Graphics, audio requested as areas of focus in new build
Slightly less than two weeks after the public release of OS X 10.9.2, which brought FaceTime audio calling, Mail improvements and an important security fix to Mavericks, Apple is seeding the first beta of OS X 10.9.3, build 13D12, to developers. The brief release notes mention that developers are requested to focus on audio and graphic drivers in their testing. The previous update was released after approximately 14 weeks of testing across seven betas.
Main barrier may be Apple approval
CarPlay support is fairly easy to implement for apps, suggests Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of Digital. iHeartRadio -- an app that streams Clear Channel stations -- is one of the few third-party offerings currently supported by CarPlay. "Apple is pretty selective about how they disclose information," Lakamp says about how his company gained a toehold. "Apple made us aware of the opportunity. We were enthusiastic to participate and then worked closely with them to build the demo that they just demoed in Geneva." The iHeartRadio team was given early access to the private CarPlay API.
Twitch SDK allows players to stream game footage from mobile devices
Game video streaming service Twitch is hoping to expand the reach of its service into mobile gaming, from its existing PC and console efforts. The announced Twitch Mobile Software Development Kit will allow developers to add Twitch streaming to mobile titles, letting gamers broadcast their gameplay live, as well as capturing and archiving the video for future viewing.
May solve smartwatch interface problems
Apple is working to expand Siri's third-party app integration with the iWatch in mind, a new report says. Siri already interacts with some third-party apps, like OpenTable or Wolfram Alpha, but in every case so far the companies have had to forge deals with Apple. The new scheme would allow third-party integration without an expressly signed agreement.
Facebook ignores name change request, improves article sharing
Facebook, which was asked by a prominent iPad developer to change the name of its Paper magazine-style article reader, has instead issued a minor update with the first new feature since its debut in late January. The iPhone-centric app is now at v1.0.2, which adds new ways to share Facebook articles.
Adds support for OS X 10.9.2, tweaks Profile Manager
Apple on Monday released an updated "developer preview" of OS X Server 3.1, which updates support for OS X 10.9.2 (and requires it in order to run) and makes some minor changes in the recent Profile Manager overhaul. The new build is identified as 13S4122, up 21 builds from the previous beta, which was released in mid-February. As 10.9.2 is now officially out, Apple is likely pushing to release the final 3.1 server update soon.
Job posting hints at lightweight Xbox Live framework for mobile developers
Microsoft is planning to push for Xbox Live to be more cross-platform than it already is, by making it easier for developers to include in their apps, according to a rumor. The company is preparing to extend the Live platform to more games, with a recent job posting hinting that it will compete directly with Google Play Games and Apple's Game Center on mobile devices.
New version enhances business use at cost of some personality
FileMaker Pro 13 is the first new version of the venerable database software since the company opted to kill of its consumer-friendly Bento software, and brings some of that influence into the fold -- such as new themes, easier import and a more-streamlined web-publishing feature to compliment FileMaker 12's mobile savvy. Is it worth the upgrade? Are databases still useful outside business or enterprise? Read on to find out.
Bounty put up for first to use new public drivers to run Quake III
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is celebrating the second birthday of the Raspberry Pi, by announcing over 2.5 million sales of the $35 computer, and by offering a bounty for developers. The first person to run Quake III on the microcomputer using new drivers for Broadcom's VideoCore IV 3D graphics core "at a playable framerate" will receive $10,000.
Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo to be among initial partners
The nine-months-in-the-making formal rollout of "iOS in the Car" appears to finally be taking shape, and Apple is expected formally announce partnerships with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo to bring the multi-media technology into the companies' future automobiles, sources tell the Financial Times. The "in-car operating system" give drivers access to Maps, Siri, media, voice calls, dictations and more.
Site gathers together previously disparate content
Apple is hosting a new webpage at its developer center, highlighting resources for designers looking to tailor their apps for the look and feel of iOS 7 and OS X. Although most of the page's content -- which includes videos and text documents -- was already available, it was previously scattered across pages devoted to different subjects.
Issue does not affect all users; differing types of failures reported
Threads in the Apple Support Communities reporting issues with AirPlay mirroring and extended displays after installing OS X 10.9.2 have appeared, with no clear pattern or cause determined as of yet (though having older hardware may be a factor). Apple released 10.9.2 on Monday to address a serious SSL vulnerability and to upgrade some features. Users have reported a menagerie of different issues, complicating the situation.
Microsoft offers 100GB OneDrive storage via Bing Rewards scheme
After the success of its 100GB of cloud storage giveaway to 100,000 users as part of the SkyDrive rebrand to OneDrive, Microsoft is offering another way to gain the large block of online storage. The Bing Blog claims users of the Bing Rewards scheme, a program that offers discounts and other incentives for using Bing, will exchange 100 credits for a code, which provides access to the same 100GB allocation for one year, though the promotion will only be offered until June 30th of this year.
