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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Apple to again wipe all CloudKit data tomorrow, July 22nd

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Apple’s release notes for OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 4 reveal that the company will be wiping CloudKit data tomorrow.

This data has to do with the new iCloud storage APIs in iOS 8 and Yosemite as well as with the upcoming iCloud Drive online storage feature. It’s best to safely store anything of importance before tomorrow’s wipe:

CloudKit Note: All public CloudKit databases are scheduled to be emptied on Tuesday, July 22nd.

Apple previously wiped CloudKit data ahead of iOS 8 beta 3 and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 3. Thanks, Genady!

Update: Apple has emailed developers about the wipe, noting that iCloud Drive, Photos, and other iCloud-related products besides CloudKit storage will not be wiped:

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Hands-on: 1Password beta highlights iOS 8’s Touch ID & Extensions APIs (video)

Besides new user features such as health tracking, user interface optimizations, and improved messaging, iOS 8 introduces several new APIs for developers that will result in improved App Store apps that tie even deeper into the system. Two of the most notable API additions in iOS 8 are Touch ID and Extensions. The Touch ID feature will allow developers to design applications that can use the iPhone 5s’s fingerprint scanner, and Extensions will allow them to integrate their own software into share sheets within other apps.

1Password, a popular password management program, is testing an updated version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch application that taps into both of these APIs. We’ve gone hands-on with the beta version—which developer AgileBits stresses is still a pre-release build with functionality and interface elements that can and will change—and both features feel right at home in a third-party app. You can find tours of both the Touch ID and Extensions features below:

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

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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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New developer APIs for iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 appear in open-source WebKit

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The code shows that this is a new addition for OS X 10.10 and iOS 8.

Slightly ahead of the keynote later today, Apple has pushed some of its new APIs for developers into the open-source channels. The class in question is a new view that appears to replace the current iOS and OS X WebKit implementations, which enables apps to show webpages and other content inline.

The new framework seems to indicate a focus on cross-platform API compatibility, between iOS and OS X. The leaked framework seems to be fully feature-compatible across platforms. This differs to the situation today, where developers must use the ‘WebView’ class for OS X and ‘UIWebView’ for iOS. This should help developers write more reusable code.

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Fleksy opens free, public SDK for its alternative iOS keyboard

Found in a number of well-crafted apps including Launch Center Pro and Wordbox, the iOS-friendly alternative keyboard Fleksy today announced the release of a public SDK allowing developers to easily integrate it with their own apps. Prior to the public SDK, support was  somewhat limited as it required a private partnership. Fleksy say a dozen new apps will gain support today expects new support to be frequent based on the volume of requests from developers to integrate the keyboard prior to the public SDK. Read more

Unlock your Mac by knocking on your iPhone with the new ‘Knock’ app

Knock uses a combination of an iPhone app (currently offered at an introductory price of $3.99)  and a Mac app (available for free at Knock’s website) to enable unlocking of your Mac, wirelessly, by just knocking the back of your iPhone.

It’s a surreal experience. After a couple of minutes of initial setup, you lock your Mac and rap the back of your paired iPhone twice. Your Mac unlocks. The app doesn’t even have to be forefront on your phone, although it does have to be ‘open’ in the multitasking tray. In fact, your phone doesn’t even have to be unlocked. When it senses the Mac is near, a notification appears on the lock screen instructing you to knock. There are some nice UI touches too. For instance, echoes of the ‘sound wave’ appear on OS X’s lock screen in real time as you knock. It’s a subtle visual indicator that the system is actually working.

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Unity framework adds iOS 7 game controller support as Apple pushes developers to add compatibility to games at Tech Talks

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Alongside iOS 7 came support for a new third-party accessory: game controllers. To use this feature, you need to both own an Apple-approved gamepad accessory and a compatible game from the App Store. We have seen leaks of MFI hardware from Logitech and other manufacturers, but nothing has yet hit the market.

As such, uptake for the new Game Controller APIs by developers has been slow as customers cannot yet take advantage of the feature. Today, the Unity framework announced on its blog that the newest version of its game engine surfaces inputs from these controllers natively in the SDK. Basically, Unity is offering a wrapper between Apple’s Objective-C API and Unity’s own game logic code.

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18.6-percent of apps still collecting address book data ahead of Apple’s iOS 6 data isolation privacy initiative

Although we are often skeptical of reports from security companies, a new report today from BitDefender highlighted just how important Apple’s new data isolation privacy initiative is in iOS. Starting with the public release of iOS 6 this fall, users will now be prompted to allow access to apps that want personal data such as contacts, calendars, reminders, and photos. However, until then, BitDefender claimed approximately 18.6-percent of the 65,000 iPhone apps included in its study can still access a user’s address book data, while 41 percent can track location.

Even more troubling is that only 57.5-percent of apps encrypt that cropped private data. MobileEntertainment (via COM) quoted BitDefender Chief Security Researcher Catalin Casoi:

“It is worrying stored data encryption on iOS apps is low and location tracking is so prevalent. Without notification of what an app accesses, it is difficult to control what information users give up… “We see a worrying landscape of poor user data encryption, prevalent location tracking and silent, unjustified, Address Book access.”

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Facebook releases SDK 3.0 Beta with iOS 6 integration & new iOS Dev Center

Facebook announced today that it is releasing its biggest iOS SDK update yet with the release of SDK 3.0 Beta for iOS, which also includes iOS 6 integration for native Facebook login. It is also rolling out a completely refreshed iOS Dev Center with tutorials, concepts, and reference docs to help iOS app developers build great Facebook-integrated apps for iOS devices. Read more

Phil Schiller explains why Apple removed Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil Speakers Touch app (Update: Rogue responds)

Update: Rogue Amoeba replied to Phil Schiller’s email in a response published on its website. The full response is below.

Following Apple’s decision to pull Rogue Amoeba’s Airfoil Speakers Touch app for a feature allowing iOS devices to stream to one another over AirPlay, Apple explained the app was removed for the feature’s use of non-public APIs. It currently only allows Apple TV and certain third-parties such as speaker manufacturers to access the AirPlay streaming protocol. The app was earlier this week allowed back into the App Store without the iOS-to-iOS streaming feature, but today we get word from Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller who explained in an email the reason behind removing the app.

An email to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook from concerned consumer Kevin Starbird regarding the app’s removal was met with a direct email response from Schiller. 9to5Mac independently confirmed the emails are authentic. Here is Kevin’s full email addressed to Cook followed by Schiller’s response:
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