Facebook for iOS adds status update icons, better sharing, more
Social network Facebook has updated its iOS app to v6.2, which brings new access to change who can see something a user has shared, the ability to start a conversation based on photos users receive in messages, and the addition of icons to status updates that show emotions or what a user is reading or watching. The "status update icons" were added to the desktop version of the program in April, but mobile support has been missing until now. The update also includes the usual bug fixes, and the app can be downloaded for free from the App Store.
Conference Room shows off increasing use of Apple TV for business
Though not explicitly mentioned during the Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote, the Apple TV will also be receiving an update to its differently-numbered iOS software in the near future -- one that supports iTunes Radio and offers a few minor new features. The first beta, which is referred to as iOS 5.4 (notably skipping 5.3 entirely), doesn't yet make any severe design changes but does add support for the forthcoming iTunes Radio, allowing developers a chance to test the service.
Illustration of iOS 7 on iPad, iPad mini also discovered on Apple's site
For a brief period on Friday, a set of what appears to have been "unfinished" or "rough draft" icons for iOS 7 appeared on a mobile version of the page promoting the new beta instead of the icons that are actually included in the current beta. This is not the first time discrepancies between the current iOS 7 icons and alternative versions have been noticed: the presentation during the WWDC keynote on Monday also featured some that are not quite the same as in the beta given to developers. Also discovered at the bottom of the Apple page was a picture of iOS 7 running on the iPad and iPad mini.
Non-developers likely finding sources, but beta reported unstable
Mobile advertising and analytics firm Chitika has noted that some 0.22 percent of the iPhone and iPod Touch US userbase is already running the iOS 7 beta, just a few days following its debut. While reports of iOS 7 testing were seen on most Mac, iOS and technology sites for weeks before its first developer release, the sheer growth of the beta OS has grown steadily since Monday, doubling what was seen in the final beta of iOS 6, for example. On top of that, the iOS 6 beta also included iPads, while an iPad version of iOS 7 is not yet available.
Possible RSS reader code found within Facebook Graph API
The battle to take the place of the soon-to-close Google Reader has gained another combatant, in the form of Facebook. Mentions of RSS feeds buried within Facebook's API coding suggest that it is creating its own RSS feed reader, something that it could possibly launch before Google shuts down its own service on July 1st.
At present rate, Apple will hit 1B customers by 2015
A new chart by Horace Dediu at Asymco shows that, based on Apple's public pronouncements on iTunes accountholder growth, the company is adding approximately 500,000 new accounts each and every day. Apple CEO Tim Cook, during the WWDC keynote on Monday, said that Apple now had a total of 575 million iTunes account holders, most of whom have a credit card attached to the account. Given that rate of growth, Apple should expect to top 600 million well before the end of the year, and could see one billion account holders by mid-2015.
Evidence that WWDC presentation was 'work in progress' on icons
While much has been said on the reaction by iOS users on the new look that will be found throughout the updated iOS 7 when it is released later this year, one element that doesn't get enough attention is that the icons and designs shown at WWDC are not, according to unnamed sources familiar with the ongoing project, set in stone. However, the redesign has already won a vote of approval from legendary original Mac OS icon designer Susan Kare, who told Network World that the new icons are "generally a good direction."
Audio tech could kill third-party Audiobus app
iOS 7 includes new support for game controllers, and something called "inter-app audio," reports observe. The controller support was referenced briefly in a slide during Apple's WWDC keynote, listing "MFi game controllers" as an iOS 7 SDK feature. "Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad" is Apple's official certification program for iOS accessories and peripherals. Images of controllers also appear in the iOS 7 Developer Guide; the diagrams bear similarity to the look of Nintendo's 3DS handheld and Wii Classic Controller.
Allows app developers to spend as little as $50 on iAd campaigns
Apple has added a new section to its iTunes Connect developer portal, iAd Workbench. The tool lets app developers promoting their titles via iAd to exercise more control over ads and campaign budgets. The minimum spend for such campaigns is now just $50, and developers can ask to pay on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Apple provides estimates for the reach of a given campaign, including statistics for impressions, taps, and downloads.
