Thursday, January 13, 2011

Late afternoon briefs: Google buys eBook Technologies; Apple iOS update may open up AirPlay to developers

What took them so long? Here we are on the 12th of the month and Google finally announces its first acquisition: eBook Technologies.

All kidding aside, Mashable speculates that the acquisition might be about patents. After all, a look at their website (Google cache, since the site's been taken down) will not leave one very impressed.

If I were about to launch an update to my iOS app I might consider delaying it (unless it was a bug fix). While tech writers debate the rumor that the new iPad might lose its Home button, I'm more excited about the fact that developers are supposed to be able to access the AirPlay feature to stream content from the device to an Apple TV or Airport Express.
To me, this begins to bring into play all sorts of great things media companies could exploit in their apps. In addition to streaming video content, creative media developers could create slideshows and other animations that could be viewed on one's television.

I already use my Airport Express to stream music to my family room entertainment center, and my Apple TV to watch content from my phone or tablet (that's already a lot of Apple products, isn't it?), but now I would have access to content directly from media companies that have updated iOS apps -- in theory.

I think opening up AirPlay is one of those things that will seem minor on launch, and become huge down the line.

Next week, so the rumor goes, Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs may share the stage at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to unveil The Daily, News Corp.'s iPad-only news product.

So a thought crossed my mind: what is the NYT planning on doing when this is happening? That is, when will they unveil their metered paywall? From a marketing perspective, it might not be a bad idea to launch their new iPad app and their paywall shortly after The Daily appears -- assuming, and this is a big assumption, that their new tablet edition and their paywall, will cost the same or less than The Daily. At least then they could try and invite comparisons.

Then again, maybe The Daily will blow us all away. We'll see.