AutoFill, compatibility main areas of testing focus
Apple is distributing new developer betas of Safari 7.1 for OS X Mavericks and Safari 6.2 for OS X Mountain Lion. In release notes for both, the company is asking developers to test AutoFill, extension compatibility, and "general website compatibility." The updates' main feature though will be WebGL, making it possible to run 3D content without third-party plugins.
May build on iBeacons, Passbook, Touch ID and partners to create truly seamless, secure system
A new report is claiming that Apple is accelerating its plans for a grand "digital wallet" mobile payments system, which could even be ready to debut in the same time frame as the expected "iPhone 6." The company is said to be in talks with Visa to create a partnership agreement that would allow consumers to pay for goods and services using only their iPhone, leveraging the "secure enclave" portion of the A7 chip and Touch ID to create what would be expected to be a seamless mobile payment system.
Griffin Technology's Survivor Slim rugged iPad Air case now available
Griffin Technology has announced the release of a new rugged case for use with iPad Air. The Survivor Slim aims to deliver protection for all conditions, featuring a shatter-resistant shell and silicone bumper for absorbing the shock of a drop. Its accompanying screen shield prevents scratches and smudges, and the flexible button covers deflect dust, dirt, and rain from entering vulnerable places on the tablet.
5.5-inch iPhone might wait until later showcase
Apple is "tentatively" scheduling a press event for mid-September to reveal the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and final launch details of iOS 8, sources say. The people add that the second and third weeks of September are the most likely target, but that uncertainties about manufacturing timetables are a factor. The 5.5-inch iPhone may also be shown at the event, but that has likewise yet to be decided.
Microsoft CEO confirms future convergence of operating systems in conference call
Microsoft is still planning to unify its operating systems in the future, CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed. As part of the conference call with analysts following its latest quarterly financial results release, Nadella advised that Windows 9 will be a version of the operating system which will work with universal apps, namely apps which work across multiple platforms and devices.
Developer betas to get more regular updates
The first public beta of OS X Yosemite will be made available on Thursday, July 24, Apple has revealed in a meeting with The Loop's Jim Dalrymple. The public release will be the same code seeded to developers on Monday. To get it, people must sign up for the OS X Beta Program, which is limited to the first million participants.
Puppy Pop is first game made for the LG G3's QuickCircle case window
LG has made its case for the G3 smartphone arguably more useful, by releasing the first game designed specifically to use it. Puppy Pop, a "match-three" game involving dogs, is being made available for free through Google Play later today, and is notably the first and only to use the round window on the front of the company's QuickCircle protective case.
Most remain undisclosed, but details on Beats buyout rationale emerge
Apple CEO Tim Cook disclosed during Tuesday's conference call with analysts that Apple had acquired 30 companies and/or their talent over the course of the past nine months, back to the beginning of the fiscal year which began last October. Of these, less than half have been publicly revealed -- though a few of the higher-profile buyouts, such as the record-setting Beats Electronics and Music deal, have made headlines. On the topic of the latter company, Cook shared a bit more detail on the thinking behind it.
Marty O'Donnell takes settlement in individual suit after Harold Ryan denied benefits
Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge-approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy, which Ryan denied.
Will delete photos, videos stored in iCloud Photo Library, email attachments, more
Apple has informed developers testing both of the forthcoming Apple platform releases, iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, that it will again delete content stored on the CloudKit database serving both platforms tomorrow, July 22. Although details were not listed this time, the effect is expected to be the same as the previous "wipe" of the database, which took place on July 7. Anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features will see their cloud-stored data destroyed.
OS X gets iTunes 12, iOS 8 gets new Tips app
(Updated with other beta releases, more Yosemite changes) Apple is now seeding its fourth betas of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite to developers. Perhaps the most significant change is in the latter, which includes the first beta of iTunes 12. The updated media player uses a flatter, streamlined design more in keeping with Yosemite, and is the first version to support Family Sharing, something also present in iOS 8. While Yosemite is still only accessible to developers, sources claim that the first public beta could go live later this month, after Apple has put more polish on it.
iOS support comes out of unofficial stage
Google has released v1.1 of LiquidFun, its open-source 2D physics engine. The software now officially supports iOS, as well as desktop versions of Chrome, the latter via extensions. It was previously possible to make LiquidFun run on iOS, but Google didn't enable that compatibility by default.
Should allow game studios to start full-scale iOS 8 development
Epic Games has released v4.3 of the Unreal Engine, code that undergirds many desktop, console, and mobile games. Although most of the changes are of interest only to developers, the update also includes the first support for Metal, Apple's new 3D graphics API. Developers must be using the Xcode 6 beta to compile it, and it's not enabled by default. It can however be toggled on via a game's Project Settings.
