Xcode 6 features resizable iPhone and iPad simulators, leading the way for iPhones with new screen resolutions

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Xcode 6 includes new iOS Simulator features that allow developers to resize the simulated screen for any arbitrary resolution. 9to5Mac first reported this was imminent in May.

Although the feature is very temperamental in the first beta, it clearly leads the way to a future with a much more diverse lineup of screen resolutions. This allows developers to test for future iOS devices that do not exist today — such as 4.7 inch and 5.5 inch iPhones for example.

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Apple focuses on developer features for iOS 8: TestFlight beta testing, biggest SDK ever, inter-app communication and more

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Alongside a whole of other changes to the App Store, Apple is integrating TestFlight. This allows developers to do seamless beta-testing for free. There are also a whole host of ‘extensions’ apps can access, enabling integration into share sheets, Notification Center widgets and more.

Apple is heavily stressing that this is the biggest developer release since the App Store was announced.

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New developer APIs for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 appear in open-source WebKit

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The code shows that this is a new addition for OS X 10.10 and iOS 8.

Slightly ahead of the keynote later today, Apple has pushed some of its new APIs for developers into the open-source channels. The class in question is a new view that appears to replace the current iOS and OS X WebKit implementations, which enables apps to show webpages and other content inline.

The new framework seems to indicate a focus on cross-platform API compatibility, between iOS and OS X. The leaked framework seems to be fully feature-compatible across platforms. This differs to the situation today, where developers must use the ‘WebView’ class for OS X and ‘UIWebView’ for iOS. This should help developers write more reusable code.

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Apple updates WWDC for iPhone and iPad with new design and conference schedule

With WWDC less than two weeks away now, Apple has released WWDC 2.0 for iPhone and iPad today on the App Store. The update revamps the user interface to reflect the design changes introduced with iOS 7 at last year’s WWDC conference. The update also includes a new icon to reflect the design changes: from dark purple to bright orange. The update also includes the latest schedule for this year’s conference (or as much as it will reveal) so developers attending the conference will want to download and reference it soon.

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Apple enticing games publishers with promotion deals in return for exclusivity

Game Center WWDC 2013

The Wall Street Journal has published a report saying that both Apple and Google are actively pursuing exclusivity deals with game developers. Whispers of these type of arrangements surfaced last year, with reports highlighting a partnership between Apple and EA for Plants vs Zombies 2.

The Journal confirms that Apple’s exclusivity deals do not include monetary payments. In return, the companies offer “premium placement” (such as featured spots on the home page) for launching first on their platform.

In regard to the Plants vs Zombies’ deal, the report says EA gave Apple agreed about two months of exclusivity.

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Facebook releases ‘Tweaks’ tool to help devs iterate on their apps faster

Tweaks

Facebook has today open-sourced its rapid prototyping tool ‘Tweaks’, a framework that helps application developers quickly iterate on their projects and test out different possibilities for their iOS apps.

The best way to improve an app is to use it every day. Even when ideas can be tested out in advance — for example, with Origami — it can still take some time with the app to see how it works in practice.

Occasionally, it’s perfect the first try. Sometimes, the idea doesn’t work at all. But often, it just needs a few minor adjustments. That last case is where Tweaks fits in. Tweaks makes those small adjustments easy: with no code changes and no computer, you can try out different options and decide which works best.

Tweaks makes it really simple for developers to adjust parameters and properties in their application and then test them out in realtime. This is particularly useful for rapid user interface development, which often consists of merely tweaking parameters (like colors or durations) than any involved work.  Normally, developers have to recompile application binaries in order to change animation curves, durations or other parameters. This is relatively slow and inefficient.

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Contestants at Pwn2Own take down Safari, but said OS X security is better than other systems

As usual, the annual Pwn2Own contest featured many hackers targeting the latest operating systems and browsers from the major vendors, including Apple. Threatpost reports that the “Keen Team” focused Safari on Thursday and exploited it with relative ease.

The team took home a $40,000 bounty for their efforts on Safari, as well as a share in a $75,000 prize for co-engineering a zero-day Flash exploit. They say they will donate some of their winnings towards charities representing missing Malaysian Airplane passengers.

The group say that for Safari, they used two different exploit vectors. One vulnerability was a heap overflow in WebKit that enabled arbitrary code execution. The team then used this opening to use another exploit to bypass the application sandbox and run code as if it was user privileged.

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Report: Apple bringing full screen, interstitial iAds to iPhone

According to a new report from Ad Age, Apple is planning to offer a new option for how iAds are presented on its iOS platform. The new iAd option will allow included video content to play automatically at full screen rather than being prompted by tapping a more subtle banner. While interstitial iAds are already possible for iAds presented on the iPad meant for use in Newsstand apps, the report claims the new options will target both iPhone and iPad users suggesting the option could debut for iPhone and iPod touch users. The report believes the automatically playing, full screen interstitial iAds will likely be presented in between activity rather than interrupting content entirely. Read more

New Apple developer pages aim to help software designers build for iOS 7 and OS X

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Apple published a new page on its iOS developer center Thursday night that lists a variety of resources for app designers looking to get the most out of iOS 7’s new look and feel. Most of the information consists of videos and documents that are already available to developers, but these were previously grouped in with other development resources rather than being set apart on a design-specific page.

The page’s header lists both iOS and OS X as platforms where “exceptional user experience” is paramount, but the resources below deal mainly with iOS 7 without any real mention of OS X aside from a single HIG document at the bottom of the list.

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Apple releases iBeacon specification through its Made-For-iPhone program

Eversense-Aura-iBeacon

Aura iBeacons coming soon for EverSense smart thermostat

iBeacon, Apple’s new framework for using low-cost Bluetooth LE devices to beam notifications to nearby smartphones and tablets, will soon be getting a bigger push from Apple and third-party manufacturers through its Made-For-iPhone program. While “iBeacon” is often used in the media to describe any Bluetooth beacon, Apple is now implementing tighter control over who can use the ‘iBeacon’ branding. Much like it requires for manufacturers placing the “Made-for-iPhone” branding on Apple authorized devices, Apple is now requiring manufacturers meet certain specifications before using ‘iBeacon’ on their products. The change was first spotted by Beekn.net. It appears the program is separate from the main Bluetooth MFi specification as it still asks that accessory manufacturers not support the iBeacon feature. Read more