Apple has just published a list of App Store improvements that will begin to go into effect next Wednesday, September 7th. The changes seek to remove broken and forgotten apps from the App Store, apps that are currently breaking App Store review guidelines, and that are just no longer functional.
The notice to developers today indicates that Apple will begin reviewing and removing non-functional apps on September 7th within all categories from the App Store. Apps that automatically crash on launch will be immediately removed from the App Store, but other apps will have 30 days to submit an update to keep the app within the store. Apple makes it clear that apps that are removed won’t lose functionality for users who currently have it installed, but future customers will no longer be able to search for it.
In preparation for the coming culling, Apple suggests developers read the latest App Store Review Guidelines and confirm that all current apps follow them. Apple recommends that developers continue to address overall functionality issues within the app and to update it regularly. Most interestingly, they explicitly state that if an app is no longer being updated, developers should consider removing it from the App Store.
App Store developers today also received emails re-iterating the upcoming changes, alongside an additional indication that shorter app names will also be a focus. Generously used with apps that look to spam search keywords and overtake similar apps, Apple is now discouraging the use of lengthy names. Apps submitted to iTunes Connect will now be limited to 50 characters. As of now these spammy names usually include descriptions and terms not relevant to the applications or user. Developers looking for some help in this area can read the App Store Product Page for more information.
These changes should help curb some of the spam and abandoned applications that currently resides in the App Store. It isn’t uncommon now to download an app and see that it still hasn’t been updated to support the new iPhone 6 (or even iPhone SE) resolution, or that it just crashes within its main functionality. The new naming limitations will also hopefully hamper development farms that create keyword-related app titles looking to copy the success other top-grossing applications. Unfortunately, Apple’s update today doesn’t indicate that it will retroactively adjust apps with absurdly long titles.
But the company could still license out the technology to other phonemakers.
Google’s big plans for Project Ara might never pan out. According to Reuters, the big G has decided to shelve its modular phone initiative. Earlier this year, the company said it will be releasing a developer phone with interchangeable components in the fourth quarter of 2016 ahead of a consumer version scheduled for 2017. Alas, that might no longer happen.
Mountain View is reportedly suspending Ara “as part of a broader push to streamline the company’s hardware efforts.” It’ll be tough releasing a consumer version of a phone with interchangeable components, after all, even though the latest prototype isn’t as customizable as Motorola originally envisioned. The company will have to manufacture not just the units themselves, but also the modular speakers and cameras that people can swap out.
Those same sources said Google’s modular phone dream might not be completely dead, though. The company could still license out Project Ara’s technology to other phonemakers, which could eventually and finally release a version we can buy.
Version 4.0 is all about maximizing your ability to “glance and go.” We worked hard to make sure your Pebble helps you get information quickly and act faster than ever before.
All current users can update their Pebble apps to 4.0 from Google Play or the iTunes App Store. Pebble Time, Time Steel, and Time Round users can update their watches to 4.0 from the Pebble app: Menu » Support » Update Your Pebble.
Built for Speed
Pebble 4.0 is laser-focused on delivering quick, rich glances that let you get things done fast, like speedier system animations that improve the overall experience.
Favorite Pebble apps are just a press and hold away with the updated 4-Button Quick Launch. Assign favorite apps to the Up, Down, Back, and Select buttons to get going.
The mobile apps for iPhone and Android get in on the action as well. The Pebble 4.0 apps keep you on track and make managing your Pebble watches, faces, apps, and notifications a breeze. The new look and feel brings fresh colors, cleaner layouts and menus, and zippier performance.
Pebble Firmware 4.0 Release Notes
We’ve remade Pebble Health, Timeline, and the Pebble interface to fit your “glance and go” lifestyle. Get info quickly. Act faster than ever. Update your watch and app to version 4.0 to unlock all the new features. To update your watch, select Menu » Support » Update Your Pebblefrom the Pebble smartphone app.
All-New Pebble Health App. Press Up from your watchface to review your Pebble Health activity and sleep. Enjoy redesigned cards for quick glances at your current step and sleep performance. Press Right from each activity to dive deeper into your historical performance data.
