Copyright © 2016
Category - Developer
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff that you can get, and possibly make use of this weekend, without spending a single penny. The freebies this time include a collection of Mac apps, a course on how to make your own iOS games, and a smattering of free App Store titles .
A series of soon to arrive Apple security certificate expirations will cause some problems, if users and developers do not take some steps to rectify the situation. A November-issued series of certificates, scheduled to expire on February 13 is affecting both game developer Aspyr. Additionally, Apple is mandating developers applications that generate passes for Apple Wallet, use Safari Push Notifications, or extend the functionality of Safari must use a renewed Apple Worldwide Developer Relations Intermediate certificate starting on February 14.
A framework used by developers to perform software updates in Mac apps has potentially put the users of some popular tools at risk, via a recently discovered flaw. A vulnerability in the Sparkle framework makes apps including Camtasia, uTorrent, and Sequel Pro susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks, which could lead to the installation of malicious code on the Mac desktop, all without the knowledge of the user.
An Apple job listing for a dedicated clock face team may suggest future fashion-brand partnerships, possibly in time for the updated watchOS updates that are likely to be revealed at this spring's Worldwide Developer Conference. Since the introduction of watchOS 2, there has only been four new watch faces, but three of them were left over from the first release, with only one truly new one -- the co-branded Hermés face exclusive to that edition. There is a rumored March 15 event, but if that takes place it will likely focus on new band options as regards the Apple Watch.
Amazon is taking a bigger step into the game development business, by offering a game engine for free alongside another related service. Lumberyard is a cross-platform engine that is claimed to be able to power "AAA" console and PC games as well as virtual reality and mobile titles, while GameLift is a service running on AWS that can quickly deploy and scale session-based multiplayer games, in tune with player demand.
Smile Software fits our Developer Insight series perfectly: we're interviewing longstanding developers whose products we don't just rate highly, but which we know have fans. Yet the reason for us wanting them to have been developers for a substantial time is that gives them a perspective on the entire software industry. In this case, Smile is particularly interesting, because half of its product line is on the Mac App Store, and half isn't: if anyone has opinions about what's happening with that store, it is co-founder Greg Scown.
Following the release of new betas for all its platforms, Apple on Monday also made a suite of 75 tools for benchmarking Swift-developed coding projects, including libraries for benchmarking functions, a utility for comparing the resulting metrics, and a driver for running them. The company says it is asking the community for help in developing additional benchmarks, as well as further "helper" libraries and overall code review for better stability and performance. Apple plans to include benchmark pull requests in Swift's new continuous integration system as well.
On Monday, Apple released third betas of OS X 10.11.4, iOS 9.3, watchOS 2.2, and tvOS 9.2 to developers, with changes -- if any -- from the previous betas largely unknown, except for an update in the new tvOS beta (for the fourth-generation Apple TV) that adds dictation support for searches using the Siri remote. OS X 10.11.3 continues to build on the previous beta's support for Live Photos in Messages, also seen in iOS 9.3 along with new feature Night Shift. The previous beta of watchOS brought a revamped Maps interface and the ability to pair more than one Apple Watch to a single iPhone.
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only.https://developer.apple.com/news/?id=02042016a
Late on Thursday, Apple quietly updated its Mac App Store listings for Final Cut Pro X and its subsidiary programs -- Motion and Compressor -- to add support for 4K exporting to Apple's own devices that can display UHD files, such as the iMac line. The update also introduces new sharing options along the same lines, adding the fourth-generation Apple TV, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, and support for multiple YouTube accounts to the Sharing window's options. The update also adds a new AVC import option, and offers numerous bug fixes.