Doom and gloom aside, it looks like there are still a few people eager to develop for Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms. Tickets for Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference this year went on sale at 1:00 p.m. EDT and they’re already sold out according to Apple’s website — and it took less than 3 minutes for all of them to go. To put Thursday’s unbelievable sellout into context, WWDC 2011 sold out in just under 12 hours and WWDC 2012 sold out in about 2 hours. Among the highlights expected at this year’s WWDC are an overhauled user interface in Apple’s iOS 7 software and an updated version of OS X. Apple might have a few surprises in store as well, and the show kicks off on June 10th in San Francisco.
Apple pays out more than $1 billion to third-party developers who sell apps in its iOS and Mac App Stores each quarter, so the hefty $1,599 it charges for each ticket to its annual Worldwide Developer Conference seems like a good value. The company recently recently announced that WWDC 2013 tickets would go on sale at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, and Apple has now made them available to purchase online. More →
It’s the biggest battle in mobile — Apple’s iOS vs. Google’s Android. The two platforms are opposites in a number of key areas, but they do have one thing in common: they’re both hugely popular right now. Market research firms constantly pit one mobile platform against the other in an effort to identify trends for their clients, but different data from different firms tends to paint different pictures. In an effort to provide a more comprehensive analysis of the iOS vs. Android battle, TIME’s Harry McCracken compiled recent data from a wide range of key sources. In the end, Android clearly controls more of the market while iOS pulls in more money, but that’s hardly the whole story. For the rest of McCracken’s conclusions, check out his full analysis.
App Annie’s Market Index for the first quarter of 2013 shows Google Play continuing to narrow iOS’ lead in app download volume and revenue creation. In fact, Google Play delivered nearly 90% Apple’s app download volume in Q1. The iOS platform is still generating 2.6 times the revenue of Google Play, but that gap is narrowing rapidly as well — in the previous quarter, iOS apps generated 4 times the revenue of Google Play. More →
Fleur Pellerin, the French junior minister for digital economy, did not mince words when she addressed the Apple (AAPL)-AppGratis controversy on Thursday. She called Apple’s decision to kick AppGratis out of App Store “extremely brutal and unilateral.” France is now planning to demand tighter regulation of “digital platforms” after long seething about the distribution power that American companies such as Apple, Google (GOOG), Twitter and Facebook (FB) have gained over the past five years. France is Europe’s biggest developer of software, but its companies are increasingly being reduced to creating applications for platforms owned by Americans. More →
Following reports that app recommendation service AppGratis had its iOS application pulled from the App Store, Apple (AAPL) is reportedly getting ready to crack down on numerous apps that have quietly been violating Apple’s terms and conditions. According to multiple unnamed sources speaking with AllThingsD, Apple pulled AppGratis from the Store for violating two clauses in its App Store Review Guidelines, one that forbids apps from promoting other companies’ software and a second that bars developers from sending marketing messages using push notifications. The blog’s sources say Apple is getting ready to crack down on other apps that violate these two clauses — though it would be nice if Apple were to fix its own “Genius” app recommendation system, which is still absolutely awful despite a recent overhaul, before ousting similar services that actually work.
Microsoft (MSFT) has long been rumored to be building a version of Office for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, but earlier reports that claimed the productivity suite would arrive in early 2013 appear to have been false. The latest report now suggests that we may not see Office for Android and iOS until 2014. Citing a leaked roadmap, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet says that Microsoft will release its “Gemini” update in October this year by revamping the core Office programs — Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote — with more touch-friendly controls, Metro-styling and support for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The company will then reportedly release a new version of Office for Mac alongside an Office RT and a new version of Office for Windows Phone in April 2014. Finally, Foley notes that Android and iOS support for Office will not be released until fall next year.
The app stores for the four leading mobile operating systems have grown 11% from the fourth quarter in 2012 to the first quarter of this year, according to data from Canalys. Combined downloads from Apple’s (AAPL) App Store, Google Play, the Windows Phone Marketplace and BlackBerry World totaled more than 13.4 billion in Q1 2013, while revenue climbed 9% to reach $2.2 billion. App downloads remained strong in North America and Europe, however some of the strongest growth came from emerging markets such as South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia, which have benefited from a fast adoption rate of smartphones and tablets. Paid apps continue to remain popular in more mature mobile markets, though. More →
Microsoft’s (MSFT) SkyDrive application for iOS hasn’t been updated since June of last year. The company has been at odds with Apple (AAPL) over a revenue sharing deal, however it appears the two sides have reached an agreement. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that an updated version of its SkyDrive app is now available for download in Apple’s App Store. The latest version adds support for the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, among other improvements, while also allowing users to download full-resolution photos to an Apple device. A Microsoft spokesperson revealed to The Verge that the company “worked with Apple to create a solution that benefited our mutual customers,” and said that the app “is slightly different than other SkyDrive apps in that people interested in buying additional storage will do so via the web versus in the app.”
The user interface that helped make Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and iPad the most popular devices in their respective categories may be getting a major overhaul after six years on the market. The look of Apple’s mobile UI has remained essentially unchanged since it was first unveiled in January 2007, and its simplicity sparked a big shift in the look and feel of smartphone software. Now, according to Apple watcher John Gruber, the mobile platform will get its first overhaul since its debut when Apple takes the wraps off iOS 7 this summer. More →
Kantar is out with its smartphone market share numbers for three months ending in February and Android devices continue pulling away from iPhone in the United States. A year ago, iOS led Android by 47%-45% in the smartphone operating system market share competition. By February 2013, Android had moved to a 51%-43% lead. This report is a fairly strong argument for why Apple (AAPL) must get a budget smartphone out as soon as it can. The Apple brand is far stronger in its home market than it is in Asia, Latin America or even continental Europe. Yet even in its stronghold, Apple’s smartphone market share is now slipping fast as new buyers gravitate towards cheaper options or are captured by Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy glamor. More →
Earlier this month it was reported that Google (GOOG) has been working on a cross-platform messaging app called Babble that would unify its messaging platforms into a single service. According to Droid-Life, the service is known internally as Babel, rather than Babble, and is currently being tested by Google employees. The service is expected to include several keys features that provide users with a seamless messenger experience across Android, iOS, Chrome, Google+ and Gmail. Babel is said to feature advanced group conversations, access to conversations across multiple platforms, the ability to send pictures, improved notifications across a variety of devices and a new conversation-based user interface. Earlier reports suggested that Google will announce the messaging service at its annual I/O Developers Conference in May
It has been widely reported that Apple’s (AAPL) next-generation iPhone will be announced sometime in June. According to Macotakara, the latest print edition of the Japanese MacFan magazine reports Apple will unveil the device at a press event on June 20th and release the iPhone 5S a few weeks later in July. The report goes on to suggest that a low-cost version of the iPhone for developing countries such as China and India may debut in August. Apple will also reportedly preview or even announce an update for its iOS platform at the rumored event. The iPhone 5S is expected to feature a faster A7 processor, an upgraded camera and possibly a fingerprint chip under the Home button for improved security. The form factor will likely remain unchanged, however.