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iPhone Apps - should Apple allow porn?

February 27th, 2009 by admin

Pinch media have been monitoring apps usage since the App store was launched - and last week, in New York, they gave a presentation about iPhone Apps usage - based on 30 million application downloads. And the results are revealing!

Because it turns out that only 6m of these ever got used more than once! And by the end of three months virtually none of the apps were still being used.

iphone downloads stats

spacer6.jpgInterestingly, iPhone games look to be more successful. Compared to all other app-types they are used twice as much (on average). But even games usage quickly drops to around 7 minutes a day.

By comparison, all the other apps hover between a meager 3-5 minutes a day. Now we are talking averages - but at an average of 3-5 minutes, we can be sure that even the most enthusiastic users of an App are not “engaging” the App for long!

Is there are moral to this story?

iphone downloads stats

spacer6.jpgBefore we look at that - consider how paid verse free apps have faired. As the graph to the right, shows, paid Apps are not used much more than free Apps after the first 30 days. And even in the hey day of first purchase, average usage is only 7.5 minutes a day (compared to 6.5 mins for free Apps)

So what can we conclude from all these numbers?

Perhaps just that getting us to download Apps is a lot easier than getting us to use them? That most Apps look more useful than they really are? That iPhone users love playing with our iPhones - and Apps are a fun way to pass away commute time?

Or are these results a reflection of the way the App store has been developed? Both for users (the App store has a huge and confusing mass of Apps to choose from) and for developers (there is a giant queue of Apps waiting for approval as well as some really odd glitches in the approval process).

Apple - of course - wants to control the development of Apps. And this is testing their resources to the limit as the mass of developers are simple swamping the approval process.

Vtapspacer6.jpgChallenging Apple’s intention of course, is big money interests. Where there is money, there is the will. And where there is a will - there is a way! So we find that big money interests are developing sites that bypass the App store altogether. Nowhere has this been more enthusiastically demonstrated than by sites that offer streaming video to iPhone - such as VTap.

iPhone Sexspacer6.jpgBut the real challenge has come from sites offering video porn for iPhones - an area Apple has vowed to avoid. With stats for these sites showing a big growth in traffic and revenue, it would not be surprising if Apple was wanting to “follow the money”.

In fact, Apple recently let an iPhone sex site “accidentally” through the App approval process. It lasted a day before it was removed. Many expressed surprise that such a mistake could have been made in the approval process. But, given the huge bucks at stake we can’t help but wonder whether Apple was actually testing the waters - to see whether an APP of this type would get through! Potentially a big money spinner if it had!

iPhone App downloads: Fess up!

February 24th, 2009 by admin

iPhone appsspacer4.jpgAccording to the just-released ABI Research survey - 17% of iPhone users spent between $100 and $455 on iPhone Apps in 2008. And given that the App store was really only up and running from September, those are pretty impressive figures.

Not only that but at least a third of iPhone apps are free and most are between $1-$4.99. This would suggest that 17% of iPhone users have potentially downloaded hundreds of apps - and in just three months! WOW!

But how accurate are these figures we wondered? And do these figures represent the extreme edge or are most iPhone users keen to downloads apps? These results have finally pushed us to do the survey that has been on out to-do list for some time.

So fess up and reveal just how many apps you have downloaded AND (we won’t tell) how much you spent on them:

How many Apps have you downloaded to your iPhone
less than 10
11-20
21-30
31-40
more than 40


How much have you spent on iPhone Apps
Less than $10
$11-$30
$31-$50
$51-$75
$75-$100
More than $100


Is It Illegal To Jailbreak our iPhones?

February 18th, 2009 by admin

iPhone 2.0 Jailbreak and Unlock Piratespacer3.jpgNot yet, but…..

The iPhone is a thing of beauty - no two ways about it. But its expensive to buy and expensive to run. So not surprisingly people are keen to try and find cheaper ways to use it.

Now Apple is run by smart smart people who know how to design brilliant systems as well as brilliant technology. And the process by which Apple have organized thousands of developers to submit their apps only to Apple and sell only through iTunes, can only been described as sheer genius.

Given the resulting huge supply of free Apps that flow daily into iTunes. you would think that the motive to jailbreak an iPhone had been pretty much destroyed. Not so, it would seem! And the proof for this is the steps taken this week by Apple to have “jailbreaking” an iPhone declared illegal.

