Apple is again protecting itself by following up on a complaint dealing with Amazon’s use of the term “app store”. The conflict dates back to when Amazon launched an Android app market titled “Amazon Appstore for Android”. Apple immediately filed a complaint, claiming that the use of “Appstore” in the title interferes with a trademark on Apple’s “App Store” title. The conflict is still ongoing, as Amazon has recently asked a California court to dismiss the claim.
Amazon holds some persuading arguments as to why the use of “Appstore” is not false advertising, as Apple has claimed. First and foremost, the term “app store” has become an extremely generic term, to the point where a trademark just doesn’t make sense anymore. A more interesting point to note is that Apple CEOs Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have both referred to “other” app stores, hinting that the term “app store” does not specifically describe Apple’s App Store. Steve Jobs was quoted saying, “four app stores on Android”. Tim Cook was also referenced saying, “the number of app stores out there”.
I believe the term “app store” should be used as a general term and not solely for describing Apple’s App Store. No matter how much Apple wants to protect its “original” name for their app market, the market has grown to the point where the term has become too general to trademark.
Let’s face it: Mac apps from Apple’s Mac App Store are on the expensive side. You pay all kinds of money for the Mac, only to find that a great deal of the apps available in the App Store cost more money! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many discount services (such as FreeAppADay for iPhone) available for Mac. This is due in part by the fact that Mac apps are generally more expensive than iPhone/iPad apps.
There is one service, however, that can help you save big on applications for your Mac. The website is called MacLegion (www.maclegion.com). MacLegion offers bundles of Mac apps for either a large discount or for free. The bundles are only available for a limited amount of time. When the time for one bundle runs out, a new bundle becomes available. The apps in the bundles are usually genuine Mac App Store apps, but sometimes a non-Mac App Store app appears in a bundle. Nonetheless, the bundles offer high quality, useful applications.
This past week, I was able to download a 5-app bundle for free. The apps included in the bundle were: ColorStrokes ($5.99), Scrambler ($2.99), MacPilot ($19.99), Thumbs (9.99), and Wallpaper Wizard ($9.99). In total, I saved $48.95 by downloading this free bundle.
Currently, MacLegion is offering a paid bundle, including: iTaskX, Data Recovery Guru, MacFamilyTree, Hype, PDF Nomad, MacJournal, DiskAid, AppFresh, Playback, and CleanApp. Altogether, these apps would normally cost $514. MacLegion is offering all of those apps for only $49.99, over 90% off! The bundle is available until September 6, 2012, when a new bundle will become available!
I would recommend that anyone with a Mac to take a look at MacLegion.com. It’s a great opportunity to get some great applications for a large discount or even for free!
Apple has just brought in some tweaks for its App Store, perhaps signalling the Store's natural evolution brought on by Apple's purchase of Chomp (a renowned content discovery service). The App Store now has an Editor's Choice selection along with a free App of the Week.
The App Store's biggest USP over competing stores for other platforms such as the Google Play store and the Blackberry App World has been the sheer volume of apps available to users. Unlike other mobile operating systems, iOS users are seldom left short of options when they're looking for an app to fulfill a particular need of theirs. But that has slowly started turning into a double edged sword of sorts. It has been getting harder and harder for users to find and discover new apps, beyond the usual ones in the Top Grossing and Top Free picks.
The App Store has an extremely distinct banner in its home page now, drawing users' attention to "Editor's Choice" apps (the first of which happens to be Facebook Camera for the iPhone). Later, Apple came out with a free App of the Week, and it happened to be the much awaited Cut the Rope: Experiments. This is said to be the first time Apple is actually relying on promoting apps this way, of its own accord. Cut the Rope should be the first of many new and premium apps going free in the App Store in the coming weeks.
Apple's efforts point towards making the best possible use of its Chomp purchase - it can now make great apps (that have been hitherto drowned out by competition) more visible to the public. It is also a follow up to its crackdown on bot farms that had been enticing developers to pay them in exchange for pumping up their app download numbers right into the Top picks for both paid and free apps.
