Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finding needles in App Store hay stacks

It’s a figure of speech, which in the case of Apple’s popular and vastly populated App Store; not all of the apps inside there are all good and useful. Some are made just for fun, and some are even worthless to buy for. But there are few of them are really worth every penny you’ve spent for those apps.

The apps are piling up pretty fast in App Store, I’ve tried to follow on every app reviews out there in the blogosphere; but lost track on most of them because too many and too often every day. With that in mind, I began to question about the quality of those apps.

Is it because there are plenty of software developers for iPhone/iPod Touch, or is it because the ease to make an app out of iPhone 2.0 SDK? And what if one company can create two or three apps at the same time, is it because they have enough man power?

Not that I’m complaining about the numbers of apps to choose from the long lists at App Store from various kind of categories such as for work, business, personal development, for fun, etc. But don’t you feel tired of scrolling down too many, and jumping from one page to another endlessly?

Even with help from reviewers around the net, App Store consumers must still rely on their own hunch and bet on their thin luck when deciding which app is seem right for them. One by one, from abundant contents to choose from. We’re definitely can’t rely on App Store’s ranking system to filter out the bad & useless apps, not with the incident appearance of
"I Am Rich" app before.

Isn’t it a lot more easier for us, the end users and consumers, if just software developers are really creative creating new apps that are not just useful but also using every inch of iPhone 3G power-horse inside it? But if the software developers are thinking that making a simple and funny yet less useful apps, is categorized as ‘creative’; then it’s another moral issue to deal with. No one can control somebody’s moral will, it’s not possible.

Then again, we’re talking about Apple here. The only companies so far, who have been successful to bring a centralized place for viewing, sell, and buy apps at one place. And with its eccentric CEO, Steve Jobs, taking the course at the helm with unorthodox ways to deal with partners & users; Apple might be able to control software developers at its will.

Apple has been known for its strict rules and agreements, the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is one of their many feared tools of law. The only way for software developers to join in officially the iPhone bandwagon, is to handcuff their own hands by signing the NDA.

Swayed by these thoughts, have taken me into the core of the problem: Apple’s stiff attitude to limit the software developers with its NDA atrocity agreement to kill creative and good ideas. The NDA simply restricts any discussions and sharing codes, ideas, troubleshoots, bug fixes, etc. that can help to enhance or develop better apps among software developers.

With restriction to build bridges to connect the islands, software developers are bound to live in their own elusive little world. I like better
iPhone Atlas’ words on this baffling oddity: “This state of affairs stands in contrast to the Mac development community, which is open and unfettered, with a wealth of guides and resources.”

Yes, sure. Building great apps from big ideas take a lot of time, and absolutely lots of money. But unfortunately the Kleiner Perkin’s iFund, the $100 million worth of fund to push the development for iPhone/iPod Touch, has found only one new company that it deemed worthy of brand-new, start-up capital, and that company makes only games not serious or business apps. Like what Sascha Segan from
PCMag has said: “That's a little dispiriting.”

But maybe it’s understandable, since games are the one that’s often push the limits of computer hardwares. And with iPhone’s speedy 500MHz CPU, wide & clear display, and gorgeous UI; games should be the breakthrough that Apple has been looking for to elevate iPhone to the next level.

According to Apple Insider, while Carmack admits that graphics memory could be a limiting factor, he describes the phone's hardware as equivalent to a Dreamcast and almost on par with a PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox. He also sees it as far superior, at least in terms of raw specs, than the two big dedicated handheld consoles out there, saying that is "more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined." Unfortunately, he didn't have any actual games to show off, but he did at least confirm that Id has two "tentative titles" in the works, including a "conventional mobile game," and one that pushes the iPhone's graphics capabilities.

So, have you found your “needles” in the App Store hay stacks?

Sources are from:

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