Agency preps developers for changes to important act
The US Federal Trade Commission has started sending out two letters to app developers, preparing them for changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act taking effect July 1st, according to an announcement. The letters warn developers that restrictions on the collection of personal data from kids under 13 have been expanded, and now cover things like audio or video bearing a child's likeness. Previously, rules only covered the gathering of names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Smartwatch able to communicate back to smartphones
Pebble, the smartwatch that started life on Kickstarter, has received an extra $15 million in funding. The additional funding from investors, on top of the $10.2 million received through its Kickstarter campaign, comes at the same time as the company updates its SDK to include two-way communication for third-party Pebble apps.
Ultra low power Bluetooth protocol to be enabled in dual-mode chipsets
Today at Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference, Google announced that in the coming months Android will include native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices. Phones and tablets with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip running an unnamed coming version of Android will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Google Maps API, multiplayer tools, Google+ sign-on added to Android
Google has revealed some of the new tools available to developers on Android at its Google I/O event. A number of new APIs have been introduced, along with the rumored APIs for multiplayer gaming, and new tools for developers to create the apps themselves, including a new Android Studio tool, and help in the creation of international versions of apps.
Google kicks off developer conference
Google is set to kick off its I/O developer conference with an opening keynote. The company is widely expected to introduce a new Android build, potentially alongside new hardware. Check our live page beginning at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern, for updates from the event.
Netflix updates API to remove expiry dates for movies, shows
Netflix has removed the expiry dates for films and TV shows from its public API, following recent reports that the streaming service would drop around 1,800 items of content in May alone. According to a company blog post, the change is being made due to the inaccuracy of the expiry date due to the "frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow," though the field will still appear with a default date in the API, in order to avoid errors in third-party apps.
Developer kit to allow Card.io-based credit card scanning
Payment service PayPal has launched a new software development kit for Android. Following on from the iOS version launched in March, the Android SDK will allow developers to integrate PayPal payments into their apps, providing them with an alternative payment processing system to Google Play, and the option to pay for in-app items or services by credit or debit card.
Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD owners receive 500-coin gift
Amazon has launched its virtual currency in the United States, and has provided Kindle Fire owners with an initial credit on their accounts. The 500 Amazon Coins, valued at $5, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as in-app items, along with an incentive to continue buying packs of the virtual currency instead of usual cash transactions.
Gaming framework for Android could appear at Google I/O
Google may be revealing an entire gaming framework to developers at Google I/O next week, based on newly-released data. The Google Play Services component for Android includes support for various game-related features in a new update, including synchronizing saved games and various multiplayer components seen in a previous leak.
No noted changes or known issues reported once again
The weekly release of new builds of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 are continuing apace, with build 12E47 now available for testers -- again with no new changes or known issues, and again asking developers to focus testing efforts on the same areas as before: graphics, Safari and Wi-Fi performance. Earlier builds of 10.8.4 are known to be slightly improving battery life, addressing bugs with Wi-Fi stability and reconnection after waking from sleep, as well as fixing some remaining Nvidia card graphic glitches.
Lets devs bypass Safari and use Chrome as default in-app browser
Shortly after updating its GMail iOS app to allow it to link directly to Chrome and other Google apps as needed, the search and ad giant is now offering Chrome for iOS integration tools to developers that allow them to specify Chrome as the browser to use for in-app web interaction, bypassing Safari unless Chrome is not already installed. The tools can give developers the option of using Chrome or asking the user if they would like to open a link in Chrome rather than Safari. It's not yet clear if the changes represent any breach of Apple's iOS guidelines.
Should pave way for Google Now on OS X
The Chrome OS notification center -- already in the Windows releases of Chromium and Chrome Canary -- is in the process of being ported to the Mac version of Chromium, says Google's François Beaufort. The Chromium evangelist points to a logged Chromium issue titled "[Mac][MC] Implement notification updates and relayouts." He comments that the Mac version of the notification center is still "under heavy development," but that it can already be toggled on by running Chrome with an "--enable-rich-notifications" switch.
Flash rebuilt with 64-bit architecture, Dreamweaver gains CSS Designer tool
Adobe has outlined a large number of changes for its web-development products, as part of its major announcements today. Flash Professional CC has been rebuilt to be more modular and streamlined, Edge Animate CC and Edge Reflow Preview 3 add some workflow improvements, and Dreamweaver CC introduces a visual editing tool for CSS, PhoneGap build support, and other extra tools.
