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Apple developers are scrambling over accelerated iOS 14 release

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Apple angered many in the iPhone and iPad developer community yesterday when it announced that iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 would be available to consumers today. A single day’s notice is a big departure from the company’s usual approach, where developers are given about a week’s notice to put the finishing touches on their apps ahead of the major operating system release.

The surprise comes as some iOS developers are already exasperated with the way Apple is exerting control over its App Store. Ben Thompson, Kara Swisher, and John Gruber all reported earlier this year that many are terrified about speaking up about policies they think are unfair.

Nevertheless, Apple developers have sure been vocal about the sudden iOS 14 launch.

On the face of it, the launch of iOS 14 just a day after Apple’s event is a great piece of news. Today’s release will be the first chance for most people to try iOS 14’s new bells and whistles, which include new home screen widgets, a picture-in-picture mode, and a new Translation app, to name just a few. But it wasn’t great news for iOS developers, who were left with a tight deadline to compile, test, and submit their apps in time for iOS 14’s launch day. It’s unwelcome stress for many developers, summed up so eloquently by Halide camera’s co-founder and designer Sebastiaan de With:

“I think a lot of developers won’t be sleeping tonight, or instead just give up and opt to release as and when they want to instead of alongside the new OS,” iOS developer Shihab Mehboob told me after Apple’s event. Or as another developer, Jesse Squires, put it less charitably in a blog post, “Why is Apple acting like an Asshole?

“I get how whiny this sounds, but I think this is the most negative I’ve felt after an Apple event,” Dark Noise developer Charlie Chapman tweeted. “I don’t push myself that hard, but I did do a lot of work to prepare to hit the “day one” release for iOS 14.”

“Legit probbaabbblyyy not gonna do any of that “sleeping” stuff tonight,” Christian Selig, the developer behind the Apollo Reddit app tweeted.

“A big WTF at Apple dropping iOS 14 tomorrow without giving developers any notice, or final tools to submit their apps,” developer Steve Troughton-Smith said.

To be clear, yesterday wasn’t the first time developers heard about iOS 14. Apple announced the new software back at its developer conference in June, and its first developer beta was released on the same day. Most developers will have spent the months since adding new iOS 14 features and making sure their apps are compatible with the new software.

Apple’s September iPhone event has traditionally been a crucial day for developers because it’s the day the company releases the so-called “Golden Master” (GM) versions of iOS and the Xcode developer tools. This is the same build Apple will usually release to the public “99 percent of the time,” iOS developer Rhys Morgan tells me. It’s a key milestone, and it’s the moment developers can get started on the final version of their software without worrying that something might change before its release. Apple put out the GM versions after yesterday’s event, just a day before the release of iOS 14.

iOS betas change frequently on the way to the GM release. Sometimes these changes are minor, but other times, there will be new features that get cut or others rejigged in response to bugs. One such example was posted on Twitter by developer Peter Steinberger, who noted that Apple has removed support for a new API with iOS 14’s GM release, after it appeared in the beta releases.

“So if your app had been using [the new API] or you were releasing a framework using that, all of a sudden… you can’t. That’s it, it’s gone, you’ve got to replace it,” Morgan says. The week that developers normally get between the GM release and the official release of a new version of iOS is useful for ironing out these kinds of issues.

As if the deadline looming over developers wasn’t bad enough, even once a developer has downloaded the latest development tools and recompiled their app, they have to go through Apple’s App Store approval process to make their wares available for download. This is a process that developers sometimes set aside a whole week for to allow time to address any concerns that the review process might raise. Over the past day, some developers have reported that their apps have been approved by Apple in as little as one to two hours, Morgan says, which is much faster than normal, leading to some speculation that Apple is expediting iOS 14 app approvals. However, others, like Chapman, say they’re still waiting for their apps to be approved hours later.

At least one high-profile app has warned its users not to upgrade to the latest version of iOS if they want to continue using its software. Yesterday, the official Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Twitter account confirmed that its app cannot open on devices running iOS 14. “We do not recommend you to update your device to iOS 14 until we have fixed this issue,” its tweet read.

However, the developers I spoke to said that it was unlikely we’d see piles of broken apps as iPhone owners start updating to iOS 14. They said that newer versions of iOS are generally good at running older software designed for its previous versions, and that having had access to iOS 14’s beta versions will have given developers time to prepare for any big changes that are on the way.

 

 

 

“I mean, we’ve had iOS 14 since WWDC. I don’t think this is going to have this mass effect where everything’s just broken on the App Store,” Halide’s de With explains. “If by now your app is in an extremely broken state on iOS 14 it would have been broken on release. I don’t think it would have been that big of an issue.”

Chapman agrees that it’s unlikely many older apps will be broken by iOS 14. “It’s frustrating, but I really don’t think that the customer experience is actually going to be that bad,” he says.

But the developers I spoke to also suggested that the tight turnaround may mean that some of iOS 14’s new features might not be widely supported on launch day. De With says that the Halide team would have “loved to” have supported iOS 14’s new home screen widgets feature on launch day, for example.

Supporting these major new features can result in big publicity boosts for smaller developers. Chapman tells me that he’d been planning for his app to support Apple’s new home screen widgets feature in the hope it would lead to press coverage on day one of iOS 14’s release, as publications round up the best apps with support for the operating system’s latest features.

For some developers, however, the changes to this year’s release schedule are more of a relief. For an app like Halide, which prides itself on supporting both the latest and greatest hardware and software features of each iPhone, this year’s delayed iPhone release makes things easier than previous years, de With tells me. The team can focus on making sure Halide works seamlessly on existing iPhones running iOS 14 for now (they expect to push a small compatibility update next week), and then build in support for whatever new camera hardware arrives with the iPhone 12 when that’s released next month.

The big question is why Apple chose to release iOS 14 today in the first place since it doesn’t have any new iPhone hardware in urgent need of a new operating system.

Morgan and Chapman tell me that Apple needed iOS 14 to be available to coincide with the release of the new Apple Watch Series 6, which runs the new watchOS 7 out of the box. Apple says the new version of watchOS requires iOS 14 for setup. However, that doesn’t explain why Apple chose to release iOS 14 today, rather than waiting until the smartwatch’s release on Friday.

In any other year, giving iOS developers a day’s notice that a new version of iOS is about to arrive might have been written off as an annoyance. But in 2020, when Apple’s App Store policies are facing an unprecedented amount of regulatory and legal scrutiny, it starts to look like an unforced error. Apple needs allies now more than ever, and policies like a new appeals process are clearly designed to address developer concerns. But its hurried iOS 14 release has done it no favors.

Apple did not return The Verge’s request for comment.

Source:- The Verge

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The one-off Ferrari Omologato is the closest we'll get to a new GTO – Driving

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A unique Ferrari one-off has been lapping the marque’s Fiorano test track, and now we’re finally getting a good look at it — and it’s stunning.

The one-off creation is called the Omologata, and it’s basically a modern rendition of one of Ferrari’s absolute all-stars, the 250 GTO. “GTO” stands for Grand Touring Omologato, and given the styling, it’s safe to say this is a direct homage to that famous race car.

Featuring voluptuous curves and half-moon-shaped intakes, the lineage of this one-off is unquestionable. We would have thought it impossible to make a modern car that looks better than the 812 the Omologato is based on, but this seems to have taken the cake.

The designers changed every facet of the 812 except for the windshield and the headlights, even though every change might not be immediately visible. Around back, the rear window has been swapped out for a set of louvers, and the tail of the vehicle now sweeps up with a small spoiler.

Under that extremely long hood is still the 812’s beautiful 6.2-litre V12, which produces a sound so beautiful it’ll turn horsepower and other output figures into afterthoughts.

The car marks the tenth one-off creation that Ferrari has built, with the first being the 2009 P540 Superfast Aperta.

The commissioner isn’t known, but whomever they are, we must say “well done,” for this is one exquisite vehicle. A regular Ferrari 812 isn’t exactly a cheap car, and we’re guessing this was, well, even less cheap than usual.

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Apple's Battle Royale With Epic Games Starts for Real Next Week – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — The legal fight between Apple Inc. and Epic Games Inc. kicks into full gear on Monday with decisions that will influence the future of app stores in the U.S. and how the world’s largest technology platforms make money from developers.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will decide whether to force Apple to let battle royale video game Fortnite back into the App Store with Epic’s in-house payment option. She will also rule if Apple can block third-party apps using Epic’s Unreal Engine development software.

Most legal experts expect the judge to extend her temporary injunction for Unreal Engine, but not reinstate Fortnite in the Apple App Store.

“Epic faces an uphill battle,” said Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School. “Apple’s pricing policies are problematic, and antitrust law should probably do something about it. But courts are very reluctant to dictate who a company, even a monopolist, has to do business with.”

The decisions will have far-reaching consequences especially as authorities across the globe examine whether tech giants including Apple and Alphabet Inc.’s Google have broken antitrust rules. On Monday, the judge will consider if Epic is likely to succeed on the merits of its antitrust claims and whether the company will suffer irreparable harm if she doesn’t issue an injunction.

At stake is Apple and Google’s ability to charge fees of up to 30% to developers using their app stores. Consumers spent $50 billion worldwide on the App Store and Google Play in the first half of 2020, according to Sensor Tower estimates. That generates billions of dollars in highly profitable revenue for the companies. Some developers deride this an unfair and unwarranted tax. Epic and its Founder Tim Sweeney have led the backlash this year.

Google may change its policies if the Fortnite case ends up favoring Apple, said Lewis Ward, an analyst at researcher IDC. No matter the outcome, Epic has gained a lot of goodwill among gamers and other developers.

“In the larger court of public opinion, in the U.S., my sense is that Epic is generally viewed as the good guy here, and Apple is viewed as the bad guy,” Ward said.

“It has raised the profile of Epic from an already well-respected game company to one that has a philosophy or a vision of where the games industry should go over time,” Ward added. “That vision is one that is more aligned with how the internet began, which was open and free and cheap.”

Read more: Epic’s Battle With Apple and Google Has Roots in the Pac-Man Era

The impact on Epic’s business so far has been “fairly negligible,” said Doug Clinton, co-founder at Loup ventures — tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue. While players can no longer download Fortnite on their Apple devices, many of them have simply shifted their playing to consoles and PCs. Fortnite climbed SuperData’s rankings of top-grossing titles among console games in August, reaching third place. It ranked sixth in July, before the legal spat between Epic and Apple began.

Financially, Apple doesn’t have much to lose by kicking Fortnite out. The company has taken in about $350 million in revenue from Fortnite since the game launched on the iPhone in 2018, according to Sensor Tower data. Apple pulled in sales of more than $250 billion in its latest fiscal year.

Read more: Spotify, Match Launch Coalition to Protest App Store Rules

If the court forces Apple to keep distributing Unreal Engine, that could be positive for the iPhone maker. The decision would let other games that use the tools continue distributing their software via Apple’s platform, resulting in a 30% cut for each sale or in-app purchase. However, Apple argues that the continued distribution of Unreal Engine by what it considers to be a rogue developer could harm consumer security.

There are broader risks for Apple from the case, though. If Epic continues to paint Apple as the bad guy to younger iPhone and iPad owners who play Fortnite, that could twist the perception of these users toward Apple as a whole. If Epic wins key decisions, that would make it more difficult for Apple to impose its App Store payment system on other developers, curbing a high-margin source of revenue.

The lawsuit might also spur Apple to continue tweaking its store. While the company isn’t budging on its 30% cut, it has loosened some restrictions recently, letting a small handful of apps avoid the fee.

Read more: Apple Loosens App Store Rules a Bit After Developer Backlash

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Apple Watch Series 3 users complain of random reboots, other bugs after updating to watchOS 7 – 9to5Mac

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watchOS 7 was released to the general public last week, bringing new watch face features, sleep tracking support, and more to Apple Watch models dating back to the Apple Watch Series 3. Some Apple Watch Series 3 users, however, are reporting a variety issues since installing watchOS 7, including random reboots, poor performance, and more.

On Apple’s support forums, there’s a thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners expressing frustration with device performance since installing watchOS 7. One of the most common complaints seems to be that the Apple Watch Series 3 will randomly reboot multiple times per day with watchOS 7 installed:

I’ve had several reboots a day since updating, it asks me for my passcode and shows blank stats on activity. Never had an issue like this before on Watch OS6 or earlier, surely there has to be a supplement update from Apple to address this?

Multiple Apple Watch Series 3 users refer to watchOS 7 as “the worst” watchOS update that Apple has released so far.

My series 3 completed an auto update overnight to Watch OS7. Today it has shut itself down at least 3 times, locked itself while on my wrist about 4 times, failed to load complications on multiple faces (weather, activity rings, date etc), disconnected from my phone at least twice. This has been the buggiest upgrade I have seen.

On the MacRumors Forums, there’s another thread dedicated to Apple Watch Series 3 owners voicing frustration with watchOS 7, including complaints of random reboots, laggy performance, and more.

Two things make these complaints even more notable. First, there is no way to downgrade a watchOS 7 update, which means these Apple Watch Series 3 owners can’t downgrade back to watchOS 6. watchOS 7.0.1 was released as a bug fix update this week, but users report that it has not solved their problems.

Secondly, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as part of its Apple Watch lineup, even though it seems as if the aging hardware might struggle to keep up with the new features of watchOS 7. This could also have implications for the availability of future software updates, such as watchOS 8, for the Apple Watch Series 3.

At this point, it’s unclear how widespread these issues are, but judging by the sheer volume of complaints, the problems are likely to already be on Apple’s radar. Have you experienced any of these issues with your Apple Watch Series 3 since updating to watchOS 7? Let us know down in the comments.

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