Beta supports models up to six years old, bucking trend
Apple generally is a company that likes to look forward more than back, and in recent years this has led to an ever-shortening gap between buying a new Mac and watching it become unsupported by the newest OS release, particularly as the company has gone to a yearly refresh cycle for OS X. In something of a surprise move, however, Apple has (at least thus far) made OS X Mavericks (10.9)'s system requirements all but identical to those of Mountain Lion -- meaning Macs as old as mid-2007 may be able to run it.
Discoveries leaking as betas are seeded to developers, testers
A handful of new information nuggets are coming to light about both the OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 betas given to developers and testers beginning yesterday after the WWDC keynote. Two examples of significant changes being found in the betas includes a new networking default in OS X, accompanied by a change in iOS 7 that will someday make Wi-Fi connections in public hotspots completely automatic. More minor tweaks include the addition of LinkedIn system-wide integration, and a new "active" icon for the clock app in iOS 7.
Speech mentions 4K-compatible update for FCP X in progress
Apple has released a downloadable version of yesterday's WWDC keynote, headed by CEO Tim Cook and featuring many other Apple executives, as a standard-definition and HD (separate 720p and 1080p editions) podcast. The presentation, which featured a bit more humor than was recently seen following the death of former CEO Steve Jobs, also mentioned in passing a forthcoming update of Final Cut Pro X designed to work with next-gen 4K displays.
Cloud app Evernote gets nod; Student winners include Finish and Mosaic
The Apple Design Awards for 2013 for iOS apps have been announced through a web page and a a series of tweets from Apple's @AppStore account. Among the winners are cloud productivity tool Evernote, word game Letterpress and Yahoo Weather -- the latter largely upstaged earlier in the day by the new default weather app in iOS 7, which strongly resembles the Yahoo app in style and function. A number of other companies also won Apple Design Awards, as well as two student entries that won student ADAs.
French, German voices too; more languages coming later
As expected, Siri will be given an upgrade in the forthcoming version set for iOS -- incorporating new services including Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing among other new sources. The interface will be reshaped to fit into the iOS 7 design aesthetic, with a "waveform" look that fades into view on a layer over the current content on the screen. The program will also now feature a new choice of voices -- a new female voice, or a male one if preferred -- with new voices for French and German users as well (and more languages in the works).
Black cannister shape, 12-core configuration, Thunderbolt 2, more
[Updated with real-world photo of the Mac Pro] Apple on Monday gave developers and the public a "sneak preview" of the next Mac Pro coming later this year -- a radical new "cannister" form factor in black that is 1/8th (by volume) the size of the previous model. It features a 12-core configuration based on all-new (E5) Intel Xeon processors, dual AMD-provided FirePro workstation graphics, new PCIe flash storage, new faster RAM, PCI Express gen 3 support, the ability to use up to three 4K-quality displays, and external outputs dominated by Thunderbolt 2.
Over 6M registered developers, 1 million Apple store visitors per day
Apple CEO Tim Cook has started the keynote address at the currently-running 24th Worldwide Developer Conference by relaying some key statistics to the on-location and online audience. This year, there are 100 sessions, 120 labs, and 1,000 Apple engineers in attendance, but he warns those present "they're here to help, but don't ask them about future roadmaps."
Focus on format support
Syncro Soft has released an upgrade to Oxygen XML Editor, version 15. The software is said to have "major" improvements in its WSDL editing, including new search and refactoring actions, hierarchy and dependency views, context-aware editing help, and the ability to generate documentation. Enhancements have also been made in working with XML databases and validation support.
Reports cover previous iMusic rumors, record company revenue split
There has been more speculation for what Apple will present at its Worldwide Developer Conference keynote address later today. Recent reports have allegedly confirmed previous rumors of iOS 7 design changes and the iRadio streaming music service, subjects that people already standing in line to attend the event are likely to learn about.
