iAd rant – AKA why I’m not updating my iPhone apps

It used to be the most aggravating aspect of the iPhone was AT&T’s craptacular service. But recently there’s a challenger to the title, and this one is coming up strong.

I’m talking about developers and their rotten implementation of iAds through software updates.

Let me start off with a “good” example of what an app update should be. The “Genius Scan” update for January has two pages of enhancements to what is already in place, assorted bug fixes, and extensive information on what exactly is being updated in the application.



Perfect. Very straightforward. I updated this app without a second thought. And no iAds? Excellent!

Some apps are adding iAds to their updates even though they were not initially in place. While I’m not a fan of this, I do understand it being a financial necessity for some developers. So long as the iAd addition is done in what I would consider “good faith” and something significant of the software is also value-enhanced, I think it’s OK.

As an example, Dragon Dictation’s recent update fixed some bugs, added some features, and inserted ads only for their own products.


To me, this is a good example of adding iAds to a product and adding value to the application update at the same time. I also appreciate the ads are focused on their own product line and not “carpet bombing” me with every product sold on the internet. Good job!

An update to the “Ministry of Sound Radio” app starts entering the “maybe” update category and strains the value-added premise for me.


While a one-button click to contact the studio is interesting, it’s not really enough added value for me to immediately apply the update and have ads all over the app’s interface. The app is working fine for me now, so I’m not going upgrade this app anytime soon.

The app “My Famous Portrait” is another example of this.


So far I haven’t crashed in the app, so until I start seeing getting kicked out, there’s no imperative for me to update and have ads clutter the applications’ interface either.

On the far end of “maybe” updates are apps like “Ruler+ CM”


The term “user opportunities” is just vague enough to make me skip the update. Yes the value added updates are there, but what does “user opportunities” mean? If I don’t know what an app update entails, and if my previous version is working fine, any new updates won’t get installed.

At the fringe of the “maybe” update category are app updates like “Rolling 5 Dice Poker”


Just saying “we’re putting ads in!” is the same as “bait and switch” to me. The app was free, but now it isn’t! And now the previously clean interface will be junked up with banner ads! No thanks.

Descending into the final “hell no” update category is the “Free/Not Free/Just Upgrade!” switch. Apps that were free at one point, but now have iAds in their updates. The only way to get rid of the iAds is to pay for a new update! Fun!

The app “I’m Right Here” is a perfect example of this.


No significant enhancements on the update. And in trade for my update it’s now “free”?

“Sudoku Solver App” is another example of this. Free at release, but now it’s not!


At the very bottom of the “hell no” pile are the app updates that combine the “Free/Not Free/Just Upgrade!” iAd addition with the removal of existing app features!

“At Once” is the most recent example of this.


Adding Google Buzz? Ok, that’s a nice addition. But taking away the landscape keyboard use? Removing a working feature in the app I already have installed on my iPhone in trade for a paid upgrade? That’s evil-twirly moustache kinds of heartless.


I’ll never ever update apps that take away features from previous versions, iAds or not.

TL;DR / summary version…

Developers! Add something of value to your app if you’re going to start with the iAds. Make it something fun or useful. Make me think the iAds are part of the upgrade “cost” and I’ll be OK with it.

Apple! Give us a “ignore this application’s update” option!

Ketchup, HFCS, Heinz waffling, and other critically important things

I have a confession. I love ketchup. Love it. Between ketchup, Tabasco Sauce, HP sauce, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Cattlemen’s BBQ sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, I’m good for most meals.

So when it was time to reload on Ketchup, I noticed Hunts had a semi-new “no HFCS” variety on the shelves.


Go Hunts!

Heinz, however, has two different brands of ketchup, neither of which are clearly labeled to distinguish the difference in product. Heinz’s “normal” ketchup label looks like this…


…and it still uses HFCS.


The second ketchup product label from Heinz is almost identical to the first label, but an additional “Simply Heinz” banner on the label…


…means this product uses real sugar and has no HFCS!


Come on Heinz! Quit waffling! Grow a pair! Put a big honkin’ label that says NEW NO HFCS CRAP IN THIS MONKEY! Calling it “Simply Heinz” says to me the HFCS lobby has you guys scared.

Anyhow, I thought such critically important matters deserved a Friday blog post, so here we are!