Apple sets developer rules for HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions ahead of iOS 8 launch

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Today, Apple has updated its official App Store developers Review Guidelines to outline the requirements for iOS 8 applications that will make use of the new HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions services. Today’s update indicates that Apple is nearing the release of iOS 8, the next-generation mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch ahead of the September 9th Apple media event. Apple will provide developers with a golden master seed of iOS 8 on the day of the event, according to sources with knowledge of the plans. The review guidelines are a “living document” that list reasons that App Store apps could be rejected. Below are the full lists for HealthKit, HomeKit, TestFlight, and Extensions, but here are some of the more significant points:

  • “Apps using the HealthKit framework that store users’ health information in iCloud will be rejected.” This point should reduce fears of intruders being able to access a user’s health data, especially after the scandal surrounding the leak of celebrity photos potentially stored in iCloud.
  • “Apps that share user data acquired via the HealthKit API with third parties without user consent will be rejected.”
  • “Apps that provide diagnoses, treatment advice, or control hardware designed to diagnose or treat medical conditions that do not provide written regulatory approval upon request will be rejected.” This point is crucial in that these fine print allows Apple to work around the FDA’s regulatory guidelines for mobile health applications.
  • “Apps using the HealthKit framework must provide a privacy policy or they will be rejected.”
  • “Apps must not use data gathered from the HomeKit APIs for advertising or other use-based data mining.” Same deal with HealthKit, as we noted earlier this week.
  • There are also a number of third party keyboard guidelines that will be critical for developers to follow.

In addition to those four new sections, Apple has also updated the guidelines to say that “if your app is plain creepy, it may not be accepted.” You can read all of the new bullet points below:

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iOS App Store suffers outage as entire catalog of apps becomes “no longer available” (update: Apple confirms)

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The iOS App Store seems to be suffering a major outage, though Apple’s system status page doesn’t yet say that there are any issues (update: now it does). Users took to Twitter to point out that every single application listed on the store is now returning an error stating that it is “no longer available.” Typically this error is reserved for applications that have been pulled from sale.

The Mac App Store seems to be fine and still allows downloading applications. However, both the desktop and mobile versions of the iOS store are experiencing the issue.

Update: Apple has acknowledged that “[some] users may be unable to access multiple stores or make purchases.” The page lists issues for the App Store, the iBooks Store, and the iTunes music store. It also indicates that the issue is ongoing, though a few people have noted that they can now download apps.

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Apple reportedly discussing mobile payment partnership with Nordstrom

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Apple is reportedly in talks with department store Nordstrom to join as a partner for the company’s mobile payment system, as noted by Bank Innovation. As has been previously reportedly, Apple is also in talks with several other retailers about the possibility of accepting iPhone-based payments, and has deals in place with MasterCard and American Express as well as Chinese payment processor UnionPay to support the feature.

According to the Bank Innovations report, people familiar with Nordstrom’s systems have confirmed that the company’s current point-of-sale hardware is purchased from Apple and recently received a software update to work “with the latest iPhones.” These devices are said to be the same updated EasyPay systems implemented recently in Apple Stores across the country.

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Apple sends out first beta of iCloud for Windows to AppleSeed users

Image via MR

Image via MacRumors

Apple has started sending out invitations to AppleSeed users inviting them to take advantage of a new beta seed for Windows, as shown in the screenshot above. The beta will enable features that would normally be reserved for OS X Yosemite or iOS 8, such as iCloud Drive, on the Microsoft-built operating system.

Developers were previously able to download this software for testing, but this is the first time that non-developer users have been granted access. Only a limited number of applicants have been added to this program so far, it seems.

