It may not be a huge trend, but it appears that a growing number of companies are offering funds to assist developers to create and/or promote their apps in the Apple and Android markets. These companies foresee that the number of mobile phones and tablets purchased is only going to keep on rising for the foreseeable future along with the number of apps for these users. It’s a good time to get into the marketplace. Case in point: Gamevil recently announced a $10 million partnership fund for external developers who have smartphone gaming ideas.
Bestselling business card app Business Card Reader has released a new update set to significantly improve everything possible about it.
For the uninitiated, Business Card Reader sets to save you plenty of time by importing contact information from a business card straight into your iPhone’s address book. We’ve all been there, you’ve been off networking and collecting up many business cards from various potentially useful contacts. Now you’re stuck having to add all that information manually. Scan it in with Business Card Reader and your time is instantly saved. It even works with business cards in other languages or with unusual characters. Jason reviewed it last year and gave it a sterling review with 4.5 stars out of 5.
This latest update hopes to make everything more efficient. There’s improved contact editing courtesy of the new contact editor and there’s a great scanned card preview to check out as you go along. Plus the app is all too happy to highlight symbols that it’s not certain about.
Business Card Reader was already an essential app for the networker, especially for iPhone 4 owners who seemed to have the best results with the scanning engine, but this update sets to make it that bit more useful.
The update is free for owners of the last version. Those who are interested in taking the plunge with the app can purchase it for $5.99.
In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition here at 148Apps, we have scoured the web to bring you all the latest and greatest info on Black Friday app sales that are going to be popping up starting this week. Here’s the list of our favorite deals and discounts we have seen so far, and we’ll keep updating this post with new info as it becomes available. Hide your wallet, because here comes a whole lot of digital goodness at ridiculously low prices.
We’ve split the list up into Games, Apps, and Navigation apps. There’s lots of money to be saved here and we’ll be adding to it throughout the weekend. We can’t put every single sale app on the list. If you want to see every single app as it goes on sale, head on over to our App Price Drops page. There’s a filterable list there that you can see the hundreds of apps that go on sale every day. You can even search just for the app that are now free.
Update 11/23, 1:30pm – Believe it or not we already have an update. Lots of titles from EA and Gameloft added. Also Quickoffice apps and a few others.
Update 11/23, 5:30pm – Lots more added. They just keep coming!
Update 11/23, 10:00pm – Found a few more to add, including a few new apps.
Update 11/24, 8:00am – Added many more games, TomTom apps, and more.
Update 11/24, 5:30pm – Added even more. Will it ever stop? 224 Total now!
Update 11/25, 8:00am – Happy Thanksgiving! Up to 270+ now. Added Activision, more EA, and a bunch of great indie games. Also Sketchbook Pro (for $0.99) and more to the apps list way down below the games.
Update 11/25, 10:00am – Bird is in the oven, what to do now? Update the Black Friday sale app list! 25 more added bringing us to nearly 300!
Update 11/26, 8:00am – Oh my. Turkey coma really took a hold of me last night. Gravy hangover in full effect but we still added 80+ new sale items bringing the total up to 389! And remember, leftover pumpkin pie is the true breakfast of champions.
Update 11/26, 10:00am – added a couple more and due to some issues reported, we’ve split up the post into multiple pages. Not something we like to do, but it’s getting really long and overloading some browsers.
Update 11/27, 12:00pm – prices are still in flux. I’ve added a few new, noteworthy sales to the top. While many of the following are still available, more and more are going back up in price all the time. I’ve removed a few that have expired. Make sure you double check the price in iTunes before you purchase the app.
Update 11/29, 9:00am – Black Friday has now morphed in to a whole weekend and the following Monday. While lots of apps on our list below have gone back up in price, a few more have been added to the top of our list. Including the lowest price we’ve seen for GTA: Chinatown Wars and TomTom USA.