Moves past AppGratis
Apple is becoming more strict about enforcing an App Store guideline against titles with app recommendation functions, says PocketGamer. One developer in particular comments that his app was rejected despite being tailored to conform to the guideline. "We thought that basing our recommendations on sharing was suitable for Apple, as it had previously stated that if you bake in social or local into your app discovery, you would be fine," the person says. "I think they aim to be the only provider of recommendations for apps, along with being the distributor."
Features so far reserved for Android
iPhone owners with early access to Google Glass will soon also be able to use the glasses' navigation and text messaging features, a Google worker tells TechCrunch. Getting either function currently requires the official Android companion app. In the near future, though, Glass will be able to access them regardless of the device it's tethered to. Exact timing hasn't been mentioned.
Mozilla updates Firefox OS simulator to 3.0, adds rotation, geolocation
Mozilla has rolled out a new version of its Firefox OS simulator, in order to help with application development. The emulator update to version 3.0, surfacing just after the first developer devices started shipping, adds a number of features, including rotation simulation, basic simulation of a geolocation API, newer versions of the Firefox rendering engine and Gaia UI, Push to Device, and a number of other bug fixes. The simulator is available to download as a Firefox desktop browser extension.
Hiring hints at gaming future for Android
Google may be branching out into making games, after hiring a games industry veteran. Noah Falstein, designer of a number of games over his 23-year career, has been picked up by the search giant and given the title "Chief Game Designer," suggesting that the company could be producing its own games, introducing gaming concepts to its products, or even building its own gaming platform on Android.
Ambitious update said to make over look, add features to mobile OS
Following on the heels of rumors that Apple reassigned engineers from other projects (including the next OS X release, 10.9) in order to help ensure completion, a new report from unnamed sources has said that iOS 7, the forthcoming major update to the company's mobile platform, will ship on time despite pressures. Anonymous informers told AllThingsD that while the extra help was needed, the update "will ship on time" and debut as scheduled at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC).
'New normal' weekly cycle stays mum on changes, fixes
Another six days have gone by, and thus another pre-release beta of the forthcoming 10.8.4 Mountain Lion has been seeded to developers for testing. The new build, 12E40, again lists no new changes or known issues, and asks developers to focus on the same areas as before: graphics, Safari and Wi-Fi performance. While not mentioned in the notes, the upcoming update adds support for the emerging 802.11ac wireless protocol.
New OS expected to be evolutionary upgrade
The next major upgrade of OS X, v10.9, will concentrate on "power-user" features while bringing in more concepts from iOS, say sources for 9to5Mac. In the former category, several improvements to Finder are expected, such as tagging and tabbed browsing. Fullscreen apps should finally remain open on secondary monitors, and Safari is expected to get a new version with a new backend, improving performance and efficiency.
Code released after hackers gained root access to headset
Google has released the kernel GPL source code for Google Glass, in an effort to provide developers more information on how Glass actually functions. The download, measuring in at around 65 megabytes, comes in the wake of hardware hackers successfully gaining root access to a developer edition of the device within hours, by using already-existing Android exploits.
Rooting of Google headset could allow local file storage options
The Google Glass headset has been rooted, shortly after it has started being issued by the search giant to developers. Jay Freeman, a hacker that goes by "Saurik" and creator of the Cydia app store for jailbroken iPhones and iPads, gained access to a level that he could theoretically prevent the device from being affected by Google's own restrictions.
Presents alternative to sold-out gathering
A free, unofficial developer event, AltWWDC, has been announced as running parallel to Apple's 2013 developer conference. Like WWDC, AltWWDC will be active June 10th through the 14th in San Francisco. The gathering is being hosted at the SF State Downtown Campus, only a block away from WWDC's venue, Moscone West.
Policy change to affect Facebook, other independently-updated apps
Google has updated its Play store with a small change to its developer program policies, to prevent malicious code appearing on devices. The small change now forbids applications supplied through the Google Play store from receiving updates using another process, in an effort to improve the overall security of apps provided to Android users.
Arment said project had outgrown his ability to keep it up-to-date
Popular Mac punditry figure, developer and publisher Marco Arment has announced that he has sold a majority share of his web-article saving and syncing app Instapaper to Digg owners Betaworks. Under the deal, Betaworks will "take over the operations, expand its staff and develop it further," says Arment, while he will continue advising the project "indefinitely." He admitted in the blog post that he had "had trouble" keeping up with the needs of the service for the past year, while rivals such as Pocket and Readability could devote more resources.
Numerous tweets confirm Apple contact, conference sold out in minutes
Various tweets and blog posts from developers who tried -- and failed -- to snap up Worldwide Developer's Conference (WWDC) tickets in the scant two minutes they were available from Apple this morning indicate that the company is contacting some of those turned away to offer some tickets to the event. The "second chance" calls are unlikely to be made to all developers, and so the company has already announced that videos of all the sessions will be made available to registered developers as the conference progresses.
