SmartEyeglass adds hologram optics to Google Glass concept
The Project Morpheus virtual reality headset is not the only head-mounted device under development by Sony. The manufacturer has revealed a prototype of a headset similar to Google Glass called SmartEyeglass, though while Google's effort relies on a small screen off to the side, Sony is opting for something more ambitious, and less discrete in terms of design.
Users can pick up unowned remainder of bundled apps at savings
As part of the iOS App Store updated for iOS 8, Apple is now offering grouped "bundles" of applications at discounted prices, and a new ability to "Complete My Bundle" for those who already own some of the apps featured in the bundle. The bundles, usually grouped by developer at present, offer related apps shown in an "iOS folder" icon, and download together into a folder automatically when purchased. Users who already own one or more of the apps see the price discounted to reflect that.
Former gets Windows users iCloud Drive ahead of Macs
Apple has issued v4.0 of iCloud for Windows, the client needed for Windows users to sync content such as email, bookmarks, and photos with iCloud. The v4.0 software is a major update, bringing support for iCloud Drive, Apple's Dropbox-like file storage service. Significantly, this means that Windows users are getting access to the feature ahead of Mac owners. It first became an option with iOS 8's debut on Wednesday, but won't hit OS X until Yosemite appears at some point in the next month.
'Point' update to Xcode suggests very minor change
Adding to the bevy of updates released today, Apple has released an update to Xcode -- bringing it up to 6.0.1. Additionally, a new version of OS X Server Developer Preview for OS X 10.10 has been released, incrementing the pre-release to version 4.0 build 14S291i. Few details are available about changes to either, but sources familiar with the new Server 4.0 developer preview are finding changed checksums to most of the Apple-provided apps, suggesting nearly everything has had at least a minor change.
'No ETA' for fix
An unspecified, last-minute problem with HealthKit is prompting Apple to pull some compatible apps from the App Store, developers say. The developer of Carrot Fit, Brian Mueller, says that he received a phone call from Apple explaining the situation, and noting that nothing is wrong with his app. "Sounds like HealthKit won't be working at all this week. And there's no ETA for when a bug fix will go live," he adds on Twitter.
New system avoids compromise of Apple ID, limited to 25 active passwords
Starting next month, Apple will add another layer of security to its iCloud service for third-party apps that utilize iCloud storage or other access. The company will allow users to assign up to 25 app-specific passwords for those users who don't want a third-party app to have the user's Apple ID credentials to utilize services such as syncing. The app-specific password approach not only protects the iCloud and Apple ID account, but enhances security for apps that don't support two-step authentication.
Finished code will likely be last Server release for Mavericks
Apple is seeding another preview of OS X Server 3.2 to developers. Changes are so far unknown, but the code is listed as build 13S5179. Server 3.2 is intended for Macs running OS X Mavericks, particularly 10.9.4 or later.
Tech initially reserved for Apple Pay
Third-party app developers won't be able to access the APIs for Apple's NFC chips this year, a company spokesperson says. That effectively limits the NFC support in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay, as well as a few other authorized uses, at least for the next few months. That may be a security measure on Apple's part, since opening up the APIs too early could make it easier for hackers to crack the payment technology.
Little time left before gold master ships
Apple has released a third public beta of OS X Yosemite, as well as an eighth developer preview. Both are available through the Mac App Store; for the former people must be participants in the AppleSeed program, and for the latter users must be registered developers. So far, any changes beyond bugfixes have yet to be discovered.
Traditionally quick to upgrade, new health features may increase adoption further
Although it is not surprising to learn that Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad have an above-average adoption rate among medical professionals, new information from a networking site devoted to doctors has shed new insight on the relationship between Apple and the medical field. Doximity, described by Forbes as a "LinkedIn for doctors," reports that of its 300,000 member database, some 85 percent of doctors carry iPhones -- and they tend to upgrade to new models very quickly.
Apple gets 0.15 percent cut of purchases, does not affect purchase price
Some of the details of Apple's new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, have been revealed in a report by Britain's The Financial Times. As briefly alluded to by CEO Tim Cook, Apple does get a small commission on sales made using Apple Pay, to the tune of 0.15 percent (15 cents on every $100 spent), though this does not affect the purchase price.
Website for iCloud gains iCloud Drive, Settings icon ahead of launch of iOS 8
On Wednesday, iOS 8 and Yosemite beta visitors to iCloud.com -- the web portal for iCloud web services such as Find My iPhone, Mail and the iWork suite -- saw two new icons on the home screen in preparation for the formal unveiling of the features coming to both OS updates if they had the "iCloud Drive" testing option turned on. Also on Wednesday, users who have paid for additional storage on iCloud were notified that their rates will be adjusted to lower prices under the new pricing plans.