There once was a time when paper and blackberries dominated the commercial world. Now, it’s turning into iPads and iPhones. With more and more businesses seeking not only paperless solutions but also backup solutions, the iPad’s role as a paper replacement is becoming more and more popular, most evident from yesterday’s financial data, released by Apple, announcing that some 4.19 million iPads were sold in Q4 alone.
Of course, the commercial world requires commercial applications. And that’s where iOrder comes in. The application, created by moveinCloud, “can collect orders from your customers in no time at all. iOrder keep archives of your customers and your products on your device, this means that you do not need to be connected to the Internet for work.” The official blurb continues “through an account moveinCloud.com, if you want you can also synchronize your data with the platform and access it from your web browser wherever you are.”
In essence, iOrder is an all-in-one customer utility tool for salesmen and marketers, allowing customer order information to be visible within just a few taps. The application goes further still, with order placement and an entire catalogue of available products right there on screen. It all works through moveinCloud, a web-based online data storage service that removes the need to install applications.
But how far will the iPad branch into the commercial world in the near future with regards to sales? iOrder is certainly a step in the right direction, but I’ve yet to see a salesman bring out an iPad for an order. Even the Apple staff stick to macs when it comes to ordering in-store.
Campfire, the project collaboration application with real time chat designed for private groups where members can share files, text, code and more (think of it as a more powerful IRC client), can now be found on the App Store as an official application by 37signals due to a takeover of Ember, the third-party application developer of Campfire. Ember, as it was then known, was originally priced at $9.99, but developers 37signals saw an opportunity which allowed them to “work out a deal [with Ember and make] a few changes to the app” according to the official blog. As of July 26th, the application has rebranded and re-released with a new price tag: rather, no price tag at all. It’s free to download from the iTunes App Store.
Although the application itself is free, a Campfire account is not. The basic package allows up to 12 chatters and 1GB of storage for $12 a month, and for $24 a month you can upgrade that to 25 chatters, 3GB of storage as well as 500 conference call minutes and enhanced security over the Basic package. A free 30-day trial is available on all accounts.
37signals continues to become a prominent player in the business network, having released other popular applications and clients that allow more professional social networking to take place. Basecamp, Highrise and Backpack all have one thing in common: their developer is Campfire creator 37signals. You can download the free Campfire application by clicking the link below, which will redirect you to iTunes.
Businesses need to keep up with the times to remain competitive these days and keeping up with the times currently means the iPad. Air Forms from Polar Bear Farm looks to provide just such a competitive edge by making it easier for businesses to use their existing databases to create tools that can be used on the move via the iPad.
Yep, it sounds dull and, if you don’t use an iPad or any form of database in your work, Air Forms won’t be your particular cup of tea. But if your business relies on its core information being available to staff outside the office, this could be a handy tool for you.
The app allows businesses to create their own native iPad interfaces for employees in the field whether they’re using the database for tracking data or inputting sales data. The app offers local and cloud data options with the former using data stored on the iPad and cloud allowing multiple users to access the same information. Beyond this setup, users can then create their own interfaces that, from the examples we’ve seen, look great.
Sure, it’s not for everyone, but Air Forms will certainly fill a niche for a wide range of businesses, especially those without a dedicated IT infrastructure.
In all of these months since the app store launched, I’ve been hesitant to be negative of Apple and the app store approval process. Developers have responded passionately and repeatedly with stories of rejected apps and even apps removed from the app store for various reasons. Sometimes they were right, the rejection didn’t make sense. But many times, they were wrong, the app should have been rejected due to obvious reasons.
But today, it seems as though Apple has gone from being just mysterious in it’s approval process to outright complacent. With the removal of apps that use the Google Voice APIs to allow you to access their services, Apple has crossed a line into scary overlord territory. It almost seems as though roles in the 1984 commercial have been reversed.
So yes, these apps may duplicate some of the functions of the iPhone. But as many argue, they don’t, as the features they supply aren’t available on the iPhone. They no more duplicate functions than any of hundreds of apps that provide weather information, calendar interfaces, embedded browsers, contact management, sms services, heck, even the dozens of voice recorders already released now duplicate a default application in OS 3.0.
