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iSimulate

iSimulate is an iPhone app that interfaces with the iPhone simulator allowing the simulator to accept multi-touch, and accelerometer inputs from the iSimulate remote control.  Users can implement the iSimulate library into their test code and run their application on the iPhone simulator.  Then the iSimulate iPhone application acts as a remote control for multi-touch and accelerometer inputs. The remote can also act as the iPhone simulator’s GPS input and send test location points as though the device were anywhere in the world.  This is great for speedy development of applications requiring multi-touch and accelerometer inputs.  It’s even better for making quality demo videos with screen capture on the iPhone simulator as opposed to a video camera in a dark room. iSimulate is available now in The App Store. The Xcode library is available on Vimov’s website.

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My App Sales

My App Sales is a unique profit/download tracker from Dr. Touch, the same developer who brought us AntiCrack.  The app downloads iTunes Connect reports for you and displays the results in helpful charts.  You can also review the reports themselves directly on the iPhone.  My App Sales runs on exclusively on the iPhone.  However, The App Store won’t allow applications that access iTunes Connect, so Dr. Touch actually sells the source code to My App Sales via his website.  For $15 developers get a great app to download and store their sales data, and they also get the source code to see how that app was written.

http://www.drobnik.com/touch/my-app-sales/

Alternatives:  AppViz, AppFigures, Appstatz, Heartbeat

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Motally

Motally is the latest mobile analytics package for both applications and mobile websites.  The native app tracker is deployable on both iPhone and blackberry and it contains all the bells and whistles developers have come to expect from an analytics package:

  • Device and carrier tracking
  • Geolocation
  • Event tracking
  • Demographic data tracked via ‘built-in mechanisms’.

And a few features not found on other analytics packages like:

  • A two-way communication feature that lets developers make configuration changes to tracking after the app has been deployed.
  • A configurable delivery mechanism to control when and how analytics data is sent back to Motally’s servers.

Motally’s basic service is free for up to 5 million application events per month.  Beyond that, an ‘Enterprise’ plan is available for $999.95 per month.

http://www.motally.com/

Alternatives:  Flurry, Pinch Media, Localytics

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Rhodes

If you’re a budding web developer itching to write native iPhone apps but don’t have the motivation to learn Objective C, check out Rhodes by Rhomobile.  The Ruby on Rails-like framework allows true native device applications to be written in HTML.  The open-source tool also ports apps to Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Android.  Applications developed with Rhodes work with synchronized local data and take advantage of device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts and camera.

Commercial licenses of Rhodes cost $500 per app.

http://rhomobile.com/products/rhodes

Alternatives:  PhoneGap, Titanium Mobile

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Titanium Mobile

Titanium Mobile, by Appcelerator, is another mobile development platform targeted at web developers who want to circumvent Objective C and write native mobile applications in CSS, HTML, and Javascript.  The tool deploys the same program to both iPhone and Android OSs and it gives access to important functions like native UI elements, geolocation, accelerometer, maps, sound, database, etc.

Titanium Mobile is currently in private beta.  Web developers can submit requests to join the beta.  Appcelerator’s desktop publishing platform, Titanium Desktop, is currently available for download which should be similar in function to the mobile platform.

Appcelerator is currently venture funded and have not announced any types fees for the platform.

http://www.appcelerator.com/products/titanium-mobile/

Alternatives:  PhoneGap, Rhodes

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Urban Airship Opens Sign-Ups, Adds New Features

Urban Airship announced today that their Push Notification service now open to any and all developers.  Urban Airship Push Notification support is free for all notifications sent during development and for up to 5000 notifications a month after publication.

Urban Airship also announced two new features:  tags and scheduled notifications.  Tags will allow developers to easily group users and send those groups notifications with fewer and smaller API calls.  Scheduled notifications allow developers to append a time and date for their notification requests to be sent.

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Unity

Unity is a powerful 3D game development tool for multiple platforms including the iPhone.  Developers can use Unity’s intuitive visual editor combined with scripts written in Javascript and C# to create iPhone games much more quickly and easily than native development using OpenGL.

The Unity Indie engine (for development companies earning under $100,000/year) costs $199.  To publish on the iPhone you’ll also need the iPhone Basic license at a cost of $399.

Unfortunately games programmed with the Unity iPhone Basic will always exceed a 10MB package size forcing users to download the game over WiFi rather than the 3G network.  The iPhone Advanced license ($1499) allows build size stripping, but even then it can be difficult to get a full featured game below the limit.  But that didn’t stop games like Zombieville USA from becoming one of The App Store’s top games.

http://unity3d.com/

Alternatives: iTGB

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Urban Airship

Two powerful new features included in iPhone OS 3.0 are Apple Push Notification Services (APNS) and In-App Purchase.  APNS allows developers to send messages, update badge icons, and play sounds even when the app is not active.  In-App Purchase allows app add-ons like extra levels or subscriptions to be purchased from within an app.  These great new features will help developers create more engaging applications and open new revenue streams.  Unfortunately, the server-side implementation required for these services is not trivial to implement and can be costly (both in maintenance time and in dollars) to host.  To the rescue is Urban Airship.

Urban Airship crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s for APNS so the developer doesn’t have to.  They provide a RESTful API which developers can use to process notifications on their server.  There is also a web-based administration panel allowing developers to send broadcast messages to all users or to individual users.

Urban Airship also makes In-App Purchase a breeze.  It’s as simple as dropping in their open source library and uploading your content to their servers.  Urban Airship handles the rest.

Development houses as notable as Tapulous (creators of Tap Tap Revenge) have signed up with Urban Airship to handle their APNS and In-App Purchases taking them only hours to accomplish what would have taken weeks of development time.  Urban Airship offers free APNS up to 5000 notifications and $29 a month will get you 50,000 notifications.  Unlimited plans are also available.

http://urbanairship.com/

Alternatives:  iLime

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GeoCade

Geocade claims to be “the world’s first location aware social gaming network for mobile devices.”  Their free service includes high score tables, built-in feedback surveys, and location-aware discussion boards.  Check out the Geocade website for a really cool animated globe featuring high scores reported by Geocade-enabled games from around the world.  Just like developers, Geocade needs to monetize so they insert an ad to the top of their high score table and high score submission views.  The high score tables are basic text views that developers can customize with font types, colors and their own background images.  To experience GeoCade you can try the popular game du jour Paper Toss from Backflip Studios.

http://geocade.com/

Alternatives:  Agon, OpenFeint, ScoreLoop

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OpenFeint

With over 1 million active users and over 1000 registered developers, OpenFeint is the largest social gaming platform for the iPhone.  It’s features include:

  • Facebook/Twitter integration so you can see what your Facebook/Twitter friends are playing
  • Achievements and Leaderboards hosted by OpenFeint
  • In-game one-touch iPurchase
  • and gamer chat rooms (yes, people actually use them!)

Best of all, OpenFeint is completely free for developers.  OpenFeint’s parent company, Aurora Feint, monetizes the platform through the iTunes affiliate program, getting small commissions every time someone makes a purchase from within an OpenFeint enabled game.  OpenFeint also claims one of the shortest platform integration times at only 20 minutes while other social gaming tools can take hours to deploy.  To experience OpenFeint, you can check out one of the myriad of games that take advantage of the platform:  Pocket God, StickWars, StickWars Lite, Sentinel 2, Blocks 2 and many others

http://openfeint.com/

Alternatives:  Agon, GeoCade, ScoreLoop

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