Tag Archives: ios

15 billion apps sold!

Apple has announced that they have surpassed 15 billion app downloads, handed out over $2.5 billion to developers and have sold more than 200 million iOS devices.

This puts it on par with the Apple iTunes store who recently announced that they reached 15 billion downloads.

Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing Philip Schiller said “In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen. Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”

Yours in being a proud Apple fan,

Tracing the iPhone’s problem

Ever wondered what a map of EXACTLY where you have been over the last month looked like? Got an iPhone? Well, here’s something you probably didn’t (but should) know!

It may come as a bit of a shock, but you might like to know that your iPhone is actually capable of doing this. The technology is nothing new or special, 3 cell phone towers are used to triangulate your exact co-ordinates which are then stored in a database with a timestamp. Due to the fact that your phone does this without the assistance of its GPS hardware, this is NOT something that can be turned off or that you can opt out of. Though this method of recording your position is potentially less accurate, it is countered by the fact that it stores this information timed to the second. Want to see what this information looks like when its displayed through a program on a computer? Check this out:

Washington DC to New York from Alasdair Allan on Vimeo.

The next interesting (or scary fact), is that it’s been happing since June 2010 with the release of iOS 4. The information is kept in a file that is synced to your computer via iTunes where it can be deleted (along with the rest of your phones back up) but the next time you sync your device a new copy of the file will be created. It is also moved to a new device when the old one is replaced.

Perhaps the most intriguing piece of information about all of this is that it took two security researchers to stumble across it for the information to come to light. Apple have stored all of this without the user’s permission or knowledge through the use of undocumented and seemingly hidden features of its mobile operating system. Telephone service providers are able to record this information however it requires legal documentation and is normally only accessible by the police. It is pretty easy for anyone who has access to your computer to get hold of this information which for some is more worrying than the fact that your phone stores it in the first place. Unfortunately at the moment there is no way of opting out of this either. Discoverers of this information have written a simple program on Mac OS X that is capable of displaying this information on a map which illustrates just how detailed the stored information is. If you’re interested in trying it out visit their website.

As someone who likes to keep my personal information cards close to my chest, I strongly recommend reading the articles that inspired me to write this post, visit:

iPhone Tacker – http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/#1

Gizmodo – Your iPhone is Secretly tracking everywhere you go

The Guardian – iPhone keeps records of everywhere you go

Yours in spying and secretly tracking things,

Designing for iPhone 4’s Retina Display

Hmmm, ok so the new iPhone 4 is pretty amazing with some really amazing enhancements on the previous model such as the new high resolution retina display which now doubles the resolution to 640×960 pixels.

The screen resolution on Apple operating systems (OS) has always been superior to other OS’ especially in internet browsers (if you use a PC and haven’t seen the difference go to the Apple store and see for yourself!). The difference between the great quality of the screen of iPhone 3GS to amazing quality of the new iPhone 4 is just astounding! Think of crystal clear and then think clearer than that!!! This new level of resolution in the retina display is great for iphone users, especially for reading small type in emails and websites…

BUT… it does cause some headaches for iPhone developers. Why? The main problem is that now with double the resolution this effectively, in pixel terms, doubles the amount of pixels required to fill the screen. One redemption from Apple is that the sizes are now referred to as ‘points’ instead of ‘pixels’. On older iPhones a point=1px, on the iPhone 4 a point=2px; so as long as all measurements are points, you should be right!

What about images and type, you ask! The Apple iOS automatically pixel-doubles the image to display at the correct size. Text also will display at the correct size as type is not a pixel based glyph. However, to take advantage of the crystal clear retina display you wouldn’t want to just double the pixels by scaling the image up, which is where the work around comes in to basically have two sets of images for the two different generations of iPhones. Creating two sets of images with different resolutions can be problematic in the design stage, and this is where I see a shift about to happen in web/mobile web design to take on a more vector like appearance as we have to start accommodating som many different sizes that need scaling up and down from the same artwork. The only form of artwork that is capable of not degenerating from such scaling is the vector format, effectively Adobe Illustrator (not Flash though!!!).

Yours in pixel-pushing