Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deadline to Implement In-App Subscriptions is June 30th

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Apple has imposed a deadline of June 30th for developers to implement their in-app subscriptions feature, according to Digital Daily.

Apple's new subscription plan has a compliance deadline. June 30, according to a memo sent to publishers earlier this year. "For existing apps already in the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline," it reads. "To ensure your app remains on the App Store, please submit an update that uses the In App Purchase API for purchasing content, by June 30, 2011."

This gives popular apps like Hulu, Netflix, Rhapsody, Amazon and others only a few months to decide if they are willing to give 30% of their revenue to Apple or pull the ability to make purchases out of their apps.




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Apple to Use MobileMe as the Brain of the Cloud?

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Apple may be planning to use MobileMe has the brain of its cloud service rather then the storage locker, according to The Loop.

Instead of trying to provide everyone with cloud storage, I believe Apple will use MobileMe as the brain of the cloud service. The actual storage will be on our individual machines. In effect, in the cloud.

The Loop hypothesizes that MobileMe will store a list of the files on your home computer then retrieve that file when requested by your mobile device.

Here’s the thing — those songs won’t actually be on my iPhone until I tap to play them. As soon as I tap to play, it will download to my phone. You can scroll through your music library and choose something else and it will download and play. In effect, what Apple’s doing is setting up a streaming service that you host. By using advanced caching and MobileMe as the brain behind the operation, you will always have access to your media.

The WSJ is predicting that a major overhaul to MobileMe will result in the service be offered free to Apple customers.




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Kindle App for iOS Gets Real Page Numbersin new update

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The Amazon Kindle app for iOS has been updated with real page numbers and a percentage read notifier when reading on the iPhone.

The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. You'll have access to over 810,000 books in the Kindle Store, including best sellers and new releases. Amazon Whispersync automatically syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across devices (including Kindle), so you can pick up where you left off on another device.

Get the best reading experience available on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad:
• Shop the Kindle Store for over 810,000* Kindle books, including New Releases and 107 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 610,000* of these books are $9.99 or less, including 79 New York Times Best Sellers.
• Start reading immediately with three free books: Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island, and Aesop’s Fables. Thousands more free classics are available in the Kindle Store.
• Get free book samples – read the first chapter free before you decide to buy.
• Customize your reading experience by choosing the background color, font size, and either portrait or landscape format.
• Instant dictionary word lookup with 250,000 entries and definitions. Tap and hold a word to view the definition. Use the Google and Wikipedia links to get more information.
• Search inside the book to find a character, topic, or section you want to revisit.
• Simply tap on either side of the screen or flick to turn pages.
• You can also read your Kindle books on your Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Android-based device, and Windows Phone 7-based device. Our Whispersync technology syncs your last page read, notes, bookmarks, and highlights across devices, so you can pick up where you left off.

What's New In This Version:
• Real page numbers for thousands of books in the Kindle Store, with more coming soon. Now you can make proper citations in the classroom or follow along with people reading print books in a book club.
• View your percentage completed while reading on iPhone.
• Home screen now shows your progress through books on iPhone and on iPad in list view.
• Lookup words on Google and Wikipedia without leaving the app.

You can download Kindle from the App Store for free.
















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Valve Says Its More Profitable Per Employee Than Apple and Google

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Valve founder Gabe Newell says his company is more profitable per employee than Apple or Google, according to a Forbes report.

Valve announced last October that it was on track for its biggest year ever, with 200% year-over-year growth. Newell says that, per employee, Valve is more profitable than Google and Apple. A potential buyer was rumored to have made an acquisition offer a few years back for the Steam piece only, but Newell supposedly refused to split the online storefront from Valve's game-publishing arm. (Valve denies being made an actual offer, only confirming that it received interest in both Steam and Valve in the past.)

Valve employes 250 people and according to Ed Barton, a games analyst at IHS Screen Digest, their revenue in 2010 was in the "high hundreds of millions of dollars."

Steam, Valve's gaming platform, was recently released for Mac OS X.



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Deutsche Telekom Expects NFC iPhone This Year

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Deutsche Telekom indicated that it expects to see a NFC iPhone this year as during an announcement of its plans to rollout a mobile payment system in multiple countries in 2011-2012, according to PhooneScoop.

