Category Archives: 3rd Party Software

Apple in negotiations with streaming partners for upcoming TV device?

Apple TV

Though rumors of a potential full-fledged Apple home theater device have been showing up frequently over the past year, sources are telling Reuters that Apple is currently negotiating with streaming service EPIX to bring content to both the current Apple TV product and to “upcoming devices that stream content”. Read more

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Subscription billing comes to the App Store

While today marks the release of The Daily, the first newspaper designed specifically for the iPad, it actually marks a much more significant shift for Apple’s iOS platform. The Daily is also the first iOS App to feature native subscription billing, integrated with the iTunes store just like the in-app purchases that have been around since iOS 3.x was released back in 2009.

Apple updated the iTunes store terms and conditions just a short while ago with some of the finer details of how it all works.

Subscription terms and conditions

Subscription terms and conditions

Like most content in the iTunes Store, and like most Apps in the App store, subscription content sales are final, and there are no refunds.

Once you authorize the subscription, it will automatically bill you 24 hours before the next subscription period starts. Read more

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Mac App store launches with 1,000 applications

appStore
Mac App Store

Mac App Store

Apple’s Mac App store launched today alongside the release of Mac OS X 10.6.6, bringing some major iPhone and iPad applications to the Mac platform and pulling some existing Mac favorites into the new App Store.

The Mac App Store is included as part of Mac OS X 10.6.6, and is unavailable for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, which also means it is unavailable for PowerPC Macs. However, anyone with an Intel Mac should be able to run the App Store and download free or paid applications.

Steve Jobs says there are over 1,000 applications available on the Mac App Store at launch, but we’ve never been a fan of using big numbers as an indicator of quality or the availability of applications you would actually want to use. Read more

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Official Google Voice app appears in App Store

Google Voice for iPhone

Google Voice for iPhone

Back in the middle of 2009, Google submitted an official Google Voice App for iPhone that would allow users to manage their Google Voice account and place calls using the service, along with free text messaging, voicemail playback and transcription.

At the time we expected Apple would simply approve it and that would be that, but instead Apple chose to “study” it for another 16 months, and in the meantime they also pulled all of the other third party Google Voice apps from the App Store, citing “duplication of built-in functionality” because of the text messaging and phone dialer capabilities.

But in September of this year, Apple chose to allow the third party GV Apps back into the App Store, and at the time we speculated that Apple would probably allow the real Google Voice App, the one that started this whole mess, back into the App Store as well. Read more

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Oracle and Apple bringing OpenJDK to Mac OS X

Java

Following Apple’s deprecation of their own Java distribution for Mac OS X, many developers were concerned the company would simply drop Java completely, leaving it up to Oracle or IBM or the open source community to develop, test and release an integrated Java distribution for Mac OS X. Many were also concerned that only Apple would be able to provide the necessary source code to correctly integrate a Java distribution into Mac OS X.

There are alternative Java distributions for Mac OS X, such as the SoyLatte project, however they do not integrate well with Mac OS X, leaving Java as a second class citizen on the platform.

But a new Apple press release just posted this morning announces that the company plans to participate in the OpenJDK project along with Oracle, to bring an officially supported, tightly integrated OpenJDK release to Mac OS X. Read more

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Macbook Air no longer ships with Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash

Adobe Flash

Early reviewers of Apple’s recently overhauled Macbook Air portable computer line have noticed that Apple no longer ships Adobe’s Flash runtime with the operating system preloaded on those machines.

While Apple has been quite vocal about their contempt for Adobe Flash, going so far as to completely exclude it from all mobile iOS devices, until now they have preinstalled the plugin on each new Mac, ensuring that webpages and all the content on them will “just work” in most cases.

Apple’s reason for excluding Flash on the new Macbook Air may have something to do with battery life; Flash is known to cause significant performance problems, and in prior Macbook Air models, Flash was frequently accused of being the root cause of overheating and sudden shutdown issues. Read more

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Apple deprecates Java

Java logo

Java logo

In a note accompanying the Java platform update released yesterday, Apple has announced that in future versions of Mac OS X, they no longer intend to maintain their Java runtime with the same level of attention as they have in the past, and they may not ship Java as part of the operating system at all.

However, as Apple shipped Java runtimes in both Leopard and Snow Leopard, they will continue to support the Java releases on those platforms during their respective lifecycles.

The Java runtime that is available in Mac OS X is maintained by Apple itself, and is a port of Sun/Oracle’s official Java runtime, with extra class libraries included for integrating with Cocoa and the native graphical display system. Read more

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Native Google Voice app coming back to App Store

Twitter message

Twitter message

In a Twitter message just posted earlier tonight, Sean Kovacs announced that Apple will “most likely” approve his GV Mobile application once he resubmits it to the review process.

Kovacs noted in an earlier twitter message that his application fully complies with all 110+ of the recently announced “guidelines” for App Store approval and rejection.

GV Mobile was pulled from the App Store back in 2009 along with another application written by Riverturn called Voice Central. Both applications are native interfaces for the Google Voice service, which aim to make placing and receiving calls, listening to voice mail, and using SMS messaging easier using your Google Voice account.

