Posts in news

iTunes Connect Shutting Down December 22 to December 29

In an email sent to iBooks publishers last night, Apple confirmed that iTunes Connect will shut down for a week from December 22 through December 29. While the email has been sent to registered iBooks Store publishers, Apple's annual iTunes Connect holiday shutdown will also affect iOS and OS X developers, who during that time won't be able to access iTunes Connect.

From the email:

From Monday, December 22, through Monday, December 29, 2014, iTunes Connect, iTunes Producer, and iTunes Connect for iOS will be unavailable.

During this time, you will not be able to access iTunes Connect, submit new books or book updates, or make price changes. You can schedule a book release or price changes to take place between December 22 and December 29. Just make sure that your changes are scheduled, submitted, and approved by December 18, to ensure your book remains available during this busy period.

For users, this means that no new apps, updates, or price changes will be available during the week. Developers who wish to release new apps and updates or price changes to apps or In-App Purchases will have to do so before the iTunes Connect shutdown.

Currently, Apple has only shared the 2014 iTunes Connect holiday shutdown dates with iBooks publishers; a developer update should be posted on the company's Developer News page soon.


Automatic: Your Smart Driving Assistant on Your Smart Phone [Sponsor]

There’s a mountain of data inside your car waiting to be unleashed, and all you have to do is plug in a quick little connector and download a mobile application.

Automatic is a smart driving assistant that plugs into your car's data port and lets you connect your smartphone (either iPhone or Android) with your car. By  talking to your car’s onboard computer and using your smartphone’s GPS and data plan to upgrade your car's capabilities, Automatic will allow you to easily diagnose your engine light, never forget where you parked your car, and save hundreds of dollars on gas.

Automatic learns your driving habits and gives you suggestions through subtle audio cues to drive smarter and stop wasting gas. Thanks to a map view available on your phone, Automatic can display a trip timeline after every driving session, showing you how you're doing with a Drive Score; the app can even track local gas prices and tell you how much you're spending.

In case of engine problems, Automatic can decipher what the "check engine" light means and show you a description of the issue with a possible solution. And thanks to a feature called Crash Alert, Automatic can detect many types of serious crashes and automatically alert local authorities as well as your loved ones when you can't.

Automatic is currently available in the US for iPhone and Android devices, with a 45-day return policy and free shipping in 2 business days. Automatic retails at $99.95 with no subscription fees.

MacStories readers can go to automatic.com/macstories to get $20 off and buy Automatic at just $79.95. For more information, check out Automatic's website.

Our thanks to Automatic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Sunrise 3.0 Brings Google Tasks and Eventbrite Integration, New iOS 8 Widget

I rediscovered Sunrise earlier this year, when I was looking for a calendar app that integrated with Todoist and offered a web app in addition to solid iOS clients. Sunrise, founded by Pierre Valade and launched last year, has quickly become one of the most popular free alternatives to the stock calendar apps on iOS and Android thanks to a polished design and integration with various web services such as Evernote, LinkedIn, and Songkick.

Read more


Automatic: Your Smart Driving Assistant on Your Smart Phone [Sponsor]

There’s a mountain of data inside your car waiting to be unleashed, and all you have to do is plug in a quick little connector and download a mobile application.

Automatic is a smart driving assistant that plugs into your car's data port and lets you connect your smartphone (either iPhone or Android) with your car. By  talking to your car’s onboard computer and using your smartphone’s GPS and data plan to upgrade your car's capabilities, Automatic will allow you to easily diagnose your engine light, never forget where you parked your car, and save hundreds of dollars on gas.

Automatic learns your driving habits and gives you suggestions through subtle audio cues to drive smarter and stop wasting gas. Thanks to a map view available on your phone, Automatic can display a trip timeline after every driving session, showing you how you're doing with a Drive Score; the app can even track local gas prices and tell you how much you're spending.

In case of engine problems, Automatic can decipher what the "check engine" light means and show you a description of the issue with a possible solution. And thanks to a feature called Crash Alert, Automatic can detect many types of serious crashes and automatically alert local authorities as well as your loved ones when you can't.

