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Apple

Apple Extends Deadlines for Developers

When Apple initially released iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, they had anticipated that they had provided developers enough time to comply with some requirements. These are:

  • Apps must be built with the iOS 13 SDK, and use a Storyboard for the launch screen
  • iPhone apps must support all iPhone screen sizes and iPad apps must support all iPad sizes
  • Apple Watch apps need to be built with the watchOS 6 SDK
  • Apps that support third-party sign-on services must also support Sign-In With Apple

Initially, Apple had wanted to have these in place by March 31st, 2020. However, due to Covid-19, many developers may not be able to accomplish this in the allotted time. Because of this, Apple has extended the deadline until June 30th, 2020.

If you are a developer, be sure to comply with these changes by June 30th, otherwise your app may get removed from the App Store.

Source: Apple Developer

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Apple Apple Watch watchOS

Developer Changes for In-App Purchases

When Apple introduced the ability to publish apps to the iOS App Store in 2008, it was a very different landscape from what we have now. Back then you had either apps that you published for free or ones that were paid up front. Now, free apps are far more common than paid up-front apps.

In 2010, Apple introduced a new product, the iPad, which allowed for more opportunities within the App Store. With the introduction of the iPad you had two options, create a universal app, one that would work on both the iPhone and the iPad, or create two separate apps; one built for each platform.

While the possibility to build two distinct apps remained for a while, the introduction of the Apple Watch and the Apple TV have made the idea of creating distinct apps for each platform a bit harder to accomplish. The interfaces should be tailored for each platform, but the app itself would likely be shared amongst iOS and iPadOS.

Last year with the introduction of macOS Catalina, there was a new way to distribute your existing iOS apps, to macOS, through a project called Catalyst.

With free apps there are a number of different strategies for supporting free apps. These can be, ad-based, subscriptions, or in-app purchase. It has become more and more common for the latter two of these to be used. With in-app purchases, if you built an application for both iOS and macOS, using Catalyst or native frameworks, you would have to create two different in-app purchases, because they could not be shared between the platforms.

With the introduction of iOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4 you will

be allowing customers to enjoy your app and in‑app purchases across platforms by purchasing only once. You can choose to create a new app for these platforms using a single app record in App Store Connect or add platforms to your existing app record.

This is a huge change for the App Store and the distribution of apps in general. Users have been requesting the ability to purchase an app once and have it work on all of their devices. While this works for users, this can have some implications for developers.

Developer Implications

While the option to distribute a single application to all of the platforms is optional, it is likely something that users will quickly come to expect from developers. Yes, there are tools like Catalyst for macOS, it is still not at its full maturity in terms of having iOS apps ported to the Mac look and behave like native macOS apps that use AppKit.

This can have some ramifications for the developer. The first being that this can easily cut into profits for a developer. For larger companies, this may not be a big problem, but for the smaller independent developers this can have a huge impact.

With the pressure to make your application available on all platforms, and in-app purchases being good across all platforms, this will likely reduce the income for developers.

There are some developers who have wanted to have universal in-app purchases available because they want their users to be able to have the same experience on all platforms, plus users also question why they have to make the same purchase on multiple platforms. Therefore, this will be a great addition for both users and developers.

In-App Purchases on watchOS

Starting with watchOS 6.2, developers will be able to provide in-app purchases directly from watchOS. This will have a huge benefit to the watchOS platform as developers will not need to have users use their paired iPhone to perform in-app purchases, but instead have it possible to purchase them directly on the Apple Watch. This should provide a better experience for Apple Watch users and the in-app purchase workflow.

Closing Thoughts

While the addition of universal apps as well as universal in-app purchase will create a better experience for users, it could have some ramifications for developers in that they will be expected to support universal in-app purchase, which developers may want to do, as well as supporting universal app purchase, which may reduce their income.

I cannot say that this is not altogether unexpected, because it is something that both users and developers have been asking for for a while. It may take some time for applications to come to support universal in-app purchases as well as universal app purchases. This should be available starting with iOS 13.4, macOS 10.15.,4, tvOS 13.4, and watchOS 6.2.

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Apple

Apple Updates its WWDC App

Today Apple announced that they are updating their WWDC app. There are three major changes. These are the name, a new WWDC tab, and in-app purchasing. Let us start with the name.

