Of course, this won't be available to first generation iPhone users and people with older iPod Touches.
iOS4 as the update is known as will introduce many new user oriented features such as multitasking (if your device has what it takes) and folders to organise your apps. Of most interest to me however is what it provides to developers.
I'm talking in particular about iAd.
Now, this could be interesting for users because all of a sudden, many of their favourite free apps (and quite possibly some paid for ones too) will start featuring advertising banners where once there was a bit of the app UI. Some people may even feel cheated by the new OS update, as the cons could well outweigh the pros (especially those iPhone 3G users - yes I'm one of them - who won't get multitasking).
This could really change the dynamics of the app store. Will some developers starting differentiating themselves by boasting that they haven't signed up for iAd and therefore their free apps really are free? Who knows.
As for me, I'm jumping right in!
Currently I have 2 games in the App Store: TractorBeams and DarkFlow. Both free. Both, currently no ads. In total, I've had about 8,500 downloads so far, which isn't too bad, but of course no revenue.
So I'm planning to introduce ads and try to generate some revenue that way. But I don't want to disenfranchise my existing users by forcing an update upon them which simply introduces ads - that would be very rude ;-)
So, I'm in the final stages of preparing a new version of DarkFlow, DarkFlow HD, which as the names suggests, is optimised for the new iPhone 4's double resolution screen (or quadruple resolution, depending on how you look at it), dubbed the Retina display.
DarkFlow is already a universal app optimised for iPhone and iPad, so the new version will be a 3-way universal app (I may blog later on how this is achieved... once the app has been accepted by Apple).
But, as well as supporting the Retina display on iPhone 4, I'll be slipping in those all important iAd banners. It'll be really interesting to see how they pan out.
As I'm launching a new app rather than updating my existing ones (for now - I may update them with ads later depending on how the new one does), I've got to go through the process of marketing the game all over again. More on marketing in a later blog, but suffice it to say, my marketing skills are somewhat embryonic (perhaps moronic would be a better word).
Basically, I email a bunch of friends who I know have iPhones and ask them to download my new game and post a
glowing honest review on iTunes ;-)
If you've submitted a few apps to Apple, you'll know how important it is to get noticed in the first 24-48 hours. Unless you are a marketing whizz-kid or actually have some marketing budget behind you, the best method seems to be getting yourself noticed whilst the app is still on the first page of the Latest Releases tab. Get half a dozen positive ratings and you'll stand out like a proud thumb.
What I can't understand is how many thousands of apps get submitted where the developer doesn't seem to appreciate this - no ratings appear and the app inevitably disappears without trace by day 3.
Tragic. For them - not for anyone with half a brain cell.
Welcome to the smart iPhone developers club ;-)