FiftyThree launches SDK to bring its ‘Pencil’ Bluetooth stylus to other iOS apps

FiftyThree, the developers behind the popular drawing app Paper, today announced it’s releasing an SDK that will let all developers take advantage of its Pencil stylus for iOS devices. First launched last year alongside an update to Paper, Pencil is a $60 Bluetooth stylus for the drawing app that aims to offer a realistic pencil-to-paper drawing experience.

The SDK will allow for a smooth experience with the Pencil stylus in other apps and that also means in some cases FiftyThree will be working to improve the apps of its direct competitors while hopefully selling its stylus as a platform in the process. Devs will get access to palm rejection, erase, easy pairing, and all the pencil and touch classifiers the company uses in the Paper app. Support for surface pressure is also arriving with iOS 8: Read more

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

iOS Simulator Screen shot 2 Jun 2014 19.23.27

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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Kamcord mobile gameplay recording platform launches iOS app, hits 3B videos, & picks up $7.1M Series A

Kamcord, the Y Combinator-backed startup with an SDK that lets developers offer gameplay recording functionality in mobile apps, today announced it has secured another big round of funding as the service hits some impressive milestones and launches a new community iOS app. Even before picking up a $7.1M Series A that it announced today, it’s quickly emerged as the top in-game recording platform and is starting to gain some serious traction with over 5 million videos shared and over 3 billion gameplay videos recorded. That’s compared to 2 million videos shared and 2 billion videos recorded back in February.

The new iOS app, available on the App Store now, will allow users to access the community of shared gameplay videos as well as user profiles, likes, and comments that it first launched as a web based feature on the desktop. The app will also let users search for games and Zitzmann noted, “the early stats for the app are compelling… 30% of users click to download a game every day.” 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

Google releases ‘Android Wear’ SDK developer preview, watches from LG, Moto & others due next quarter

silver_metal_600_00010Ahead of the release of Apple’s much rumored “iWatch” wearable product, Google has now officially announced Android’s entrance into wearables with project “Android Wear.” The Android Wear SDK allows developers to integrate a number of features into Android powered wearables and relies heavily on Google Now functionality, as we were first to report late last year.

Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year: 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

Epic Games partners w/ Kamcord to bring mobile gameplay recording to Unreal Engine

Kamcord_Unreal_Engine

Epic Games announced today that it’s partnering with Y Combinator-backed startup Kamcord to offer its in-game recording platform to iOS and Android devs using Unreal Engine 3. We spoke to Kamcord CEO Matt Zitzmann who told us why it’s a big deal that Epic Games and the Unreal Engine team are backing Kamcord— and not its competitor— as the go-to platform for implementing in-game recording features in mobile apps.  Read more

Extreme Reality SDK gives any iOS game Kinect-like motion control, now open to all devs

Extreme Reality, a company that has been developing motion capture technology that Sega and others have used in PC & mobile games, today announced it is opening up its SDK to all developers. The software works with any 2D camera and allows devs to easily capture and analyze motion for games and apps. Think Microsoft’s Kinect, but with Extreme Reality motion is captured with an iOS device’s built-in FaceTime camera rather than bulky, expensive external hardware: Read more

Kamcord adds voice overlay feature, announces 500M iOS gameplay videos recorded in last 6 months

Kamcord, the startup offering a free SDK that makes it easy for iOS devs to offer in-game recording functionality to their users, today is announcing some pretty big updates to the service. Since grabbing $1.5 million in seed funding from some notable investors back in December (Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, and others), the Y Combinator-backed service has experienced some significant traction and the team is adding plenty of new features to stay ahead of the competition.

Kamcord-iPad-01The big new feature being announced is voice overlay functionality that will allow users to narrate their videos while they play, as demoed by the team in the video above. CEO Matt Zitzmann also provided us with some other updates the team has added in the last month, including: Video trimming, a custom UI / white-label solution, and a new “Gameplay of the week” notifications feature.