Began late Sunday evening for much-anticipated keynote, workshops
A lineup is already well underway for the eagerly-awaited start of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference and in particular the keynote address, scheduled for 10AM Monday. Though consumers and others not attending the event will be looking for possible news on new Apple products and software, developers are most likely to be focused on the previews of iOS 7 and OS X 10.9, and what if any adjustments they will need to make in their own programs to either compensate for under-the-hood changes or to take advantage of new features incorporated into the two updated platforms.
Tech reportedly avoids using Apple code
BlueStacks, the developer of the GamePop game console, says its hardware will be able to run iOS apps without using Apple code. The console reportedly uses a virtualization scheme known as "LookingGlass," allowing iOS games to run with few if any changes. BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma says he's not sure how Apple will react; iOS is a closed operating system, and iOS titles normally have to be distributed through the App Store.
Nearly all users on iOS 6 among active-use iPhone, iPad devices
While users of each of the two major mobile platforms debate each one's merits and issues, in one aspect of comparison there is a clear and unequivocal difference between Android and iOS: Apple has a serious advantage when it comes to having its userbase all on the latest major version of its smartphone and tablet OS. A new study by mobile ad and market analyst Chitika shows that an astonishing 92.7 percent of iPhone owners are using iOS 6 as of June, while 82.9 percent of iPad owners are also using iOS 6 -- far ahead of Android users on OS 4.1 or later ("Jelly Bean").
Build number leads to speculation of July release for next OS version
A Webkit bug report filed in Apple's own Radar system on May 8 has revealed an internal build number for the OS X 10.9 upgrade, also informing developers and others that Apple appears to be quite far along on testing the forthcoming major release. The filing, reported by AppleInsider, posts a presumed OS X 10.9 build numbered 13A451 -- the "13" referring to 10.9 (Mountain Lion's current build is 12E55), the "A" meaning a ".0" release, and the last digits indicating a build number. In this case, it suggests that Apple is very thoroughly testing the forthcoming release.
New tagline, 'where a whole new world is developing' revealed
As the Moscone Center prepares for the capacity crowd to arrive for Apple's sold-out Worldwide Developers Conference next week, an early clue to the tone and tenor of the convention often comes in the form of the logo and banners put up in preparation for the event. This year, as compared to some previous years, fewer hints have been revealed with this year's decorations so far, but the conference is still a number of days away. A few photos (seen below) have appeared showing off the initial banners, with the conference tagline revealed: "Where a whole new world is developing."
Possible change coming in iOS 7, supports 'flatter' style rumor
In a move that surprised developers, the Apple developer portal is displaying app icons as perfect squares with sharp edges, rather than the rounded corners normally seen. It is as yet unclear if this is a hint of changes to come in the forthcoming iOS 7 update -- which has been rumored to offer a "flatter" design eschewing most shadows and other "3D" effects -- or if it is a simple temporary removal of the rounded-corner "mask" normally covering the square icons submitted by developers while Apple tweaks the design.
Will focus less on ads in apps, apart from 'developer ads'
A claim from Bloomberg says that Apple is revamping its iAd division to support what will be its free but ad-supported streaming music service (dubbed "iRadio" by pundits), expected to be announced at next week's Worldwide Developers Conference and modelled on the popular user-guided, algorithm-picked music station Pandora. The service, which likely won't debut until later this year with the release of iOS 7, will introduce new business models intended to lure name brands to advertise on the radio-esque music service.
New session videos to be posted daily
Apple has launched an official iOS app for WWDC 2013, which begins June 10th. The title is a free download for iPhones and iPads, and is the first WWDC app to incorporate daily session video updates, which as promised should allow registered developers to keep up with sessions even when they can't attend in person. The app is also Apple's first for WWDC to incorporate Passbook support, which should make it easier to register at Moscone West.
Unusual notice required due to infrastructure maintenance
In a rare move, Apple has notified developers working on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.4 update that it is closing down the seeding of new betas, essentially signalling that release of the update is likely to come next week. In the message, the company explains that scheduled maintenance on its Software Update project requires it to close existing projects and that the system for developer updates will be down from today, Friday the 31st. Apple also took a moment in the message to thank developers for their efforts in helping finalize the software.
