Application programming interface Stories July 14, 2015

Google announces a Bluetooth beacon platform to compete with Apple’s iBeacons

Google today announced a new beacon technology called Eddystone along with APIs that together it hopes will make it easier for Android and iOS-powered devices and beacons in close proximity to communicate with one another. Unlike iBeacon, Apple’s take on the Bluetooth-based protocol, Eddystone is open source and designed to be easily extendable, compatible with any device which supports the use of beacons. A new API announced alongside Eddystone, compatible with iOS and Android devices and available to Android developers today (iOS support forthcoming), uses inaudible sound emitted from device speakers and heard from other devices using their microphones to determine when other smartphones and tablets are nearby so data can be transmitted between them.

To learn more, read the full post over at 9to5Google.

Application programming interface Stories May 21, 2015

Sunrise Calendar now integrates Wunderlist tasks right into the daily view

Sunrise Calendar now offers full integration with Wunderlist, allowing you to see your to-do list tasks in the daily view – and to add new Wunderlists tasks from within the calendar app.

Any Wunderlist tasks due on a particular date are shown as All Day items in your calendar. When you mark them as complete in Wunderlist, they get a tick in Sunrise and move down beneath still-active tasks.

The integration is two-way, allowing you to select a calendar item and assign it to a Wunderlist list, which will then show up in the task manager app with that due date assigned. You can find more details and instructions from the Wunderlist blog below.

Sunrise Calendar earlier this month added a new custom keyboard to allow faster meeting scheduling. Wunderlist is promising further app integration to come with Slack, Hipchat, Zapier, Scanbot, OneNote and more.

Via TNW

Application programming interface Stories January 7, 2015

Screenshot 2015-01-07 21.59.19

“Ships to Store” indicates store has no units in stock

If you’re trying to buy Apple’s cheapest iPod, the $49 screen-less Shuffle, you may be in for a difficult shopping trip. According to multiple sources, supplies of the iPod Shuffle are dwindling across Apple’s physical retail and online channels. In fact, Apple has warned its retail employees that Shuffle supplies will be short for an unspecified period of time and that customers seeking to buy a Shuffle via a retail store should be directed to Apple’s online store…

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Application programming interface Stories August 20, 2014

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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Application programming interface Stories July 30, 2014

The popular password and security management app 1Password has already previewed its iOS 8 extension and Touch ID support for unlocking and accessing its content outside of its iOS app, and today AgileBits has announced its 1Password app extension for third party apps as you can see in the video above. expand full story

Application programming interface Stories July 21, 2014

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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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Application programming interface Stories July 17, 2014

Epic Games releases Unreal Engine 4.3 with Metal API support on iOS and much more

Epic Games today announced Unreal Engine 4.3, the latest version of their gaming engine technology, which includes over 500 updates. Included in the latest version of Unreal Engine is support for Apple’s new Metal API for game developers, first introduced last month at WWDC, for code compiled with the Xcode 6 beta. Unreal Engine launched version 4.0 earlier this year introducing its current subscription model for developers as well as Mac support.

As mentioned above, Unreal Engine 4.3 includes over 500 updates including new features for Mac, iOS, Android, and more. Below you can read the change log for iOS and Mac.

Application programming interface Stories June 30, 2014

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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Twitter’s mobile app install advertising feature comes out of beta, goes global

Twitter has taken its mobile application install advertising feature out of beta and it has also taken the service global. Twitter talked about the feature, which allows companies to advertise mobile apps within the Twitter mobile app timeline, earlier this year. The video above explains how the service works. The app install feature can show apps from the App Store and Google Play based on “interest, keyword, TV targeting and tailored audiences” as well as based on “gender, geo, language and mobile platform targeting.” The service allows apps to be installed on smartphones directly via the Twitter app and the Twitter app will even notify users when the app is ready to use.

Twitter explains how advertisers can use the functionality:

Application programming interface Stories June 2, 2014

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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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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Application programming interface Stories February 20, 2014

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. expand full story

Application programming interface Stories November 26, 2013

HockeyApp SDK update gives Mac developers more detailed bug reports during testing

HockeyApp has released the next major version of its SDK for Mac developers, HockeyApp 2.0. This update brings the Mac SDK up to parity with the iOS version, which received similar updates last month.

The new SDK can send precise backtrace reports to developers when the app crashes during testing. This enables developers to accurately pinpoint where their code is messing up and crucially reduces time spent in debugging. The company claims that is the only crash reporting solution that offers the most flexibility in supporting all three types of logging.

Application programming interface Stories November 5, 2013

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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Application programming interface Stories October 12, 2013

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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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Application programming interface Stories February 27, 2013

Samsung steals Apple’s wallet

. From 9to5Google:

Samsung is today officially unveiling its “Samsung Wallet” mobile app solution, and it is quickly gaining attention for similarities to Apple’s iOS 6 ticket, card, and coupon solution known as Passbook. For those familiar with Apple’s app, Samsung Wallet appears to work much the same way. The app will allow users to store event tickets, membership cards, coupons, and boarding passes in one central app. From there, users will be able to present the digital passes. Companies supporting the standard can also scan a barcode included for each digital ticket.

Full story and video of the app in action is available on 9to5Google.

Application programming interface Stories February 25, 2013

Facebook releases SDK 3.2 for iOS with better analytics, API improvements and more

Facebook announced on its Developers blog today that it is releasing version 3.2 of its SDK for iOS. The updated SDK makes it even easier for iOS app developers implementing Facebook features, with improvements to APIs and better tools for tracking usage and optimizing ads. Version 3.2 includes improved analytics and new metrics such as the ability to track “iOS 6 native share sheet and built-in native UI controls usage.” Facebook also noted that it is including a beta for select partners showing off upcoming support for “logging in-app purchase events.”