My big question is, what made this happen now? Is AT&T behind this rejection? If so, this adds to a list of innovative apps they have neutered. For example, SlingPlayer, an application that AT&T even publicizes for Blackberry was restricted to only working over Wifi for the iPhone. Ridiculous… that basically strips 90% of it’s functionality. And if they are behind the rejection of Google Voice related apps, an application that’s already available on Blackberries as well, on their network even, I have to wonder what’s going on? What are they thinking? What are they afraid of?
I can’t believe it’s really their network. They have been adding new customers regularly. Not just this quarter, but for the past 2 years. They’ve had time to upgrade their network as needed for all these new iPhone customers.
Further, why would Apple be in such a stranglehold from AT&T? Why would Apple allow AT&T to stifle innovation in this platform and restrict such applications? It’s boggling why AT&T treats iPhones and their users with such a lack of respect even though we pay more for the same service than other customers.
So, to get to my point, what all this adds up to is that the iPhone is still the best mobile platform to develop for, by far. We all know that. But the platform that freed developers in so many ways is being increasingly perceived as a hostile environment. There are too many unknowns for some developers to put the time and expense into developing the next big, innovative app for the platform when they have no way of even verifying that they can ever release their app.
People are starting companies, risking their livelihoods and their futures on the iPhone and the iTunes App Store. It’s just bad developer (not to mention public) relations to operate such a veiled process like this knowing that so many people depend on it for their livelihood. Not to mention that it will eventually end up in court and could cost Apple a bundle.
So, Mr. Jobs, I ask this of you. You have the power to fix all of these problems. Please do so and we can all be a big happy family again.
First, take the developer agreement and re-write it. At its core, the problem is that Apple has only published rules to developers that basically say, we’ll approve what we want to, here are a few very non-specific guidelines to follow.
Get your product managers in there and tell them to re-write it so that it is written for the benefit of the developers not Apple’s legal department. No blanket statements, be specific with details about what is and is not allowed. Leave nothing out. Then, open it up for discussion with your devoted developers to get their feedback. And then, stick to it. No exceptions like you made for AT&T (going around the in-app purchasing with their GPS app), or Google (use of undocumented APIs for the proximity sensor). We’ll all be happier if we are all on a well explained and level playing field.
Second, slap AT&T, tell them that they have no control over the app store. Apple, you have created a revolution with this platform and it’s bigger than AT&T. But, if they are restricting innovation it can never come close to it’s full potential.
And Steve, can I call you Steve? That brings up a bigger topic related to AT&T. Can you please do something about the AT&T exclusivity in the USA? They treat the iPhone like it’s a cheap Nokia feature phone, not like the best phone ever seen by man. They treat it like a nuisance and it’s users like second-class citizens. We aren’t treated as we should be treated, as their only hope for a future and the only reason they are still in business. AT&T are acting like narrow-minded, slow to upgrade, innovation stifling knuckleheads. So, please, use your powers, the ones that you so deftly used a few years to get your way with AT&T, to either get them to clean up their act, or move on to Verizon like everyone thinks is going to happen.
Publisher / Founder
When the release date of Rolando 2 was announced, ngmoco:) also indicated that Rolando, the original, was going to be pulled from the app store when the sequel goes live. It’s an odd move, very smart, and yet wrong at the same time.
I recently asked Neil Young, CEO of ngmoco:), why the original Topple was no longer in the App Store, his comment was “We pulled it, trying something.” Short response and at the time I didn’t think much of it. I assumed they were planning on trying some new marketing technique with it. Turns out they were testing a fundamental business idea in preparation for the Rolando 2 release. Something new, something that really may change the way we think of games in the app store. Apps aren’t forever anymore.
According to our App Store database, Rolando was released originally on December 8, 2008. That effectively puts the lifespan of the original Rolando at 7 months. Is that really all the life Rolando has left in it? I doubt it. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be pulled from the app store when Rolando 2 is released.
