Ewan Spence

I talk about tech n' stuff


Apple’s UDID deadline looms for 3rd party App Developers

apple udidThird party computer support  and app developers are under the gun to meet the fast approaching deadline for UDID compliance that Apple set out earlier in the year. Miss the deadline and they face a ban from the iTunes App store. There is big business at stake for both sides, and many independent developers feel like they have been caught in between the two giants.


On one hand, Apple owes respect to their customers

The revelation that the PATH app was tracking UDIDs and using the information to lift contact books off Apple products shook consumers. With a rise in mobile hacking and issues of privacy still at the fore of the news – the knowledge that their friendly and free apps were tracking the equivalent of their social security numbers did not sit well with consumers. Apple responded swiftly issuing a moratorium on app acceptance that actively tracks UDID, and issuing a deadline for removal from the store of any apps that currently track the number.


Why do apps need your UDID?

Your UDID is the unique signifier on your iPhone that is often referred to as its social security number. It allows developers to see where you go and what you do. It can also allow them access to your private data that may be stored on the phone which can contain identifying information and financial information. On one hand it is easy to say they have no need for this information, but from a developing and marketing standpoint that information is vital to understanding consumer behavior. Poor PATH got caught in the middle because they were doing something that everyone was doing for reputable reasons, but got caught in the storm of customer awareness of just how their information can be used of illegal purposes.


What happens next?

apple marketingApple knows that tracking consumer behavior is essential to apps so they have offered up a compromise. App developers can no longer track UDIDs, but they can track the CFDID. That number is not as unique to the specific phones, but it also does not allow access to any of the user’s information. That sounds like a decent compromise until you figure the cost of converting apps to track this number. For many small developers, there is no budget for creating an update so their app can meet these standards. Consumers may also get the unpleasant surprise of seeing more apps start to charge fees in order to cover these revised development costs.


Still an issue is left standing

The real issue has been missed in this event. The issue isn’t that apps were tracking UDIDs, but that some apps exist for the sole purposes of capturing unique identifying information for sale to the highest bidder. Apple may have made a wiser choice to placate the consumer while investigating more stringent application processes to weed our malapps from their store, but that would have cost the company money. Better for them to push the cost on the consumer and 3rd part developer while getting the press that they did good by all.



Can a Square make a good home for a little bird? Dorsey takes over Twitter from Costolo

twitter marketer jackJack Dorsey has been tapped to be the interim CEO of the troubled Twitter replacing outgoing CEO Dick Costolo. Costolo is resigning after only a brief time at the helm of Twitter. Months of disappointment to investors have prompted the change. Dorsey is coming in from Square, which he leaves with a solid track record of success. The question for everyone is whether Twitter faces realistic expectations from its investors, and can it play catch-up with the giants?


The little bird that keeps refusing to leave the nest

Twitter hasn’t been a disappointment to just investors, during its first heady years it captured the imagination of just about everyone. It promised a fast and easy way to send mass communications across global networks that could revolutionize how we do business like this company for SEO in Winnipeg, experience world events and socialize. News reporting has caught on to a degree, but not in the high monied markets of the West. Socialization on Twitter still remains the realm of hipsters, and it is mostly a communication forum for links to longer articles on better networks – such as its once rival, Facebook. With one billion users, Facebook has stepped far beyond Twitter’s reach.


What can Dorsey do?

With Twitter stock having plummeted another 35 percent in recent months it looks like it may take a miracle to make the company a contender again. Then again, with Dorsey at the helm, the solution may prove to be easier. As all of the industry experts point out the main failing of Twitter is it failed to integrate user experience. It tried through a failed adoption of video and multimedia, but that could be revisited. Dorsey’s experience with Square has shown that he can combine several aspects under one social network media and retain a viable business structure. The Square market has grown greatly under his lead and it now considered to be a merchant option for anchor stores as well as food market vendors and SEO providers.


twitter logoWhat is the demographic for Twitter?

One of the issues that Dorsey faces is that the potential demographic for Twitter has muddied greatly under Costolo. While it is strong with the hipster crowd, the millennials and baby boomers have drifted away. It remains a go-to with a broad appeal when there is breaking news events, and that can be capitalized. One thing for certain, the worst thing he could do is keep everything has it is. Twitter has started to fall so fast it won’t take much change to create an upswing. Whether or not that upswing can translate into a long term rise is the challenge for Dorsey.


YouTube’s Gaming Channel announcement has players twitching

youtube gaming

The successful acquisition of the game channel Twitch by YouTube is about to enable the giant to take on a whole new dimension in live streaming entertainment. Owned by Google, YouTube’s move into live gaming comes from two different sources. The first is the stellar performance of Twitch as an independent company, the second is the success of the gaming videos on YouTube. High rates of viewers have been showing up to watch live video broadcast of players playing games, while on Twitch they are showing up to do that and play the games themselves.


Over 25,000 portals leading to one dedicated page

The size of the gaming channel is going to be stunning. YouTube currently lists that there will be near 25,000 gaming access portals that will funnel gamers to one central channel. This radically increases the size of the live community. It also increases the potential for independent producers of games and game videos to make more money.


tip jarBringing the tip jars together

If you have ever seen a gamer video you may be impressed at the amount of planning and production that goes into one. You should be, as these videos of gamers playing games are moneymakers. Both YouTube and Twitch use “tip jars” that allow viewers to give money to the producer to encourage them to make more videos. Add in some pay for play options and member only features and you have the potential to make a richly successful online channel.


Is it a direct challenge to Amazon?

Amazon is in the midst of announcing their own dedicated game channel that could rival Twitch. Once again, Amazon seems to play the role of the quiet cousin with surprising strength. The only thing that threatens all of these parties is Facebook’s move to return gaming to the living room. The announcement that Oculus is going to partner with Xbox for a 2016 release has a lot of people wondering which style of gaming is really going to take hold.


Either way, it’s the independent producers that win for once

With the YouTube channel and Amazon getting into dedicated gaming channels it is going to be the independent producer that wins in the end. This is what leads many people to assume that the RIFT will get a share, but there is no going back to one home game system being the dominant part. Too many people make videos about games, and want to watch them for that type of community to be broken. Both Amazon and YouTube offer ways for independent producers to get their voices heard – and that’s what consumers want.

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