Timeline with Quick Views. Press Down from your watchface for current and future views of your personal Timeline. Gaze up to three days into the future. Enjoy Quick Views—peeks at what’s coming up next—from your watchface. Press Down on a Quick View to see more about it, or press Back to dismiss it.
Better, Faster Launcher with App Glances. Press Select from your watchface for a new Launcher menu that’s built for speed. The banner design shows more items at once. App Glances show preview info without even opening an app.
4-Button Quick Launch. Your favorite Pebble apps are just a press and hold away from your watchface. Assign a Quick Launch favorite to the Up, Down, Back, and Select buttons and blast off.
Built for Speed. New system animations make the overall watch experience faster.
Compatibility. Pebble Firmware 4.0 works with Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, Pebble Time Round, and the upcoming 2016 Pebble lineup (Pebble 2 and Time 2). Version 3.12.2 remains the most current firmware for Pebble Classic and Pebble Steel at this time.
Apple today sent out media invites for an iPhone-centric event that will be held on Wednesday, September 7 at 10:00 am at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California. Media invites (via The Verge) offer up a first look at the theme of the event and feature the simple tagline: “See you on the 7th.”
The fall 2016 event is expected to see the debut of the next-generation iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which are rumored to feature improved cameras, better processors, and improved water resistance, implemented through the removal of the headphone jack and the introduction of a new flush, pressure-sensitive home button. Both devices are said to look similar to the iPhone 6s, with the same general size and shape, but with relocated antenna bands that no longer span the back of the devices.
HacBook Elite is a fully-functional Mac running OS X – for 1/3 the price of a Macbook!
HacBook Elite ships with everything needed to start running the latest version of OS X. Once installed, OS X cold boots in 15 seconds and boots from sleep in 1 second.
Perfect for developing iOS, Mac apps
Dual-boot with Windows
Comes with iTunes, iMessage, App Store, etc.
HacBook Elite has the same hardware specs as a 2013 MacBook Pro, for 1/3
the price. Unlike Macs, it’s entirely customizable and upgradable after purchase
To clarify, HacBook Elite is a ready-to-run *kit* that doesn’t come with OS X installed. It ships with everything besides that (i.e. Laptop, compatible WiFi chip, charger, user-friendly guide to getting started, customer support, etc).
Stop hunching. Get your posture back. Portable, compact, height-adjustable & beautifully designed, this laptop stand is like no other.
Laptops are extremely versatile but ergonomically they’re not ideal. The longer we spend on them, the more we hunch over them, causing pain in our neck, shoulders and back.
The Tiny Tower is a beautifully crafted, portable and height adjustable laptop stand that can be used to create a really comfortable setup .. in the café, in the office, at home or wherever you are.
Tiny Tower adjusts your screen quickly and easily to the right height for you to work comfortably. Simply change the height at the push of a button. Over 3″ (8cm) of adjustment is available through 10 different height settings. The Tiny Tower folds down in under 10 seconds into a compact unit that’s easy to carry with you. To create the ultimate mobile workstation, use it with the Tiny Tote — our high quality zipped nylon pouch that carries your Tiny Tower, keyboard and mouse.
The Tiny Tower will reliably support both Windows and Mac laptops 11″ up to and including 15”. It will even support the Microsoft Surface and Surface Pro.
The Tiny Tower is truly versatile.
It can be used at a standing desk (please note that it’s not designed to replace a standing desk or worksurface).
The Tiny Tower supports Microsoft Surface natively and other tablets including the iPad provided they come with a self supporting stand.
Each Tiny Tower comes with a quality slide on protective sleeve.
Pattern is a simple, focused, drawing application for early stage design and ideation. It focuses on simple design tools rather than fancy brushes and effects. It is made for the iPad and iPad Pro.
Pattern is designed to let you ideate quickly, in a way that truly takes advantage of the iPad and iPad Pro. It is not meant to replace desktop software, but rather be an additive tool to help designers get their ideas out more quickly.
By using gestures to draw, create shapes, and erase, Pattern allows you to spend more time drawing, and less time switching between modes.
