First iOS 4 Multitasking Aware Apps Appearing in App Store

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPhone, iPhone OS

Apple has started approving updates for apps that support the new features of iOS 4. The most notable feature that requires explicit support is OS 4 multitasking. One particularly prominent app that now supports the basic iOS 4′s multitasking API is Dropbox, a file sharing/syncing tool.
Apple’s iOS has never supported multitasking in 3rd party applications. Apple has cited issues with performance and battery life as chief concerns with unrestricted multitasking. Instead, Apple has introduced 7 specific background services for IOS 4 apps that will allow them to continue tasks after a user switches away from them. These include:
- Background audio – Allows your app to play audio continuously.
- Voice over IP – Users can now receive VoIP calls and have conversations while using another app.
- Background location – Navigation apps can now continue to guide users who are using other apps
- Push notifications – Receive alerts from your remote servers even when your app isn’t running.
- Local notifications – Your app can now alert users of scheduled events and alarms in the background, no servers required.
- Task finishing – If your app is in mid-task when your customer leaves it, the app can now keep running to finish the task.
- Fast app switching – This will allow users to leave your app and come right back to where they were when they left – no more having to reload the app.
The most noticeable change that should be implemented in every iOS 4 aware app is “Fast app switching” which allows you to switch in and out of an application without restarting the app. Dropbox appears to support this feature. Critics will correctly point out that this isn’t really multitasking, but it’s just a start of the support of the new iOS features. More impressive uses of the multitaking API will include apps such as Pandora Radio and Skype.
Apple will be distributing iOS 4 to the public on June 21st.

iOS 4 Jailbroken Within a Day of First Release

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: iPhone, iPhone OS

A Gold Master release of iOS 4 (née iPhone OS) was seeded to developers yesterday. And the next iPhone’s software has been surprisingly accommodating to jailbreakers’ attempts to crack it wide open.
iPhone 3GS 4.0 GM Jailbreak
The current technique was finagled from existing jailbreak software (Pwnagetool, specifically) by msft.guy. On top of this prerelease hack, the iPhone Dev Team is claiming to have an unlock of their own nearly prepped for iOS 4 final, to be released within a month (presumably to coincide with the release of iPhone 4). In other words, come iOS 4′s official release, you should be able to jailbreak your handset—or at least your iPhone 3GS. (Nobody’s been able to test the exploit on an iPhone 4.
Instructions for trying the current jailbreak, for 3GS only, are available here, but it’s probably a bad choice: The final release of the software is set for the end of this month, at which point the jailbreaking process will likely be streamlined (and anointed by the Dev Team), and after which your jailbreak will last longer than a few weeks.

Warning: iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 2 Is Not a Toy

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 2 slipped into the iPhone Dev Center earlier, but unless you’re a developer and really need to test apps, it’s best to skip this extra buggy beta and just keep playing around with the first.
I realize that you’re curious—after all iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 1 was full of new features—but Beta 2 is a bit of a letdown. Aside from the annoying inability to take screenshots, Beta 2 actually left me struggling to do simple things—like using the Camera app.
For whatever reason, the Camera app freezes and doesn’t save pictures, the on-screen keyboard refuses to pop up when I want to add my email account to the phone, and third-party apps go nuts.
Yes, this is all expected with a beta build, but many of us are prone to putting such things on our devices for the sake of trying them out and discovering new features. When it comes to iPhone OS 4.0 Beta 2 though, skip that step unless you have to and just keep playing with the first beta.
Or let us risk our iPhones—and patience—to find the new features for you and leave your iPhone happy with a public OS build.

