Apple selects developers for expedited Apple Watches, emails instructions to order

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As promised two days ago, Apple is now contacting developers who applied for expedited Apple Watch shipments, notifying them that they’ve either won or lost the random selection process. Selected developers are now entitled “to place an expedited order for one (1) Apple Watch Sport that’s guaranteed to ship by April 28, 2015″ paying full price for the Watch and, if chosen, AppleCare. Developers have until 5:00pm “local time” on April 27 to complete their orders.

Apple Developer Relations invited registered developers to the random drawing on April 21, enabling some of them to get faster access to Apple Watch hardware for testing purposes. The Apple Watch Sport being offered is a silver model with a blue band, and Apple promises that the orders will be shipped by April 28 regardless of the availability date listed on the Apple Online Store.

Developers who were not randomly selected received letters noting that “you can still order Apple Watch on the Apple Online Store and receive your order as it becomes available.” Both of the full emails are below…

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Apple now inviting all third-party developers to submit Watch apps to the App Store

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Apple has now opened the floodgates and is letting all developers submit Watch apps to the App Store. This means any of the 1.2 million apps can now submit updates including Watch apps (using the WatchKit framework), beyond the select partners Apple rolled out last week.

As a reminder, Watch apps come bundled as extensions inside normal iOS apps. This means customers can update the apps in the iPhone ready for the Watch’s release on the 24th. Apple is pointing developers to the submission reference guidelines for more information on this process.

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Apple seeds OS X 10.10.3 build 14D105 to developers and Public Beta users

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Less than a week following the previous seed, Apple has released build 14D105 of the upcoming OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 to both developers and users of the Public Beta. Apple has not yet said when 10.10.3 will be released to all OS X Yosemite users, but the increase in seeds in recent weeks likely indicates that a wider launch is fast approaching. As we’ve previously detailed, 10.10.3 will include the all new iCloud-based Photos app for the Mac, developer APIs for the new Force Touch Trackpad on the MacBook and MacBook Pro with Retina display, and a new Emoji picker across the system.

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Apple asks some Apple Watch developers to hold announcements until after event

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Apple has asked developers who attended secretive Apple Watch app development workshops in Cupertino across January and February to hold off on announcing their applications, according to multiple high-profile developers. These people say that Apple has asked developers to not provide in-depth details, revealing screenshots and videos, or launch information about their applications until after the event at the very least. In some cases, Apple has even asked developers to wait until late March or early April to announce their applications…

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Apple invites developers to Cupertino to finish Apple Watch apps, test out device

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Apple has been working with several third-party App Store developers at its Cupertino, California offices to assist developers in finishing up applications for the upcoming Apple Watch. Development and design representatives from dozens of different development firms have visited Apple last week, or are coming to Cupertino this week, to work with Apple engineers to finish up WatchKit-based applications. One source claims that Apple is holding workshops for over 100 different developers across February. Apple also met with a smaller number of developers to assist with WatchKit development and discuss future plans in early January…

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Apple increases app size limit from 2GB to 4GB for App Store submissions

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Apple today announced that it is increasing the size limit for apps submitted by developers to the App Store through its iTunes Connect service. Previously limited to 2GB, app packages can now be a maximum of 4GB in size. Apple made the announcement on its website for developers earlier today but some apps have been over the 2GB limit since at least January.  Read more

Opinion: Square Enix’s flip-flop on iOS 8 support spotlights App Store ambiguities, risks

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Square Enix’s The World Ends With You

 

Buying an app from the App Store is designed to be as easy as possible. A large button with a price tag sits as close to the app’s icon and name as possible, while additional details linger below. You’re not supposed to think or worry too much about each purchase — the transaction is impulse-driven when the price is low — and the implication is that the app will work when you get it, and keep working for a long time thereafter.

But what happens when an app — marketed as compatible with current iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches — is never updated for the latest version of iOS, and either stops working after an iOS upgrade, or never works at all on new devices? That’s the situation buyers of Square Enix’s $18 The World Ends with You: Solo Remix (and $20 iPad version) have found themselves in since iOS 8 was released. The game’s description claims that it “requires iOS 4.3 or later” and is compatible with devices that shipped with iOS 8, but it wasn’t actually iOS 8-compatible. Yesterday, Square Enix publicly flip-flopped on whether it would leave the game unplayable or fix it. Before changing its tune, the company told customers that they’d need to continue to keep using iOS 7 in order to play the game — an unrealistic alternative, though one that’s faced by users of numerous iOS apps that aren’t being updated by their developers.

By considering abandonment of the 69% of iOS users who are currently on iOS 8, Square Enix wasn’t just making a business choice; it was also spotlighting the risk App Store customers take every time they purchase an app. And it also revealed how long-unsolved App Store listing ambiguities are subjecting users, developers, and Apple itself to unnecessary problems.

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Widespread iTunes Connect issue presenting wrong user name and apps for developers (Update: Resolved)

iTunes Connect, Apple’s portal where developers manage software published on the App Store, is presenting many users with a widespread issue this morning. Several users are reporting logging in with their own credentials and being presented with both the name and apps of other iTunes Connect users, including upcoming, unreleased versions of apps. 9to5Mac has corroborated the errors with iTunes Connect. Read more

iOS developers share their earnings, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way

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If you write iOS apps and wonder how your earnings compare against those of other developers – or you have an idea for an app, and are wondering whether it’s worth pursuing – it can be tough to find any hard information. We hear occasional stories about hugely successful apps like Flappy Bird making hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, and we know there are some apps with literally zero downloads to their name, but what about the middle ground?

Jared Sinclair, developer of the RSS reader Unread, decided last year to share both his earnings from the app, and the lessons he’d learned along the way. It’s taken six months, but several other developers started the new year by following his example, with numbers and lessons shared for podcast player Overcast, graphical game Monument Valley and developer aid Dash …  Read more

The fundamental flaw with EU 14-day refunds: you keep the app forever

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A week ago, Apple introduced 14-day no-questions-asked refunds in the EU for iTunes Store and App Store content. This means that, without the need for a reason, any Apple customer in Europe can get their money back for (primarily) app purchases in 5-7 days time. That’s how it is described, at least.

This opens up some possibilities for abuse. For instance, if you complete a game within two weeks, then you can get your money back and end up paying nothing. As a developer, I tested this out myself. It turns out there is an even bigger problem. At least, right now, when the refund is processed, the app continues to work. You get the app for free, forever.

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Apple’s unreleased iBeacon hardware exposed in user manual published by FCC

Way back in July, Apple registered FCC certification for a new piece of iBeacon Bluetooth hardware. Naturally, 9to5Mac covered the release of wireless certification documents for the hardware. It was unclear by those filings the nature of the product, whether it was targeted at use in Apple Stores, some form of developer testing equipment or something else entirely. The product was never made publicly available for purchase, for unknown reasons.

However, time has elapsed such that the rest of Apple’s submitted documents are now available to the public. Vitally, this includes a user manual which immediately signals that this iBeacon hardware was meant for developers, presumably to test iBeacon integration in their own apps. It’s unclear, though, if this is meant to be used ‘in the wild’. Read on for an exposition on the workings of this mysterious device.

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iTunes Connect shutting down for holidays between December 22-29

iTunes Connect December 2014

Apple has sent an email to registered developers on Wednesday to inform them that iTunes Connect will be shutting down for the holidays from December 22 to December 29. During this time, developers will be unable to submit new apps, app updates or in-app purchases to appear on the App Store. Access to iTunes Connect, Application Loader, iTunes Connect for iOS and making changes to TestFlight Beta Testing will also be unavailable as a whole. Read more