TestFlight appears in App Store as Apple readies launch of its beta testing service

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TestFlight is now appearing in the App Store, ahead of an expected launch later this month. The service will allow developers to easily share betas of upcoming apps with public testers. It was discovered Apple had bought TestFlight earlier this year and the company subsequently announced the integration of the service into its developer portal at WWDC.

Before Apple’s acquisition, TestFlight was not in the App Store itself as it violated app review guidelines. Being part of the App Store makes it much more accessible to the general public and should incentivize more beta testers to participate in general.

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Apple seeds iOS 8 beta 4 to developers with redesigned Control Center, Health improvements, more

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Apple today released iOS 8 beta 4 to developers. It is now available via Software Update in Settings for those running earlier betas of iOS 8 on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new update likely brings further design enhancements and bug fixes. iOS 8 comes out this fall and adds new features like health tracking, improved messaging, more efficient email management, and bolstered photo editing. We’ll be updating this post (below) as we discover new changes, and you can send us what you find to tips@9to5mac.com.

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iPhone app Numerous previews iOS 8 Notification Center integration

We’ve already seen a few developers preview how new technologies introduced in iOS 8 make new features possible. Last month we saw 1Password’s iPhone app take advantage of the new access developers have to Touch ID and systemwide Extensions with their iOS 8 beta, and a number of health and fitness app developers have discussed their excitement for Apple’s new HealthKit tool. Today the developers of the fairly new iPhone app Numerous have previewed in a blog post their plans to include an app widget for presenting numbers from the app in the new Today view in Notification Center coming to the iPhone and iPad in iOS 8… Read more

Apple announces HomeKit API for iOS, will serve as a central hub for home automation

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Along with several other new APIs for developers, Apple has announced HomeKit which allows all home automation accessories/devices to work together. The new API will allow home automation developers to centralize all home automation in iOS without needing separate apps to access each device’s specific features. These devices include locks, lights, cameras, doors, thermostats, plugs, switches, and more.

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Apple opens up Touch ID fingerprint sensor to third-party app developers

 

Apple just announced during its WWDC keynote that it’s opening up its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone to third-party app developers. Apple showed off the personal finance management app Mint (pictured above) using the Touch ID feature to allow users to login instead of using the keyboard to enter a password. Previously Apple limited this feature to its own App Store and iTunes purchases as well as unlocking the device itself.

Apple also shared some stats on Touch ID noting that it has improved security by getting a much higher number of users using a passcode to protect their device: Read more

XTouch turns any surface into touch-enabled controls for iOS apps

XTouch, an SDK created by a group at the University of Toronto’s Mobile Applications Lab and funded by JOLT, turns any surface into a touch-sensitive controller for iOS apps with no additional hardware. Since XTouch uses acoustics and vibrations to recognize taps on a surrounding surface, the only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad is placed on the same surface you want to use as a touchpad. An SDK is coming soon that will allow developers to think up many interesting implementations, but for now the company has released two apps that show off what XTouch is capable of. Read more

Report: Apple bringing full screen, interstitial iAds to iPhone

According to a new report from Ad Age, Apple is planning to offer a new option for how iAds are presented on its iOS platform. The new iAd option will allow included video content to play automatically at full screen rather than being prompted by tapping a more subtle banner. While interstitial iAds are already possible for iAds presented on the iPad meant for use in Newsstand apps, the report claims the new options will target both iPhone and iPad users suggesting the option could debut for iPhone and iPod touch users. The report believes the automatically playing, full screen interstitial iAds will likely be presented in between activity rather than interrupting content entirely. Read more

Should Apple open the iPhone’s fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? [Poll]


With Touch ID in the iPhone 5s, Apple wasn’t the first to integrate a fingerprint sensor in a smartphone, but it certainly popularized the feature as other manufacturers race to build similar technology into their next-gen iPhone competitors. HTC is packing in fingerprint sensors in its latest flagship devices and Samsung announced its new Galaxy S5 earlier this week with finger scanning as one of the standout upgrades. The verdict is still out on how Samsung’s tech compares to Touch ID, but it is interesting to see how others are using fingerprint sensors while Apple keeps it closed to developers and offers very limited applications. With Samsung letting app developers access the new S5’s fingerprint scanner for mobile payments and more right out of the gate, should Apple open the fingerprint sensor to devs in iOS 8? Read more

iOS/Android app revenue gap narrows, but iOS still miles ahead

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Business Insider created the above chart to show exactly how the revenue gap between iOS and Android apps shows up for developers.

While there’s no doubt the gap between the two platforms is narrowing, it’s also clear that in the metrics that count, iOS is still where you want to be. Ad revenue – read free apps – is where Android is making money for developers …  Read more

Apple hiring developers for next gen payment platform to help retail ‘enter new markets’

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Apple today posted a job listing on its website looking for a Payments Software Engineer that will “help build a next generation payment platform.” Apple says the payment system will consist of integration of payment devices, middleware and acquirers that will “push the boundaries in new markets for Apple Retail.” Read more

Apple inadvertently asking developers for iOS 7-optimized app icons

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Ahead of Apple’s iOS 7 launch (presumably alongside the new iPhones in September), Apple seems to be asking developers to submit larger app icons. As part of iOS 7’s dramatic interface changes, the Home screen icons have been slightly enlarged compared to the iOS 6 icons.

For example, as shown in the image above, the non-iOS 7-optimized Netflix icon has a small white border compared to Apple’s icons.

In order to avoid this interface issue, developers will need to include larger icons in their applications. iOS 6 icons on the iPhone come in at 114 x 114 pixel resolutions, while iOS 7 icons are slightly larger at 120 x 120 pixel resolutions. For the iPad, iOS 6 icons are at resolutions of 144 x 144, and on iOS 7 they come in at a resolution of 152 x 152:

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