Tag: App

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.

AirPlay 2 and iTunes Movies Coming to Smart TVs

At CES 2019, Samsung announced something that nobody quite expected, Apple’s Siri, AirPlay 2, and iTunes movies will be available on Samsung’s Smart TVs.

[Samsung] will offer iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support on 2019 Samsung Smart TV models beginning this spring. Support on 2018 Samsung Smart TVs will be made available via firmware update.

With Samsung Smart TVs getting support for AirPlay 2, users will be able to play their videos, movies, music, podcasts, and show photos on their Samsung Smart TVs without needing any additional hardware.

Also from the Samsung press release

iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will debut only on Samsung Smart TVs in more than 100 countries. AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung Smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide.

Apple has also updated their ≤a href=”https://www.apple.com/airplay”>AirPlay page with some additional information.

AirPlay 2–enabled TVs. Now that’s smart.

Leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TVs, so now you can effortlessly share or mirror almost anything from your iOS device or Mac directly to your AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV. You can even play music on the TV and sync it with other AirPlay 2–compatible speakers anywhere in your home.

Control it all with a tap.

Use the remote that’s always with you — your iPhone. Convenient built-in controls appear in apps, on the Lock screen, and in Control Center. So you can easily play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, and adjust the volume on your TV.

Put Siri in charge of your TV.

With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, you can use Siri on your iPhone to send a video to your TV.1 Better yet, ask Siri to play a specific show in a specific room.

It should be no surprise that Apple’s Remote app will work with Smart TVs for controlling the software. It should be noted that the Samsung TVs will be apps on the TV. If users already have an existing iTunes library, they will be able to browse their collection, rent, and purchase iTunes movies right from the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on their Samsung TV.

All of these features are coming soon. The fact that Apple is partnering with a television manufacturer does support that Apple is trying to become a services company. Along with this, it may also indicate that the video strategy for Apple will be shifting to offering video on more than just its own hardware. We do not know this for sure, but time will tell.

If you are in the market for a new television and you want to be able to integrate your existing AirPlay 2 items with your TV, the new Samsung TVs may be worth looking at.

Sources Apple and Samsung.

Minimum Requirements for iOS Apps

Technology, much like time, is an inevitable march in one direction. At least, it is unless we use technology to destroy our ability to create technology, but that is a whole other discussion. Similar to technology, from time to time Apple will change the minimum requirements for applications that are submitted to the App Store.

Starting in July 2018, Apple will be making a couple of things requirements. The first is that you have to use the iOS 11 SDK for all new applications as well as any updates. This does not mean that you cannot support older operating systems, but you must support iOS 11.

The second requirement is that any new applications, as well as any updates, must support the iPhone X’s Super Retina display. This means that you have to have graphics that are 3x resolution, as well as icons that are 3x.

These requirements are not only for iPhone only applications, but also apply to universal applications as well. Luckily for me, my apps already follow these guidelines. This is because I want my apps to work on all of the modern devices.

What this signifies, to me at least, is that there will be more Super Retina screened devices in the future.

wwrite and wwriteFree: Updates and Changes

The last app updates for wwrite and wwriteFree was in May of 2017. A bit more than five months ago. When I began doing the update then, I decided to go with a new model for my apps. wwrite remained a paid application and wwriteFree would remain free but would be an older version of the app. After some thinking, and reflecting, I have decided to change things around again with a different model.

wwrite will still remain a paid application, $0.99 and is ad-free. wwriteFree is the app that will see the change. Versions 2.1 and prior versions were ad-supported by using Apple’s iAd platform. Apple shut down the iAd platform in June of 2016, which prompted the update to wwriteFree to become ad-free. At the time that iAd was shutting down I looked into getting another advertiser. I would have gone with the juggernaut Google’s Adsense. However, this is not possible due to an issue I had with Google. I have looked into other advertisers, but due to the small nature of the app, and the website, none of them would allow me to use their ad service.

As I pondered the ratio of paid versus free downloads of my apps, (97% free versus 3% paid), I came to the conclusion that I did not want to exclude the larger portion of my user base from the latest features. In order to make sure they got the latest features, I have shifted the models again.

I have opted to go back to wwriteFree being an ad-supported. Ultimately, what I have decided to do is to go with custom first-party ads. Every ad that is shown in the app is determined by me. The ads that I will start off with are advertisements for my own e-books. I will likely be adding a wider variety of items in the future, but that is where I will start. This change means that the version numbers of wwrite and wwriteFree are now the same, with the only difference being the ads, which really is how I prefer the applications to be.

If you would like to advertise, get a hold of my by either direct messaging me on twitter or send an email to sales@waynesworkshop.com.

As for the changes in wwrite and wwriteFree, Here are the changes:

New Features

  • Requires iOS 11
  • Adds support for iPhone X
  • Support for drag and drop on the iPad
  • You can drop a text file, or text, onto the file or into the “File List” to import
  • You can drag text to and from the Files app or any other app
  • Navigation is now consistent
  • Adjusted Twitter support to use Safari

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that would hide the text of the file under the keyboard

wwrite and wwriteFree 3.1.0 are now available for download in the iOS App Store.

Apple Increases tvOS App Downloads

When Apple unveiled tvOS in October of 2015, they indicated that tvOS applications could only have an initial size of 200MB, but could download additional assets up to 2GB. This functionality was done through a method called “On-Demand Resources”, or ODR. The reason this was done was to allow the application to download quickly but still provide a way for tvOS applications to be more complex. For games, a prime example would be providing the first few levels of a game, and then downloading the remaining levels in the background.

Apple has changed the initial size of the application. Instead of previously being 200MB, it is now possible to have an initial application size of 4GB. These tvOS apps are still able to download additional resources, up to 20GB worth of resources.

Possible Reasons for the Change

There are likely a few reasons why Apple would do this. The first is likely due to many developers indicating that the limitation of 200MB is not enough. This could be due to users who have slower connections not being able to download all of the assets in enough time without having to wait anyway. Many users are accustom to having to wait for applications to download.

Alongside this, the increase may allow for a varying of application types to be developed for tvOS. The 200MB limitation may have deterred some developers from creating tvOS apps due to the limitation; despite On-Demand Resources being a viable option.

There is another possible reason. That reason might be to keep both tvOS and iOS in line, in terms of initial download size and the size limitation of On-Demand Resources. This is the more likely reason, given that iOS applications have a maximum size of 4GB, but can download additional On-Demand Resources.

Speculation

The last possible reason for this change is a wild one, but Apple could be attempting to begin to position the Apple TV as a gaming console. Not primarily as a gaming console, but angling it more as one. The motivation behind this thinking is that with tvOS 10, Apple has now allowed developers to require a gaming controller for their games. A possible side effect of this is that future Apple TV models may have larger options for storage.

With the size increase, the number of applications that can stored on a 32GB 4th Generation Apple TV would be reduced. If a user has six applications that are 4GB, the user’s Apple Tv would be nearly out of space.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the motivations of the size change, it will be a nice change for some users to be able to download larger applications and may ultimately lead to more tvOS applications being available, which would be a good thing for Apple.