There really is an app for everything…

Apple’s App Store really is amazing. As a sort of spinoff from iTunes so that people could easily buy software for their portable Apple devices in the same way people had bought music and films on iTunes. If you want to know your battery level without turning VoiceOver on, there’s an App for that. Want to know what a tune is? There’s an App for that. Want to download files on the go? There’s about 2 Apps for that. Want to play an old retro arcade game you used to play? There’s various App for that. 3D flight simulators, driving/racing games, shooting action games or social networking Apps. There’s an App for all of them! Whatever your need, some developer has probably already made an App for your need. However, there are some rules. Apple meticulously sifts through all the Apps that are submitted and rejects any that could possibly offend anyone. It makes you wonder then, why are there so many rubish Apps on the AppStore? Who knows, but all they’re good for is filling up precious home screen space. What is a pity is when Apps are withdrawn. For example, the App I probably use every single day (really!) is called WiFiFoFum. It basically let you connect to wireless networks in the same way the already present Apple’s own one did, but with a great difference. It let you change the RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator). The Apple one doesn’t show wireless networks with about an RSSI of -75 ish. WiFiFofum let’s you change it to up too -100, so you can connect to networks that were otherwise claimed to be ‘out of range’. I was rather understandably dissapointed then, when Apple had to remove this and all other WiFi roaming Apps from the App store, due to ‘legal issues’. Another example is ‘Missile Command’ by Atari. This is a great fun retro arcade game that I really wanted to play. As an actual arcade machine was out of the question, I hunted for an App. To my extreme astonishment, I found an official one, but I didn’t have enough money in my iTunes account at the time (I use gift cards instead of credit cards so I can stop myself from ‘going to town’ on iTunes). When I got a new gift card, I went back to get missile command, and to my dismay, it wasn’t there! For some unexplained reason, all Atari games had been removed from the app store. I’m not sure if it was Apple or Atari who did it, but I can only warn them with ‘big mistake’. Apple is hated because of it’s restrictions. Their restrictions are sensible, and normally called the law, but yet people don’t seem to look at both sides of it. Yes, your favourite App that you just recommended to a friend has been pulled, but because it broke the law. This isn’t Apple’s fault. If you put yourselves on their shoes, would you rather be taken to court or lose a few dollars and fans. Not really a tough choice, as most App Store game buyers aren’t die hard Apple fans, just people with cheap 8GB second generation iPod Touches as an alternative to their old PSP or ‘fat’ DS. However, back to the main point. If you want to know a when your tube train next stops at your desired stop, fine. If you want play a game that might be breaking the law, sorry, but it won’t be there long. It’s called the App Store, not the Game Store for a reason (however, Apple has noticed the popularity of games on the App Store, and are bringing out their own social gaming network as ‘a preview in iPhone OS 4 and available later in 2010 for everyone’) One of the good things about Apple is, they notice what the customer should get and maybe wants. Each iPhone OS SDK update, Apple give the developers even more of an oppurtunity to make their Apps just like Apple’s own, with the same real incorporation with the device, not just something to stick losely on.


8 comments on “There really is an app for everything…

  1. So you’re now saying that playing legal backups of games you legally own is illegal? Wow, you’re worse than most industries!

  2. “If you want play a game that might be breaking the law, sorry, but it won’t be there long”

    That is almost always used as an argument against emulators. I assumed that’s what you were referring to here – I certainly can’t think of any other sane reasons why the playing of a game would be illegal.

  3. Some games may be complete copies of other games but made by a different company without permission or eg. the C64 emulator was pulled for some reason or another.

  4. “Some games may be complete copies of other games but made by a different company without permission”

    If it’s a “complete copy” then it stands to reason it uses an emulator, as I’m sure they would be stupid enough to allow a complete copy of an already existing app. This goes back to my previous argument.

  5. Oh, and I’ve just noticed what you said in the last line about developers being able to make apps that are more and more like Apple’s own. Well, Android developers have been able to do that from the start! Google’s own apps are made from the same, non-limiting SDK as the ones in the marketplace – so anything that Google do can be done by anyone else – something Apple developers can only dream of for the time being.

    • Well, yes, but the iPhone is a delicate platform! Apple, as usual is only trying to protect their own best interests. In the mobile phone market, they are still children, where as, for example, Nokia, are adults. Apple is going one step at a time, improving their software for the user and developer each major release. iPhone OS 4 is a brave step, as there are so many new ‘groundbreaking’ (but mostly done by someone else before) develoments, like multi tasking.

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