Six Essential Tech News You Might Have Missed

Categories Articles, iPhone

Hot off the heels of Steve Jobs’ scathing post regarding Apple’s decision to keep flash off of the iPhone OS come reports that the Cupertino fruit company may be facing an inquiry from either the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission. In this week’s re-cap we look at this story and other happenings from the last week in mobile tech.

Apple Facing Anti-Trust

In the most recent version of the Apple developer agreement for the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, Apple has explicitly stated that all apps built for the new OS must be constructed using the C programming language or one of the variants (C++, Objective C). This means that those developers who had planned to develop their apps using another language they are familiar with and then leverage one of the many tools out there to help translate that code into multiple formats to allow cross platform app creation are not likely going to be able to include iPhone or iPad in their list of devices.

It is this new language in the developer agreement that has prompted the talks of an investigation. Is Apple in their right to deny developers the option of writing apps in languages other than what the company specifies? We may know soon enough. According to the New York Post, the FTC and the Department of Justice are presently negotiating which of the two will be leading an anti-trust inquiry into the current situation. For more details, check out the coverage from the following sources:

The Wizard of Apps

While Apple has gone to one extreme and limited app development to just one programming language, Nokia has gone to the other extreme, creating their own app wizard that will effectively allow just about anyone to create an app. The Ovi App Wizard allows a user to create a mobile application with their Twitter, Facebook, Blog or really any other RSS feed and then publish the app to the Ovi store.

Nokia is way behind the game in terms of apps available for their smartphones, and while this may be a way to substantially increase the number of apps, it certainly doesn’t seem like a step towards improving the quality of content.

Yes I’m a Board Game Geek!

While this may not be that exciting to all of you, it certainly ranks in the top stories from the mobile world for me. One of the best games I’ve ever played is coming to the iPhone. No, I’m not talking about a game that I used to play on the computer or something from some other electronic gaming system. This one holds a special place in my home games cupboard.

If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend you purchase Carcassonne. The original version is available in great game stores the world over and soon you’ll be able to purchase it for your iPhone and iPad.

Have You Made Your Reservation?

Millions of others have. OpenTable, the popular online restaurant reservation system has now made over 3 million reservations for mobile device users. While this still isn’t a huge percentage of the total bookings that OpenTable is responsible for (over 24 million), It is an impressive number. With an average check value of $50, the mobile side of OpenTable is responsible for driving over $150 million in revenues to restaurants all over the world. Not bad.

iPhone Shipments Up, But…

The iPhone is certainly hot, with sales of the device in the first quarter up more than 130 percent over the same quarter last year, but the iPhone is still nowhere near number one. When it comes to smartphone sales, the market is still dominated by Nokia, followed by RIM’s BlackBerry devices in the number two spot. The most recent sales figures show that Apple has gained some market share, but obviously apps aren’t everything to the end consumer.

Apple in the Crosshairs

It’s happened before and it will certainly happen again. Apple is being sued for patent infringement. Nokia has announced that it is filing suit for infringement on five of the companies patents that it says Apple is violating with the iPhone and iPad 3G. Apple and Nokia have a history of legal action against one another going back to October of last year. For complete details of this suit and to get a recap of others, check out ZDNet’s coverage here.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, let me know what I’ve missed. Keep up with news throughout the week by following Appboy on Twitter.

Thorren is Director of Operations at Appboy, the premier social network for mobile app users and developers.