iOS 8: Lock screen app shortcuts, iPhoto changes, & App Store reviews

Update: Explanation of lock screen apps after the break…

Since Apple previewed iOS 8 yesterday during the keynote at WWDC, we’ve been continually trying out the new iPhone and iPad software to get familiar with the changes coming to users this fall. First up is a new way for apps to be promoted on the iPhone using subtle location-based prompts. Similar to how the lock screen features an icon and a swipe up gesture from the lower right corner of the display to quickly access the Camera app, several users are reporting a variety of apps are being featured on the lower left corner prompted by being near a relevant venue.

For instance, in the screen shot displayed above on the left, the user is visiting an Apple Store and an App Store icon appears in the lower left corner. Swiping up from the bottom acts as a shortcut to quickly access the Apple Store app within the App Store. Once installed, the Apple Store app icon then appears on the lock screen when visiting the retailer. While it’s not certain which specific perimeters must be met for this functionality to work, the commonality between other supported App Store apps including Starbucks and ShopSavvy is location. Read more

Apple makes it easy for devs (and others) to screencast iOS apps with OS X Yosemite

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 9.00.09 AM

Apple has added a handy feature into OS X to easily capture the screen of an iPad or iPhone on the Mac itself. Apple positions the feature as a way to help developers quickly make app previews, which Apple introduced as part of iOS 8’s improvements to the App Store, but there is no reason why this couldn’t be used by others for different purposes.

When plugging an iPad or iPhone running iOS 8 into a Mac running OS X Yosemite via USB, the iOS device now shows up as a standard camera input. This means any video app can be used to record the screen of the iOS device without the need for additional hardware.

Although Apple is targeting the feature at developers in its documentation for making app previews, it is not limited to being a developer-only feature.

Read more

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

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 21.43.28

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.

Read more

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

iOS Simulator Screen shot 2 Jun 2014 19.23.27

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.

Read more