mobile | mac | business | development blog
On Sep 9th 2009 at 9am PST Apple invited selected journalists to a special event in San Francisco. Apple did not bring up the Rolling Stones with Mick Jagger on stage of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater … but their song “It’s only Rock’n Roll (But I like it)” from 1974 was the intro of the event
Steve Jobs showed up on stage the first time since his liver transplantation and got a very warm welcome. Great to see, that he is doing better, now. He and Phil Schiller shared a lot of news and innovations:
Here are the facts of the 75min event:
iTunes & iPhone OS update:
Sneak previews of new games:
Update of the iPod product line:
Apple will host an invite-only “iPhone OS 3.0 Software” on Tuesday, March 17. There are a lot of speculations around these days what Apple will present on that day.
Before we go into detail what we might see on Tuesday, let’s talk about some widespread but weird rumors of what iPhone OS 3.0 is all about:
So let’s take a closer look on the invitation itself. What does it show: Blueprints of iPhone OS 3.0 Software. And there is probably only one reason why Apple will share “blueprints” of the upcoming OS to the media: Major changes to the OS and the SDK and this implies mayor changes to the underlying hardware. There will be new hardware this summer as the first 2 year contracts for the iPhone 2G are ending – and those users of the first hour need something new they’ll be thrilled about. But the reason for Apple to talk about an “advanced preview on what we’re building” must be something else: They need all iPhone developers to join forces for the new things to come:
My2cents for tomorrow
The iPhone is on the market for more than one and a half years – and there is still no Flash support. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen gave some interesting insights within the Bloomberg interview at Davos – in short: “It’s a hard technical challenge”.
What is happening here? Why is it so hard for Adobe and Apple to include Flash into the iPhone and iPod touch? Is this only a technical challenge?
There are a lot of reasons why migrating Flash to the iPhone is not a walk in the park:
Challenge: Complete migration and optimization
Adobe is quite clever in marketing, when they say “over 800 million Flash enabled devices shipped” … because this does not mean that those 800 million “Flash enabled” cellphones can view websites with embedded Flash content. Those 800 million devices have a tiny version of a special mobile Flash player installed, which only can play special generated Flash Light apps. So, Adobe’s Flash Light is not a web browser plugin as we know it from the Mac or PC world – it is a mobile application environment, only. Apple probably is not interested to much in bringing Flash Light to the iPhone. Apple is indeed interested in offering complete Flash support for Safari on the iPhone. But this would result in a complete migration of the OS X Flash player to the iPhone OS and a hell of optimization: Flash on OS X (and on Windows also) is very resource consuming – and this is the last thing you want to experience on the iPhone: slow, battery consuming surfing on Flash enabled websites. The Adobe Flash Light team spent years on optimizing Flash Light to the specific mobile phone platforms – it will be even more work to finish the complete migration to the iPhone.
Challenge: Smooth integration of Flash content into the iPhone OS environment
Right now there is a clear difference between web and video content: If you embed a Quicktime video into a website the iPhone user can see a video play button on the website; if the user clicks on the video play button the video is played in a separate movie player view. How should a Flash container – displaying a video – react? What is the best user experience? Will it be possible to integrate Flash views within native iPhone apps? Plenty of questions … and plenty of work on the usability and user experience side.
Challenge: Competing application environments of Flash Light and the native iPhone OS SDK
There is a clear and straight business case for Adobe with their Flash Light product: Handset manufacturers or operators have to pay for every single installation on a handset. They pay Adobe to get access to a creative developer community of Flash (Light) developers with interesting and good looking apps for their mobile phones. Will Apple pay Adobe for getting Flash on the iPhone? I personally don’t think so! Apple does not have any problem to attract creative developers to their native iPhone OS SDK. Flash Light apps don’t make the iPhone more attractive – maybe it’s even the opposite. On the Flash side, Apple managed it to convince companies like Google / Youtube to encode their videos especially for mobile phones without the need of Flash. Apple just created this extremely successful native application ecosystem – with a strong and creative developer community on the one hand and a well suited storefront with the iTunes iPhone AppStore on the other hand.
This all makes clear, what Shantanu Narayen pointed out at the interview: “(…) the ball right now is in our court (…)”: Adobe has to do the job – it’s essential for their business to be present on the iPhone – and Apple will profit from well integrated Flash in the iPhone … but Apple won’t loose anything if there wouldn’t be any Flash support at all in the future.
The last days really have been thrilling: The first reviews of our shopping app CompareMe for the iPhone and iPod touch came out. The first two reviews on the US AppStore – really exciting, because when somebody is interested to buy the app – this is where he or she is always looking at before pressing the buy button. Unfortunately, there still is no demo feature at the AppStore
But also at several app-review-sites, like AppCraver.com, TouchMyApps.com and also at iPhoneAppPodcast.com checked out CompareMe … and I think we can really be comfortable with. The best price gadget catches on – or in other words:
Let me take this opportunity to thank all reviewers for guiding users to useful apps they need. And a special thank to all reviewers who took the time to review CompareMe I also want to thank the growing number of CompareMe users – have fun shopping with it. And if you feel like sharing that you use it with others by pressing “I use this” at iphone.iusethis.com.
Apple just published a maintenance release of the iPhone OS 2.2.1 for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and the iPod touch. It’s pretty heavy with more than 240 MB and brings some bug-fixes and improvements:
As the Safari WebViews are used in many apps to display information this upgrade brings more stability to the whole platform.
How to update to 2.2.1: Ensure you have a good internet-connection and some time. Plug in your iPhone to your Mac (or PC) – within iTunes you’ll get a dialog box. Click update … and be patient