New products, led by iPhone 6s and iPad Pro, provide small boost
The annual refresh cycle that this year introduced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, along with the enterprise-oriented iPad Pro, has given Apple's gently-falling enterprise marketshare a boost ahead of the holiday buying season, with the iOS platform accounting for 66 percent of enterprise device activations in the quarter ending September 30 -- a rise of two percent from the quarter before, according to new statistics from BlackBerry's Good division (formerly Good Technology).
Bring extra power and pleasure to two OS X favorites
Back in the System 7 and Mac OS 8 (and 9) days, the word "extensions" brought a love-hate relationship to mind. Those extensions (small "e") or QuarkXpress' Xtensions (no "e") added powerful new abilities to the OS, but also brought with it the aggravating (and highly likely) possibility of "extension conflicts," due to the bolt-on nature of the extensions back in the day. Hurray for the wonderful world of the future, where Extensions are still add-ons that bring new abilities, only they are much better behaved now.
Coding courses, photography assistance, TurboFlix on offer from MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today, we're listing a few offers that can help you occupy your time over the next few days, if you want to avoid the Thanksgiving festivities, including app development courses, tuition on photography, and some light entertainment.
Hand-crafted with rich Corinthian voices for extreme effect
Episode 42 is, first and foremost, a gorgeous-sounding episode. It features Mike and Charles, a good connection, and a fair amount to talk about even in a slow news week. As is the norm with these two, they wander around to various topics, but among the things that are for sure discussed in the repairability (or rather, the lack of it) in the Apple Pencil (and whether anyone should care), what's up with MacUpdate.com, and more.
Developers warned of yearly iTunes Connect downtime
Apple will be holding its annual shutdown of iTunes Connect from December 22 until December 29, the same dates as last year, the company has confirmed. Announced over the weekend in a news update on the Developer portal, the downtime warning advises developers to get any new apps or app updates in order and submitted to Connect in a timely manner before that eight-day period, as they will not be accepted or approved over the holidays.
Recap of the bigger MacNN Deals from the week of November 21, 2015
During the week, we highlight quite a few offers you can get from the MacNN Deals store, and sometimes people simply miss out on some great deals. In this recap, we will point out some of the more impressive deals from earlier this week, some that are still available for you to purchase if you are quick. This week's big items include the Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar, Tenqa headphones, and developer training for iOS and Xcode.
MacNN's Friday freebie column for November 20, 2015
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 you can make use of this weekend, without spending a single cent. Today, entertain the kids with two iOS apps, learn how to create your own, play Blu-ray movies on your Mac, and pick up a free Mac app bundle.
Hints of long-awaited support for 'app folders' seen in 9.1 beta code
In addition to today's update of the iOS 9.2 beta, Apple has also released a developer-only third tvOS 9.1 beta. The upcoming update, expected to be released early next year, will add promised but thus far missing features such as Siri control of Apple Music (Apple has already added Siri control of general searches and iTunes Match support). Also found in testing was some support for "app folders" as seen in iCloud.
Visual Studio announcements include new apps for Mac-based development
Microsoft is porting an emulator for Android that will run on OS X, one that has already been released for Windows. Revealed during the Microsoft Connect 2015 conference earlier today, the software giant confirmed it would be creating a version of Visual Studio Emulator for Android to the Mac, as part of a collection of Mac-related announcements involving its Visual Studio programming suite of apps.
No new features uncovered as of yet, more fixes instead
A day "late" compared to last week's beta, Apple has launched a fourth developer and public beta of iOS 9.2. The new beta does not come with release notes indicating any new significant changes, but small incremental improvements have been implemented in previous betas of 9.2, including a change to the Safari View Controller for third-party apps, user interface tweaks to Apple Music, and other small changes.
