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So the Zune HD launched over a month ago along with a new and improved version of the Zune Desktop and Marketplace. Just before the launch we heard the gang from Redmond telling us how they would stock their version of the App Store with incredible applications and games for the Tegra inside the Zune HD.
However one month later and we have not see even a single new game or App in the Zune Marketplace. This is highly disappointing and a sure way for Microsoft to lose the fight with Apple and their iPod Touch and iPhone. When we reviewed the Zune HD here we found the hardware and performance to be outstanding and more than a match for the Apple offerings (in many cases much better). The problem as we saw it then (and now) is that MS does a terrible job at follow on and marketing.
This is a perfect example; their decision (surely a marketing one) to keep their Marketplace closed has probably driven many developers away from it. Yet MS has not done anything to add to this area either. We do not see any of the graphically impressive 3D games we were promised before launch. We do not see anything.
MS needs to pull their collective heads out and get to work here or they will surely lose the PMP fight and very quickly. This is despite the far superior hardware they have with the Zune HD.
Android can now join the ranks of the iPhone. Not in terms of style, quality or performance. For the most part Android is pretty much equal to the iPhone OS and in many ways better. No today I am talking about being jailbroken.
Of course you do not call it jailbreaking for the Android OS, You call it rooting. This has always been possible but it has also always been out of most people's hands. Doing it has required more work than most thought it was worth.
However all that has changed, there is now a quick and easy method to open up your Android based phones. The App called Recovery Flasher can be downloaded from the Android market and all you so is run it, make a backup and then flash it to Cyanogen Recovery 1.4.
Now you have access to Full SD Backups, Tethering, OS upgrades or even loading a completely new OS.
In the war of the PMPs the big deal now is developing third party applications for the device. This is even more important than base functionality (but is still behind proper marketing).
So what do you do if you are trying to enter or get back in the game in the PMP space? We know that Apple has a very large number of mobile developers. This is evidenced by the large number of Apps in the iTunes App store. How do you tip the scale to your favor?
The plain and simple answer is money.
The is trend is being displayed in a rumor running around that Microsoft has been offering iPone developers money to port their apps over to the Zune HD. The going rumor is that a single Developer for a twitter application was approached by MS and offered a "bucket of money" to port his app over.
We also hear that Sony is courting them as well although there is much less detail on that rumor.
Although these are both unsubstantiated rumors, we could see two larger players actively going after the current crop of iPhone devs to get their own app stores rolling. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out moving forward.
Ok, this is just plain disturbing, funny yes, but in a seriously disturbing way.
Someone has decided to make an app for the iPhone that allows you to "track and share" your bowel movements with friends. Now I am not sure about you but if any of my friends starts telling me about their porcelain adventures they would not be a friend for too long.
But all that aside I want to know how in the world this app passed the morality police at Apple? I meant they want a dictionary to have a 17+ rating, Google Voice and Latitude are not good enough but they let an application by that is the definition of toilet humor with only a 9+ rating.
I wonder if applications are approved or disapproved by whoever walks in off the street on that day.
In what has to be the biggest "gee Mom see I ain't doing nothing wrong" move I have ever witnessed Apple revoked the publishing license of Perfect Acumen.
If you do not know the name you are sure to know the name of some of their better apps. Titles such as Top Sexy Ladies and Skin Care Updates these have filled the App store up with crap for a long time yet now Apple decides to take action.
Apple's stated reason is very clear for a change. It says that Perfect Acumen has had complaints filed against it for stealing other People's IP. Mostly this is in the form of reposting pictures for profit without getting the required rights.
Yet I have to wonder why now; is this the whitewash to try and cover up the issue with Google? I have to say that while I applaud the removal of some 900 useless apps from the clutter it will not be enough to close the books on the FTC and FCC investigations.
I often find the strangest things funny. For example I actually find it funny that Google is being stifled by Apple. I cannot really explain why; it is just funny.
Maybe it is because when using the iPhone I am stuck with Google Maps (unless I want to pay for another service). Or, that my only option for search is Google. Perhaps it is that Google and Apple have a shared director.
Still it is somewhat comical to see applications like Google Latitude and Google Voice get rejected by Apple. Apple's reasons for doing this? Well for Latitude Apple felt that people would confuse it with the current Map application. For Google voice it is that it duplicates existing iPhone functions.
Both are thin excuses at best, Latitude was probably not allowed because it competes (in a very small way) with a rumored Mobile Me product that Apple is working on for social networking and Google Voice is a direct threat to Apples single US Carrier AT&T. Google got around Latitude's rejection by turning it into a Web App, they will more than likely do something similar with Google Voice. So while this is an inconvenience to be sure, it is not a show stopper.
So fear not Google fans, you will see Google Voice on the iPhone; it will just be in another form.
In the end, I think what really makes me laugh is the slight chance that all of this App rejection is nothing more than a smoke screen for the Anti-Trust Investigation by the US DOJ into the shared directors between Apple and Google.
Food for thought...
Ok, I could not pass this one up. I saw this earlier in the day and thought, Meh I'll give it a pass. Now however I just cannot pass this one up.
After reading how one developer of a fart app compared his battle with Apple to the Civil Rights movement on the Daily Show I knew that this was not going to sit still.
I was right TUAW has way too much time on their hands and has put together a short video of 31 (yes 31) fart apps in a 90 second montage for the iPhone. I laughed so hard my sides are still hurting.
Have fun with this one and enjoy
McAfee seems to have goofed up bigtime with their latest update for virus definitions, causing VirusScan to quarantine many valid files.
So far the glitch seems to be when older scan engies install the 5664 DAT file. Once the update has been applied, all sorts of critical files are getting inadvertantly flagged as the PWS!hv.aq trojan.
Some users are getting the BSOD as McAfee quaranteens HP Compaq drivers and files related to Internet Explorer. Even McAfee's McScript.exe is getting marked as malicious.
McAfee hasn't said much on the issue and has since released a few more DAT updates. Most report that upgrading the VirusScan Engine seems to resolve the issue with false positives and nobody seemms to be complaining about the new DAT files either.
Google's app engine has been doing a bit of a Katy Perry today, blowing hot n' cold, in and then out, up and then down.
At 6:30 a,m, Pacific time, the engine began to splutter a bit with high latency levels and error rates. It then went into "unplanned maintenance mode" before copping out into read-only mode, leaving developers helpless to update their apps.
In a statement, Google admitted it was having issues, noting "All applications accessing the Datastore are affected," and adding "Our engineering teams are looking into the root cause of the problem."
Not content with looking like a bunch of twits anyway, Google's App Engine team announced it would be keeping developers up to date via twitter, just in case people had nothing better to do than sit around and wait for Google to get its act together. At around 3:15 Eastern time, Google announced its "Datastore read access has been reenabled and the team expects Datastore write access will be reenabled shortly."
Just in time for the bank holiday weekend then. Sigh.
We have an update on the app called "The Hottest Girls", it looks like we spoke too soon on the iPhone Porn app.
We are getting reports that people that paid for and installed the application are no longer able to use it.
Instead of healthy girls in limited clothing they simply get a message that states "This version will no longer work. You should delete this version"
Deleting it does not get you access to a new version as there is not a new versions on the App Store. This means that many are out the $1.99 spent on the app.