Automatic is currently available in the US for iPhone and Android devices, with a 45-day return policy and free shipping in 2 business days. Automatic retails at $99.95 with no subscription fees.

MacStories readers can go to automatic.com/macstories to get $20 off and buy Automatic at just $79.95. For more information, check out Automatic's website.

Our thanks to Automatic for sponsoring MacStories this week.


Microsoft Releases New Office for iPhone Apps, Makes Office Free for Mobile Users

Following the news of Dropbox integration from earlier this week, Microsoft has today announced new Office apps for iPhone with full creation and editing capabilities and changed the entire pricing model for Office on mobile devices (iOS and Android). Office for iPhone, iPad, and Android is now free for basic creation/editing/printing features for personal accounts (that includes the new Dropbox sync), but an Office 365 subscription will still be required for advanced editing features and business users (either on OneDrive for Business or Dropbox for Business accounts).

New Office for iPhone apps (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) have been released, bringing document editing features to smaller screens. MacRumors notes that the apps have been "designed with the existing iPad apps in mind":

All three apps take advantage of an innovative "vertical ribbon" that puts a full suite of editing tools right within thumb's reach at the bottom of the device's screen. Each individual app also has built-in tools to make the viewing experience more streamlined on the iPhone's Retina screen.

Some advanced features in the new iOS apps will require a paid Office 365 subscription: change tracking features in Word won't be available to free users, and the same will apply to Pivot Tables in Excel.

The Verge spoke with Microsoft about today's launch and pricing changes:

"It’s an extension of the strategy that we’ve got," explains Microsoft's head of Office marketing Michael Atalla. "It’s not a total strategic shift, as much of an extension of the existing strategy." Microsoft offers free Office apps online, and Atalla argues that recent development model changes inside Microsoft have allowed the company to open up editing functionality to mobile clients. "We’re taking that same user experience we provide online to the native apps of iOS and Android. We want to make sure that our customers can be productive across all the devices they have."

Microsoft's new Office apps for iPhone are available now on the App Store as version 1.2 and Universal updates.




Igloo: An intranet that actually works on your phone [Sponsor]

Work doesn’t stop when you leave your desk (although most intranet software will have you believe that).
 
With Igloo’s responsive design, your intranet can be fully optimized for almost any device you’re using. Manage tasks, share status updates, download documents — almost everything you can do on your desktop, you can do on your tablet or phone. It will even work on your new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Boom.
 
Plus, when you design your Igloo, any change you make to the look and feel carries across all devices.
 
Igloo is free to use with up to ten people. Sign up now to start building your mobile-friendly intranet.

Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.



Transporter: Your Own Private Cloud [Sponsor]

Transporter is your own private cloud for syncing, accessing, protecting, and sharing all your files across all your devices. A storage device that you control, Transporter starts at $99 with no monthly fees or other recurring costs and it doesn’t put your files on anyone else’s cloud.

Setting up a Transporter is easy: you create an account and create a folder on your Mac or PC to hold all the files you want to make available on multiple devices. Whether you choose the Transporter (in 500 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB variations) or the Transporter Sync (turn any USB drive into a Transporter device), your files will always be securely stored in your own private cloud that you can access with desktop and mobile apps. On OS X, unlike other sharing services, you can select any folder and set it up for syncing and sharing.

Transporter is great for storing any kind of file, especially private photos and videos. With the iOS app, you can automatically upload new photos and videos to your Transporter device, which can hold hundreds of GBs worth of media and securely share them with your friends and family. Your data is always encrypted during transfers to protect it against snooping, and images are always saved at full resolution from the iOS camera roll.

Alternatively, you can use your Transporter for work purposes and keep important documents and projects in a cloud that’s under your control. Last week, Transporter launched versioning, a feature that lets you save revisions of files automatically and restore them at any time. Think of it like Time Machine for Transporter files: it doesn’t consume too much space thanks to incremental versioning, and you can rest assured that you’ll never lose changes to a file.

Transporter lets you access everything you want, right when you need it. Find out more here.

Our thanks to Transporter for sponsoring MacStories this week.