Xcode is the development environment that Apple supplies to the community for creating Mac and iOS apps. Those familiar with the tool will likely agree that working with previous versions have been nothing short of a love/hate relationship. After any update, Xcode’s quirks and crashes are never far behind, however it is one utility that Mac and iOS developers simply could not live without.
Xcode 6 brings exciting new features and enhancements including support for an entirely new programming language, improved view debugging, live view rendering, extensions, playgrounds, and more.
Following a media event in Cupertino and an official release date for iOS 8, Apple has now begun notifying registered developers that App Store submissions are open for iOS 8 apps.
Starting today, developers will be able to send their iOS 8-ready apps to Apple for approval; in addition, Apple has also confirmed that developers will be able to start using TestFlight for beta testing (at the moment, only for internal teams), create App Previews, and collect multiple apps in Bundles.
Make sure your apps take advantage of all the great new features in iOS 8, which will soon be available to hundreds of millions of customers around the world.
To prepare your apps for the App Store, download and build with the iOS 8 and Xcode 6 GM seeds from the iOS Dev Center. With these latest seeds, Swift is now final and you can submit your iOS apps written with Swift to the App Store.
iOS 8 adds hundreds of new features such as extensions, custom keyboards, iCloud Photo Library, new group messaging options, and a new Health app. It will be released next week on Wednesday, September 17th.
For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.
Is your app ready for iOS 8? Have you updated it and added all the great functionality iOS 8 provides? That sounds great, but what should you do next? There are a few helpful (I hope) tips that I’m going to share.
Solid series of tips by Readdle's Denys Zhadanov.
I'll add these:
- Use Tokens for promo codes;
- Get in touch with the press early to give them (us) time to properly test apps and prepare coverage;
- Consider Vine videos as a way to create easily shareable and digestible previews of new features in your app (see);
- If you're working on iOS 8 extensions, get in touch with other developers and try to figure out possible bugs together.
Last night, Apple launched the redesign of the iTunes Connect developer portal first previewed at WWDC in June. With an iOS 7-inspired design reminiscent of web apps for iCloud.com, the updated iTunes Connect offers developers and content producers easier access to information about items they made available on the iTunes Store and App Store.
One of the most notable announcements at WWDC was Analytics, a new set of data that will allow developers to monitor how users are discovering their apps and using them; new analytics will be opt-in for users, who will be able to decide to share anonymous analytics data or not.
As noted by AppFigures on Twitter, Apple has posted a new webpage detailing common app rejections during the review process for the App Store.
Before you develop your app, it’s important to become familiar with the technical, content, and design criteria that we use to review all apps. We’ve highlighted some of the most common issues that cause apps to get rejected to help you better prepare your apps before submitting them for review.
At the bottom of the page, Apple lists the top reasons for app rejections in a seven-day period ending August 28, 2014.
Unsurprisingly, apps that exhibited bugs/crashes and that did not comply with the developer agreement were rejected, but the list also contains mentions of “less than very good” interfaces, apps with “screenshots not relevant to the App Store”, and apps with “icons similar to other apps”. All these are common traits of many apps that have been approved, not rejected.
Check out Apple's new webpage here.
Greg Pierce, the developer of Drafts, Phraseology, and Terminology, has written a post with his reasons for choosing CloudKit instead of other sync providers in iOS 8:
I’m glad choosing CloudKit removes the need for me to manage servers or engage another third party service to do so, but that is not why I chose it. I’m not afraid of servers.
Why am I willing to make these trade-offs for CloudKit, despite it’s limitations? Because, ultimately, developer perspectives aside, I felt it was the right choice for my customers.
AgileBits explains what the 1Password extension for iOS 8 will be capable of:
- Access their 1Password Logins to automatically fill your login page.
- Use the Strong Password Generator to create unique passwords during registration, and save the new Login within 1Password.
- Quickly fill 1Password Logins directly into web views.
If you're a developer working on an iOS 8 app that includes user registrations and logins, I strongly recommend considering the upcoming 1Password extension. The integration with the OS and the main 1Password app is incredible, especially if you're used to the limitations of iOS and the things you're not supposed to have on an iPhone or iPad.
The fact that the extension will also offer a password generator is a solid incentive to implement it – you'll give 1Password users a way to easily retrieve and create secure passwords within the context of your app. This is one of the most exciting changes coming with iOS 8 (and there will be many).
For a technical read, check out this post from AgileBits' blog.
Brianna Wu, writing for Macworld last week:
But it’s very hard for me to reconcile this consumer-facing Apple with the development company that put no women on stage this year for either the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote or the more-technical State of the Union. It’s difficult to connect this Apple I know and trust with the endless sea of white, male faces I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens during this year’s WWDC Bash. Women buy Apple products. We develop on Apple hardware. But we’re still not yet well-represented in Apple’s developer community.
We, as a community, need to keep talking about this and then act on it, because the future needs to be better. Also from Brianna's article:
Getting women into entrepreneurial positions is also critical. My own company, Giant Spacekat, has quickly risen as a powerful voice for women in game development. Not only am I in a position of industry credibility, I’m able to speak to my experiences, to hire women and advocate for other women. There need to be more Giant Spacekats in the industry.
Much has been written about being an indie developer on the App Store recently, with not much of it positive.
I think this experiment has shown us a few really important things.
Since last year, I've continued to follow Stuart's experiment with great interest. While not indicative of the indie app market as a whole, his experience can be useful to understand the impact of In-App Purchases, pricing experimentation, and cutting down on non-development or design costs, such as customer support, through the built-in AppbotX service (our coverage). Stuart's app has reached almost 2 million downloads and $60,000 in revenue.