Explanation for security certificate-related errors provided in email to developers
Apple has sent an email to developers affected by an expired security certificate issue with the Mac App Store last week, apologizing and offering an explanation for what caused the problem. According to the email, a caching problem within the Mac App Store interfered with Apple's issuing of a new security certificate, one which caused a number of users to see a "damaged" error when using some of their apps, forcing a reinstallation in a number of instances.
Public beta release likely to follow tonight or tomorrow
As has become the weekly ritual, Apple on Tuesday released a fourth developer beta of OS X 10.11.2 El Capitan, about a month after the release of 10.11.1. The new build, 15C47a, contains the same general notes as the other betas in the series, focusing on bug fixes and performance tweaks rather than introducing any new features. Apple has been in the habit of releasing an identical version for pre-registered public beta testers later the same day or the next day.
App Store searches get smarter, go beyond metadata or strict spellings
Developers over the last week have reported that the algorithm that powers App Store searches is evolving, now offering suggestions that go beyond simple title or keyword identification. The biggest changes appear to have debuted on November 12, but tweaks and other noticeable (to developers) differences in results have been happening all during November, and are continuing. The overall effect appears to be that searches are more intelligent, with for example "Tweetbot" turning up in a search for "Twitter" when it didn't previously.
Learn to develop your own software, games with MacNN Deals
Downloads for sideloaded app against developer program agreement, Apple claims
The creators of F.lux for iOS have been asked to pull the download from their website by Apple, for violating its Developer Program Agreement. Previously only accessible on iOS for jailbroken devices, the app was recently made available to install via sideloading to normal iOS installations, but Apple objected and requested the app be pulled from view, preventing anyone else from being able to install it at all.
Follows on heels of developer release with same build number
As expected, Apple has now made the third beta of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2 available for registered public beta testers. The release follows the developer version issued on Tuesday, and offers the same build number and minor bug fixes and performance improvements found there. Testers have been asked to focus on Wi-Fi, USB, Mail, Calendar, Notes, Photos, USB, graphics, networking, and Spotlight. The download is now available through Software Update in the Mac App Store.
Tech Talks return for Apple TV development in ten-city tour
Apple has revealed it is holding Tech Talks in a number of cities around the world, to help developers create apps for the fourth-generation Apple TV. Open to members of the Apple Developer Program, the talks are being held over the next few months from December onwards, with each session said to offer technical information on creating apps for tvOS, refined coding techniques, and other assistance from on-hand Apple experts.
TestFlight beta test period extended to 60 days, population limit doubled
Developers of iOS apps are now able to provide their creations to more people for testing, after the limits for TestFlight were increased. An announcement on Apple's developer portal revealed the previous limit of 1,000 external beta testers has doubled to 2,000, allowing developers to increase their testing pool for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple TV apps, with app creators likely to receive more feedback ahead of their app or update's release.
Third iOS 9.2 beta features Apple Music tweak, bug fixes, more
Following last week's beta updates, Apple has seeded new betas today for developers for iOS 9.2, OS X 10.11.2. The iOS and OS X betas are the third in a weekly series, and will almost certainly be matched with public tester versions within the next day. In addition, a second beta of tvOS 9.1 has been released, bringing Siri control to Apple Music. Apple on Monday also updated its multi-OS development tool Xcode to version 7.1.1, fixing some "critical" bugs found in the user interface testing, debugging, and Interface Builder components.
Courses on iOS 9, web, game development on offer from MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's four highlights are all "Pay What You Want" bundles, covering development in iOS 9, game design, back-end development, and even WordPress themes, with all able to be acquired for just $1.
MacNN's Friday freebie column for November 6, 2015
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 you can make use of this weekend, without spending a penny. In this edition, spend your weekend with Rayman on iOS, download a bundle of Mac apps, learn to code your own iOS games, and perform edits on images in bulk.
