Tag Archives | Apple App Store

Apple’s E-Book Policy Claims an Early Victim

In a venomous blog post, a startup called BeamItDown Software says it’s going out of business, and squares the blame entirely on Apple’s in-app purchase policy.

BeamItDown’s iFlow Reader, a digital reading app for iOS, relied on e-book sales for revenue. But because Apple takes a 30 percent cut of anything purchased within an app, and e-book publishers only give 30 percent their revenue to the book seller, iFlow Reader would actually lose money on every book sold.

“We put our faith in Apple and they screwed us,” BeamItDown’s blog post says.

BeamItDown may not be the last victim, either, because the policy that caused this small company to go out of business may soon be unavoidable for major e-book players like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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Banning Gay “Cure” Apps and Police Tipoff Tools: Are We Overreacting?

Between the controversies over gay “cure” apps and police checkpoint tipoff tools, it’s been a tough week for Apple’s App Store. But while it’s pretty clear that an app designed to “cure” homosexuality verges on hate speech, are we courting trouble, turning which apps are “acceptable” and which ones aren’t into a political nannying game?

Take “police avoidance.” Senators Frank Lautenberg, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, and Tom Udall are asking Apple, Google, and RIM to scupper mobile applications designed, it seems, to help inebriated drivers dodge police. The senators also dispatched letters to the companies that designed the apps, requesting they either pull them or excise a “DUI checkpoint” feature.

The apps allow users to view realtime updates of checkpoints reported by others, a kind of “citizen awareness” system designed to give drivers who may or may not be inebriated a tactical edge. Think of it as a more sophisticated version of the light-blink signal oncoming driver sometimes give to warn of a speed trap up the road in the other direction.

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