watch."

Pricing and Availability:
GPS Tracking 1.1 is only $4.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Social Networking category. Promo codes are available for qualified reviewers. Please specify the website or blog you represent when making your request.


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Making it Easier to Track Stolen Laptops

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ActiveTrak has made available GadgetTrak 3 for laptops, the latest version of its acclaimed GadgetTrak software. Powered by ActiveTrak's industry-leading anti-theft technology, GadgetTrak 3 introduces new functionality that allows people to track multiple computing devices at the same time - including laptops, netbooks and desktop computers - through a centralized Web control panel that can be viewed from any Internet accessible device.

"Today's families typically have multiple computers in their home, many of them mobile devices such as laptops and netbooks that leave the home and are vulnerable to loss and theft," said ActiveTrak CEO Ken Westin. "ActiveTrak specifically designed our newest software platform with households with multiple devices and small- to medium-sized businesses in mind. By being able track all laptops, netbooks and desktop computers simply, in one location, people are better able to keep tabs on all their computers, regardless of what kind of computers they are.

The FBI estimates 10-percent of all laptops purchased in the United States will be stolen within the first year of ownership with only three-percent recovered. However, GadgetTrak has a successful recovery rate of over 95 percent.

Key features of GadgetTrak 3 include:
* Advanced Positioning
oBy using onboard Wi-Fi radios found in virtually all computers together with advanced Wi-Fi positioning technology, GadgetTrak pinpoints stolen laptops within 10 meters.

* Location Notification
oWhen tracking occurs, a subscriber will get an email with detailed information about a device's location. This information can also be found on a web control panel at www.trak.me.

* Webcam Support
oUsing a laptop webcam, GadgetTrak can remotely snap a photo of a thief, providing crucial evidence that police can use to get a laptop back.

GadgetTrak 3 provides the most advanced data protection and theft recovery solution for laptops, taking back control of stolen devices from the thief. The GadgetTrak software supports Windows (XP, Vista and 7) and Mac OS X Leopard and higher (10.5 and 10.6), greatly increasing the chances of recovery for nearly every laptop, netbook and desktop computer sold in the last few years.

With GadgetTrak 3 people can protect their computers and their valuable and private data for $34.95 (USD) per device per year. More information can be found at GadgetTrak online.



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Electronic Arts Releases SimCity Deluxe for iPhone

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Electronics Arts has just released SimCity Deluxe, an updated SimCity experience for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Designed for dedicated and casual fans, let your inner urban planner run wild with easier controls, optimized performance, improved visuals, starter cities, and exciting new scenarios.

FACE NEW CHALLENGING SCENARIOS
Take on up to 7 multifaceted scenarios, from staging a glorious “World Games” to coping with a scorching heat wave. See if you have what it takes to be a successful mayor.

MEET DEVASTATING DISASTERS
Guide your city through seasonal catastrophes during Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Even fend off the Armageddon of a random meteor strike.

GET STARTED IN 7 BUSTLING CITIES
Choose cities inspired by world famous locations and remake them to your liking.

MODIFY TERRAIN WITH TOUCH CONTROL
Finger-paint water, land, and trees. Get more power and control over the look of your city’s landscape.

INSTANTLY SEE HOW YOUR CITY IS SHAPING UP
Enjoy vastly improved zooming capability and watch the image of your city be smoothly displayed when you scroll. SimCity™ Deluxe features more responsive performance than ever before.

You can purchase SimCity™ Deluxe from the App Store for $6.99.


















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Rogers, Fido Announce iPhone 4 Upgrade Eligibility, New Data Plan

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Rogers and Fido have announced their iPhone 4 upgrade pricing and data plan options for customers looking to purchase the new device.

Did you activate or upgrade your Rogers iPhone on a term contract between January 1, 2009 and June 7, 2010?
● Then you’re eligible for at least $250 off the no-term device price. That’s an iPhone 4 16GB/32GB for $399/$499 on a new 3-year voice and data plan.

