In the wake of that 8-year-old who racked up $1,400 in Smurfs Village purchases on her parents’ iPad, Apple recently instituted a policy that requires a user’s App Store password for making in-app purchases. But we’ve gotten some e-mails from parents who want to be able to share that password with their kids — for the purposes of downloading free content — while still preventing their children from amassing millions of useless Smurf berries. [More]
Earlier this year we wrote about Microsoft’s bid to block Apple from trademarking the phrase “app store,” and now comes news that Apple has filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com for using those words. [More]
While it’s a good rule of thumb to hang up the phone on anyone who calls you to tell you that you won a contest, a woman in the UK almost found herself without a $10,000 prize when she didn’t believe it was Apple on the other end of the line. [More]
It’s been over two years since Apple first submitted an application to trademark the phrase “App Store,” but that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from attempting to stymie the iPhone maker’s request. [More]
Marco wrote a script to tease out the most commonly appearing words in 1 and 5 star App store user reviews and found some interesting trends. Among them, the word “useless” is surprisingly popular for 1-star reviews, and it’s often for pretty narrowly defined reasons. [More]
If you were trolling around the App Store last night, you might have come across a new 99-cent flashlight app called Handy Light. And if you were willing to pay for it, you would have found a bonus: the program contained a hidden tethering app that would allow your computer to connect to the Internet over your phone, a privilege that normally requires a $20 monthly payment to AT&T. While the app somehow made it through the inspectors at Apple, once word got out, it was gone. [More]
One of the cool things about the iPhone ecosystem is there are nearly 17 quintillion apps available for it, and although many of these are crap, the good ones frequently cost only a dollar or two. Even the premium-priced “productivity” apps–things like note pads and to-do lists–rarely cross the $10 threshhold, which means you can load up your iPhone or Touch with a lot of cool stuff on a modest software budget. But if a leaked video of the iPad app store is accurate, you can expect to pay 200-500% more for simple things like 99-cent games, and PC-level prices for more robust apps, on your fancy new iPad. [More]
Because nothing says “Happy Anniversary” or “Congrats on the new baby” like an iPhone app, Apple has recently added the Give a Gift feature to their App Store. [More]
When Apple launched their much-hyped iPad device a few weeks ago, the first thing naysayers asked — after they finished giggling over the silly name — was “What makes the iPad anything more than an expensive netbook without a proper keyboard?” Well, party-poopers, Apple COO Tim Cook has your answer: “Magic.” [More]
Apple made it clear last year that Google Voice is not welcome on the App Store or your iPhone. “Fine,” said Google. “We’ll go through the browser!” Today the search engine revealed a new mobile web interface that uses some fancy HTML5 magic to provide voicemail, calling, and text message functionality. If you don’t already know, you can turn any page in Mobile Safari into an App icon on your home screen (click the “+” icon in Safari), meaning now you can have a legitimate Google Voice “app.” Below is a video tour. Update: There’s a down side to this: Cy writes in to let us know that this fancy new version actually breaks functionality for iPod Touch owners–the old web-based version let Touch owners make calls, but this one doesn’t. [More]
MacWorld reports that Nescaline, an NES emulator, received Apple’s blessing and was briefly available for download from the App Store, but quickly disappeared. iPhone users craving marathon mobile sessions of Paperboy were bereft. [More]
You can download a mobile Google Voice application for Blackberry or Android, but not for the iPhone. Apple rejected Google’s official application, and has been removing other apps using Google Voice functionality from the App Store. Now, why would they do such a thing? You know the answer. AT&T told them to.
We know there have been complaints from developers that it takes too long to get iPhone apps approved, or that Apple is behind on payments, or that it’s hard to know what they’ll reject and what they’ll accept. Well, apparently they’ll accept an application that “challenges users to see how long they can withstand the cries of a baby before they shake it to death.” Oh wait, they won’t, they pulled it after complaints yesterday. No, wait, they put it back up for sale today! Oh no now it’s gone again. Maybe they’re just making room for a Pistol Whip Your Spouse app.
All the outrage over Sling Media’s iPhone app—which would have only worked with the latest Slingbox models—may have been moot. Boy Genius Report says they’ve received a tip that AT&T asked Apple to kill the app due to concerns about potential bandwidth drain. Update: JosephFinn points out that the tip is likely fake, as the IP address came from a prison. [IntoMobile]
Last week, a developer discovered that the iPhone has the capability to quietly connect to Apple’s servers to check an application blacklist, and then disable any installed apps that are on the list. The story was quickly defused by blogs, but today the Wall Street Journal says Steve Jobs has confirmed that there really is an application “kill switch.”