Created by Vlambeer (the indie studio behind Apple Design Award winner Ridiculous Fishing, Luftrausers, and other games), distribute() is a new tool to help game developers keep track of a press list. From the website:
distribute() is modelled to save you valuable development hours you'd otherwise have to spend on distributing builds and maintaining press lists. Simply send out a distribute() link for your game to your press contacts, and distribute() will organise all required information into a neatly organised list the system manages and maintains for you. Furthermore, distribute() will simplify numerous public data sources into a simple Reach statistic to help you decide how to prioritise your press strategy for your new release.
There are several interesting ideas in distribute(), but this one struck me as a genius addition:
Verified press contacts help you avoid fake requests from video content creators or people pretending to be from larger websites or YouTube personalities. Verified press contacts are manually vetted and constantly updated to reflect the ever-changing games press landscape. Additionally, distribute() can be set to handle requests from verified accounts automatically, so that you can be sure esteemed members from the press can get access to your game as soon as you flip the switch.
Properly maintaining a press list is hard, especially if you have to focus on other aspects of launching a game on the App Store or other platforms. If you're a game developer, sign up for the distribute() alpha here. Vlambeer also made presskit(), a free tool to create press pages.
The new document picker and provider functionality in iOS 8 is exciting technology because it expands on the possibilities of what we are capable of doing with our devices. We are already seeing a flood of great apps integrating document pickers and extensions from developers like Dropbox, Panic, and Readdle. I recently had the need for the new UIDocumentPicker functionality so I decided to dive in and see what it takes to implement the feature. As it turns out, getting a basic implementation is extremely easy and only requires a few lines of code. Of course, this is well documented by Apple and seasoned developers will have no problems implementing a picker but for us noobs it helps to see the process laid out – so here is a brief walkthrough.
Apple today notified registered developers that Mac App Store submissions are now open for OS X Yosemite apps. Apple repeated its previous statement that Yosemite will be made available to customers "later this fall", but it may arrive as early as next week. By comparison, Apple notified developers to submit their OS X Mavericks apps last year on October 15, with Mavericks becoming available to customers a week later on October 22.
Add powerful new functionality throughout OS X Yosemite with app extensions, explore the innovative new Swift programming language, and take advantage of advances in game technologies, Safari, iCloud, and more. To prepare your apps for the Mac App Store, download and build with the OS X Yosemite GM candidate and Xcode 6.1 GM seed from the Mac Dev Center. With these latest releases, Swift is now final and you can submit your Mac apps written with Swift to the Mac App Store.
With the release of iOS 8 last week, Apple launched app bundles, a new way for users to buy up to 10 apps from the same developer with a single purchase at a discounted price.
Officially introduced at WWDC 2014 as a feature of the new iTunes Connect, bundles mark a significant change for Apple's App Store since its opening in 2008: for the first time, developers can market their apps through discounts that can be configured in iTunes Connect rather than organize independent promotions based on price drops; from a user's perspective, app bundles are reminiscent of Apple's Complete My Album feature of the iTunes Store.
Shortly after the debut of iOS 8, Apple created a special App Store page showcasing popular bundles for apps, games, and apps for kids. Bundles are easy to spot on the App Store: like folders on iOS, a bundle's icon is a container of apps inside the bundle, showing a preview of the first four apps included in the bundle; a special badge indicates the number of apps in the bundle; and, only paid apps from the same developer can be part of a bundle – you won't be able to find games from EA and Ubisoft or apps from Readdle and Runtastic in the same bundle. Since last week, Apple has been heavily promoting productivity bundles from Readdle and Pixite, games from Square Enix and Disney, and apps by Toca Boca and Diptic.
Following the launch of bundles, I've been talking to several developers who collected some of their apps in bundles, gauging their reactions to this new feature of the iOS 8 App Store and their thoughts on Apple's promotional push so far.
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.