Did you activate or upgrade your Rogers iPhone on a term contract on or before December 31, 2008?
● You’re eligible for at least $480 off the no-term device price. You can pick up an iPhone 4 16GB/32GB for $159/$269 on a new 3-year voice and data plan.

Did you activate or upgrade the original iPhone 3G in 2008 and then upgrade again between June 19 and September 15, 2009?
● You’re also eligible for at least $480 off the no-term device price. You can pick up an iPhone 4 16GB/32GB for $159/$269 on a new 3-year voice and data plan.

What about Fido customers?
● For customers who entered into a Fido agreement on or before June 7, 2010 and want to upgrade early to iPhone 4, Fido will provide a special iPhone 4 discount by way of a bill credit of between $250 and $490. In addition, customers may contribute all accumulated FidoDollars towards their upgrade. You can go here and enter your Fido phone number to get eligibility and discount details.

Return of special smartphone $30/6 GB plan
Effective July 30, and as a limited time promotional offer for smartphone customers who activate on a three-year contract, Rogers is offering 6GB of data for $30. This data plan can be added to any in-market voice plan before September 30, 2010. Rogers is allowing you to share this data with an iPad for an additional $20 per month.

Customers interested in the iPhone 4 and iPad data plan should probably check out Bell instead. Bell is offering the same $30/6GB plan with no contract .and a $10/month iPad sharing option.



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Mobile VoIP on the iPhone

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Matrix Knowledge Management has announced the release of VPhone 1.2, an update to its flagship mobile VoIP app for Apple's iOS4. The VPhone mobile voip app now has a completely new dial pad and voice engine. It looks better and has a much better performance particularly the premium version with the G729 codec. This premium voip app coupled with the low bandwidth codec like G729 definitely works better for voip calls over the 3G data network. In addition, there are now 3 configurable accounts users can utilize both for VoIP and SMS.

Summary of New Features:
* New dial pad
* New voice engine
* Favorites list
* Better prefix integration
* Removes all non numeric characters from Contacts selection

Other Existing Features:
* Voice over IP - WIFI & 3G
* SMS over IP - WIFI & 3G
* Contacts integration
* History of calls made and SMS
* Dial from History
* Add to Contacts from History
* Call Hold
* Multiple VoIP accounts capable
* Multiple SMS accounts capable
* Codec selection includes G729, G711, GSM, G722 and Speex
* DNS, NAT & STUN configuration
* Supports Inbound calls either SIP to SIP or via a Direct in Dial number (DID)
* DTMF support
* Dial plan or prefix configuration
* In-app visual help
* In-app Voice help
* Dynamic data updates from a list of VoIP providers
* Dynamic data updates from a list of SMS Providers

Pricing and Availability:
VPhone 1.2 is $11.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Utilities category.




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Synium Software Releases MacFamilyTree 6

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Synium Software has released MacFamilyTree 6, a major update of the popular and modern genealogy software for Mac OS X. MacFamilyTree 6 is the most significant update in its 12 year product history. Nearly all parts of the application have been improved, incorporating Apple's latest and most powerful technologies. Several brand new features are introduced with MacFamilyTree 6. What are the most notable among them?

* New Family Tree Editor
Visually create your Family Tree using the whole new edit mode.

* New User Interface
MacFamilyTree's user interface received a major overhaul for version 6. Choose from four distinct categories when working with MacFamilyTree - Edit, Views, Reports, Export. That way, you'll always know where in MacFamilyTree you are and what you can do right now.

* New and improved Reports and Charts
MacFamilyTree's CoreAnimation based charts scale up to a virtually unlimited number of persons and can be exported or printed, of course.

* "New FamilySearch" integration
Search for ancestors and profit from several million person entries in the FamilySearch.org database. Currently in closed beta, available for all users by the end of 2010. FamilySearch.org can be used for free without any subscription fee.

