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Do your apps listen? Or see?

Filed Under (Apple, Privacy, Smart Device, Technology) by admin on 27-04-2011

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Have you ever thought you have heard or seen it all? Well, you haven’t! But, your phone has. That’s right. A whole new crop of mobile apps are capable of turning on your phone’s microphone and camera to both listen and see what you are doing and what is going on around you.
Over The Line?
So are these developers going over the line or is this a natural progression in giving the end user a more desirable experience? We all have used apps like SoundHound or Shazam but those are user invoked. Imagine having an app that sits on your phone in the background and whenever it hears a voice it recognizes it, then does something like play a sound, display a picture, pop up an ad or even suggest something for you to do? That’s what it has come to. In an age where everyone seemingly wants everyone else to know where they are or what they’re doing developers are filling the gaps and automating these processes.
Some Apps to look out for….
ShopKick is a mobile app that senses when you walk into a certain store and presents deals or rewards to you. This is a pretty neat idea but we all know where its going don’t we? I can only imagine that it knows where you are and if you walk into a store that is a competitor of one of their vendors it could pop an ad saying “What are you doing at Burger King? Here is a coupon for McDonald’s!” Can you imagine?
IntoNow is an app that listens to what shows you are watching on TV and then posts them on Facebook or Twitter so your friends can see what you are watching. I’m not one of those people that needs to have everyone else around me up to date on what I am doing. I’m pretty sure my family and friends could care less unless of course I am doing something really cool.
Color is an app that uses your mic and your camera to keep people online up to date as to where you are, who you are with and what you are doing. A constant stream of your doings that can be uploaded to the color network and to other color users around you. Their multilens feature allows you to see all pictures and videos of other color users nearby. These photos and videos are yours to keep. So if someone videos you doing something and posts that to their color account it is there forever. Yikes.

iPhone Tracker Application

iPhone Tracker Application

Apple Collecting Data?
I’m not going to say they are or they aren’t but it sure seems like they could. Apple has come under fire recently for keeping a database on your phone and on whatever computers you sync that phone to. This file is unencrypted and stores GPS locations where your phone is every 10 mins (give or take a minute) and that is whether or not you turn off location service. If you would like to see where you have been with your phone there is a neat application that runs on the mac called iPhoneTracker that will present a map with points based on the data in that database.
Consequences?
This is the never ending saga of information overload. Data is where the money is and companies are coming up with newer and extremely clever ways to collect even more data about you, the places you go, the shows you watch, the people you are with, everything. This data is the backbone for companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the advertising agencies that are looking to capitalize on that data. The problem is that this data is our essence, it’s what makes up who we are, we should hold it and protect it.

The Evil Apple Empire!

Filed Under (Apple) by admin on 04-03-2011

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Apple - The Evil Empire

Apple - The Evil Empire

More and more people are flocking to the wares that Apple is offering and it is not without reason, they totally rock.  Whether you love your iPod touch, an iPhone, a Macbook Pro or an iPad, I’m pretty sure you love it and can’t imagine life without it.  That’s great but that kind of fanfare doesn’t come without its drawbacks.  Whether or not you know it or admit it Apple is slowly but surely taking over the world.  That may sound like a sinister rant but its true.  You don’t have to look any further than the music industry to get a true understanding of how evil the Apple empire is becoming.

The music industry used to be their own evil empire.  Plundering artists of their work and royalties in the name of business and prosperity.  Tower Records, Sam Goody, Suncoast and too many mom and pop record stores to name actual made an honest living by providing the public a way to purchase music and the like.  No more.  People buy music from Apple now.  iTunes RULES!  Or does it?  Well it does.  Apple sells more than 25% of all music in the US.  That is enormous.  And while the average Joe says, who cares?  I’m going to tell you who, the artists.  Unless you are Lady Gaga or Eminem the chances you are making any really money is slim.  Even with Apple raising their prices from .99 to 1.29 to help subsidize the artists Apple just simply isn’t worried about them.

That’s the music industry.  But what about other industries?  Movies?  TV Shows?  Software development?  Can anyone conceive how much money Apple is pulling out of the Software development coffers?  Software such as games and utilities would cost anywhere from $40 to $70.  People used to run down to the store and pick them up and install them.  Now depending on your device you either use the App Store for iOS devices or the Mac App Store.  And the prices of applications have come way down.  Aside from more than half of the apps being free the ones that aren’t range anywhere from 1.99 to 9.99.  This represents massive shrinkage in profits and sales for the average developer.  There is a trade off for developers.  Never has it been easier to get your app distributed but are the costs too much.  In the past when you developed a software product it took a lot of people to get it to market.  Developers to code the application and artist to refine the gui, tech support staff to support the product, a sales staff to get the market out to the public in the stores and what not, a marketing staff to make ads that would be in trade magazines and to create a website.  Nowadays, there is no infrastructure needed.  A single developer writes and designs the application and sells it through the App store.  That same developer probably also develops his or her own website to support the product.  No wonder why so many people are out of jobs.  There aren’t any anymore!

When is this model going to explode?  Is everyone just going to become a develop and further flood the market with applications we already have but make them even cheaper?

And what’s next?  I already stay home and watch NetFlix instead of spending a 100 bucks at the movie theater.  What else will Apple take over?  Step back 10 years.  Apple had computers.  Now they OWN the portable music player market, they are the #1 music retailer (or wholesaler if you want to be honest), they have the #1 selling smart phone in the world, they have Apple TV which is slowly grabbing on, they have App stores for their computer platform, their iPod platform, their phone platform and their iPad platform.

To top it off they have over $60 billion in cash.