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There Is A Palm Pre App That Reboots Your Phone At Set Intervals

To combat those RAM-sucking, memory-leaking, background apps everybody wants the iPhone to support so badly.

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Gordon, A Flash Runtime Written in JavaScript

The demos are pretty impressive, for what it is. Works on iPhone.

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Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers from endloop

My friends at endloop have released a new solitaire game for your iPhone and iPod Touch. It is $0.99 for the next 48 hours, and worth every penny.

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There is no WebKit on Mobile

Peter-Paul Koch tests 19 different versions of WebKit/KHTML and creates a table comparing their successes and failures. His verdict: You’re going to have to test in multiple WebKit-based browsers for awhile, yet.

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Apple Pulls Commodore 64 Emulator from App Store

Anybody surprised?

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Hitchcock

A mobile storyboarding application for iPhone. Looks great, and is a prime example of a wide category of iPhone applications: Stuff I want but will never have any practical use for.

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iPhone Dictionary, Censored by Apple

Apple’s latest incredible move: Censoring a fucking dictionary. Apple’s conduct re: the App Store has long since passed the yardstick of “stupid” and into “utterly inept.”

If they cannot be trusted to stick to the rules set forth by human society, then fuck ’em. NOBODY censors dictionaries. Not Wal-Mart, not Borders, nobody. Censoring reference material is not just stupid, it is dangerously stupid.

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Apple Pulls Google Voice Application From The App Store

This is super not cool, Apple. How is GV Mobile (the App’s name) not okay, but Skype is?

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The Secret of Monkey Island: SE released for iPhone

Didn’t know this was coming, seems a bit overpriced at $7.99, and 350mb of space seems, likewise, excessive. I’m also not entirely sure how the pointing mechanics will work, as a lot of the targets in Monkey Island are quite small. This works great for a mouse-based pointing system, but when your pointer is a human finger that Apple says should take up a minimum of a 40×40 pixel square… maybe not so much.

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Apple confirms death of iPhone worker in China

I was going to post this with the title “Tortured iPhone Worker Commits Suicide”, but then I realized I don’t work for TechCrunch. That seems to be what happened, though:

According to various Chinese media reports, the worker at Chinese manufacturer Foxconn committed suicide last week after a fourth-generation iPhone prototype for which he was responsible went missing.

Word is that the worker was then tortured by Foxconn security, which led him to snap and take a leap off the building. If this is true, Apple needs to step up and tell Foxconn to fuck off.

Update: Fake Steve says it’s fucked over there, and we all knew that already. He’s basically right.

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iHeartRate by Endloop

My friend Ken Seto’s iPhone/iPod Touch app, recently updated to version 1.1. It’s one of the best-looking and friendliest health-related iPhone apps I’ve seen.

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E-Book Reader Eucalyptus Now Available on The App Store

Apple has made it right with developer James Montgomerie:

Earlier today I received a phone call from an Apple representative. He was very complimentary about Eucalyptus. We talked about the confusion surrounding its App Store rejections, which I am happy to say is now fully resolved. He invited me to re-build and submit a version of Eucalyptus with no filters for immediate approval, and that full version is now available on the iPhone App Store.

This hasn’t “fixed” any of the serious issues around the approval process, and it took them way too long to do the right thing, but I’m glad for James. Eucalyptus is an application that was obviously crafted with much care. Previously.

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Apple Screws The Pooch Again, Rejects E-book Reader “Eucalyptus”

It is hard to believe that they’re still getting away with this. Their reason? You can download naughty books on it, like the Kama Sutra. Nobody tell Apple that you can view the same book in Safari for free on Project Gutenberg, or show them the weird porn you can find on Google, because they’ll have to reject their own browser.

Assholes.

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Email ‘N Walk

It uses the iPhone camera to show you what is front of you while you walk and tap out an email. This will sell one-million copies.

