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Apple to Allow Limited Background Multi-Tasking for Apps in iPhone 3.0?

iPhone SDK: No Multi-Tasking

Business Insider rumormongers that Apple might be considering some limited form of multi-tasking, perhaps as early as iPhone 3.0, which would allow 3rd party apps to run as background tasks. They point to two possible models:

  1. Apple might allow users to select two apps that can run in the background.
  2. Apple might selectively allow some apps to run in the background. We assume that developers could apply for permission to run in the background, and that Apple might approve or deny them based on the resources they need and how well they behave with the operating system’s stability.

Daring Fireball steps up to throw a combo of water and fuel on that particular fire:

I heard something very similar from a decent (but second-hand) source back in January during Macworld Expo. What I heard then was that Apple was working on a vastly improved dock for your most-frequently used apps, and that there’d be one special icon position where you could put a third-party app to enable it to run in the background.

Gruber also rightly points out that the iPhone 3G’s 128MB of RAM is likely the constraining factor to current generation multitasking and that won’t change with the iPhone 3.0 firmware. If reports of at least 512MB of RAM in a 3rd generation iPhone are to be believed, however, this could be a much more compelling and powerful feature.

A dock that slides up like a slot-limited version of Google’s Android app shelf maybe? And one that grants background permission to anything placed inside it? Yes please.

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Apple to Allow Limited Background Multi-Tasking for Apps in iPhone 3.0?


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The Great iPhone App Store Profit Debate

Venture Partners guestimated, based on a survey from O’Reilly, that Apple has made “only” $20-$45 million from their 30% cut of App Store revenue since the service launched in July 2008.

To quickly recap, App Store developers can charge whatever they’d like for apps — including free as in $0 — and Apple will take 30% off the top, from which they pay storage, bandwidth, infrastructure, transactional processing fees, etc. Obviously 30% of free is nothing, but for $9.99 apps, they’d gross almost $3, and net… well, that’s anyone’s guess. (see above).

Techcrunch (via Daring Fireball) provides some interesting analysis on that point, and the larger point on just what Apple may be netting in total:

I think Liew’s numbers are well below the actual revenue numbers, but no matter if its $50 million, $100 million or $200 million, that’s not a huge amount of money for a company that has nearly $30 billion in cash in the bank. But going forward, that number is only going to increase both as the platform expands and as in-app purchases come into play. That’s not bad for a company that just wanted to make enough money to keep the App Store running.

Parallels to the iTunes Music Store, and what it did for iPod sales, are thus as plentiful as they are well founded.

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The Great iPhone App Store Profit Debate


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iPod touch and iPod nano to Get Cameras?

iPhone Camera

We’d heard rumors about the iPod touch getting a camera already — makes sense and would tie it even more closely to the iPhone OS. HardMac (via MacRumors) is now saying the iPod nano will as well.

Sounds plausible as it provides an easy way for Apple to both strengthen ties within their ecosystem and incrementally update both platforms in time for the holidays.

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iPod touch and iPod nano to Get Cameras?


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State of the iPhone 3.0 Jailbreak

iPhone 2.0 Jailbreak and Unlock Pirate

The iPhone Dev-Team has posted a few words regarding Jailbreaking the 3.0 software:

Because there are so many beta releases, we couldn’t possible refine, test, and release both PwnageTool and QuickPwn for each of them. That’s why we’re waiting until the final release. You may have seen other “hijacked” versions of QuickPwn out there, but all of them are buggy, none of them work on OSX, and almost everyone who uses them reverts back to 2.2.1 (because none of the useful jailbroken apps (Qik, Cycorder, and others) work on 3.0 yet).

Now this does not mean you currently can not Jailbreak 3.0 because you can, it’s just that the Dev-Teams software is not fine-tuned for the iPhone beta software. If you do decide to Jailbreak the 3.0 beta you will run into some issues. The biggest issue, as stated above, being a lot of the applications available via Cydia will not be compatible with 3.0. It is also important to note that if you ever want to unlock your iPhone 3G, you need to avoid the 3.0 software altogether unless and until the Dev-Team provides a safe jailbreak path.

