Posts Tagged ‘ipod’

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Apple App Store. And perhaps one of the most amazing things about this milestone is that it never would have happened if things had played out the way Steve Jobs wanted.

Just imagine if there were no iPhone apps and no App Store. Aside from creating billions of dollars in value for developers, Apps have been a cornerstone to the success of the iPhone and iPad.

The fact that the App Store does exist is a testament to a characteristic of Jobs and Apple for which neither tends to get much credit. They listen to users.

To understand why, you have to jump back to a piece of history that is often forgotten.

Today, people look at the App Store as part of some master vision cooked up by Jobs. Critics of Apple look at it as symbolic of Apple’s and Jobs’ desire to control every aspect of their technology.

But when the iPhone first landed in 2007, the company was primarily concerned that it actually work and be seen as a stable device when it got into the hands of users. So Apple did not make it possible for third parties to write apps that ran on the phone, worried that glitchy apps might ding the iPhone’s reputation.

Instead, if people wanted applications to run on the iPhone, the company said they could write so-called “Web apps,” little programs that ran inside the mobile browser.

Now, if that had become the dominant way people developed apps as Apple and Jobs expected, then most of these would be able to run on any mobile platform. You wouldn’t have to write one version for iOS, one for Android, and so on. In such a world, Apple wouldn’t have the towering advantage it currently has with the top mobile app developers.

But, of course, that’s not what happened.

What happened, almost immediately, is that people started “jailbreaking” the iPhone to install apps they had written directly onto the phone, so-called “native apps.” Apple tried its best to put a stop to this initially by updating the phones’ operating system, which would in turn wipe out apps that had been installed.

The reason developers preferred native apps was simple. Installed directly on the phone, they could run faster and include more features than a Web app that might have to be pulled across the wireless network each time you ran it. Within a few months of the iPhone’s launch, developers had created about 10,000 Web apps.

But even as it tried to limit the jailbreaking, Apple was listening to developers.

Especially persuasive were arguments from game developers, who wanted more horsepower to write richer games, and financial firms who felt native apps would offer more security.

In October 2007, Apple announced it would relent and create a way for people to write apps for the phone. The company said a Software Development Kit or SDK would be available the following year for developers.

Finally, in March 2008, Jobs gathered reporters at Apple headquarters for an iPhone Software Roadmap Event. At the announcement, Jobs said the Software Development Kit was ready and that the company would launch a store in a few months where developers could submit their apps for sale and users could find apps and download them to their iPhones.

(As a footnote, Jobs was also excited that after just eight months, the iPhone already had 28% of the U.S. smartphone marketshare compared with 41% for Research in Motion. How quaint those numbers seem now.)

Anyway, at the end of the announcement, John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins took the stage to announce that his venture firm had created a $100 million iFund to invest in companies looking to develop software for the iPhone.

On July 10, 2008, the App store opened for business. By September 2008, users had downloaded 100 million native apps.

As the fifth anniversary hits, there are now more than 900,000 apps in the store that have been downloaded 50 billion times.

All made possible by a company willing to admit it was wrong, and in the process make one of the most important pivots in recent tech history.

Advertisements

Apple has applied for a trademark for “iWatch” in Japan, a patent official said on Monday, signalling the iPhone maker may be moving ahead with plans for a watch-like device as gadget makers turn their attention to wearable computers  ..

The trademark application, submitted on June 3 and released on the Japan Patent Office website on June 27, would cover computers, computer peripherals and wristwatches, the official said. He said it was unknown how long the application process would require ..

An Apple spokesman in Japan could not immediately be reached for comment ..

Speculation has mounted that Apple is preparing to launch an iWatch and CEO Tim Cook told a gathering of tech and media executives a month ago that wearable products were ripe for exploration, but added he was skeptical, including about Google’s recently unveiled Glass which combines a mobile computer and eyeglasses ..

“There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses or a band or a watch to wear one, or at least I haven’t seen it,” Cook said ..

Wearable devices are considered a potential area for hit products as smartphones such as the iPhone and Samsung Electronics’s Galaxy series are losing their ability to impress consumers and investors ..

Samsung, which has leapfrogged Apple as the world’s leading smartphone maker, is also developing a wearable device similar to a wristwatch, a source with knowledge of the matter has said ..

The New York Times reported in February that Apple was experimenting with the design of a device similar to a wristwatch that would operate on the same iOS platform as its iPhone and iPad and would be made with curved glass ..

Following the revelation that Apple had applied for ‘iWatch’ in Japan, it appears that Apple has done so in Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey and Colombia as well ..

On Monday, reports emerged indicating that Cupertino giant had filed a trademark application for the ‘iWatch’ product name in Japan. Filings, spotted by various Internet users and websites, reveal that similar applications have been submitted to Intellectual property bodies in various other countries ..

According to the filing with Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property, spotted first by 9to5Mac, Apple applied for the iWatch trademark under two categories pertaining to hardware and software of mobile devices. The application was submitted on June 3, though it was made public recently ..

Another filing with Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office, retrieved first by MacRumors, also reveals the same iWatch trademark with the colour of the device mentioned as Black ..

Besides these, Apple has also filed for the iWatch trademark in Turkey through an attorney on June 3 and in Russia during the same time period. A trademark filing submitted on June 4th in Colombia has also been spotted by a Twitter user ..

It’s interesting to note that all filings also include a graphic with the term iWatch depicted in upper case letters ..

The move signals that Apple is indeed working on a new wearable device and wants to secure the iWatch moniker in markets across the globe, inline with its other devices that have been christened in the same manner ..

Earlier this year, Bloomberg had reported that Apple’s so-called iWatch is expected to release this year and that the project is currently being fueled by the efforts of over 100 engineers being led by Apple design chief Jony Ive himself ..

A recent report by Apple Insider, also mentioned that Apple’s smart watch is likely to debut in 2014, quoting Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities who regularly offers predictions on future Apple products ..

Recently, Hon Hai Precision Industry, the company that uses the trade name Foxconn, demonstrated a new smart watch that can be connected with the iPhone. A fews days back, Sony officially launched SmartWatch 2 , the successor to its SmartWatch ..

It’s worth mentioning that companies like Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and LG, are all said to be working on bringing their own smart watch-like devices to the market ..