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Flurry modifies data collection after being called out by Steve Jobs

post #1 of 51
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After being singled out by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, mobile analytics firm Flurry has said it will comply with changes to the iPhone OS terms of service and respect the company's wishes by not collecting device data.

Speaking at the D8 conference on Tuesday, Jobs mentioned Flurry was using its advertising tools to identify prototype hardware being tested privately on Apple's Cupertino, Calif., campus. He said Apple was "really naive" about what kind of data analytics firms were collecting.

Flurry responded by stating that it has been taking steps to address privacy concerns, and that the company has been in communication with Apple about its changes.

"Regarding sharing some specific aggregated usage statistics, to which Apple is opposed, we will comply with their wishes," Flurry's vice president of marketing Peter Farago told AppleInsider. "Our goal continues to be to add value to the developer ecosystem and be a strong partner to platform providers."

A few weeks ago, Flurry announced its "Privacy First Initiative," a set of developer requirements and product features that include simple, readable "Terms of Service" language, an opt-out switch as part of each application's settings, a mandatory data deletion button, and geographic data no more specific than a metropolitan area. The company has 30,000 customers and its analytics software is found in more than 40,000 applications available for the iPhone, Google Android, and BlackBerry.

Farago said Flurry is also updating its analytics service to comply with section 3.3.9 of the latest iPhone OS developer agreement.

"We will not collect device data," he said. "All in all, the changes required to be in compliance will have little impact on the usefulness we provide to developers about how to improve their applications, and how to continue to increase consumer satisfaction."



Flurry made headlines in January when it boasted that it had tracked 50 suspected Apple tablets on the company's campus days before the iPad was officially unveiled. The company said it had been tracking such devices, running iPhone OS 3.2, since October of 2009.

Jobs said the changes to the iPhone software development kit were not intended to fight off competition for its own iAd mobile advertising platform. He said Apple isn't looking to make money off of iAd, but to help its developers profit from their applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Jobs, who was noticeably agitated when discussing the matter, signaled that Apple could become more flexible with firms like Flurry in the future.

"After we calm down from being pissed off, then we're willing to talk to some of these analytics firms," he said. "But it's not today."
post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"After we calm down from being pissed off, then we're willing to talk to some of these analytics firms," he said. "But it's not today."

Go Steve go!
post #3 of 51
Flurry should have known when they reported data on unreleased apple products that they were doing something wrong. It's unfortunate that they handled it this way as it may be useful for developers to know what hardware mix their app is running on as there are differences between iPhone/iPod touch/iPad/iPad 3G and across generations of these devices. Certainly there should be a way to provide this sort of information to developers without providing information on unannounced products.
post #4 of 51
This is good hardball.
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

.... He said Apple isn't looking to make money off of iAd, but to help its developers profit from their applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.
post #6 of 51
> Flurry responded by stating that it has been taking steps to address privacy concerns

No Flurry, your analytics are already dead.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

To break even.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

This sort of percentage seems to be used generally in the industry, so it's not just an Apple issue. And as mentioned before, someone has to pay for this stuff. These apps are being hosted on the App Store for 'free', so Apple could be getting some of their money back via this iAd service (which would result in more free apps being available, imo).
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Not that I want to defend Apple on this one, but the developer is still making more than they could any other way. They get "higher quality" ads that charge a higher rate, and they actually share in the revenue. The alternative is that they rent out space in their application, and their rental rate is much lower.

If the product is successful, then both Apple and the developer will make good money off of it, but the success of iAd is a function of how hard Apple works at it, not the developer!
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Well, let's see. Apple is running the Ad network, they are hosting and serving the ads, they are incurring the bandwidth costs (these are rich ads that can have audio, video, ...), the need a marketing team to promote the Ad network offerings, they need a sales team to bring in and deal with the advertisers. Apple will be incurring a lot of costs here.

As a developer how much work are you doing again? O yeah, embedding the ad in your app. \
post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"After we calm down from being pissed off, then we're willing to talk to some of these analytics firms," he said. "But it's not today."

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

Obviously not! Have you ever tried to have a meaningful discussion when being pissed off with the person you are talking to? It leads nowhere.

First you need to calm down. And that is exactly what he said they are doing.

Good luck with your business plans if you pretend to be cool when you are really upset.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Do you know the profit cut of adsense google takes? Maybe it's 99%, maybe it's 1%, at least Apple is open about it.

With google profit margin at around 28%, while "the greedy" Apple's profit margin's around 21%, I find it hard to believe that google's cut is anything less than 50%.
post #14 of 51
sounds like the makers of Little Snitch needs to make a iphone and ipad version. I use little snitch to block out going information form my computer that I do not wants others knowing about, so many apps these days are send back user information and the stuff.