Move allows Facebook revenue stream on all mobile app platforms
According to Facebook, the company has just acquired cloud coding company Parse, giving it a platform for back-end tools for mobile developers. Facebook calls the size of the deal "not material" to the acquisition, but reports place the deal between $80 and $95 million. Parse ownership claims that it had many corporate suitors, but chose Facebook because the social network fit the ethos of the startup better than the other companies involved.
Sales beat 2012 record
(Updated with corrected timing) Apple has already sold out of passes to attend WWDC 2013 in San Francisco, according to the company's website. AppleInsider notes that sales were ended just two minutes after they opened at 10AM Pacific time. The pace beats last year's record, when passes were gone in roughly two hours.
New animation tools, page objects, per-page controls, more
Although it got off to a rocky start, Apple's iAd service is now the second-largest such service online, behind Google. The program has quietly but slowly improved over the years, and the improvements have now filtered through to a new major version of iAd Producer, the program that allows artist to create both typical iOS ads as well as the elaborate, beautifully-produced promotions that have become a signature showcase of Apple's approach to advertising. The new version, 4.0, improves nearly every aspect of the program.
150 applicants will be awarded admission to the conference
Apple has opened up applications for its annual scholarships for student developers to attend the 2013 World Wide Developers Conference scheduled for June 10 through June 14. The annual program is giving 150 students admission to the conference on a merit basis, the same number as last year.
Should eliminate traditional weeks-long wait
This year, developers should be able to access videos for WWDC while the event is still underway, language on Apple's website suggests. The company writes that it will be posting videos for all of its sessions "during the conference" for registered Apple developers. How developers will be able to access the clips isn't mentioned.
Will feature new versions of OS X, iOS
Apple has formally announced the details of its 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference. The event will run from June 10 through the 14 at Moscone West in San Francisco. Tickets will go on sale April 25 at 10AM Pacific time, and Apple is promising over 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers. As usual, the conference will focus on helping developers creating, deploying, and integrating OS X and iOS-based projects, and networking between fellow developers.
No new changes or issues noted, no timeframe available
Just six days after the previous release, Apple on Tuesday has released a new version of the forthcoming 10.8.4 update to developers. The new build, 12E36, lists no known changes or issues, and asks developers again to focus on Wi-Fi, Safari and graphics drivers. It is known that the new build includes support for the emerging 802.11ac standard, suggesting possible new model updates that will also support the protocols. The 10.8.4 release is also said to improve battery life somewhat, and issues with Wi-Fi and waking from sleep.
Geeksphone Keon, Peak Firefox OS developer preview devices out now
The first Firefox OS developer preview handsets are now shipping, starting at 119 euros for the entry-level model and 194 euros for a more fully specified device. Although the devices are aimed at developers, anyone can put down the cash for the new smartphones for shipment to a number of different countries, plus postage costs. The first devices to go on sale are the Keon and the Peak, both made by Geeksphone of Spain and feature mobile apps developed in HTML5.
Apple to sponsor Lennor 'tour bus,' educational music clinics
Apple is now sponsoring the long-running "John Lennon Educational Tour Bus," a mobile audio and video studio on wheels that tours educational institutions, encouraging students to explore and produce their own music with free songwriting, recording and multimedia production workshops. Using Macs on board to help with production, children write, perform and record original music and produce music videos with the assistance of three on-board engineers. Most recently seen in Phoenix AZ last weekend, the bus is scheduled to be in Gulf Shores AL as part of the Hangout Music Festival. The non-profit organization has its own App Store iOS app (free) as well.
Developer plans newsletter, HTML5 web app to skirt rules
AppGratis, which admitted that it had gamed Apple's chart rankings and whose CEO subsequently lied about its business model after getting its app pulled from the App Store, has now seen its push notifications to users shut down as part of a broader Apple crackdown on apps that attempt to manipulate iOS app chart rankings. The company, which charged developers a fee in exchange for promising to get and keep their apps into the charts, sent emails to its users informing them that Apple had blocked the push messages.
Apple update adds support for four new Fuji cameras
Just after updating both Aperture and iPhoto with various bug fixes, Apple has issued an update for its Digital Camera Raw Compatibility plug-in, which supplements both programs with additional support for Raw files produced by various cameras. The program, now at version 4.05, adds support for four new cameras, all from Fuji: the Fujifilm X20, X100S, X-E1 and X-Pro1. The download is 6MB in size and requires either 10.7.5 or higher for OS X Lion and 10.8.3 or higher for OS X Mountain Lion.