Latest iOS beta gives testers on AT&T ability to try out NumberSync feature
Following the developer release of second betas for OS X 10.11.2 and iOS 9.2, Apple on Wednesday (for iOS) and Thursday (for OS X) made public versions with the same build numbers available to pre-registered testers. Both releases are now available to registered accounts through either the App Store or the Mac App Store. The OS X beta, build 15C31f, does not mark any changes but continues to ask developers to focus on several key areas. The iOS 9.2 beta, however, introduces the ability to test AT&T's forthcoming NumberSync technology.
Will have limited features compared to Windows version
Microsoft is planning to bring its Cortana voice-powered personal assistant service to iOS, and is looking for a pool of iOS users to help the company beta-test the technology. The company is now accepting signups in the US and China from "Windows Insiders," or those who helped beta-test Windows 10, and will limit the number of people who can get early releases of the software. Microsoft has been testing Cortana for iOS for six months already, and there is no known release date for a final version.
Code hack revealed hidden charts earlier, rankings confirmed
A few days after our report on a hidden "Top Charts" feature in the tvOS App Store that was discovered by a gaming site, Apple has now turned the feature on -- one of several seen to be missing from the initial shipping version of tvOS for the new Apple TV. Other missing features from the store, such as browsing for non-featured apps, remained unfixed thus far. The initial revelation that the charts existed and were just not shown also revealed that games dominated the paid charts, while TV apps ruled the free listings.
Beta version for new Apple TV requires USB-C to USB-A adapter
On Tuesday, Apple released new developer betas of OS X 10.11.2 and iOS 9.2 (both the second betas to be released), as well as a first beta of tvOS, which is presumably numbered v9.1. The new iOS beta comes two weeks after the initial public release of iOS 9.1, and one week after the first beta. The OS X beta, build 15C31f does not mark any changes but continues to ask developers to focus on several key areas. The tvOS beta will require developers to have a new Apple TV as well as USB-C to USB-A adapter in order to install it from a Mac -- the Apple TV itself has no downloading capability for beta releases.
Build games, apps, websites with these course bundles from MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available on our own MacNN Deals store. Today's highlights are bundles of courses to help you improve yourself, including training relating to web design and online services, iOS 9 app production, and on the more "fun" side, game development in Unity 5.
Exclusives Beat Sports, Rayman Adventures top paid, free charts in new store
A gaming blog has uncovered a currently-hidden feature in the tvOS App Store for the new Apple TV that reveals the top 10 paid and free apps, despite the fact that such information is not available on the Apple TV App Store itself. The fact that Apple does maintain such information suggests that the feature will become available in time; the tvOS App Store is still in a nascent stage that doesn't even allow browsing or search for apps not featured on the main page. The revelation of the charts shows that games dominate the paid charts, while TV apps dominate the free listings.
Libraries will facilitate more secure third party applications
Apple has opened up its cryptographical libraries to developers in an effort to enhance the end user's security. Newly opened are the Security Framework, and Common Crypto libraries to allow developers "to help them build advanced security features," according to Apple.
Move prevents downgrading, blocks further jailbreak exploits
As per usual, Apple has now stopped signing code for the most recent previous release of iOS 9, version 9.0.2, as a security measure. The move also effectively blocks users from downgrading to the previous version, which may be needed for jailbreaking. In addition to bug fixes and security updates, iOS 9.1 also introduced several new features, such as support for Unicode 8 and subsequent new emojis, along with the Live Photos feature for owners of the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus.
Includes new enhancements to in-app version of Safari
Following the release on Tuesday of the first developer beta of iOS 9.2, Apple has now seeded a version for pre-registered public beta testers to try out. As is usual for a first beta, testers will need to install a new certificate, meaning that they would have to completely erase and reset the device in order to downgrade back to iOS 9.1 once they install the new beta. The update includes support for Safari View Controller Action Extensions, among other browser improvements.
OpenGL ES implementation runs on Metal graphics framework on iOS, OS X
Developer tool creators Brenwill Workshop have announced support for OS X in its MetalGL product, which brought the performance of Metal to OpenGL ES games and applications on iOS, and now on OS X. MetalGL is an implementation of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API that runs on Apple's Metal graphics framework on compatible iOS and OS X devices.
