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iPhone

If you’ve updated your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to iOS 6, you’ll find the Maps app uses new data. It is likely that if you have local knowledge, you find errors and missing information. The new data is much less comprehensive than the Google Maps data the app used until now.

Eventually errors will be fixed and many more points of interest will be added. To speed the process, Apple have included ways for us to submit information and corrections.

Points of interest shown at incorrect location

If you see that a business, park, station, hospital or other point of interest is shown at an incorrect location, you can send Apple the correct location.

Tap the blue right-facing arrow to see point of interest details.

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In which I explore the kinds of features that might be coming to Final Cut Pro X that competitors will find very hard to compete with.

Although some people think that Final Cut Pro X was released before it was ready, the features that have been introduced in updates have made it more appealing to experienced editors.

As editors look forward to updates, the features that appear can be divided into two categories: those that help Final Cut Pro X catch up with competitors and those that clearly supersede the rest of the market. At the moment the main competitor seems to be Final Cut Pro 7, or perhaps the imaginary ‘improved and more stable plus a few more features’ update to 7.

Apple have dealt with strong competitors during technology transitions before: in the case of MacOS X, Mac users wanted to stay with OS 9. In the case of iOS, Apple were competing initially with cheap non-smartphones and Blackberries.

The fact that the iPhone and its OS (which was eventually branded iOS) wasn’t quite ready at launch followed on from MacOS X. MacOS X 10.0 and the iPhone 1 were for pure Apple fans and developers. As the years went by, features were added to both platforms that caught up with and superseded competitors.

This post compares the major releases of iOS and Final Cut Pro X, and shows that the first few versions were more about the promise of a new platform and later versions started to deliver on that promise.

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In which I consider whether platform defining software is more powerful than the inertia of a complex ecology of developers, software, hardware, support and marketplace.

The iPod system is an ecology that all competitors have found impossible to replicate and compete with. Better hardware features on mp3 players haven’t been enough, nor have different models for buying music, or involving social networks. These factors and more apply to iPhone. As well as the iPod factors, there is also the ease of application development, and a market for distributing applications.

The fact that the iPhone can be used to make and receive phone calls is just a way for Apple to make sure you always have their hand-held computer with you.

The inertia that competitors will have to fight against will be the comfort that people have with the user interface, the integration with their PCs and Macs, and the specific functionality of the apps that they’ve downloaded.

Over on geek.com Christain Zibreg says

“Imagine Apple losing the multi-touch patent infringement – the whole iPhone empire would be in serious jeopardized.”

It would mean problems PR-wise, and give competitors courage, but I don’t think the whole empire would be in jeopardy. I think that others will still find it difficult to create alternative ‘ecologies’ that match iPhone.

Apple only have to worry when middle-class conversations go something like this: “I hear that someone created an Android app in their spare time that made a million dollars in a few months!” “Wow, I like the idea of that! I need to come up with an app too. I could find someone to help me, upload it, and wait for the money to come rolling in!”

The only thing that Apple need to worry about is a new platform-saving app appearing on other phones as well as the iPhone. The Apple ][ had VisiCalc, MS-DOS had 1-2-3, Macintosh had PageMaker, Windows has Office and Exchange. This was the original definition of ‘Killer App’ – what will the next killer app be for hand-held computing.

What is inherent about BlackBerry, Android, WebOS or Windows Mobile that will make the killer app start on one of these platforms first? If their owners change these systems to attract that killer app first, Apple might get the competition we are all hoping for.

In which I provide some differing iTunes AppStore charts from around the world, which might signal opportunities for iPhone/iPod Touch developers.

Apple is celebrating the impending billionth iPhone/iTouch application download from the Apple Store with a competition. It is a lottery based on all downloads from today until the billionth download. Each time you download an app (free or paid-for), you get an entry in the competition.

billion_apps

Once the billionth download happens, a person will be chosen at random to win an iPod Touch, a Time Capsule, a MacBook Pro and a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card.

On the competition page they list the all-time top 20 free and paid-for apps. If your country is open to the competition, your local iTunes Store lists the top apps for each store.

Developers might find some ideas in apps that are popular in other countries, by finding some apps in the top 20s downloaded elsewhere. I’ve shown apps that aren’t in the US/Canada top 20s in bold.

