Archive for the Editorial Category

“Baby Shaker” App Pulled

Posted in Editorial, News Crumbs with tags , , , on April 23, 2009 by Bryan

A Billion Apps Served

Back in January of this year, I called for Apple to develop an app quality assurance program.

“What Apple needs to do is offer its own gold seal of assurance. Simply being on the App Store should be a signal to the consumer that the app has been reviewed and found to be of quality (will add to the function, entertainment, and general knowledge of the consumer).  Currently, the App Store seems to be operated on a quantity over quality mentality.”

Today, I came across an article on a Yahoo Tech Blog that talks about the recently pulled “Baby Shaker” app. Baby Shaker allows the user to shake their iDevice in an attempt to quiet a screaming baby. Guardian.co.uk and MSNBC have videos and a corresponding articles relating to this “controversy”.

At first glance this app appears to be harmless. A drawing of a baby cries, you shake your iDevice, red x’s appear over the baby’s eyes (signifying death to those unfamiliar with basic cartoon protocol). So what is the big deal? Shaken Baby Syndrome anyone? This situation launches one into questioning digital entertainment as a whole. What about apps/ games that allow the user to simulate murder? Why is it that we get angry about virtually shaking an infant to death and yet have no problem blowing away countless humans across other apps/games?

The discovery and removal of Baby Shaker is but a small demonstration of Apple’s need to be more diligent in reviewing incoming apps. I am not calling on Apple to become the parent or even moral police of the App Store, but I am calling on Apple to show good taste.

Good taste = allowing apps that do not embarrass nor taint the Apple brand.

– The Pacific Commander

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App Store: Short Attention Spans Ahead

Posted in Editorial with tags , , on March 7, 2009 by Bryan

Over the past few days, the net has been abuzz regarding Pinch Media’s report on the short lifespan of Apple App Store apps. The report finds that users usually use the app in question once and then never use it again. This report should come as no surprise as the App Store audience is fickle (I count myself as part of this fickle audience). Popularity and a flavor of the day mentality rule. What was once popular one day is no longer popular the next. Black is the new blue, etc.

The over saturation of daily apps featured on the App Store has to be contributing to this short attention span community. The true question is, will the App Store kill itself due to the quantity of apps featured? Quality can only be regulated by users to an extent. Perhaps Apple needs to come up with a new strategy. As they are planning, I will continue to try out new apps and never use them again.

Apple, a seal of assurance please!

Posted in Editorial, News Crumbs with tags , , , on January 20, 2009 by Bryan

500 million apps downloaded.CNN.com  has an interesting article entitled Apple’s App Store: Has it peaked? No! over on one of their blogs. The article concludes that the the App Store’s growth will only continue as long as the iPhone fad continues (a collective duh). What peaked my curiosity about this article is that even though the App Store is growing (15,000 apps as of this writing) nothing is being done to regulate the quality of the apps. Now I am not talking about censorship but overall quality of the application.

Growing up, Nintendo offered a quality of assurance seal as seen below:

nintendo-quality-of-assurance-sealIn theory, this seal was proof that the game in question had been reviewed and found worthy of the Nintendo name. (Whether product quality testing was actually completed though is unknown.) What Apple needs to do is offer its own gold seal of assurance. Simply being on the App Store should be a signal to the consumer that the app has been reviewed and found to be of quality (will add to the function, entertainment, and general knowledge of the consumer).  Currently, the App Store seems to be operated on a quantity over quality mentality.

Apple, quit being lazy! Create a Quality Assurance Team/ seal that gives the consumer peace of mind. Take a step beyond user reviews for sifting through apps. Apple should equal a superior product regardless if it is an Apple computer or a third-party application on the App Store.

-The Pacific Commander

The iPhone/iPod Touch in 2009

Posted in Editorial with tags , , , on January 5, 2009 by Jacob

Greeting’s, This is Jacob Ingalls, aka The Prairie Penguin, writing from the behind the Iron Curtain. Below you will find a piece I was asked to write about where the iPhone/ iPod Touch should go in 2009. Enjoy!

1. Copy and Paste
This seems so trivial, and I know it’s possible to do but over the last year I have needed that tool so many times. Apple claims that no one wants it, but I personally know people who won’t give up their Blackberries until they add copy and paste.

2. Sideways Texting
Can I get an amen from the texting freaks out there? I average somewhere between 4,000-5,000 per month and after awhile texting on the vertical keyboard just gets annoying. I watched the keynote, I know how easy it is to make the application turn sideways, so please almighty Apple please make my texting turn sideways.

3. Flash Support
Apple claims that the Internet on the iPhone is the real Internet, but until they have Flash it won’t be the real, real Internet. I have read many stories that says Adobe has developed an iPhone friendly version of Fash but still no Flash for the iPhone. Seriously Apple? Seriously?

“Mr. Jobs, bring down these walls.”

-The Prairie Penguin