Categories
Apple Apps

Dark Sky Weather Gets a new Home

There are some apps that are absolutely stand out on iOS. A few come to come, including PCalc, Overcast, and Carrot, just to name a few. Another one is the Dark Sky app. Dark Sky has been purchased by Apple.

Today we have some important and exciting news to share: Dark Sky has joined Apple.

Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy.

There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.

What happens to our existing products?

iOS App

There will be no changes to Dark Sky for iOS at this time. It will continue to be available for purchase in the App Store.

Android and Wear OS App

The app will no longer be available for download. Service to existing users and subscribers will continue until July 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down. Subscribers who are still active at that time will receive a refund.

Website

Weather forecasts, maps, and embeds will continue until July 1, 2020. The website will remain active beyond that time in support of API and iOS App customers.

API

Our API service for existing customers is not changing today, but we will no longer accept new signups. The API will continue to function through the end of 2021.

As part of this transition, use of Dark Sky by Apple is subject to the Apple Privacy Policy, which can be found at apple.com/privacy.
Thank you!
To our customers, family and friends, we are grateful for your support over the past eight years. We look forward to continuing to build great products, so stay tuned…

The Dark Sky Team

Apple purchasing the Dark Sky app makes complete sense. The weather app that is currently available on iOS works, however, it has not seen that many additions in the past few years and has remained largely unchanged since it’s initial release of the iPhone.

The acquisition of the Dark Sky team can mean some significant improvements not only on iOS, but also on macOS where macOS could get its own weather app.

One of the reasons why users used Dark Sky was not only the design of the app, but also due to the privacy stance of Dark Sky. They did not need access or attempt to gather information. It is a loss for the independent app development community, but it will be a great asset for all iOS users overall.

Furthermore, the API will remain up until the end of 2021,, which is more than generous, but somewhat unsurprising because so many other places rely on the Dark Sky weather APIs. Those who have signed up will be able to continue to use them, but nobody else can sign up.

I really hope Apple maintains the API for others to use, even if there is a minor fee. It may only be a subset, of the APIs available within the Dark Sky app itself.

Source: Dark Sky

Categories
Apple Apps

iTunes Connect iOS app Going Away

It is not often that I log into the iTunes Connect App, but I decided to do so this morning and noticed a message on the app. “Starting March 20, 2019 iTunes Connect for iOS will no longer be available. To continue managing your content, use the iTunes Connect website.” Before I delve into my thoughts, a brief history of the iTunes Connect app.

Brief History

There are a variety of different services that Apple provides to publishers, depending on the types of media that are published. Prior to 2008, a majority of iTunes users, including myself, were not aware of how items were added to the iTunes Store. In 2008 Apple unveiled the iTunes App Store, which allowed developers to submit their applications to the iTunes App Store.

On June 11th, 2010 Apple released a new iOS application that would allow authors, music publishers, movie publishers, and developers to manage their content, look at purchases of their apps, and get reports all from their iPhone or iPad. This had been the status quo until 2010. On June 4th, 2018 at their World Wide Developer Conference, Apple announced a brand new site for developers to manage all of their apps, titled App Store Connect. At the same time they also released a new iOS app, similarly named App Store Connect. When the app was released developers could no longer log in to iTunes Connect App.

My Thoughts

I cannot say that I am surprised that the App is going away. It has been neglected and not maintained. For instance, if you look at the screenshot above you will see that it does not take advantage of all of the screen sizes. The last update of the app was on June 21st, 2018. According to the release notes it “includes minor improvements”. The update prior to that was October 31st, 2016.

It would have liked to have seen Apple improve the app, but my guess is that its usage significantly dropped after the introduction of App Store Connect, since developers has a newer and better maintained app that provided functionality that better suited the needs of developers, which are inherently more complex.

Along with dropping usage, the iTunes Connect website is responsive, so it will work on any iOS device via a web browser. The removal of the app also means that there is less to maintain and if more users are using the iTunes Connect website it is better to maintain that, because it will impact more users. Along with this, the iTunes Connect website has more functionality than the app.

Categories
Apple Apps Mac

A Couple of Milestones for Apple

A couple of milestones occurred today. The first milestone is that Office 365 has made its way to the Mac App Store. From Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller

Apple and Microsoft have worked together to bring great Office productivity to Mac users from the very beginning. Now, with Office 365 on the Mac App Store, it’s easier than ever to get the latest and best version of Office 365 for Mac, iPad and iPhone.