* New Places Management
In MacFamilyTree 6, places are handled in a completely new and more approachable way. Open the Places Editor and have MacFamilyTree automatically scan for places without geo-coordinates. Merge places in case of duplicates and see which events any place was assigned to.

* ToDo Management
Let MacFamilyTree help you keep track of your tasks with the To-Do-List feature. Prioritize and categorize anything that comes to mind and make sure you get to the most urgent matters first but don't forget about the small details along the way.

* Web Research
Services like EllisIsland, FindAGrave, FootNote, WorldVitalRecords, Ancestry or Google Search can be accessed from within MacFamilyTree with the new Web Research tool.

* Vastly improved performance
Charts and diagrams are created instantaneously. Massive performance gains troughout the whole application. MacFamilyTree 6 runs as a 64 bit application when using 10.6 Snow Leopard

* GEDCOM importer and exporter greatly improved
To name just a few: version 6 now supports ANSEL encoding, as well as UTF-8, UTF-16, Plain ASCII, Mac OS Roman and Windows Latin export

Please have a look at the release notes for a full list of features and improvements.

Pricing and Availability:
MacFamilyTree 6 is a paid update for registered customers. The full version of MacFamilyTree 6 can be purchased for $49.00 (USD), upgrades from older versions (1,2,3,4 or 5) are $25.00 (USD). A free demo is also available for download. MobileFamilyTree, the companion app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is available in the App Store for 4,99 USD.





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Sprint to Release 3G Hotspot Case for the iPod Touch?

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FCC documents have revealed a new Sprint EV-DO device from ZTE. It appears to be a 3G hotspot case for the iPod touch, according to PhoneScoop.

The Peel, as FCC photos suggest it will be called, seems to be a carriage sled for a tablet style device like the iPod touch. The Peel does not seem to connect to its host device, and it seems to be a specially designed Wi-Fi hotspot device that could offer EV-DO networking to an iPod touch in a package that could be clamped to Apple's Wi-Fi-only iPod. The apparent naming also suggests a relationship; a Peel for an Apple device. The ZTE Peel has only been cleared for EV-DO Rev. 0 networking, Sprint's slower 3G service. It will use its own battery for power, and the Peel will charge via a microUSB port.

This is looking similar to the Yosion Apple Peel 520 which claims to turn your iPod touch into a real phone.




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MacWorld Shoots iPhone 4 Magazine Cover With an iPhone 4

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MacWorld photographer Peter Belanger used the iPhone 4 to shoot the magazine's iPhone 4 cover.

Our image of the new iPhone 4 was photographed and post-processed entirely on another iPhone 4. Peter has been tinkering with the idea of shooting a Macworld cover with an iPhone for some time, and with the addition of a high-quality five-megapixel camera on the iPhone 4, the right time had finally arrived.

“For the most part, my strategy for photographing the cover didn’t change from how I normally would shoot,” Peter says in a blog post about the process. “I still had my normal set with lots of lights, flags and stands. I did have to change my light source from strobes to tungsten lights because the iPhone can’t sync with studio strobes. Normally I use Photoshop to add in the image on the iPhone screen and clean up dust, scratches and any other imperfections. I wasn’t going to have that same control on my iPhone so the photo needs to look really good and as close to final.”

“The iPhone’s Retina display was truly awesome,” he says. “I was really able to see the detail in the photo as I was shooting. It made me wish Apple produced all its monitors this way. The final photo was dust-free and looked great. I was extremely impressed with the detail that the iPhone was able to capture.”








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iPhone 4 CAD Drawings Overlayed Onto Images of the Phone

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Core77 has taken the time to overlay iPhone 4 CAD drawings provided to case manufacturers onto images of the device.

Just for you design geeks: When we learned Apple had made the CAD drawings of the iPhone exterior available for case manufacturers, we couldn't help but overlay it, albeit somewhat messily, over the product photos to experience that twinge of joy that only a CAD jockey can feel. This took me way longer to do than I thought it would, and yet the pleasure center part of my brain was still lighting up the whole time.