And if what they say in their submission to Copyright Office is the whole truth of the matter, then we would have to agree. If all jail breaking software requires the use of Apple’s own copyright software - then that is unambiguously theft of their software. According to APple:

Current jailbreak techniques now in widespread use [utilizes] unauthorized modification to the copyrighted bootloader and OS, resulting in infringement of the copyright in those programs

The image “http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/pwnagetool-pwned.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.But is this the whole truth? What of the widely used PwnageTool - the iPhone jailbreak software that is open source and free to use?

These are questions that will no doubt be answered in the coming weeks - we will keep you posted. In the meantime we are predicting a surge in jailbreaking before the Copyright Office gives its ruling.

Why? Because so many people want to have a wider choice of service provider (only AT&T in the US and only Rogers in Canada) than Apple currently allows. (BTW: isn’t “tied selling” - making the sale of one product conditional on the purchase of another product - illegal in the US?)

Love is in the iPhone!

February 14th, 2009 by admin

Love is in the air, whoo-oo-oo, Love is in the air, la la la la, Love is in the aaaaair!

But do you find yourself without gifts for your loved one? Forgot to get a token to show you care? Well, there are quite a few creative minds out there that think that virtual love might be enough.

Or perhaps they believe that romance served with a bit of humor will be appreciated.

Or perhaps its just that the iPhone can do so many things … why not let it do our romancing for us a well? In any event, here are some free Apps you might find helpful - for humor, for virtual romance, or even to send some last minute flowers:

love-poem-generator

1800Flowersspacer-blue.pngspacer-blue.png Say “I love you” with original romantic poetry - with the help of this love poem generator (App on left). And if you have forgotten to get flowers then 1800Flowers has it covered with this free APP (at right)

But perhaps you want to take your relationship to the next level? Well, guess what, there is an iPhone app for that as well: iPropose Lite! With an image of an engagement ring and a place where you can put his/her name. Could be cute?

iPickupLineslovetricityspacer-blue.pngspacer-blue.pngWhat’s that? You don’t have a valentine? Well, iPhone Apps have got that covered as well! You can warm up the situation with lovetricity (left) - if you are game. You get a gal/guy to put their thumb on the “love sensing” pads at the same time you do and it will “measure” the chemistry between you. But, hey, you gotta be able to follow this up with the right smart talk. Thats where the pick up lines provided by iPickupLines (right) comes in handy. And later, when you want to keep the interest going you can flirt with him/her on the iPhone using TrueFlirt Lite!

Are Free Trials for iPhone Downloads, Risky?

February 12th, 2009 by admin

What we wonder is : would you be more likely to give free trials a go if you knew you were not going to be charged at the end of the free trial period?

quiz

There are several ways of getting free downloads for our iPhones. Now, by downloads, we mean: music, movies and TV shows, videos, games, wallpapers, ringtones, and software.

Once Apple set up the APPs store in iTunes, it was difficult for developers to make free trials available to us. (The iTunes store is just not set up for it).

TrueFlirt Litespacer2.jpgThe development of free “lite” versions of an app (mostly for games - but there are plenty of other lite apps)) has been one way developers get us to try out their product (but this is an expensive and potentially self defeating way to promote a product - in many cases iPhoners have enthusiastically downloaded the lite version of a game and not purchased the full version).

“Free trials” of other software products on the internet typically take three forms:

1) Download the software and get limited-time free trial. At the end of the free trial period the software ceases to function and a pop-up of some sort will let us know how to purchase the software).
2) After providing credit card details, the full version of the software is available for free trial for a limited period ( usually from 5 to 30 days). At the end of the free trial period the user is automatically charged the full price of the software unless they cancel their subscription.

3) Download a limited (”lite”) version of the software for free and unlimited use. The full version being available at a price.

MobileMe IconThe purpose of these free trials is to get us to use and appreciate the product and so to eventually to purchase it. The benefit to us is that we do get to try a lot of great free products out. Often only needing the free trial version. The internet is great for this.

But- and here is the rub - the second method is very popular. Apple itself offers free trials of its own software - and it does not offer the “lite” version. Take Mobileme - this is a handy App that Apple has developed to allow our iPhones to be synced to our computers. The free trial period is for an extraordinarily generous 60 days. Then:

After your 60-day free trial, you will be charged an annual subscription fee of $99.00 (plus applicable tax). To avoid these charges, you may cancel your membership at any time during the trial period by going to Account Options section of me.com.

Think you will remember to do this 60 days after you download the free trial? And that, of course, is the risk with these types of free trials! And one reason why many avoid this type of promotion. I know I have paid the price of forgetfulness more than once!

Download the Top 5 Free iPhone Games!

