Category: iPhone Apps / Development

Apple Updates Garageband and iMovie for iOS

Garageband for iPad

Garageband for iPad

Apple has issued update for the iOS version of iMovie and Garageband. The update to iMovie adds support for audio and video output via HDMI and the Garageband update brings support for AirPlay and audio file importing.

iMovie 1.2.1 for iOS is said to bring audio playback the Apple Digital AV Adapter and can play full screen videos to an HDTV from the Marquee page. The update also addresses a number of other performance and reliability issues.

Garageband 1.0.1 adds support for audio playback via AirPlay, Bluetooth devices and to HDMI devices with the Digital AV Adapter. Apple also added support for the importing of AIFF, WAV, and CAF audio files as well as uncompressed 16-bit, 44.1 kHz raw audio data.

Apple has also improved the overall stability and addressed a number of minor issues in Garageband which is available for the iPad and iPad 2.

TweetDeck CEO Responds to Jobs’ Comments

Following yesterdays surprise appearance by Apple CEO Steve Jobs on the company’s quarterly fiscal results conference call the media has been alight republishing Jobs’ comments during which he fired at both RIM and Google.

Jobs paid particular attention to Google and its Android platform, not only did Jobs make direct comparisons between the two platforms activation figures he also spoke about developing for Android describing the difficulties faced by developers and eventually consumers.

Jobs highlighted one example when talking about the fragmentation of the Android OS and referred to recent report purportedly from TweetDeck (Jobs referred to as Twitter Deck) that “they had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets.”

Very quickly TweetDeck CEO Iain Dodsworth responded via Twitter saying:

Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing on Android? Errr nope, no we didn’t. It wasn’t.

Full transcript of Jobs’ statement, courtesy of Seeking Alpha:

As most of you know, I don’t usually participate in Apple’s earnings calls since you are all in such capable hands with Peter and Tim. But I just couldn’t help dropping by for our first $20 billion quarter. I would like to chat about a few things and then stay for the rest of the Q&A if that’s alright.

First, let me discuss iPhone. We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter which represents a 91% unit growth over the year-ago quarter and was well ahead of IDC’s latest published estimate of 64% growth for the global smartphone market in the September quarter. And it handily beat RIM’s 12.1 million Blackberry’s sold in their most recent quarter ending in August. We’ve now passed RIM, and I don’t seem them catching up with us in the foreseeable future. They must move beyond their area of strength and comfort into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company.

I think it’s going to be a challenge for them to create a competitive platform and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.

Well, what about Google? Last week, Eric Schmidt reiterated that they are activating 200,000 Android devices per day. And have around 90,000 apps in their App Store. For comparison, Apple has activated around 275,000 iOS devices per day on average for the past 30 days with a peak of almost 300,000 iOS devices per day on a few of those days. And Apple has 300,000 apps on its App Store.

Unfortunately, there is no solid data on how many Android phones are shipped each quarter. We hope that manufacturers will soon start reporting the number of Android handsets they ship each quarter. But today that just isn’t the case. Gartner reported that around 10 million Android phones were shipped in the June quarter and we await to see if iPhone or Android was the winner in this most recent quarter.

Google loves to characterize Android as open, and iOS and iPhone as closed. We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. The first thing most of us think about when we hear the work open is Windows which is available on a variety of devices. Unlike Windows, however, where most pc’s have the same user interface and run the same app, Android is very fragmented. Many Android OEMs, including the two largest, HTC and Motorola install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commodity Android experience. The users will have to figure it all out. Compare this with iPhone, where every handset works the same.

Twitter client, Twitter Deck, recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations present developers with a daunting challenge. Many Android apps work only on selected Android handsets running selected Android versions. And this is for handsets that have been shipped less than 12 months ago. Compare this with iPhone, where there are two versions of the software, the current and the most recent predecessor to test against.

In addition to Google’s own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android. So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone. Apple’s App Store has over three times as many apps as Google’s marketplace and offers developers’ one-stop shopping to get their apps to market easily and to get paid swiftly.

Even if Google were right, and the real issue is closed versus open, it is worthwhile to remember that open systems don’t always win. Take Microsoft’s PlaysForSure music strategy, which use the PC model, which Android uses as well, of separating the software components from the hardware components. Even Microsoft finally abandoned this open strategy in favor of copying Apple’s integrated approach with their Zoom Player, unfortunately leaving their OEMs empty-handed in the process. Google flirted with this integrated approach with their Nexus One phone.