Files found within Google Glass app include multiplayer features
Google may be creating its own gaming platform, according to a report. The MyGlass companion app for Google Glass was found to contain a folder labeled "games" that held a number of files relating to various game-related functionality, something that the search giant could allow developers to implement for all apps downloadable through play, not just for Glass.
Added support for emerging 802.11ac Wi-Fi in previous release
As it has done almost every week for the last few months, Apple on Wednesday seeded a new build of the next update to 10.8 Mountain Lion on Wednesday. The latest version of the 10.8.4 beta comes with the curious numbering of 12E33a, the first beta in recent memory to have a letter designation at the end. The significance of the letter is unknown, but could be indicative of a last-minute revision. As has become usual, the release notes only ask developers to focus on graphics drivers, Safari and general Wi-Fi testing.
Facebook home downloadable in UK, Canada
Facebook Home is now available to Android users in the UK and Canada, after the limited launch in the US. The Home launcher, replacing existing front end software used on Android smartphones, allows users to see their Facebook news feed from the home screen, and includes a number of socially-focused elements, including the Chat Heads system released earlier in Facebook Messenger. The initial range of devices that can use the Google Play download remains unchanged, populated by the Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III, HTC One X, One X+, and One.
Nearly 200 countries will be able to buy apps from Amazon
Amazon is looking to expand its Appstore for Android into nearly 200 countries in the next few months. The retailer has announced that app developers will be able to submit their products to the store for distribution in the new locations, with those registered for international distribution becoming automatically available to download in countries as the store expands.
Developer working on unannounced Facebook mobile product
According to reports, Facebook has hired ex-Apple developer and lead Maps designer Richard Williamson. The coder is joining the social network's nascent mobile software group, and is working on an unannounced product. Williamson was fired by Apple's Senior VP for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue in November.
Restores more user control to Java web plug-in
Apple on Tuesday updated both Java and its web browser Safari for users of OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) and higher. The updates now allow users to enable the Java web plug-in on a site-by-site basis, as opposed to the "active" or "inactive" options it had previously. Following a spate of serious issues, Apple forcibly disabled the Java plug-in because of malicious, in-use threats -- though users could reactivate Java once they updated.
Conflicts with statements by CEO
AppGratis is promising developers higher App Store rankings, despite claims to the contrary by the company's CEO, according to Business Insider. "Reaching the the top of any App Store is a simple and logical equation. But we’re not in this business," CEO Simon Dawlat told TechCrunch in a statement yesterday. "We’re in in the business of helping the end users discover new apps, and to serve this mission, we’re playing the long run. We’re building a community. We’ve never been in the business of gaming the top charts or anything. This is a very strong statement from us."
First Google Glass headsets leave manufacturing
The specifications of Google Glass have been revealed through a Google support page. The internal details of the headwear are published at the same time as the company begins to produce units for the first wave of Glass pre-orders, along with Mirror API details for developers, and the a companion Android app.
May be final update before WWDC, builds on 4.6
Late on Monday, Apple released a minor update to its development environment software for the Mac, Xcode, which is used to build applications for both OS X and iOS. The new version, 4.6.2, improves LLDB performance for debugging Objective-C code, and fixes and issue where the crash log database could grow to very large sizes, along with the usual assortment of bug fixes and stability improvements. It builds on the previous update, released last month, that finally supported 10.8.3. The free updated version is available through the Mac App Store.
Pushes localization for App Store, iBookstore titles
Apple has sent out a memo to developers this week, urging them to localize Mac and iOS apps as well as titles on the iBookstore, notes AppleInsider. The message is being delivered through iTunes Connect, and points out that both the iOS and Mac App Stores are accessible in 155 countries and 40 languages. "In addition, the App Store editorial team is always looking for great apps that are localized," Apple writes.
Former coders claim long-time Mac developer closing its doors
(Updated with correction of Dominic Feira's employment status)Ambrosia Software, a long-time maker of Mac software stretching back to System 7, is not going out of business -- at least according to its founder and president, Andrew Welch. He took to Twitter to dispel accusations that the company was closing up shop, following tweets to that effect from former coders who announced on Wednesday they had been let go. The company, currently best known for its screen capture tool Snapz Pro X and ringtone maker iToner, confirmed the layoffs but said the company is not folding.
First registrations to get Glass by Google developer event
Google will be shipping Glass to developers "within the next month," according to comments made during the Google Ventures Glass Collective event. The Explorer Edition of Glass, meant for programmers and costing $1,500 per device, could reach customers before the company's developer event, Google I/O, on May 15th.