The big loser this week, though, was Microsoft. They’re simply not even part of the game. RIM looms large, as BlackBerrys continue to reign as the best-selling smartphones in the U.S. But Microsoft? They’ve got nothing. No interesting devices, weak sales, and a shrinking user base. Microsoft’s irrelevance is taken for granted.
As usual, John Gruber nails it. Microsoft really has no chance at catching up with either Apple or Google at this point, and it’s pretty stunning. They entered the game way too late, and, as far as I know, it’s still going to be a while before the first Windows Phone 7 handsets come out. They’ve already lost the mobile war.
However, as Gruber mentions, things between Apple and Google are getting very interesting. While I admittedly have not been all that satisfied with my Droid experience so far, it’s a promising platform, and I really love how much Google is pushing cloud technology. A cell phone should operate completely separate from a computer, and that’s something Apple just hasn’t done right yet.
Apple’s feeling threatened by Android, as they should be. So they’re systematically targeting and eliminating major reasons why someone would choose Android over iPhone.
But they haven’t yet hit the biggest one: availability on different U.S. carriers, specifically a CDMA edition for Verizon.
Bingo. If the iPhone came to Verizon tomorrow, I would seriously consider ditching my Droid and paying full price for it.
USAA Bank customers will soon be able to deposit checks with their iPhone:
“We’re essentially taking an image of the check, and once you hit the send button, that image is going into our deposit-taking system as any other check would,” said Wayne Peacock, a USAA executive vice president.
My bank recently starting letting customers deposit checks by scanning them in–hopefully they’ll have something similar to this in the near future (when I have an iPhone, of course).
Intelligent advice from Marco Arment on why you don’t have to price your iPhone app at 99 cents to succeed:
You can easily sell an app for more than $3 if you simply recognize that you probably won’t be on the Top 25 list. In reality, this might already be decided for you: if your app isn’t likely to appeal to an extremely wide audience, you probably won’t make the Top 25 at any price. And even if you do target a wide audience, there’s a lot of competition for those spots — statistically, you probably won’t get one.
John Gruber tells the tale of Ninjawords, a simple dictionary app for the iPhone that was given a 17+ rating by Apple:
But Ninjawords for iPhone suffers one humiliating flaw: it omits all the words deemed “objectionable” by Apple’s App Store reviewers, despite the fact that Ninjawords carries a 17+ rating.
Amazon, of course, does not restrict the sale of English dictionaries, either in print or for the Kindle. The Kindle, in fact, ships from the factory with a built-in dictionary, The New Oxford American Dictionary — the very same dictionary used by Mac OS X’s built-in Dictionary app. Like any good dictionary, it contains listing for all of the words deemed “objectionable” in Ninjawords by the App Store reviewers.
Actions like this and the Google Voice fiasco are really making me think again about buying an iPhone when it comes out on Verizon (hopefully next year).
City officials will soon debut Boston’s first official iPhone application, which will allow residents to snap photos of neighborhood nuisances - nasty potholes, graffiti-stained walls, blown street lights - and e-mail them to City Hall to be fixed.
This could prove to be really intelligent–the city doesn’t have to employ as many people checking for problems, since anyone with an iPhone can now snap a picture and send it to be fixed.
ObjectiveResource is an Objective-C port of Ruby on Rails’ ActiveResource. It provides a way to serialize objects to and from Rails’ standard RESTful web-services (via XML or JSON) and handles much of the complexity involved with invoking web-services of any language from the iPhone.
I’ve been considering trying out some iPhone development (even though I don’t yet own one), and this seems like a really slick way to interface with an existing Rails application.
Ars previews Brightkite’s soon-to-be-released iPhone app, which, after watching the video, looks really impressive. I especially like how it figures out your location using the built in location services. Yet another reason why I really wish I weren’t stuck with Verizon!