Uber introduces API for integrating the transportation service into other apps

Uber API integration sample

The popular transportation service Uber has quickly been growing this year with new features like adding your destination right on the smartphone app when requesting a ride and poaching long time Apple engineering manager Chris Blumenberg who managed the Maps team. The service is even integrated into the Google Maps app on iPhone and Android, and check out the Uber care package the company sends new employees.

Today Uber is taking a major step toward integrating its service into even more apps and services as it introduces an API for developers to use in their own apps and a list of partners already planning to take advantage of it.

As of today, we officially open—to all developers—access to many of the primitives that power Uber’s magical experience. Apps can pass a destination address to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more.

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Estimote introduces iBeacon power management tools for extending battery life

Estimote iBeacon beacon screen grab

Estimote, the company behind the iBeacons I tested in my Launch Center Pro 2.3 coverage and used by easyJet in select European airports, is introducing a round of improvements to its beacon product line and corresponding software today. The primary focus of the improvements deals with power management and how Estimote’s iBeacons consume battery. In short, Estimote’s iBeacons are getting smarter about how they connect and stay powered by adding two beacon power modes including Basic and Smart…

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Apple launches blog to highlight new Swift programming language

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.43.11 AM

Apple has launched a blog on its official developer website to promote the new Swift programming language. Swift, which was announced at WWDC 2014, is a successor to the Objective-C programming language for iOS and OS X, and it provides new, cleaner, and more robust tools for developing applications. The blog will be dedicated to Apple engineers working on Swift sharing tidbits behind the language’s development as well as hints. Here’s the first Swift blog post:

Welcome to Swift Blog

This new blog will bring you a behind-the-scenes look into the design of the Swift language by the engineers who created it, in addition to the latest news and hints to turn you into a productive Swift programmer.

Get started with Swift by downloading Xcode 6 beta, now available to all Registered Apple Developers for free. The Swift Resources tab has a ton of great links to videos, documentation, books, and sample code to help you become one of the world’s first Swift experts. There’s never been a better time to get coding!

- The Swift Team

Additionally, the blog now discusses Swift and its compatibility with current and future versions of Apple software. You can read those details below:

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Apple to wipe all CloudKit data on July 7th, including iCloud Photos, Drive & Mail Drop for iOS 8 and Yosemite

icloud

Apple has just informed developers that it will be wiping all CloudKit-based data stores on July 7th. This includes iCloud Photo Library, Mail Drop and iCloud Drive. Apple warned developers that this might happen with the release of the first iOS beta and it is not uncommon for wipes to happen several times during iOS and OS X beta cycles.

Dear Developer,

We will be performing a server-side data wipe on all CloudKit public and private databases for iOS 8 beta and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview users on July 7, 2014. The following iCloud features will be affected: iCloud Drive, iCloud Photo Library, and Mail Drop.

Photos and videos stored in iCloud Photo Library will remain on their original iOS 8 devices and will upload to iCloud Photo Library again automatically. iCloud Drive can be re-enabled from Set up Assistant after upgrade. If you choose to store your documents in iCloud Drive, your Documents & Data will automatically be copied to iCloud Drive. iCloud Drive will not update across earlier seeds or operating systems. Attachments sent through Mail Drop will expire and need to be resent after you upgrade.

If you have any questions, visit the Apple Developer Forums.

Best regards,
Apple Developer Technical Support

Affected files for Mail Drop and iCloud Drive will not transfer across automatically on the release of the next beta seed. Photos and videos will automatically restore, however, as they are not deleted from local storage. It is likely that new seeds of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite will follow this data wipe, as new seeds of these operating systems are already due.

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Maps ‘City Tours’ feature hidden in iOS 8 betas, works like a guided Flyover video

Although deeper changes to Maps are in the works, Apple did announce a new City Tours feature for iOS 8 discreetly on one of the keynote slides. This feature is not normally available in the current iOS 8 betas, but developer Pierre Blazquez has managed to unlock the feature through a hidden debug screen and shines some light on exactly what ‘City Tours’ entails.

City Tours is best described as a guided-camera Flyover view. After activating the tour, the Maps app changes to satellite mode and begins zooming and panning to different landmarks in the city. For example, in the video, the tour rotates and pans between a couple of different cathedrals. More screenshots after the break …

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Apple’s App Store editorial team now curating seven additional categories in Europe

(Before and after screenshots via The Guardian)

Just over a week ago at WWDC, Apple announced several changes and improvements coming to the App Store this fall with the public release of iOS 8 including new ways to navigate through the App Store as well as explore new apps. As The Guardian points out (via MacStories), App Store customers across Europe will notice improvements in the following categories: health, lifestyle, music, photo and video, productivity, and sports. Prior to the editorial expansion, every App Store category aside from education, games, food, kids, and Newsstand were populated solely by use of an algorithm of new and popular apps… Read more

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.

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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.

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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.

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