SDK adds file structure flexibility to connected devices for developers
Paragon Software on Monday announced the release of new software development kits for Android and iOS aimed at making it easier for app developers to add USB storage capabilities to their offerings. The company's new UFSD software development kits are available for iPhones going back three years and for Android devices as early as Android 3.0.
New beta expected to address lingering issues with Mail, sync
Following on from today's release of the first betas of iOS 9.2 and Xcode 7.2, Apple has also seeded the first beta of OS X 10.11.2 to developers. The release comes just a week after the final 10.11.1 update was issued to help resolves problems with Office 2016, Mail, and VoiceOver, but there are still some other bugs yet to be fixed, though most users will be unaware of them. Focus areas for the new build (15C27e) include graphics, Wi-Fi, Mail, Calendar, USB, Notes, Photos, and Spotlight.
Xcode 7.2 also gets beta, changes not yet listed
On Tuesday, Apple released the first beta of iOS 9.2 to developers, along with a warning that upgrading to the new release will prevent those devices from being downgraded to any previous version. The new build, numbered 13C5055d, comes less than a week after the release of iOS 9.1 -- which introduced support for Unicode 8, and sported enhancements to Live Photos on the new iPhones among other tweaks. In addition, Apple updated its beta of Xcode to version 7.2 to support the various new OS versions and devices.
MacNN's Friday freebie column for October 23, 2015
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 you can make use of this weekend, without spending a penny. In this edition, spend the weekend expanding your design skills, with free fonts, free icons, a course on how to develop sites using Bootstrap, and a bulk image resizing tool.
I know you're shocked
Yesterday, we extolled every virtue of Microsoft on the Mac that we could find, and we found plenty. We found much to praise about its breadth of software, we found enough to laud about its sticking with Apple, and we even found enough to evangelize about Microsoft's brilliant design. Yes. Microsoft's. Look it up. Unfortunately, as we said yesterday, coming to praise Microsoft is because we also come to bury it.
Quickly create your own RPGs and publish them for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android
Have you ever wanted to design your own game but lacked any knowledge of coding or spriting? Have you had an idea for a game you wanted to share with friends or family? Have you ever thought of selling a game on the App Store? If this sounds like you, then you might want to take a look at what we recently got our hands on: RPG Maker MV.
Oh, yes it is. Don't look at us that way
We're not kidding. Microsoft is the best and the most important Mac developer outside Apple itself. Yet, we had to make it clear we're serious, and you did give us that funny look until we said the word "important." You're thinking okay, you can accept important, but unfortunately, you struggle with the word "best," because without question you have had problems with Microsoft software. Settle down, because tomorrow at precisely this time, we're going to examine how Microsoft is the worst OS X developer ever, but today, let's celebrate.
Submissions of tvOS apps open ahead of fourth-generation Apple TV release
Apple has started to accept app submissions for tvOS, the operating system that runs on the upcoming fourth-generation Apple TV. Following after the golden master of tvOS being delivered to developers for testing ahead of next week's release of the set-top box, developers are now being invited to submit their creations to the tvOS App Store, with Apple also providing extra guidance on how to prepare apps for the device.
Friend and family tracker now available on iCloud.com for greater access
Apple on Wednesday added its selective friends-and-family tracking service Find My Friends to its iCloud.com site, letting users sign in on any Internet-connected device to locate friends or loved ones who have the app on their mobile devices and have agreed to have their location revealed to the user. Participants can opt to change status at any time or enable (or disable) the tracking for select periods, such as when a family is visiting a theme park and wants to each go their separate ways.
