Change marks sudden policy reversal
Apple has forced the developer of PCalc, James Thomson, to remove an iOS 8 Notification Center widget that let people do calculations without opening the app. The decision is an apparently sudden reversal, given that the app was previously approved with the widget intact. PCalc has been featured in several sections of the App Store, such as "Great Apps and Games for iOS 8," and even "Extend Your Apps," which focuses on software with unusual widgets.
Conference for modular smartphone will reveal initial launch details
The second set of developer conferences for the Project Ara modular smartphone will be taking place in January, Google has declared. Called DevCon2, Google's ATAP team hopes to use the time to show off developers the latest iteration of the Ara Module Developers Kit (MDK), as well as early plans for a market pilot, due to take place in 2015.
Company working on improving appeal of service to clients
The iAd network is now available in another 70 countries, bringing the total up to 95, according to an Apple announcement to developers. The company hasn't identified which regions are new except for Australia, but says the remainder are spread across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The change should increase the potential reach of existing iAd campaigns and enable new ones.
Milestone comes far slower than it did for iOS 7 due to early-release glitches
As of October 27, iOS 8 was installed on 52 percent of eligible devices, Apple has announced in a posting on its developer website. While far slower than the take-up rate of iOS 7 last year, the milestone was achieved in a little less than six weeks' time -- still far faster than comparative figures for other mobile and desktop platforms. Early delivery and quality glitches in iOS 8 -- most notoriously the short-lived 8.0.1 bugfix release -- may have made the public more gun-shy about trusting later updates.
WatchMe project aims to help developers add live YouTube streaming to apps
Android app developers may take advantage of live YouTube streaming, thanks to a new open source project released by the video service. The YouTube WatchMe for Android project, hosted on GitHub, uses a combination of existing APIs to make it easier for developers to add live streaming capabilities to their apps in the future.
Google Fit collects data from smartphone sensors, fitness apps
Google has released its fitness app, Google Fit. The Android competitor to Apple's HealthKit which was launched at Google I/O in June, Google Fit acts as a central health platform for fitness apps and wearable devices, gathering all related together to give the user a supposed clearer picture about their health and activities.
Dodocase releases Flat Vernacular Classic cases for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3
Tech accessories producer Dodocase has released two case series for the new iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Its Flat Vernacular series features unique hand-drawn patterns from Brooklyn-based design company of the same name, and its Classic cases are available in black with different options for the inner cover. Both case series include a book-bound spine, an impact-resistant bamboo tray and folding back cover, either offering multi-angle folding options or the original cover.
Software no longer on Mac App Store
Bare Bones has upgraded its popular text and code editor, BBEdit, to version 11. The Mac software has a long list of new features, fixes, and minor improvements. Some changes include better syntax highlighting, a revised Find Differences interface, and a new text extraction function. The Clipping system, meanwhile, has been upgraded to support snippets that can be used in one or many languages.
Testing pool limited to 1,000 users per developer
Following a soft rollout to internal testers a few weeks ago, Apple has fully opened its TestFlight beta-testing service. "You can now invite up to 1,000 testers to beta test your iOS apps by simply sending them an email invitation through iTunes Connect," the company says on its developer portal. "Once they accept your invitation, testers can install your beta app on their iOS devices, get updated builds, and provide feedback, all within the TestFlight app."
Will use transport layer security for push notifications starting October 29
In a note to developers, Apple has announced that due to a serious security flaw in SSL version 3.0, the company will be dropping support for the protocol beginning Wednesday, October 29 for all of its push notifications, which are delivered through Apple's own servers. The company will switch to Transport Layer Security (TLS) for the service, and notes that developers will need to build in support for TLS in their apps to ensure uninterrupted push notification compatibility if they haven't already.
Digits offered in Twitter's Fabric development kit, uses only a phone number
Twitter has started putting the pieces into place to distance users from password requirements with the announcement of Digits. The company unveiled the new platform at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco today, as a part of its Fabric suite of development tools. Rather than relying on a username and password for every app, Digits uses a telephone number and text messages to confirm identities instead.
Fast and Slow update tiers selectable for quicker updates
Microsoft is deploying the first update to the Windows 10 preview under the Windows Insider program. Build number 9860 is headed to users overnight through Windows Update, or users can opt to immediately install it. The update weighs in at between 2GB and 2.74GB, depending on architecture, and contains some improvements and bug fixes to the pre-release operating system.
Microsoft releases digital TV tuner for Xbox One in Europe
A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings.
Shows example apps made using Swift, notes colleges adding the language
Continuing its effort to promote its own streamlined object-oriented programming code Swift, Apple has followed up from its Swift blog with a full-blown mini-site on Apple.com. The new site takes a similar approach to Apple's dedicated mini-sites for education and business, highlighting some of the many apps now built using swift and featuring case studies, profiles and links to tutorials and free resources. The new promotional mini-site is in addition to the regular Swift developer site.
