Category Archives: Platforms
Today, Steve Jobs posted an open letter titled Thoughts on Flash, in which he lays out the reasons why Apple doesn’t want Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It’s Steve, so there’s a little bit of RDF, but it’s actually refreshingly straightforward and rational. It seems to be striking an almost conciliatory tone towards Adobe and certainly takes a far more mature tone than Adobe has taken toward Apple in their public grousing since the new SDK agreement came out.
Steve ends the letter by encouraging Adobe to do what I (and many others) have suggested they do, which is create tools for generating HTML5 content. There are some tentative first-steps towards that in Flash CS5 from what I understand, but the time for Adobe to strike and take ownership of HTML5 content creation is now, not two or three years from now when CS6 ships. If Adobe can get a kick-ass content creation tools that outputs open standards-compliant interactive content out the door, they’ll have an instant runaway success on their hands. It’s a market with huge potential and Adobe could own the space if they were to make smart decisions.
Willingness to foresee and change corporate strategy is vital to long-term success. Have you ever read the history of Reuters? Reuters started as a carrier pigeon company. When the telegraph came on the scene, they certainly could have whined and complained and even insisted that their customers continue using carrier pigeons, but they were smart enough to realize pigeons were an outdated technology that couldn’t compete with the telegraph. Instead, they invested heavily in telegraph technology. As communication technology continued to change over the last 150 years, Reuters saw the changes coming, accepted them, embraced them and, as a result, they are still around today, bigger and stronger than ever.
Adobe needs to accept and embrace the fact that Flash has been supplanted by better technologies, especially when it comes to mobile and embedded devices. It doesn’t mean they need to abandon Flash (though I wouldn’t mind if they did), but they need to realize that it’s moribund due to the fact that the embedded market has a very different dynamic and makeup than the desktop world did back in the late nineties when Flash was born. A single-vendor proprietary solution is untenable when you have as many different viable operating systems and hardware manufacturers as we do in the mobile space.
It’s truly sad that Adobe is unable to see or embrace where the mobile web is going and continues to insist on trying to control where it does go. Adobe’s failure to accept these things is preventing their developer customers from reaching one of the most profitable and desirable mobile markets. In fact, their decisions thus far have, in reality, prevented those customers from effectively reaching any mobile market yet. Despite several years of promises that ubiquitous mobile Flash was just around the corner, it hasn’t happened yet. In the meantime, nearly ubiquitous adoption of HTML5 on smartphones has occurred. It’s supported, out of the box, by every major platform except Windows Mobile, and Windows Mobile has dwindled down to single-percentage market share.
Frustrated because Apple rejected your iPhone application and looking for a surefire approach for earning App Store approval? The answer is simple: Win a Pulitzer Prize. It worked for SFGate.com’s Mark Fiore, who last week became the first online-only…Continue Reading: Cartoonist wins Pulitzer, sudden respect from Apple →
As the blogosphere continues to debate whether or not photos published by technology website Gizmodo depict Apple’s newest version of its iPhone, The New York Times–citing a source with direct knowledge of Apple’s hardware plans–reports the device is…Continue Reading: Next iPhone discovered… in a Silicon Valley bar? →
Microsoft briefly posted a Windows Mobile 6.5 software development kit to its Microsoft Download Center website last week, removing the SDK within a matter of hours. According to ZDNet, the WinMo 6.5 SDK appeared on Jan. 22, and remained online long enough for some bloggers and developers to download the kit–some speculate Microsoft pulled the download because it reportedly contains widget tools and emulators for Windows Mobile 6.5.3, an interim build said to add support for “touchable tiles” as well as enhanced gesture support, a revamped address book and updated start menu placement.
With the web buzzing about the SDK post, Microsoft on Monday issued the following statement: “”On Friday, January 22nd Microsoft prematurely posted a version of an upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5 SDK to a public facing Web page. While the SDK was not announced or promoted, it was discovered and generated questions from the community. The beta SDK has since been removed and will be reposted once final testing has been conducted. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
The WinMo 6.5 SDK snafu seems likely to fuel increased speculation over Microsoft’s mobile roadmap and the long-promised release of Windows Mobile 7. While some sources report the software giant will formally announce the revamped OS during February’s Mobile World Congress 2010 event in Barcelona, others indicate it is now delayed until 2011.
For more on the WinMo 6.5 SDK release:
- read this ZDNet article
A number of Windows Mobile developers are venting their frustration with Microsoft over Windows Marketplace for Mobile payment delays, posting messages on the Windows Mobile Developer Center forum that indicate they are owed substantial sums derived from premium application downloads via the storefront. According to this thread, multiple WinMo developers are awaiting payment following extended delays, some dating back to October 2009 and in several cases totaling thousands of dollars–on its Windows Mobile for Developers FAQ, Microsoft pledges to pay within 15 to 30 days for credit card billing, and within 90 to 120 days for mobile operator billing. “If you’re a developer, you will be paid 70 percent of all application sale prices as your revenue share,” the FAQ states. “At the end of the month, Microsoft will total all transactions for your application sales on which we were able to collect money. Your 70 percent revenue share is then applied to the total and if that equals or exceeds $200 USD we will initiate an Electronic Funds Transfer payment to your bank account.”
Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile product manager Mihir Rao responded directly to the Windows Mobile Developer Center thread, stating that Microsoft completed its first round of payouts in December and plans a second round this month. According to Rao, there appears to be confusion around Dashboard status updates indicating whether a developer is eligible for payout, suggesting that some programmers are currently ineligible due to missing bank or tax information, or because the $200 threshold has not been met. However, multiple developers responded to Rao’s post to report their Dashboard has read “Eligible for revenue payout” since last fall.