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The App Store Is Fucking Broken Part XXXL

Apple has now rejected an application that allows users to remotely manage the popular Bittorrent desktop app, Transmission. Why? Because sometimes people use Bittorrent to bootleg things. In Apple’s own words:

this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store.

Which means, “we choose to tell you to go fuck yourself” if you’ve just wasted hours/days/weeks of your life developing an app only to have it shot down on a whim.

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Everyblock Releases Free iPhone App

Everyblock is a great project, and this makes it better. I cannot wait for the main Everyblock code to go open source.

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iPhone Anthology Fiction

Warren Ellis’s recent postings about Papernet and my always-on interest in Print-On-Demand gave me this idea, which I’m jotting down here in case I never get to do it.

So you’ve got your iPhone, and they sell tons of old books and comics and even new eBooks. Why not magazines? I’m not talking about Better Homes and Gardens, really, but new, modern, magazine-like content.

I think there’s definitely room for, as example, a monthly sci-fi ‘zine posted on the iTunes store or available as a PDF download for the same, reasonable, price or just post the plain text for free. You could commission new work and pull from the Public Domain or Creative Commons licensed works to fill the thing out, perhaps make each issue themed, with some art for each story. I’m talking Weird Tales or the like. Short stories to read on the ride home. Sell it for a buck or two.

You could even give the thing away, and just sell art prints or print-on-demand copies or shirts or, every 6 months, a nice perfect-bound edition of the previous 6 issues.

All you’d really need is a cover artist and enough time to lash the thing together each month.

Yes, it seems to me like you could make some very interesting iPhone Anthology Fiction…

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App Store Customers Are Neither Bad Nor Good by Default

Garret Murray’s most recent post on his blog, the land where posts do not have titles, is about what happened last week with his (lovely) application, Ego. In it, he basically vents about being a single developer caught between a rock (customers angry that something stopped working) and a hard place (Apple’s arcane approvals process). His frustration is completely understandable with regards to Apple, but I think his larger concern is wrong. In the post, he says this:

This kind of thing continually reinforces something I’ve thought about a lot since the App store was released, which sounds horrible to say but it might be true: Apple is creating an ecosystem of the kind of customers I don’t want.

John Gruber thought it important enough to link to the post using that link as illustration, with the title “Are App Store Customers Good Customers?” This time, though, I think the question is already answered: No, not realy. But the App Store doesn’t create Good or Bad Customers, either. Sturgeon’s Law just as well here as anywhere. What the App Store does do is make it very easy for a user to complain when the mood strikes them.

It’s hard not be frustrated when you have to wait for something beyond your control, but the simple facts are these:

  1. Garrett charged money for an application.

  2. The amount of money is irrelevant.

  3. The application sold Google Analytics support in the same breath as support for other applications that have solid developer APIs

  4. In doing so created an expectation that GA support was “stable” and “not likely to break at the whims of Google with no warning.”

  5. You cannot blame any customer for being angry when that happened.

Do I agree that the users leaving many of these comments are probably huge assholes? Yes. Could Apple do more to mitigate the costs for Developers when something goes wrong? Yes. But the frustration that made Mr. Murray write his blog post is the very same kind of frustration that made those customers, assholes or not, write their negative reviews.

More users means more sales means more assholes.

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O’Reilly’s Round-up of iPhone Application Statistics

Lots of interesting data. As a commenter notes, the “ratings” metric should be taken with a grain of salt. Instead of defaulting to “no” stars (and possibly prompting the user to choose a rating if they’ve not done so) the App Store defaults to 1 star. Since it doesn’t require you to select a star, there are a lot of positive-to-middling reviews with 1 star ratings.

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Birdhouse — A notepad for Twitter

Birdhouse, co-created by Adam Lisagor of You Look Nice Today, is a great example of an application made for a niche audience, with the application’s authors being a part of that niche.

Birdhouse is for twitter writing what MarsEdit is to blog writing.