Free To Get. Pricey To Play.

A good move by Apple to ditch the “free” label for those “free” iPhone/iPad games that wind up costing parents rather exorbitant costs when children rack up the in-app fees.

Free-to-play is the dominant business model in mobile app stores, representing 92 percent of all revenue on iOS and 98 percent of revenue on Google Play in 2013. But critics say free-to-play games can be designed in ways that hurt the gaming experience or, more seriously, manipulate players into making unnecessary purchases — a claim that has invited government scrutiny.

Putting customer first.


Walking Back Apple Watch Expectations


Apple released WatchKit yesterday, the group of software tools for developers to build apps for next year’s Apple Watch.

It was very underwhelming.

Along with the recently released Human Interface Guidelines, it’s suddenly clear that Watch will do damn near nothing and will be almost non-functional without an iPhone nearby.

Cue the Apple Echo Chamber, which rushed to assure us that, of course, a new product wouldn’t do much. But, trust us, cool native apps are coming.

John Gruber:

Good summary of WatchKit from Serenity Caldwell. Or rather, a good summary of this initial release of WatchKit. As she points out, Apple even stated in its press release yesterday, “Starting later next year, developers will be able to create fully native apps for Apple Watch.” The long and short of this initial WatchKit SDK is that the Watch acts as a remote display, with limited interactivity, for code that runs in an extension on your iPhone. Apple Watch’s system apps are not limited like that — they run natively on the watch itself. Eventually, third-party apps will too.

In a sense, this is like 2007 all over again. The native APIs almost certainly aren’t finished, and battery life is a huge concern. But with the Watch, Apple is ahead of where they were with the iPhone. This initial SDK is limited, but it’s way better than the shit sandwich we got for the original iPhone at WWDC in 2007.

Yes, Watch is pricey and will not do much. Do not waver! It’s iPhone all over again!


Yeahbut, Apple Pay?

My name is Brian and I have yet to use Apple Pay…

Here’s the thing. I’ve yet to have any reason whatsoever to check to see if the merchant accepts Apple Pay, then pull out my iPhone and then complete the process. It’s so damn easy to swipe my credit card.

That said, there’s still one big gaping hole that Apple appears to be missing that would definitely bring me into the fold: instant, peer-to-peer cash transfers. I mean, AirDrop plus Apple Pay are a natural for this.

Till then, use these ultimately doomed services such as the new Snapcash. At least they have a fun ad.