MLB was early adopter of Passbook app, iBeacons; MLB app will gain Touch ID functionality
Major League Baseball, which has taken the role of unabashed cheerleader for several of Apple's financial and retail technology initiatives including Passbook and iBeacons, has announced another embrace -- this time, Apple Pay. Both of the two MLB stadiums involved in this year's World Series will be accepting Apple Pay for concessions starting with the event, which begins on Tuesday. San Francisco's AT&T Park and Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium will both have the hardware on hand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users.
Should improve performance on more recent devices
As of February 1st, all new or updating iOS apps must not only be based on the iOS 8 SDK, but contain 64-bit code, Apple is informing developers. At the moment developers are still being allowed to submit 32-bit-only apps or universal binaries. The problem is that more recent iOS devices -- namely those based on 64-bit A7, A8, and A8X processors -- have to load extra resources into memory to handle 32-bit code, taking a toll on performance.
WatchKit SDK to help development of apps for Apple Watch
Apple is going to help developers create apps for the Apple Watch before its release early next year, by making available a software development kit for the device. WatchKit, being made available to download in November, will allow developers to work on and test their smartwatch apps without having the Apple Watch hardware to hand.
Analytics portal to be taken offline for maintenance for six hours next Sunday
According to a brief notification sent to developers, Apple is planning to take iTunes Connect offline for approximately six hours starting at 6AM Pacific on Sunday, October 26. The portal is used by developers to submit, take down, update, adjust pricing and study analytics of apps submitted to the Mac and iOS App Stores. The modest maintenance downtime is unusual in light of Apple annual and longer downtime that usually happens in December.
Less-obvious buttons, more white space, flatter icons fall in line with iOS 7 aesthetic
The flatter, more minimalist look sported by both iOS 7 and 8 as well as the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite has reached iTunes, or at least the version currently being beta-tested for imminent release. With OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 expected to be unveiled next week at Apple's press event, the music management and storefront application that ties into most users' iOS devices for media access has gained a whiter, flatter interface that does away with shadows and 3D effects in favor of clean lines and subtle buttons.
Updates coming more quickly, signaling that testing phase is winding down
Apple has again updated its "Golden Master" candidate of OS X 10.10 Yosemite in a developer-only release, the third such build. Apple had already seeded a second GM candidate just two days ago, with the first one coming exactly a week before that. The new version, build 14A388a, is exactly two nightly builds up from the previous version. There were no new release notes to indicate what was changed, suggesting that the new GM candidate contains a fix for a recently-discovered issue.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon have all reportedly tendered offers for Unity
According to sources familiar with the matter, cross-platform game development tool Unity's developers are having continuing discussions with possible buyers for the company. The biggest name attached to the development company's discussions is allegedly Google, with Microsoft and Amazon having made offers as early as 2013.
New Android emulator will help developers create 64-bit apps
Android developers looking to create 64-bit apps for the mobile operating system have been given some help, in the form of a new emulator. At the same time as the Android L preview emulator release, reports have appeared suggesting Google is considering adding a function to a future Android iteration where its apps load within a smaller floating window rather than taking up the entire display.
Art assets suggest new iPads will follow iPhone 6 in jumping up pixels, resolution
Further investigation into the recently-release iOS 8.1 beta by developer Hamza Sood has uncovered clues that the forthcoming new iPad models, expected to be revealed on October 16, may be offering significantly higher resolution and pixels-per-inch counts. Certain frameworks call for, and other already have, graphics rated at 1x ("ipad"), "2x-ipad" and a new "3x-ipad," suggesting up to a 50 percent jump in resolution or pixel count. This would create what Apple calls "Retina HD" display quality.
Update includes iOS 8 support for new management options, more
Following recent releases of developer betas for iOS 8.1, OS X Yosemite 10.10 and Xcode 6.1, on Wednesday the company also released an updated version of OS X Server 4.0 for testing. The new build, 14S323, mostly offers updates and improvements to keep up with the latter betas, but adds SMB3 file sharing to the mix for easier network transfers, as well as refinements to existing components like the server app itself and Profile manager, allowing administrators to work with devices on the latest releases.
Should enable release of HomeKit products
Apple has finalized and released official specifications for HomeKit, the home automation platform built into iOS 8. Details were reportedly made available to Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) gear manufacturers last week. Apple mandates that any company wanting to build HomeKit-capable hardware apply for MFi certification.
