The new iPad – naming

Posted in iphone on March 10th, 2012 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

Irrespective of whether it was Steve Jobs who came up the new name (noname?) for the iPad or it’s the post-Steve Jobs management team, this is a master stroke from Apple. This is a company that thinks decades in advance and you can see the signs of things to come in subtle ways. Back in 2007 when they dropped “Computer” from their name, it had to be obvious that they were signaling the dawn of a new era. An era which Apple will help create. The mobile and PC industry is still trying to understand the ramifications of that change.

The new iPad or dropping versions/numbering from the iPad name is a similar change. They could have called it iPad HD, iPad 3 or even iPad 2S and no one will blink. But they didn’t. And they didn’t do it because they want to pull the iPad away from the iPhone and generally the Smartphone market. The iPad was conceived before the iPhone with the vision for a post-PC world. In the PC world (including Macs of course), you do not see naming like MacBook 1, Macbook HD and so on. You go to a shop and you buy an iMac or a Macbook. Now there are, of course, different products in PC product lineup like Macbook Pro, iMac, Macbook Air and so on, but they do not signal a generational change. They simply fulfill a different need. This is what is going to happen to the iPad. You will buy the new iPad and not iPad this generation or that generation. This will also help with people waiting for the new generation and comparing the iPad with other “tablets”.

Will this work? Or better yet, why this will work?

With the iPad, Apple is in a class of its own. The copycats have not caught up in terms of technology, utility, ecosystem and even price after more than 2 years. With this move Apple has signaled that they are the only game in town. As always, Apple doesn’t care if the analysts and competitors have mis-understood them. The new iPad will blur the lines with PC even further and make people think of the iPad when buying a PC. With increased focus on creative tools for the iPad and better connectivity options, the iPad will replace the PC for a large number of users.

Now only if they will release Xcode for the iPad I can dump my Air completely. :-)

Active 24 – first major European domain registrar in the app store

Posted in iphone on April 19th, 2011 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

It’s actually been a while and I didn’t get to update the blog. But, it is worth sharing that we launched Active 24′s iPhone app in the App Store and it actually made it into top 10.

Active 24 - domain registration on iPhone

Grab your copy today. It’s FREE! Download now.

On pricing and paywalls

Posted in iphone, Startup on April 19th, 2011 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

The price of books published by indie authors on Amazon kindle store is slowly falling to $0.99. This is very similar to the iTunes App Store pricing. If I remember well, SEGA was the first major publisher to drop the price of it’s hit game Super Monkey Ball to $0.99 and all hell broke lose. Now we had a quality title selling for the lowest price point and it set the standard for most gaming titles to follow. Super Monkey Ball was one of the early success in the app store and in some part due to its “innovative” pricing. The same seems to be going on in the eBook space and the idea of $0.99 eBooks dominating the store is not too far fetched.

What does this teach us? And what does this have to do with paywalls?

The lesson to be drawn here is that in a competitive market with a relatively low barrier to entry the equilibrium price will be near the bottom of the pricing tier. That in itself is not a bad thing. As the saying goes: we will make it in volume. And indeed some have. SMB paved way for Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Cut the rope et al. Having said that, it’s also clear that this price point will not suite every player in the market and force more pricing innovation.

Enter in-app payments. Apple realizes and works hard to make sure that the apps (or more importantly the developer) ecosystem is healthy. They create the conditions for developers to succeed and in-app payments was their another attempt at helping devs monetize their wares. The developers can now charge for additional content and an increasing number do. IAP were followed by iAds. There will be more pricing innovation and we can expect more from Apple.

Both apps and eBooks are content types where paying for content is the norm. This is made possible by controlling the distribution, delivery and consumption medium (iOS devices and Kindles/Nooks). It helps that the payment infrastructure is built into the platform. The price will not go to free because the economics don’t work (yes, there are zero dollar apps, but they are not a significant money maker for most devs on iOS). I will not touch on Android side of the story in this article so let’s keep ad-supported Angry Birds out of discussion for now.

These developments somehow seem to coincide with the rise of paywalls for content on the web. Of the major publications, WSJ has always had a paywall and arguably it works because they provide time sensitive information (Bloomberg has built a vast empire that way), but last month NYT raised it’s paywall as well. It’s too early to say how successful NYT is going to be with it, but I am not counting on it being a significant contributor to their revenue. A long time ago I remember reading somewhere that you can’t charge for news for a simple reason that as soon as you raise a paywall someone else will make it available for free. This happened pretty fast as The Atlantic found a way to link to NYT articles by skipping the paywall. As TechDirt pointed out earlier – Did The NYTimes Just Offload Its Front Page To The Atlantic?

Where does this leave us?

The conclusion so far seems obvious: if you don’t control the discovery, distribution and preferably end user experience, you won’t succeed with charging for content.

Teen Patti – #1 card game in India

Posted in iphone on April 3rd, 2010 by Abhishek Balaria – 1 Comment

ZENTITY announced the availability of Teen Patti for iPhone on 2nd April 2010. The game debuted at #1 top selling card game.

Teen Patti (also known as Flash or 3-cards) is a card game similar to poker. The game is played worldwide and particularly popular in India and south-east Asia. Teen Patti recently featured in a movie of the same name.

Teen Patti can be played with a minimum of 2 players but it’s more fun with 4 or more players. Touch Teen Patti offers games of 4 or 6 players at the table. Touch Teen Patti brings the fun game with a great AI implementation and the best card game simulation.

This is the second in the series of Indian traditional games for ZENTITY having released the classic board game Touch Carrom. Touch Carrom became the number #1 selling game in it’s home market India and made it to top 10 and top 100 in many world markets.

