Apps now almost double 2013 prices
Apple is increasing the prices of both apps and in-app purchases at the Russian App Store, according to a new memo issued to developers. An app that would normally be $1 in the US, for example, is now 62 rubles. That indicates that apps have almost doubled in cost in Russia during 2014, though the increase is largely due to recent currency pressures.
New Xcode 6.2 beta also available
Apple has begun seeding a third beta of iOS 8.2 to developers. Significantly the code restores blood glucose tracking in the Health app, which was temporarily disabled earlier this year due to confusion caused by the app displaying data in mg/dL but accepting data from devices using mmol/L as well. In the new software, users can toggle between mg/dL or mmol/L.
Could raise costs in some regions
Apple has sent an email to iOS developers, notifying them of a change to the way it handles VAT (value-added taxes) at European App Stores. Currently the company charges a single VAT rate across the European Union; soon, though, it plans to charge on a per-country basis. The change is due to take effect on January 1.
Version 5.1 expected to be available by February, sources say
The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, has been experiencing a bit of a rocky road since its release, with version 5.0.1 already having been pushed out to address some of the issues. Rumors are surfacing that Lollipop 5.1 will be released in early 2015 -- however, some users may not be able to update until July, if ever.
AutoFill, HTML5 video, notifications among testing areas
Apple is distributing three new Safari betas to OS X developers. Yosemite users are getting v8.0.3; v7.1.3 is available for Mavericks, while v6.2.3 is the equivalent for Mountain Lion. Some testing focus areas include AutoFill, web notifications, website and extension compatibility, HTML5 video playback on "popular video sites," and debugging sites via Web Inspector. Apple is also concerned with bookmark editing, and the read/unread state of Reading List items.
Updates to existing apps must switch by June
Apple has issued a new notice to developers, reminding them of two important deadlines concerning 64-bit support in iOS apps. As was previously announced, those submitting new titles to the App Store must implement 64-bit support -- and use the iOS 8 SDK -- by February 1st. Additionally, the company now says that updates to existing titles must meet the same standards as of June 1st.
Google Glass-style Sony headset clips onto existing eyewear, sunglasses
Sony has unveiled its own take on the Google Glass wearable concept, with a similar heads-up display. The Single-Lens Display Module is a two-section unit which can be temporarily attached to a normal pair of glasses or sunglasses, providing a small Glass-style OLED screen to one side of the user's field of view which can be used to show various kinds of data useful to the wearer at that moment.
Project gains Bluetooth LE beacon stickers, competes with iBeacon
Google's attempt to take on Apple's iBeacon platform has taken its first major step since its announcement in October, with the release of hardware compatible with the framework. Blesh, a Turkish company who already works with iBeacon hardware, is offering a bundle of Bluetooth beacons for use with the "Physical Web" project.
Baidu agrees to use Here maps for location services outside of China
Here, Nokia's mapping service, is going to provide content for the Android and iOS Baidu Maps app, as well as desktop maps. The agreement will allow Baidu to offer its Chinese travelers access to maps for areas outside of China for the first time, with Taiwan set to be the first country covered and others set to follow. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Apple Store app, Hotel Tonight, Merchbar and others now supporting mobile pay tech
In addition to banks and credit unions adding support for Apple Pay to their debit and credit cards, app developers are also taking advantage of the service's other side -- using Touch ID to secure online payments, which may in fact outpace mainstream point-of-sale acceptance as online shopping continues to grow. Priceline announced earlier this week that it will support Apple Pay for "Express Deal" hotel reservations, and MLB Ballpark (formerly "At the Ballpark") now lets users pay for tickets from select teams.
Company says rejection was misunderstanding
The newly-launched iPad version of Papers, Please has briefly been censored by Apple, reports note. Players assume the role of a passport control agent in the fictional Eastern Bloc country of Arstotzka. Later into the game players have access to a full-body scanner; in the original PC title, players could toggle whether this presented characters in full (but cartoonish and low-resolution) nudity or simply in their underwear. A version with both options was initially rejected from the App Store, forcing developer Lucas Pope to remove the nudity.
Timeline for final update up in the air
Apple has issued a third beta of OS X 10.10.2 to developers. The code is listed as build 14C81f, and follows 14C78c, released on the 4th. One significant change is that Mail and VoiceOver have been added as new areas for testing focus, suggesting an expanded scope for Apple's bugfixes.
Works with iOS, Android, Windows Phone: crash reporting, analytics, beta distribution to be unified
Microsoft has announced through a blog post that it has acquired HockeyApp, a mobile analytics and app-distribution service similar to Apple's Testflight. Originally launched as a web-only service in 2011 that allowed iOS, OS X, and Android developers to collect crash reports and manage beta distribution, the app now offers such services for Android, iOS and Windows Phone developers, and will continue to operate as Microsoft works on integrating HockeyApp into the Applications Insights service in Visual Studio Online.