Apple Releases iPhone OS 4 Beta 2 and SDK to Developers

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPhone OS

Apple today released via the iPhone Dev Center its second beta version of iPhone OS 4 and the associated Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers to use in creating and updating applications. The initial versions of iPhone OS 4 and the SDK were released earlier this month alongside Apple’s media event to introduce the features of the next-generation operating system.
iPhone OS 4 will bring a number of new features, including various services supporting multitasking, email enhancements, and greater access for third-party application to built-iPhone functions such as calendars, photos, and camera controls. In all, Apple notes that iPhone OS 4 brings over 1,500 new APIs for developers to use in their applications.
Apple is expected to publicly release iPhone OS 4 to iPhone and iPod touch users “this summer”, although early models of those devices will not be compatible with the new OS and even some newer models will not be able to take advantage of all of the features. iPhone OS 4 will come to the iPad “in the fall”.

Apple Bites the Hand That Feeds it with New App Rules

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Adobe, App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch, Technology

Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
Apple has not been shy about publicizing its culture war with Adobe over the use of Flash on the iPhone or iPad platforms. Yesterday, Apple took the battle to a new level, though, by changing the legalese for the App Store to prohibit any apps not built solely on Apple’s proprietary Objective-C programming language.
The new iPhone Developer Program License Agreement includes the following text: “3.3.1–Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”
This is essentially checkmate in the chess match between Apple and Adobe (ADBE). However, checkmate comes at the end of a well-played match as a result of superior strategy and tactics. Apple’s move is more equivalent to throwing a tantrum, taking your chess board, and going home.
I understand this strategy. I see it on a regular basis in games between my young children and their friends. All of the kids can be playing with a ball and having fun, but if the other kids won’t play the game that the owner of the ball wants to play, or if the owner of the ball is not winning, that child will simply storm off and take the ball home with them.
It is effective, but there are no real winners. And, I am not sure how well the immature toddler tantrum translates as a business strategy. Ultimately, Apple’s decision to slam the door on alternate development platforms limits the potential capabilities of iPhone and iPad apps, and increases the effort developers need to invest in order to provide the same app across multiple platforms.
By banning Adobe, Apple may be biting the hand that feeds it, though. Apple and Adobe have had a symbiotic relationship that has been mutually beneficial. The Mac computer has always been perceived as a superior platform for graphic arts and design, and Adobe has provided the fuel to drive that engine with products like Photoshop and Illustrator.
Adobe is set to release CS5–its flagship Creative Suite product–next week. One of the key features of the new software is Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiler that enables developers to create an application in Flash, then package it for use on the iPhone–circumventing Apple’s lack of Flash support.
While restricting development to the Objective-C programming language effectively blocks Adobe’s flanking maneuver, and arguably helps Apple maintain the stability and consistency of apps with a minimum of effort, it also hinders what developers can achieve.
Facebook’s Joe Hewitt stated via Twitter “I’m upset because frankly I think Objective-C is mediocre and was excited about using other languages to make iPhone development fun again.”
Setting those considerations aside, Apple’s war with Adobe puts developers in a tough spot as well. Apple has managed to establish itself as the de facto App Store–meaning that it is virtually a requirement to at least create an app for the iPhone and iPad, but it is not the only platform.
Developers want tools that allow them to develop an app once, and repackage or redistribute it across multiple platforms such as Android, Windows Mobile, WebOS, PC, etc. Flash is fairly ubiquitous, so developers could create an app in Flash that would work across most platforms, then use the Flash-to-iPhone compiler to port it to the iPhone and voila!
Unfortunately, those compiled apps won’t ever see the Apple App Store because they violate the new rules. So, developers will have to create one app for the iPhone and iPad, and then develop the same app all over again for other platforms.
The move by Apple seems petty. There may be some benefit to Apple, but Adobe, app developers, and ultimately iPhone and iPad users all suffer as a consequence.

Steve Jobs Confirms Lack of Future Support for Original iPhone

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer, iPhone, iPhone OS

Just in case there was any doubt regarding Apple’s plans to not support the original iPhone with iPhone OS 4, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has now weighed in on the matter with one of his typically terse emails. MacStories reports that a Twitter user sent an email to Jobs asking about future support for the original iPhone, to which Jobs responded “Sorry, no.”
Apple’s preview page for iPhone OS 4 also omits compatibility for the first-generation iPod touch. The iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch (which includes the 8 GB model still available for sale today) will be compatible with iPhone OS 4, but will lack support for certain features such as multitasking. Only the iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch (and future hardware) will support all of the features of iPhone OS 4.