While Rolando is their product and they have the absolute right to do with it what they choose, pulling it just doesn’t feel right. Something about the spirit seems wrong. They aren’t doing anything odd with the price to rise up the charts and increase the price to ride the higher exposure as many high profile developers have been doing lately. But they are sacrificing a product and it’s customers for increased expose for the next episode. Maybe I’m just being too sentimental, but I want to see the game stick around.
Back to the original test that ngmoco:) did, removing Topple from the app store. I’m not sure that it relates directly, removing Topple, a free app, to see what it does to sales of Topple 2 at $0.99. But there is something obvious to it. By removing Topple, they see if that increases sales of Topple 2, the more recent game.
By removing Rolando when the sequel comes out, they don’t lose any sales to the original, cheaper version. When users search for Rolando, they will get just 1 result, and 1 price. That makes sense as a certain percentage people would probably choose the cheaper one, and it removes any confusion of their marketing message for the new game.
What doesn’t make sense is why remove one of the best games on the App Store? Rolando may not have been a runaway commercial success, but it is a great game, very well reviewed, and still has some life in it. You know, what about the long tail? What about all those articles that point to Rolando on the app store. They won’t point to Rolando 2 automatically — you’ll just get the error on the app store that the app is not available.
This decision is also bad for people who have purchased the original Rolando. The app store is a digital delivery system. The only way to get Rolando is to download it from iTunes either on the desktop or on the device. If you don’t have a backup, and you lose it, you’ll never get it back if it’s no longer in the store. In addition, there have been weekly updates for a while from Rolando, building up to the release of Rolando 2. If you haven’t updated in a while, and you wait until July 1, you’ll never see those updates.
And what about the people that try Rolando 2 and want more? They know it’s a sequel, why can’t they get the original. Perhaps the original Rolando levels will be available as in-app purchases in Rolando 2.
It seems as though ngmoco:) is willing to live with a little bit of bad customer experience to try to increase the sales of a new game. Not a great thing, but considering the constraints of the App Store and the very limited ways that developers can operate, it might be the best decision. If nothing else, you have to hand it to them for trying something different and thinking about how to best build a business in the maddening chaos known as the iTunes App Store. It will be interesting to see if other publishers follow suit and do the same. Let’s hope not.
I hope we’ll see Rolando and Topple back in the store, re-released as classic versions maybe, at some point in the future. For now, I think I’ll make sure I have the latest version, do a back-up, and play a little Classic Rolando while I wait for Rolando 2.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted May 28th, 2009 by Jason Philo Our Rating: :: SOLID KEEPER
Daylite Touch, from Marketcircle, is an incredible tool for people who need serious task management on the iPhone. The app ties in with Daylite and requires Daylite Server to enable syncing over a LAN or a true server environment.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted April 17th, 2009 by Billy Miller Our Rating: :: AVERAGE
In a couple of the cases I was genuinely surprised how well the software worked. Text that I could barely make out was interpreted perfectly. Conversely, perfectly legible text in standard fonts was not transferred at all.
Bio: Web developer by day, Mac and iPhone developer by night.
- Created iPodderX, the world’s first podcast client
- Wrote “Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Safari” prior to the SDK being released
- Loan Shark was chosen early on by Apple as a “Featured” app, and is also featured in Apple’s own “iPhone Your Life” pages.
Finishing up our interview with August, I ask him about what it is like being an iPhone developer in the lime-light, or Celebrity Developer. He talks about how much fun it has been to break out of the traditional role from time to time, and how it has really helped out his programming business.
I also get his opinions on Apple’s filing to have jailbreaking iPhones judged illegal, what that means to the development community, and how jailbreaking is actually beneficial to the App Store and making the iPhone a popular development platform. August also tells us why he has avoided it.
Most importantly, August gives us the breaking story about the soon to be released app, YOWZA!!, and how it will change the way you shop and use your iPhone.
