I doubt that Amazon could follow this rule, even if it wanted to. What’s more, the only ambiguity in that statement is around “outside of the app” – because if that also means “in a browser from any machine” then Kindle on iOS is dead in the water. Is Apple confident enough of its own position to do that?
Of course, some publishers will just go for it. Apple is betting that the publishers will see the opportunity as great, and the risk of being left behind as greater still. The fear factor of missing out will loom large.
But it will leave a sour taste, and publishers will know they’ve been screwed over. In the short term, that won’t matter much. But when a company keeps playing hardball constantly, insisting on the same cut no matter what service it provides because it’s in a position of power, sooner or later it gets bitten back.
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,”
“We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.” (my emphasis)
Yes, this destroys the model that Kindle currently employs. Kindle offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, either via Safari or a desktop browser. That clearly means that Amazon must now offer the same content via Apple’s in-app purchasing, delivering Apple its 30% due.
“Three months ago, without explanation, Apple began withholding approval of new apps using the subscription loophole. Wondering publishers were left without answers.
Then came terse emails recalling the §11.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines :
11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected
with the following the punch line :
For existing apps already on the App Store, we are providing a grace period to bring your app into compliance with this guideline. 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.”
Apple has a perfect right to do this, of course. But my bet is that either Amazon will ultimately sue, or it will offer content through IAP – at 30% 42% more than it usually charges. I wonder who will blink first.
“Ballmer was right not to make any major tablet announcement, showing off something that wasn’t ready. Any zealous tablet push would have led to bloggers, journalists and Wall Street analysts making iPad comparisons. By staying away from Apple and iPad, Ballmer kept the message pure, which is good marketing. Ballmer set the keynote agenda on his terms rather than taking the position of following a competitor. Surely there was temptation, and pressure, to directly respond to iPad. Ballmer showed leadership by waiting.”
Joe is absolutely right. The last thing that Microsoft needed from this year’s CES was another version of the Courier debacle. By focusing on products that it was ready to announce rather than products the pundits think it needs, Ballmer did the right thing – and, of course, copied something straight out of the Apple marketing playbook.
I’m only slightly obsessive about note taking applications. I actually use more than one at once – DEVONthink for organising notes around projects, Evernote for filing just about everything else.
One of the ones that I’ve used in the past is Circus Ponies NoteBook, which on Mac was a great note taking application, particularly if you like to take notes as outlines. And now, thanks to an iPad version, I might well take another look at it.
What’s good about Circus Ponies Notepad for iPad? There’s a couple of features which stand out. First, the user interface looks pretty lovely, like a decent paper notebook but with plenty of easy-to-access features. Second, it’s not just text only – there’s tools for diagramming and drawing too, which is handy if you suddenly want to add a mind map or sketch. And finally, you can import PDFs and annotate them, so if you have documents you want to annotate it should be easy.
It’s not, though, cheap: £17.99, which makes it a pricey piece of software in iPad terms, but worth it for notes-obsessives like myself.
“If you want to make stuff, in other words, the cloud isn’t quite ready for you—and that means Chrome OS isn’t quite ready for you, either. Will it be when (and if) Chrome OS netbooks actually hit the market next year? That’s tougher to say.”
One wonders how many of the people decrying the iPad as “only for consumers, not creators” will be getting as angry about Chrome OS? My bet is “none”.
Pretty bad. In fact, if you’re thinking video, utterly unusable.
Kevin Tofel of GigaOm and JKOnTheRun is someone who isn’t a dyed in the wool iPhone or Apple fan. In fact, he replaced his iPhone with a Nexus One in January (a process that I’ve recently gone through, more of which anon). And that’s why this video over on NewTeeVee of his experience with Flash video should be required watching for anyone who thinks Flash on mobile is a reality, today.
What does this demonstrate? Simply that the idea that Apple could simply magically put Flash on the iPad (which runs a processor in the same class as the Nexus One) is fantasy. Ignoring the broader reasons for Apple wanting to keep Flash off its platform, it’s clear that Flash is simply too processor-intensive to work properly on mobile-class processors as currently specified.
“In the two months since the iPad launched in the UK, YouGov has found that 96% of the 713 iPad owners surveyed owned products such as an iPod, iPhone or Mac.”
Why would this be a surprise? Given that Apple utterly dominates the MP3 player category with over 70% market share, it would be a surprise if most people surveyed hadn’t owned an Apple product. When you’ve sold over 225 million music players alone, you’d be hard-pushed to find anyone likely to buy something like the iPad who hasn’t bought an Apple product.
It’s three months since the launch of the iPad, and the much-heralded “Android iPad killers” are somewhat thin on the ground.
HTC, probably the best Android hardware company around, isn’t making one. Neofonie’s WePad isn’t just missing in action – its site has vanished is still around, although the WePad has metamorphosed into the WeTab and still hasn’t been released. MSI hasn’t released its 10in Tegra-based tablet. Dell, of course, has brought out the Dell Streak, but that’s not really in the same league as the iPad. And LG has announced… something. For the fourth quarter of this year.
The only company to make a successful business out of them has been Motion Computing, which wisely focused on the kinds of vertical markets which need both Windows compatibility and a well-built slate format.
Mary-Jo Foley, one of the most astute observers of Microsoft around, puts it thus:
“All that said, there’s more to a slate than just the physical form factor. If there isn’t longer battery life, instant on/off and some kind of app store with not just the usual business apps, but also consumer-focused apps and games, I’m not so sure users are going to bite…”
If you want to know why Apple wants Flash kept away from iOS, you should ask Palm:
Adobe hasn’t given any signs that it’s close to porting Flash to webOS, Palm said in an AT&T online app development seminar on Thursday. When asked about the multiple delays, a representative said that Palm didn’t ‘know what the hold-up is’ with getting it ready. Adobe itself hasn’t commented on the state of the webOS version or of other platforms.
Would Adobe keep Flash updated for iPhone? Yes – as long as it wanted to. And the moment that it didn’t want to, or had other priorities, or simply hit some problems, Apple would have the millstone of an old development platform around its neck.
Apple has been in that position before, and it wont allow itself to go there again.
UPDATE: According to what I’m going to call “informed sources”, Electronista’s report doesn’t represent what was actually said at the event. In fact, what was said was that Palm “had no update” to make – which means that it didn’t have anything to announce at that time, not that it didn’t know what the situation was, which is what Electronista is implying.
In the comments to the story, Palm’s Chuq Von Rospach posted this:
Adobe and Palm continue to work together to bring Flash Player 10.1 to WebOS as quickly as possible. At present, the integration work between the Player and WebOS is undergoing extensive testing to ensure we deliver a high quality implementation.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the point I’m making here is wrong. Having a third party who has significant levels of control over your platform is exactly what Apple is seeking to avoid with its effective ban on Flash.