Apple's App store, which caters to downloads and purchases of iOS apps, has just managed to reach a significant milestone. Since its launch on July 10, 2008, there have been 25 billion downloads in the App store, which is a great indicator of just how phenomenally popular Apple's iOS devices (the iPhones, iPods and iPads) have been.
The current Apple.com homepage
Apple had been running a countdown since the 17th of February (when it had 24.29 billion downloads). This means that the 710 million downloads needed to reach the 25 billion milestone were completed in just two weeks! Apple had also announced a contest for this countdown, where the person to make the 25 billionth download would win a $10000 App Store gift card. However, nothing is known about who got lucky just yet.
In order to provide a measure of comparability, consider this: it had taken Apple nearly a year to reach its 1 billionth App Store download. In the three odd years since then, the App Store has gone on to reach even headier heights, as nearly 96% of its current number of downloads were made since then. What is even more incredible is that Apple had launched a similar countdown (and contest) early last year to mark its 10 billionth download. Since then, the launch of the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S have helped Apple bulldoze their way through the smartphone and tablet markets.
The incredible numbers on show prove two things - the first being that the Apple policy of allowing their devices to run apps from only the App Store has worked a treat. The second, and more relevant part is the exponential increase in app downloads every year- it is a mere confirmation of just how wildly successful Apple has been in the last couple of years. When you factor in the significant number of jailbroken Apple devices (that need to rely on alternate app stores such as Cydia), the popularity of iOS reaches a whole new and unprecedented level.
(via Apple Insider)
Image courtesy: photobucketA study has been carried out by TechNet in which, it has been found out that nearly 466,000 jobs have been created due to the boom in smartphones and tablets and the resulting demand in their applications. This study is based on US companies and says that new opportunities have been realized by the big companies.
Rey Ramsey, president and CEO of TechNet said, "America's App Economy--which had zero jobs just five years ago before the iPhone was introduced--demonstrates that we can quickly create economic value and jobs through cutting-edge innovation. Today, the App Economy is creating jobs in every part of America, employing hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers today and even more in the years to come."\
TechNet has pointed out that the concentration of jobs related to app development is not limited to Silicon Valley. It has spread through multiple cities in the US. New York and its surrounding metropolitan area has the largest concentration of the app market jobs. However, the combined effect of San Francisco and San Jose 'substantially exceed' the impact of New York alone.
California has the largest concentration of app economy jobs on a state level, but other states such as Florida, Illinois and Georgia are not far behind. TechNet has reported that more than two-thirds of jobs related to app development are based outside New York and California.
According to TechNet, the jobs that are related to app development include programmers, user interface creators, marketing personnel, managers and technical/non-technical support staff. According to statistics, the Android Market, BlackBerry App World and iPhone App Store are behind nearly 30 billion app downloads. TechNet reports that this is not the end. The app economy is a growing one, and more app-related jobs are expected to grow in the future.
If you own an iPhone 4S, then chances are that it knows what you need, even before you realize it. There are several extremely intuitive iPhone apps out there which can make you sigh with relief and relish their ingenuity. Here are the the five absolutely fabulous things your iPhone is capable of:
1. It can hide your real number!
Yes, you heard right. There is an app out there called RingShuffle, designed for the next person who annoys you. Simply download this app, get a free number which will forward calls to your iPhone. This is a temporary number - handy for use when the need arises, and once you've managed to shake off that annoying bugger, just change the number and you're good to go.
2. It can capture photos on the fly!
This is pretty useful because traditionally, one has to unlock the phone, click on the dedicated camera button and then snap a picture. This takes time. There is an easy way out with the iPhone 4S. Now you can snap photos by just pressing the volume (+) button, if you have the headset on. This will trigger the camera, and there you are. Perfect photos with on the press of a button!
3. It can save screenshots live!
If you're in the midst of playing a game and reaching an impossibly high score, what better way to show off to your friends than pressing the home and lock keys together, and saving a screenshot of your onscreen brilliance. This can also be done for laughable text messages, and then you don't have to save them because a nifty screenshot has already been captured!