Listen to how August met Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman on Heroes) on Twitter, and joined forces with Rick Yaeger from MacMerc, to create a whole new business model for an iPhone app, and how they have tackled the problems of turning your iPhone into a money-saving shopping tool! And it’s going to be FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted January 15th, 2009 by Gary Lucero Our Rating: :: RECOMMENDED
Delivery Status Touch is an attractive and reliable app that can track more than 22 shipping services and stores. It offers an assortment of features including multiple ways to add deliveries and support for international shippers.
Well, the keynote is over and no significant iPhone news. No significant news at all, really. Quick roundup: new 17″ MacBook Pro, new iWork, new iLife, DRM free iTunes music.
The only iPhone related news had to do with other products mainly. First, there are some new slideshow formats you can sync to the iPhone from the updated iPhoto. Whoop-tee-do! Second, all songs in the iTunes Music Store will be DRM free by the end of this quarter (that’s March 31st to you and me). And there will be variable pricing (you know — all the songs you want will cost more while the ones you don’t want will cost less). And finally there will be a Keynote Remote app available for the iPhone. While these are great and wonderful things to some, to me it’s just meh…
Where’s the iPhone Nano? Were the case manufacturers just playing with us?
Where’s the notification service? You know, the one that we were told would launch in September 2008? The one that was in the iPhone SDK, then pulled? Where’s iChat for the iPhone?
But most importantly, where is MMS? Every $9 phone has that now. Why doesn’t the most advanced phone in the world have it? I bet that new Palm to be announced tomorrow will have it.
I guess we’ll have to just keep waiting for these things. Apple always does things on their own time schedule. But, come on! Please, Steve? Or Phil? Or anyone? Pretty please? Or maybe, I will look at that new palm? I wonder how many apps you can load on that device?
In this corporate divorce, most of the software has gone to Sophia Teutschler and will go under her Sophiestication Software name. This includes Tipulator, Groceries (unreleased), and Where Am I? (unreleased). The one odd ball, Where To? will be sold off by Tap Tap Tap and has already been removed from the App Store.
Tap Tap Tap has a few other projects in the works, though no details have been released.
For more info on this, see the latest Tap Tap Tap blog post here.
What’s going on over at Tapulous? They have now lost two more employees, Sean Heber (engineer, employee #1) and Louie Matia (designer/UI) has left as well. They must be down to 3 employees now after losing Mike Lee and most recently Tristan O’Tierney.
Originally, the future looked so bright for Tapulous as they had built the top notch development team. But losing the majority of the company in just over a month can’t signal good things for their future.
In another sign that Tapulous is having some internal problems, Tristan O’Tierney sent a tweet tonight that he is no longer at Tapulous. No reason has yet been given nor any indication if the parting was amicable, though a blog post has been promised by Tristan.
You may remember that Tapulous also lost a co-founder Mike Lee just a few weeks ago. Does this latest loss show continued signs of problems at Tapulous or just a direction change? It has been speculated that Tapulous is looking to VCs for money, a decision that could easily change the direction of the company and it’s products. A change that could disagree with some of the original employees.
Tristan is the developer of Twinkle, Tapulous’ first officially released application in the App Store.
Tapulous, the developer of some of the most popular free applications in the iTunes App Store has lost a prominent engineer and co-founder, Mike Lee. Mike Lee, self designated toughest programmer in the world, was asked to resign from the company over voicing concerns the engineers had on the direction of the company.
This is a rather shocking turn and points to obvious strife in the company. Something that can destroy a young company like Tapulous. Especially so in such a rapidly growing industry like iPhone development where talented people are at such high demand. With the current boom in iPhone app development, the engineers at Tapulous can all pretty much name their price at dozens of companies.
Consider this a turning point for one of the brightest stars in iPhone app development. From this point they either get stronger or implode.
Tapulous is a development company behind Tap Tap Revenge (iTunes) and Twinkle (iTunes).