NYPost.com Blocks Users Who Try To Access Site Via Safari On iPad

NYPost iPad app message

The New York Post has started to block iPad users who access their site via Safari.app. Now when you access their site via Safari.app on iPad, a message tells you to download their iPad app. In my opinion, this is a response to the new feature Apple introduced in iOS 5; “Safari Reader“. Safari Reader eliminates ads and offers the user a clean reading experience, and possibly costing ad revenue for news corporations. Also, if you try and access their site in Opera for iPad or Skyfire the site isn’t blocked.

Thanks for coming! NYPOST.com editorial content is now only accessible on the iPad through the New York Post App. If you are a current New York Post App subscriber, please visit the App Store and download the latest version to access NYPOST.com through the INDEX. If you are not a current New York Post App user and would like to subscribe, please download from theApp Store. Thank you.

The rates for subscription are $6.99 per month,  $39.99 for six months or $79.99 for the year. Unfortunately, there’s no way to purchase single-issues. In addition, NYPost has received lots of negative feedback for their decision. Hopefully other  news corporations don’t follow their game plan.

 

Watch out Apple, Facebook is Gearing Up to Launch Its Mobile App Store

Back when Facebook announced its Open Graph Protocol, I wrote that Mark Zuckerberg is a helluva ambitious bloke. He doesn’t want Facebook to be just another website we use every day, he wants Facebook to become an integral and essential part of our daily lives. Open Graph enabled Facebook to weave itself into the fabric of the web, and collect huge amounts of data on our preferences and interests.

FacebookNow, if TechCrunch is to be believed, Facebook is working on a new platform aimed squarely at mobile users. The new platform, codenamed Project Spartan, will leverage HTML5 and other web technologies to deliver mobile applications and games. The initial target will be iOS devices (iPhones and iPads running Mobile Safari). However, given that it will essentially be a HTML5 based platform, it shouldn’t be too hard to extend Project Spartan to Android and other mobile platforms.

According to the report, there are about 80 outside developers currently working with Facebook on Project Spartan. Facebook will essentially act as a wrapper around these apps, and support sharing options and monetary transactions (through Facebook Credits). The app developers are expected to roll in their applications within the next couple of weeks, in preparation for the impending launch of Facebook’s app store.

Mobile app stores are blossoming and even the little known ones like Opera Mobile Store are pulling in hundreds of thousands of downloads per day. Given its huge user base and cross-platform presence, Facebook obviously believes that this is another segment it can compete in. While browser based apps have the advantage of being cross-platform, the lack of system level access (access to APIs) will also make them restricted in many ways. Facebook’s app store won’t be able to outperform or eliminate Apple’s App Store and Android’s Market. However, it doesn’t need do. Even if it succeeds in grabbing a decent percentage of users, Project Spartan will be a lucrative platform that will steal a significant amount of revenue from the likes of Apple. And of course, it will give Facebook foothold in another segment that initially seemed to have little to do with the social network.

Big Brother App Removed from App Store for “Harvesting User Passwords”

Yesterday Keith had written an article on common passcodes used by iPhone users to lock their iPhone. These stats were released by an iOS developer Daniel Amitay, who developed the app Big Brother which anonymously collected passcode from users of its app.

With less than 24hours after sharing the stats, the Big Brother app was removed from the App Store. Amitay reached out to Apple to address the issue and later in the night, Apple called up Amitay and stated that the main reason why the app was removed because Apple believed that he was surreptitiously harvesting user passwords.

iPhone Passcode

Amitay states on his blog

I think I should clarify exactly what data I was referring to, and how I was obtaining it. First, these passcodes are those that are input into Big Brother, not the actual iPhone lockscreen passcodes. Second, when the app sends this data to my server, it is literally sending only that number (e.g. 1234) and nothing else. I have no way of identifying any user or device whatsoever.

Amitay also cites section B of the iTunes EULA which states:

b. Consent to Use of Data: You agree that Application Provider may collect and use technical data and related information, including but not limited to technical information about Your device, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, product support and other services to You (if any) related to the Licensed Application. Application Provider may use this information, as long as it is in a form that does not personally identify You, to improve its products or to provide services or technologies to you.

According to Amitay, the passcodes were collected from the Big Brother app and not from the actual iPhone lockscreen. The app does not reveal any specific password data, as its all anonymous.

Amitay noted that the caller from Apple knew nothing about his articles posted on his blog and believed that his articles was heard by word of mouth and Apple thought he was stealing passwords.

Here’s a tutorial on how you can create strong, secure and safe passcodes for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

Download PAC-MAN For Android – Free

Great deal for Android users. Amazon App Store offers a free download for the Pac-Man Android app. The offer is valid for today only and will cost $4.99 thereafter.
Pac Man Android App
In order to promote the Amazon’s Android AppStore, Amazon will be giving away free Android apps every day. So get, set and go (everyday!)

P.S. You can install an app called Amazon Free App of the Day Notifier that checks the Amazon App Store each day to find which app is available for free.