Proposed tool would help keep photographs taken while drunk away from Facebook
Pictures of drunk people on Facebook may lessen in future, if plans revealed by the social network's AI research lab come to fruition. Lab head Yann LeCun wants to create a digital assistant for Facebook which is capable of detecting whether photographs being uploaded to the service are being done while the user is under the influence of alcohol, with the aim of preventing anything the user would find embarrassing when they are sober from being shown to visitors.
Could open up iCloud Drive-related functions in apps
Apple has quickly reversed course on a policy that broke "Send To" commands in the FTP app Transmit for iOS, app developer Panic now says. The company writes that it got a "nice call from Apple" on Wednesday, and it has resubmitted Transmit to the App Store with Send To restored. This includes the "Send to iCloud Drive" command that formed the basis of Apple's complaint.
Developers for low-tech virtual reality device gains more support from Google
Google's low-tech virtual reality efforts have received a boost, with updates for users, developers, and those creating their own version of the Google Cardboard kit. Alongside a new Cardboard app making it easier to find and view VR experiences, Google Play now includes a collection page showing a number of made-for-Cardboard apps, including a performance by Paul McCartney and scenes from The Hobbit.
Developers gain new API to help create faces for Android Wear devices
The latest update to Android Wear is adding more user-personalizable options to the smartwatch software, among other improvements. Dozens of watch faces for Android Wear wearables are being made available to download, with a new Watch Face API also being introduced to make it easier for developers to create new faces.
HP operating system to include emulator for The Machine project
HP Labs' attempt to reinvent the computer is going to have its own operating system when it is completed, according to a new report. The company is planning to release Linux++, a version of the open operating system designed to work with "The Machine," which HP hopes will spur developers to support the hardware and create software for it.
No significant changes noticed so far
Apple has begun seeding a second beta of iOS 8.2 to developers, build 12D445d. The first beta, build 12D436, was released on November 18. As of this writing, there don't appear to be any feature changes, suggesting the new beta is mostly intended to eliminate bugs.
'Send to iCloud Drive' option at root of dispute
The latest version of FTP program Transmit for iOS has lost all share sheet-based uploads because of an Apple policy regarding iCloud Drive, says developer Panic. Until now, the FTP app has exploited iOS 8's Extensions function to let people upload files to several storage services, such as iCloud Drive or Dropbox. Panic explains that it was informed that Apple rules dictate that an app can't upload content to iCloud Drive unless a file was created within the app itself; the developer insists that there is nothing about this restriction on iCloud Drive in Apple's iOS Data Storage Guidelines.
Developers asked to focus on Wi-Fi speeds and related issues
On Thursday - exactly two weeks after the first OS X 10.10.2 beta - Apple updated developers with a second beta, build 14C78c. The primary focus from the previous beta, Wi-Fi stability and connectivity, continues to be the requested center of testing. Specifically, Apple is asking developers to test recent changes made to Wi-Fi interaction. While the first update, 10.10.1, fixed a number of issues users were having with Wi-Fi and Mail issues, some users continue to report problems with Wi-Fi stability.
Update adds new security provisions, larger Bluetooth Smart packets for transfers
This week, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that it adopted a new version of the Bluetooth core specification. The newest Bluetooth 4.2 update comes a year after 4.1 was adopted, which laid the groundwork for better Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, less LTE interference, improved data transfers and device reconnection. However, Bluetooth 4.2 adds more user-friendly features, such as increased speed, privacy and Internet connectivity.
Berlin, London, Tokyo getting related events same week
Apple has announced a series of hour-long US programming workshops meant to support Code.org's Hour of Code, and Computer Science Education Week, which runs from December 8-14. The workshops themselves are being held at Apple Stores on December 11, aimed at teaching children the basics of writing code. Parents must registerfor a spot through Apple's website.
Standard annual procedure
For 2014, the annual shutdown of iTunes Connect will run from December 22 through to December 29, Apple has announced via its developer portal. Connect is the service used by app developers and book publishers to submit material for sale on iTunes, change prices, and study analytics. During the downtime, app makers won't be able to submit new apps, any updates, or introduce new in-app purchases. Changes to TestFlight betas will also be impossible, although people will be able to continue using beta apps.
Bugfix updates add Firefox import, improves WebGL on Retina displays
On Wednesday, Apple released minor updates to Safari for the current and two most recent OS X versions. Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8.5) users will see an update to Safari v6.2.1, Mavericks (10.9.x) users will see Safari 7.1.1 available for update, and Yosemite users (10.10) will get Safari 8.0.1. The releases share a variety of bug and security fixes, and add the ability to import usernames and passwords from Firefox.
