Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Apple Steps Back On In-App Purchase Policy

The move that initially killed the Sony Reader app in the iOS App Store was finally reversed today.  Back in February, just as several companies were preparing to launch content delivery applications to iOS users such as Sony’s Reader and Follett’s Cafe Scribe Digital Textbooks, the powers that be in Cupertino enacted new in-app purchase and subscription policies.  With the introduction of the App Store Review Guideline section 11.13 many companies such as Follett were going to be required to provide access to in-app purchases of their content in addition to their already established code or card purchased on the web or in store to activate and download electronic textbooks in their app.  Any in-app purchase or subscription results in Apple receiving a 30% slice of the pie in sales and since neither of the above companies were privy to the February change before launch their applications were rejected from the App Store.

You can see Apple’s goal for the income potential here, but if companies such as Sony and Follett are already paying this cut to their publishers they wouldn’t be able to successfully launch applications in that environment without taking a loss or passing the cost on to consumers.  Its clearly bad business to pass that on to the customer when a big part of the e-book lure is reduced cost.  Apple seems to have realized this is going to hurt them in the long run, as they have generally seen most provide in-app offerings when it was optional and bad press when it was mandated (though it seems to be an impossibility for bad press to ever stick to Apple for more than a few weeks.)


Now that Apple has backed down on this issue, the companies are clear to launch their previously rejected apps… as long as they don’t link anybody from the apps to their respective bookstore purchase pages.  Hopefully we’ll see these in the coming weeks.


Here is the previous version of the In-App purchase Guideline:

11.13 Apps can read or play approved content (magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, video) that is sold outside of the app, for which Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues, provided that the same content is also offered in the app using IAP at the same price or less than it is offered outside the app. This applies to both purchased content and subscriptions.

The new guidelines are now in section 11.14 and now read:

11.14 Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content. Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app.


Source: MacRumors


iPhone 4 Users Beware

Hoh boy… Fresh off filing suit against one of their competitors, and posting some amazing earnings estimates Apple is now in some pretty hot water over the tracking of users through cell towers. Some dudes from the UK have cracked the known issue and visualized it with a program they’ve developed, allowing people to see how the iPhone 4 (or should I say iOS 4) is tracking their movement as they go from place to place. Why is this an issue you ask? Well, for those who may not back up their phones to their own computers it’s a risk simply because now anyone who wants can have access to where you’ve been (there is even a file that tracks compass movement as well so theoretically someone could see EXACTLY where you’ve been.) Hit the source after the break to see all the news-y links about what this means for your privacy, and if Apple is in violation of their Licensing Agreement. (more…)

Problems Updating Windows Phone 7? There’s an App for That

Unfortunately the update path for Windows Phone 7 users has been quite a grueling one. While the ‘No-Do’ update is finally available to AT&T customers today, you may encounter a problem after the update…

A big one...

It seems that seems that Microsoft can’t catch a break but fortunately there is hope for all you hungry baby birds anxiously awaiting copy-and-paste. Microsoft has released recovery software that will restore your phone and allow the update to push through (hopefully) with no problems. So hit the source after the break to get all the ‘No-Do’ all your little hearts desire! (more…)

Khan Academy… Everywhere

Khan Academy

The hottest new learning tool on the web is now in your hand.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, The Khan Academy came into being in 2006 and has been on fire since 2009 after receiving financial support and endorsements from Microsoft, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.  The Khan Academy is a fantastic paradigm shift in learning.  The organization is shifting the one-size-fits all lecture to a self paced and easy to grasp video lecture that can be done at home in bite sized and familiar 10-minute YouTube sessions within their wrapper.  This strategy of targeting students with online content that is “native” online content, not traditional teaching styles forced into an “e-learning” model, has opened the classroom up for working math problems together, engaging in discussion and humanizing the experience of schoolwork.  Students on the site are engaged by easy to understand video content, excellent mathematics exercises and game mechanics (energy points and badge achievements.)  This experience can hold the attention of everyone from young children to the adult learner.  Anyone can become a coach or mentor for their kids, students, friends or anyone anywhere in the world.  Did I mention this is all free?

Khan Academy MobileAs of today, you can visit on your smartphone and be greeted with a pleasant touch friendly experience.  The site is now coded to detect mobile devices from Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), or WebOS (Windows Phone Coming Soon) and wrap their existing video content with the new jQuery Mobile Framework.  This is an early concept of their mobile site, but is very promising for putting education in the hands of everyone in the world.

I have so many great things to say about Khan Academy I can’t include them all in just one post, so I will most assuredly be back with more in the future, so stay tuned.  If you are an educator, this is available for you NOW for FREE.  Go forth and teach everyone in the world from anywhere in the world.

Dear Khan Academy,

I see your vision and I champion thee.



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