iPhone WebApps Appearing on Apple's Downloads Feed?

http://www.apple.com/webapps

Bookmark it now – it doesn’t work yet but it will very soon. Apple will be unleashing this new webpage devoted to Webapps. Apple’s web team is gearing up to put the iPhone applications built with the Web 2.0 “SDK” on their new software page that will function in much the same way as the current software downloads page. In fact, it is likely that the two pages will be integrated.

Thanks to a commenter, we found a few webapps in Apple’s “recent downloads RSS feed”. However, when you click on the link the feed provides to you, you end up at a unused page at Apple…at least unused for the moment – http://www.apple.com/webapps/

This isn’t huge news as we’ve known about Web Applications since the iPhone was announced. However, it is a big deal to have a one stop shop for all of the iPhone/iPod touch applications. We expect it to be like a web 2.0 version of Installer.app on the iPhone. There also may be a full Safari version for use on Laptop/Desktops running full browsers. The functionality would work in the same way that the Quicktime movie trailers pages browser sniff and push a page based on the platform.

As content is currently being pushed into it, look for this page to pop up in the next few days…

To see what we are yapping about, click here. Search within the fields for “iPhone”. You should get a few hits but all of the links are broken. Thanks again to our eagle-eyed readers for the tip!

Seeqpod Hooks Up iPod Touch and iPhone Owners with Monster Music Library

Billed as he “World’s Largest Index of Playable Internet Music”, seeqpod has just unveiled an extremely user friendly interface for iPodTouch/iPhone users. The application will make Apple happy that it is using its “Web 2.0 SDK” but upset that it is using it for (what could be easily considered) piracy. Another negative for Cupertino is that it will also be competition for the iTunes Music Store in that when used from a desktop, users can download mp3s directly to your computer. The iTunes mobile store could also lose some impulse buyers..

The application goes out and searches the Internet for mp3s and then indexes them using the metadata in the files. A quick check of our favorite artists netted a wealth of good content. Video searches are also in the wings for seeqpod.

Some screenshots and additional info after the jump.

Obviously, there are some significant legal issues at play here. Seeqpod doesn’t host any of these files so they are probably in the clear for now. However, content companies that wish to find locations of their content pirated on the net can also use seeqpod’s interface to find people illegally sharing their wares. Only time will tell how long this service will last. Sometimes popularity can be a double-edged sword.

More on Seeqpod:

About Us

Now, more than ever, it is important to be able to find, discover, and manage the wealth of information available on the Internet.

SeeqPod is a totally different breed of search and discovery technology provider, because we believe that one day, everything will be ‘playable’. Hence we have embraced the term ‘Playable Search’.

The team at SeeqPod is passionate about technology as well as music. So first we decided to apply some pretty sophisticated technology to music and video search so that anyone, anywhere can mine the deepest crevices and corners of the Web for media that is publicly available, yet not always easy to find.

Currently in Beta, SeeqPod’s first consumer site empowers users by allowing them to search and discover music and video all over the Web. Our intelligent software robots work with targeted crawling systems to auto-submit content to the site. This, combined with user submissions, results in a large and rich search and discovery index. This process can be viewed in real-time via the PodCrawler.

Born out of UC’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), ‘Playable Search’ is made possible through biometric search & discovery technology, a method that mimics the way the human mind might use context to make and recall associations, an approach which relies on context by finding the hidden relationships in digital content and data.

SeeqPod has provided public access to its technologies through SeeqPod Media Search, Recommendation and Discovery Services (SMSRDS), a REST-based API. SMSRDS enables third-party developers to easily integrate SeeqPod technologies into social networks, ad networks, and other consumer applications, and improve their user’s experience in new and novel ways.

More Legit 3rd Party iPhone Applications on the Way?

While Apple’s official line is that the only 3rd party iPhone development will be on the EDGE-crippled Web 2.0 "SDK", behind the scenes, there is much more going on. Apple has been furiously working with their partners on games and applications for the iPhone/iPod and the standardized Human-Interface Controls that will go along with them. For instance, EA is currently porting their iPod lineup to the OSX iPod/iPhone platform to be sold along side the classic iPod OS versions. Other big developers with strict confidentiality agreements are also on board.

Apple is specifically looking to replicate the model of TMobile’s successful SideKick application development and distribution platform (although obviously not in the Sidekick’s Java). Apple has even brought in some of Danger’s (SidekickOS creators) application development team to help with the architecture. A public SDK announcement will likely be made in the coming months which could possibly be included with Xcode. More likely, the SDK will be given only to high level developers with established close ties to Apple.

