Archive for April, 2010

What’s in an App?

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Since their conception in 2008 mobile phone applications have dominated the tech market, changing the way society functions. 

Monash University media and communications professor Gil-So Han said(Gil-So Han Interview) of the technological phenomenon,    

“When technological devices come to exist, peoples thinking, people’s lives, the quality of lives are always influenced and affected by material devices”

Created initially by private companies and distributed through various arenas via the internet, the mobile application or ‘App’ as they are more commonly known, are now available on all forms of personal technology units, making them accessible anywhere internet connection is available.

Due to this accessibility and popularity, App’s can be created from personal computers and distributed as shown below.

This has lead to wide popularity, with more than 3 billion applications downloaded.

The Apple app store houses approximately 134,000 applications from over 28,000 creators bringing in an enormous annual revenue generation of $250 million.                                                                 

In a press release from Apple, Steve Jobs was quoted,

“Three billion applications downloaded in 18 months – this is nothing like we’ve ever seen before”

The sheer enormity of the App phenomenon has lead to speculation over its effects on society.

Prof. Han said,

“Future generations will have to deal with how to negotiate with the force of technology, the autonomy of individuals.

As there is no precedent, other than public opinion, the monitoring of applications and their counterparts is almost impossible, leading to skepticism about their influence over a young generation of users.

“Majority would say they are helping, lead to believe they help, for the sake of public good, common good, but there is an unanswered question. Why those applications are coming on board, why they are so strongly imposed” Said Prof. Han

When asked about society’s reliance on such technologies, PhD in computing science, IT professor John Hurst (Prof. John Hurst Interview)  said,

“We are reliant; it is true – but “too” reliant? I don’t think so. Otherwise you would have to say that we are “too reliant upon the wheel – and all technology thereafter”

Whether for entertainment, business, politics, advertising or lifestyle benefits there is no denying the App’s growing importance to society, whether we will see a negative or positive outcome to this new era of media technology.

words by Emily D’Alterio

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App theft costs millions … but who cares?

Posted on April 2, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Apple empire is flourishing at a phenomenal rate – but like all technology innovators have discovered, piracy is an issue.  The computer sleuths that started the free sharing of music online, have conquered Apple’s security and done the same with their apps for the iPhone and iPod touch.

iPhone ‘crackers’ have found a method of modifying the DRM code (security settings) of an app so it can then be downloaded free and added to a iPhone/iPod.  Once the device has been adjusted and stripped of Apple’s security restrictions (a process called ‘jailbreaking’) broken apps can be easily downloaded from websites like and transferred instantly.

Even well known websites like YouTube have countless video editorials giving a step-by-step guide to jailbreaking.

Hacking your own iPhone is not illegal.  However, it is an offence to post broken apps that are copyrighted to the internet – but this is rarely policed.  Since the opening of the App Store in July 2008 the rumoured loss due to piracy is approximately $450-500m, although this has been denied by Apple.

A marketing manager at Apple made it clear that the company is not overly concerned about the current level of piracy and there are no plans to counter app pirates.  The word piracy does not even appear on the Apple site, official forums, related sites etc.  The franchise may be losing some money by ignoring this issue altogether but it would be a loss hardly felt by an empire reporting a net quarterly profit to December 2009 of $3.38 billion.

Brett is an owner of a jailbroken iPhone and, perhaps typical of all pirates, thinks:

“I have bought the phone so I should be able to do what I want with it.  Downloading cracked apps is just like any file sharing on the net – heaps of people do it… no-one cares if you do it.”

The music industry has made a move against piracy with the introduction of   This website cleverly uses advertisers, rather than the public, to pay for downloaded music.

What will Apple do to solve their piracy problem, if anything at all?

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Killers Apps are Saving Lives – by Jayne Duff

Posted on April 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Just when we thought the iPhone couldn’t get any better, many will be amazed to discover a new series of applications that quite literally have the capability to save lives.

To some, the iPhone may be just another pointless and overrated piece of technology, however to the Haiti earthquake survivor Dan Woolley, the iPhone is the reason he is alive today.

After being caught under the rubble of the horrific earthquake, Woolley used the medical application Pocket First Aid and CPR to diagnose and treat injuries to his foot and head, by following step-by-step instructions to prevent himself from going into shock.

Woolley said his phone “was like a high-tech version of a Swiss Army Knife that enabled [him] to treat [his] own injuries, track time, stay awake and stay alive.”

The following link shows CNN’s coverage of Dan Woolley’s story of survival:

However, the revolutionary life-saving applications go further than instructing basic first aid. Applications such as Panic Control can assist in the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders.

Danielle Selby, a 19-year-old girl diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, claims the step-by-step application would be quite helpful during a state of anxiety. By offering guidance, comfort, and lifestyle tips, the program can help lessen the symptoms of a panic attack.

“Overall, I think it would be a great application to use in the event of a panic attack,” she says. “Personally it would help to relax me and convince me everything will be okay.”

Click the follow link to view the ‘Panic Control’ App Demonstration or Interview Transcript with Danielle Selby. Select to ‘save’ the files first before viewing them.

General Practioner Dr. Richard Duff praises Apple’s useful applications such as ‘MedCalc’, complimenting its practicality and convenience in a medical sense.

“The program consists of a number of medical formulas and calculations,” he explains. “Most of the formulas are quite useful.”

Click the following link to view the Interview Transcript with Dr. Richard Duff.

Boasting a range of formulas from anesthesiology to pediatrics, the MedCalc application is, in reality, the new trend within hospitals around the world.

The hype surrounding Apple’s iPhone and its expansive range of life-saving applications seems to be ultimately justifiable.

It seems that as long as Apple thrives within the telecommunications market, the iPhone applications will continue to contribute to the health, wellbeing and even survival of many users.

Words by Jayne Duff

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  • Joshua Papanikolaou

    Josh, a second year journalism student at Monash University will report on app piracy and the issue of 'jailbreaking'. He will also give some insight into the impact of apps within politics.

  • Emily D’Alterio

    Emily D'Alterio is also a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    She will investigate the essence of an APP, what goes into them, what makes them so unique and quirky, and where this global phenomenon is headed in the future.
    She will also take a look into the world of Dating applications, using a real life case study to discover if its hAPPily ever after, or simply a giant scam.

  • Jayne Duff

    Jayne Duff joins Joshua and Emily as a second year Journalism student at Monash University.
    Through her articles you will discover growing necessity for iphone Apps as she takes us through "Killer Apps that Save Lives".
    She'll also focus on the controversial side of apps, exposing the more outrageous and often offensive applications in an unprecedented environment.


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