Launched earlier today, AppbotX is a new open source support and communications solution for developers of iOS apps and soon for apps on other platforms including Android, Windows Phone and Unity. AppbotX is designed as a library that can be built into any app, allowing developers to easily provide inline notifications, smart feedback forms, FAQs, version updates and review prompts. It is the natural evolution of the Appbot service which launched in 2012 and enables developers to keep track of user reviews of their apps.
We’ve delivered over 15 million reviews for more than 34,000 apps with Appbot. We understand the pain points app developers have, complaints and bad reviews lead to fewer sales and poor rankings for apps. Now we're launching AppbotX to solve communication problems mobile developers have with customers.
AppbotX looks to be a huge time saver for developers who want to implement better support mechanisms within their apps but don't want to spend the time and expense of developing it themselves. I should caveat that statement by noting I'm not a developer, but even as a user the functions that AppbotX enables seem great. In particular I really like the idea of inline notifications that would allow a developer to send notifications to their users if there is a critical bug, server downtime or other important news. Because it runs on AppbotX's servers, those notifications will still get to the user even if the developer's servers are down.
Launched by Story & Pixel on Kickstarter today, “App: The Human Story” is a documentary based on a theme that's extremely dear to me and, I believe, to MacStories' readers: the story of apps and their cultural impact over the past seven years.
By highlighting what “it means to be human in a world of technology”, the documentary doesn't simply want to focus on the evolution of the App Store and iOS devices – rather, Story & Pixel (who are Jake Schumacher and Jedidiah Hurt, with Adam Lisagor as executive producer) aim to document the human effort, the stories, and the voice of people who craft software. And not just any computer software, but the cultural and economic phenomenon of the decade – the app.
Version 4.0 of The Iconfactory's tool for measuring, inspecting, and testing layouts and graphics on OS X has been released today, adding powerful new features for designers and developers.
We've covered xScope on MacStories before, and the new release adds an Overlay feature to check alignments and mockups over a browser (useful when working on responsive designs) and a Text palette to “search, decipher, and reformat text and character glyphs”. xScope works with Retina displays and many of the app's existing functionalities have been redesigned and updated to have faster performance, more flexibility (just take a look here), and Yosemite support.
I'm no designer, but I've used xScope before and I know it's a solid app; I've downloaded the trial from The Iconfactory's website, and the changes in this version look fantastic. For a limited time, you can get xScope 4.0 at $24.99 (50% off) on the Mac App Store.
One of the many announcements from Apple’s last week was Metal, a new low-level framework for creating GPU-accelerated advanced 3D graphics while reducing CPU overhead. In short, Metal is a technology that will grant game developers bare-to-the-metal access to squeeze maximum performance out of the A7 processor for better graphics.
Apple will provide an easier and integrated way to create screencasts for iOS apps with the upcoming iOS 8 and Yosemite software updates, using a Lightning cable and QuickTime Player on OS X. As reported by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac, the feature is primarily meant to let developers create App Previews for the improved App Store launching with iOS 8, but it’ll also come in handy for users willing to capture videos of iOS apps for screencasts, reviews, and other video content.
From the Tokens blog:
Originally launched in 2012, Tokens lets developers generate promo codes from iTunes Connect easily, without logging into the website using a browser. The app can keep track of codes that have been redeemed by users, and, personally, I'm always happy to come across Tokens links as they instantly open iTunes' redeem page and I don't have to copy & paste anything.
The new Campaigns feature sounds interesting and easier for developers to keep track of, and I like the idea of Passbook support for WWDC. With the update, Tokens is also getting a new pricing model and different limitations in the trial version. You can read the details here.
There’s no denying that WWDC 2013 was one of the most exciting in recent years - however, for all the new technologies Apple announced the thing that struck me most - the thing that excited me most as someone building things for the Apple ecosystem - was a single phrase in many of the sessions: “Also available on the Mac”.
A thoughtful article by Nik Fletcher, who takes a look at the state of developer technologies for iOS and OS X. Better developer tools typically equal less time spent working around OS limitations or outdated web interfaces, resulting in leaner development workflows, more apps, and faster updates – which is what everybody wants. Nik offers some great suggestions.
As first noted by 148apps' Jeff Scott and reported by MacRumors, EA has launched a campaign to redeem promo codes for In-App Purchases on the App Store for Real Racing 3, a racing game for iPhone and iPad. The campaign runs through August 1, 2014, and it lets customers download "free gold" for the game that would otherwise be available at $1.99 on the App Store. Read more
Following OS X, iTunes, and Podcasts for iOS, Apple released a long overdue update to the iTunes Connect app today, bringing a new iOS 7 design and wider support for media sold on the iTunes Store.
If you're a developer or content creator, you can now enjoy a redesigned app (nothing special, but nice icon) and view stats for music, movies, and TV shows available on iTunes.
iTunes Connect 3.0 is available on the App Store.