During the same time period that these two applications were removed from the App Store, Google itself was waiting for approval for their own Google Voice application, which was, according to Apple, neither accepted or rejected but remains “under study”. Read more

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Apple announces iPhone 4, iOS 4, iMovie

Steve Jobs delivered Apple’s 2010 WWDC keynote today, announcing a new iPhone, a number of new iPhone apps, and updated device and App Store sales data.

First things first, the new iPhone. Apple has named it iPhone 4, and it looks exactly like the leaked prototype everyone has already seen. It will be available in black and white, at the same price points as the current 3GS: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB. There is no 64GB model at the moment. They’ve also dropped the 3G model completely, and the 8GB 3GS is now available for $99.

iPhone 4

iPhone 4

Current iPhone users can upgrade to the new device for the retail price as long as their contract expires some time in 2010, though you must agree to another 2 year contract. Read more

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WWDC 2010 Preview

Today, Apple will present several new products to its third party developer community…and through the tremendous press scrunity — not to mention what Steve Jobs recently called (an undesirable) “nation of bloggers” (ahem) — by extension the larger world of its users, enthusiasts and curious potential ‘switchers.’

Some of them will be software, some will be hardware, but most if not all will likely manage to attract their own little cyclonic orbits of controversy.

Here are some of the grapevine’s expectations; stay with us over the week ahead for post-event analysis and fresh dirt on what’s next from Infinite Loop. Read more

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iPhone OS 4.0 Summary

Today’s iPhone OS 4.0 preview included plenty of new features that have been requested by developers and users alike. We’ll run through a quick summary of the major additions to the operating system and go in-depth as more information becomes available.

One of the biggest features that Apple has now added to iPhone OS 4.0 is multitasking, implemented in a way that prevents Apps from draining the battery or slowing performance. Apple listed 7 core functions that would be provided by APIs for use by developers:

  • Background Audio
  • Voice over IP
  • Background location
  • Push notifications
  • Local notifications
  • Task completion
  • Fast app switching

Applications that were demoed performing functions in the background include Skype, which allowed a call to remain connected, Pandora, which kept streaming audio running, and TomTom which continued to provide turn-by-turn directions even after the user had switched away from the App itself. Read more

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MacHeist 2010 nanoBundle is now live….

The timer on the MacHeist website hit zero tonight at 7PM EST, and though the initial launch was a bit delayed due to heavy site traffic, the new nanoBundle is now live.

Listed for sale as part of the new bundle are the following Mac applications:

The first 6 are available now, and Tales of Monkey Island will be unlocked once 50,000 bundles are sold.

UPDATE: Though the MacHeist site does not specifically say it, Rapidweaver is also locked. The icon is slightly transparent just like Tales of Monkey Island, but only the latter has a text blurb with details.

According to MacHeist, the total value of the entire lineup is $260, for instance RapidWeaver alone retails for $79. Read more

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Apple pulls “sexy” apps from app store

A post over at TechCrunch details what may be a new policy change for iPhone Apps containing sexual content. The developer of the “Wobble iBoobs” App claims to have received a letter from Apple explaining that the app has been pulled from the store due to customer complaints.

Update: A reader has pointed out that the Wobble iBoobs App does not include content of any kind, and only modifies user-supplied photos.

The search field in the desktop iTunes application still auto-completes the Wobble iBoobs name when searching the App Store, but the search itself returns no results, suggesting it has indeed been pulled months after it was approved.

Several other iPhone Apps containing sexual content are said to be missing, while others remain on the App Store. Read more

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What’s next for iPhone & other iDevices?

There are many new features and pieces of core hardware that we expect to see in future iDevices — some of which (iPod Touch S) could be announced in a matter of weeks, others (iTablet, higher screen resolutions, 802.11N Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, etc) which we think may reach the market early next year and the truly next-generation stuff (4G cellular network chips, dual core ARM Cortex 9 processors, even more powerful GPUs, 5-megapixel camera with 1080P HD video and so on) that almost certainly won’t be announced until mid-2010.

And that’s just a short list.

But even Apple itself doesn’t necessarily know for certain whether suppliers will hit road-map targets for the components/chipsets that will bring these capabilities to the iDevice platform….nor whether the internally-developed technologies being engineered at Infinite Loop will hit their own. Read more

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Multitasking for 3rd-Party Apps?

Some have speculated, based on varying degrees of “insider” information, that all iDevices (current 2007/2008 iPhones & iPod Touch models as well as upcoming 2009 iPhones, iPod Touch models and an all-new iDevice sometimes referred to as ‘iTablet,’ ‘iPad’ or ‘iPortal’ which will compete with Tablets and “Netbooks”) running iPhone OS 3.0 when it ships this summer may have more than just the “background notification” features announced at the iPhone OS 3.0 Preview Event in March.

Specifically, several rumor-mongers have suggested that certain apps — either a specified number (two [2] is the most frequently mentioned figure), or a limited range of application types which would fit certain requirements to be “pre-approved” for background-tasking capability by Apple’s AppStore managers.

Neither of these fits very well with Infinite Loop’s style, nor are they consistent in any way with the information we’ve received from our own “insider” sources. Read more

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