Have a look below. You can download the drawings from here.
















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iFixIt Posts Magic Trackpad Teardown

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iFixIt has gone through the difficult process of tearing down the new Apple Magic Trackpad. The site notes that "this is not for the faint of heart. A copious amount of heat, guitar picks, and plastic opening tools were required to make this thing budge."

● At the heart of the Magic Trackpad's logic board lies a Broadcom BCM2042 for Bluetooth connectivity. This is the same chip used by the Magic Mouse for data transmission.

● A Broadcom BCM5974 touch screen controller chip provides Multi-touch functionality. This is the same chip you'll find in the iPhone, iPod Touch, and MacBook Air.

Hit the link below for their entire teardown analysis.
ifixit






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Amazon has announced a new Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster with 50 percent better contrast.

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Amazon has announced a new Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster with 50 percent better contrast.

The all-new Kindle has a new electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, and a 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.7 ounces. The new Kindle also offers 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, a graphite color option and more--all for only $189, and still with free 3G wireless--no monthly bills or annual contracts. Also today, Amazon introduced a new addition to its family of portable reading devices--Kindle Wi-Fi. Readers who don't need the convenience of free 3G wireless can now enjoy the new generation Kindle for the lower price of only $139.

The all-new Kindle and Kindle Wi-Fi are now available for pre-order here, and will ship to customers in over 140 countries and 30 territories beginning August 27.


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Apple is Investigating iPhone 3G Problems With iOS 4

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Apple is investigating reports that iOS 4 causes issues when running on the iPhone 3G, an Apple spokesperson told the WSJ.

The most common criticism is that the phone is slow after an upgrade. There are also many complaints that the phone drains the battery quickly and becomes excessively hot. Concern about general problems such as slowness and battery life on gadgets isn’t unusual, but using iOS 4 on the iPhone 3G seems to make the problems so bad that the phone is nearly unusable for some people.

We've posted on these issues before. As you can see in the video below they can be quite troublesome for users affected. Hopefully, a fix will be found soon.



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Apple Won't Allow Subscriptions for iPad Magazines

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Time Inc has voiced its frustration with Apple for rejecting a subscription version of Sports Illustrated for the iPad, according to AllThingsD.

Last month, the publisher was set to launch a subscription version of its Sports Illustrated iPad app, where consumers would download the magazines via Apple’s iTunes, but would pay Time Inc. directly. But Apple rejected the app at the last minute, forcing the Time Warner (TWX) unit to sell single copies, using iTunes as a middleman, multiple sources tell me.

Since then, Time Inc. executives “have been going nuts”, trying to figure out how to get Apple (AAPL) to approve a subscription plan. One of the more desperate suggestions, which apparently didn’t get traction: Pulling the publisher’s apps out of the iTunes store altogether.

Time says they were in communication with Apple throughout the application's development and had been told that the company approved of their plans.

Time's official statement: “We are working with a number of partners and potential partners and hope to offer in-app subscriptions some time later this year.”

Apple’s official statement: “We have two platforms that we support for apps of all types, including magazines: HTML5 provides an open platform for developers to create and distribute whatever they want, and the App Store which is a curated platform offering customers the largest offering of apps for any mobile device with over 225,000 apps and 5 billion downloads.”

To make matters more confusing, AllThingsD notes that Amazon and the Wall Street Journal have applications which bill customers directly.




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Apple Launches iAd for Developers

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Apple is now offering developers the ability to advertise their own apps to users via the iAd Network.

The iAd advertising platform provides developers new opportunities to generate revenue and promote their apps. With iAd rich media ads, advertisers can put their brand into the hands of consumers, while developers receive 60 percent of the advertising revenue. And now we are adding a second great choice for developers — iAd for Developers. The new iAd for Developers program is a great way for developers to advertise their own apps to millions of users across the iAd Network.

Developers can join the iAd Network using the link below...
iad


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