EFF Publishes Full Apple iPhone Developer Agreement, Blasts Apple Over Key Points

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Date: Wednesday, March 10th, 2010, 06:11
Category: iPhone, News

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation both posted a recent version of Apple’s confidential license agreement to which all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch developers must agree as well as took a critical stance against the document.

Per AppleInsider, the foundation came to the conclusion that by controlling the App Store and preventing rival competition by blocking competing options, Apple’s “future of computing” is headed towards an era that could stifle innovation. It suggested the Cupertino, Calif., company’s actions have been that of a “jealous and arbitrary feudal lord.”

“Overall, the Agreement is a very one-sided contract, favoring Apple at every turn,” the EFF wrote. “That’s not unusual where end-user license agreements are concerned (and not all the terms may ultimately be enforceable), but it’s a bit of a surprise as applied to the more than 100,000 developers for the iPhone, including many large public companies.

“How can Apple get away with it? Because it is the sole gateway to the more than 40 million iPhones that have been sold. In other words, it’s only because Apple still “owns” the customer, long after each iPhone (and soon, iPad) is sold, that it is able to push these contractual terms on the entire universe of software developers for the platform.”

The EFF noted that public copies of the license agreement are “scarce,” in part because the agreement itself prohibits its release. The foundation managed to obtain a copy by making a request to NASA under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, and presented what it felt were “a few troubling highlights.” They include:

– Developers, including government agencies such as NASA, cannot make public statements about the iPhone OS developer agreement.

– Applications created through the development kit can be sold on the App Store only.

– The iPhone OS cannot be reverse engineered, and the foundation asserts this even applies to methods that courts have recognized as fair use.
– Apple can remove an application at any time. In 2008, a researcher discovered a “kill switch” in the iPhone software that would allow the company to remotely deactivate an application.

– No matter what, Apple is never liable to a developer for more than $50 in damages. “That’s pretty remarkable,” the foundation said, “considering that Apple holds a developer’s reputational and commercial value in its hands — it’s not as though the developer can reach its existing customers anywhere else.”

Stay tuned for additional information as it becomes available and if you have something to offer on this, please let us know.

Apple Releases iPhone OS SDK 3.2 Beta 3

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010, 06:01
Category: iPad, iPhone, News

Earlier this week, Apple released iPhone SDK 3.2 beta 3, the most recent update of the company’s iPhone OS development tools. Although details of the beta have emerged, MacNN is reporting that it allows “existing iPhone projects to include the necessary files” to support the iPad. Developers should thus be closer to producing working iPad apps, as there is now a Universal Application binary format that wraps iPhone, iPad and iPod touch code into the same bundle.

Sources with access to the kit point out that its documentation has also confirmed the presence of PowerVR SGX technology in the iPad. “Using OpenGL ES on iPad is identical to using OpenGL ES on other iPhone OS devices,” Apple writes. “An iPad is a PowerVR SGX device and supports the same basic capabilities as other SGX devices. However, because the processor, memory architecture, and screen dimensions are different for iPad, you should always test your code on an iPad device before shipping to ensure performance meets your requirements.”

If you’ve gotten your hands on the SDK and can offer any feedback about it, please let us know.

Apple Now Offering iPhone OS 3.0 Update to iPod Touch Users for Free

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:25
Category: iPod, News

When Apple first released the iPhone OS 3.0 firmware update and informed iPod touch users they’re need to pay for the upgrade, the user base went slightly nuts.

And for good reason, as a new accounting practice that no one really understood seemed to require this and Apple simply looked like they wanted a bit more money in their pockets.

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Apple appears to now be offering the iPhone 3.0 Software Update free to iPod touch users running the iPhone 2.0 Software Update.

According to Pocket Gamer, an older iPod touch updated without the request for a fee.

“Syncing a second generation iPod touch today with an older version of the software prompted me to accept the free upgrade. How exciting,” the author writes.

“Just as when asked to download and install the latest firmware on an iPhone, iTunes simply asks for confirmation – no signing in to pay for the software.”

As Pocket Gamer notes, this is good news for iPod touch gamers reluctant to upgrade due to the additional fee, which iPhone users didn’t have to pay.

If you’ve seen this on your end, please let us know.

MWSF: Worth Ave Group Now Offering iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Notebook Insurance

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:00
Category: iPhone, Macworld Expo, News

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If you meandered over to the Worth Ave. Group booth at Macworld Expo, you might have noticed their staff hammering on expensive gadgets. Per Macworld, the Worth Ave. Group is now offering notebook and iPhone insurance and invited Macworld Expo attendees to take a hammer to some of the MacBooks, iPhones and iPod touches they had on hand.

The Worth Ave. Group claims to be the only iPhone insurance company around and has stated that they’ll cover stuff that won’t be handled by your typical warranty from Apple. Whether your iPhone has been dropped, stolen, or damaged by liquid, you are covered. The annual premiums are pretty reasonable too, starting at US$55 for 3G/8GB or earlier models and going up to US$79 for 3GS/32GB models. If your iPhone encounters a fall into a toilet or falls out of your pocket at some juncture, they’ll buy you a new one.

The insurance plan seems fairly comprehensive and the company has stated that they’ll also cover cameras, game systems, and cell phones.