While researching this I found that Australia, New Zealand, Spain and France have exactly the same top 20s. Either those countries have exactly the same tastes, or they share statistics, or not all countries have their own charts and this is the chart for ‘elsewhere in the world’.

To see what’s sold in other countries, go to the iTunes Store home, and choose another country from the pop-up menu at the foot of the window. Somewhere on the home page, you’ll see a button showing the current application download count, click it for the top 20s.

store_us

US & Canada Top 20 All-Time Paid Apps
1. Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
2. Koi Pond
3. Enigmo
4. Bejeweled 2
5. iBeer
6. Moto Chaser
7. Pocket Guitar
8. Flick Fishing
9. Tetris
10. Texas Hold’em
11. Super Monkey Ball
12. Pocket God
13. Cro-Mag Rally
14. Ocarina
15. Fieldrunners
16. iFart Mobile
17. Touchgrind
18. iHunt
19. iShoot
20. Monopoly

US & Canada Top 20 All-Time Free Apps
1. Facebook
2. Google Earth
3. Pandora Radio
4. Tap Tap Revenge
5. Shazam
6. PAC-MAN Lite
7. Backgrounds
8. Touch Hockey
9. Labyrinth Lite Edition
10. Flashlight
11. Urbanspoon
12. Movies
13. iBowl
14. Lightsaber Unleashed
15. SOl Free Solitaire
16. MySpace Mobile
17. Virtual Zippo Lighter
18. The Weather Channel
19. BubbleWrap
20. Remote

store_uk

UK Top 20 Paid Apps
UK (US & Canada)
1. Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D (1)
2. Moto Chaser (6)
3. Virtual Pool (-)
4. Cro-Mag Rally (13)
5. Flick Fishing (8)
6. Koi Pond (2)
7. Monopoly (20)
8. Super Monkey Ball (11)
9. PocketGuitar (7)
10. iCopter (-)
11. Pocket God (12)
12. London Tube (-)
13. Bejeweled 2 (4)
14. Texas Hold’em (10)
15. Real Football 2009 (-)
16. Blocked (-)

17. Fieldrunners (15)
18. Tetris (9)
19. iShoot (19)
20. iFart Mobile (16)

UK Top 20 All-Time Free Apps
UK (US & Canada)
1. Facebook (1)
2. iPint (-)
3. Google Earth (2)
4. PAC-MAN Lite (5)
5. Touch Hockey: FS5 (8)
6. Labyrinth Lite Edition (9)
7. Lightsaber Unleashed (14)
8. Tap Tap Revenge (4)
9. Flashlight (10)
10. Shazam (5)
11. Backgrounds (7)
12. iBowl (13)
13. Crazy Penguin Catapult (-)
14. Remote (20)
15. BubbleWrap (19)
16. Audi A4 Driving Challenge (-)
17. Darts (-)
18. eBay Mobile (-)
19. Last.fm (-)

20. Movies (12)

store_aus

Australia/New Zealand/Spain/France Top 20 Paid Apps
Australia (US & Canada)
1. Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D (1)
2. allRadio (-)
3. Texas Hold’em (10)
4. Ocarina (14)
5. iBeer (5)
6. Enigmo (3)
7. Koi Pond (2)
8. Pocket Guitar (7)
9. Super Monkey Ball (11)
10. Flick Fishing (8)
11. WifiTrak (-)
12. Brain Challenge (-)
13. Asphalt 4: Elite Racing (-)

14. Monopoly (20)
15. Cro-Mag Rally (13)
16. Real Football 2009 (-)
17. Moto Chaser (6)
18. Fieldrunners (15)
19. Face Melter (-)
20. Tiki Towers (-)

Australia/New Zealand/Spain/France Top 20 Free Apps
Australia (US & Canada)
1. Facebook (1)
2. Labyrinth Lite Edition (9)
3. Touch Hockey: FS5 (8)
4. Google Earth (2)
5. Shazam (5)
6. Flashlight (10)
7. PAC-MAN Lite (5)
8. Remote (20)
9. iBowl (13)
10. Tap Tap Revenge (4)
11. Free Translator (-)
12. Crazy Penguin Catapult (-)

13. Lightsaber Unleashed (14)
4. Backgrounds (7)
15. Audi A4 Driving Challenge (-)
16. Fastlane Street Racing (-)
17. iHandy Level Free (-)
18. AroundMe (-)
19. fring (-)
20. Sudoku (-)

In which I take an Apple patent and suggest that it could form the basis of a new collaborative on-location application for the cloud, iPhone and iPod Touch for TV and film makers.