In the Tmobile model, developers (who can prove they are developers by submitting a working application) get a key that opens their Sidekicks for further testing. Once they feel they have a stable working application, they submit it to the Danger/Tmobile team for compatibility testing. If Tmobile/Danger feel the application is stable, won’t interfere with other applications and would be of interest to their customers, they make it available for download and install through an integrated payment system. The cost of application is added to the customer’s monthly bill. The Danger team actively works with the developers to insure compatibility and stability in applications through SidekickOS updates.

Whether Apple would make the applications available on Mobile iTunes via an over the air upgrade compared to their current model of installing from a host computer’s iTunes is uncertain. The direction they are heading is certainly towards making the iPhone a solitary device so one would expect mobile iTunes to bear some of this load. Also, the applications would be billed through the user’s iTunes account rather than the phone bill in the Tmobile model.

The rationale for Apple’s recent complete and total lockdown of the iPhone is that these games would be easy to port to the unlocked versions of the iPhone. Developers could easily sell the applications on their own without Apple taking its cut (which is guesstimated to be about 2/3rds of the take). These pirated applications could also be distributed via torrent sites like music and movies are currently.

Apple, learning about the devastating effects of pirating from its first hand experience in the music and film industry and their own OS/applications, does not want this to happen. Therefore, one shouldn’t expect Apple to release a way for non-developers to freely install applications on their iPods and iPhones.

 

These moves will likely further sever the iPhone OS fork and subsequently make the unlocked iPhones more valuable than ever as a hacker device.

Oops iPhone Extreme coming? (Updated)

 

iPhone Extreme

It looks like Tom at iPhoneBugList.com has unearthed a little nugget of gold. It could be a HTML programming error but we, of course, like to speculate that there is more. If you look at the source code of Apple’s iPhone Feedback Page, you’ll notice the term iPhone Extreme.

While "Extreme" is a tired name in the tech marketing world, Apple still has an affinity for it. You have to look no further than Apple’s Airport line to find the name denoting the latest and greatest iteration of the product.

It is probably just a coding error but at some point in the near future, there will be an upgraded iPhone.

So what would this iPhone have? Yep 16Gb Ram, 3G and maybe GPS?  Finally. All signs point to late-February to early May. Kinda early to be telling the HTML coders if you ask us.

 

Truce: iPhone 1.1.1ers

OK, we’ve been pretty hard on the 1.1.1 iPhone upgrade, the people who’ve happily upgraded, and Apple for having done it. For people not interested in the additional applications and who bought into a two year AT&T contract, it probably makes perfect sense. We even recommend the upgrade to a colleague that would never find any use in the additional apps – they actually didn’t even use email application either. That is cool. To each their own.

If you are an American who was done with their contract or willing to go to AT&T for a 2 year commitment, then the iPhone lockage doesn’t really affect you and you probably don’t see the situation the same as the rest of the world. For you, the decision is easy. You don’t need to put it on another carrier and you don’t need any additional functionality than what Apple says you need. What is all of the whining about?!?!

The reason we are making such a stink is that the iPhone is such a cool phone, such an amazing piece of technology that it deserves to be set free. We are not saying that we don’t accept the consequences for the actions of taking to another carrier that won’t charge us $1000/month to use it overseas. Or what about the people who live outside of AT&T’s coverage area? We are simply saying that Apple is making some seriously questionable moves here. Is this a sign of things to come?

We know that Apple is really not pulling all of the strings. They’ve made some unholy alliances, however, that keep punishing their customers more and more. Is Apple really trying to smooth the experience of owning a mobile phone by choosing only AT&T? No. They chose Tmobile in Germany – why not in the US? The experience really wasn’t that great getting a phone through iTunes anyway – it was nice to not have to deal witha human. The reason they chose AT&T was because they are getting a royalty on the iPhone for exclusivity. Is this deserved? That is a debate to have at some other point – it certainly wasn’t just for the visual voicemail.

It isn’t just the telecoms with Apple recently. Apple seems to be playing more and more the role of RIAA enforcement agent than ever before. Rather than build a feature into iTunes that takes any of your music and makes a free ringtone out of it, they force their customers to pay AGAIN to shorten the music and make it a ring tone. As many people have said, this is absurd and is clearly putting the record labels interests over their customers.

