Posts Tagged ‘crossplatform’
With the addition of Game Center to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Mac users will be able to play online competitively and cooperatively against gamers who have the same title for iOS.
Apple plans to break down the barriers between the Mac and HDTVs with its forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system update, which will bring the AirPlay Mirroring feature currently found on iOS to the Mac.
Though the new Mac Messages application with cross-platform support for iOS will be a major feature of the forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, users can get their hands on an early beta immediately.
Amazon has trailblazed; Apple has followed. Apple’s iBooks program currently allows authors to self-publish ebooks. Authors create their own business built around iTunes Connect, just as they do for self-published apps.
So where does Apple have room to improve? What follows is one of several posts about how iBooks can improve to better compete with Amazon. In this post, I discuss Apple’s lack of iBook platforms, and what they can do to improve outreach.
Imagine you’ve just bought a book. If it’s a print book, you can stick it into your backpack, your purse, or even your cargo pocket — take it anywhere, read it anywhere. When you’re done, you can pass it to a friend.
If it’s an ebook from Amazon, chances are likely you can read it on nearly any platform you can think of. You can read it on a web browser, on your Windows PC, on your Mac, on your Kindle, your Android Phone, iOS device, and so forth. There is nothing standing between you and your book. And, when you’re done, you can loan it to a friend.
Now imagine you bought it from iBooks. You’ve got all the beauty and pleasure of the iOS deployment, but little beyond that. Apple hasn’t released an iBooks reader for the web, let alone for its home Mac OS X platform. And there’s no loan ability at all.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, “We love our iPhones and iPads, but we have lots of books we’d like to read on our personal computers as well. That whole iBooks DRM thing means we can’t use any of the (admittedly subpar) readers currently on the market like Adobe Digital Editions. So Santa, won’t you please ship us iBooks so we can read in as much style at home as on the road?”
That iBooks are limited to iOS doesn’t just affect where we read books, it also greatly influences buying decisions. Many iPhone owners have Amazon accounts as well as Apple IDs. To think they’ll buy iBooks exclusively out of brand loyalty is to ignore the reality of families with multiple devices as well as the use of books for business and pleasure.
From a consumer’s point of view, Amazon also offers both catalog and financial incentives. Amazon’s book listing is far more substantial than Apple’s. Leaving aside any issues about exclusive homegrown independent books, Amazon lists more niche titles as a general rule. For example, if you’re looking for TV tie-in novels to BBC franchises, you’ll find them on Amazon but not on iBooks. The newest Doctor Who novels, for example, aren’t available in the iBooks store.
Financially, Amazon automatically matches the lowest price available for a product, regardless of where that price is offered: iBooks, B&N Nook, Smashwords, etc. When you shop at Amazon, customers know they won’t experience sticker regret when they later find a better deal at a major outlet.
A lot of this is tied up in the ongoing war between agency and wholesale pricing. Under agency pricing, publishers set a price and then receive a fixed percentage of sales. The MSRP they specify is the sale price. Under wholesale pricing, items are sold to the reseller at a fixed discount (something like 55% of MSRP), and then the reseller sets whatever price they desire.
iBooks does no real-time price negotiation, and books are listed at full retail price set by the publisher. For publishers to update that price, they must log in and change the settings for each and every market. They can do this through Apple’s abysmally slow web interface or through their slightly more effective offline iTunes Producer tool.
I can’t suggest any remedies on the agency-wholesale battle — it’s out of my area of expertise — but I know as an independent author, I’d deeply love to see the pricing tools through iTunes Connect updated to be responsive and territory-savvy. Setting prices a few dozen times is brain-numbingly dreary. Let me emphasize that tip about using iTunes Producer. It lets you perform a lot of these tasks more effectively, without having to deal with iTunes Connect lags.
Apple should take careful note of Amazon’s device reach and consumer-friendly price points. iBooks needs to carefully address these matters in its future planning.Posts in this series:
- KDP Select
- Better Author Tools
- Cross Platform Support
How Apple iBooks needs to compete with Amazon: Cross-platform support originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 06 Jan 2012 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Adobe on Wednesday announced Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, which it said will offer cross-device development for 3D-intensive games on devices like Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
Customers passing by in Hong Kong’s IFC Mall can now take a peek into the glass front doors of Apple’s new retail store, set to open this Saturday.