4. You can get rid of AutoCorrect!
The most annoying thing while in the middle of some heavy texting is to constantly have AutoCorrect 'correct' your words as you tap them out. This can be prevented by going to the keyboard settings and entering your own shortcuts for words. Next time, text with a smile!
5. Listen to interesting conversations
By using the 5-0 Radio police scanner app, your iPhone 4S can tune into any available radio channel for policemen and you can have hours of fun, knowing what's going on.
There's seems to be quite a lot of jewel-matching games out there for the iPhone, each one of them claims that they are as good as the original Bejeweled game, some even go as far as saying they are better. Now let's take a look at one of the newly released Bejeweled clone, Jewel Hunt; will it reinvent the game genre for us, or is it just another wannabe?
Jewel Hunt by Concrete Software is another attempt to create a jewel matching game that has the same impact as the game that started the entire jewel-matching craze, Bejeweled. When you first take a look at the game in the App Store you will think that at least the graphics would be great, but when you start playing the game you will find that the visuals are just so-so, bordering to disappointing.
Though you have to give credit to Concrete Software, they did not completely copy Bejeweled, they really tried their best to make Jewel Hunt play differently from all the other match 3 games. The objective of the game is to clear all of the highlighted gems on the screen by matching them to jewels that have the same color. The powerups you get for matching more than 3 gems in a row are also different from the other games, though most of them are not really quite useful, some are even a bit confusing to use. Though the gameplay of Jewel Hunt is rather different from the other games, it is by no means better than most.
There are some iPhone games that look good while if you are looking at their screenshots at the App Store but does not play as well as you hoped they would, such is the case of Gunfighters from 44 Software Studios.
The concept of the game is good enough, you're a lone gunslinger in the old west shooting your way to fame and glory; just like in your typical western. The cartoon graphics are not that bad, it almost seems passable at times with the cartoon-like representations of the environment and the characters. The only thing that really killed the game for me was the way the game played.
Here's a short lowdown of how the game gets played, you are given a top view of your gunslinger, so basically you get two concentric circles (the cowboy hat) with a short line protruding out from it (the six-shooter pistol). Now on your first couple of missions you are given standing targets, like crates and cacti, all of which you should endeavor to shoot down. Now you might think that shooting at non-moving targets would be easy enough, this is not the case with the game's concept on how to shoot a gun.
To shoot at your targets you have to flick your finger away from your target, which I believe is what the developers thought of when trying to emulate the pulling of a trigger. But flicking away from your target actually makes it harder to hit, which makes it for probably the worst targeting system in any shooting game of any platform ever.
In a move that would be welcomed by most iOS users, Apple has updated its App Store policies that changes the way the in app purchase mechanism works. The new policy removes the 15-minute grace period after entering an Apple ID/password for making in-app purchases. This has been done to prevent children from making purchases without the consent of elders who have complained of ending up with huge bills after their kids make purchases without the parents' knowledge or consent.
"We are proud to have industry-leading parental controls with iOS," said Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple. "With iOS 4.3, in addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase." The change was made after parents complained of their children incurring hundreds of dollars of charges because they didn't realize they were spending real money on in-app purchases.
Do you think the new policies make sense? It sure is an inconvenience having to enter your itunes password repeatedly but the added security that it offers is welcome we presume?
Apple, who wants exclusive rights to the term “App Store” for its own application stores had faced opposition from Microsoft at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office who had filed a suit there asking them bot to grant the trademark rights to Apple. Microsoft argued that the term App Store is generic and hence Apple should not get a trademark for it. Apple, who chose to remain silent until now has now responded and clarified that it certainly won’t be the first to trademark perfectly generic sounding nouns.
Apple cites the examples of The Container Store, The Paper Store, The Radiator Store, The Shade Store, and Swag Store all of which have been trademarked. If all that wasn’t enough Apple points fingers at Microsoft’s own very generic name “Windows”.
Microsoft has been involved in a log reigning legal battle to earn its trademark over “Windows”. Now that Apple has raised the Windows equation, we certainly think folks over at Microsoft are being quite hypocritical here.
Don’t you think?
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