We aren’t privy to behind the scenes negotiations. Perhaps Apple is getting bullied into these deals by the record companies and telecoms. Or maybe the bean counters are beating the consumer advocates in Cupertino. No one knows for sure.

Movies and videos on iTunes have been stalled for awhile. Perhaps the digital content providers are really playing hardball with Apple. Maybe as part of that deal, Apple will scour your hard drive and look for what the movie companies consider illegal content and delete it off of your Mac when you enable the movie rental service on iTunes. Is this any worse than totally destroying an iPhone that has a legal SIM card in it from another carrier? No.

We just don’t want to see that day.

iPhone Upgrade Negatively Viewed by Media

I don’t think I can remember an Apple move that provoked such strong, yet universal negative feedback from the press as the iPhone Firmware update 1.1.1 is receiving. While there are always Apple rabid fanboys that would cheer on Steve Jobs as he robbed a bank, the more objective press and readers around the world have all voiced their negative opinion of the iPhone lockdown move included with the 1.1.1 update. Some sources have indicated that Apple’s update might even be CRIMINAL in its purposely "bricking" of anySIM opened handsets. While Apple has mostly covered itself in its licensing agreements and with public notices about the effects of iPhone 1.1.1, this move – likely forced by its agreements with AT&T, is a public relations nightmare and could do more to hurt the Apple brand than anything since Steve Jobs retook the helm, 10 years ago.

Gizmodo: iPhone Revisited (Verdict: Don’t Buy)
Engadget: iPhone users calling for class action lawsuit over firmware v1.1.1
NY Times: Altered iPhones Freeze Up
Wall St. Journal:Apple Update Spurs Problems For iPhones When Modified
Macworld : Requiem for a third-party iPhone app
Macrumors: iPhone 1.1.1 Aftermath
ZDNet: Best to avoid iPhone update 1.1.1 if you can, iPhone firmware 1.1.1 released; breaks everything
LA Times: Apple’s latest software update shuts down some hacked iPhones

These are the press companies that are usually nudged to give Apple good reviews lest they not get advanced looks at the latest equipment, invited to Apple press events and be the benefactor of Apple’s advertising spend. Extremely strong words. Who got to do the early reviews of the iPhone? Why?

The grand total of the 1.1.1 update is this: you get mobile iTunes STORE (you already have 99% of the iTunes desktop functionality in the iPhone iPod.app). You get some user interface tweaks which aren’t going to change your iPhone experience much. The negative – you lose access to all of the developer apps and sim unlock. While this is only going to effect the small minority (under 10%?) of iPhone users that unlocked their phones and put applications on it.

What is different about this is Apple’s malicious intent on their customers. Apple’s update doesn’t just invalidate the SIM card which, in itself, would have been enough to infuriate most users – it Bricks their phones. Let me say this again so it sinks in:

APPLE PURPOSELY DESTROYS ITS OWN PRODUCT TO KEEP IT FROM BEING USED IN WAYS IN WHICH IT DOES NOT SEE FIT

Is it legal to install other applications or to unlock your iPhone? Yes.

Is it legal to use another SIM card from another carrier in it? Yes.

Did Apple know that its "updates" would destroy iPhones that were being used on other networks? Yes, it most certainly did. Various independent reports conclude that Apple is knowingly and purposely bricking its own phones. Whether this is able to be proved in a court of law is questionable.

A lot of people are going to say that "you bought it and the license agreement said not to mess with it and you did so now you deserve to lose your money" or the ever popular "IF you put a Chevy engine in your Ford truck don’t blame Chevy if it don’t work right idjit". Yes of course we knew we were voiding our warranties when we hacked the iPhone. Like most people savvy enough to hack into their iPhone, we were also savvy enough not to take Apple’s Bricking software. This doesn’t make it right.

Why is Apple doing this? It is most certainly to enforce its agreement with AT&T and to assure it’s European telecoms partners that it can lock its customers to the networks that pay a royalty fee (10%-30% of the talk, data and sms bill depending who you ask). I say royalty fee because Apple, for this fee is not providing any type of service to the customer in exchange for their monthly charges. One could argue (and no doubt, Apple’s lawyers will at some point be made to) that the Visual Voicemail feature on the iPhone that Apple worked on with AT&T could constitute a feature and rationale for the extra fees. However, I don’t think Apple’s PR is set to announce this any time soon.