Three interchangeable modules used to create Puzzlephone
Google's Project Ara may not be the only modular smartphone on the market, if a Finnish start-up has anything to do with it. The Puzzlephone from Circular Devices aims to offer end users the option to customize parts to create their ideal smartphone, but rather than go down the route of individual components, it will instead divide the phone up into three segments, simplifying the modular concept significantly.
Aborted 8.0.1 update made users gun-shy; 8.1 picks up pace
Apple's iOS 8 adoption rate has returned to normal levels following a brief stagnation in the wake of the botched 8.0.1 update that was only very briefly available but caused havoc for the thousands who downloaded it, and temporarily made users hesitant to upgrade. In an update on iOS 8 distribution posted to its developer website, Apple said 60 percent of users registered with the iOS App Store are now running some version iOS 8 (up four percent from two weeks ago), with 35 percent running iOS 7 (down five percent from the same period).
iPhone buyers likely grabbing 'vital' apps
App Store downloads surged to a record 7.8 million per day average for the top 200 free iOS apps in October, says mobile marketing firm Fiksu. That represented a 42 percent increase from September, and a 39 percent jump year-over-year. The firm says it expects the trend to continue into the holiday season. It appears to have been kickstarted by sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which first launched on September 19, but which has been been gradually rolling out to more and more countries.
New tactic addresses complaints of silent disabling of outdated versions
Apple is trying a different tack in the struggle to keep Macs secure by encouraging users to either disable the Flash browser plug-in outright, or to keep up-to-date with the latest version, which routinely fixes serious security issues found in the multi-platform media player. The latest maneuver by the iPhone maker, which debuted today, is a direct pop-up prompt to update to the latest version when users visit a page that requires Flash Player. The dialogue box takes users directly to Adobe's own page for updating Flash.
First beta comes with known problem, but no focus areas for testing
Just days after issuing the OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 update that has reportedly fixed a raft of Wi-Fi and Mail issues (but not all of them), the company has seeded the first beta of 10.10.2 for developer. The new build, 14C68k, is now available through the Yosemite Software Update mechanism or Apple's developer portal. The release notes for the beta curiously do not mention any focus areas, but do warn testers of a known flaw in opening documents from iCloud Drive.
Store access granted to developers despite lack of Google Play Store in China
Google is now accepting apps created by developers based in China on the Google Play Store. While the change now allows for developers in the country to sign up as merchants for Google's Android app marketplace, distributing the apps to users in more than 130 countries, the apps themselves will not be available in China itself, as Google Play does not currently operate there.
Release breaks all 32-bit extensions, offers faster startup and memory management
Originally announced in August, Google has now released Chrome 39 for OS X, the first version of the browser that is fully 64-bit. In addition to some 42 security fixes and new APIs, the new version now requires all extension developers update their extensions to 64-bit, as 32-bit extensions are no longer supported. The change will result in a lot of existing Chrome extensions "breaking" for most users, at least temporarily.
8.2 release enables testing of Apple Watch apps
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Shenzhen conference gathered HomeKit, iOS accessory manufacturers
On the heels of reports that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips that feature Apple's HomeKit API already embedded in them are now arriving to accessory makers, Apple announced during its "Made For i" (MFi) developer conference in China that manufacturers can now submit product plans for HomeKit-based products to the iPhone maker for approval, making it possible that the first group of such devices could arrive before the end of the holiday buying season. Apple's MFi certification would be the last step for devices before hitting the market.
Fixes Swift, Interface Builder, other components
Apple is now seeding a gold master version of Xcode 6.1.1 to developers, listed as build 6A2006. The update is a relatively minor one, dealing with bugfixes for Xcode Server, Interface Builder, and handling of Apple's Swift programming language. It can be downloaded through the official OS X developer portal.
Depth-sensing Project Tango listed as unavailable to purchase
Google's Project Tango has appeared on the Google Play Store, strongly suggesting the search company is making it available to purchase shortly. The development kit is shown with a complete specifications list and a collection of promotional images, including one which displays the multi-sensor back cover for depth sensing and motion tracking.
Camera RAW, Thunderbolt Display firmware, Safari, Epson printers
On Thursday, Apple issued a number of new builds of Safari for the last three versions of OS X, a new firmware update for the current Thunderbolt Display, an update to Camera RAW, and updates for printer drivers for Epson printers. The Thunderbolt Display firmware update covers a "rare" issue that can cause some displays to go dark, according to the company. The update, to version 1.2, also brings "improved reliability when connecting external displays to the display."