First of three conferences will help teach Ara module creation
Google will be providing more details of its Project Ara modular smartphone scheme to developers in a trio of conferences, the company has revealed. The first Ara Developers Conference will be held on April 15th and 16th, with the primarily-online conference using streaming video and accepting questions, while a "limited number of participants" will be able to take part in person at Mountain View's Computer History Museum.
Critical SSL security fix will be on majority of devices by next week
[Updated with more recent statistics from Chitika] One of Apple's biggest advantages over other mobile platforms is its ability to update its OS quickly, and more crucially -- particularly in the case of the rare security issue -- to deploy the update across all compatible devices rapidly, rather than have to wait weeks or months for carriers and partners to incorporate their own apps and other processes and "skins" into the fix. Updted stats from mobile ad analysts Chitika show that more than 25.9 percent of all North American iDevices were already running the latest version within four days of its release.
Fixes issues with Gmail, Exchange, unread counts and more
A new report by TidBITS' Joe Kissell, author of the forthcoming Take Control of Apple Mail, says that Tuesday's release of OS X 10.9.2 makes great strides towards fixing the known issues with the rewritten version of Mail crafted for OS X Mavericks. As reported earlier, Apple released the update earlier today to address a number of issues, including a serious SSL vulnerability, as well as add FaceTime Audio calling and a new version of Safari among other changes.
Future products will require Apple's blessing
iBeacons must now be certified under Apple's Made for iPhone (MFI) program to use the iBeacon name, reports say. While a number of third-party outfits have begun deploying iBeacons, they haven't necessarily had to cooperate with Apple to make use of the name or the official API. The terms of certification aren't public, since manufacturers are being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
Reference phone, tablets and developer tools at heart of announcement
Firefox OS is expanding rapidly, according to claims made at Mobile World Congress today. Mozilla, the company behind the widely-used web browser, outlined some of the finer points of the expansion of the separate Firefox OS in devices reaching out globally -- including a move into new high- and low-end consumer devices, new reference devices and tools for developers to port applications.
Role unspecified, but had reverse-engineered iOS, OS X for porting
A well-known hacker of OS X and iOS, who single-handedly rewrote the core of both operating systems to allow them to be ported to other devices and contributed to various jailbreak apps for iPhones, has announced that he will be joining Apple as an intern or employee later this year. The coder, known as "winocm," is 17 years old but already an expert reverse-engineer who says he has been doing "insane things" with the cores of iOS and OS X.
TestFlight suddenly drops Android support
(Updated with Apple confirmation) Apple may have bought out Burstly, the developer of the beta-testing platform TestFlight, sources tell TechCrunch. Without any formal announcements, the company has suddenly stopped taking new customers for its SDK, and told people it will be discontinuing its Android product. The only way people have learned about the changes is through exchanges with @testflightapp, the company's Twitter account. Even then, Burstly has been asking developers to submit email forms to get answers.
iOS' first wide-release third-party keyboard
Developer Fleksy has released the completed SDK for its iOS keyboard, following up on an original announcement in December. Although it can't replace iOS' own system-wide keyboard, owing to limitations from Apple, the Fleksy code can be integrated into third-party apps, and offers advanced options like prediction, gesture commands, and different color themes. Adding the app to a keyboard requires minimal work on the part of developers, but users must have the Fleksy app installed, which carries over settings and dictionaries between apps.
Bought up 'entire three-year supply' of 4.5-inch super-tough material
Ubuntu developer Canonical has told investors and analysts in a conference call that part of the reason it had been unable to produce a planned 4.5-inch smartphone running the Linux-based OS was because (in addition to financial issues) Apple had "scooped up" the entire three-year supply" of sapphire screens the company had planned to use. While not a confirmation that Apple plans to create a 4.5-inch display in a future iPhone, the quote seems to reaffirm that Apple is planning to incorporate the practically-unscratchable material in its future products.
Former jailbroken software bypasses App Store, poses security risk
A former "unofficial" app that required jailbreaking an iOS device to run its Game Boy emulator has attempted to "backdoor" its way onto non-jailbroken devices by hijacking a legitimate certificate, which has now been disabled by Apple. The app, GBA4iOS 2, offered emulation of Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games on iOS 7 devices, and included a built-in browser to allow users to pirate ROMs.
Follows shortly after latest OS X 10.9.2 beta
Apple is seeding a new build of the OS X Server 3.1 beta to developers, reports say. The code is identified as build 13S4101b. So far, any further improvements have gone undiscovered.
