iPhone Dev Sessions: Adding Analytics to Your App

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Welcome to another episode of TheAppleBlog’s iPhone Dev Sessions. We left off with a drum app tutorial called Bickboxx. For this tutorial, we’re building off of the first Bickboxx project, so go back and finish it if you haven’t already. Or if you want to cheat, grab the Bickboxx code from Github.

The Story

The Boss is happy we’ve released Bickboxx, the iPhone drum app, but now he wants to know how it’s doing. Not just sales-wise.
How many people use our app? How many times have they used the app? How much time do they spend using our app? How many users do we have in each city, state and country? How many illegal haxored versions are out there? How many people open the app once and never use it again?
Yikes. That’s a lot of questions.
Lucky for us, we don’t have to write hundreds of lines of code and roll our own analytics server to track the answer to these questions.
There are dozens of iPhone analytics APIs that will do all of the heavy lifting for us. Flurry, Mobclix, and Medialets come to mind.
There isn’t a clear leader in iPhone analytics yet but for this tutorial we’ll be using Pinch Analytics. It has comprehensive documentation and its reporting is detailed as well. Read More about iPhone Dev Sessions: Adding Analytics to Your App

More Evidence of a New iPod touch Found

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Pinch Media, an analytics firm for iPhone OS developers, has found evidence of a third-generation iPod touch. An “iPod3,1” string has been showing up as the version identifier in its online logs, with first- and second-generation identifiers for the touch being “iPod1,1” and “iPod2,1,” respectively.

In a blog posting, Pinch Media reported applications using its analytic tools on “iPod3,1” devices first appeared in April, with usage increasing in May. Besides being popular, the applications being used appear to have no shared traits. Read More about More Evidence of a New iPod touch Found

Kid Proofing a Mac With Parental Controls

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If you’ve got young children, chances are they’re already quite adept at using the computer. This is a new generation of wired little ones, and we’ve got our work cut out for us as we attempt to stay ahead of them.

I’ll wager that you’re more concerned with protecting your children from the sketchy dangers of the internet, but equally important is protecting your Mac from your children! Luckily, if you’ve got a Mac, OS X comes with some great Parental Controls built right into the operating system which will help you combat both of these situations.

This post should serve as a quick guide to get you started in locking down your Mac, making it safe for your kiddos to use without your direct supervision. The process is quite simple (as is standard operating procedure with all things Apple), but I realize you may be starting from one of two different scenarios.

  1. Children’s Account does not yet exist
    Starting from scratch is easy. Open System Preferences (under the Apple icon) and choose Accounts. Click the “+” button to create a new account profile. The very top line is a drop down menu — from that drop down, select “Managed with Parental Controls.” Create the rest of the account as usual. As soon as you finish that screen, the new account is visible with a button at the bottom to take you to the Parental Controls Preference Pane.
  2. Children’s Account already exists
    Converting a pre-existing account is just as easy to convert for use with Parental Controls. From within the Accounts Pane of System Preferences, select the account you want to change to Parental Controls. At the bottom of that profile page, all you need to do is check the box that reads “Enable Parental Controls” and then click the button to open that Preference Pane for configuration.

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Mobilize LaunchPad Contestants Announced

With less than three weeks to go, we are busy trying to finalize panels and speakers for our Mobilize conference, scheduled to be held on Sept. 18 in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center. (We have super-saver tickets on sale but not for long.) One of the highlights of the event is Mobilize LaunchPad.

When we asked for submissions, we were simply deluged by the number of entrants, many of them tiny and pre-launch. The sheer number of applicants shows the robustness of the mobile application market. If you give innovation a chance to thrive on mobile, entrepreneurs will think of many different ways to leverage the mobile platform.

Much as we would like to showcase all of them, we can’t. Our network editors, conference advisers and mobile experts sifted through the companies and voted for the ones they liked most. Here is a short list of the (baker’s) dozen of companies that will be making presentations on stage: Read More about Mobilize LaunchPad Contestants Announced

Venture Capitalists Hot About iPhone Startups

If last year saw the venture capital community chasing startups building around the Facebook platform, this year the new new thing are iPhone application makers. In addition to the $100 million iFund floated by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, other VCs are getting in on the action.

We recently covered Pelagao, which raised $15 Million from iFund, Reliance Communications and T-Mobile’s Venture Fund. Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital recently invested an undisclosed amount in New York City-based Pinch Media. Add a relatively unknown company, Tapulous, to this growing list that is beginning to get a lot of attention. Read More about Venture Capitalists Hot About iPhone Startups

Pinch Media Offers Metrics for iPhone Developers

Just as any online content producer or web site owner is hungry for metrics about their web site, iPhone application developers are bound to want the same types of facts and figures surrounding the usage of their programs. New York City-based startup Pinch Media, which has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Union Square Ventures, First Round Capital and a handful of angel investors, offers iPhone SDK developers free code that gives them analytics based on unique users, active users and length of time the application is in use.

screenshot Not only has Apple has sold roughly 5.4 million iPhones to date, but it’s working hard to get the device into as many people’s hands as possible, launching it in country after country around the globe. At this point, it’s hard to gauge how large this market could become.

And with the iPhone SDK coming out in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, we’re about to see an explosion of apps being offered by mobile developers. Indeed, as the iPhone ecosystem continues to evolve, startups that offer tools such as Pinch Analytics are going to be really valuable.