New Watch update fixes bugs, new Apple TV launch imminent
Hot on the heels of major updates to both OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9, Apple on Wednesday offered a bug-fix update for the Apple Watch and a new last developer beta of tvOS, the branch of iOS used to run the current and forthcoming Apple TV models. The tvOS public release will commence with the October 26 launch of the latest Apple TV, while the watchOS update is available for Watch owners immediately.
New emoji, Live Photos, lots of bug fixes included in first '.1' update
On Wednesday, Apple released significant updates to both its OS X and iOS platforms with the first major update for each, now at iOS 9.1 and OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan. The two releases focus mostly on squashing bugs large and small found in the first release of El Capitan and iOS 9, ranging from VoiceOver reliability issues to a fix to improve El Capitan's reliability with Microsoft Office 2016, along with notable bugs in Mail. In addition, iTunes has been bumped to v12.3.1, support for Live Photos has been updated, and over 150 new emoji characters have been added.
New version gives users more file info, boosts speed of venerable utility
Developer Publicspace has announced A Better Finder Rename 10 for Mac OS X. The renaming engine in the new version utilizes all the latest Mac OS X technologies by using a 64-bit multi-threaded architecture based around the Core Data database system, bringing enhanced speed to the batch renaming application.
Action follows fix for yet another critical security issue in web technology
Following a fix issued on Friday that appeared to plug the latest in a string of critical security issues plaguing Adobe's Flash, the aging web animation technology, Apple has again moved to block any version of Flash that is not the latest for the current and recent versions of OS X. Machines not running Flash version 126.96.36.199 (or 188.8.131.52 for older systems) will receive a message about a "blocked plug-in" or "Flash Security Alert" and be unable to use Flash until they update to the current version.
New app converts entire app codebase libraries over to Apple's new language
Developer tool company Nextep today has released CodeSwitch 1.0, its development code converter for Mac OS X. CodeSwitch allows developers to convert their legacy Objective-C application code into Apple's new Swift programming language with a drag-and-drop operation. Simple conversion allows developers to make use of Swift's improved features and speed, without mandating the need for a manual rewriting of the legacy code.
This episode dedicated to the memory of Gary Allen and ifoAppleStore
Yet again, time to set aside an hour and check out the latest episode of The MacNN Podcast, where we geek out about new shiny things from Apple and wonder about the old shiny things, and lament the shiny things that aren't here anymore. From the sadness of saying goodbye to a serious Apple fan to the joy of watching those hilarious new PC commercials, Charles and Mike (and special guest stars William and Malcolm from One More Thing) debrief you on the week in tech.
Second-generation Sync systems gain Siri Eyes Free after v3.8 update
A new software update for older Ford vehicles from 2011 onwards with the second-generation Sync system installed has added support for Siri Eyes Free, Apple's control and command technology designed for automobile use. Once the version 3.8 software update has been installed (which typically takes about a half-hour), "Siri Eyes Free can be activated by pressing and holding the voice button for at least 3 seconds," the company says.
Learn to use Arduino and electronics, fix gadgets with MacNN Deals
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's highlights are all things to help you get more comfortable with the inner workings of electrical devices, including an essential repair tool bundle, an electronics kit using conductive ink, and kits for getting started with more advanced project systems, including the Raspberry Pi and Arduino robotics.
Create apps for iOS, games in Unity 5 with these MacNN Deals offers
Every day, alongside our regular Daily Deals post, we are showcasing some of the offers available from our own MacNN Deals store. Today's four listings are aimed at helping you learn to code, including producing apps for iOS 9, learning to use Swift, making games in Unity 5, and getting you started programming in Python.
Company also asks developer, public testers to focus on Mail
Late on Wednesday, Apple issued a fourth OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan beta to both developers and pre-registered public beta testers with the usual mix of undocumented bug fixes and tweaks, but specifically noted that testers should run the latest beta to test both Apple's own Mail program and Microsoft Office 2016, just days after Microsoft issued its own patch and a fix for Microsoft Office 2011 installs (which helped some users but did not resolve all problems) running on El Capitan.