Grab it in the App Store at itms://itunes.apple.com/us/app/touch-teen-patti/id353709014?mt=8

Teen Patti for iPhone

Teen Patti for iPhone

Touch Carrom in Apple iPad

Posted in iphone on January 29th, 2010 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

While the world debates whether iPad is revolutionary or just a big dumbed down iPhone. We have made sure that Touch Carrom will look and play great on the iPad.

Generally, our take on the iPad is that it’s a decent first gen device. A great applications and content consumption platform. As it matures with software upgrades, new applications and even hardware, it will be the platform to beat in the tablet segment. In all the hype and hoopla leading up to the launch and then the “disappointment” people often forget it’s still the best device in the tablet form factor till date.

For your viewing pleasure checkout Touch Carrom in the iPad simulator:

Touch Carrom is a five star app – Daily App Show

Posted in iphone on January 20th, 2010 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

Touch Carrom just got reviewed on the Daily App Show. Having no background in the game, the presenter compares the game with pool/billiard and table shuffle. Which is actually a very good way to look at it :-)

The presenter likes the game and gets addicted while playing even without having prior knowledge about the game. Check it out at http://dailyappshow.com/touch-carrom.

As always any comments/feedback welcome.

Touch Carrom 1.1.2 launches

Posted in iphone on January 17th, 2010 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

Checkout Touch Carrom 1.1.2. The best version yet featuring the new faster controller.

Other changes include:
- Improved board visual
- New font across all screens
- New instructions video

Download at: http://itunes.apple.com/app/touchcarrom/id337993724?mt=8

Please provide your feedback in the App Store or comments below.

Isn’t the new game screen gorgeous?
Touch Carrom: iPhone Carrom game

Is Nexus One the iPhone killer?

Posted in iphone on December 30th, 2009 by Abhishek Balaria – Comments Off

Gizmodo broke the story on the Nexus One (NO – the Google Phone) pricing earlier yesterday. There is nothing innovative about the price it’s fairly standard way in which the mobile phones are priced: locked version which is subsidized by the carrier and unlocked full priced version. There had been a couple of earlier posts about the features and the form factor. All in all, NO is shaping up to be a competitive device and will further the cause of Android phones. It would be interesting to see how it all pans out with so many device manufacturers, carriers and now Google getting into the game so directly. There is also an indirect VoIP story in the NO launch somewhere and carriers will be sensitive to that. In a lot of ways, iPhone is actually a better play for carriers then anything Google can ever offer because the Google business model is so directly dependent on cheap bandwidth, ads and control over content discovery and delivery.

So what do I think about Google NO? It’s no iPhone killer. It will further cement Android’s position as a distant #2 in the smartphone category and become a second platform of choice for App Developers.

Oh and everyone at ZENTITY wishes you a very happy and prosperous year 2010.
Happy New Year

New Touch Carrom Review

Posted in iphone on December 30th, 2009 by Abhishek Balaria – 1 Comment

Checkout a new review of Touch Carrom on http://www.amitbhawani.com.

iPhone SDK – How To Add CheckBox Control

Posted in iphone on December 15th, 2009 by Abhishek Balaria – 1 Comment

This is quite a common requirement to be able to add a custom checkbox control in an iPhone app. In the Interface builder -> Tools ->library there is no CheckBox control while other controls like Label and Text Field are there. Here is how I implemented it. I would be interested in hearing about how others went about doing it.

You can use the UIButton control to make a CheckBox.

In your project, in the resources folder add the images e.g. the ones attached with in this post “checkbox-selected.png” and “checkbox.png”.

Define the members as follows in “CheckBoxViewController.h”

@interface CheckBoxViewController : UIViewController
BOOL checkboxSelected;
UIButton *checkBox;
UILabel *checkBoxLabel;

Uncomment the viewDidLoad in “CheckBoxViewController.m” and use the following code.

- (void)viewDidLoad
	[super viewDidLoad];
	checkBox = [[UIButton alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(60, 100, 16, 16)];
	checkBox.contentVerticalAlignment = UIControlContentVerticalAlignmentCenter;
	checkBox.contentHorizontalAlignment = UIControlContentHorizontalAlignmentCenter;
// Image for normal state
	UIImage *newNormalImage = [UIImage imageNamed:@"checkbox.png"];
	[checkBox setBackgroundImage:newNormalImage forState:UIControlStateNormal];
// Image for highlighted state
	UIImage *newHighlightedImage = [UIImage imageNamed:@"checkbox-selected.png"];
	[checkBox setBackgroundImage:newHighlightedImage forState:UIControlStateHighlighted];
// Image for selected state
	UIImage *newSelectedImage = [UIImage imageNamed:@"checkbox-selected.png"];
	[checkBox setBackgroundImage:newSelectedImage forState:UIControlStateSelected];
	[checkBox addTarget:self action:@selector(checkBoxSelect:)forControlEvents:UIControlEventTouchUpInside];
	checkBox.adjustsImageWhenHighlighted = YES;
	[checkBox setBackgroundColor:[UIColor clearColor]];
	[[self view] addSubview:checkBox];
	checkBoxLabel = [[UILabel alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectMake(100, 90, 200, 40)];
	[checkBoxLabel setText:@"Check Box"];
	[checkBox setBackgroundColor:[[ self view] backgroundColor]];
	[[self view] addSubview:checkBoxLabel];

And add the following action method

	if (checkboxSelected == 0)
		[checkBox setSelected:YES];
		[checkBoxLabel setText:@"Check Box - Selected"];
		checkboxSelected = 1;
		[checkBox setSelected:NO];
		[checkBoxLabel setText:@"Check Box"];
		checkboxSelected = 0;

Build and Run the application, this will work as checkbox control.