Virtual currency appear in Amazon Appstore for non-Kindle tablets
Amazon is expanding the usefulness of its home-grown virtual currency, by allowing it to be used on all Android devices, not just the Kindle Fire tablet range, the retailer has revealed. Amazon Coins, introduced in May last year, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore to use on non-Amazon Android tablets and smartphones, as well as for any in-app purchases.
Will resolve crashes that happen when MacBook Air opened after sleep
A long-standing issue that affects some 2013 MacBook Air owners, where the machine will crash upon waking from sleep, is soon to be resolved, according to reports from Apple Support representatives. Allegedly, the problem resides in a sensor that detects when the lid is being opened to wake the machine. The fix, according to Apple Support, should make up part of the forthcoming 10.9.2 update which expected in March.
Gives developers insights into sales patterns, useful for targeting
On top of a new beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 delivered ahead of schedule, Apple on Monday also issued a new version of its iTunes Connect Sales and Trends Tool. The program aids developers in understanding more about when and where sales are occurring as well as app data such as how buyers react to price hikes or sales and other insights. The update includes the ability to group sales by territory or across a specified time period.
Latest release comes ahead of schedule, may portend release
Apple has released another beta of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2 to developers, just five days after the previous build -- suggesting that the public release may not be too far off. Build 13C62, just three builds higher than the previous beta release, lists no new issues and again asks developers to focus their testing on Mail, Messages and VPN. The next update of Mavericks will bring make SMB2 the default to replace Apple File Protocol as the network standard.
Update follows release of Chromecast SDK to developers in early February
Owners of the Google Chromecast may find more apps will work with their device in the near future, as the latest Google Play Services update for Android has rolled-out to Android devices, and the accompanying SDK has been issued to developers. Version 4.2 of Google Play Services adds a number of APIs for developers to use in their Android applications, including the Chromecast API the company released an SDK for earlier this month.
Difficulties not reflected on official system status page
A number of App Store developers are encountering iTunes Connect outages when trying to submit new or updated apps, complaints suggest. In some instances people have been unable to connect for almost 24 hours, and the problem appears to be affecting developers around the world. Despite this, Apple's official system status page for developers shows no signs of trouble.
Slides claim 80 percent of XAML code usable for Windows desktop, mobile apps
More evidence of Microsoft's merging of the Windows and Windows Phone lines has allegedly surfaced. Leaked images claimed to be from a Microsoft slideshow about the project appears to show it is working towards "Universal Store" apps, namely apps that use the same basic code base, but can be produced to work on both the mobile and desktop versions of Windows.
No significant changes listed; rumors of early March release continue
Apple on Wednesday released its sixth OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks beta to develops right on schedule, using a build number exactly six digits higher than last weeks'. The new update lists no significant changes, and again asks developers to focus their testing on Mail, Messages, SMB2, graphics drivers, VoiceOver and VPN. The company has been battling mostly-minor but annoying issues with its re-written Mail program, and bug fixing continues on that.
Versatile candidates sought that can handle current, future hardware and platforms
A job opening at Apple posted earlier this week, seeking an "Instrumentation Design/NPI Engineer" notes not only that the successful candidate will help the company with forthcoming "new products," but also mentions that the engineer will work with "new platforms as yet unannounced" as well as existing platforms. The mention could be a reference to the alleged "iWatch" the company is said to be working on, which might require its own custom OS.
Glitch devastating some developers
iOS 7.1 beta 5 appears to solve a problem that can kill all location tracking on a device, according to VentureBeat. In iOS 7.0.x, force-quitting an app that uses location services can also disable all location-aware functions, which were previously able to run in the background. This is said to be crippling some developers of location-based apps, such as Life360, which in the switch to iOS 7 saw drops in its userbase ranging from 30 to 50 percent.
Changes to multitasking, signs of merge with Windows RT spotted
Microsoft has started to provide developers with an SDK for the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 update, according to reports. At the same time, a developer has allegedly started to list the updates found in the SDK itself, with the update apparently including signs that Microsoft is working towards merging Windows Phone and Windows RT into a single platform.
Copied the look of iOS 7, icons too closely; return delayed
A customization app for Android called Themer, which featured a number of themed "looks" for modifying Android smartphones including an iOS 7-like theme, has been removed from the Google Play store with no indication of when it will return. Google pulled the app on February 2 after Apple complained that the iOS 7-esque theme used icons that infringed on Apple's patents. The developer says it has since addressed Apple's concerns, but Google has not yet restored the app.
Email to developers, publishers requires age ratings by this June
In addition to updating developers generally about the recent iBookstores expansion, Apple has also asked publishers and developers of e-books aimed at children and teens to provide "interest age" ratings to their publications, even with digital textbooks earmarked as educational material. The move is to help the iBookstore classify the appropriate age range for e-books, suggesting the company will further categorize future titles within the Juvenile Fiction and educational books genres. Developers and publishers must begin including the "interest age" information with their submissions by June of this year, the email said.
