Today online publishing platform WordPress, which powers approximately 25% of websites on the Internet (this site included), is getting a major redesign with a completely rebuilt wordpress.com and the introduction of a new Mac app. We’ve been getting a taste of the improvements incrementally over the last year, but today is the company’s official launch.
Apple removing hundreds of App Store apps as advertising SDK found to collect sensitive user data via private APIs
Code analytics platform SourceDNA has found hundreds of apps on the App Store that used private APIs 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 now verified the SourceDNA report and is 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.
While Force Touch on the Apple Watch allowed Apple to add an additional layer of buttons to a small display, the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus screens don’t lack for either real estate or buttons. So why would Force Touch be desirable on larger displays? Following up on our May report that Force Touch is coming to Apple’s next iPhones, sources who have used the iPhone 6S have provided new details on how Force Touch works and feels under iOS.
Apple is introducing full support for audio plug-ins in iOS 9, allowing developers to sell plug-ins like effects and virtual instruments on the App Store that can be used within audio editing apps like Apple’s own GarageBand.
New iOS 9 ReplayKit will screen record gameplay & app videos without need for Mac or third-party SDK
You’re about to hear a lot more about gameplay and in-app screen recording as Apple implements an API for the first time in iOS 9. ReplayKit, a new framework that arrived for developers with the introduction of iOS 9 this week at WWDC, will enable screen recording for gameplay and other apps without the need for a Mac or a third-party solution.
With ReplayKit, developers will be able to offer users the ability to screen record gameplay or other apps automatically or manually with a single tap. Users will then be able to share recorded content through an iOS share sheet directly to social networks and video sharing sites. Apple pauses all incoming notifications and anything that might ruin the gameplay video experience, and only users will have access to the recorded videos.
Logitech has announed a new API for developers that will allow them to integrate their software with the many smart home devices supported by the Harmony system. There are currently over 270,000 different automation products and services that work with the Harmony API.
The API will enable the creation of new control platforms that let users carry out automated tasks using voice control, gestures, and more. Many developers have already been granted beta access, and others who would like to give the system a try can request access by emailing the company. The full press release is available below.
Logitech Harmony Opens Largest Library of Home Entertainment and Smart Home Products to Developers
New Harmony API Empowers Developers To Build Exceptional Home Control Experiences
NEWARK, Calif. — Jan. 14, 2014 — Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced the availability of a new Harmony API that allows developers to leverage the vast Logitech Harmony platform of more than 270,000 home entertainment and automation devices to create smart home experiences. Select companies and products including SmartThings, IFTTT, Ivee, Myo armband, Playtabase, and UCIC, creators of the Ubi, have already begun development using the API to bring new home control experiences to the Harmony home.
“We know that entertainment is critical to the smart home experience, and will be a main driver for mass adoption of smart home products,” said Mark Spates, head of the smart home platform for Logitech Harmony. “By opening our platform to developers, we’re giving developers the ability to create complete smart home experiences that include the living room, knowing that their entertainment component will offer the same flawless experience that consumers have come to expect from Harmony.”
The Harmony API gives developers access to some of Harmony’s most powerful features — one-touch Activities such as “Watch a Movie”, “Play Games” and “Listen to Music”. Imagine starting your favorite movie with a wave of your arm, or turning on your TV, media player, and sound system while simultaneously lowering the lights all by saying a single word. Using the API, developers are already working to add voice, gesture and motion control to the Harmony smart home control experience.
The Harmony API is available now and can be found at www.myharmony.com/developer. To learn more, please visit www.myharmony.com, or read our blog.
Logitech is a world leader in products that connect people to the digital experiences they care about. Spanning multiple computing, communication and entertainment platforms, Logitech’s combined hardware and software enable or enhance digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio and video communication over the Internet, video security and home-entertainment control. Founded in 1981, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI).
Dropbox today officially announced its Dropbox for Business API allowing corporate IT systems to integrate the cloud-syncing platform for businesses into their own solutions. Dropbox says its newly announced Business API (application programming interface) will let developers take advantage of “team-level functionality” and corporate partners to further integrate Dropbox for Business into their own systems. Specifically, the Dropbox for Business API will provide the following benefits for partners:
Amazon announced today that it’s bringing support for its Amazon Mobile Ads API to iOS, allowing app developers to place ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network in apps across platforms. The ads were previously only available to display on Android and Fire OS devices.
The Amazon Mobile Ads API lets you place high-quality display ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network in your app, helping you better monetize your apps and gain access to highly relevant ads from brand advertisers, including Amazon and its subsidiaries. Starting today, both Interstitial and Banner ads can now be displayed across iOS devices in addition to Android and Fire OS devices. Beginning on July 25, 2014, ads can also be displayed on the Fire phone. As a developer, you can now monetize your apps with the Amazon Mobile Ads API across iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore while taking advantage of multiple targeting features.