These should be an app that allows you to block return path information.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

It's actually a fair percentage given the services provided. Do you have any business experience, or is this all armchair speculation on your part?
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

Your comments really need to be deleted. he made Apple one of the most successful companies in the world from company that was 90 days from bankrupt. The stock is growing, iPad is successful and you are questioning is business sense in terms of emotions.

Stop being native understand what he said and why he said it. basically Flurry was collecting data on secret development products without Apple knowing and breaking their rules. Then Flurry had the 'cheek' to publish the data.

Good for CEOs to show controlled emotions and ensure the message is understood!
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Yes they said they are taking 40%, but that is not profits, profit what you keep after you pay the bills. Why do you think apple has said they itunes does not really make money, because of all the infrastructure needed to support itunes costs lots of money and apple's cut from each sale pays these expenses.
post #18 of 51
I have an officially unlocked iPhone 3GS and a 3GiPad -- both jailbroken, and both have an App called PrivaCy installed to block anonymous usage stats to Flurry, Medialets, Mobclix and Pinch Media.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

don't you have that backwards? Steve is waiting so emotions don't get in the way.
post #20 of 51
How the hell were apps that were doing this stuff making it through the approval process!? Just what the HELL goes into approving an app anyways?

THAT is where Apple should have caught it. They didn't invest money into a concrete and thorough approval process and it came back and bit them in the ass. They should be equally pissed of at themselves.
post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Your user name is significant? Just asking.
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post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

You must be correct. Proven by his total failure to make Apple a success since returning to Apple
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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

How the hell were apps that were doing this stuff making it through the approval process!? Just what the HELL goes into approving an app anyways?

Easy. You just have the app wait until it determines that it's been launched for the fourth time; then it calls your server to see if it should start sending back data. If at that time the app has been approved, you have your server tell the app "Yes." From then on, you get the UDID, the IP address, the device name, the app name, etc.

Apple never launches an app more than 3 times on the same device, so they never see any network activity going out.
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post #24 of 51
Anyone with a doubt about Steve's health or state of mind need only view that clip to see he's in great shape. Funny, sarcastic, energetic... way to go.

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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

They should be equally pissed of at themselves.

Don't know about the rest of your post, but that part is true. Apple should have done a much better job masking its development models, not get mad at another company that was obviously doing its core business really well.
post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

To break even.

On what? It's really that expensive to plant ads in apps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomozj View Post

This sort of percentage seems to be used generally in the industry, so it's not just an Apple issue. And as mentioned before, someone has to pay for this stuff. These apps are being hosted on the App Store for 'free', so Apple could be getting some of their money back via this iAd service (which would result in more free apps being available, imo).

If it's industry standard then it's not about breaking-even. It's about Apple making money.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

On what? It's really that expensive to plant ads in apps?



If it's industry standard then it's not about breaking-even. It's about Apple making money.

I'm sure there's more to iAds than just "planting ads." If not, then it sounds so ridiculously easy and inexpensive to do that I can't understand why Apple waited so long to do it (or why hundreds of other companies aren't doing it too).

I'm sure Apple hopes to make some money too.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

It's just business, Sonny. It's not personal.
post #29 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qualia View Post

I'm sure there's more to iAds than just "planting ads." If not, then it sounds so ridiculously easy and inexpensive to do that I can't understand why Apple waited so long to do it (or why hundreds of other companies aren't doing it too).

I'm sure Apple hopes to make some money too.

The only reason they didn't get into it was because it was too far from their core business. But now that they control the hardware, the operating system, and the applications that go on there, advertising to such a captive audience is just too easy to pass up.

Nothing wrong with making a profit of course. But people should stop trying to portray this like iTunes. This is not meant to sell more iPhones. Or even make life easier for the user (that would be no ads). This is meant to make Apple money, plain and simple.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppDev View Post

Well, let's see. Apple is running the Ad network, they are hosting and serving the ads, they are incurring the bandwidth costs (these are rich ads that can have audio, video, ...), the need a marketing team to promote the Ad network offerings, they need a sales team to bring in and deal with the advertisers. Apple will be incurring a lot of costs here.

So there's the cost of doing business in other words? The point is that that they aren't doing this to make developers rich. They are doing this to make themselves rich. Developers making more is a good side benefit. Kudos to Apple for that.

And by the way, you are incurring the bulk of the bandwidth costs. Guess who pays for the data that iAds downloads onto your phone. And richer the ads, the more your telco will make.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

On what? It's really that expensive to plant ads in apps?



If it's industry standard then it's not about breaking-even. It's about Apple making money.

Apple is also creating the ads (web apps) in html5 free of charge, at least for the time being, while keeping the industry standard revenue model. More work for the same money, put two and two together...
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post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

On what? It's really that expensive to plant ads in apps?

If it's industry standard then it's not about breaking-even. It's about Apple making money.