T-Mobile USA will roll out NFC starting in 2011, with a full payment system following in 2012 through its previously-announced ISIS joint venture with AT&T and Verizon. Deutsche Telekom announced that it expects NFC phones in 2011 from Apple, Samsung in Q2, and RIM & LG in Q3. The company expects mobile payments replacing cash to be the most popular use for NFC technology, followed by mobile ticketing for services such as public transportation.

Engadget got word that the Apple mention was in a slide deck handed out during the conference, not verbalized by executives.




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Apple Launches Subscriptions on the App Store

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Apple today announced its new subscription service available to all publishers of content-based apps on the App Store, including magazines, newspapers, video, music, etc. This is the same innovative digital subscription billing service that Apple recently launched with News Corp.'s "The Daily" app.

Subscriptions purchased from within the App Store will be sold using the same App Store billing system that has been used to buy billions of apps and In-App Purchases. Publishers set the price and length of subscription (weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly). Then with one-click, customers pick the length of subscription and are automatically charged based on their chosen length of commitment (weekly, monthly, etc.). Customers can review and manage all of their subscriptions from their personal account page, including canceling the automatic renewal of a subscription. Apple processes all payments, keeping the same 30 percent share that it does today for other In-App Purchases.

"Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app. We believe that this innovative subscription service will provide publishers with a brand new opportunity to expand digital access to their content onto the iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, delighting both new and existing subscribers."

Publishers who use Apple's subscription service in their app can also leverage other methods for acquiring digital subscribers outside of the app. For example, publishers can sell digital subscriptions on their web sites, or can choose to provide free access to existing subscribers. Since Apple is not involved in these transactions, there is no revenue sharing or exchange of customer information with Apple. Publishers must provide their own authentication process inside the app for subscribers that have signed up outside of the app. However, Apple does require that if a publisher chooses to sell a digital subscription separately outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to customers who wish to subscribe from within the app. In addition, publishers may no longer provide links in their apps (to a web site, for example) which allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.

Protecting customer privacy is a key feature of all App Store transactions. Customers purchasing a subscription through the App Store will be given the option of providing the publisher with their name, email address and zip code when they subscribe. The use of such information will be governed by the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's. Publishers may seek additional information from App Store customers provided those customers are given a clear choice, and are informed that any additional information will be handled under the publisher's privacy policy rather than Apple's.




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Free Subscription to 'The Daily' Extended, Suggests iOS 4.3 Delay?

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The two week free subscription of The Daily has been extended suggesting a delay in the release of iOS 4.3, according to Macerkopf.de.

iOS 4.3 will bring support for in-app recurring subscriptions which are used by the iPad publication. Its initial two week free subscription has been extended to February 28th. Its unclear whether this is just a marketing move by News Corp or whether iOS 4.3 won't be ready until then.

Users who currently look to the subscription settings to The Daily "will notice that the subscription is automatically renewed, in our case to 28 February 2011. Raises the question of voluntary whether News Corp. for marketing purposes, the test phase renewed, or if Apple has not with 4.3 iOS completed on schedule.



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Telephoto Lens for the iPhone Zooms 8x Closer for only $35

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Photojojo is selling an 8x telephoto lens for the iPhone that attaches to your device via case that the lens twists onto.

When you aren't using the lens you can just leave your nifty new case on and slip the lens in your pocket (try that with a 500mm Sigma). It's a lens and case in one, always at the ready.

If you're looking for a more composed shot, you can use the collapsible table tripod (included) to steady and focus your photos. It'll come super handy when you're shooting in low-light.

Each telephoto lens comes with a phone case, a mini-tripod and a cleaning cloth and costs $35.
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Apple to Expand iPhone 5 Screen Size to 4-Inches?

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Apple will reportedly change the screen size of its next generation iPhone to 4-inches in order to compete with Google Android devices, according to a DigiTimes report.

Component suppliers noted that the production lines for Apple's next generation iPhone have begun testing, and Apple is interesting in expanding the screen size to 4-inches to support the tablet PC market as the vendor only has a 9.7-inch iPad in the market.

Recent rumors have also predicted that Apple will release a smaller and cheaper iPhone nano that will use MobileMe cloud storage instead of flash memory.




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