OS X GM only coming with Yosemite
The Swift programming language has attained gold master status for iOS, Apple has announced. "You can now submit your apps that use Swift to the App Store. Whether your app uses Swift for a small feature or a complete application, now is the time to share your app with the world. It's your turn to excite everyone with your new creations," the company adds.
Sale would be against Mojang's philosophy, could bolster Xbox support for Microsoft
Microsoft has entered into discussions that could see it signing a deal to purchase Mojang AB for more than $2 billion, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Mojang AB is the developer behind Minecraft, one of the most popular games across the globe. The potential sale marks a shift in philosophy for the Swedish developer, as its majority shareholder and founder Markus "Notch" Persson has been a proponent against large corporations and mainstream video games.
Likely to be final pre-release versions of each
Apple has started seeding the gold master versions of iOS 8 and Xcode 6 to developers. The former is build 12A365, while the latter is 6A313. Both should be the identical to the versions that reach the public, barring the discovery of serious bugs that might prevent the software from working, or create serious security issues.
Hires from VoiceSignal, Nuance talent hints at further work on in-house Siri engine
More evidence of earlier speculation that Apple was developing its own Siri engine to replace the licensed one from Nuance emerged on Monday, as a local newspaper reported that Apple is expanding its Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Siri operations with recent hires from Nuance and VoiceSignal Technologies, a company now owned by Nuance. The team would be staying in the same building, but moving to larger quarters on the upper floors -- enough for 65 workers, reports say.
Paid, free digital resources for coders, game creators now available
Developer Epic has opened its marketplace for user-created and other curated content for the new cross-platform Unreal Engine game creation tool. Developers can now buy and sell community-created premium content for use in projects. In addition to all of the previously-released free content, the new Marketplace is launching with a variety of asset packs including environments, props, characters, sounds, materials, animated meshes, and a number of other asset types.
Testing areas unchanged
A little over a week after the last one, Apple has issued a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. Listed as build 13F31, no significant changes appear to have been made. Areas of testing focus remain set on Safari, Gatekeeper, graphics, Thunderbolt, and USB/USB smart cards. It remains unclear how close Apple is to pushing out the final version of 10.9.5 to the public.
References to service appear in iTunes Connect
As it prepares for the launch of iOS 8 later this month, Apple has made public its official TestFlight app. The software requires iOS 8, but lets owners participate in beta tests via email invitations from developers. The app's interface is relatively simple, used mostly to fetch available updates and launch existing downloads. Notes for each app explain changes, what a developer wants to test, and when a release is set to expire.
New design offers more analytics, revamped iCloud-esque visual refresh
On the heels of a similar refresh for the Apple Store iOS app, Apple has also rejuvenated the iTunes Connect web app used by developers to gather statistics and information about sales, publishing data and other tidbits about their apps and App Store performance. The new design, originally shown off at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers' Conference but only just implemented on Thursday, offers more analytics and a new, more iOS-like design.
Hardware specifications are set, improvements will be coming to CD1 model
During GamesCom, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey and Vice President of Products Nate Mitchell spoke to Eurogamer, giving some clues on the future of the virtual reality (VR) headset. While neither party had anything to say about a potential release date, new information was given on the price and improvements of the consumer version of the Oculus Rift.
Health data not allowed on iCloud
Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines to define rules on how several new iOS 8 technologies can be used. With HealthKit, for example, developers are not only prevented from selling data to advertisers and brokers, but blocked from storing that information in iCloud. Apps using HomeKit are barred from collecting data for advertising or data mining, and must state in marketing that their primary purpose is home automation.
Public beta, developer interest credited for unusually high percentage
Thanks in large part to the release of two public betas in a program that was limited to one million signups, the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite is now running on approximately 2.6 million Macs, thought to be around 3.3 percent of the worldwide Mac user base, according to statistics from Net Applications. The figures come statistics gathered in August, and are 33 times higher than the pre-release version of Mavericks, though of course the latter didn't have a public beta component.
Includes features previously not available for Windows, such as iCloud Drive
Selected AppleSeed public testers are being contacted by Apple via email and being offered the opportunity to download and test a new beta seed of iCloud for Windows, which was announced earlier this summer at Apple's Worldwide Developers' Conference. Candidates need to have a PC running Windows 7 or later, and will gain access to the forthcoming advanced features of iCloud such as iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo Library.