And that is just it – this isn’t really about legalities. It is about public perception. It is about the Apple brand and the brand loyalty of its customers. Apple’s brand is without a doubt, its most valuable asset. Apple certainly has a bright short term future with its lead position in the digital entertainment revolution, however its high stock price is by and large a function of its brand.

People see Apple as an alternative to Microsoft. An alternative to the status quo. "Think Different". The company that cares for its customers. The "cool company"

Consumers in this category like to think they are in charge. They want freedom or at least the illusion of it. It isn’t Apple cool to have to follow the whims of a big corporation that is in fact acting as a proxy for AT&T. (and in other matters for the record labels)

Nokia, for one, is taking full advantage of the lock down perception that Apple is throwing off. Their new N-Series Open campaign was launched today and seems to be grabbing a lot of positive attention. The reality is that their devices don’t really hold a candle to the iPhone on most fronts. They also sleep with the carriers as much as Apple is currently doing.

These latest actions that Apple are promoting are hurting brand in a way that will not be calculable in certain terms. However, to see the technology press so unequivocally and wholeheartedly bash the media darling surely must be cause for fear in Cupertino. This will take more than a $100 gift card to remedy.

Edit: This was posted before editing…more sources of negative publicity added as well as some vulgarities removed. Please return to flaming away!

Howto: Get Your Precious 1.0.2 iPhone Back from a Misguided 1.1.1 Upgrade

For those of you who feel a little upgrader’s remorse – we’ve figured out a way to get your iPhone back on its feet. The 1st 1/2 of this is sourced from TUAW’s Erica Sadun – who is single handedly turning TUAW from a pompom flailing Apple Fanboy site into a L33T hacker underworld, we have the 1st part here.
This will net you an iPod in iPhone’s clothing – the phone part isn’t working yet. If you are still interested in this part – and we wouldn’t hate you if you weren’t, you’ll need to run a little VooDoo on the iPhone modem’s baseband setting that Apple has molested. Go out the the Internets and find the following files:

-ICE03.14.08_G.fls
-ICE03.14.08_G.eep
-bbupdater

Upload them onto your iPhone’s usr/bin using iBricker or iNdependence. (bet you missed those Apps didn’t you?)

Next ssh into your iPhone or run locally from the terminal.app:

chmod +x bbupdater
bbupdater -f *.fls -e *.eep

Your terminal will go Matrix for a few minutes. After all of the Baseband flashing goodness is over, you should be able to successfully run anySIM and after a restart will have a FULLY working 1.0.2 iPhone.

Welcome to the other side of the fork. It is WAY more fun over here.

EDIT: a Polite Commenter says that we got the latest bits of info from a hackintosh member. While he may have come up with this info we obtained it from a different source see post #134 and had it saved from last time around when we unbricked a friend’s phone…

http://www.hackint0sh.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6827&page=14

You've Bricked your Hacked iPhone and Want to Start Over?

iPhone updaters aren't the sharpestYou aren’t the brightest bulb in the bunch are you?  You couldn’t help yourself even when everyone was telling you to wait?  You SIM unlocked your iPhone and knew that the 1.1.1 upgrade would brick it.  

But you couldn’t help yourself?!  You NEEDED the louder speakerphone!  That period trick was TOO GOOD!  Oh man, how awesome would it be to be able to pay $50 for a cable to plug into a huge TV and watch your iPod formatted videos – sure anywhere a TV works, so can laptop … but come on – trust Apple not to bend you over!

Well, it looks like there might be hope for you yet, Lloyd.  It turns out there is a flaw in Apple’s IMEI destruction software that destroys AT&T’s GoSIM’s IMEIs as well.   All you have to do is go to the Apple store and lie – you know like when your 3rd grade teacher asked who ate all of the crayons/glue?

Get somebody to read this if you can’t:

From the Profit42 Comments: on September 28th, 2007 at 4:45 am

Here

Dear 1.1.1 Early Adopters: We Feel For You

iPhone 1.1.1 adopters

Dear iPhone 1.1.1 Updaters,

We know the feeling – we want the latest software too.  Apple says, “update your iPhone, trust us, it is better for you, we’ve given you a new way to buy DRM’ed music from us, louder speakerphone AND a new way to write a period!  Not enough??  How about landscaped email attachments, new passcode lock time intervals and adjustable alert volume! Are you kidding me, how could you not want that?  You know you want all of this stuff – how can you possibly resist?”  Dowit!

digg_url = ‘http://9to5mac.com/Dear-iPhone-Updaters-34527675′;