No final release date, no significant changes from previous beta
Developers can now download the fifth version of OS X Mavericks 10.9.2, an upcoming maintenance release, from Software Update through their registered developer accounts, or from the Apple developer portal. The latest update has no significant changes in the release notes, but again asks developers to focus on networking, Mail, Messages, VoiceOver, VPN and graphics drivers. The new build, 13C53, comes one week after the previous release.
Company allows price-tracking Bitcoin apps, but no transactions
Maintaining a reasonably-consistent policy it has introduced in dealing with Bitcoin- and other virtual currency-related apps, Apple on Wednesday removed the Bitcoin "wallet" app Blockchain from the iOS App Store, citing only "unresolved issues" -- probably referring to the quasi-legal status of the digital currency -- as the reason for the ban. The app's developer claims over one million users across various platforms, but the app was the last remaining Bitcoin-related program that continued to offer trading of Bitcoins on iOS, where it claimed 120,000 users.
FileMaker Go rides on recent FileMaker 13 update
Apple-owned FileMaker announced today that its database software for iOS devices, FileMaker Go, has surpassed one million downloads from the App Store. The company recently updated the overall FileMaker platform, offering expanded support for native iOS behaviors and new features that increase the speed of data capture on iPads and iPhones. FileMaker Go 13 is a free download that requires iOS 6 or later.
Continues minor interface tweaks
(Updated with evasi0n hack break, samples of new voices) Apple is now seeding a fifth beta of iOS 7.1 to developers. Changes appear relatively minor, but release notes mention "new natural-sounding Siri voices" for Japanese, the UK and Australian English dialects, and Mandarin Chinese. Apple also appears to be continuing visual tweaks to the OS, for instance by adding new Shift and Caps Lock buttons (below).
'New' look replaces Windows 7-inspired desktop in previous version
While it continues to dominate the vast majority of worldwide, there is a sense that both consumers and industry are moving slowly away from Windows software as alternatives -- primarily Apple's OS X and iOS -- gain more mainstream attention. This drift seems to be embodied in the latest release of "Red Star OS," a Linux variant developed for the last decade by North Korea as a state-sanctioned OS. In a bold move, version 3 has adopted a directly OS X-like look, dropping the previous Windows 7 stylings.
Should open up many more iOS, Android, Chrome apps for casting
Google has released the finished and long-anticipated Google Cast Software Development Kit, needed for third-party developers wanting to add Chromecast support to apps. The package includes resources for iOS, Android, and websites in Chrome. Until now, Google has only worked with individual developers to expand Chromecast support.
Comes on heels of Apple hiring spree for medical, wearable experts
Following the news that Apple had hired Michael O'Reilly, a former chief medical officer at a pulse oximeter company to an undisclosed job position last summer -- and has been steadily poaching or hiring other medical and wearable device experts -- federal meeting logs show that an FDA commissioner met with Apple executives and others in December to discuss mobile medical apps. The meeting's contents were not divulged.
Forthcoming update edges closer to release, continues to fix issues
Late on Thursday, and just a week after the previous release, Apple has seeded a fourth beta of the upcoming OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks to developers, again focusing on issues in Mail (specifically related to Smart Mailboxes and Gmail compatibility), Messages, graphic drivers, VoiceOver and VPN. In addition, Apple has asked developers to test SMB2 network file sharing, which replaced the long-standing Apple File Protocol when Mavericks was released.
Developers have three months to apply OFT rules to apps
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has published its final principles for in-app purchases, following its investigation into the practice. The British regulator has given game and app developers until April 1st to abide by the new rules, which are designed to protect children from buying bonuses and items from within games, without parental knowledge of the potentially high prices.
Augmentative communication apps bolstered by new voice packs
AssistiveWare and Acapela Group announced today the release of Infovox iVox 4.0, which brings to OS X a total of 31 new Text to Speech voices. These include the first-ever genuine, natural-sounding bilingual American Spanish-English children's voices, a male bilingual American Spanish-English voice, 16 expressive voices, four new specialty voices, a new Polish voice, and Japanese, Korean and Chinese voices. The unique children's Text-to-Speech voices are based on recordings by real children speaking in their natural language.
Report claims Amazon demonstrated device to game publishers
Amazon is still looking to sell an Android-based set-top box, a report has claimed. Continuing on from earlier rumors, the device is said to operate as a game console, as well as offering access to various Amazon-owned streaming services such as Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm, with the hardware itself expected to be offered sometime later this year for below $300.
Chrome apps offers early developer preview of Apache Cordova-based toolchain