In reality, we think the open versus closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is, what’s best for the customer, fragmented versus integrated. We think Android is very, very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day. And as you know, Apple’s strives for the integrated model so that the user isn’t forced to be the systems integrator.

We see tremendous value in having Apple rather than our users’ be the systems integrator. We think this is a huge strength of our approach compared to Google’s. When selling to users who want their devices to just work, we believe integrated will trump fragmented every time. And we also think our developers can be more innovative if they can target a singular platform rather than a hundred variants. They can put their time into innovative new features rather than testing on hundreds of different handsets.

So we are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as closed. And we are confident that it will triumph over Google’s fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterize it as open.

Second, I’d like to comment on the avalanche of tablets poised to enter the market in the coming months. First, it appears to be just a handful of credible entrants, not exactly an avalanche. Second, almost all of them use seven-inch screens as compared to iPad’s near 10-inch screen. Let’s start there. One naturally thinks that a seven-inch screen would offer 70% of the benefits of a 10-inch screen. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. The screen measurements are diagonal, so that a seven-inch screen is only 45% as large as iPad’s 10-inch screen. You heard me right; just 45% as large

If you take an iPad and hold it upright in portrait view and draw an imaginary horizontal line halfway down the screen, the screens on the seven-inch tablets are a bit smaller than the bottom half of the iPad display. This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps in our opinion.

Well, one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference. It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them. This is one of the key reasons we think the 10-inch screen size is the minimum size required to create great tablet apps.

Third, every tablet user is also a smartphone user. No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong tradeoff. The seven-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.

Fourth, almost all of these new tablets use Android software, but even Google is telling the tablet manufacturers not to use their current release, Froyo, for tablets, and to wait for a special tablet release next year. What does it mean when your software suppliers does not (inaudible) to use their software in your tablet? And what does it mean when you ignore them and use it anyway?

Fifth, iPad now has over 35,000 apps on the App Store. This new crop of tablets will have near zero.

And sixth and last, our potential competitors are having a tough time coming close to iPad’s pricing, even with their far smaller, far less expensive screens. The iPad incorporates everything we have learnt about building high value products from iPhones, iPods and Macs. We create our own A4 chip, our own software, our own battery chemistry, our own enclosure, our own everything. And this results in an incredible product at a great price. The proof of this will be in the pricing of our competitor’s products which will likely offer less for more.

These are among the reasons we think the current crop of seven-inch tablets are going to be DOA, Dead on Arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the seven-inch bandwagon with an orphan product. Sounds like lots of fun ahead.

Apple Updates iMovie, iDisk and Find My iPhone Apps

Over the last few days Apple has released a flurry of iPhone and iPad app updates mainly offering enhancements and compatibility with new hardware.

iMovie 1.1

  • Compatible with iPod touch (4th generation).
  • Ability to split video clips.
  • Automatic music looping when video extends beyond music track.
  • Scrub to preview clips in Video Browser.
  • In-app Tips page that illustrates how to use key features.
  • Updated Photos Browser with newest images at top.
  • Mute badge to indicate video clips with audio disabled.
  • Additional performance and reliability improvements.

Find my iPhone 1.0.1

  • Support for new iPod touch
  • Translation fixes for French, German and Japanese languages
  • Various bug fixes

MobileMe iDisk

  • Fixes an issue that prevented package files (e.g. some Keynote files) from opening in corresponding iPad apps
  • Rotated images are now shown in the correct orientation when opened
  • Various stability and performance improvements

WWDC 2010 to Run June 7 – 11 in San Francisco

WWDC 2010

Worldwide Developers Conference 2010

Apple has today announced that this years Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 7 – 11. The five-day conference includes the first ever iPad development sessions and hands-on working labs for iPhone OS 4, as well as Mac OS X core technology labs.

“This year’s WWDC offers developers in-depth sessions and hands-on working labs to learn more about iPhone OS 4, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system,” said Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iPhone Software. “WWDC provides a unique opportunity for developers to work side-by-side with Apple engineers and interface designers to make their iPhone and iPad apps even better.”

