As part of the retooling for the Sprint Software Store, the telco announced plans to aggressively change the turnaround time in receiving, reviewing, and approving new apps.
"If you want to get something onto the (current) Sprint Software Store, someone has to review it, someone's got to test it. By the time those things happen through long lead times, we've seen that some of the content completely loses its relevance. We've got to stop. We've got to get out of the way so that content can get up here faster," J.P. Brocket, Sprint's general manager of wireless applications, said during the the company's Open Developer Conference.
Brock added that the turnaround time will depend on what the app does, pointing out that an app for finding a local pizza joint would get approved pretty quickly, but one touting turn-by-turn directions might take a little longer. But if Sprint can stick to a one-week schedule regardless of the type of app, in most cases it will be getting things done twice as fast (or more) than Apple.
Some other changes are in store as well. Sprint said it would start charging developers an unspecified fee to have their apps re-reviewed, and new payment methods are being added
While the mobile world -- or at least the media -- remains fixated on Apple's iPhone OS, Google's Android platform, and the Blackberry OS, let's not forget that Symbian is still the market share leader, and now it has an app store to boot, the Symbian Foundation announced at the Symbian Exchange and Exposition 2009 (SEE 2009).
The "Horizon" app store is now live and kicks off with 50 apps, some of which included YouTube, Twitter, and Qik clients. But that's just the beginning, as the mobile OS outfit hopes to have thousands more in 2010 as developers sign up to have their apps listed in the Symbian Horizon Directory.
"We recognize that developers face many challenges in bringing their products to market on Symbian devices," said Lee Williams, Executive Director of the Symbian Foundation. "In particular, the diversity of application stores in our ecosystem increases the burden on developers by requiring multiple submission and review processes. But this diversity can also offer an advantage over competitors' closed systems, where applications sometimes receive arbitrary or commercially motivated rejections. Symbian Horizon retains this advantage while reducing the burden by becoming a conduit to multiple stores, helping developers reach the largest global mobile market in the world more effectively."
Several Symbian platforms already have their own app stores, including Nokia's Ovi, Samsung's Application Store, and Sony Ericsson's PlayNow platform, and all of these will support Horizon and integrate its apps into the mix. And while it's far too early to make any meaningful predictions, the question on everyone's mind is whether or not Symbian might actually challenge Apple's App Store, which is now over 100,000 apps strong.
What’s more ridiculous than a “moustaches of the world” app? A certain Redmond software giant hopes your answer to that is “the Apple App Store”. The new ad for Windows Marketplace pokes a bit of fun at Apple and their App Store. Microsoft is obviously of the opinion that there’s a lot of junk in Apple’s App store, and their approval process is terrible. While they may be right, will people get the joke?
The two fellows in the ad give the viewer a tour of rejected Windows Marketplace apps. They’re all pretty awful, but at least they weren’t approved. They mention at the end of the video that the apps that made it through the approval process would be pretty great. Since they’re both wearing lab coats, you should probably believe them.
Even with the App Store’s flaws, the Windows Marketplace has a lot of catching up to do. This ad probably isn’t going to help them win mindshare. Do you think the ad is effective, or does it just come off as a random collection of gags?
The ongoing and confusing saga of the iPhone App store continues. This time Apple has approved an official Vonage app with some very familiar features. The Vonage app does standard VoIP via Wi-Fi, as one would expect. However, it also works over the cellular network.
Vonage has clarified that it doesn’t use cellular data, but rather cellular voice. Calls are routed through a special Vonage number allowing very cheap international calls. Sound like anything you know of? Maybe like a little service that starts 'G', and ends with 'oogle Voice'?
Michael Tempora, senior VP of products at Vonage, said that the Vonage app does indeed work in a similar way to Google Voice when used over the cellular network. He went on to say that he saw no reason for Apple to pull the app. “We built the application in complete accordance with Apple’s rules,” he said.
This leaves only a few reasons Apple might have used to reject Google Voice while keeping Vonage. Maybe it was the address book syncing, maybe the free text messaging, or maybe just because it was from Google. Where do you stand? Will Apple yank the Vonage app? Or are they leaving it in to yank Google’s chain?
Apple today announced that its App Store has recorded more than two billion app downloads since the site first launched in July 2008. Apple added that there are now more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch owners who have access to over 85,000 apps.
