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If you're an iPhone app developer, free versus paid can be a difficult decision. Notwithstanding widely-publicized success stories, most free apps don't make any money for their developers.
One solution: use a free, watered-down version of your app as promotion for a paid version. The freemium model does work but it's hardly perfect. The problem: Apple doesn't offer a way for app users to easily upgrade from a free version to a paid version. Developers have to create two different apps and app users have to install both.
Supermarket giant Tesco has just released its first iPhone app, which allows users to search for their nearest store, get directions, and look through the product range.
Unlike the recent Ocado iPhone app, users cannot actually place orders via the app, but it is a potentially useful app. I've been trying it out...
Apple's success with the App Store is no secret. 50m+ iPhone and iPod Touch customers have downloaded apps more than 2bn times. More than 85,000 apps and 125,000 app developers compete for a piece of the action.
The number of apps in the App Store now exceeds 80,000, and though it's safe to assume that there is a fair amount of dross there, it is still a daunting task to get your app noticed by users, however good it is.
This makes an appearance in one of the App Store's featured apps lists, or even better in a print or TV ad for the iPhone, all the more valuable. There is no guaranteed way to achieve this, but what can app developers do to maximise their chances?
Hip-hop star T-Pain's personal brand is based on his signature synthetic, modulated sound. It's the product of his unique use of the Auto-Tune audio processing technology developed by a company called Antares Audio Technologies.
The sound has earned T-Pain fame and fortune and Auto-Tune is now a prominent fixture in today's hip-hop music. It's also currently a prominent fixture in Apple's App Store thanks to T-Pain's new I Am T-Pain iPhone app.
With more than 70,000 apps available to download for the iPhone, Apple's App Store doesn't really do enough to help users find what they need.
Unless you know exactly which app you want, then searching for new apps can be a slow and frustrating process. I've been taking a look at the App Store, as well as a couple of alternatives for discovering new apps...
According to estimates in a recent report, around $200m in iPhone apps are sold each month in Apple's App Store. The same report pegged the amount of money generated by app sales in Google's Android Market at only $5m.
But one company that develops apps that are sold in both marketplaces, Larva Labs, suggests that the gap between the iPhone economy and the Android economy may be even greater.
The reason? Despite producing Android apps that are ranked well in the Android Market, that have been featured by Google and that sell for $4.99/each, the company only managed to make $62.39/day on average from Android app sales during the month of August. As Larva Labs' Matt Hall writes, "Very difficult to buy the summer home at this rate".
It's a good to be an independent developer. The number and variety of development platforms on which to build has exploded over the past several years. From the iPhone to Salesforce to Facebook, opportunity knocks at every turn.
But if you're an independent developer, choosing which platform to develop for can be a difficult task. Many developers today decide to develop for the platforms that seem to offer the quickest path to riches.
The Federal Communications Commission is investigating Apple and AT&T after Google's Voice iPhone app was rejected for inclusion in the App Store.
The justification: the FCC "has a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment".
In 1963, McDonald's reached a significant milestone that it would go on to proudly promote: 1bn hamburgers served. The milestone was achieved a mere 23 years after Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's restaurant in California.
But in the internet age, 23 years is an eternity. Just ask Apple. It announced yesterday that it had hit an impressive milestone of its own: more than 1.5bn apps downloaded in the App Store's first full year.
The day many iPhone developers have been waiting for has arrived. Yes, I'm talking about the availability of adult content on the iPhone.
Thanks to the iPhone 3.0 OS, which includes parental controls, the App Store has its first officially sanctioned app that provides adult content.
Companies like Nokia were in the mobile phone business long before Apple but with the iPhone and App Store, Apple has been able to eclipse larger rivals in the innovation department.
Today, Nokia fired back at the App Store with an app store of its own: Ovi Store.