MWSF: 4iThumbs Introduces Tactile iPhone Keyboard at Expo

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Date: Monday, February 15th, 2010, 05:20
Category: Accessory, iPhone, Macworld Expo

For those of you craving a better iPhone/iPod touch keyboard experience, 4iThumbs introduced its tactile keyboard product at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Per Mac Observer, the 4iThumbs system consists of three major components. The first is the transparent overlays that provide tactile guides that go between the keys on iPhone onscreen keyboard. There are also overlays for landscape, and one for portrait keyboard orientations with the idea being that, similar to a traditional keyboard, having tactile guides can improve your accuracy over time.

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The second part of the system are adhesive guides that are placed on the top and bottom of the front of your iPhone. These allow the quick, accurate insertion and removal of the keyboard overlays. The third, optional part of the system are additional adhesive guides that you can place on the rear of your iPhone, for situations where you don’t need the overlays.

The standard keyboard retails for US$14.95, the landscape keyboard retails for US$16.95, and a kit with both keyboards sells for US$19.95.

If you got your hands on the Tactile Keyboard and have an opinion on it, please let us know.

MWSF: DriveSavers Offering iPhone App to Simulate Solid State Drive Crashes

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Date: Friday, February 12th, 2010, 08:00
Category: iPhone, Macworld Expo, News

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If you’ve ever worried about your iPhone or iPod touch’s hard drive crashing, DriveSavers has once again proven useful.

Over at Macworld Expo, the company has announced that it will update its free DriveSaver app for the iPhone and iPod touch that can simulate solid-state drive failures.

Per Macworld, the Crash a Hard Drive feature educates users about how hard drives can crash and what you can do to ensure safe data storage. The new addition will now add a solid-state drive to the mobile app’s simulations of real-world drive failures.

To illustrate this feature, the data-recovery company posted a Flash-based version of the feature on its web site.

If you’re at Macworld Expo, you can see demonstrations of the app first-hand at both the Mobile Applications Showcase (Booth #1366) and DriveSavers’ booth (#1448).

Square Opens Public Trial for iPhone Payment System

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Date: Friday, February 12th, 2010, 05:00
Category: iPhone, iPod Touch

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If you want your iPhone or iPod touch to be able to do everything, including spackle the den this weekend, you might be one step closer.

Per Daring Fireball, Square has opened up a beta version of a payment system wherein users can create an account on the Square web site, receive a hardware dongle and swipe debit and credit cards through the device as a means of payment.

The video says it all:



MWSF: SHAPE Introduces Mobiola Headset App, Allows for iPhone/iPod Touch to Become Wireless Headset

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, February 11th, 2010, 16:34
Category: iPhone, Macworld Expo, Software

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This could be nifty.

Over at Macworld Expo, developer SHAPE Services introduced Headset, an application that allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to use their device as a wireless headset for a PC.

According to iLounge, the application connects with the free Mobiola Headset Desktop PC application over Wi-Fi to provide two-way audio communications between the device and PC applications such as Skype and MSN Messenger. Users can also record, pause and playback audio sent and received by the headset application.

The desktop application requires Windows XP (SP2) or later to function.

Mobiola Headset is available from the App Store for US$2 and requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iPhone OS 3.0 or later to install and run.

Adobe Seeking Developers to Help Bring Flash to the iPad

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Date: Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 10:38
Category: iPad, Software

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In the wake of Apple’s iPad release, Adobe Systems reached out to its Flash developer base via a blog post stating its plans to add support for the iPad’s higher screen resolution to its upcoming Packager for iPhone development tool.

Although the iPad offers a significantly larger screen and packs more powerful hardware than the iPhone and iPod Touch, it won’t support Flash when released in the coming months.

Per the post, Flash developers can use Adobe’s upcoming Packager for iPhone tool to convert Flash content into applications that can run on the iPad. The converted content won’t immediately be able to take advantage of the iPad screen’s resolution of 1,024 x 768 pixel resolution and the company said this feature would arrive later.

“It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad,” the post said.

The iPhone and iPod touch handsets feature screen resolutions of 480 x 320 pixels, with a pixel density of 163 pixels per inch. The iPad screen has a pixel density of 132 pixels per inch.

Adobe also asked for developers interested in developing iPad applications using Flash to get in touch.

“We are looking for developers and designers who have a specific app in mind to be submitted to the iTunes App Store within the next two months,” the blog post said.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 3.2 SDK

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Date: Thursday, January 28th, 2010, 06:29
Category: iPad

Along with yesterday’s iPad revelation, Apple also released an update to its iPhone Software Developer Kit on Wednesday. The new kit, currently in beta, will allow developers to write applications optimized for the iPad, an included documentation section covering multi-touch apps for the larger display while the Human Interface Guidelines covers the new views and controls.

Per MacNN, the SDK provides APIs that will allow developers to create apps that utilize external displays attached to the iPad. Other supported features include a shared file directory and tools to build universal apps that work on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

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Apple has also included sample code to help developers write iPad and universal applications. iPad apps can be previewed on a simulator and debugged from there.

The iPhone SDK 3.2 beta is currently available for all members of the iPhone Developer Program.