  • Better mobile analytics – We’ve added support for measuring additional usage metrics and optimizing ads to help improve an app’s quality and monetization potential
  • Enhanced error handling – SDK support and documentation now enabled for all classes of error responses
  • API improvements – A new FBAccessTokenData type makes it easier to open a session from token data explicitly, and to better handle app and deep linking

Facebook also said the updated SDK included enhanced error handling, improved web dialog support, and a several API improvements and bug fixes. Improvements to Facebook’s SDK are important, as the company’s noted over 45 percent of the top 400 grossing iOS apps are now integrated with the social network.

Version 3.2 of the Facebook SDK for iOS is available here.

Application programming interface Stories December 4, 2012

MacUpdate Winter Bundle: $49.99 gets you Company of Heros, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Data Rescue 3, Snapz Pro, much more

Adding another Mac Software bundle to the mix this holiday season, MacUpdate throws in a solid lineup of apps for $49.99, many of which retail for more alone.

You get:

1. Data Rescue 3 ($99.99) * 2. Espresso 2 ($75.00) * 3. Snapz Pro X 2.5 ($69.00) 4. TotalFinder ($18.00) * 5. TotalSpaces ($15.00) * 6. Mac DVDRipper Pro 4 ($24.95) * 7. PopChar X 6 ($38.00) 8. MoneyWell 2 ($49.99) * 9. Swift Publisher 3 ($29.95) * 10. Company of Heroes ($29.99) * 11. Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 Platinum ($29.99)

* BONUS. Live Interior 3D Pro ($129.95) Available to first 12K.buyers only.

* = has never been in a bundle before (at least for the version that we’re selling, which are all paid upgrades from previous ones — like version 4 of Mac DVDRipper Pro)

The total value is $478.87, or $608.82 with Live Interior 3D Pro. For the next two weeks, only $49.99

Application programming interface Stories July 26, 2012

Former Sun employees bring Java to iOS with cross-platform SDK

Codename One is an SDK launched by former Sun employees that allow developers to create a single native mobile app for multiple platforms (iOS/Android/Windows Phone, etc.) using Java and an optional GUI builder:

“Ex-Sun employees did what Sun/Oracle failed to do since the iPhone launched. They brought Java to iOS and other mobile devices. They are getting major coverage from Forbes, DDJ,hacker news and others. They are taking a unique approach of combining a Swing-like API with a open source and SaaS based solution.”

In other Apple Java news, a recent Apple job listing is looking for a Senior Java Engineer to join the Siri Server Platform team. Candidates should have experience in Java API design and will “lead and extend the core software infrastructure, algorithms, and APIs that let Siri move, understand, plan, learn, speak, and remember.” Like most huge Server Side Applications, Siri’s backend appears to be Java-based.

Application programming interface Stories July 19, 2012

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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Application programming interface Stories July 11, 2012

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. expand full story

Amazon combats Apple’s Game Center with its own GameCircle [Video]

Amazon just announced a new gaming experience for developers and the Kindle Fire: GameCircle.

According to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution blog, GameCircle is a “new set of services designed to make it easier for you to create more engaging gaming experiences and grow your business on Kindle Fire,” by making “achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience.”

Amazon offers a growing suite of developer services. Its new GameCircle is geared specifically for game developers too, which is great news for the Kindle Fire since it is facing a firestorm of Android-based content competition from the new Nexus 7. Game Circle also helps players to better experience their games through three key features —achievements, leaderboards, and sync—that will surely continue to entice folks to the dominating Android-based eReader.

Amazon’s new gaming experience clearly draws cues from Apple’s Game Center, which is an online multiplayer social gaming network. It launched in 2010 to allow iOS app users the ability to invite friends, start multiplayer games, track achievements, and compare scores on a leaderboard.

Google was looking to develop a similar system for Android, according to reports in May, but it looks like Amazon beat the gurus in Mountain View to the punch. The launch of GameCircle is timely due to rumors of a Kindle Fire 2 launch allegedly set for this summer.

Visit 9to5Google for the full story.

Application programming interface Stories June 13, 2012

Dev runs iOS apps on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook [Video]

Yes, that is a video of various iOS apps running on a BlackBerry PlayBook.

A developer, called “Businesscat2000,” posted videos on the CrackBerry forums last weekend that depict iPad-based apps running on the RIM tablet. According to The Verge, CrackBerry’s Kevin Michaluk subsequently confirmed the developer’s efforts after conducting some tests:

Michaluk had the developer write out “Hi CrackBerry” on the SketchBook Mobile iOS app, as well as run the iPhone app for the site iMore. By successfully completing those tests, the developer proved that he wasn’t just playing videos of iOS apps on the PlayBook — the hack is the real deal.

Businesscat2000 also detailed his feat in the forums:

The CPU isn’t emulated on Playbook (though it is on Windows). It works very similarly to how WINE works to run Windows applications on Linux. The app binary is mapped into memory and imports are resolved to point to my own implementation of the various APIs needed. iOS actually uses a few open APIs already, which Playbook supports just as well (GL ES, and OpenAL). The bulk of the work has been in implementing all of the objective C classes that are required. The ARM code of the applications run as-is – the armv6/v7 support on PB/iDevices are pretty much identical, and the code is designed to run in USR mode. No SWIs, GPIO accesses or any of that kind of shenanigans.

More videos by the dev are below, including iOS apps running on Windows.  

Application programming interface Stories June 8, 2012

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: expand full story

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