Second GM candidate doesn't list changes, final version likely coming soon
On the heels of its update of the latest iOS 8.1 beta for developers, Apple has also seeded second GM candidates for OS X 10.10 Yosemite and Xcode 6.1 to registered developers for testing, also issued as "Beta 5" for public testers of Yosemite. The build on the new Yosemite candidate is updated, from 14A378a to 14a386a, but otherwise changes and fixes aren't noted. As the new version was released exactly a week after the last GM candidate, this appears to have been a scheduled second GM build rather than a fix for issues discovered in the first candidate.
Could enable Apple Pay testing
Apple is seeding a second beta of iOS 8.1 to developers, users note. The contents of the code are unknown, but it likely builds out upcoming Apple Pay support, references to which were found in the first beta. If recent rumors are true the new beta may enable Apple Pay testing, and prefigure a public launch of v8.1 on or around October 20th.
Figure just 1 percent higher than post-iPhone 6 launch data
Adoption of iOS 8 has slowed dramatically, having only gained a single percentage point between September 21 and October 5, according to new App Store tracking data from Apple. The company's iOS 8 and iOS 7 are now in equal use. In fact, use of pre-iOS 7 firmware has somehow increased from five to six percent, even though Apple no longer supports it on any substantial level.
Private beta should allow early testing
Apple Pay will indeed launch alongside iOS 8.1, and Apple is currently targeting an October 20 date for the firmware, sources say. The people add that hidden code should allow Apple Pay testing via the 8.1 beta. It's not clear whether that includes NFC functions, or simply online-only transactions. Either way, testing will allegedly start early this month, supported by code rolling out to developers.
Further tweaks on design in preparation for likely October release
On Thursday, Apple released an updated version of the beta for iTunes 12, intended for developers and OS X 10.10 Yosemite Public Beta testers. The update follows on the heels of Monday's Golden Master candidate for Yosemite. The iTunes update makes very minor changes to version 12, including some refinement on vertical alignment in the top bar, a handful of revised icons and other minor tweaks. The forthcoming final release will include support for Family Sharing, and an overall new look.
Teaser page shows Bean Bird webOS smart TV mascot, watch face
A webOS-based smartwatch may be in development by LG, the company's developer site strongly suggests. A now-removed teaser page strongly hinted at a wearable device running the software, by depicting a "Bean Bird" mascot from the company's webOS smart TV software next to a watch, along with the words "Coming soon".
Malware entry vector not yet identified; may capitalize on jailbreak compromise
In an almost unheard-of claim, Lacoon Mobile Security has said that it has discovered a new spyware attack that targets both iOS and Android devices and which appears to be aimed specifically at Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. Lacoon says it made the discovery while investigating the Android version, but did not clarify how the malware might be installed, or overcome the security built into iOS that has, thus far, kept it largely immune to serious malware or viruses.
Piper Jaffray's Munster forecasts 10M units in first year, ASP of $500
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, while calling the Apple Watch "light years ahead of any other smartwatch on the market," nevertheless advised both clients and market watchers to expect "conservative" initial sales of the device in its first year. Like the iPod, which took three years to become the dominant force in music players, Munster said that "consumer application may be limited initially, until developers begin to create useful applications for the watch."
Apple developing fix
The current versions of iOS 8 is creating problems for people who pair their iPhones with Bluetooth devices, particularly car audio systems, according to complaints. In the case of cars, devices with the firmware may refuse to pair, fail to play audio, or disconnect when a phonecall comes in. The problem can't be solved with iOS 8.0.2, and is affecting many automotive brands, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, and others.
Final version imminent as golden master in hands of developers
On Tuesday, Apple signaled the end of active development of the first official version of OS X 10.10 Yosemite with the seeding of the "Golden Master," a one-last-lookover build that will be used as the final first release if no show-stopping bugs are found. An email was sent to registered developers calling for app submissions ahead of the upcoming launch of Yosemite, though no date or deadline was given. The existence of a GM candidate suggests that Yosemite is not far from being released to the public.
Public releases coming soon
Apple has begun seeding gold master candidates of OS X Yosemite and Xcode 6.1 to developers. While "candidate" status means the software is still pre-release, it implies that the code is nearly complete, as it could be released to the public should no serious bugs be discovered. Apple has, in some years, released multiple GM candidates.
Just-released beta confirms expected Touch ID and online Apple Pay support
Inside the just-released iOS 8.1 beta for developers are various clues to future Apple products and services, according to developer Hamza Sood. He uncovered settings menus for Apple Pay as well as references to an iPad that includes Touch ID -- both expected additions in forthcoming versions of iOS and iPad models, respectively. A further find of Apple Pay for the iPad appears to offer only online-buying or in-app purchasing support.
Upgrade to iCloud Drive not recommended until after Yosemite official release
A newly-discovered bug in the "Reset All Settings" control in iOS 8 can cause documents stored in the new iCloud Drive to be permanently deleted. The feature is not recommended to be upgraded to until OS X Yosemite has been officially released -- which is expected to happen sometime next month -- but some iOS 8 users who have upgraded prematurely will be at risk of losing files, such as iWork documents stored in the cloud, if they use the "Reset All Settings" troubleshooting feature.