Still-functioning Mac SE mod preceded Mac Portable by two years
Mobile software developer and former Apple employee Ken Landau was engaged in a bit of spring cleaning when he uncovered a rare find: a still-functional, Apple-sanctioned portable version of the Mac SE created and built by electronics pioneer Chuck Colby in 1987, two years before Apple would begin its own journey into mobile computing with the Macintosh Portable. The Colby Walkmac (as it was known) was the first battery-operated Macintosh, as well as the first portable Mac with an LCD display. At the time, the 13-pound Walkmac sold for around $6,000.
Offers new way to use Apple app to promote other services, apps
Developer Second Gear has worked out a clever way to use Apple's Passbook technology for promotion of the company's own forthcoming app. Users who sign up for further information on the unnamed new app will receive a card compatible with Passbook, Apple's iOS-based virtual wallet/ticket/pass manager. The card will use Passbook's technology to alert cardholders when an announcement is made -- allegedly ahead of the public announcement. The service that makes the card possible, dubbed Pit Pass, will be made available to other developers.
Florida-based Design Center quietly building, recruiting
At least a dozen former AMD graphics specialists have changed their online profiles to reflect that they are now working for Apple at the Orlando Design Center in Florida, suggesting that work on graphics acceleration on Apple's Ax processor line is being quietly built up, and may reflect an overall increased interest by Apple to take more aspects of the processor in-house. Despite the addition of at least 12 engineers since the start of the year, Apple is still advertising for jobs with the Orlando center, as well as similar jobs in Cupertino.
Authentication system to allow in-app purchasing using Amazon services
Amazon has launched its own single sign-on service for third parties. Titled Login with Amazon, the system will function in a similar manner to existing one-click authentication systems offered by other social networks, in order to help web developers and app creators encourage users to register an account and, in the case of mobile apps, to spend money.
Not the first time backdoor tethering has been discovered, removed
Apple's process for checking apps to prevent them from doing things other than what is advertised -- a potential door to malware on the iOS platform -- appears to need strengthening after another already-approved application was discovered to have a secret "tethering" mode that would allow users to share their 3G/LTE data connection without their carriers' permission.
May still be time for additional fixes, features in future betas
The currently-in-testing update to OS X, 10.8.4 -- thought to be on a fast track for release ahead of the upcoming Worldwide Developer's Conference in mid-June -- is expected to offer a wide range of issues fixes and general performance improvements, according to an unnamed developer. While some of the improvements were previously known, some are new -- including a Safari browser update.
Little time left before OS X 10.9 reveal
A little over a week since the last beta, Apple is seeding a new build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers. The release is listed as 12E55, and has no known issues. People are asked to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, graphics, and Windows filesharing.
Preview of OS X 10.9, iOS 7, possible MacBook refresh
Apple has formally announced that the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin with the traditional keynote address, set for the first day of the conference: Monday, June 10. Unusually this year, the company has pre-announced that the convention (and presumably the keynote) will focus on the forthcoming OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. Though not included in the announcement, CEO Tim Cook is expected to headline the presentation.
Company blames 'increasing misuse'
Google has announced plans to start deprecating most download options for projects hosted on Google Code. Beginning today, both existing and new projects without any downloads will lose the ability to create them. Existing projects that do have downloads will no longer be able to create additional ones as of January 15th. "All existing downloads in these projects will continue to be accessible for the foreseeable future," Google adds.
Company does away with $800 base cost
Unity has announced that its mobile game development tools are now free to use for smaller developers. The Unity platform is popular amongst iOS and Android developers, but its creator previously charged $800 to publish a game to the App Store or Google Play. Under the new rules, that barrier has been lifted.
Should simplify sharing from Facebook-connected apps
Facebook has brought a native Share Dialog for iOS out of beta via an updated SDK, v3.5.1. The change means that third-party iOS 6 apps will be able to share activity to Facebook without always requiring a login first. People should also be able to tag friends from within those apps.