Changes so far undiscovered
[Updated with some early changes] Apple is now distributing a seventh developer preview of OS X 10.10 Yosemite, as well as matching betas of Xcode 6, OS X Server 4.0, and Configurator 1.6. Any changes to Yosemite are unmentioned in release notes, but will probably be uncovered within the next few days. The last preview build of Yosemite was released roughly two weeks ago.
Could offer resolutions as high as 2208x1242, likely for larger devices
It has been speculated for some time that if Apple does decide to make larger iPhone screens as it now appears to be doing, that resolution would have to increase dramatically, which could cause headaches for developers. However, new testing by Dragthing creator James Thompson has revealed that Apple may instead rely on pixel-tripling, asking developers only to provide assets at 1x, 2x, and 3x the logical screen resolution. This could yield Retina-quality images on devices with larger displays.
Now possible to use the same language for apps for all three mobile platforms
A compiler company called RemObjects has created a new front end for its own Elements compiler called Silver that allows developers to write code hooking into APIs and frameworks outside iOS, letting them write native apps for iOS and Android. The project has also been made to work with both the Fire IDE and .NET, allowing Windows Phone developers to use Swift through the Visual Studio IDE. While not a universal write-once-run-anywhere solution, Silver could prove to be a boon for small developers who want to create Android and Windows Phone versions of their iOS apps written in Swift.
Should address one central fear
App crackdown part of Microsoft Windows Store certification changes
Microsoft is cleaning up its Windows Store catalog, by ejecting misleading apps. After modifying the Windows Store app certification requirements to try and prevent fake apps from reaching the app store in the first place, the company has started to comb through its app listings, and has already removed more than 1,500 apps from the store.
Testing continues slow advance
A little over a week after the last one, Apple has issued a new beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The code is identified as build 13F24. Areas of testing focus remain unchanged, and include Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
Developers, testers must use beta 5 or later to continue testing new features
In something of an unusual move, Apple has sent emails to developers informing them that they must keep up to date with iOS 8 and Yosemite betas if they want to continue testing new features, particularly the CloudKit functionality that is part of the forthcoming iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library and MailDrop technologies. The change, which could be due to a change in iCloud sandboxing, will also impact Safari histories and call histories. Developers must be on Beta 5 of either platform in order to continue working with CloudKit.
Build upgrade option could lose need to reinstall Windows in preview version
Microsoft may make the next version of Windows easier to update, starting with the preview version. A report claims current internal builds of the operating system, also known as Windows Threshold, can be upgraded to a newer build with a single click, which could mean that those using the public preview may be able to use a newer build without uninstalling and reinstalling the software.
Effort expanding as expected to Hong Kong, Mexco, Sweden, Turkey, others
As expected, Apple has grown its Volume Purchase Program for institutions seeking apps and iBooks to 16 new countries. Effective immediately, the program is available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Bot system results in 40-percent spam reduction, rule changes issued in seconds
Social microblogging service Twitter offered details on how it battles with spam on the service, showing off a specialized tool that the company made in the process. BotMaker was built by the team, which has so far been responsible for a reduction of 40 percent "in key spam metrics" since its launch. The company went into spill some of the specifics of its creation, something it needed to make since it offers real-time interactions and an exposed developer API.
AutoFill, subpixel rendering, extension compatibility and more being tested
On Wednesday, Apple released two betas for its Safari web browser, as well as a new beta for OS X Server. The Safari betas, 7.1 for Mavericks and 6.2 for Lion and later, add new features to WebKit, the rendering engine at the heart of the browser. In addition, Apple has asked testers to focus on general website compatibility in light of changes in some defaults, and tie-ins to forthcoming features in OS X and iOS. The new OS X Server beta requires the latest Mavericks (10.9.4).
Hyatt, United, Starbucks, Tripadvisor among early partners
Uber has released an anticipated API that will let third-party developers integrate its ridesharing services into their own apps. The company says it is already working with 11 high-profile partners, including Starbucks, United, OpenTable, TimeOut, Tempo, Hinge, Tripadvisor, Tripcase, Hyatt, Mememo, and Expensify. Apps based on the API will be able to show available rides and/or price and time estimates, and make use of a person's trip history.
Package changes developer ad ID with that of assailant with Cydia Substrate
A new piece of malware has started infecting jailbroken iOS devices earlier this year. The "AdThief" or "Spad" package hijacks advertising clicks and revenue, and redirects them to the author of the package, rather than the developer who inserted the advertising in the first place. The malware is simple and low profile -- it replaces the developer's ID with the attacker's ID. Mobile ad kits targeted by the AdThief malware are mostly from Chinese vendors, with four in the US, and a pair in India.
