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Apple Announces Powerful, In-App, Mobile Ad Platform

Apple Announces Powerful, In-App, Mobile Ad Platform
All of the fun stuff that Apple has announced with regards to this summer's iPhone OS 4.0 update (e.g., multi-tasking, location awareness, background streaming, etc.) seems to have all only led up to the really big news: iAd. This is the mobile advertising platform that has been churning about the rumor mill for some time. While it's not quite truly revolutionary, it does look to be quite an impressive way for companies to drum up interest in their products.

Many free applications for the iPhone already pack ads, but tapping on them often takes you out of the app, both fracturing the experience and frustrating consumers. iAd is integrated with the OS, so tapping a banner essentially launches a pop-over browser window that keeps your program running in the background. Since it is part of the OS, it can also use some of the iPhone's more advanced features to provide interactive and video content. During the demo, Jobs showed off an advertisement for the upcoming movie 'Toy Story 3' that offers clips from the film, uses GPS to find the nearest theater playing it, and even presents an in-ad mini game. All of the ads are built using HTML5 (another blow to Adobe), making it easy for developers to create rich, custom experiences for consumers.

Other demos included a Nike ad that let you design a pair of Air Jordans, and a Target ad allowing you to outfit a virtual dorm room. iAd is more than a simple advertising platform; it's an application platform that lives inside other applications. Of course, there are already plenty of apps in the iTunes Store that are glorified advertisements for products, albums and movies, and chances are they may migrate to iAd soon enough. So, don't be surprised when you accidentally tap an ad while reading the New York Times app, and end up face to face with a Lady Gaga sliding puzzle.

There are a few catches, of course. iAds will have to be hosted on Apple servers, and companies may be reticent to hand even more power over to a company that controls your music, movies, books and apps. We'll have to wait and see if iAd can deliver on its promise without becoming a major headache and distraction for consumers. Given Apple's track record, though, and the tight level of integration with the OS, we expect iAd to be a hit with advertisers. [From: Engadget]

Tags: ads, advertising, apple, apple keynote, AppleKeynote, AppStore, iad, iphone os 4.0, IphoneOs4.0, top