“I see my explanation of the ‘Eligible for revenue payout’ status has raised more questions than it has answered,” Rao wrote in a post dated Jan. 21. “I am going to get some more details on this particular dashboard status to provide further clarification. I will post back with more details by the end of this week, so stay tuned.”
For more on the Windows Marketplace payment delays:
- read this Ars Technica article
Smartphone shipments worldwide will increase to 390 million units by 2013–a compound annual growth rate of 20.9 percent over the 2009-2013 forecast period in question–according to research firm IDC. While IDC predicts the Symbian operating system will retain its global leadership position over that time thanks largely to Nokia’s dominance in markets outside of the U.S., Android is expected to experience faster growth than any of its rivals, leaping from 2008 shipments of 690,000 to 68 million units by 2013, a CAGR of 150.4 percent. IDC adds Android will benefit from the growing footprint of handset vendors supporting the platform, and will finish second to Symbian in shipments by 2013.
On the flipside, IDC forecasts Linux and Palm’s webOS shipments will struggle throughout the forecast period. Shipments of Linux-powered devices are expected to trend down due to greater emphasis on the Android platform, although some vendors will continue to support the platform–as for webOS, IDC believes the operating system will grow steadily, but will ultimately capture only narrow market share as a result of limited deployment and operator availability.
For more on the IDC forecast:
- read this release
Microsoft will discontinue Mobile2Market, its mobile application certification and marketing program for independent software and hardware vendors. According to an email sent last week by Microsoft to Mobile2Market members, the software giant will terminate the program on Feb. 18. “Benefits of the program–including Buy It Now functionality with online distributors, the Windows Mobile Catalog, the Designed for Windows Mobile 6 logo, and Microsoft Partner Points–will no longer be available after that date,” the email reads. “The Logo License Agreement for Windows Mobile 5.0, 6.0, and 6.1 also will end effective February 18, 2010, at which time distribution of and all references to the aforementioned logos will need to cease.”
The email does not expand on Microsoft’s decision to shut down the Mobile2Market effort. Calls to Microsoft were not returned prior to press time.Continue Reading: Microsoft to discontinue Mobile2Market program →
Following Apple’s announcement it will unveil its “latest creation”–presumably the computing giant’s much-rumored tablet device–at a Jan. 27 media event, Fox News is reporting Apple will also introduce version 4.0 of its iPhone operating system. According to an email invitation mailed out Monday, Apple will release an unspecified new product during an invitation-only event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater on Jan. 27–citing a source inside Apple, Fox News states the spotlight will fall on the tablet, iPhone 4.0 and a new suite of iLife 2010 software. “While we won’t see new iPhone hardware just yet, we will see the next-generation software,” the report adds, while noting Apple is infamous for making last-minute changes prior to media events.
The Apple tablet and the role the iPhone OS will play on the device have been the subject of months of speculation. Late last year, Silicon Alley Insider reported some Apple developer partners were asked to prepare new, higher-resolution versions of their applications for a January demonstration: “They’ve told select developers that as long as they build their apps to support full screen resolution–rather than a fixed 320×480–their apps should run just fine,” a source said. In addition, French website Mac4Ever is reporting some developers have already gotten their hands on a new iPhone 4.0 SDK beta including a simulator that promises to simplify adapting iPhone applications to different screen resolutions.
For more on the iPhone 4.0 speculation:
- read this Fox News article
Nearly two weeks into January, most of us have long since abandoned our New Year’s resolutions, but Apple’s App Store continues its march toward self-betterment. In the wake of a bumpy 2009 that culminated in a handful of developers forsaking the iPhone platform while their applications lingered weeks and even months in approval purgatory, 2010 is off to a much more promising start: Developers are now reporting that the App Store is processing their software submissions at record speeds, indicating that Apple has made dramatic strides in improving how the digital storefront operates.
The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports that iTunes Connect, the portal developers use to submit their iPhone and iPod touch applications, was offline from Dec. 23 to Dec. 28. What happened during that blackout period is anyone’s guess–this is Apple, after all–but whatever Steve Jobs’ elves did to improve the app submission protocol, the results speak for themselves. At least one startup, Atomic Cactus, tells TUAW that its new puzzle game Artilect earned Apple’s stamp of approval in less than 12 hours, while its previous submissions took two to three weeks to run the gauntlet. “Today at 4:00 am I submitted for approval our latest app, which isn’t exactly a ‘fart app’ (it’s a pretty polished puzzle game with OpenFeint),” Atomic Cactus developer Yuri writes. “As of 1:30 pm today, the app is in the App Store.”
In related news, the App Store exceeded the 3 billion download benchmark last week–the latest milestone came less than four months after the store surpassed 2 billion downloads, a moment that itself arrived roughly five months after consumers downloaded the first billion iPhone and iPod touch applications. “Three billion applications downloaded in less than 18 months–this is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” Jobs said in a self-congratulatory press release. “The revolutionary App Store offers iPhone and iPod touch users an experience unlike anything else available on other mobile devices, and we see no signs of the competition catching up anytime soon.” It’s posturing, of course, but if the App Store is indeed solving the problems that have caused developers so many headaches in the past, Jobs might be speaking the truth. -JasonContinue Reading: Apple accelerates the App Store approval process →