But how are we going to know Apple has finally fixed iCloud syncing for developers and is really serious this time? And I’m not just talking about Core Data syncing, I’m also talking about the APIs developers are given to push document data back and forth. The broken stuff, the things developers laugh at Apple about and have given up on.
Here’s my short and inconclusive list of things that will let us know iCloud might be ready for real world developer use.
Gus has been trying to work with iCloud for VoodooPad since 2011. Some of the features he proposes have been requested by developers for over a year now.
I don’t think that “the Dropbox way” is a panacea for Apple’s syncing woes with third-party apps, but I do believe developers should get new tools, improvements, and fixes for iCloud.
The initial release of CriticMarkup included a preprocessor for Marked 1.5+, but given the uncertain release date of the next incarnation of Marked, I wanted to make it work with the standard custom processor feature of Marked 1.4. A few adjustments to the existing script and one dependency later it’s good to go.
I use CriticMarkup whenever I need to track changes in a MultiMarkdown document. I launch Marked (from Sublime Text 2) on a daily basis to preview my articles and generate HTML, so it’s good to know the two systems can work together now.
A collection of 10 DRM-free Evernote screencasts by my friend Bradley Chambers. I watched the videos, and I think Bradley did a good job in providing a general overview of Evernote, as well as offering some useful tips on how to use it on OS X and iOS.
Also new in iTunes 11.0.3 is an update to the app’s AppleScript dictionary that adds support for controlling AirPlay speakers. The AppleScript additions contain several options: you can check on an AirPlay device’s name, activity, availability on the network, kind (computer, Apple TV, other AirPlay device, etc), network address, and even if it supports audio or video.
This is a particularly welcome addition as it has been requested by users willing to script iTunes’ speakers for years now. Previously, the best option was to rely on GUI scripting to enable/disable speakers; as I wrote in December, it’s good to see Apple is still actively supporting AppleScript on OS X.
When updates are available, iTunes 11.0.3 will display a red “Update” ribbon on an application’s icon, similarly to how iOS displays a blue ribbon for “New” apps on the Home screen. In iTunes 11.0.3, updates are handled by the Updates area without requiring users to open the iTunes Store anymore.
After the launch of iTunes 11 in November 2012, the Updates screen remained surprisingly unchanged. The new app updates system is a welcome change — particularly because it doesn’t force users into an iTunes Store view anymore.
Update: Two more screenshots showing a contextual menu for apps that have an update, and the way iTunes 11.0.3 shows the changelog for an update with the same style of music albums.
Released in late November 2012, Apple today updated iTunes to version 11.0.3. The new version, available through the Mac App Store’s Software Update panel, brings a redesigned MiniPlayer, an improved songs view, support for multi-disc albums, and performance improvements.
The biggest change of iTunes 11.0.3 is the new MiniPlayer. Sporting a progress bar, the MiniPlayer now also comes with a larger artwork view that can be activated by clicking on the artwork thumbnail in the bottom left corner. The new artwork view will turn the MiniPlayer into a widget reminiscent of desktop music controllers like Bowtie and CoverSutra, with the usual controls to adjust volume, hide/view Up Next, and access an additional contextual menu. In the image above, you can see a composited screenshot of the new MiniPlayer views.
iTunes 11.0.3 is available now on Software Update and through Apple’s website.
Pixelmator 2.2 downloads have surpassed the previous record downloads and topped half a million making it the most successful release in our history,” said Saulius Dailide of the Pixelmator Team. “Also, the customer response to Pixelmator 2.2 is absolutely incredible. We’ve been overwhelmed by the 5-star reviews on the Mac App Store and the fantastic support we receive from our customers.
With a press release published this morning, Apple formally announced the 50 billion app download milestone they hit yesterday, alongside the name of the $10,000 App Store gift card winner and 50 billionth app download. The 50 billionth app was Say the Same Thing by Space Inch, downloaded by Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio.
Apple would like to thank our incredible customers and developers for topping 50 billion apps downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers. We’re absolutely floored to cross this milestone in less than five years.
In the press release, Apple quotes various developers, such as Shazam’s CEO, on the importance of the App Store and its evolution in the past five years.
The iOS App Store opened on July 10, 2008. After 1770 days, 50 billion app downloads make an average of over 28 million apps downloaded each day (28.2 million). Today, the App Store offers more than 850,000 apps (350,000 made for the iPad) in 155 countries, organized in 23 categories that span Productivity, Games, Newspapers, and more.
For the 50 billion app download contest, Apple has also offered a $500 gift card to each of the 50 people who downloaded an app after the 50 billion milestone.
It’s also obvious to us that iCloud and the implementation of it needs to be easier, and the service itself needs to be more reliable. Almost every studio we talked to had some trepidations or a horror story to share. Browse our message board, and you’ll find even more from users receiving the bad end of an iCloud problem.
Today, Google announced Google Play Game Services, a set of APIs to enable cross-platform gaming features like saved game states, leaderboards with Google+ support, achievements, and automatic player matches with real-time multiplayer. There is a native SDK for iOS and Android, REST APIs and various libraries for the web.
WWDC ’13 is less than a month away, and it’s safe to assume Apple will show new developer tools for iCloud and Game Center. It’ll be interesting to see if “Sign In with Google+” buttons will start showing up in iOS games in the next few months.