So our advice to the Jailbreakers of the world: have some patience. When the final build of 3.0 drops sometime this summer you will be able to Jailbreak your iPhone 3G.

(The only way Apple could prevent a Jailbreak does not rest within the software, rather the hardware. As for Jailbreaking the next generation of iPhone, only time will tell, we are sure Apple will make it interesting…)

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State of the iPhone 3.0 Jailbreak


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Quick App: Twitterrific 2.0 Twitter Client for iPhone

Twitterrific is looking to be the Alpha and Omega of iPhone Twitter clients. As it was first (before there was even an official SDK!), so it is also now the most recent — in snazzily updated 2.0 form.

So what’s changed? Nothing. And everything. Cliched, maybe, but Twitterrific was originally born from the Iconfactory’s passion for a graceful, gorgeous Twitter reading experience. But then came a host of other Twitter clients that banged the uber-functionality drums and while it seemed like every celebrity with an iPhone clung to the grandaddy goodness of Twitterrific, the unwashed tech-masses wandered elsewhere.

Well, with Twitterrific 2.0, many will wander back. It somehow manages to keep that quick, clean experience but — through UI wizardry — neatly tucks away most every power-user feature imaginable beneath the covers.

Old awesomeness remains — I’ve always loved the ability to quickly, and at any time, change from new tweet to @reply to direct message (dm) at the touch of a tab. New awesomeness is introduced — now I can also tap the “eye” icon to see the tweet I’m replying to for reference, to add another @username to the reply, etc.

Yes, in Battlestar Galactica terms, if Twitterrific 1.0 was the Cylon Centurian, Twitterrific 2.0 is the red-dressed Caprica 6. It has evolved. (And definitely has a plan).

Speaking of which: there’s inarguably the feature-equivalent of an arms race going on among iPhone Twitter clients, and it’s one that greatly benefits users. If the first Twitterrific was a board with a nail in it, and subsequent Twitter clients went from sword to gun, this is our first plasma cannon. And I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Note: Twitterrific 2.0 comes, as it always has, in two versions. There’s Twitterrific (Free with ad support – iTunes link) and Twitterrific Premium ($3.99 – iTunes link). I bought the original Twitterrific Premium and was startled to see Twitterrific 2.0 come to me as a free upgrade. I would easily have paid another $10 for this, much less $3.99. Donation button please?

Full gallery after the break!





































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Quick App: Twitterrific 2.0 Twitter Client for iPhone


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FTC Investigating Apple and Google Antitrust Issues

The New York Times (via Daring Fireball) reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into whether the ties between Apple and Google’s respective Boards of Directors violate Section 8 of the Clayton Antitrust Act.

The provision is designed to prevent two rival companies from acting in concert to reduce competition. While Google and Apple have rival mobile phone platforms and cloud services, iPhone vs. Android and Gmail (etc.) vs. MobileMe, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt is on Apple’s board of directors and the iPhone makes use of Google technology such as the built-in Google Maps, Google Search, etc.

According to the NYT, however:

Antitrust experts say that investigations of interlocking directorates rarely lead to major confrontations between companies and the government. Executives typically choose to resign from the board of a competitor if it poses a problem rather than face a lengthy investigation or a bruising legal fight.

The article also points out the “closeness” of Google to the Obama administration, and how that “closeness” doesn’t seem to offer Google any insulation from the FTC.

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FTC Investigating Apple and Google Antitrust Issues


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Quick App: AT&T myWireless for iPhone

Today AT&T’s very own application, myWireless, was released in the the App Store for all AT&T subscribers to download. myWireless [iTunes Link] is a crafty little app that lets iPhone users manage their AT&T accounts easily from the device itself. You can view your data and minutes usage, view and pay your bill, and you can even add and remove extra features like text messaging and early nights/weekends, all from the comfort of your very own iPhone.