Storyboards are fine in principle, but crews need to use enough setups to cover enough angles to capture the drama so that directors and editors can later tell the story in ways that that they didn’t plan.

The recent patent granted to Apple is more about shoot planning than storyboarding. Instead of creating a comic-book simulation of a potential film, it helps movie makers plan how to cover the action in a scene.

scene-planning-patent

In a potential ProApps product, Apple imagine using the script to plan where characters will stand, how they’ll move and where the camera will be to film it, and possibly where the camera will be when getting different close-up, medium and wide shots.

Another aspect of this patent (according to the text at the World Intellectual Property Organization) implies that the output of this system wouldn’t be paper printouts to go with script sides. As at least two of the authors are from Apple’s iPhone team, maybe this system is about creating and maintaining a model for how production will proceed.
weshoot-iphone
A model that location managers, art directors, set dressers, continuity people, crew, caterers, actors and the post-production team will have continual access to using digital technology – on browsers and iPhones (which may be in Airline Mode some of the time).

This tool should have post-production uses too. It might replaced lined scripts. For an explanation of lined scripts (and how they are used with Avid’s ScriptSync feature), read Oliver Peters’ article on his blog.

Instead of lines showing number of setups and number of takes being written on the script, the editor will be able to look at the footage captured in the context of the scene in 3D-space. It’s interesting that Apple might now attempt to introduce new organisational techniques that supplant the methods used over the last 75 years.

As an aside, this is the first patent that reminds me of a book. If it comes to pass, this system will help you plan your film following the tenets of Daniel Arijon’s Grammar of the Film Language – a useful director’s text from 1976 (check out the positive reviews on Amazon).

1. Call O2 on 0870 600 3009 and put a bar on your number. That will stop anyone else making expensive calls on your account

2. If you haven’t protected your phone with a Passcode lock, you need to change the passwords for your email accounts. That will stop people sending mail using your account.

3. If any of the applications on your iPhone store password information for access to web services, change those passwords. I changed my blog admin password (because the iPhone WordPress application can modify anything on this blog using the password stored within). I also changed my Twitter password – so that anyone finding/stealing my phone can’t tweet using my account. I didn’t change my iTunes (App) Store password as you have to enter it each time you download paid music and applications.

4. After 40 hours O2 will be able to report on specific phone calls on your phone between when you last used the phone and when you arranged the bar to stop outgoing and incoming calls. This will give you an idea whether you’re likely to get your phone back. In my case I knew that the person who stole/found the phone won’t be handing it back after they spent as much time as they could making calls until the phone was barred.

5. If you don’t have insurance (and you want to replace your iPhone with another iPhone), you’ll need to buy a Pay-As-You-Go iPhone from your local Apple, Carphone Warehouse or O2 store. If you don’t, and you got your iPhone on a monthly contract, O2 will still charge you your full monthly fee until the end of your contract – even if you have no iPhone to use.

6. Your replacement iPhone will cost you to £352.50/£401.45 for 8/16GB. Those prices are £10 more than the list price. To buy an iPhone that is unsubsidised by O2, you have to add a minimum of £10 to the SIM that comes with the phone.

7. If you have a monthly contract, you’ll need a SIM card that can tells your replacement iPhone to use your old telephone number. You can get this for free from an O2 shop, or you they’ll post you one in 3-5 days.

8. As the iPhone gets backed up when you sync using iTunes, you won’t lose much information. Insert the SIM associated with your old number into you new phone. Connect it to the iTunes you synced your lost iPhone with. iTunes will offer to restore the backup from your old phone to the new one. If the new phone hasn’t been updated with the same firmware your old phone had, you won’t be able to use your backup immediately. You’ll need to let iTunes upgrade the firmware. Once the firmware has been updated, on the Summary tab, choose Restore to choose your old backup to restore your iPhone (The note next to this option isn’t accurate – it says ‘you can restore its original settings by clicking Restore’ – in this case you’ll be recovering an old backup and applying it to an iPhone with the new firmware).

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