Reach extending to Fire phone on July 25th
Amazon's Mobile Ads API supports iOS devices as of today, the company has announced. The change means that developers will be able to use banner and interstitial ads from Amazon's network on iPhones and iPads, in addition to the Android and Fire OS devices already supported. Support for the Fire phone is due on July 25th, the same day that product launches.
Gap between betas shrinks back to two weeks
Apple is currently planning to seed iOS 8 beta 4 to developers on July 21, an inside source has claimed. That date would be two weeks after Beta 3. There was a three-week gap between the second and third betas, which may have been needed to cope with flaws hampering the OS' basic performance.
Apple iOS 8 sets up iPhone and iPad for the future
Last year Apple delivered iOS 7, which was a massive upgrade. Not only did it bring an all-new look as well as add several new dimensions to the user interface, it also brought full compatibility with Apple's industry-leading 64-bit chip technology. This year, Apple used its WWDC 2014 to unveil iOS 8, its next-gen mobile OS. A lot of foundational work was laid in iOS 7 and iOS 8 looks to build on this adding several new and powerful features to the front end and back end. Apple is calling iOS 8 its biggest release to date, which is some statement when set against the backdrop of what it achieved with iOS 7. But when you factor in over 4,000 additional APIs and an all-new in-house developed programming language in Swift, plus some potentially revolutionary new frameworks in HealthKit and HomeKit, iOS 8 could well be the most significant iteration of iOS yet.
Testing hardware for Project Ara modular smartphone shipping this month
Developers looking to get hold of components for Project Ara may start to receive hardware from Google in the near future. The company has opened itself up to requests for development boards for the modular smartphone, which will help hardware producers prototype and create modules before a commercial version of the device heads to market.
Figure based on visits to the App Store, growing at one percent a month
Ahead of the forthcoming iOS 8 update, expected in the fall, Apple has told developers that iOS 7 is now running on 90 percent of iOS devices using the App Store, indicating a growth rate of about one percent per month. The penetration level of iOS 7 is consequently, like most other iOS versions before it, the most quickly-adopted operating system update ever, on any major platform. The result was garnered from visits to the App Store over a seven-day period that ended on July 13.
Third-party companies previously made iBeacon devices, intent of device is unknown
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released documents on July 4 outlining a new device from Apple which point to a company-made iBeacon. The device was first spotted by router maker Securifi, which lists the new device seeking approval wireless certification from the FCC for the "Apple iBeacon." Previously, iBeacon hardware was only made by third-party manufacturers.
Jury finds Apple did not push app developers into infringing older streaming patent
Apple has scored another legal victory, this time against Israeli firm Emblaze and its charge that Apple induced app developers to infringe Emblaze's US patent on live video streaming. A federal jury found in Friday that Apple was not guilty of requiring any of the seven example apps used in the trial to use Apple's own HLS (HTTP live streaming) protocol, and thus did not foster infringement of the patent. Emblaze, a struggling audio company that had tried to sell the technology many times, is also suing Microsoft in a similar case.
Promises news, help
Via its developer portal, Apple has launched an official blog for Swift, the programming language it unveiled at WWDC 2014. The blog promises a "behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it," and "the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer." The first post discusses several compatibility issues.
Apple on Thursday seeded new betas of Safari for OS X Mavericks (10.9.x) and OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.x), number as versions 7.1 and 6.2 respectively, that feature a new build of WebKit with a number of improved and new features. The betas, once released to the public, will help bring the Safari used with those versions closer to the expected updated Safari that will ship with OS X 10.10 Yosemite in the fall. Among the improvements are Web-GL powered 3D rendering, support for IndexedDB for web applications and more.
Already accounts for 0.2 percent of all OS X web traffic in North America
Just a month after the first Developer Preview was released at the Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple's OS X 10.10 Yosemite is already starting to show up in significant numbers in general Mac web traffic statistics. While 0.2 percent may not seem like a lot, it is four times higher than the percentage seen by the last major OS X upgrade, Mavericks, at the same point in its pre-release state. New features and better integration between iOS and OS X appears to be driving adoption.
Game creation tool exits beta and earns physical, digital versions for October release
Team Dakota and Microsoft Studios announced today that the game creation tool Project Spark would see a release later this year. Coming out on October 7 in the Americas, October 9 in Asia-Pacific territories and October 10 in Europe, the software is being offered in downloadable and retail versions for $40.
Some major third-party apps failing to accommodate blind
The National Federation of the Blind will soon start a campaign to get Apple to factor in accessibility when it approves App Store titles, according to Reuters. The organization approved a resolution for the campaign at a convention held last week in Orlando, Florida. While there are no plans to repeat a 2008 lawsuit which targeted iTunes' accessibility, some NFB members -- including California board member Michael Hingson -- have suggested that one might be necessary to get Apple to change its practices.