Apple: Multitasking coming to the iPhone this summer, iPad in the fall

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

One of the biggest criticisms leveled at the iPhone and the iPad — that it can’t run third-party apps in the background — will be fixed at last (partially, anyway), with a little help from iPhone software 4.0, Steve Jobs announced Thursday. The major OS revision will arrive this summer for the iPhone, while iPad users will have to wait until the fall.
The new iPhone software will pack in more than 100 new features, Jobs promised, including (besides multitasking) a unified email inbox, support for Apple’s new iBookstore, a social gaming network, a series of interface enhancements (such as app folders and wallpapers for the home screen) and — yep, it was bound to happen — a new, Apple-controlled mobile ad framework, with Apple set to keep a generous 40 percent of future ad revenue for itself.
Without further ado, then, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:
Multitasking
Here’s how it’ll work: If you’re running an app on the iPhone — anything from the core Mail app to, say, a game like Tap Tap Revenge — you just double-click the Home key to pull up a small window shade at the bottom of the screen, which can show four apps at a time (just swipe to scroll through more running apps). Tap an app in the new multitasking “dock” and you’ll switch to the app, with the first app’s state saved in the background.
So, will all these apps actually be running in the background? Well, no (if they did, they’d slow iPhone performance to a crawl and eat up battery life, Jobs said). That said, Apple will be allowing a few selected processes to run in the background, including music, VOIP, and location-based apps.
For example, Pandora will still play music while you’re browsing on Safari (you can even pause Pandora or skip tracks using the iPhone’s “lock” control bar), you’ll be able to answer and maintain VOIP calls (think Skype and the like) while you’re working in other apps, and location-aware apps like Loopt will be able to track your location in the background via cell-tower triangulation. (An icon will appear in the iPhone’s top status bar to warn you if a background app is tracking your location; you’ll also get to tweak a series of new location-based privacy settings).
Universal e-mail inbox
Here’s a feature that’s been a long time in coming. Currently, iPhone users checking multiple email accounts have had to switch back and forth between those accounts to see their respective in boxes (a process that takes several more clicks than it should). With iPhone OS 4.0, however, users will at last get a single, unified in box, just like BlackBerry users have enjoyed since … well, forever. You’ll also be able to “fast switch” between accounts, sort messages by thread, and open attachments with a third-part app (nice). Also, good news for Exchange users: No longer will you be restricted to a single Exchange account.
Home screen enhancements
You know how the iPhone won’t allow you to select wallpaper for the home screen? (That’s the home screen with all your app icons, not the lock screen with the digital clock and the “slide to unlock” thingy). That’s all set to change once iPhone OS 4.0 comes out. You’ll also be able to create “folder” icons that contain a series of apps — say, for all your games — effectively boosting the number of apps that can be displayed on the iPhone’s home screen from 180 to more than 2,100.
Social gaming network
The Xbox 360 has Xbox Live, the PS3 has the PlayStation Network, and now the iPhone will have Game Center, a new social gaming system that’ll let you earn achievements, invite pals to your personal gaming network, compare top scores on leaderboards, and square off with other players via matchmaking. Third-party developers who’ve already set up their own social gaming networks for the iPhone (such as Gameloft and OpenFeint) aren’t gonna like this one bit.
A word from our sponsors
Plenty of iPhone apps already feature in-app advertisements, but Steve Jobs (unsurprisingly) thinks Apple can do it better — thus, iAd, a framework for dynamic new in-app, HTML5-powered ads that “deliver interaction and emotion” (I know, I know). Jobs showed off a series of demos, including a full-motion app for Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″ (shocker!), a Nike ad that lets you design your own shoe, and a Target ad that lets you set up your dorm room. Ads won’t pull users out of a running app, Jobs promised, and you’ll also be able to play videos, games, download wallpaper, and view maps from within the ad itself. Last but not least: Apple says it’ll split ad revenue with advertisers 60-40, with Apple keeping the 40-percent cut. Look who just got into the advertising business.
Other enhancements
Expect the iBookstore to come to the iPhone with OS 4.0, along with a series of enterprise enhancements (in-app encryption, wireless app deployment for an entire workforce, etc.) and support for Bluetooth keyboards.
Which iPhones/the iPad will be compatible with OS 4.0?
The iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod Touch will be fully compatible with the new OS, multitasking and all, Jobs said. If you have the iPhone 3G or the second-gen iPod Touch, they will run “many things” in OS 4.0, but multitasking won’t be one of them. Finally, the iPad will also be getting all the new OS 4.0 features — including multitasking — but not until this fall. Jobs didn’t mention the original iPhone or iPod Touch, nor did he mention a fee for iPod Touch users wishing to upgrade (as we’ve seen in the past).
What we didn’t get
No Flash support (just “no,” Jobs reportedly said). No status-bar notifications for new email or SMS messages (which already exist on WebOS and Android phones). And no mention at all of an iPhone for Verizon.