Guinness Showers Apple with World Records for the iPhone 4 and App Store

The iPhone has been a truly path-breaking device which has changed the face of the mobile industry in the last 4 years. While everyone already knows how revolutionary and ‘magical’ the iPhone 4 has been, today, Guinness made it official.

Apple has featured quite prominently in the new Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition, with four world records. Here is a list of all the world records by Apple:

Fastest-Selling Portable Gaming System – iPhone 4

Though it’s a smartphone, the iPhone 4 also doubles up as a portable gaming system. The iPhone 4 sold approximately 1.5 million units in the first day of its launch, making it the fast-selling portable gaming device in history.

Most Popular Application Marketplace – Apple App Store

This is another no-brainer. The Apple App Store is the most popular application store, way ahead of its competition. It has seen almost 6.5 billion downloads in 3 years, with over 260,000 apps and games.

Though it may soon be surpassed by the Android Market in terms of the numbers of apps, it will be the most lucrative application marketplace for developers for years to come.

Largest Downloadable Video Game Store – Apple App Store

The App Store takes yet another record. It has 37,362 games available for download, making it the world’s largest downloadable video game store. Steam offers 1,100 games, Xbox Live Indie Arcade offers about 1,300 and the Wii Store offers 576. The App Store wins by a huge margin.

Largest Launch Line-up of Any Gaming System – Apple App Store

At launch, it had about 145 games, which was the largest launch line-up of any gaming system.

Here’s what Gaz Deaves, Guinness World Records Gaming Editor, had to say “The release of the iPhone has not just changed the mobile industry, but the video game world too. With the never-ending App Store selection and an intuitive device, Apple has created a gigantic new space for itself in the casual games genre that literally brings entertainment to users wherever they may be.”

GetJar Bans Opera for Bundling Opera Mobile Store

OperaYesterday, we reported that Opera Software had launched its own app store called Opera Mobile Store. It appears that within a day of its launch, Opera has managed to ruffle some feathers. Earlier today, Opera Mini was kicked out of GetJar one of the largest multi-platform mobile application repositories. The reason is quite obvious. Updated versions of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile include a speed dial entry to Opera Mobile Store, thus effectively bundling the app store with the browser.

While it’s true that Opera Mini violated GetJar’s ToS (Terms of Service), I find it hard to be entirely supportive of GetJar’s decision. It’s something I would have anticipated from Apple, but not from GetJar. Nevertheless, at least, GetJar isn’t trying hiding behind false pretenses. Patrick Mork, Chief Marketing Officer of GetJar admitted that competition is the reason Opera Mini was pulled.

The simple problem is that Opera mini decided to include a competing app store in its browser. Although we don’t have any issue with this in principle, in practice it means that consumers might start using this app store instead of visiting GetJar to get their favourite apps. This robs GetJar of traffic and therefore of the advertising necessary to keep our service free for the more than 25 million consumers that use GetJar. It also jeopardizes an ecosystem that has generated over 1.6 billion downloads for tens of thousands of developers who depend on us to make money from their apps. Don’t get me wrong: we’re happy to go head-to-head with any other app store and are certain that once you’ve tried the Opera App store you’ll find the depth of content, discovery and download from GetJar more compelling than ever. But it’s an another thing entirely to help competitors grow their business at our expense or that of our community.

Before being banned, Opera Mini was one of the most popular apps in GetJar, with a total of more than 30 million downloads. Apparently, GetJar and Opera has been in discussions for the past several months. The discussions are still going on, and Opera Software has indicated that it is interested in working with GetJar to find a reasonable solution. So, don’t rule out a comeback yet.

Opera Launches Platform Independent Opera Mobile Store in More Than 200 Countries

Opera Software has tied up with Appia to launch Opera Mobile Store, an app store for mobile devices that supports pretty much every popular mobile platform under the sun, except iPhone and Windows Phone 7. Of course, supporting those two platforms is more than a little tricky for third party application repositories due to their locked down nature.

Opera Mobile Store will be integrated with Opera Mini and Opera Mobile in the form of a speed dial entry. This means that Opera will have direct access to approximately hundred million users around the globe. During its trial phase in February, the Opera Mobile Store attracted more than 15 million users, from 200 countries, amassing more than 700,000 downloads per day.

Opera-Mobile-Store

Opera Mobile Store is available at mobilestore.opera.com and features both free and paid apps. The app catalog is automatically user tailored based on his operating system, device resolution, country, currency and language. Platforms currently supported are Android, Java, Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry, and Palm.

The launch of the Opera Mobile Store supports Opera’s core belief in an open, cross-platform mobile Internet experience by providing Opera users with an integrated storefront of mobile applications,said Mahi de Silva, Exec. Vice President, Consumer Mobile, Opera Software. Our partnership with Appia delivers to all Opera Mobile and Opera Mini users easy access to a wide variety of great content, on any device, all over the world.

