Developers

Apple's magic developer numbers: 100, 100 million, and 1 billion

We've all heard huge numbers thrown around as measures of iPhone and iPad App Store success -- over 200,000 apps and 5 billion downloads being some of the most recent and most impressive. There's a couple of other numbers that are even more interesting when it comes to iPhone and iPad development: 100, 100 million, and 1 billion.

Roughly 100 million iOS devices have been sold to data and they are all broadly software compatible. There's some fragmentation to be sure -- older devices are slower, there's no cameras (yet) on the iPod touch and iPad, no GPS in iPod touch, iPad Wi-Fi, and the iPhone 2G. Apple mitigates this somewhat by offering services such as CoreLocation where, if no GPS is found, it gracefully degrades down to cell tower triangulation or Wi-Fi router mapping. Even the iPad with its odd-device-out 1024x768 display will frame iPhone apps or pixel double them, which is awkward but still workable, still compatible. When iPhone 4 ships, it will be precisely double the vertical and horizontal pixel count of previous generations, meaning older apps will simply look the same as they did before (using 4 pixels in the space they used to use 1).

Likewise, most iOS devices tend to get updated to the latest version of the OS, or at least fairly recent versions. While iOS 4 will drop compatibility for iPhone 2G and iPod touch G1, it will also be free for all other devices for the first time, ensuring iPod touch G2 and G3 owners are more likely to update.

Everything isn't perfect, but for a vast majority of apps it doesn't need to be. They just work.

The sheer size of that install base is stunning. Code an app once and deploy it to a theoretical 100 million devices -- and growing -- all with a drop-dead-easy to use icon on the home screen to help them get your apps?

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Palm webOS and Google Android after iPhone developers

It should come as no surprise that both Palm webOS and Google Android want iPhone developers on their platform. Mac developers have long been as passionate about their platform and incredibly talented in the apps they've delivered, and a lot of that has transferred over to iOS devices like the iPhone and now iPad.

Whether or not Apple is engaged in a platform war with Palm and Google it's inarguable that the current generation of users want apps and right now Apple has an advantage in that area. Part of getting people to switch to another platform is making sure the apps they love are on that platform, and that means big name apps and fan favorites alike.

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iTunes App Store begins accepting iOS 4-compatible apps for review

Apple has sent out a notice to developers advising them that the iTunes App Store has begun accepting iOS 4 binaries for submission and review:

Submit your iOS 4 apps for review so they can be ready for sale when iOS 4 is available to iPhone and iPod touch users. Make sure you have built and tested your applications using iOS 4 and iPhone SDK 4 GM seed, which you can download from the iPhone Dev Center.

Log in to iTunes Connect and upload your iOS 4 applications today.

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iTunes Connect Mobile now in App Store

Apple recently released iTunes Connect Mobile [Free - iTunes Link] which allows registered developers to track app sales and trends.  The app is available via the App Store now and is a free download.  For developers, this provides an extremely easy way to not only check sales numbers but to see trends on the go.

Simply log in and you'll get a nice layout that shows you not only your total sales but a breakdown of sales by application. From what I understand, you can see either daily or weekly totals as of right now. As we are currently working on applications and haven't released any yet, I don't see any breakdowns.  Any developers have any feedback on the breakdown or things you'd like to see in an update?

I think another really neat app idea would be if Apple released an app that let regular users see purchased app histories and showed totals of all iPhone/iPad apps they've purchased, as well as a monthly breakdown of what they're buying.  It would be interesting how much users spend on apps in total.  After 3 years of using an iPhone, I'd be nervous to see how much I've actually spent on apps.  Hit the break for some screenshots!

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iOS 4 GM seed now live, app submissions begin June 10

Apple has released the 378MB Gold Master (GM) seed for iOS 4 (formerly iPhone OS 4) and it's now available to developers via developer.apple.com (after you agree to the new terms of use). Apple has also announced that developers can begin submitting iOS 4 compatible apps to the iTunes App Store beginning June 10.

So let's get going devs, we know you're going to amaze us!

[developer.apple.com]

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iPhone OS 4 beta 5 doesn't show, does that mean GM seed might soon be a go?

Since introducing iPhone OS 4 beta, Apple has kept a rigorous every-2-weeks-on-the-Tuesday update schedule through beta 4... until yesterday. Yesterday, the next Tuesday in line for beta, came and went with nary a beta 5 in sight.

Could be late, or it could be with WWDC 2010 less than a week away Apple is holding off to release the iPhone OS 4 GM (gold master) seed at the show? (Like they did last year for iPhone 3.0).

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Apple releases iTunes Connect Developer Guide 5.5

Apple has released iTunes Connect Developers Guide 5.5, with updated information on the iPad and iTunes connect features. Developers can download it via the iTunes Connect home page. (Here's the direct PDF link). Updates include:

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Regarding Apple's use of private API in iBooks

Marco Arment raised a flag on the iPad App Store field today and called foul over Apple using private APIs in their first-party iBooks app.

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iPhone and iPad Developers and the Upcoming UDID Crunch

Apple is about to add a third device to their iPhone OS family, the iPad, but so far developers are still limited to 100 UDID "slots" for ad-hoc distribution (aka beta testing), leading Craig Hockenberry of the Icon Factory to wonder on his Furbo.org blog if the "crunch" is coming.

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iPad Early-Access Developers Sworn to Secrecy

It's no secret that Apple loves secrecy, so it comes as little surprise when Business Week reveals the hoops those lucky developers with early access to iPad hardware have to jump through:

Would-be testers of the tablet-style computer, due to be released Apr. 3, must promise to keep it isolated in a room with blacked-out windows, according to four people familiar with the more than 10-page pact that bars partners from disclosing information about the iPad.

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