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iAds and “next-gen” flashlight apps are here

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Finally! After week and week of waiting (that’s two whole weeks), they’re finally here – Flashlight apps for the iPhone 4 that use the built-in LED flash! Better yet, I found one that’s free because the developer was smart enough to do the math and use iAds.

Okay, so I’m being a little snarky here, but seriously, I have been wanting a simple flashlight app to turn on the LED flash on my iPhone 4 instead of having to go to the camera app each time. The LED came in handy on Independence Day as I was helping my friend light fireworks. It’s also been useful in corralling the cats at night. Accessing it via the camera app has been inconvenient since it requires switching to video (if not already set to video) then switching the flash to “on”. That said, I’m sure not paying a buck for the convenience of easy flash access either. Enter FlashLight4G.

This app is dead simple and free. Tap the app. A flashlight-looking screen pops up. Tap the button to turn the light on and off. Of the two free ones I found, I chose this one because of the on-off button, which would have come in handy on July 4th.

After loading it, I found it is supported by iAds, Apple’s new in-app advertising system. Feeling both curious and generous, I tapped on the ad banner to check it out and send some revenue to the developer. Very slick and engaging stuff once you’re in it. If the banner lured me in with, say, a coupon for cat food (three cats), I would definitely tap through.

Also important to note here that since Apple charges the advertiser one cent per impression and two bucks per click-through, charging nothing for simple utilities like this becomes more profitable for developers than those that charge a buck. I’ve already tapped through on two iAds in this app, which nets the developer $2.40 (60%). Even without click-through, the developer gets 0.6 cents each time I access the app. Doesn’t sound like much, but if I access the app even ten times a month for a year, that adds up to 72 cents, two pennies more than the 70% cut on a 99 cent app. Thus, the developer will make (and already has made) more money off my unwillingness to pay a buck for a flashlight app than if I wasn’t a cheapskate. Going free and ad-supported with iAds is simply the smarter way to go with an app like this. Hope to see more developers figure this math out for themselves.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at] notebooks.com

6 Comments

  1. Joe Tulsa

    07/07/2010 at 3:32 pm

    Sounds cool. I could use this for my carpet cleaning biz in dark areas with poor lighting. Do they have something similar for the Droid yet?

    • Sumocat

      07/07/2010 at 3:41 pm

      At least a couple. You should be able to find them in the marketplace by searching “LED flashlight”.

    • Roberto

      07/07/2010 at 5:09 pm

      I have been using Droid light since December last year.

      • Roberto

        07/07/2010 at 5:11 pm

        Free & no ads I might add.

        • Frederic de Montaigu

          07/08/2010 at 5:35 am

          the absence of any iAd is (I am guessing) to the fact that iAd are currently only running on iDevice in the US as Apple is yet to concretise any averting deal outside the USA.
          So this is only where the iAd model fail so far as at least 1/2 the advices in the world are outside the US
          this said if you build an app that is used often, as a dev you are about to make a killing. Now let see if facebook and other social networking site that are accessed via apps sometimes 100′s of time in a day by social network site addict are going to make the math here!!!
          If I was facebook, I know what I would do. And then block any other devs to intergrate facebook into their apps so that all those 0.6 cent do go trait into my bank account… Not sure it is going to happen but I guess they are thinking about it…

  2. Paul

    07/07/2010 at 6:41 pm

    We’ve got an app out too! It’s .99 cents, and we’re working on a free version.

    http://bit.ly/cnZQhW

    It’s called iFlash4. Check it out, you can probably get to it too by searching the iTunes store.
    (www.iFlash4.com)

    -Paul

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