App Industry Roundup: Apple gets faster, Men’s Health shaves calories and the battle over shield laws

Apr 28, 2010
Finance

Looking to keep the pedal on the metal when it comes to staying ahead of the competition, Apple on Tuesday bought a chip maker known for its speedy advances. Also in today’s App Industry Roundup, Mens Health magazine wants to help you stay trim so you can try some speedy advances the next time you go bar-hopping. And […]

Looking to keep the pedal on the metal when it comes to staying ahead of the competition, Apple on Tuesday bought a chip maker known for its speedy advances. Also in today’s App Industry RoundupMens Health magazine wants to help you stay trim so you can try some speedy advances the next time you go bar-hopping. And then there’s every one’s favorite issue: legal woes and the lost iPhone. 

Apple buys Austin chip maker, speed ensues

If they clearly offer users a benefit, apps from brands will continue to gain users. The latest example comes from Men’s Health magazine, with its Eat This, Not That! app. The $4.99 app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times over a recent 15-day period, according to the publisher, and at times reached the top spot in the iTunes store. The app lists restaurants, grocery store items and specialty foods. It was released in 2009 and has been continually updated.

One screen offers a daily calorie counter and when the user inputs the food item, it tells them how many calories will be consumed and the percentage it uses of the daily calorie allotment. The app lets users compare similar foods among different restaurants, too. Despite the app’s popularity, our Appolicious reviewer didn’t find Eat This, Not That! appetizing.

Does lost iPhone carry a shield?

The now famous “lost iPhone” case has led to a debate over whether Gizmodo, which paid $5,000 for the next-generation iPhone left in a bar, will have the same legal protections typically granted journalists for stories that report sensitive issues.

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This quote sums up the debate nicely:

Gizmodo “could be in a tough spot,” David Sugden, a California-based intellectual property attorney, told the New York Times. “They are trying to turn this case into an issue of protection for online journalists, whereas the other side is going to make it look like someone committed a crime.”

Journalists are often protected by shield laws when it comes to protecting confidential sources, but since there was a $5,000 payment made in this case, the issue of Gizmodo being on the wrong side of receiving stolen property may weigh heavily if charges are filed. As always when it comes to cases regarding Apple, the reader comments are most entertaining. Good arguments are made for both cases at the end of this piece from the Bits blog.

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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