Also being announced today: Kamcord has recorded over 500 million gameplay videos in the last 6 months alone across the 100 apps its currently deployed in. One those games includes the latest from Chillingo and Zitzmann says the company is talking to all the other big mobile game developers too. Read more

Freshdesk launches free SDK to provide in-app customer support for iOS apps

In June, Google decided to update Google Play with a very useful feature for developers: the ability to respond to the user reviews attached to their apps in the store. The feature is an important one, allowing developers to respond to criticisms, provide updates on necessary upcoming fixes, and perhaps most importantly, communicate directly with their users. Google’s decision to introduce the feature made it clear the App Store needs to revamp its customer support—and developers agreed.

Apple has yet to introduce any sort major overhaul to its App Store customer support and rankings. However, Freshdesk, creators of cloud-based help desk software, introduced a product today that provides direct, in-app customer support for iOS developers.

The free “MobiHelp” SDK allows a developer to implement customer support directly within their iOS apps using a single line of code. This will allow developers to not just respond to comments in the store like Google Play, but also communicate directly with their users from within the app. From there, devs can view and respond to feedback inside of FreskDesk HTML5 app on the desktop or mobile:

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StyleTap iOS Wrapper SDK lets you submit Palm OS apps to Apple

Last year StyleTap launched their Palm OS emulator platform for iPhone, but for obvious reasons it wasn’t made available through the App Store and instead limited to jailbroken devices. To circumvent Apple’s App Store guidelines, over the past year StyleTap has developed and now launched the ‘StyleTap iOS Wrapper SDK‘, allowing Palm OS devs to wrap their apps in an iPhone app that’s ready to submit to Apple. Here’s how it works:

StyleTap Platform for iPhone® cannot currently be purchased through the Apple App Store because it provides capabilities (e.g.the ability to download other Palm applications) that are restricted by Apple. The StyleTap iOS Wrapper SDK allows you as a Palm application developer to create an iPhone (iOS) application that “wraps” a Palm application inside StyleTap Platform for iPhone in a way that removes all of the restricted capabilities. You can then submit the resulting iPhone application to be included in the Apple App Store.

StyleTap will provide devs with the StyleTap Platform designed for non-jailbroken iPhones through a template Xcode project that also includes instructions on configuring apps for submission to Apple. After devs throw their .prc and .pdb Palm application and license info into the StyleTap Platform setup, they will then have to build an iOS app. Of course devs will still have to be part of Apple’s Developer Program and StyleTap isn’t guaranteeing Apple will accept submitted apps. Also noteworthy is the fact that this enables organizations to deploy Palm apps to non-jailbroken iOS devices, and those apps don’t require submission to Apple.
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Quark gets acquired by mergers and acquisitions firm, Apple could benefit

Remember Quark? The developer of popular publishing software QuarkXPress has been sold to merger and acquisition firm Platinum Equity, and, according to a report from Techcrunch, the company is already focusing on finding a new home for the Quark’s IP. In the midst of heated patent battles between smartphone makers, what might the patents and technologies owned by Quark have to offer Apple?

Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are a big focus for Apple, it’s clear with the introduction of Newsstand in iOS 5, an app dedicated to helping manage digital subscriptions. Quark recently launched their QuarkXPress 9 publishing software that will allow publications to “design for and publish to digital devices in a variety of formats”, specifically the iPad, “without requiring the services of a programmer.”

Apple has helped Quark in the past, offering their services to get the publishing platform working on Mac OSX.

The majority of large publications have millions in funding behind them when creating the digital version of their magazines for the iPad. However, if Apple were to integrate Quark software into an SDK specifically for publishers, the subscriptions market on iOS devices might closer resemble the ecosystem currently in place for games. In other words, giving developers without millions in funding the “tools to convert existing layouts to rich, interactive content — or create new iPad content from scratch” may bring with it a rush of quality content with subscription models much more attractive to users than those offered by the larger publications.

Apple is clearly making digital subscriptions a focus in iOS 5 with Newsstand Kit, which provides the ability update issues in the background and auto-update subscriptions, but the SDK certainly falls short of everything Quark software could offer publishers.
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