The number of high-speed 3G data subscribers in China continues to grow at a significant pace month to month, putting the nation on track to have 125 million 3G customers by year’s end as anticipation of Apple’s next-generation iPhone swells.Related Posts:
You’ll be seeing a lot more of the good ol’ Yahoo smiley on front-facing cameraphones soon — the web portal’s VP of Mobile David Katz says that a new Yahoo! Messenger with cross-platform video chat is headed to Android and iPhone. Originally confirmed for the new T-Mobile myTouch, it’s presently been submitted to the iTunes App Store for review. It’ll reportedly work over both 3G and WiFi connections and freely conduct video calls with any other device running Yahoo! Messenger, including webcam-equipped PCs. Look out Qik, Fring and Tango — there’s a new sheriff in town.
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Once upon a time in 2007, there was a little-known game called Shadowrun, that let gamers on both Xbox 360 and PC destroy one another for sport. Such is the environment that Microsoft facilitated, but alas, it wasn’t for long, as the moment Shadowrun flopped the cross-platform feature was dropped, though it resurfaced once or twice in third-party titles as the years shot by. Outspoken HP CTO Rahul Sood, however, spins a slightly more complex yarn — he says Microsoft killed the project when it found that “mediocre” PC gamers could wipe the floors with the very best players on Xbox. Now, we’re not confirming his story, and there are plenty of other possible explanations if you follow the money, of course, but we can’t help but feel a hint of admiration for the longevity of gaming mouse and keyboard. Here’s hoping we can all leave our predilections at the door as developers pit Android vs. iPhone.
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We oftentimes hear raw numbers of apps bandied about in mobile OS comparisons, but we rarely get any idea of just how many developers are behind the scenes working for each platform. This is the void of knowledge filled by AppStore HQ today, who have gone to their dev directory — claimed to be a complete listing of all 55,000+ coders whose work is currently available for consumption in the Apple App Store or Android Market — and stacked them into neat piles of Apple, Google and Gapple programmers. It’s immediately apparent that single-platform development is the norm (with Apple holding the predictable edge), but AppStore HQ also provides a list of some of the most well known (and well funded) apps doing the cross-platform dance, and suggests that a movement is afoot toward making software available for both sets of users. Then again, the BNET article below points out the difficulties faced by smaller outfits, who might struggle to find the resources required to port their content over and maintain the skills required to be multi-platform, resulting in them sticking to one environment, irrespective of what allures others might throw their way. Give them both a read, we say.
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DiskAid 4.0 does cross-platform iPhone, iPad file sharing Moving files on and off your iPad with iTunes is fun and all, but what if you also want to exchange files with your iPhone or move files around on the device with your Windows PC? DiskAid 4.0 from DigiDNA may be a cross-platform i-file manager option for you.Related Posts:
Pro Smartphone Cross-Platform Development: iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Android Development and Distribution
Learn the theory behind cross-platform development, and put the theory into practice with code using the invaluable information presented in this book. With in-depth coverage of development and distribution techniques for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Android, you’ll learn the native approach to working with each of these platforms. With detailed coverage of emerging frameworks like PhoneGap and Rhomobile, you’ll learn the art of creating applications that will run across all devices. You’ll also be introduced to the code-signing process and the distribution of applications through the major application stores, including RIM, Apple, and Microsoft.What you’ll learn
- How to develop native applications on the leading mobile platforms including iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Android
- How to extend native applications to run across all mobile platforms using cross-platform mobile toolkits such as Rhomobile and PhoneGap.
- Best practices with full end-to-end samples in native code for each mobile platform
- How to distribute applications through each of the major mobile application stores (RIM, Apple, and Microsoft) Who this book is for
Developers who are interested in creating cross-platform mobile applications will find invaluable information in this book. The text is geared toward developers who have developed in any of the primary mobile languages, including Java, Objective-C, and .NET, and want to understand the techniques for developing applications that will run across multiple platforms.