Apple shows off new Passbook card/ticket management app

During its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple demoed a new app called “Passbook” with its unveiling of iOS 6. The app allows you to manage boarding passes, movie tickets, store cards, and other passes that have QR codes, barcodes, or visual, scannable codes. Scott Forstall demonstrated how the feature is integrated into the iOS 6 lock screen by allowing cards or tickets to be displayed when—for instance—walking by a movie theatre. The cards are also live, so things such as boarding passes or show tickets will update live with cancellations or show times.

Forstall noted that Apple would make templates available to developers to make it easy for companies to offer their cards and tickets through Passbook. Apple’s press release described the app:

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Apple announces Mountain Lion ships in July for $19.99

After giving a demonstration for some of the new features in Mountain Lion today, Apple confirmed during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote that Mountain Lion would ship in July for just $19.99. That price is good for Lion and Snow Leopard users who want to upgrade all their personal Macs. Apple also noted it would be free for all developers attending WWDC. Apple will ship a developer preview today.

Stay tuned to our live blog for the latest updates.

Two new Apple iOS apps to be announced today: Organize.app and…

Fox News’ Clayton Morris tweeted today that he got word there will be two new iOS apps revealed today:

We detailed one called Organize.app:

Get Organized… with an all-new app from Apple?

iOS 6 will likely feature everything we’ve reported thus far (above: Siri on iPad, a 3D Apple-based Maps application, and features from OS X Mountain Lion), but there has been one possible feature that we’ve been hearing whispers about, but not full, concrete details like we heard for other features. Apple is working on a new in-house application for iOS called “Organize,” but we’re not sure if Organize will be announced with iOS 6 at WWDC, or if it is a future App Store app from Apple, a future iOS enhancement, or something scrapped all together. The application is said to be a virtual pocket, and the app’s purpose is to be able to replicate a person’s pocket and store things such as coupons, travel information, credit card info and more. We speculate that Apple will be using the neat camera-based scanning software that we reported to be in development for the scanning in of business cards, receipts, and using that to provide virtual items that get used when shopping and travelling. We can’t help but think that this application will eventually tie into the rumored Apple wallet/NFC service at some point in the future.

So, what is the other app? Read more

Retina Mac apps begin appearing in App Store ahead of Apple’s WWDC unveiling

As noted by The Next Web, at least one developer has updated its Mac App Store app to include high-resolution “Retina graphics” for the new lineup of Retina display Macs that we revealed last month (here and here).

The Mac App Store app is Folderwatch. It was updated today with several new features, one of which is “Retina graphics.” We are not ready to speculate that the developers know something we do not, but Apple obviously allowed the update. It is likely we will begin to see Mac Apps updated with high-resolution artwork leading up to Apple’s introduction of Retina Macs at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

Some have pointed to the unusually high number of to-be-announced sessions on the WWDC schedule as proof of the introduction of a new app platform, but we noted that many of these sessions could relate to Retina Mac apps.

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Twitter to host WWDC session, tickets available now (Update: sold out/rescheduled)

Update: Tickets are now sold out, but the website noted: “Pending tickets are currently with other customers. They may become available, so check back soon”

Update 2: Looks like they might be looking for a bigger venue – it says now lists ‘rescheduled’

With Apple’s WWDC just around the corner, and many TBA sessions still on the latest schedule, you can at least now get tickets for Twitter’s WWDC Open House set to include “tech talks, food and beer with our iOS and native applications engineering team!” There is only 50 or so tickets still available at the time of this writing for the session that—among others—will include talks on “Patterns for Mobile-Friendly API Design,” and “how the Twitter for iPhone team ships code.”

@TwitterMobile and @TwitterEng invite you to an evening of tech talks, food and beer with our iOS and native applications engineering team! Register as soon as you can as we anticipate hitting our capacity very quickly. If you’re planning to bring a +1, please see below (#questions) so you can get in touch with us to let us know their name and info.

Twitter’s session is set to take place the opening day of WWDC on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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Report: Apple to unveil new Apple TV OS at WWDC, will run on future HDTV

According to a report from BGR, which cited a “trusted source,” Apple is preparing to demo a refreshed version of its Apple TV OS at WWDC next week. The report also claimed it is the same OS that runs on the much-rumored Apple HDTV that many reports indicate the company is working on. BGR also said Apple is testing a new “control out” API. The report explained:

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Developers begin seeing iOS 6 hits in App Store application usage logs

Last week, we revealed Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps in iOS 6 in exchange for its own in-house solution branded simply as “Maps.” At the time, we told you many versions of iOS 6 have been floating around Apple’s campus, which indicated Apple is likely on track for a mid-June unveiling at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference. Shortly after, references to an upcoming iOS 6 beta were found in the code strings of the iCloud.com beta website.

One app developer informed us today that it has recently noticed users running iOS 6 using its app. The developer observed the “iOS6″ string when collecting the OS version from analytics software. It has not been able to trace exactly when the iOS 6 users started appearing, but it was sometime over the past week. Other developers that we spoke to began seeing hits in late April. There is a good chance that this means Apple is amidst iOS 6 compatibility testing with higher-profile applications from the App Store. The process of next-generation versions of iOS appearing in developer usage logs occurred last year too.