February 6th, 2009 by admin

Free iPhone Games - How good are they really? We decides to find out - and have posted what we think are the best ones below (download links provided - and no need for a  complicated NES emulator or anything  - these download straight to your iPhone!)

Free iPhone Gamesspacer1.jpgiPhone games have been very popular - to say the least. In fact, according to Google, searches for “iphone games” have averaged around 300,000 a month for the last 12 months! And this interest has been matched with enthusiasm by new games developed for iPhones.

There are now over a thousand games in the App store and nearly a third of them are FREE! At first that was a pretty exciting deal for us iPhone owners. But now there are just so many - mostly poor - free iPhone games on offer in iTunes that its easy to get overwhelmed - and even to just ignore them!

Now, Apple does make some attempt to help us, by providing lists like the “top free Apps” shown below

top iphone gamesspacer1.jpgBut here’s the problem with this list.

The topped ranked game - Super Monkey Ball Lite - has only a 3-star rating (mainly because it only has three levels).

But it gets worse!

The iPhonegizmo team went bizerk and read every review written for these games!

As a result, we could not really understand the reasoning behind the rankings given for these games.

For example, three of the four “top ranked games” - iSniper lite, Save kitty, and duck shoot - only get 2 star ratings by users. With Falling Balls managing a slightly better, 2.5 stars. Not very encouraging.

Now the above image is for the US “Top Free Apps” - but we checked and found that other countries have much the same games in the top ten apps list!

So, we wondered - does this mean that all free iPhone games suck?

So we actually went (painfully) through the long list of free iPhone games listed in the App stores for both US and UK to see if we could find any better games. And we did!

iShoot Lite

ishoot iphone game

But not many! Sadly, we found that few free games got better than 3.5 star ratings. (We are currently doing a survey of paid games as well - results will be posted in the near future). Here are our results:

Top Free iPhoneGames (rated by users as 3.5 stars or better):

Bounce On Lite free iPhone gamespacer1.jpg1) iShoot Lite - 4 stars (Released Dec 08 );
2) Galcon lite - 3.5 stars (Released Sep 08);
3) Bounce On Lite - 3.5 stars (Released Jan 09);
4) Fastlane Street Racing Lite - 3.5 stars (Released Jan 09),
5) Downhill Bowling Lite - 3.5 stars (Released Feb 09);
6) Trace - 3.5 stars (US) (Released Oct 08)
7) Tap Defence - 3.5 stars (US) (Released Nov 08)

We were prepared to include games earlier than Sep 08 only if they had a rating of at least 4 stars as we reckon a lot of the games released back in July to September 08 had the benefit of being the glamorous first to be appreciated and so were met with the kind of rave reviews not seen since! And because we figured the good ones would be well known, anyway. But we did not find any!

So what did we take away from this exercise?

1) Most free games get very poor reviews

2) There are only two or three free games that are worth getting (out of hundreds!)
3) iTunes is a major pain to navigate! Unless you know the game you want it is just too much trouble to browse through what is available.

iPhone Download Sacks of Money?

February 3rd, 2009 by admin

Who wants a new 8Gb Apple iPod Touch? Thats a brand new - worth $US229 - iPod Touch! And actually, it is really free! Let me explain…

Ameritrade are doing a promo to encourage people to set up accounts with them. Until the 31st March 2009, anyone (see below) who sets up an account, will receive a FREE 8Gb iPhone Touch!!

Get iPod Touch for $50

Is there a catch? Well, you have to be an American and have a social security number. And you have tobe willing to deposit $50,000!!!! but - yep, you can get yourself an iPod Touch for free. (Don’t worry, we have a better deal to show you below)

Now many iPhone owners are already share traders and Ameritrade downloadhave accounts already with other online traders. But none of them offer an iPhone App (eTrader has an App for Balckberry, but not iPhone) The whole reason behind this offer is to spread the word that Ameritrade now has a (free) iPhone App - which means that trading can now be done from our iPhone (or iPod Touch!).

But we figure we can make you an even sweeter deal for you. And actually make it worth your while to use this app. Just check out this site to see what we mean.

The guys at daytradingrobot have developed a stock trading robot that automatically spits out the best stocks to buy and sell on a daily basis! AND even tells us what to buy or sell!!

Trading Robotspacer.jpgThe guys that developed this robot - James Holt (one of the world’s most successful day traders), Dr. Robert Finn (a successful businessman and professor of artificial intelligence at Stanford Uni), and Jason Kelly (chief programmer for a small European hedge fund), have provided some pretty exciting demos.

I say - just take a look at these demos and see what these guys have done. Its impressive. And this Robot is definitely a great way for a beginner to get started.