Apple to significantly overhaul App Store for the fall, add developer-focused changes, subscription models

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Date: Thursday, June 9th, 2016, 07:05
Category: App Store, Developer, iOS, News

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As good as Apple’s App Store has been over the years, it still has its rough spots. It can be difficult to find apps, even when searching for them by name and it’s tough for developers to stand out from each other.

This coming straight from the horse’s mouth, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, stated that a variety of changes are coming to the App Store. First, a new App Store subscription model will reward developers who can keep paying customers around for longer than a year. Apple will slice its cut of their subscriptions to 15 percent from the standard 30 percent after the first year. The company is planning to encourage all developers to explore the subscription model—and now they actually can. Prior to now, only certain categories like news, cloud, dating, and streaming apps could sell subscriptions through the App Store. That’s going to change in the fall. The 85/15 percent split will kick in sooner than that, on June 13.

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Belkin releases USB-C Car Charger with USB-PD features

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Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2016, 14:27
Category: Accessory, Hardware, News

This could be interesting.

Accessory maker Belkin has launched what it claims to be the first USB-C car charger to support USB-PD (power delivery), dubbed the “USB-C Car Charger + Cable”. While there are already multiple USB-C car chargers on the market, generally priced around $10 to $15, that also support quick-charging features of advanced USB-C devices, Belkin’s device supports not only 5V (the traditional max voltage of USB), but 9V over USB-C thanks to its implementation of the new USB-PD spec.

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This, in turn, makes it better suited for charging some notebooks and tablets.

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MCX to end CurrentC beta, disable all user accounts

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Date: Wednesday, June 8th, 2016, 10:23
Category: Apple Pay, Finance, News, retail

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Put a fork in CurrentC, it might just be done.

Following layoffs of 30 employees in May, the Merchant Consortium Exchange, or MCX, announced today that it is ending its the ongoing CurrentC beta test and postponing all future releases. The beta test will be suspended on June 28th, according to an email sent to beta testers in Columbus, Ohio.

Following the conclusion of the beta test, MCX will disable all consumer accounts and end their access to the service. The company offered the following comment in an email sent to beta testers:

“We will be concluding our beta test and postponing further releases of CurrentC on June 28, 2016. Therefore, June 28th will be the last day that transactions will be accepted using CurrentC,”

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Instagram 8.2 now supports direct photo sharing from iOS apps

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Date: Tuesday, June 7th, 2016, 08:42
Category: iOS, iPad, News, Software

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Following an update on Monday, Instagram now allows users to share photos and videos directly to Instagram on iOS without having to first launch the app. Instagram version 8.2 includes an iOS extension that lets you share both photos and videos from Photos and other iOS apps directly to Instagram. The feature also lets you write a caption to accompany the photo or video, but filters and other editing features will still require launching the full app.

To enable the new extension, update to the latest version of Instagram, tap the share button and swipe to the far right of the colored app icons then tap ‘More’. Toggle Instagram on, arrange it on the list where you’d like it placed, then tap done. Now Instagram will appear in the share sheet where sharing photos is supported. This works in Apple’s Photos app as well as other apps including Google Photos and the official Reddit app.

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1Password updated to 6.3.1 for OS X, 6.4.2 for iOS

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Date: Monday, June 6th, 2016, 16:24
Category: iOS, News, OS X, security, Software

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1Password, AgileBits’ ubiquitous password manager, has been updated the version 6.3.1 for OS X and 6.4.2 for iOS.

1Password 6.3.1 for OS X offers the following fixes and changes:

Improved:
– Item sharing has returned with proper advice for sharing only over secure services.

– When first setting up 1Password the back buttons shown there now properly support VoiceOver.

– The password generator shown when first setting up 1Password now announces the number of words.

– VoiceOver no longer reads the image descriptions in sidebar categories or item list.

– We made it more clear how to sign out of an account in the “Accounts” preferences.

– Improved VoiceOver support in the 1Password Account login form so that the text fields are associated with their labels.

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Unicode Consortium approves 72 new emoji under Unicode 9

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Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2016, 10:25
Category: Fun, News

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The goal of having an emoji symbol for literally everything is well underway.

The Unicode Consortium recently approved 72 new emoji for inclusion in Unicode 9, set to be released on June 21. New emoji range from expanded smileys and people to new animals, food, and sports.

Noted emoji include rolling on the floor laughing, drooling face, and nauseated face, while the people/body category gains shrug, selfie, and face palm. New animal emoji include gorilla, fox face, deer, shark, and owl, and some of the new foods include avocado, potato, croissant, pancakes, salad, and bacon.

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Apple releases iTunes 12.4.1 update, offers assorted bug fixes

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Date: Friday, June 3rd, 2016, 07:56
Category: iTunes, News, Software

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It’s more a bug fix than anything.

Apple on Thursday released iTunes 12.4.1, the latest version of its media player.

The update address a variety of small problems and bugs, including compatibility issues with the OS X VoiceOver accessibility feature.

According to Apple’s release notes, iTunes version 12.4.1 for Mac includes a grab bag of fixes that might in some cases negatively impact software usability. In particular, the update addresses a problem that caused VoiceOver, Mac’s automated screen reader technology, to operate unexpectedly.

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Apple releases Swift 3.0 preview 1 ahead of WWDC

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Date: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016, 13:34
Category: Developer, iOS, News, Software

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If you’re a Mac or iOS developer, this is huge.

Prior to the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple has release Swift 3.0 preview 1, the tech preview for the latest version of its Swift programming language.

According to the Swift-Evolution GitHub page, the primary goal of Swift 3.0 is to “solidify and mature the Swift language and development experience.” As it turns out, this also means that there will be source breaking changes this time around, but Swift 3.x and 4+ are said to hopefully remain as source compatible as possible.

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Apple working to expand Apple Pay into Prime Asian, European markets

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Date: Friday, May 27th, 2016, 08:15
Category: Apple Pay, Finance, News

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Following up on the launch of Apple Pay in Singapore this week, Apple executive Jennifer Bailey has gone on the record stating that the company is planning a rapid expansion into every significant market it can with a focus on Europe and Asia. Apple Pay is currently available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Singapore and Australia. Apple has already said the mobile payments service will reach Hong Kong soon …

Bailey stated that Apple decides the next item on its Apple Pay expansion given a number of factors, although market size for Apple products tends to be a primary factor. She also stated that existing market penetration of contactless payment terminals and existing financial infrastructures also plays a factor.

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Apple releases AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.7 for AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule units

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Date: Wednesday, May 25th, 2016, 08:11
Category: News, security, Software

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It’s been a while since Apple released one of these.

On Wednesday, Apple released its AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.7.7 for its 802.11ac AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule units.

The update resolves the following security issues with the devices:

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