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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Instagram introduces Hyperlapse to stabilize and speed up your video

Instagram HyperlapseFacebook-owned Instagram is introducing a new video capturing app for iPhone and iPad (and Android soon) called Hyperlapse. The photo (and video) sharing social network recently soft launched a new app called Bolt in Singapore, South Africa, and New Zealand that focused on quickly photo messaging friends, but Hyperlapse is more like an advanced feature that could have been found within Instagram. Hyperlapse offers up a unique way to capture and edit video using processor smarts to make panning shots smoother and  add a time-lapse effect similar to the iOS 8 camera app.

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Apple removes Secret app from Brazilian App Store for not conforming with local laws

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Following a recent ruling that Apple would have ten days to remove the anonymous social app Secret from its Brazilian App Store, Apple has complied with the order. The justification for the removal, according to a source close to the situation, can be found in section 22.1 of the App Store Guidelines:

Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users. It is the developer’s obligation to understand and conform to all local laws

As noted by the judge, the Brazilian constitution prohibits anonymous freedom of expression, which essentially makes Secret and other apps like it illegal with that country.

Per Article 5, Section IV of the Constitution of Brazil:

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Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more

Brazilian judge orders Apple, Google remove Secret from the app stores, remotely delete from users’ phones

Update: At the moment, this ruling is still unofficial. A Brazilian prosecutor is pushing for the removal of these apps, but the judge has not officially ordered any action just yet. A source tells us that Secret has sent counsel to Brazil to investigate the situation, though we’ve been told this ruling would really be against Apple, Google, and Microsoft rather than the Secret app itself. Original story below:

A judge in Brazil has had it with the anonymous bullying carried out on social networking apps like Secret and has stepped in to put a stop to it, according to a report from  Estadao [translation]. Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho has ruled that Apple and Google must delete the application from their respective app stores, but the ruling doesn’t stop there.

According to the report, the judge has demanded that both companies remotely delete the application from every device that has installed it in the country. While that might sound like a hilarious case of a judge not understanding how technology works, you may be surprised to learn that it’s actually a capability that both companies possess.

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Apple prominently advertising Beats Music to new iOS device users

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Apple has prominently featured its own suite of free apps when iOS users first open the App Store, such as its iLife and iWork apps, for a while. Now that Beats Music and Beats Electronics are officially part of the family, the Beats Music app is now appearing on this ‘Apple Apps’ list as well. Beats Music is currently the last entry in the list, described as a way to ‘listen to music that’s always right for you’.

Tapping ‘Download All’ will install Beats Music alongside Apple’s other apps. Naturally, one way for Apple to significantly increase adoption of the service is to advertise it to every new iOS user.

The view will show up for new iOS devices or by performing a clean restore to a version of iOS 7, on both iPhone and iPad.

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Apple says it has created or supported 629,000 jobs in Europe, including 500k from the ‘app economy’

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Apple is today touting a lot of new stats regarding Apple’s contribution to European economies. The company has done similar things for the United States, in the past. For Europe, Apple claims to have created or supported 629,000 jobs across Europe, with over 500,000 of those representing the ‘app economy’. Apple says this number is made up of employees whose jobs can be directly attributed to the App Store. Out of $20 billion in worldwide developer earnings, $6.5 billion has gone to European developers.

In 2014, Apple estimates the ‘app economy’ will add $86 billion to worldwide GDP this year. Aside from the App Store, Apple employees 16,000 Europeans directly and indirectly supports a total of 132,000 jobs elsewhere. The company has also calculated that 116,000 European jobs have been created at other companies as a result of Apple’s growth.

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Apple says it had record month in July for App Store revenue, customer transactions

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Apple has announced that July was a record setting month for App Store revenue following its earnings report last month where the company reported strong iTunes results for the three-month period that ended June (via CNBC).

The company also told CNBC today that it saw “a record number of customers making transactions” for the App Store during the month:

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Wikipedia app re-launches on App Store ahead of iOS 8 integration

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The popular online service Wikipedia has re-launched its iOS app with a new native version that features editing and an offline mode. The free app has some unique features other than browsing through Wikipedia entires, as Wikipedia tells us:

  • Fastest way to get into the content. Other highly-rated unofficial free iOS apps have hurdles to access the content. Either downloading some content, or just simply not being able to dive right in to it. That doesn’t happen with the official app.
  • You can edit with this app, unlike other unofficial apps. And you can do it logged out, if you choose.
  • Wikipedia Zero for developing and emerging countries. If you’re on one of the participating operators, you can use Wikipedia free of data charges.

Wikipedia also shared some other important features:

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