Making shapes as easy as possible was a priority given how important this is to storyboards and wireframes. The shape tool works by simply pinching the canvas to snap shapes to the grid.
Drawing is accomplished with your finger or Apple Pencil, allowing you to switch seamlessly between shapes and freehand drawing.
With an Apple Pencil connected, the user has the option to use their finger as an eraser. This allows you to simply slide your finger over the canvas to erase, just as you would on a whiteboard.
Couple all this with an adjustable dot grid and Pattern becomes an extremely fast and precise drawing tool.
Fast and precise gestural shape tool.
Full Apple Pencil support.
Four dot grid sizes for more accurate drawing.
Finger-as-eraser setting for Apple Pencil users.
Full orientation and multitasking support.
Export to Mail, Photos, Airdrop, iCloud, Dropbox and more.
Helpful, friendly & uniquely mobile – AIDO is the friendly home assistant you’ve been waiting for.
Aido is voice-activated, feels touch, recognizes familiar faces and objects, and connects with your smart home devices over Wi-Fi or pairs with the kit’s companion smart plugs in order to create the perfect home environment.
It also comes with an iOS or Android app that you can use to set things like patrol paths for Aido to complete while you’re out. The head even comes off so you can use it as a tablet.
Wild Weather is a terrific weather app for those looking for something a bit different than the common data overloaded weather app. The big feature of Wild Weather is its beautiful hand drawn illustrations that appear based on your location, the time of year, the weather, and the time of day. There are dozens of illustration, which are so beautiful, you’ll want to just stare at them–weather be damned! The app also does provide you with a five day forecast, a 24 hour outlook, and the ability to add multiple locations.
Stack is the other addictive game I’ve been playing this week. Stack again takes a minimalist design cue and has very simple gameplay: slabs float on screen, tap the screen to drop a slab in place. But if the next glad isn’t dropped perfectly on the previous one, whatever overlaps the edges will get cut off. See how high you can stack the slabs until there no room left.
Google Duo is Google’s new free video chat app. It’s meant to take on FaceTime, but outdoes it in some areas. One such area is the app is available for both iOS and Android, so you can video chat with your friends no matter what kind of device they use. The app also has an innovative preview mode that allows you to see the video feed of a call before you decide to answer it.
This is only Nintendo’s second game for iOS and it’s already shot to the top of the charts. Pokémon GO is an augmented reality app that lets you go searching for Pokémon in the real world. Find them, capture them, and see them evolve before your eyes. What’s really cool is Pokémon appear near their natural habitats, so if you want to find water Pokémon go to a local lake or seaside in your area.
Moves is probably the best activity tracker I’ve found for the iPhone. It works with the iphone’s built-in motion coprocessor to easily show you how many steps or miles or minutes you’ve walked, run, or cycled each day. Activities are color coded in big circles. The bigger the circle gets the more you’ve moved. Moves also records your routes and keeps track of the places you go. The app has actually been around for years, but it’s recently gotten a ton of updates after languishing for a while.
Astronomers using ESO telescopes and other facilities have found clear evidence of a planet orbiting the closest star to Earth, Proxima Centauri. The long-sought world, designated Proxima b, orbits its cool red parent star every 11 days and has a temperature suitable for liquid water to exist on its surface. This rocky world is a little more massive than the Earth and is the closest exoplanet to us — and it may also be the closest possible abode for life outside the Solar System. A paper describing this milestone finding will be published in the journal Nature on 25 August 2016.
Just over four light-years from the Solar System lies a red dwarf star that has been named Proxima Centauri as it is the closest star to Earth apart from the Sun. This cool star in the constellation of Centaurus is too faint to be seen with the unaided eye and lies near to the much brighter pair of stars known as Alpha Centauri AB.
Guillem Anglada-Escudé concludes:
“Many exoplanets have been found and many more will be found, but searching for the closest potential Earth-analogue and succeeding has been the experience of a lifetime for all of us. Many people’s stories and efforts have converged on this discovery. The result is also a tribute to all of them. The search for life on Proxima b comes next…”