The company behind the popular Plants vs Zombies mobile game has said that the introduction of a charge for a previously free item was just a “test”.
PvZ isn’t what interests me about this article. It’s the concept of in-app purchases in general.
Mobile analyst at IHS Insight Jack Kent said that users can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game if they don’t know what they are paying for so in-app charges become more important.
“For smartphone and tablet developers in-app purchases are the dominant business model, 80% of revenue is made this way,” he said.
There are several ways of offering in-app purchases without pissing people off. The fact that people can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game can be remedied by offering a trial for free and an in-app purchase that unlocks the full game. It’s a single transaction, but it seems to work quite well on Xbox Live Arcade. In essence, offer people a demo if up-front charges are intimidating. Just don’t milk them for all they are worth.
This specification defines several new DOM events that provide information about the physical orientation and motion of a hosting device.
These seem to be implemented in Android ICS 4.0 and above. Time to do some testing.
So, Let me get this straight. Apple spent billions of dollars researching the best interface for mobile devices and patented their findings. Those methods of interacting with a mobile device became so popular, Google illegally integrated them in its inferior Android operating system.
There’s some blatant fanboyism going on here. It’s not like Apple doesn’t take good ideas from Android. In fact, they borrowed the whole notion of a notification area pretty much verbatim. Here’s an excerpt from CNet’s iOS 5 article:
So how closely does the iOS 5 notification center mirror Android? The biggest similarities are two-fold. There’s the action to pull down a tray that displays all of your notifications. But Android’s has a task bar that shows not just that you have an alert, but also the type of message you missed, with separate tiny icons that let you easily identify an incoming text, a missed call, a new voice mail, and so on. As with iOS 5, you can clear them all at once, but not individually.
Android also originated the notification banner that shows you up top when you have a new message. Apple made theirs larger and more customizable, but Apple didn’t invent the convention. (Reminder: Android didn’t invent all its tools and visuals either. Companies have long been “borrowing” rivals’ ideas.)
The Android notification system is patented, though I’m not sure if the patent has been issued yet. An excellent piece by David Ruddock over on Android Police has more details.
Another sensationalist title, but following the announcement of Windows Phone 8 and its enterprise features, Research In Motion has every reason to be worried.
All that puts RIM in an increasingly untenable position. With Microsoft’s investment in Nokia, its entry into the tablet space, and its deep existing hooks into RIM’s customer base, it’s going to be increasingly hard for the company to keep its grip on corporate IT.
Turns out that in some cases, developers must contend with about 4,000 distinct Android ROMs.
The developers logged 3,997 distinct devices, the most popular of which was the Samsung Galaxy S II. This figure was inflated quite a bit by custom ROMs, which overwrite the android.build.MODEL variable and cause those phones to be logged as separate devices. 1,363 types were logged only once, and while some were custom ROMs bucking the numbers, a good few were just massively unpopular devices—for example, the Hungarian 10.1-inch Concorde Tab.
The best news I’ve heard all week.
A good article by Mashable highlighting the possibilities of the technology.
The reMail mobile mail client has gone open source, following the company’s acquisition by Google last month.
Looks good. Particularly interested in the Xbox Live integration.