I’ve tested it out and pretty much any option on AT&T’s website is built into this app. You can even access your full detailed bill via PDF file.

It is important to note that you must have an active AT&T Mobility account that is registered for online account management in order to use this application.

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Quick App: AT&T myWireless for iPhone


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Quick App: FileMaker’s Bento for iPhone

FileMaker was gracious enough to provide TiPb with a walkthrough of their just-released Bento for iPhone and iPod touch ($4.99 – iTunes link). Coming as it does from a wholly-owned Apple subsidiary, Bento shows every bit as much polish as the built-in iPhone apps. Features include:

  • 25 pre-designed, ready-to-use templates that can be quickly customized with a few taps.
  • Create your own forms to organize virtually any data on an iPhone or iPod touch.
  • Tap to call a contact, view a Web site, send an email or display a map all while in a Bento library or collection.
  • Manage anything from contacts and club members to projects, parties, medical bills and vehicle maintenance.
  • View libraries and collections, create new records, edit details, sort data, modify forms – even use the iTunes-style search to find information quickly on the go.
  • Select from 15 field types including text, numbers, choice, checkbox, media, time, date, durations, currency, rating, address, phone number, email, URL and IM Account.
  • Wireless Synchronization between Bento for iPhone and iPod Touch and Bento 2 for Mac
  • Works with built-in iPhone apps Contacts, Safari, Phone Dialing, Mail and Google Maps

An updated version of Bento 2 for the Mac is shipping at the same time, which is required for the sync to function. There’s no support for multiple iPhone to Bento 2 Mac sync yet, though you can manually sync one device after the other. Likewise, Apple doesn’t allow hooks into the Calendar (yet?!) but for things like Contacts, Bento for iPhone’s ability to mirror the built in Contacts database, and then transparently superset it with extra data (i.e. you could add a star rating to all your friends) is very impressive.

Most impressive, however, is the typical Apple-esque ease of use. Bento does a lot of heavy lifting so users, whether exclusively on the iPhone, or syncing between iPhone and desktop, don’t have to.

If you have any need at all to organize personal data on your iPhone, give Bento for iPhone a look and let us know what you think!

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Quick App: FileMaker’s Bento for iPhone


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iPhone 3.0: Parental Controls May Change App Store Rejection Policies?

With all of the rejections in the App Store going on as of late it’s about time we have some good news for our pal Trent Reznor – see link above – and all of the developers out there.

It seems that Apple has rejected a newspaper reading app, Newspaper(s) [iTunes Link], for containing objectionable content. This app contains newspapers from around the world and one of them has a picture of a topless woman. Apple, however, let the developer know in it’s rejection email that Parental Controls have been announced for iPhone OS 3.0 and that it “would be appropriate to resubmit your application for review once this feature is available.”

So there you have it folks. Will these new parental control features (see them in our iPhone 3.0 Walkthrough) help cut down on rejected apps or will we still see these types of rejections take place? Sound off in the comments!

[Via iLounge]

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iPhone 3.0: Parental Controls May Change App Store Rejection Policies?


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Attack of the Twofer: BlackBerry Briefly Outsells iPhone

Yes, it’s true. Just like CrackBerry’s reporting. According to NPD (via Engadget), the oldest remaining version of the BlackBerry Curve, when heavily discounted and given away in two-for-one promo deals, briefly regained the #1 best seller position on the smartphone index from the iPhone 3G, which had to settle for a high-margin #2. Also, discounted and given away two-for-one, when combined with heavy marketing and the power and reach of the Verizon network… did not. BlackBerry Storm was #3.

Cutting margins and giving away product may pad the numbers, but as Palm found out with the Centro, you can’t make “zero” up on volume.

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Attack of the Twofer: BlackBerry Briefly Outsells iPhone


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iPhone Battery Saving Tips