Bundled Wear apps not reading encryption file correctly, only free apps install
Earlier this week, a significant issue was discovered in Android Wear devices, keeping users from installing paid applications on the wearables. According to news from Android Police, when the apps are downloaded to the phone and then channeled to the watch, a key piece of information isn't accessed correctly. In the process, the encryption key that ties an app to a device, as part of Google Play's App Encryption, cannot be read -- leaving the apps unable to be installed.
Google Search app now features fix option for voice recognition
Google Search's voice recognition has a new feature that aims to relieve the problem of misheard words. Prior to the update, users would need to restart their verbal search query if it was originally misheard by the app - now, the command "no I said" is in effect, meaning that the new search replaces just the one word that was incorrect. The update is available for both iOS and Android versions of Google Search.
Nike's exit from wearables market turns into gain for 'iWatch' project
Two former Nike Fuelband engineers have jumped ship to join Apple, presumably to lend further support to the company's expected "iWatch" health and fitness device, according to discoveries made on the pair's LinkedIn profiles. Both hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale started with Apple last month, just two months after Nike gutted its own Fuelband team and essentially exited the wearables market.
Open Interconnect Consortium fourth major IoT protocol to pop up
Possibly complicating the nascent "Internet of Things" market, chipmakers Intel, Broadcom, and Atmel along with Samsung and Dell have partnered on the Open Interconnect Consortium -- an organization intended to generate yet another standard for home automation gadgetry. The initiative joins efforts from Apple, Google and Qualcomm to try and consolidate the market under one banner.
Health app now leverages iPhone 5s M7 motion co-processor
Another notable change found as testers pore over the latest iOS 8 beta is that the Health app is now connected to the M7 motion co-processor found in the iPhone 5s. As a result, the app can now keep track of steps taken without the aid of any third-party apps or hardware. Upon opening the revised Health app, users will find the previous week's worth of step data (which is continuously monitored by the M7) pre-populated. Users can remove "sets" of steps if desired, and sort all Health data by day, week, month or year.
New toggles appear for Handoff, keeping Messages media
(Updated with T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling support, more) People with access to iOS 8 beta 3 are beginning to share some of the changes in the firmware. Perhaps the most notable is the ability to upgrade from Documents in the Cloud to iCloud Drive, which will let people upload any kind of file and organize their own folders with the amount of space they have received or paid for. Accordingly, the Settings app has a new iCloud Drive section, where people can toggle the whole service on and off, or enable access on a per-app basis. The service will evidently also be available from the web.
Two-day conference aims to share and collaborate in the interest of virtual reality
On top of the RakNet acquisition news today, Oculus VR shared information on the launch of its first developer conference. Oculus Connect offers a two-day conference for developers and creators that aims to aid in the creation of the "best virtual reality experiences possible."
Precise changes so far undocumented
[Updated with Yosemite changes] Apple has started seeding third previews of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 to developers. The former is listed as build 14A283o, and can be downloaded via the Mac App Store or the Mac Dev Center. Beta 3 of iOS 8 is identified as build 12A4318c, and available either as an over-the-air update or through the iOS Dev Center. To go with it, Apple is pushing out new betas of Find my iPhone and Find My Friends.
Oculus used RakNet internally, decided to open source under modified BSD license
Oculus VR announced another acquisition today, this time picking up RakNet for its multiplayer middleware. RakNet is featured in a number of games across multiple platforms due to its comprehensive engine. In the same announcement, Oculus stated that it is open-sourcing the technology.
July 7 purge will affect testers of iOS 8, Yosemite beta builds
Apple has notified developers testing the latest iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite betas that it will have to erase the content of all CloudKit databases on July 7, both public and private. While the move will not affect most users, anyone testing the iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library or Mail Drop attachment features of either iOS 8 or OS X 10.10 Yosemite will see any data store there wiped. Photos and videos stored on iOS 8-running devices will be preserved, and re-uploaded after the server-side erasure.
Oculus Rift intended for developers, not for resale at a profit
The Oculus Rift has managed to achieve over 100,000 developer kit sales, but not without some issues. The Facebook-owned company, Oculus VR, has been forced to suspend sales of the virtual reality headset to Chinese customers, with many orders to the country canceled under the suspicion that Oculus Rift headsets are being resold at a profit, instead of being used by developers as the company intended.
Lead World of Warcraft designer leaves company for the 'next chapter'
Rob Pardo, chief creative officer for Blizzard Entertainment, announced that he is leaving the company today after being a part of the team for 17 years. He has a number of design credits with Blizzard, including Starcraft, Diablo III and World of Warcraft. Pardo took to Battle.net to explain his departure from the company.