iPhone SDK 3.2 gone gold

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Development, App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

No, this has nothing to do with the Olympics or World Championships, but it is of equal importance to those who live and breathe Apple – paying members of Apple’s iPhone Developer Program can now access the Gold Master seed of the iPhone SDK for OS 3.2. What is the big hoo-ha for this, you ask? Well, for the uninitiated, this would be the maiden version of the operating system that offers support for the iPad that looks set to take the world (or at least, North America) by storm. Guess with this, we could be looking at a flurry of iPad apps coming our way sooner rather than later.

iPhone OS 4.0 Preview Event Scheduled for This Thursday

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Apple Inc, Developer, iPhone OS

Apple has sent out media invitations for a preview event scheduled for this Thursday, April 8th, to show off iPhone OS 4.0. The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time in the Town Hall on Apple’s Cupertino, California campus.
Reports of iPhone OS 4.0 features began to surface in January ahead of the iPad media event, but the software was not included in that presentation. At the time, claims of new multi-touch gesture support, multitasking, and a user interface refresh were making the rounds. Multitasking has been the focus of a number of subsequent reports, with a recent one noting that iPhone OS 4.0 will carry an implementation similar to that of Exposé in Mac OS X. Other rumored features include a unified inbox for multiple email accounts and the ability to place contacts directly on the home screen.
Evidence of iPhone OS 4.0 in testing appeared late last year, and the new operating system is presumed to be introduced alongside new iPhone hardware sometime in the June-July timeframe.

How To Develop A Simple iPhone App & Submit It To iTunes

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: App Store, Apple Inc, Applications, Developer, iPad, iPhone, iPhone OS, iPod Touch

