Saturday, 10 April 2010

More juicy bits from the apple

With brilliant timing, those friendly folks from Apple have come up with another cunning application – the iPhone OS 4.0, which will enable developers to provide folks with even more excuses to demand an iPhone next time their current device comes out of contract.

As well as finding a way to allow third-party apps to multi-task without slowing the device to a crawl or draining its battery life, the really smart move appears to be the unveiling of a new adventure into the advertising world, with a platform called iAds. This gizmo allows for adverts to run inside mobile apps, allowing users to view interactive video content without leaving the app. Just any old ads – nah – behavioral ads. And I’ve every confidence that the ads will be presented to the willing, rather than those who resent such intrusions into their private lives.

Presumably, Apple have found a great way of explaining to customers what “free apps” actually mean. I'm betting that their customers will be faced with a couple of choices when they visit the apps store. They can have the “apps with ads “ version for free, or the “apps with no ads – but you gotta pay” version for whatever the market will bear.

This could be the real test – let’s see just what actually happens when real people, rather than data protection wonks, get an opportunity to make a real choice about whether to tolerate behavioural advertising. And let’s see whether mayhem and chaos breaks out, or whether people accept that sharing their browsing habits with a bunch of servers can bring benefits – like the ability to use stuff that’s both fun and relevant - and free.

For the record, I don’t have an iPhone nor do I have shares in Apple. But if anyone at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters in California fancies sending one over to me so that I can play with it and – yes, oh yes, let me trade my personal browsing habits for some real cool apps, please get in touch.

I’m sure you know where I live.

[And can I pay tribute to Jos van Riswick, a remarkable Dutch painter living and working in Nijmegen, Holland, whose image I have copied and pasted today. Check him out at]