And despite our pleas to the contrary, you did it.  You are now part of the 1.1.1 club.  It is a one-way street.  All of your ringtones are gone.  Your cool apps aren’t there any more.  No more native instant messaging.  No more GPS.  No more voice notes or emails.  YOUR 1000′s OF NES GAMES?!?! And those of you on other carriers?  Welcome to a $1200 AT&T plan.  There is no going back (as of now and it isn’t looking too good for the future).  If you’ve bricked your phone – take it to an Applestore, they’ll flash the firmware and give you a 1.1.1 iPhone back.  Maybe you can sell it?  Or wait to November and activate it on O2.co.uk or Tmobile.de?  Or December on Orange.fr?  Who knows?  I mean now you can turn off EDGE roaming so your bills will be in the hundred$ and not thousand$ for roaming without data, which is nice, right?

Then, on the other side of the ravine, there are the iPhoners who didn’t upgrade and are still using the 1.0.2hax.  We are on our own right now.  Our software may never work with the official Apple version again.  Should we run to the stores and buy up all of the 1.0.2 iPhones left on the shelves (we’re tempted!)?  These might be worth something when only 1.1.1 exist.  Perhaps in a month, there will be a premium on these little guys because the ones on the shelves will be shipping locked with 1.1.1.  

Will the 1.0.2 development continue?  Yep – this is a strong hacking community and the fruits of their labor far outweigh anything Apple will have this year and probably well into next when new iPhone hardware is released.  Will Apple catch up?  Perhaps, but probably not.  For instance, remember Apple gets a cut of your $M$ cheddar so there isn’t really a motivation to get a mobile iChat out the door.  GPS?  There has to be a reason to buy a new iPhone in February right?  Voice notes?  Maybe.  What about all of the L33T toys?  Apple knows what is best for you, son, and they are not feeling that crazy haxor candy.

The iPhoneOS has now officially forked.

iPhone version 1.1.1 vs. Hacked Version

Don't do it!!!!!Apple, as expected released the iPhone 1.1.1 software update today.   Initial reactions are that it breaks the anySIM hack and Installer.app so this is a one way street.  We know it is tempting to hit the red button and download and install but hold on just one second while we let you take a gander at the pluses and minuses.

Listed on the 1.1.1 updates page is the following: 

  • iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store;
  • Louder speakerphone and receiver volume 
  • Home Button double-click shortcut to phone favorites of music controls 
  • Space bar double-tap shortcut to intelligently insert period and space 
  • Mail attachments are viewable in portrait and landscape 
  • Stocks and cities in Stocks and Weather can be re-ordered 
  • Apple Bluetooth Headset battery status in the Status Bar 
  • Support for TV Out 
  • Preference to turn off EDGE/GPRS when roaming internationally 
  • New Passcode lock time intervals 
  • Adjustable alert volume

Not bad for a incremental update but nothing earth shattering.  We think Apple could have called this 1.0.3 but when you juxtapose (triple word score) these features with what you get in the 1.0.2 HACK version you may want to pause..at least until everything becomes clearer..

Read on for the full comparison between the two OS’s.

iPhone Features per software version

Apple+hackers 1.0.2HAX Apple 1.1.1
Phone Carriers? Any GSM Providor in the World including AT&T and TMobile in the US AT&T ONLY
Roaming? Just stick in a SIM card from the country you go to to get local rates. Insane roaming rates BUT you can turn off EDGE
Instant Messaging Apollo AOL IM and MSN(Yahoo), Jabber(GoogleTalk) Coming No
Games Any NES or Mame (1000′s) plus 100s of other native apps like iPhoneDoom. Online web games like Scrabble Online web games like Scrabble
RSS yes native app or Google Reader Google reader
Terminal app? Yes No
Remote Desktop? Yes (VNSea) No
GPS? Soft GPS by Navizon – not quite as accurate as real GPS but faster No
Voice Recorder? Yes No
Offline Dictionaries and references Dozens No
IRC client Yes No
eBook Reader? Yes No
send songs and full res picts via email? Yes No
Ability to delete menu items Yes No
Ability to browse iPhone’s File system Yes No
Full iTunes integration for Music, TV Shows Movies Audiobooks Yes Yes
Ringtones? Free $.99/ea after you buy the song
Mobile Music store? Amazon DRM Free coming iTunes

EDIT: ActuallyWired’s excellent artists have made a mockery of our HTML Table skillz and put up a much better graphic.  Check it: