Apple Updates ‘Apple Developer’ App With New Video Features Ahead of Digital WWDC

Apple today updated its Apple Developer app to add new features related to video watching and sharing. The Apple Developer app was formerly known as the WWDC app, and it is where content from this year's digital WWDC event will be accessible to developers.


Today's update introduces multiple playback speeds for watching videos, an option to interact with full video transcripts, and a feature for sharing stories from the Discover tab and viewing them on the web.
Thank you for your feedback. This release allows you to:
- Watch videos at multiple playback speeds.
- Interact with the full video transcripts.
- Share stories from the Discover tab and view them on the web.
You'll also see accessibility improvements, and other enhancements and bug fixes
Apple hasn't yet provided details on when its digital-only WWDC event will be held, but it will take place sometime in June with an online keynote event to unveil new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

The Apple Developer app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
This article, "Apple Updates 'Apple Developer' App With New Video Features Ahead of Digital WWDC" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Lets Developers Know That Universal Purchase for Mac Apps is Now Available

macOS versions of apps can now be included as part of a universal purchase, which allows customers to purchase a single app (or in-app purchase) that works across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Apple says that developers can get ready to use the feature by assigning a single bundle ID for apps in Xcode and setting up their app record for universal purchase using App Store Connect.

A single purchase option for iOS, ‌iPadOS‌, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps was added in the Xcode 11.4 beta, which was first released in February. After developers have implemented single purchase options, customers will be able to buy one app that works across all of their Apple devices.

With the option to make a purchase of an app that works on all devices, Apple is unifying the categories in the iOS ‌App Store‌ and macOS App Stores, so there will be minor changes coming to the categories available in Apple's App Stores.
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As of April 30, All Apps Submitted to App Store Must Use iOS 13 SDK or Later

Apple today informed developers that starting on April 30, 2020, all iPhone and iPad apps submitted to the App Store must be built with iOS and iPadOS 13 SDK or later.


Apple previously told developers that iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13 SDKs would be required as of April, but did not give a specific date.
iOS 13 is now running on 77% of all iOS devices introduced in the last four years, worldwide. Deliver great user experiences by seamlessly integrating with Dark Mode, Sign in with Apple, and the latest advances in ARKit 3, Core ML 3, and Siri. Starting April 30, 2020, all ‌iPhone‌ apps submitted to the ‌App Store‌ must be built with the ‌iOS 13‌ SDK or later.

Take advantage of Xcode features such as storyboards (including launch storyboards), Auto Layout, and SwiftUI, to ensure your app's interface elements and layouts automatically fit the display of all ‌iPhone‌ models, regardless of size or aspect ratio. Starting April 30, 2020, all apps submitted to the ‌App Store‌ must use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app's launch screen and all ‌iPhone‌ apps must support all ‌iPhone‌ screens.
Apple also says that as of April 30, all apps must use an Xcode storyboard to provide the launch screen. All ‌iPhone‌ apps must support all ‌iPhone‌ screens, and all ‌iPad‌ apps must support all ‌iPad‌ screens.


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Apple Shares Updated App Store Review Guidelines on Spam, Push Notifications, App Store Reviews, MDM Apps and More

Apple today informed developers that it has released updated App Store Review Guidelines, with changes that cover reviews, spam, push notifications, Sign in with Apple, data collection and storage, mobile device management, and more.


Apple's new guidelines can be found on its developer website, but we've highlighted a few notable changes below.

  • 1.4.4 - Apps used to commit or attempt to commit crimes of any kind by helping users evade law enforcement will be rejected. (This previously was a rule limited to apps about DUI checkpoints).

  • 4.3 - Apple has added new content types to its "Spam" list of app categories it considers already saturated. Fortune telling and dating apps join fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps as apps that will be automatically rejected unless they provide a "unique, high-quality experience."

  • 4.5.4 - New language around Push Notifications says they should not be used "to send sensitive, personal, or confidential information," nor should they be used for promotions or direct marketing purposes unless customers have explicitly opted in to receive them via consent language displayed in an app's UI. Developers must also provide a method in the app to allow users to opt out of receiving such messages.

  • 5.1.1 (ix) - Apps in highly regulated fields like banking and financial services, healthcare, and air travel or that require sensitive user information should be submitted by a legal entity that provides the services and not by an individual developer.

  • 5.1.5 - A rule that previously prohibited the use of location-based APIs for emergency services now says that developers can use location-based APIs to provide emergency services "only if you provide notice to your users in your app's UI that such services may not work in all circumstances."

  • 5.5 - There is new language related to Mobile Device Management apps that says apps offering configuration profiles cannot use third-party analytics to collect data: "In limited cases, third-party analytics may be permitted provided that the services only collect or transmit data about the performance of the developer's MDM app, and not any data about the user, the user's device, or other apps used on that device. Apps offering configuration profiles must also adhere to these requirements."

  • 5.6.1 - There's a new section dedicated to ‌App Store‌ reviews that requires developers treat customers with respect when responding to comments and says custom review prompts are not allowed: "‌App Store‌ customer reviews can be an integral part of the app experience, so you should treat customers with respect when responding to their comments. Keep your responses targeted to the user's comments and do not include personal information, spam, or marketing in your response. Use the provided API to prompt users to review your app; this functionality allows customers to provide an ‌App Store‌ rating and review without the inconvenience of leaving your app, and we will disallow custom review prompts."
Apple also provided new resources and guidelines for ‌Sign in with Apple‌, which is an iOS 13 feature that's designed as a privacy-focused alternative to Sign in with Facebook and Sign in with Google options.


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Apple Disables Clearview AI’s Developer Account After Violating Enterprise Certificate Rules

Apple has disabled the developer account of New York City-based facial recognition startup Clearview AI and provided the company with 14 days to respond for violating the rules of its enterprise program, according to BuzzFeed News.

As part of the program, Apple issues enterprise certificates to large organizations to deploy select apps to their employees for internal use only, but the report claims that Clearview AI was distributing its facial recognition app to more than 2,200 public and private entities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, Macy's, Walmart, and the NBA. This scheme allowed customers to download the app outside of the App Store by installing the certificate on their device.


Clearview AI's website says that it "searches the open web" for "publicly available images," helping law enforcement agencies to "identify perpetrators and victims of crimes" and to "exonerate the innocent."

Earlier this week, Clearview AI revealed that an intruder "gained unauthorized access" to its list of clients, according to The Daily Beast. The New York Times profiled the controversial company last month, claiming it has "a database of more than three billion images" scraped from platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Apple took similar action against Facebook and Google last year after each company was found to be using enterprise certificates to distribute consumer-facing apps, but the certificates were later restored, presumably after Facebook and Google agreed to use them strictly for internal-use apps only as required.


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Apple Expands Free Developer Program Memberships for Eligible Organizations to Additional Countries

Apple offers free Developer Program memberships to nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities that distribute free apps on the App Store.

These free memberships have been available in countries that include the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Japan, and Brazil, but as of today, they're also expanding to eight new countries.

Eligible companies and organizations in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and South Korea can now apply to have their Developer Program memberships waived.

More information about waivers for Apple Developer Program membership fees can be found on Apple's developer website.


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Apple Debuts New Reality Converter App for Converting and Customizing USDZ 3D Objects on Mac

Apple today informed developers about the release of a new Reality Converter App, which is designed to allow users to convert, view, and customize USDZ 3D objects on the Mac.

Common 3D file formats like .obj, .gltf, and .usd can be dragged and dropped into the Reality Converter app, which offers up a converted USDZ result that can be then be edited and customized.


The app supports adding textures and editing file metadata, along with previewing USDZ objects under a variety of lighting and environment conditions.

The Reality Converter app is in beta right now and can be downloaded from Apple's developer website.


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Apple Outlines Developer Tools Available for Complying With the EU’s New Data Regulation Rules

Apple today told developers that it is offering a set of tools to help them fulfill data requests made by users in the European Union or other places around the world to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that goes into effect in May.

Following the implementation of the GDPR developers will need to comply with customer requests for accessing, managing, restricting, and deleting data. To facilitate this, Apple says developers can let users manage data that's associated with an app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs.
You can let users manage data that's associated with your app and stored in iCloud by using native APIs and Web APIs.

Providing User Access to CloudKit Data
Give users access to the data stored by your app on their behalf.
When a user requests a copy of the data associated with their Apple ID, it includes only the data that Apple maintains directly, such as documents in iCloud Drive. Data stored in third-party CloudKit containers are not included in any export that Apple provides. Developers should provide their own method for users to get a copy of data stored in their CloudKit containers.

Responding to Requests to Delete Data
Provide options for users to delete their CloudKit data from your app.
Apple too will be implementing new features to comply with the new European regulations. Starting in Early May, the company will introduce an updated Apple ID website that will allow users to download all of their data stored with the company.

Apple also plans to allow customers to use the site to correct personal information, disable Apple ID accounts, and permanently delete an Apple ID. These tools will be available in Europe first before expanding to other areas of the world.


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All New Apps Must Be Built With iOS 11 SDK Starting in April

Apple today sent out a notice to developers letting them know that starting in April of 2018, all new apps submitted to the App Store must be built using the iOS 11 SDK, which is included in Xcode 9 or later.

Furthermore, Apple says that all new apps designed for the iPhone, including universal apps, must support the iPhone X's Super Retina display.

Update your version of Xcode to the latest release of Xcode 9 available on the Mac App Store, which includes the iOS 11 SDK, and build your apps. Starting April 2018, all new iOS apps submitted to the App Store must be built with the iOS 11 SDK. All new apps for iPhone, including universal apps, must support the Super Retina display of iPhone X.

With this requirement, Apple is aiming to encourage developers to adopt key features introduced in iOS 11, like Core ML, ARKit, new camera APIs, expanded SiriKit domains, and more, plus the company is making sure future apps will be fully compatible with the display of the iPhone X.

Apple will, for the time being, allow apps built using earlier SDKs to continue to be updated without switching over to the iOS 11 SDK, but at some point in the future, Apple is likely to require developers to use the iOS 11 SDK for app updates as well.

April 1, 2018 is also when Apple plans to stop accepting updates to watchOS 1 apps. All updates submitted after that date must be built using the watchOS 2 SDK or later, and all newly submitted apps must be built with the watchOS 4 SDK or later.


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Fee Waivers for Apple Developer Program Now Available for Government, Nonprofit Organizations and Educational Institutions

Apple today announced the official availability of fee waivers for its Apple Developer Program for nonprofit organizations, accredited educational institutions, and government entities in the United States who plan to distribute free apps on the App Store.

Qualified organizations are able to apply for the waiver, which will provide a free annual membership to the Developer Program. Apple normally charges developers $99 per year.

Apple's plan to offer free developer memberships to government and nonprofit apps in the United States was first highlighted in late December when its App Store guidelines were updated.

Apple's new Membership Fee Waiver webpage includes details on which organizations are eligible for the discount. Requirements include a EIN/Tax ID number, a D-U-N-S number, and legal entity status. Apple will review each fee waiver request.

Entities that receive the fee waiver may not publish paid apps or apps with in-app purchases, and members of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program are not eligible. The program is also not available to individuals and sole proprietors/single person businesses.

Fee waivers are currently limited to the United States, but Apple says waivers will be added for other countries "as they become available."


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