‘Apps for Health’ section hits App Store following Apple’s release of Healthkit enabled iOS 8.0.2

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Now that Apple is 8.0.2 rolled out and we’re all relatively stable with a Healthkit-enabled OS, Apple is giving us a new section of the App Store for health-related apps. 

Experience an entirely new approach to wellness where your fitness app can talk to your calorie tracker, your doctor can be automatically notified of updates to your health data, and great apps work together for a healthier you. This handpicked collection highlights the best fitness, nutrition, and medical apps customized for iOS 8.

Red prices on pink background?  They must have moved that Maps launch and iOS 8.0.1 guy over to design.  Read more

Instagram’s Hyperlapse video shooter adds support for front camera & iPhone 6/6 Plus

Last month Instagram launched a new video shooting app for iPhone and iPad that combines effects like time-lapse and cinema stabilization called Hyperlapse. Today Instagram is introducing what they call the “selfielapse” by adding support for shooting Hyperlapse videos with the front facing camera on your device using the same features previously only available on the back camera…

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Apple: Almost 50% of the iOS devices that visited the App Store Sunday were iOS 8 (9to5Mac readers: 80%)

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Apple isn’t bragging on its iOS 8 adoption numbers like it has in years past because it appears uptake has been slightly slower. The reason? The much bigger iOS 8 download doesn’t fit on many people’s devices which are often stuffed to capacity with music, movies, photos and apps.

(Hint: Here’s how to slim some GBs off your iOS 8 device or install via iTunes on a Mac/PC which doesn’t require extra space)

9to5-image 2014-09-23 at 5.31.11 AMApple’s latest numbers are for Sunday September 21, 2014 and show that from people who visited the App Store on their iOS device, 46% were already on the new iOS 8.  On one hand this number is skewed higher because most of the early adopter nature of frequent App Store visitors but on the other hand many people visit the App Store from older devices that can’t be updated to iOS 8.

Apple’s own numbers show something else slightly troubling. App Store app submissions are being delayed slightly as of iOS 8 launch with only 74% of app updates and 53% of new apps being reviewed. Apple is usually in the high 90% range on iOS as it is with Mac.

As for 9to5Mac readers’ iOS adoption, the numbers are much much higher than the general audience as you’d probably expect. This morning, we’re close to 80% iOS 8 adoption. The pie chart from Google Analytics taken at 5:30 am ET is below:

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iOS 8 extensions in newly-updated apps not working right now, but should be fixed for tomorrow’s launch

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Update: Apple has resolved the problem overnight. Downloading apps now also loads the embedded extensions successfully, just in time for iOS 8’s public debut …

With iOS 8 set to launch tomorrow, Apple is well underway approving apps and app updates that incorporate the new features of iOS 8. Apps that require iOS 8 are currently ‘Pending An Apple Release’, but apps that support earlier versions are beginning to show up in the store. However, developers have discovered that integrated extensions, like Today widgets, are not working and failing to appear in Notification Center. Both PCalc and OmniFocus have acknowledged these issues, but it applies universally.

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60 percent of apps fail basic privacy tests, finds international cross-governmental study

 

app store hero flat modernA review of 1,211 apps carried out by a coalition of privacy officials across 19 countries found that 60 percent of them failed at least one basic privacy test, reports the WSJ.

The officials found that 60% of apps raised privacy concerns, based on three criteria: They did not disclose how they used personal information; they required that the user give up an excessive amount of personal data as a condition of downloading the app; and their privacy policies were rendered in type too small to be read on a phone’s screen …

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WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone updated w/ photo captions, slow-motion video sharing, more

WhatsApp MessengerThe latest update to the popular, Facebook-owned WhatsApp Messenger app for iPhone hit the App Store with a long list of new features for users including the ability to share slow-mo videos from the iPhone 5s and trim clips down right in the app without having to edit the video in the Photos app.

Chatting with photos also received improvements with the ability to add captions and snap and share photos even faster added. Improvements and changes to location sharing, app wallpapers, and new notification tones are included. The latest version also allows users to move chat logs and contact groups away to an archive. Complete list of changes below… Read more

Apple wearable to run third-party apps, big developers already seeded SDK

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Apple’s upcoming wearable device, based on iOS, will run third-party applications and, furthermore, may come equipped with an App Store, according to two sources with knowledge of the new device. It is currently unclear if the App Store will be full-fledged, like on the iPhone and iPad, or if it will be a special section with in the iPhone App Store for apps that play nicely with the new wearable device.

A small handful of high-profile social network and services companies with apps on the iPhone and iPad App Store have already been seeded with a pre-release version of the Apple SDK (Software Development Kit) for wearables under strict non-disclosure agreements. One of the developers with access to the pre-release SDK is Facebook, according to a source. Facebook is also said to be finishing up work on an iOS 8-optimized version of its iPhone app with improved notifications. The social network is also experimenting with ways it can leverage the new Notification Center widget APIs.

The SDK was seeded “very recently” to these developers, and Apple likely wants to demonstrate some third-party wearable apps at Tuesday’s event, according to one source. Apple, in the past, has provided select developers with early versions of SDKs in order to boast new apps on the keynote stage. For example, several apps from companies like AOL were shown off with the first public demonstration of the iPhone SDK, fancy gaming and drawing apps were demonstrated alongside the first iPad in 2010, and the iPhone 4S’s dual-core A5 chip was launched alongside a graphics-intense video game…

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Apple’s digital stores face second outage this week across all platforms (update: resolved)

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Earlier this week, iOS users discovered that the App Store was experiencing some technical issues that caused every item for sale to become unavailable. Now, only two days later, the company’s status page indicates that the App Store on Mac and iOS, iBooks Store, and various iTunes services such as the music store and Radio, are all suffering from even more downtime.

According to the status page, the issues first cropped up around 4:30 PM and have persisted for about three hours so far. A notice on the page states that only “some users” are having difficulty accessing the store, but there’s no mention of exactly how many users could be impacted.

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Apple Store app redesigned, gains upcoming events feature, synchronized shopping

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Ahead of its major media event next week, Apple has issued a significant update to its Apple Store shopping iOS app. The first addition is a complete redesign for the iPhone and iPod touch application’s interface. The new design is more in-line with the recently released iPad variant. Speaking of the iPad version, the tablet-optimized layout is now a universal bundle (single download) with the iPhone/iPod touch version, and it has also gained support for making Apple Store One to One reservations. The app also has a new Stores section to search for upcoming events at local Apple Stores. There is also a new icon. Perhaps the most significant new feature is support for synchronizing shopping between iOS devices and desktop computers. For example, you can start shopping on your Mac and continue via the app on your iPhone. Apple (rightfully so) doesn’t want to a miss a single iPhone 6 or iWatch/iBand sale.

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Ginger Keyboard brings customizable themes to iOS 8’s keyboard

More developers are stepping forward with early looks at upcoming third-party keyboards for iOS 8. Today, Ginger Keyboard is going public with a keyboard that focuses on customization. The actual keyboard itself while used across iOS 8 does not add much new functionality, but many users will likely enjoy being able to completely customize the design of their keyboard.

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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” (Updates: Apple confirms/fixes)

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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.

Update 2: Apple System Status now says systems are functioning normally, 7 hours after we initially reported the outage.

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