Apple-Google catfight is good for consumers

Why the Apple-Google catfight is good (iStock)Things are getting downright ugly. Apple and Google, once the best of friends, seem to have devolved into the bitterest of enemies. The tactics have become dirty. The blows are getting dangerously close to the belt. And I couldn’t be happier.

Unlike real wars, when corporations battle it’s often the common person that prospers. We’re seeing honest-to-goodness tooth-and-nail competition take place, and it’s the consumer and marketers that will come out on top regardless of which behemoth wins the fight.

The blows toward the end of 2009 were focused mostly on mobile. Google Voice was blocked from the App Store, and the FCC started poking into the matter – specifically Apple’s Control of the app economy. In short order, Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board. Then the Motorola Droid came, and the marketing that placed Android’s features directly in competition with Apple’s iPhone OS. Apple then acquired Lala, a streaming music service, near immediately after Google started using the streams in their search results. Following this, Google announced they were moving acquire AdMob (still pending FTC approval), an advertising network that served ads into iPhone apps and a company Apple had been trying to acquire prior to Google outbidding them. In turn, Apple bought up ad network Quattro Wireless. As 2009 came to a close, rumors of both an Apple tablet device and a Google built phone competed for headlines. Continue reading “Apple-Google catfight is good for consumers”

Google brings AdMob under its umbrella

Google buys AdMob (Scott Beale, Laughing Squid, via Flickr)Huge news in mobile today: Google just announced an acquisition of AdMob, the ad network which was the first to serve in-app ads on the iPhone. This deal makes a lot of sense, and is going to impact long standing changes to mobile advertising. It also affirms Google’s position in mobile as a dominant force. Here are four reasons why:

King of the hill: Google was getting into in-app ads, but there was already a powerhouse in that space – AdMob. Rather than competing for market share, this acquisition will position Google as the leading provider of in-app ads. Considering the Lab’s position that “the mobile app is the new webpage,” the overall share of impressions will continue to trend toward applications (though AdMob also has a considerable presence in the WAP world as well).

Continue reading “Google brings AdMob under its umbrella”

Apple Shakes Up Third Parties

appleadmob1Apple is shaking things up with developers. The issue most concerning for marketers is the damage Apple’s new policy may present for third party libraries, especially the one used in AdMob enabled apps.

At the root of the issue is a new application review policy Apple just implemented: All applications need to be compatible with their 3.0 beta firmware, rumored to be released in June. For many apps, this is all and good – the 3.0 firmware was designed to support the apps developed for the current system. However, there are a few exceptions. Continue reading “Apple Shakes Up Third Parties”

iPhone’s pirate problem

Pirate Dog Arr matey, there be a danger on the wireless waves.

A tool was recently released for the iPhone that breaks the copy protection on the AppStore apps, enabling redistribution of any application.  And it is designed to do this with a single button push.  The cracking tool is only available to jailbroken phones, as would any redistributed applications, but it poses a potentially troubling scenario.

The iPhone jailbreaking community has played a large part in the development of the wireless world.  Back when the iPhone was released, Apple’s stance was a staunch “no native apps.”  They felt it was enough to provide tools for iPhone customized web development.

It was a ragtag grouping of a few very clever individuals who found ways to build, install, and run applications on the iPhone without Apple’s permission. Continue reading “iPhone’s pirate problem”