Re-signing mandatory for existing apps
Despite recent claims, a Dev Center security breach may not be why developers are being asked to re-sign Mac apps using OS X Mavericks, sources say. An alternative reason for the switch hasn't been mentioned, but unnamed sources are countering reports yesterday from other unnamed sources. In the earlier rumors, it was claimed that one or more hackers had managed to obtain not only Gatekeeper keys but "virtually every key Apple used for everything."
Release reportedly not coming to developers
A sixth beta of iOS 8 has been issued, but only to Apple's testing partners, reports say. The firmware is allegedly being withheld from developers because Apple is so close to the gold master stage. Testing partners must approve or reject beta 6 by September 5, just four days before Apple is expected to announce new iPhones as well as iOS 8's launch date.
Workaround involves manually launching dispatcher service
Yesterday's Developer Preview 6 release of OS X Yosemite is breaking Parallels Desktop 9, users report. After DP6 is installed, Desktop 9 is simply refusing to run, exactly the type of issue beta testers routinely encounter. The problem appears to involve the dispatcher service failing to load, as a temporary solution involves forcing the service to start via a Terminal command. This again has been seen in various other apps not yet updated for the forthcoming Yosemite.
Enterprise Signing Key, Activation Lock keys could have been compromised
An unidentified Twitter user is claiming that recent changes to Gatekeeper in OS X Mavericks and OS X Yosemite which has forced developers to re-sign their app credentials is actually the result of a security breach that successfully pilfered the Gatekeeper keys and possibly "many other keys for many other things," according to the user. A corraborating source was located by TUAW that has allegedly confirmed the breach and tied it to the recent alleged Activation Lock hack.
Final release date still nebulous
[Updated with notable changes] Apple is distributing its sixth betas of OS X Yosemite and Xcode 6 to developers. Changes have been largely minor and cosmetic thus far, centering around new appearances rather than fucntionality, and like previous seeds, the updates concentrate on performance and stability fixes. The last betas were released on August 4.
Previous rulings favoring Vringo nullified, revenue percentage payout killed
A long-standing court battle between Vringo's I/P Engine and Google is grinding to a halt in the Mountain View-base ad agency's favor. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declared two patents of Vringo's invalid, nullifying a jury verdict that found the search engine giant and others liable for a total $30 million in damages plus a percentage of Google Adwords profits. The ruling is the latest in a string of verdicts calling into question the overall validity of software functionality patents over that of the code itself.
New IE 'not the one you remember' claim developers on Reddit.
Microsoft has had several discussions at high levels, according to reports, considering renaming the nearly two-decade old Internet Explorer browser. The move would be to distance the new versions from previous, flawed iterations, and would hopefully help to improve the image of the tarnished software. Also noted was that while there are tools for developers to test sites in Internet Explorer environments, there are no plans to make an OS X version of the browser.
Public pre-release version of next Windows version includes mandatory monthly updates
The next major version of Windows may be offered as a preview next month, according to a report. Microsoft's latest iteration of Windows, believed to be Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold", will apparently be available to download and test out as a "technology preview" by the general public, rather than just to developers and hardware producers.
Critically panned Daikatana last FPS game from Romero, new game in planning stage
More exciting news has come out of GamesCom this week, as a gaming industry veteran announced his return to the world of first person shooters. John Romero, known as one of the pioneers of the genre from his work with id Software, announced to Joystiq that he is working on his first shooter in over 14 years.
Focus areas remain same as second release
Apple is now seeding a third beta of OS X 10.9.5 to developers. The software has a 13F14 build number, and focus areas identical to the previous beta. Developers are asked to test Safari, graphics, Thunderbolt support, and USB/USB smart cards.
Advanced memory allocation, not widely implemented, affected by flaw
Intel has discovered a major bug (referred to as "errata") in some models of its new Haswell chipset releases. Problems with the chip's transactional synchronization extension (TSX) instruction set will be disabled by Intel in revisions of motherboard firmware by vendors. Little, if any, software uses the instruction set now, but the feature is expected to be widely implemented in software tailored for the Haswell-EP server chipset.
Teaser video turns ends up more than a rerelease of old titles, Sierra to be a publisher again
After some stirring on its website, and a new video popping up last week with a revived logo, adventure game studio and publisher Sierra is indeed witnessing a rebirth. At Gamescom, it was announced that new entries in the King's Quest series and a new Geometry Wars game would be handled by Sierra Entertainment.
Enables development of Oculus-compatible Mac apps
Facebook-owned Oculus VR has released v0.41 of its beta SDK. Mostly a maintenance release, it is however the first to support OS X, which should allow developers to add Oculus Rift support to games and other Mac software. Since Macs are lacking an appropriate display driver, support currently relies on the Extend Desktop mode.