Battery life gain of 36 percent found in tests compared to Android KitKat
The next version of Android could give a significant increase to the battery life of smartphones and tablets, early testing of the mobile operating system has shown. Project Volta, an attempt by Google to minimize the amount of battery used by apps and Android itself via various internal improvements and new development tools, has been found to help extend one test device's battery life by over a third.
Information Commissioner checks if Facebook research broke UK data laws
The fallout from Facebook's experiment with its users continues, with a UK government agency planning to investigate. The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the body that deals with data protection laws in the country, will be looking to see if the social network broke any laws during its testing of emotional manipulation in 2012.
Second developer kit for Oculus Rift on the way to developers
Developers who pre-ordered the second version of the Oculus Rift developer kit will soon start to receive their orders. The Facebook-owned company is advising that it will be shipping approximately 10,000 units of Developer Kit 2 (DK2) from the factory, with the first batches expected to start reaching developers from July 14th onwards.
Possible Samsung acquisition of Nuance seen as motivation to hasten next-generation engine
A new report claims that Apple has decided to form its own in-house speech recognition team to help create a future version of Siri, the company's popular virtual assistant. Motivation for this may have sprung from reports that Nuance, the company that currently powers the speech-recognition engine, was in talks with Samsung that may result in the Galaxy smartphone maker acquiring Nuance. Apple has been poaching employees of Nuance and recruiting others to build a complete speech team for quite some time, but new evidence has moved the story out of rumor status.
Android Wear, TV, Auto must use stock appearance
Android Wear, Android Auto, and Android TV will only use the stock visual style, according to a report. Google engineering director David Burke advised in an interview that third-party device producers, including LG and Samsung, would not be allowed to change the user interface at all, with Google not only controlling the overall appearance of the software, but also the underlying software.
Psychological study in 2012 altered users' news feeds for positive or negative mental states
In a study to see if emotional states could be transferred to others online, Facebook conducted a psychological experiment in January 2012 with its users as guinea pigs. According a research paper published this month, feeds from over 689,000 English-language accounts were altered for either positive or negative states for one week to see if there was an impact on mental states.
Some users report iOS Podcasts app no longer working under 7.1.1
Some users are reporting problems launching the latest version of the Podcasts app for iOS devices, saying it will crash a few seconds after launch under iOS version 7.1.1, the most recent update. The newest version of Podcasts was v2.1.2, released on May 29. It's not yet clear if the problem might be rectified by users powering down the iOS device completely and restarting it -- a solution that cures nearly every misbehaving app problem.
Developer program brings Unity to PlayStation Vita, PlayStation TV creators
Last week, Sony announced that it was bringing an official version of Unity optimized for its mobile platforms to developers. The "Unity for PlayStation Mobile" kit gives developers of games on smartphone and tablet platforms an easier way to bring their projects to the PlayStation Vita and upcoming PlayStation TV.
Android L developer system images installable on Nexus 5, Nexus 7
Google has released the preview version of Android L to developers. Following its formal unveiling at Google I/O yesterday, the company has made an early version of the mobile operating system available to download, with developers able to install the next iteration of Android onto just two devices: the Nexus 5, and the Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 2013.
Could be connected to major glitches in beta 2
The release of iOS 8 beta 3 won't happen until July 8, sources say. Beta 2 was seeded to developers on the 17th, about two and a half weeks after the first beta emerged from WWDC. A July 8 update would come a full three weeks after its predecessor.
Three staffers discuss the good and the bad of the 2014 IO keynote
With a massive industry keynote, such as yesterday's Google I/O event, comes discussion. Google gave us a lot to toss around with L, Android One, Android Auto, and Android TV, all four both good and bad simultaneously. Join MacNN editor Charles, and Electronista writers Mike and Jordan as we evaluate the ins and outs of the 2.5-hour keynote kicking off Google's annual I/O conference.
Beta available for both developer and selected end-user testing
A day ahead of schedule, Apple has released an updated beta of the forthcoming OS X Mavericks 10.9.4 update to developers and Beta Seed Program members of the public for testing. As usual, the new build (13E25) contains very minor tweaks and bug fixes, with no new focus areas or known problems. As before, the release notes direct attention to the areas of graphics drivers, Safari, Bluetooth, the App Store, Finder and audio drivers.
Fitness apps to use Google Fit APIs to access health data from other apps, fitness trackers
Just as rumored, Google has launched its own health-related platform at Google I/O. Billed as an open platform and similar to efforts by Apple and Samsung, Google Fit will act as a central platform for an assortment of fitness and health apps, as well as wearable devices. Google Fit will collect data from all apps in one location, making it easier for app developers to not only store health data suitably, but also take advantage of other data stored on the service.