Updates bash for OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks
Although nearly all Mac users are unaffected by the issue Apple has made good on its word to quickly fix a serious security flaw in bash, a Unix shell that comes as part of OS X. Apple acknowledged the problem on Friday, and today released OS X bash update 1.0 for OS X Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) and Mavericks (10.9). The flaw, known as "Shellshock," could potentially allow users who have set up advanced Unix services that interact with the web to be vulnerable to remote intrusion.
Researchers put 40 students in driving simulator to simulate speech-to-text distractions
In a joint study between the University of Central Florida and Air Force Research Laboratories, researcher Ben Sawyer found that drivers wearing Google Glass are just as distracted as those using smartphones to text. The study attempted to discover the level of driver distraction using Google Glass, a hands-free device that many claimed offers no or a lesser degree of distraction than other in-car devices.
Allowed users to create app, task shortcuts
Apple has removed an app called Launcher from the App Store, citing "misuse" of iOS 8 Notification Center widgets, says developer Cromulent Labs. The app lets users create create shortcuts for various tasks, such as calling a specific person via phone or FaceTime, navigating to a location, or simply opening an app. These shortcuts then appear in a widget.
Show reborn after five years reappears in China after being US-exclusive event
Possibly hoping to kickstart a declining PC market, Microsoft yesterday announced is intention to hold the WinHEC conference again. The reborn conference will be held in Shenzhen, China on March 18 and 19, pointing to the large amount of hardware manufacturers and developers in the area.
Firmware still available for download by iPhone 4
Apple has officially stopping signing iOS 7.1.2, reports say. The move means that people who already have iOS 8 installed won't be able to downgrade. The v7.1.2 firmware can still be downloaded by iPhone 4 owners, however, since their devices are incompatible with iOS 8.
Only those running advanced UNIX services should be concerned, fix is on the way
An Apple spokesperson has reassured Mac users that the "vast majority" of users are not at risk from a serious bug discovered in the UNIX shell Bash that some researchers have called "potentially bigger than the Heartbleed vulnerability." Apple says that only those who have configured "advanced UNIX services" using the Terminal in OS X could be a risk of the flaw -- which would mean that nearly all OS X users would be unaffected. Nevertheless, the company is said to be working on a fix.
Schiller suggests owners with bent iPhones visit Apple Stores
Continuing to fight back against claims that the iPhone 6 Plus is structurally unsound and prone to bending in people's pockets, Apple has given some tech reporters a tour of the iPhone quality testing lab, showing that it does and did test the new iPhone to simulate situations like those seen in videos to aggravate or cause bending. The original instigator of the furor has noted that his iPhone 6 Plus was slightly bent right out of the box -- opening up the possibility that some batches, rather than the phone itself, could have structural issues.
Connect IQ SDK offers sensor access, fitness data, option to create watch faces
Garmin is attempting to make its GPS watches for runners more attractive to fitness apps, by opening the platform up to third-party developers working in the field of wearable devices. Connect IQ is billed as a software development kit allowing developers create apps which will work with future Garmin watches and other items.
Bug-finding and reporting emphasized, event runs through Sunday
Developers and AppleSeed testers working with the latest beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite are receiving email invitations from Apple to join in on a focused "test fest" that concentrates on one particular feature -- AirDrop, which allows wireless transfers of files between Macs and iOS devices. This is the first time in recent memory that Apple has opened up a "test fest" to users outside Apple for this level of focused feature examination.
Up to 480 songs on your wrist, perhaps, but only iPad Airs for Xmas
A new pair of rumors -- one from sketchy sources in Taiwan, the other a claim by a Wall Street analyst -- offer some unconfirmed sources of new details for the Apple Watch, as well as the company's holiday plans for the next iPad, the latter thus far being unmentioned by Apple but expected sometime next month. According to Taiwan's Commercial Times, Apple will only offer an updated 7.9-inch iPad Air for the holidays, leaving the second-gen Retina iPad mini until early next year.
Development, support to continue on Aviary's SDK under Adobe's Creative SDK banner
Adobe announced that it acquired a developer of software development kits (SDK) for photo-editing and third-party mobile software. Aviary's SDKs are to be folded into the Adobe Creative SDK, which the company is building as a development platform for mobile apps. Terms of the acquisition were not given, but Aviary was privately held.
Solves problem preventing message writing
Apple has released an separate update of its Mail client for the public and developer betas of OS X Yosemite. The code "resolves an issue that may prevent composing a message," attached notes explain. Beta participants can download the update via the Mac App Store.