With Office 365 you get access to Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, One Note, and One Drive. Additionally, you can purchase a subscription right from within any of the apps. Subscriptions are priced at $69.99 per year for a single user, and $99.99 for up to six users.

PowerPoint on a Mac Laptop

The second milestone is for a product that has been around a bit longer than Microsoft Office, but can run Office 365, that product is the Macintosh. 35 years ago today, on January 24th, 1984, Apple introduced one of its more influential products, the Macintosh. While it may not the most popular, it is still one of the iconic devices of today’s modern world. Without the Macintosh a number of today’s technology may not be available.

Happy Birthday Mac!

Categories
Apple Apps

Mac App Bundles are now available

Today Apple made developers aware that they can now create bundles for Mac Apps. Beginning with iOS 8 developers could create bundles of their iOS apps. You can bundle up to 10 iOS apps into a single bundle. Bundled Apps are now available for Mac Apps.

Mac App Bundles can also include 10 apps into a single bundle. The apps in the bundle can be either paid apps or free apps with auto-renewable subscriptions. App Bundles cannot combine both iOS and Mac Apps, they must all be apps for the same platform.

It is possible that iOS apps and macOS Apps may be bundled together in the future, but we will have to wait until Apple announces that to become a reality.

Categories
Apps

Introducing wwrite 4.0 and wwriteLite 4.0.

When the iPad was announced in March 2010, I immediately had an idea for an app. As most apps tend to, it comes from the developer’s personal need for the app. In my case it was a note-taking app; specifically one that would allow you to use templates. Hence the creation of wwrite. In the first four years of the app, there were 11 releases; 1.0 to 2.1.3. If you have been following along with the site for a while, you may have noticed that my apps went on an unintentional hiatus from June of 2014 to May of 2017. Since May of 2017 there have been 4 releases, and now there is a fifth. In the entire history of the app there have been many changes, but the latest is the largest in history.

The biggest change that most people will notice is the icon. The icon has been completely redesigned, but it still hints at the original. If you do not like the new icon, do not fret, you can switch back the old icons. Along with the two icons there are also 13 additional colors to choose from. To coincide with the colors, the color on the controls will also change to a corresponding color. In some cases they are the exact same, in others they may be a different shade.

The other thing that users may notice is that the name of “wwriteFree” has been changed to “wwriteLite”. Even though the name has been changed, do not fret, it still has feature parity with wwrite. As with all past past updates, these are free updates for all users.

You can download wwrite or wwriteLite on the App Store.

wwrite 4.0 and wwriteLite 4.0 are significant updates and they include the following:

New Features
– All new icons.
– Added new “Auto Save” options, under “App Settings” that will automatically save your files. This is enabled on a file-by-file basis by swiping from right to left.
– Added Handoff between devices for files. The files in their current state are copied over to the receiving device.
– Added a “Review” button in the “About” screen.
– You can now choose your preferred App Icon. Also accessible by using the key combination command-i.

Locking files
– In order to lock any files you must have Face ID or Touch ID authentication enabled. This is available on a file-by-file basis and is enabled by swiping from the left on the file.
– You will be prompted to authenticate when opening a locked file, including after switching apps.
– Locked files cannot be handed off.
– Locked files cannot be deleted. You have to unlock in order to allow deletion.
– Locked files will not work with Drag & Drop.

Tweaks
– Requires iOS 12.
– Added Save Button to be shown all the time on all devices.
– Date and time formats now match the user’s chosen locale.
– Email Archives is now just “Archives”, with the ability to delete archives from the screen.
– Selected file now has a prominent border to be able to easily distinguish it.

Keyboard combinations
– Modified the “New From Template” keyboard shortcut (command-shift-n), to only be available when user has at least one template configured.
– Added command-e keyboard shortcut to email file.
– Added command-p key combination to print the current file.
– Added command-s key combination to save template when customizing it.

Bug Fixes
– Fixed FAQs button not working.
– Fixed issue with last file not always being loaded.
– Fixed bug if you were emailing archives, choosing a template to customize, or customizing a templates, minimized the app there was nothing you could do other than close the app.
– Fixed layout issue when customizing templates in landscape on an iPhone.
– Update zipping library to latest version.