Sessions offered in support of the five technology tracks include:

  • Application Frameworks: Implementing Local and Push Notifications; Future Proofing Your App; Understanding Foundation; What’s New in Foundation for iPhone OS 4; Advanced Cocoa Text Tips and Tricks; API Design for Cocoa and Cocoa Touch; Advanced Gesture Recognition; Integrating Ads with iAd; Building a Server-driven Personalized User Experience; Using Core Location in iPhone OS 4; and Calendar Integration with Event Kit.
  • Internet & Web: Delivering Audio and Video Using Web Standards; Getting the Most Out of Safari® Integrated Developer Tools; Using HTML5 Local Data Storage; Adding Touch and Gesture Detection to Webpages on iPhone OS; and Creating Info Graphics with Standard Web Technologies.
  • Graphics & Media: OpenGL ES Tuning & Optimization; OpenGL ES Shading & Advanced Rendering; OpenGL ES Overview for iPhone OS; OpenGL for Mac OS X; Game Design and Development for iPhone OS; Introduction to Game Center; Setting Up Games on Game Center; Game Center Techniques; Core Animation in Practice; Discovering AV Foundation; Editing Media with AV Foundation; and Advances in HTTP Live Streaming.
  • Developer Tools: Developer Tools Overview; Designing Apps with Interface Builder; Working Effectively with Objective-C on iPhone OS; Mastering Core Data; Advanced Objective-C and Garbage Collection Techniques; Advanced Performance Analysis with Instruments; Mastering Xcode for iPhone Development; and Adopting Multitasking on iPhone OS.
  • Core OS: Network Apps for iPhone OS; Core OS Networking; Creating Secure Apps; Developing Apps that Work with iPhone OS Accessories; I/O Kit Device Drivers for Mac OS X; and Simplifying Networking Using Bonjour.

Additionally, there will be five iPad and five iPhone Apple Design Award winners announced at WWDC 2010. There is no requirement to enter and winners will be selected from the App Store based on criteria that includes design, technical excellence, innovation, quality, technology adoption and performance.

App Store Downloads Top 2 Billion, 85,000 Apps Available

Apple has today announced that the App Store has surpassed two billion app downloads since it opened in July of 2008 and over 85,000 apps are available.

Apple also stated that 125,000 iPhone developers are registered into the iPhone Developer Program.

“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.”

MobileMe iDisk Comes to iPhone

Announced back in June at WWDC Apple has now released an iPhone app allowing access to MobileMe iDisks.

The app which is free to download allows MobileMe users to browse and view files stored on their iDisks, sharing is also available via email.

  • View files on your iDisk
  • Access Public folders
  • Easily share files from your iPhone
  • Quickly access recently viewed files
  • View iPhone-supported file types-including iWork, Office, PDF, QuickTime and more. (Files larger than 20MB may not be viewable.)

The MobileMe iDisk iPhone app requires a MobileMe subscription and iPhone OS 3.0 or above.

Apple Begins Testing iPhone OS and SDK 3.1

Apple has given iPhone developers access to version 3.1 of the iPhone SDK. In addition Apple has also released iPhone OS 3.1.
iPhone OS 3.1
The new iPhone SDK 3.1 carries the build number 9m2736a where as the OS has the build number 7C97d.

Apple Publishes Updated iPhone SDK

Following the official public release of iPhone OS 3.0 earlier today Apple has also posted an updated version of iPhone SDK 3.0.

Build 9M2736 of iPhone SDK 3.0 includes several fixes and feature enhancements:

  • Organizer: the iPhone Development grouping now collects crash logs, install bundles, and provisioning profiles in a single location
  • iPhone OS 3.0 Simulator uses frameworks more closely matching the device
  • Mac OS X: GCC 4.2 & LLVM GCC 4.2 optional compilers for use with 10.5 SDK
  • Toolbar uses a single popup to choose platform, target, and debug/release
  • Integrated SCM support now works with Subversion 1.5!

At Look at iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 4

Earlier today Apple released a new beta of iPhone OS 3.0 to registered iPhone developers. Unlike the previous three builds of OS 3.0 the new beta delivers very few face value changes. In terms of stability Beta 4 is far more stable as would be expected.

Below are a few screenshots from iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 4.


A Look at iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 3 [U]

Following the release of iPhone OS 3.0 Beta 3 yesterday evening World of Apple has been combing the release for any major or even minor changes. Unlike previous builds Beta 3 contains very few major visible changes but there are several minor cosmetic changes which can be viewed below.