Agency preps developers for changes to important act
The US Federal Trade Commission has started sending out two letters to app developers, preparing them for changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act taking effect July 1st, according to an announcement. The letters warn developers that restrictions on the collection of personal data from kids under 13 have been expanded, and now cover things like audio or video bearing a child's likeness. Previously, rules only covered the gathering of names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Smartwatch able to communicate back to smartphones
Pebble, the smartwatch that started life on Kickstarter, has received an extra $15 million in funding. The additional funding from investors, on top of the $10.2 million received through its Kickstarter campaign, comes at the same time as the company updates its SDK to include two-way communication for third-party Pebble apps.
Ultra low power Bluetooth protocol to be enabled in dual-mode chipsets
Today at Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference, Google announced that in the coming months Android will include native support for Bluetooth Smart Ready and Bluetooth Smart devices. Phones and tablets with a dual-mode Bluetooth chip running an unnamed coming version of Android will qualify as Bluetooth Smart Ready.
Company may be on accelerated pace ahead of WWDC
Apple is seeding yet another build of OS X 10.8.4 to developers, 12E52. As before there are no known issues, and Apple is still asking developers to concentrate testing on Safari, Wi-Fi, and graphics drivers. When it's finished v10.8.4 is primarily expected to be a maintenance update, although it does appear to include support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
Google Maps API, multiplayer tools, Google+ sign-on added to Android
Google has revealed some of the new tools available to developers on Android at its Google I/O event. A number of new APIs have been introduced, along with the rumored APIs for multiplayer gaming, and new tools for developers to create the apps themselves, including a new Android Studio tool, and help in the creation of international versions of apps.
Google kicks off developer conference
Google is set to kick off its I/O developer conference with an opening keynote. The company is widely expected to introduce a new Android build, potentially alongside new hardware. Check our live page beginning at 9am Pacific, 12pm Eastern, for updates from the event.
Netflix updates API to remove expiry dates for movies, shows
Netflix has removed the expiry dates for films and TV shows from its public API, following recent reports that the streaming service would drop around 1,800 items of content in May alone. According to a company blog post, the change is being made due to the inaccuracy of the expiry date due to the "frequent, often last minute, changes in content flow," though the field will still appear with a default date in the API, in order to avoid errors in third-party apps.
Developer kit to allow Card.io-based credit card scanning
Payment service PayPal has launched a new software development kit for Android. Following on from the iOS version launched in March, the Android SDK will allow developers to integrate PayPal payments into their apps, providing them with an alternative payment processing system to Google Play, and the option to pay for in-app items or services by credit or debit card.
Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD owners receive 500-coin gift
Amazon has launched its virtual currency in the United States, and has provided Kindle Fire owners with an initial credit on their accounts. The 500 Amazon Coins, valued at $5, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as in-app items, along with an incentive to continue buying packs of the virtual currency instead of usual cash transactions.
Gaming framework for Android could appear at Google I/O
Google may be revealing an entire gaming framework to developers at Google I/O next week, based on newly-released data. The Google Play Services component for Android includes support for various game-related features in a new update, including synchronizing saved games and various multiplayer components seen in a previous leak.
No noted changes or known issues reported once again
The weekly release of new builds of the forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.4 are continuing apace, with build 12E47 now available for testers -- again with no new changes or known issues, and again asking developers to focus testing efforts on the same areas as before: graphics, Safari and Wi-Fi performance. Earlier builds of 10.8.4 are known to be slightly improving battery life, addressing bugs with Wi-Fi stability and reconnection after waking from sleep, as well as fixing some remaining Nvidia card graphic glitches.
Lets devs bypass Safari and use Chrome as default in-app browser
Shortly after updating its GMail iOS app to allow it to link directly to Chrome and other Google apps as needed, the search and ad giant is now offering Chrome for iOS integration tools to developers that allow them to specify Chrome as the browser to use for in-app web interaction, bypassing Safari unless Chrome is not already installed. The tools can give developers the option of using Chrome or asking the user if they would like to open a link in Chrome rather than Safari. It's not yet clear if the changes represent any breach of Apple's iOS guidelines.