background app refresh Stories June 20, 2016

The Dock in watchOS 3 was arguably the biggest new feature to hit the Apple Watch at WWDC 2016. It’s a feature that allows you to find and switch to your most used apps. It takes the best of the Glances model from previous versions of watchOS and merges it with an updated and actionable interface.

The Dock promotes using apps in a way that no such feature on the Apple Watch has until now. In my opinion, it breathes new life into the Apple Watch, providing practical functionality that was missing in previous iterations of watchOS. Have a look at our hands-on dive into the Dock as we explore this exciting new feature. expand full story

background app refresh Stories May 27, 2014

Reeder for iOS updated with background app refresh, improved navigation & multiple bug fixes

The popular newsreader app Reeder has been updated to version 2.2 with a fairly lengthy list of new features and bug fixes.

Notably, navigation has been improved, with the ability to pan left and right to toolbars and empty spaces in list views, as well as adding a drag handle to the toolbar to make it more obvious that you can slide left/right to go forward and back. A loading progress indicator has also been added to the in-app browser.

Smart streams now support grouping by either feed or date, and the app can also now handle feed links from other apps.

Bug fixes include handling of multiple Feedly accounts, the disappearing status bar with the white theme on the iPad and missing scrollbars in the browser and when using dark themes.

Reeder costs $4.99 from the App Store. The latest beta of the Mac version is still available for free from the Reeder site.

The full change list for Reeder 2.2 can be found below:

background app refresh Stories February 18, 2014

Developer warns iOS 7’s Background App Refresh increases server load dramatically, may be costly

With the introduction of iOS 7, developers gained access to a new feature often referred to as “Background App Refresh” or “Background Fetch” that allows apps to update data in the background periodically. Users can control which apps fetch for data in a new Settings pane and developers can control the frequency of updates to craft an ideal experience for their specific apps. The result is supposed to be a faster, always up-to-date experience for users, but one developer warns it could also have a significant increase on server costs.

Pod Wrangler developer David Smith posted the chart above showing a huge spike in API requests and server costs after implementing background refresh in his weather app:

My first example of this was when I added Background Fetch to Check the Weather. A weather app’s primary function is displaying up-to-the-minute, constantly changing data so in my initial iOS 7 update I experimented with adding highly frequent background updates. The result was far more dramatic than I’d expected. Here are my weather API requests (which cost 0.01¢ per request) per day once the update went live. I saw an immediate jump in traffic, roughly 16x normal. Suffice to say I immediately had to scale back on my requested update frequency.

Smith also took a look at some other popular podcasting apps after running into similar issues with background fetch in Pod Wrangler and offers tips for developers to get rid of unnecessary background downloads. The full article is here.

background app refresh Stories September 18, 2013

Digg iOS app gets full iOS 7 support w/ Background App Refresh & Dynamic Text

The Digg iOS client has been updated today to version 5.2.1 and with it comes full support for iOS 7 in addition to the usual performance enhancements and bug fixes.

While the design of the app hasn’t been dramatically overhauled like many others, the update brings a few new features made possible by iOS 7. Among them is support for Apple’s new Dynamic Type and Background App Refresh features.

Digg version 5.2.1 is available for iPhone and iPad on the App Store now.

What’s New in Version 5.2.1

◆ Full iOS 7 support, including Dynamic Type & Background App Refresh. ◆ Performance enhancements & bug fixes.

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