According to the website iLounge, Apple is planning to ban the sale of all protective screen film products in both its online and retail stores starting in May. Screen protectors are some of the most popular third-party products that Apple sells. The ban will affect both screen protectors sold alone and products that include screen protectors and applies to all Apple product lines.
The most popular iPhone and iPod cases contain anti-glare film, so this is certainly not due to lack of popularity. Analysts have speculated that Apple is banning screen protectors to promote the durability of their screens.
Screen protectors will still be available elsewhere, so Apple’s move remains puzzling. My guess is that iPhone and iPod Touch users will continue to use screen protectors (though they really are not needed) and buy them elsewhere. Apple is only hurting itself with this move because it will be losing sales.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
IceWEB, a company that offers online storage, said in a press release today that it will begin to support the iPhone and iPod Touch. The new product will be called IceShare and will be available in the App Store for purchase download, or as a corporate license.
According to IceWEB, data should be available for mobile users wherever they are. IceWEB’s new service will give iPhone and iPod Touch users full access to any data stored on IceWEB’s servers. They will be able to open, download, upload, and create files either through WiFi or 3G.
IceWEB is headquartered outside of Washington, D.C. It manufactures appliances and offers storage solutions and cloud computing services.
It sounds to me that this new offering will be a competitor to Apple’s MobileMe. After all, MobileMe offers data storage and cloud computing to Apple customers. It costs $99 per year and offers extra services, such as email and a handy feature called “Find my iPhone,” which helps users find their lost iPhones through GPS. It will be interesting to see how IceWEB prices their service and how it differs from MobileMe.
Via PR Newswire, image via IceWEB.
A few days after its controversial decision to ban certain apps from the App Store, Apple may be reconsidering its position and eventually offer an “Explicit” category for apps.
Earlier this week, Apple pulled a lot of apps from the App Store, saying that they were overtly sexual. One analyst said this was to preserve its public image. But on Wednesday, developers uploading new apps noticed a new category for apps called “Explicit.” The category later disappeared. The iPhone 3G does have parental controls that would allow such a category to be blocked.
A developer reportedly called Apple and was told that it is considering the option, but not anytime soon.
Though Apple of course does have a public image to maintain, offering an “Explicit” category probably would not be such a bad thing, provided that users were asked to opt-in to it and parents could fully bar their children from seeing this category.
Via The Escapist, image via Apple.
Apple has enhanced the website for MobileMe when users visit it with an iPhone or iPod Touch. The new site now offers a direct link to instructions about configuring various MobileMe functions like Mail, Contacts, and Calendar, a link to Find My iPhone, and direct links to the two apps associated with MobileMe.
The link to Find My iPhone is particularly interesting. This extraordinarily useful feature allows users to find lost iPhones on a map, send messages to lost phones, remotely wipe data on the phones, and force the phones to play sounds.
The rest of MobileMe is not available on mobile devices with the exception of Gallery and iWeb.
The new mobile version of the site seems like a good start, but it is a bit lacking. Apple probably could have done a better job if it had released a special MobileMe app.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
Apple has released an update for its popular mobile devices, the iPhone and the iPod Touch. This update, version 3.1.3, patches security flaws, fixes bugs, and provides some enhancements for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The security flaws patched are related to CoreAudio, ImageIO, Recovery Mode, and WebKit.
The CoreAudio patch stops rogue MP4 audio files from running code, terminating programs, and doing other things they are not supposed to do. The ImageIO patch does the same thing for malicious TIFF files. The Recovery Mode fix prevents someone from bypassing the passcode and accessing data on the device. The WebKit patch fixes an HTML 5 problem that can cause mail to load remote audio, as well as a problem that previously allowed access of a malicious FTP server.
The update also fixes a bug that caused apps to crash when a Japanese keyboard was used and improves the battery reporting on the iPhone 3G S.
Apple has been busy with updates recently—it released an iTunes update on Monday of this week.
Via PC World.
The new app is not the first MobileMe-related app. Previous ones include iDisk utility, which allows users to access files in their MobileMe accounts, and the extremely useful Find My iPhone, which allows users to locate lost iPhones or wipe data from lost iPhones. It sounds so useful that I am personally tempted to buy MobileMe so I can take advantage of this app.
MobileMe Gallery allows you to view movies and photos that you have in your MobileMe account. The app works with multitouch gestures: flick left and right to go through photos, pinch to zoom, and rotate the iPhone or iPod Touch to see the photos in landscape mode.
The app is free of charge to download from the App Store.
Via CNET, image via Apple.
Apple has not become a successful company by accident. Its latest marketing strategy – using the iPod Touch to build product loyalty amongst kids, hoping to graduate them to iPhones – is nothing short of brilliant.
The iPod Touch was an extremely popular gift this Christmas season. Two different models of the popular music player were second and third place on Amazon’s list of bestselling electronics. On Christmas Day, downloads for the iPod Touch soared, passing downloads for the iPhone by 172 percent. Downloads for all generations of the iPod Touch increased by over 1000 percent on Christmas Day, and by over 900 percent for the 3G iPod Touch.
The iPod Touch is popular with kids because it is not just a music player; it also has the App store, which opens up a world of possibilities. Parents like the iPod Touch because it doesn’t require an expensive monthly contract like the iPhone does.
Apple likes the iPod Touch because it gets an entire generation of kids to want more Apple products, particularly the iPhone. When these kids are old enough for cell phones (or better cell phones than they have now), they will be ready for the iPhone, so to speak, because of their familiarity with the interface on the iPod Touch.
Via PC World, image via Apple.
Apple’s App Store has been a huge success. It recently passed the 100,000 application milestone and is probably headed for 200,000 apps in 2010, if not more.
It has not just been a success for Apple, though – developers have benefited as well. Tapulous, a company with 20 employees that makes apps like Tap Tap Revenge, reportedly makes $1 million in sales per month just by selling apps for iPhone and iPod Touch. Apple itself takes 30 percent of what developers sell.
Tapulous is the exception rather than the rule, but there are other developers seeing great success as well.
Even so, Google is going to offer some pretty stiff competition in the form of Android Market, an app store for Google Android.
Apparently a lot of people want Apple products for Christmas. The iPhone is the most searched-for product in the UK, while the second most searched-for product is also made by Apple: the iPod Touch. The iPod Nano was the ninth most searched-for product. The iPhone had 1.75 percent of all product searches and 14.01 percent of mobile phone searches.
There is always a peak in consumer visits to electronics retail sites in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but this year the peak came during the week ending on December 5, a week later than previous years.
Via PC World.
Though Apple tends to keepquiet about its upcoming products, that doesn’t stop people from speculating about future developments from Apple. And thanks to some news from Toshiba, who makes the memory chips for Apple’s handheld devices, the iPhone rumors are abounding.
Today Toshiba announced that it will be offering a new 64 GB memory chip. This means that the next iPhone could have up to 64 GB of storage, and the next iPod Touch up to 128 GB of storage.
Another iPhone rumor concerns its mobile broadband situation. Verizon Wireless could start being an iPhone carrier next year, ending AT&T’s current monopoly. Personally, I think that would be a good thing, since it could force currently high AT&T fees to drop.
Another rumor (that I really hope is not true) says that the new iPhone will have a 2.8-inch display. The current and previous iPhones have all had 3.5-inch screens (which I personally find to be a most perfect size).
Image via Apple.