Calls on Congress to make general 'data brokering' more transparent
Microsoft takes .Net open source and cross-platform, adds new development capabilities with Visual S
Microsoft has open-sourced the full server-side of its .Net stack, a platform for running and developing applications, prioritizing cross-platform expansion for running on Linux and Mac operating systems. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that features access to its core toolset. Microsoft is providing the full .Net server stack in open source, including Asp.Net, the .Net compiler, the .Net Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, thus enabling cross-platform building. The announcements come alongside the release of Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .Net 2015 Preview, which are built to support iOS, Android, and Windows.
Google makes data-erasing full restore images available for download
Google is now offering a number of methods by which users of four selected Nexus devices can upgrade to Android 5.0 "Lollipop." The primary method, an "Over The Air (OTA) update" is rolling out in phases to users of Google's mobile devices now, and is expected to be available to all owners of the four devices in the next month. Additionally, the company has posted full-restore factory images to its website, should a user want to completely erase a device, and start from scratch (otherwise known as a "clean install").
Flow shares notifications, app data between collection of networked devices
Samsung used its Developer Conference to reveal a system for allowing notifications and data to be shared between a collection of different devices. Similar to Apple's Continuity, Samsung Flow will allow users to move relevant information between smartphones, tablets, computers, smart televisions, and other network-connected devices with displays.
Error in 'wrapping' of update caused cellular, Touch ID issues, he says
An interview of Apple's VP of iPhone, iPod and iOS Produce Marketing Greg Jozwiak conducted last month at a Re/code conference has been posted online. In the 34-minute session, "Joz" defended the company's quality-control procedures even in the face of some recent minor -- and one major -- software snafus for the mobile platform. The talk also covered many of Joz's responsibilities, including Apple Pay, the new Apple SIM, iOS and more.
Audio boosting app Boom 2 Beta released, built for Yosemite
Global Delight has released a beta version of its re-engineered audio boosting app, Boom (readers can check out our review of Boom from last month). Boom 2 introduces an ability to adapt and adjust to accommodate the type of Mac being used, attempting to intuit a suitable volume output, depending on the device. Support for 64-bit architecture is included, and users can switch between 10-band and advanced equalizer controls. Depending on the audio file, Boom 2 can recommend the type of 'boosting' to apply for best optimization. Those interested in trying out the Boom 2's beta version can subscribe online.
New build doesn't list any new areas of focus; still testing Wi-Fi, Exchange mail, Notification Cent
A week after offering developers and public beta testers a first release of OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite, the company has issued a smaller second beta with the same focus areas as the previous version. The new build, 14B23, again asks testers to focus on Wi-Fi, Exchange email accounts and tracking down bugs in Notification Center, just as with the first beta. Those who signed up for pre-release builds for the Yosemite public beta will also receive the 10.10.1 betas.
Developer edition of Firefox set to launch soon
Mozilla is increasing the privacy options available in the Firefox browser, with a few new additions. A "Forget" button has been added for the first time, alongside the privacy-focused DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option, with Mozilla also introducing a new version of the browser for developer use, one which should make creating add-ons for the browser much easier.
New Raspberry Pi model has smaller footprint, microSD storage
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a smaller version of its Raspberry Pi Model A micro computer, four months after doing the same for its popular Model B board. The Model A+ also manages to fit in a few improvements on top of the original version, on top of shrinking the overall size from 85mm (3.35 inches) in length to 65mm (2.55 inches).
LG G Watch R available to purchase on Google Play for $299
LG's G Watch R is now available to purchase from Google Play, just as the smartwatch is about to appear in stores in the United States. The Android Wear smartwatch, complete with a 1.3-inch round P-OLED display and a heart rate monitor, finally joins the original G Watch on the Google online store, though it is priced at a rather expensive $299.
Pages, Numbers, Keynote for iOS, Pages for Mac, iTunes Connect, iMovie and more updated
Apple on Thursday issued a rash of minor updates to various programs, at least some of which have been updated to add or increase compatibility with iCloud Photo Library. Apple has updated all three of the iWork for iOS suite and has updated Pages for Mac (and will likely issue matching updates for Numbers and Keynote for Mac), saying only that the update "includes minor stability and performance enhancements." Developers and testers have seen photo uploading added to iCloud.com's iCloud Library.
Simple website indexing bot suggest Apple increasing its bypassing of search engines
NASA, Department of Defense among first to access Lytro developer kit
Lytro, the producers of the light-field cameras of the same name and the Illum, is giving interested parties access to its technology. The company is releasing the Lytro Platform and its first Lytro Development Kit for enterprise users to try using the technology in other ways, with the first customers including NASA and the US Department of Defense.