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network rolls out to iOS today for users in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy.
Amazon has more detailed info about the API on its blog for developers that want to get started integrating the ads in iOS apps.
In iOS 8, Apple is making the process of logging into apps a much smoother experience by allowing native iOS apps to access usernames and passwords stored in Safari. The new feature, which works by letting iOS apps tap into Safari’s AutoFill & Passwords feature, will allow users to login to apps with a simple tap rather than having to type login info. Imagine your username and password are stored in Safari’s AutoFill for Facebook, for example. When launching the native Facebook iOS app, the feature will let users select from passwords stored in Safari to quickly login (as pictured above with Apple’s demo “Shiny” app).
Apple just announced during its WWDC keynote that it’s opening up its Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone to third-party app developers. Apple showed off the personal finance management app Mint (pictured above) using the Touch ID feature to allow users to login instead of using the keyboard to enter a password. Previously Apple limited this feature to its own App Store and iTunes purchases as well as unlocking the device itself.
Apple also shared some stats on Touch ID noting that it has improved security by getting a much higher number of users using a passcode to protect their device:
LG today announced a new system to help bridge the gap between a range of televisions and mobile software. The Connect SDK is an open-source, multi-platform tool that developers can use to make their mobile apps compatible with different TV set-top boxes and smart TVs. In a press release, Samuel Chang, LG Electronics USA vice president and head of the LG Silicon Valley Lab said:
Connect SDK is breaking down barriers to enable apps and devices to work together harmoniously. The screen size, capabilities and social nature of Smart TVs enable experiences that consumers will absolutely love.
Connect SDK is designed to address the problem of connecting apps with a second screen, the TV, which still serves as a main point of content consumption for many households. The company has released versions of the SDK compatible with devices on both iOS and Android.
MOGA have been making gamepad accessories for Android devices for a while. Today, they have announced on their website an adapted version compatible with iPhone and iPod touch. The company is the first to officially announce availability of an accessory that works with iOS 7’s GameController API (but not the last this week ;).
Logitech, ClamCase and others have hinted that they have competing accessories nearing release, but MOGA is the first company to openly announce available. The accessory will be available tomorrow — priced at $99 — from the Apple retail stores and the Apple Online Store in addition to MOGA’s site.
AgileBits, the development team behind 1Password for iOS and Mac, announced today that due to an upcoming change in Dropbox’s API, Dropbox syncing in version 3 of the 1Password iOS client will no longer work as of September 1st. Because the old version of 1Password has been discontinued, it will not be updated to work with the new Dropbox API.
Instead, AgileBits is offering the new and improved 1Password 4 at $7.99 the lowest price to date. The sale will last until Friday, August 16th. Since 1Password 4 requires iOS 6, some customers may not be able to update to the latest version. If that’s the case, those users will be glad to know that 1Password 3 will still support Wi-Fi syncing with computers on the same network.
AgileBits has also published a new FAQ document to explain the changes and possible solutions.
Update: Mailbox just received the expected update with Dropbox integration for attachments.
Dropbox kicked off its developer conference in San Francisco today and with it came a few updates including new tools for devs and the announcement that the service now has 175 million users. That’s up about 75 million users from just last November.
The developer conference also included some announcements about new tools coming to let third-party app and website developers easier integrate Dropbox. The company is introducing a platform for developers that includes a new API called Datastores, allowing app devs to store and sync data from their apps across multiple devices and platforms. It’s something developers have been doing on their own for a while (for example 1Password), but now Dropbox is making easy for all:
New for app developers in iOS 7: text to speech, motion effects, background downloads, free in-app purchases, more
We’ve reported on a number of big improvements coming to iOS 7 for both app developers and accessory manufacturers already. Yesterday we reported first on the new blinking and smiling detection features available to camera and photo app developers, and earlier this month told you about some of the new Bluetooth related APIs coming this fall.
We previously walked you through some of the new APIs and features for gamers, but there is still a lot more coming to third-party app developers in iOS 7. A few big improvements: a text to speech API, background downloads for in-app content, motion effects, 3D maps, and much more.
Head below for details on some of the more notable new APIs available for developers to take advantage of in iOS 7:
Following Google’s announcement that its RSS Reader product would be retired on July 1st, apps like Feedly that relied on the Google Reader backend announced big plans to help itself and other apps through the transition. Feedly has been preparing its move to its own “feedly cloud” back end since the announcement, and earlier this month transitioned its own iOS client to the platform. Today, Feedly is officially launching the new back end and API, as well as a brand new web interface and the first apps to integrate the feedly cloud platform:
As of today, feedly cloud is now live, providing a fast and scalable infrastructure that serves as the backbone to feedly, as well as a number of connected applications. Feedly cloud is open today to all users visiting http://feedly.com, providing a simple one-click migration path from Google Reader. And thanks to the great developer community that has gathered around it, providing multiple safe and sound alternatives to Google Reader. With the release of feedly cloud, feedly today transitions from a product to a platform. We are also today delivering a new, completely stand-alone Web version of feedly.