"The rate of App Store downloads continues to accelerate with users downloading a staggering two billion apps in just over a year, including more than half a billion apps this quarter alone," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "The App Store has reinvented what you can do with a mobile handheld device, and our users are clearly loving it."
Earlier this month, Jobs said there were 75,000 apps available at the App Store, with 1.8 billion downloads recorded. That means in this month alone, the App Store added 10,000 more apps, or half as many as Android Market's entire catalog. And with Google recently dropping the hammer on Android's third-party ROM development community, Apple's probably in no immediate danger of being dethroned.
More details of Apple’s rejection of Google Voice for the iPhone have come to light. When Google, Apple, and AT&T submitted their letters to the FCC back in August, a large portion of Google’s was redacted. Speculation was that the section (which dealt with what Apple actually told Google) contained descriptions of sensitive correspondence between the two companies.
Today Google allowed the FCC to post the full text. Sure enough, the previously redacted section detailed the contact Apple had with Google. This culminated with none other than Apple Senior VP of Marketing, Phil Schiller, calling Google on July 7 to say the Google Voice app was rejected. This seems to directly contradict Apple’s assertion to the FCC that they hadn’t rejected Google Voice, but were still studying it.
Now the plot thickens even more, as Apple put out a statement saying, "We do not agree with all of the statements made by Google in their FCC letter. Apple has not rejected the Google Voice application and we continue to discuss it with Google." Rejected or not, it still means iPhone users don’t have a Google Voice app. Is Apple arguing semantics here, or just straight-up lying?
The Zune HD may only be a couple of days old, but the app store for the device is already up and running.
A “Marketplace” which offers nine free apps is already shelling out software to Zune HD users across the land. The apps, which include calculator, weather, Texas hold ‘em, Sudoku, Space Battle 3, Shell Game… Of the Future, Hexic, Goo Splat and Chess will appear in a new “Apps” menu on the main screen once they’re downloaded. Reportedly, the apps look and act pretty solid, but feature adverts during startup that cause the boot time to exceed 30 seconds in some cases.
Either way though, they’re free – so you get what you pay for.
The Android Market abounds with Augmented Reality (AR) apps just as the iTunes apps store waits for its own deluge of such apps. Although the first wave of AR iPhone apps was expected to follow after the launch of the new iPhone OS, Yelp has shipped the first installment of augmented fun to keep US-based iPhone users occupied in the interim. The augmented reality feature is only meant for the iPhone 3Gs.
When the FCC got involved in the rejection of the Google Voice application for the iPhone, opinions were mixed. While iPhone users almost universally wanted to know where to point the blame, they were also unsure if government intervention was the way to go. Regardless of where you fall on the issue the verdict is in, and it now appears Apple is the guilty party.
In a written response to the FCC, AT&T claims the telecommunications company had “no role in Apple’s consideration of Google Voice or related applications”. The filing also revealed another juicy tidbit of information we’ve all been wondering about for months now. AT&T has actually been involved in the app approval process on at least a handful of occasions, but from what we can tell, this was limited to bandwidth hogging applications such as Pandora, and MobiTV that Apple feared would impact the overall stability of the 3G wireless network.
Apple, knowing that it was caught red handed, was quick to point out in its FCC filing that they have “not rejected the Google Voice Application” and that they “continue to study it”. It appears that the primary reason for the rejection is limited to concerns over how Google Voice alters “the iPhone’s distinctive user experience”. Apple fanboys will no doubt take this reasoning as the directive of Steve Jobs and leave it be, but Google was quick to remind us that Android forces no such restrictions.
“Google doesn’t screen or reject Android Market apps on the basis of content or functionality”. Everyone who uses an iPhone knows they are locked into Steve’s world, but should iPhone users accept that?
The Apple App Store for the iPhone/iPod Touch has proved to be a huge hit and forced the introduction of similar services on rival mobile platforms. However, Vic Gundotra, vp of engineering at Google, believes such app stores will not have much of an impact in the future. He expects mobile web browsers to be more than equipped to deliver all kinds of content in the future.
“Many, many applications can be delivered through the browser and what that does for our costs is stunning,” Gundotra said at the Mobilebeat Conference in San Francisco. Palm’s Michael Abbot seconded his opinion and cited the introduction of HTML5 standards, which has made it easier for web apps to make use of a phone’s hardware, as a portent of things to follow.