The process to develop an iPhone app is not as hard or as simple as one might think. I am not a programmer, but wanted to see if I could teach myself how to develop an iPhone app. The news features all sorts of articles about kids as young as 9 that can make them. If they can do it, surely the rest of us can, too?
Like cooking, there is a bit of a process involved in “cooking” up an app. This article isn’t about your style of cooking, per se (i.e programming), but just the general steps necessary to get it from your head and into iTunes.
Creating an app isn’t entirely free, so it is important to know up front that, at some point in this process, you will be shelling out $99 (USD). Also, it is important to know up front that you will need to use a Mac at some point, and will need to use specific Mac-happy code to create your app.
Now that we have all seen the fine print, here are the exciting steps to app happiness!
Step 1: Craft A Brainy Idea
Have a unique idea for an app? There are, as you probably know, a trillion (OK, may not a TRILLION) apps out there. So what makes an app stand out? Why would anyone want to use your app? Why would they pay money for it if you are going to charge?
Be sure to check that there aren’t other apps that do the same thing that you are proposing. Or if you want to create something better than an app that already exists, think about how your idea will be better. Draw it out on paper or on the computer.
Step 2: Get A Mac
The iPhone is an Apple product and uses a variation of the Mac OS. Currently, the iPhone development tools are only available for Mac users (even though there is evidence of designing in jail break mode on a PC), but in order to get it up in the App Store, you will eventually need a Mac to get it there. You can buy a Mac mini relatively cheaply if you don’t have a Mac at your disposal.
Step 3: Register As An Apple Developer
To work with the Mac tools, you will need to become an official Apple Developer. Registration is free so you simply have to give them your information and agree to their terms. You only need to register once, and you are able to use the same username and password used for your iTunes account. Once you are an Apple Developer, you can develop iPhone apps for any of the Mac products.
Step 4: Download The Software Development Kit For iPhone (SDK)
Once you are an official developer, you can download the SDK for iPhone. The version you need depends on the OS you are currently running. This download is HUGE because it comes with all sorts of documentation, sample codes, and all sorts of things you will be glad to have later on. It could take a few hours, so you might want to start the download, put in a good movie, and wait.
ManiacDev is a really great site with TONS of information geared to both uber-newbies like me and tech gurus. Just start with the first video, watch and take notes as you go. Really and truly, these are the best tutorials I have found!
Step 5: Download XCode
If you don’t already have it, download XCode. According to Apple, “Xcode is a complete, full-featured IDE built around a smooth workflow that integrates the editing of source code, with the build and compile steps, through to a graphical debugging experience – all without leaving the view of your source code.” This is another huge download, so you might want to rent a second movie.
Step 6: Develop Your iPhone App With The Templates In The SDK
Once you have your app drawn out on paper or in Photoshop, you can start designing it with the templates provided in the SDK. This is where that HUGE amount of download time will be a huge benefit. You will have lots of templates to choose from, and there are a lot of great YouTube clip tutorials on how to use the templates effectively.
Step 7: Learn Objective-C For Cocoa
If you love programming languages, you will love Objective-C. If you don’t know how to program, this is the part that can get pretty sticky, so you might want to find a programmer friend or hire someone. It really does help to get a book, too, for reference.
Step 8: Program Your App In Objective-C
Once you at least understand the basics of Objective-C (or at least know how to find answers to programming questions), you are ready to program your app. It helps to take screenshots as you go along so you can remember what you tried. Some apps can take just a few hours to program while other Apps can take months. Only you know how much detail you want out there for its maiden voyage in the App Store!
Step 9: Test The App In The iPhone Simulator and on relevant devices
The SDK comes with a lovely iPhone Simulator. You will need to load up your app and do your own testing. You should try to work out as many bugs as possible and think about all the ways someone might use your app.
Step 10: Host A Bake Sale
Remember when I told you in the fine print that you would have to raise some cash? This is that moment. Sadly, loading an app into iTunes costs a one time member fee of $99 (USD). There is no way out of this fee, but you might earn it back in triplicate if your app is worthy! Truly though, you DO get a lot for your $99. For one, you get access to some of the coolest people on this side of Pluto!
Step 11: Have Others Test Your App
Once you pay your fee, you will be able to have others in the app community test your app and help you work out final bugs. This is a great community, and testing new stuff is lots of fun. If you are a newbie like me, you will be in awe of the kings and queens of geeky stardom. Depending on the nature and complexity of your app, this process can take some time.
Step 12: Submit Your App For Approval
After testing your app in the community and working out all the bumps, you can submit the app to iTunes for approval. You will be able to upload it right from the community. The process of approval can take some time, so be patient!
Step 13: Watch The Dough & Traffic Roll In!
If you created a paid app, just wait for the money to roll in to shore. If you created a free app, watch the traffic!

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