The WWDC app is now known as the Apple Developer app. One can This app’s name is definitely more befitting given the next feature, the WWDC tab.

The WWDC tab is a new tab that encompasses what was previously the entire WWDC app. This includes WWDC schedules, your favorites, lab schedules, and WWDC sessions.

The last new feature is the ability to enroll in the Apple developer from right within the app. This is done using an auto-renewing subscription within the app. Initially, the subscription feature is only available within the United States, but will be rolling out to more countries over time. Apple does have a step-by-step tutorial on how to enroll using the app.

if you already have an account you can log in. The ability to be able to enroll in an Apple Developer account will make it much simpler for developers to be able to enroll in the Apple developer program, without needing to go through the Apple developer site.

Hopefully, this is only the start to new features being added to the Developer app.

Source Apple Developer

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Apple iOS macOS

Apple to Require Two Factor Authentication for Developers

Two Factor authentication on a Mac and verification on an iPhone

Today Apple sent out an email to developers about the security of their accounts. The emails states:

In an effort to keep your account more secure, two-factor authentication will be required to sign in to your Apple Developer account and Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles starting February 27, 2019. This extra layer of security for your Apple ID helps ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account. If you haven’t already enabled two-factor authentication for your Apple ID, please learn more and update your security settings. If you have any questions, contact us. Best regards, Apple Developer Relations

There are a few possible reasons for this. The first is, as the email states, to help secure developer accounts. By enabling the two-factor authentication, particularly for Certificates, Identifiers, and Profiles cannot be added by unauthorized users.

This will have some downsides though. By requiring two-factor authentication, only ten devices will be able to receive the two factor authentication codes. For most individual users, this will not be a problem. Five of these trusted devices can be Macs and five of these can be iOS devices.

I contacted Apple Support to verify the number, and it is indeed ten trusted devices that can be associated with an Apple ID.

For larger development groups who may need to allow more than one user to login to the Certificates, you will likely need add a user who has access to the Developer Resources.

If you have not already enabled two-factor authentication on your Apple Developer account, you will want to review the two-factor authentication support page to be sure that you have a way to recover your account, if needed.

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Apple Developer

Apple Entrepreneur Camp

Apple has announced a major initiative related to developers, and specifically for an under represented group of developers. When you look at the overall genetic makeup of developers, you may have noticed that there is a disproportionate number of males as developers, as compared to women. Apple has begun an initiative to help correct this imbalance. They call it their Entrepreneur Camp. The Apple Entrepreneur Camp is designed for organizations that are founded and led by women.

There will be four two-week camps run over the course of the next year, these will take place during one of these times:

January 28–February 8, 2019
April 1–12, 2019
July 22–August 2, 2019
October 14–25, 2019

There are some requirements before applying. These requirements are:

  • The organization must have a woman founder, co-founder, or CEO;
  • The organization must have a woman developer proficient in Swift or Objective-C
  • The organization must have a developed app or functional build created for any platform that you can demo live.

Additionally, the applicant must have the following requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older and proficient in English.
  • The woman founder, co-founder, or CEO, the woman developer, and another employee (if applicable) must be 18 years of age or older, proficient in English, and able to attend together for the entire two-week lab.
  • Attendees must be able to bring their own laptop to work on their code in the lab. After you have applied, and if you are accepted, you will be in a two-week lab.
  • If you are a woman who has founded you can learn about all of the details at Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp website.

Per Apple’s site,

Apple Entrepreneur Camp consists of an immersive technology lab, as well as mentorship, education, and support. Selected organizations receive:

  • One-on-one code-level guidance from Apple engineers at a two-week technology lab in Cupertino, California.
    Ongoing support from an Apple Developer representative for at least one year.
  • One year of membership in the Apple Developer Program.
  • Up to two tickets to WWDC for the woman* founder, co-founder, or CEO and woman developer.
  • Access to the Apple Entrepreneur Camp alumni network, a world-class group of inspiring and ambitious senior women leaders.

If you are a woman, or part of a woman-led development company, it would behove you to apply for the Entrepreneur Camp. It is great to see Apple putting so much time and effort into help woman-led companies with mentoring as well as tickets to the next World Wide Developer’s Conference.

You can read all about the camp at Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp website. Applications are open now.