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I saw some tweets about this late last night so I took the time to ... Apple iPhone News forum

  1. #1
    azstar's Avatar
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    Dec 2007

    Apple's New Stand on Location Based Advertising in Applications


    I saw some tweets about this late last night so I took the time to look up a few articles this morning and see what the buzz is on this new post from Apple on the Developer Connection:

    "App Store Tip: Enhance Your App with Core Location

    The Core Location framework allows you to build applications which know where your users are and can deliver information based on their location, such as local weather, nearby restaurants, ATMs, and other location-based information.

    If you build your application with features based on a user's location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user's location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store."

    So is this Apple's way of protecting users by not needlessly allowing apps to gain access to private info? Are they helping save our batteries by not firing up GPS resources without good reason? Is this just another way for them to "control" as they are so often accused? Or is this simply another jab at Google by blocking developers from adding location based AdMob advertising to their free apps?

    Here are some of the reactions I found:

    Silicon Valley Insider:
    "After reading this note, many people leapt to the conclusion that Apple was trying to stamp out app makers so its Quattro Wireless purchase would be more lucrative.
    In the words of Twitterific developer Craig Hockenberry, "Looks like Apple is going to keep location-based advertising to themselves."

    We don't read that from this note. It appears Apple is saying you can't use location based information if you're just some frivolous game. Location based services need to be core to what your application is about."

    "Many analysts believe Apple is preparing to launch a mobile advertising network that will serve ads through free apps on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The company recently acquired Quattro Wireless, a mobile advertising specialist, after reportedly failing to sign a deal to purchase AdMob. The latter company was later picked up by Google."

    "Apple has posted a shocking, if vague, warning to iPhone app creators in its developer forums: submit an app that uses user location data "primarily" for targeting advertisements and that app will be sent right back to you to be changed. Many mobile developers are planning on monetizing their apps precisely through location-based advertising. There's no clear criteria for how much advertising is too much, and perhaps Apple will exercise discretion in recognizing advertisements as merely supplemental to other features in many apps, but the language used by the company is wholly disconcerting and is another great example of the perils of developing on a closed platform like the iPhone. This is crazy.

    Some people immediately accused Apple of implementing this policy so that it alone could use location-based advertisements on the platform.

    But what's with this language about how location can only be used to "provide beneficial information?" Who makes this decision and where on earth does Apple get off making a policy like this? The company says earlier that location may be used to tell phone owners about "nearby restaurants, ATMs, and other location-based information." What if the restaurants serve unhealthy food, though? What are you going to spend that ATM cash on if this iPhone app helps you find it? How does Apple determine that advertisements, particularly ones for things you could buy in the place where you are, are not beneficial?"

    the iPhone blog:
    "Okay sure, maybe Apple is getting ready to be anti-competitive about advertising, and risk a ton of negative developer reaction and potential investigation, or maybe Quattro Wireless-powered apps will likewise have to make sure advertising isn’t the primary purpose of location-aware apps either. Maybe our location information is a fairly important piece of data and using it because we want to find a restaurant or friend is preferable to it being used because someone else wants to serve us an ad.

    So yes, this could be a nefarious plot for unfair competition or it could just be Apple’s policy on all location-based advertising going forward — if you want to use GPS and CoreLocation, make sure the
    primary reason is for the user, not for the ads."

    We know that many developers use advertising as a way to make money off their freely offered apps. Most users are cheap and want free apps, most of what's free comes at the cost of some banner ads that try to get our attention. While I admit that the first few times I saw such ads I was a bit creeped out that "they" knew where I was. Are they gathering all my comings and goings? Is Big Brother watching me? But in short time I stopped being disturbed by it and decided that even if they were watching me, they would get bored quick, my life is not that interesting! Some of the local ads can be useful and I admit that I would rather get an app for free if I only occasionally use it and deal with the ads.

    So what's your take on Apple's stand on this? Are they protecting users, flexing their ability to control, or just widening the rift between them and Google?
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  2. #2
    srl7741's Avatar
    srl7741 no está en línea Stack Professional
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    May 2006
    If it contains Ad's or Spam I will not use it. It's that simple for me. It's my screen and If I want something I'm smart enough to seek it out or search for it. Ad's are an insult and always have been. For what ever reason we have allowed them into out lives.
    Rant: Money and Greed have no place in a morally correct world.

    However to each their own and if u don't find it offensive then I don't either. Just don't push it on me.
    Last edited by srl7741; 02-05-2010 at 10:59 AM.

  3. #3
    abtfulmind's Avatar
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    Feb 2010

    1st Amendment Violations and anti-trust for Apple

    This time, Apple has run afoul of 1st amendment, intermediate-tier protection of commercial speech. As long as the users opt in for the advertising communication, the FTC and Bureau of Competition, as well as the DOJ are going to have a big problem with Apple violating the constitution (and AT&T being a cohort in the action). Too bad they didn't consult legal counsel on this one...Evidently, Apple wants to be in the headlines, not just for the iPad, but for being in a legal battle to suborn free speech. Can't wait to see this on Larry King, Andersen Cooper, and all the blogs...the people's republic of apple...

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