Although Apple’s new Maps app and its 3D mode will likely be pushed as a major feature of iOS 6, we noted previously that anyone anticipating major home screen changes or Android-style widgets will likely be disappointed. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple was preparing to unveil an upgrade to iCloud at WWDC that would include new sharing and commenting features for photos, as well as video syncing capabilities that will likely be the Video Stream feature we told you about last year.
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Apple to debut new Photo sharing social Network at WWDC, reason Schiller quit Instagram?

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is about to unveil an upgraded iCloud service at WWDC in June. Citing the usual sources “familiar with the matter,” the report also claimed the features would include new photo-sharing capabilities for sharing and commenting on sets of photos. It also mentioned the ability to sync video to iCloud, which sounds a lot like a Video Stream feature that we mentioned last year. Perhaps this is the reason Phil Schiller no longer needed Instagram?

The new features, expected to be announced at Apple’s world-wide developer conference beginning June 11, will allow iCloud users to share sets of photos with other iCloud users and to comment on them, these people said… Apple is trying to better compete in the red-hot market for photo sharing, dominated by fast-growing online services such as Facebook Inc. and mobile apps like Instagram—which Facebook has agreed to acquire for $1 billion.

We revealed last September that Apple was readying its Find My Friends network. At the time, we reported references to video streams that indicated Apple was likely considering a video syncing/stream feature similar to Photo Stream.

According to the report, Apple is “rolling out new features cautiously” as it worries about the cost of storing large amounts of data, but is also considering increasing the maximum number of photos and albums users can store: Read more

WWDC 2012 tickets sell out in under two hours

Apple announced this morning that its 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference is set to take place June 11 at the Moscone Convention Center, but the event’s $1600 tickets are now listed as sold out within two hours of going live. In 2010, it took roughly a week for tickets to sell out, and last year it took about half a day. Tickets were limited to one per person, or five per organization, and are non-transferable and non-refundable.

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2012 Apple Design Awards now accepting nominations for iOS and Mac apps

With the announcement of the 2012 Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple also opened its Apple Design Awards nomination page for iOS and Mac developers. Apple announced last year that the annual awards would now only apply to Mac and iOS apps residing in the App Store, which appears to be the case this year as well.

Through the website set up for WWDC, developers can sign up and nominate apps for inclusion in the awards. To be considered, the app must be on the App Store or Mac App Store by May 1. Note: Apps that are not nominated can still win an Apple Design Award if they catch Apple’s eye.

Last year’s winners included iPhone apps Infinity BladeCut the Rope, and Golfscape GPS Rangefinder, and iPad apps djay for iPadOsmos, and Our Choice. For Mac developers, apps including CapoPixelmator, and Anomaly Warzone Earth took home last year’s awards. At WWDC 2011, Apple also handed out awards to student developers, which will likely happen again—especially given Apple’s new scholarship program for the 2012 event.

Winners will get an Apple Design Award trophy and usually some Apple gear or prizes that have not been announced. Apple broke down the criteria for apps considered for the awards:

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Apple WWDC 2012 announced for June 11— sold out in under 2 hours

Update: Within two hours, Apple has now confirmed that all tickets to WWDC 2012 are sold out.

Apple just announced the June 11 kickoff date for its Worldwide Developer Conference at the Moscone Convention Center. Developers should buy their tickets as soon as possible here. ($1,599 each—Hope your app is doing well!) (Also, do not forget to book your hotel.)

Apple is also offering a scholarship program this year for young developers ages 13 and older:

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“We have a great WWDC planned this year and can’t wait to share the latest news about iOS and OS X Mountain Lion with developers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iOS platform has created an entirely new industry with fantastic opportunities for developers across the country and around the world.”

Activities at Apple’s WWDC 2012 include:

  • more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
  • 100 hands-on labs staffed by more than 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
  • the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
  • engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
  • Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

Press release follows: Read more

Report: Apple building thinner and lighter Liquidmetal next-gen iPhone

A new report from Korean publication ETNews.com claimed industry sources confirmed Apple will use “liquid metal” technology to make a thinner and lighter next-generation iPhone. Apple acquired rights to the patented amorphous metal alloys from Liquidmetal Technologies’ in August 2010.

According to industry sources, the next flagship phones of the companies are expected to adopt unprecedented materials for their main bodies, that is, ceramic for the Galaxy S3 and liquid metal for iPhone5, both being thin, light and highly resistant to external impacts. The new phase of the rivalry is because neither one of them can get a decisive edge over the other solely with its OS and AP specifications, features or design.

Apple has been rumored in the past to be using Liquidmetal in batteries and SIM card tools, but no solid evidence has backed these claims. Today’s report continued to assert that the iPhone 5, as ETNews.com referred to the device, is expected to launch at WWDC in San Francisco this June. However, the publication does not cite a source for the location and timeframe, so it is possible it is just basing this expectation on a rumor. As MacRumors pointed out, the website has a less than perfect track record. Many industry analysts expect Apple to move its iPhone release window to September or October due to the launch date of the iPhone 4S in 2011.

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