Feeds

iPhone apps punt iPhone apps

Dross-filtering in-app advertising feedback loop

Website security in corporate America

A new service from mobile developer Mobui promises to sort through the morass of mediocrity that is the iTunes application store, by providing recommendations from the authors of apps you've already bought.

The premise is simple: Mobui provides an Objective C object, with source code, that you insert into your iPhone application with suitable hooks. When the user selects AppsWeLike they get a cached, but updateable, list of applications recommended by the authors of this application. If they buy any of those apps then the author of the original application gets the five percent reseller's bounty, Apple gets 25 per cent and the author of the original app gets the usual 70 per cent.

The plethora of apps available for the iPhone is impressive; but in the same way that for many years the Spectrum home computer had more software available than the PC, it's not quantity that matters, it's quality. Decent applications for the iPhone do exist, but finding them can be a real challenge, and one that the other application stores are also going to face if they prove half as popular as Apple's.

Best-selling lists are one way, but on the iTunes store getting a staff pick has proved to be the most effective form of promotion. Recommendations from other iPhone users, in the form of blog postings, have also proved effective - but recommendations from the authors of previously-purchased apps surely carry more weight? The idea is that authors will recommend applications of a similar quality, though equally likely is other titles from the same publisher, or recommendations made in exchange for cash.

Mobui allows application authors to make money from such recommendations, and even provides a bidding system that would seem to undermine users' trust as it allows recommendations to be made to the highest bidder - though the author (or, more likely, his publisher) still has veto, so some indication of quality should still exist. Mobui even reckons the service, which goes into public beta today, could fund free applications, though given the derisory figures for free-application reuse that's hard to believe.

But with the barriers to application development becoming so low, there is a need to distinguish quality applications from the dross that's clogging up the application stores - before users come to associate smartphones with the ability to make farting noises. The Sinclair Spectrum might have had more applications available than any other platform, but that was no guarantee of success in the long term, and in-application recommendations might be one way of reaching through the scum that also rises in the official application store. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.