Opera Software has also launched the Opera Publisher Portal, which allows developers to submit their applications. Developers will get 70% of the net revenue generated by them, while Opera Software will keep the rest. Unlike the Android Market, Opera Mobile Store is moderated, and every app is manually approved. In the past Apple has received a lot of flak for their policy on adult apps. Opera has taken a similar approach with Mobile Store by banning all erotic content. However, unlike the iOS App Store, Opera Mobile Store doesn’t charge any subscription fee, and is completely free.

Best Mobile Apps Of The Week for iOS, Android and Symbian – #8

Welcome to the eight edition of Best Mobile Apps of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian. First of all, I would like to apologize to our readers as I did not post the Best Mobile Apps for the last 2 weeks. I had to give my Android phone to the service center, and was using a dumbphone for nearly two weeks.

In this edition of Best Mobile Apps of the week, I will introduce our readers to an awesome eye-candy widget for your Android homescreen, a new unlock screen for you Symbian handset. For iOS owners, I will tell them about an app that will allow them to wake up their PC remotely!

Below are the Best Mobile Apps Of The Week For iOS, Android and Symbian :

Wake (iOS)

As the name suggests, Wake’ enables iOS users to remotely wake up their PC. The app uses WOL Wake On Lan feature which is found in nearly all PCs and Macs computers. Users need to make sure that the WOL’ feature is enabled on their PC. They can do so from the BIOS of their PC.

Wake_iOS

The app is designed to work with both iPhone and iPad. This app is an extremely useful one for users who want total control on their PC, when they are away from it. iOS owners can purchase Wake’ from the App Store for $0.99 from here.

Maze Lock (Symbian)

In the last edition of BMATW, I introduced our readers to Nokia Bubbles. The app allows users to unlock their phone in a fun and yet efficient manner. Today, I would like to introduce our readers to Maze Lock from ThinkChange.

Below is a video of Maze Lock in action :

 

Maze Lock for Symbian is similar to the pattern unlock option found in Android 2.1+ handsets. The app is configurable to quite an extent and allows users to change the lock screen background, the date and time display style etc. The app supports all the latest Symbian handsets from Nokia as well as the older S60v5 based ones like the X6 and 5800.

Symbian owners can download Maze Lock for free from the Ovi Store.

Honeycomb Clock (Android)

The tablet version of Android Honeycomb looks stellar! The whole Tron like theme and animations definitely look very cool! Well, Android handset owners are not going to get the next version of Android with all these eye-candies anytime soon. Until then, they can get the Honeycomb look on their phone by using a Honeycomb theme for ADW Launcher.

Honeycomb_Clock_widget

Along with this, they can download and use the Honeycomb Clock widget from the Android Market. This widget replicates the awesome looking clock widget as seen in Honeycomb OS. Unlike the clock widget in Android 3.0, Honeycomb clock comes in multiple color choices for people who don’t like the blue color.

A free as well as a paid version of this widget is available on the Android Market. Android handset owners can download the app from here.

Search iTunes Store Online With Quick iTunes

I download a lot of apps and music for my thanks to some useful services I use to find free apps. However, searching for particular apps is a little bit hard thanks to the fact that there isn’t a proper web interface for the iTunes store.

The only way I can find apps is by using the search on the iPod Touch itself or opening up iTunes which is bulky and does not provide me with a good experience. Though there are ways to browse the iTunes store online, it is not perfect.

Quick iTunes search

If you face a similar problem an for called Quick iTunes will help you solve your problems. As the extension name suggests, Quick iTunes allows you to quickly and easily search for music, videos, apps and more in the iTunes app store with an easy to use interface.

Once you install the extension you can click on the icon in the toolbar to bring up the search interface. Finding apps or music is very easy too and you can search the iTunes store and narrow down the results based on different categories.

I found this extension to be pretty useful and would suggest that you download it too if you download and install apps frequently. Download the Quick iTunes extension.

Apple Rolls Out App Subscriptions to All Developers

About two weeks back, Apple had launched the Daily iPad app at a press event by News Corp. With The Daily, Apple had also unveiled a new feature – in-app subscriptions, which allowed app developers to offer one-click, recurring subscriptions for their apps. However, it wasn’t available for developers yet.

Today, Apple officially made in-app subscriptions available to all app developers on the App Store. Good news, right? Well, its not that simple. In this announcement, Apple has also mandated that app developers must offer subscriptions through the app, if they are offering subscriptions through other channels. The catch here is, that Apple takes a 30% cut if the user subscribes from within the app, and takes nothing if the user subscribes from outside channels. However, subscribing from within the app will obviously be much more easier for the user, so the revenues of apps offering in app subscriptions will likely be affected negatively. It may also lead to developers jacking up prices, as they will need to account for Apple’s cut while offering subscription based services.

Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing,said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. All we require is that, if a publisher is making a subscription offer outside of the app, the same (or better) offer be made inside the app, so that customers can easily subscribe with one-click right in the app.”

Apple has set a deadline of June 30 for app developers to comply with the new guidelines.

Check out the official press release by Apple here.