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Apple announces $10K Product Integrity Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship for minorities in tech

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Continuing a number of recent initiatives related to promoting diversity at the company, Apple is now offering a new Product Integrity Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship offering “women, black/African American, Hispanic, or Native American university students” an opportunity to win a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for their education in tech. The scholarship is named for Apple’s Product Integrity group that includes Hardware Reliability, Product Safety, Environmental Technologies, and Hardware and Software Test Engineering. Read more

Apple denies iCloud/Find my iPhone breach, says ‘very targeted attack’ hit certain celebrities

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Apple has responded to this week’s hackings of celebrity iCloud accounts, which resulted in postings of private photographs. Here’s Apple’s statement in full:

CUPERTINO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud® or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.

Apple says that it conducted an investigation for more than 40 hours, and denies that iCloud or Find my iPhone was actually breached. Apple is presenting this as a very targeted username, password, and security questions hack on “certain celebrity accounts.” Apple recommends that users utilize the 2-step verification service for Apple IDs/iCloud. The company also says it is continuing to work with law enforcement on finding the hackers involved.

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Apple releases OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 7

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Apple today released the seventh developer preview of OS X Yosemite bringing the latest build to 14A343f. The previous developer preview (build 14A329f) was released two weeks ago. Xcode 6 beta 7 was also released alongside new builds for OS X Server 4.0 Developer Preview and Apple Configurator 1.6 beta 5. If you find something new, you can let us know at tips@9to5mac.com. The release version of Yosemite is currently scheduled for the later half of October, and it will ship separately from iOS 8. Here’s what’s new: Read more

Cultured Code previews Things system extension for iOS 8

Cultured Code’s task management app Things has yet to receive an update on iPhone or iPad to fit in with Apple’s design direction introduced with iOS 7 as a major new version has long been in development, but it looks like users of Things will soon get a bit of relief in the form of an iOS 8 system extension.

A preview of the iOS 8 extension for Things has been added to the company’s status board for the app and shows text being copied and pasted from a website on Safari directly into a new entry on Things without leaving the web browser.

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Netflix for iOS now lets you privately recommend content to select Facebook friends

Netflix today announced a new way to recommend movies and TV shows to your friends from your iPhone or iPad. The recommendation feature works using Facebook, but it’s selective and private so you don’t end up spamming everything with the embarrassing movie you just watched that you and two of your friends may like but others not so much. The feature allows you to connect your Facebook friends list to your Netflix account, then recommend videos you just watched to specific friends from Facebook.

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Reddit launches official Ask Me Anything iOS app to view its popular Q&A sessions

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Reddit has today launched an official Ask Me Anything iOS app, providing a convenient way to view both real-time and archived AMAs. Reddit’s SVP of mobile Ellen Pao said that move was to address the fact that a third of site visits are made on mobile devices, a number that is growing all the time.

We’ve found in the last year or so a huge uptick in people accessing Reddit from the mobile web, and we want to give those folks a great experience …

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FBI investigating alleged iCloud celebrity hack as Reddit ‘suspect’ declares innocence

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The FBI is now leading the investigation into the alleged iCloud hack in which nude photographs of a number of celebrities were obtained, reports the Telegraph. FBI spokesperson Laura Eimiller said:

[The FBI is] aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter. Any further comment would be inappropriate at this time.

It has been suggested that a vulnerability in the Find My Phone service may have allowed attackers to brute-force passwords in order to access the iCloud accounts of celebrities …  Read more

Elgato announces Eve home automation integrated with Apple’s HomeKit, Avea smart LED lights and Smart Power batteries

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Everything has pretty much stopped in North America for Labor Day (except for perv hackers), but IFA 2014 is ramping up in Germany and Elgato is using this event to debut a new lineup of smart accessories. The announcement encompasses three major new products: Eve, Avea, and Smart Power.

Elgato Eve is easily the most compelling new product in this lineup. Through the use of several sensors, Avea monitors your home’s “air quality, temperature, humidity, air pressure, energy and water consumption.” These Bluetooth connected sensors report back to your iPhone or iPad via the Elgato Eve app. And here’s the best part, it will be fully compatible with Apple HomeKit…
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