O'Grady's PowerPage » Developer

Instagram changes APIs, feed access to third-party apps following discovery of malware

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015, 07:45
Category: Developer, iOS, News, security, Software


In the wake of a security breach, you make changes.

Following the recent discovery of the InstaAgent malware, which was Instagram passwords from users, Instagram has instituted much stricter rules for accessing its API, effectively killing off a large number of apps that read Instagram feeds.

Over on its developer web site, Instagram explained that its API is changing, the way it distributes its feed is changing and the current API is being shut down. The company offered the following comment:

We’ve updated our Platform Policy to explicitly list the use cases we will support moving forward. These include apps and services that:

Help individuals share their own content with 3rd party apps, such as apps that let you print your photos and import an Instagram photo as a profile picture.

Help brands and advertisers understand and manage their audience, develop their content strategy, and get digital rights to media. Established apps in this space may apply for our newly announced Instagram Partner Program.

Help broadcasters and publishers discover content, get digital rights to media, and share media using web embeds.


f.lux side loading workaround dubbed a violation of developer agreement, shut down

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 13th, 2015, 09:16
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software


It’s a useful app, but Apple doesn’t think much of the way it installs onto your iOS device.

Apple had contacted f.lux Software to say that the f.lux for iOS download is in violation of the Developer Program Agreement, the criticism focusing on the way f.lux uses a sideloading technique to install.

f.lux, in return, stated that the updated Xcode signing allowed use of side loading, although Apple indicated that this wasn’t the case.

F.lux is a free program that changes the lighting conditions of your screen depending on the time of day and the light available around the device, thereby helping to promote better body rest and sleep functions.


Apple removes hundreds of apps from App Store, third-party APIs found to collect private information

Posted by:
Date: Monday, October 19th, 2015, 08:02
Category: Developer, iOS, News, privacy, Software


Well, this is a bit of a mess.

Code analytics platform SourceDNA has found hundreds of apps on the App Store that used private APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to collect private user data, like email addresses and device identifiers, slipping under Apple’s radar in the approval process. The code got into these apps through the inclusion of a mischievous third-party advertising SDK, which secretly stored this data and sent it off to its own servers.

Apple has confirmed that the SourceDNA report contributed to its removing all of the apps that included the advertising SDK from the store, as using private API calls is a breach of App Review Guidelines. Apple has also patched its approval processes to prevent any more apps that use this technique to make it onto the App Store.


Apple fixes app slicing issue with iOS 9.0.2 update, allows for device-specific resources to be downloaded as needed

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 2015, 08:16
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software, Watch OS


Well, there’s good news if you’re developing iOS apps.

Apple has just announced that its app slicing issue has been fixed. This will allow for device-specific versions of apps to be delivered when downloaded by users running iOS 9.0.2 or later.

For those of you unfamiliar with app slicing, this is a delivery method that allows for the optimal installation of an iOS or watchOS app to be delivered to a user’s particular device, with minimal footprint. This optimization, called app thinning, lets developers create apps that use the most device features, occupy minimum disk space, and accommodate future updates that can be applied by Apple. Faster downloads and more space for other apps and content provides a better user experience.


iOS 9 “App Skinning” feature delayed, iCloud backup bug to blame

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 25th, 2015, 13:41
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software


Well, this is sort of a kick in the pants.

One of iOS 9’s major new features, App Thinning (or “app slicing”), has been delayed due to an issue with iOS 9. App Thinning was announced at WWDC as a way to help trim down the size of large applications by letting developers mark assets for each specific type of device. When users download the app, the App Store will determine which device they have and only require them to download the assets necessary to run on their device.

Although App Thinning has been examined in TestFlight for the past few weeks, Apple has said that App Thinning will not appear until the company resolves an issue in the way iCloud handles backups.


Apple to begin providing better Xcode development tool hosting for Chinese developers in wake of XcodeGhost incident

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 24th, 2015, 07:22
Category: Developer, News, security, Software


In the wake of developers downloading a malware-filled copy of your development tools and inadvertently uploading tons of malware-filled apps to the App Store, it helps to put some money into infrastructure and make sure the slow download speeds for the genuine version of the development tools are sufficient, thus removing the need to download the fake version in the first place.

Apple’s Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said on Tuesday that steps are being taken to prevent any such occurrence of the conditions that caused the XcodeGhost issue in the future.

The source of the tainted apps was a program called XcodeGhost, a counterfeit version of Xcode, the platform used by developers to create programs for iOS and Mac. Developers in China often download Xcode from local sites due to the slow download speeds associated with sourcing it officially from Apple’s US servers. The spurious version of Xcode was slipped in amongst the authentic ones on Chinese sites and downloaded by many programmers, unbeknownst to them.


iOS 9 beta 5 sports new tools, including interesting new “Wi-Fi Assist” feature

Posted by:
Date: Friday, August 7th, 2015, 06:40
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software


The iOS 9 betas continue to roll out for registered developers, but some interesting new features appear to be surfacing.

Over the past few weeks, the betas have included tweaked icons, the return of Home Sharing support, a new Handoff UI, a cleaner Apple Music experience, and changes to how Apple Pay can be activated on the lock screen. Main features in iOS 9 include an overhauled Notes app, transit directions in Maps, multitasking features on iPad, a News app, and others.


Rumor: Apple to launch fourth-gen Apple TV, updated App Store this fall

Posted by:
Date: Friday, July 31st, 2015, 08:37
Category: Apple TV, Developer, Processors, Rumor, Software


We’ve been around this rumor before, but it seems to be picking up steam again.

A new report says that a fourth-generation Apple TV, App Store and all the trimmings will arrive in September. The new Apple TV will be unveiled along with the latest iPhones, and sport Apple’s A8 chip along with a slimmer look.

The new Apple TV will reportedly feature a control with a touchpad input, and feature Siri on board.


Apple releases third public beta of OS X El Capitan operating system

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, July 30th, 2015, 09:05
Category: Developer, News, Software


If you’re feeling brave of heart, the new public beta of OS X El Capitan has been released and is ready for you to download and play with.

Apple on Wednesday seeded the third beta of OS X El Capitan to public beta testers, one week after seeding the second beta and just under three weeks after first providing the OS X El Capitan beta to the public for testing purposes.

The third public beta, which features no outward-facing changes, is thought to be an under-the-hood update with bug fixes and performance improvements.


Apple changes policy, iOS 9 beta users now prevented from submitting app reviews

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015, 08:41
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software


Well, this is kind of a kick in the teeth.

As of the latest iOS 9 beta, Apple is preventing beta users from submitting app reviews.

Testers running Apple’s fourth iOS 9 beta, currently for developers only, are able to access the iOS App Store as usual, but no longer have the ability to post reviews. Attempting to do so now results in an error pop-up that reads, “This feature isn’t available. You can’t write reviews while using a prerelease version of iOS.”