Monday, June 7, 2010

Apple introduces new iPhone and OS, now called iOS4

Note: Google continues to have major problems with Blogger. All new posts are being created via mobile and e-mail methods — limiting things to plain text.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., walked onto the floor of the Moscone Center stage late this morning (Pacific time) to give the keynote for Apple’s developer conference, WWDC. For publishers the iPhone introduction would probably have only been of interest if you were an iPhone owner or really into app development. But publishers in today’s environment need to be as excited about APIs as they have been about coated paper stocks — it is the new nerdiness for publishers.

The new iPhone 4 will be released on June 24 and contains the features much discussed on tech sites: front facing camera, new 5 megapixel back facing camera with LED flash, a higher resolution display, the use of Apple’s A4 chip, etc. The new phone will now have a built-in gyroscope, meaning that this marvel will come with five different sensors built-in.

Some of the features may, in reality, prove to be less valuable in reality than they sound at introduction: the new video calling capability called FaceTime, for instance, will only work via Wi-Fi (for now), and only will work from one iPhone 4 to another iPhone 4. Jobs promises to make the protocols available so that it can become an open standard -- and like printing on the iPad, there are always developers waiting in the wings to create enhancements to the framework Apple creates.

Publishers may have found the section on iAd, Apple’s new mobile advertising platform, far more interesting. Previously previewed by Apple in April, the company will be unleashing iAd on the world starting July 1 and have already sold, Jobs told his audience, $60 million worth of ads. Companies that have already signed up include Nissan, Citi Group, Unilever, AT&T, Chanel, GE, Geico, Campbell’s, Sears, J.C. Penney, Target, Best Buy, DirecTV, TBS and Disney.

Publishers who integrate iAd into their apps get 60% of the revenue generated off of their ads. For mobile publishers, knowing that Apple is going after the cream of the crop may be a good reason to chose Apple’s platform over another mobile advertising plaform such as AdMob, for instance.

If I had to guess, I would think that that the number of apps using iAd on July 1 will be small. But if some of the major third party developers who create media apps integrate iAd we could see quite a number of these new ads very soon. (To recap the merits of iAd: the ad platform creates ads that are interactive, but keep the user within the app. That is, clicking on an iAd opens up a window without shutting down the original app — definitely a better user experience.)

All-in-all, Jobs’ keynote was light on Earth-shattering news for the media world — there was nothing about AppleTV, for instance, or about expanding the iTunes store in any way that might benefit newspaper or magazine publishers. For now, it is steady as she goes. But the developer conference will continue for several days — this was only the beginning, so there may be more news ahead.

Maybe by then Blogger will be working again.