Well, as mentioned in Steve's keynote back when, initially they are not just selling, marketing, administering and hosting the ads. They are also making the ads for the customers. So that probably adds some significant costs to it.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

[] Or even make life easier for the user (that would be no ads). This is meant to make Apple money, plain and simple.

This is not quite all of it, IMO. There would be, will be, and are already ads without Apple. Thanks to Apple there will be ads of some standard as seen fit by them, potentially helping developers more than would otherwise be the case.

Of course they may yet make money on it, but I don't think it's as important right now (just look, they just bought a whole ad company, it's not going to break-even soon!) as learning about the business, exerting some control over the direction the platform takes, and supporting developers.

With these new magazine Apps showing up, Apple is indeed placing itself at a very interesting place with these ads, especially on the iPad. I think it's quite exciting, though it can undoubtedly hit at least two ways.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie View Post

Does Steve really let his emotions get in the way of business?
Wow.

I don't think he was that emotional. He could have said much harsher things about a company that is providing a service to developers that is very clearly not in compliance with the SDK Agreement and sharing information that may be very helpful to competitors. I am not sure what you do for a living but if you are in anyway selling something (be it soft or hard) then you would understand that it is difficult to compete when everybody knows what you are doing.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lundy View Post

Easy. You just have the app wait until it determines that it's been launched for the fourth time; then it calls your server to see if it should start sending back data. If at that time the app has been approved, you have your server tell the app "Yes." From then on, you get the UDID, the IP address, the device name, the app name, etc.

Apple never launches an app more than 3 times on the same device, so they never see any network activity going out.

That's interesting. I figured the source code is submitted with the app though. Wouldn't that sort of thing be found if it was?
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

On what? It's really that expensive to plant ads in apps?
If it's industry standard then it's not about breaking-even. It's about Apple making money.

Why should Apple do this for free? It is costly to support a service like this (earlier posts addressed this well). It complicates the code -- every interaction has an impact on the rest of the application and the system. Apple is talking about providing rich, robust ads here. Look at what has happened with Flash for an example of what can go wrong if it is not optimized for the platform. This another area that has to be tested with each new system release also (a regression suite). Apple like others expects to make money and has a responsibility to earn money for it's shareholders -- it is after all a publicly held company.
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Given your member-name, I'd wager that you probably aren't even a developer anyways so why are you even complaining about it? It's not like you're actually making an effort to put time into designing an application right?

But for the "real" developers, the percentage is more an industry norm. In addition, while the developer simply calls the iAd API, Apple does incur costs to maintaining the OS, bandwidth, advertising negotiations, revenue collection, back-end systems maintenance, feature enhancements, etc. which arguably require far more effort to keep humming along than a developer calling an API.

So why are you whining? Think that stuff runs on pixie dust?
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

Others have already pointed out that Apple's 40% just covers the distribution costs.

I'd like to point out that you continue to say that Jobs is lying, but refuse to provide documentation. You do realize that your statements are slanderous and you could be charged.

But, then, someone who calls himself 'brainless' is obviously a little weak between the ears.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

So there's the cost of doing business in other words? The point is that that they aren't doing this to make developers rich. They are doing this to make themselves rich.

Well, duh. Apple isn't a charity and never claimed to be.

Still, the 60% that the developers keep is a better deal than they'll get anywhere else - even before you consider the fact that the GROSS revenues will be far greater on the iDevices than on any of the alternatives.
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post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

That's interesting. I figured the source code is submitted with the app though. Wouldn't that sort of thing be found if it was?

A framework could be found easily in the bundle if Flurries provides a dynamic library. A code analysis could be done but would require decompilation which is more that likely something you are not allowed to do with the code they would supply in their SDK. I am not familiar with their code but it is also very possible that they have no framework and simply submit a string to a server. The server would be listening on a certain port -- the developer could get the desired information using standard API calls (Apple's) and then just wrap it up and send it using any number of protocols that are available. These would not look unusual to an automated program used to analyze the code -- not much different from many other calls (database queries are often sent as a text string that is parsed on the receiving end) which greatly complicates matters.

I suspect that the implementation details are probably a case of the former not the latter (or a combination thereof) since developers using this have not mentioned getting the info manually and spoon feeding it to Flurries et al. Detecting this code could be done during the review process but would probably require more analysis and human interaction (at the level of a developer) to review any analysis.

This process of review would need to scan for all the various advert companies known frameworks and then would have to look at a considerable amount of code that would probably require human intervention to a degree. The process would also be evolving and if a company wanted to hide what they are doing it probably would not be to difficult to accomplish.

This would be much more costly and could potentially slow the approval process significantly.
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brainless View Post

Why they take the 40% share from what the developer earns from the ads ? Steve, I really tried, but you make it extremely difficult for other to believe your lies.

I run a website, and most of the ad networks that I've worked with take between 30 and 40%. Some have gone as high as 45%, and I've refused to use them.

If 40% is too high for a developer, they can use any other ad network!
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