On top of the new API and feedly cloud back end, the company is also delivering on one of the most requested features for the service: a standalone new web interface that doesn’t require any plugins or browser extensions.
While there are many others trying to provide an alternative for Google Reader, Feedly tells us it’s had significant traction since Google’s announcement and hit 12 million users at the end of May. That’s up 8 million from the 4 million users it had before Google announced Reader would be retired back in March. It’s also currently processing around 25 million feeds a day.
As part of its ‘Normandy’ project, Feedly has been building its own backend and API for third-party RSS apps and readers that also previously relied on the Google Reader API. It isn’t the only one: Earlier this week Digg teased images of its Google Reader replacement coming to the web and mobile devices on June 26th. It too is planning to offer an alternative API for third-party devs.
Today Feedly is announcing the first apps to integrate with its new backend but promises more will be added in the coming weeks as more than 200 developer have shown interest:
-Sprout Social for iOS/Android
-Nextgen Reader for Win 8 and Win Phone
-gNewsReader for BlackBerry 10/Symbian/MeeGo
-gReader for Android
-Press for Android
-Newsify for iPhone/iPad
-Pure News Widget for Android
-Menere for Windows
Developers and users interested in learning more about the new and improved Feedly can do so here.
Feedly offers one-click migration from Reader to its service to ensure an easy transition and reminds us just 10 days remain before Google Reader officially shuts down.
Philips updates ‘Hue’ app with geofencing, recurring schedules & visual cues for weather, email, social media, more
Philips today launched a big update to the Hue app that provides users with control over their network connected Philips Hue lighting system which the company began selling exclusively through Apple Stores last year. Version 1.1 of the app adds a ton of new features including Geofencing to trigger scenes when you leave or return home, recurring schedules for functions such as alarms, a new synchronous scenes, and much more.
One of the big announcements accompanying the launch of the updated app is a new IFTTT (If This Then That) channel for Hue. IFTTT is a service that allows online applications to talk to one another by letting users set up actions for one app that are triggered by another. For example, with the Hue channel, users can have “access to any application programming interface (API) on the Internet, allowing Hue smart bulbs to act as informational gateways and visual cues for updates on weather, stock quotes, sports scores, email, social media and more.” Imagine getting a notification through Hue related to a weather forecast or update on a social network.
The Philips Hue starter kit is available now for $199 with 3 bulbs and additional bulbs are available to purchase for $59 each.
A full list of what’s new in the update Philips Hue app is below:
What’s New in Version 1.1.0
– Geofencing feature: Scenes can now automatically turn on when coming home and turn off when leaving home
– Scenes can now be switched on or off using a timer between 1 and 59 minutes
– Alarms can now be set to recur in a weekly schedule and with a random offset for the start and end time
– Fades of alarms now start at the set time instead of ending at the set time
– Increased reliability of alarms
– Improved vibrant colors for LivingColors and hue lights and added support for LivingWhites
– When activating a scene the lights change at the same time synchronously
– Compatible lights can now be added to the system using their serial number
Jawbone, the company behind the Jawbone Up fitness tracking wristband and companion app, today is announcing some big news including a new API to allow other apps to access its fitness tracking data and the acquisition of competitor BodyMedia. The new API dubbed the “Up Platform” will see the company create its own app ecosystem of sorts, allowing other developers to access Jawbone UP data and integrate their apps to “complement your UP experience.”
To go along with the new API, Jawbone has already updated its UP iOS app with a new side menu that allows users to share their data with integrated apps and the ability to “to seamlessly integrate new data into your feed, lifeline, and trends.”
Initially Jawbone has partnered with a number of fitness related apps including: IFTTT, LoseIt!, Maxwell Health, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Notch, RunKeeper, Sleepio, Wello and Withings. Here are a few examples of how Jawbone UP integration works with these third-party services:
-Log a run or bike ride with RunKeeper or MapMyFitness, and view your workout data in UP, including maps of your route, to see how last night’s sleep may have impacted your speed or distance.
-Step on your Withings Smart Body Analyzer and automatically import your weight into UP to track it in the context of how you sleep, eat and move, and get support from your UP teammates as you work toward your goal.
-Create IFTTT Recipes to receive nudges based on your UP activity, like texting you to go for a run if the weather is sunny, or tweeting at your workout partner when you reach 15,000 steps.
-Complete a workout with a live personal trainer in your home or hotel room using Wello, and log the workout directly into UP.
Devs can reach out to Jawbone here if they are interested in integrating their service with UP.
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.