Developers Get Promotional Codes to Give Free Copies of Apps

According to this MacRumors report, Apple has started to dispense promotional codes to App Store developers. With them, developers will now be able to grant free access to their app for up to 50 users. Previously, developers would have had to resort to the ad-hoc distribution method or iTunes gift cards to give promotional copies of their applications. While the 50 user limit might seem paltry compared to the ad-hoc’s 100, the promotional code limit is reset with version updates. Additionally, and probably most welcoming to both developers and recipients alike, is no longer having to deal with the hassles of the mobile provisioning that the ad hoc method is reliant on.

Via mobile provisioning, for promotional copies to be granted, developers would have to get the UDID of the touch device from each person receiving a copy and from there generate a .mobileprovision file to send with the actual application file that would bind that app to each specified device. Once both files were received, the end user would drag and drop them into iTunes to sync it. With the promo code method, all that is eschewed for a system that as easy as redeeming an iTunes gift card.

In the future, we can see this opening the door for more than just a developer/reviewer relationship, and extended to contests and giveaways. With complexity removed and the fact that the codes are linked to a specific app, developers would be able to invite people to win copies of their app without relying on gift cards, which is a hockey method since there value of the gift-card may not match the price of the app thus costing the developer additional money and there’s no guarantee that the recipient will actually use it to buy the app.

Give Good Food to Your Mac: Software Discounts

The idea of a ‘bundle’ promotion is a common occurrence in the Mac software world. The most widely publicized event centered around great deals on indie Mac software is MacHeist. The general idea is that bundling a package of applications together leads to a great deal for you, the user, and also generates a huge amount of publicity for the featured applications.

A similar promotion has launched this week, with a few notable differences. Give Good Food to Your Mac (organized by Aquafadas) offers a huge range of different applications, with discounts increasing progressively depending upon the number of applications you purchase.
Claudia Zimmer, Aquafadas’ CEO explains:

We are pleased to introduce the Third Edition of ‘Give Good Food to your Mac’. It’s a chance for us to build a community among developers and together, create opportunities that would not be possible alone. Mac users benefit from it as they can discover our software at great prices.

The Discounts Available

While the promotion doesn’t feature the world’s catchiest name, it does give some great discounts. Buying 3 apps saves you 20%, 4 apps saves 30%, and 5 or more knocks a whopping 50% off the normal retail price. As you add applications to your cart, it’s simple to see how much you stand to save, along with how many more applications you need to reach the next level.
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Privacy Wins Some, Loses Some

A European legal body has declared that ISPs who employ ad-serving technology from Phorm must do so on an opt-in basis, or risk violating UK and EU data protection laws. The move follows several months of controversy over the startup’s plans to broadly track the surfing habits of users and serve ads against them. While the system doesn’t seem terribly insidious, it is something that could quickly infringe privacy without setting off alarms.

It’s an issue another stateside company seeking to target ads to web users based on their surfing habits — NebuAd — is dealing with as well. And the proliferation of such companies is getting the attention of the FTC, which on Friday closed the public comment period related to regulating behavioral advertising. Unsurprisingly, industry members wanted less regulatory oversight; privacy groups, on the other hand, asked for less data retention, more transparency about data collection practices, and for such advertising to be done on an opt-in basis so that consumers are made aware that their web usage is being mined for advertising.

However, in this era of governments spying on citizens combined with the need to monetize all these nifty free online services through advertising, it’s unlikely that the FTC will get too heavy with the regulations. The demands of national security and Internet commerce are conspiring against privacy, and the consumer seems to be getting short shrift.