App Development

Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple designs ‘Home’ app as a control hub for HomeKit devices

Apple is getting closer to achieving a "connected home" with its HomeKit initiative. Among Apple's plans for its own Internet of Things is an app to manage everything from your mobile device. Apple is reported to be designing an app for iOS 9 called "Home" which would act as a master control for all HomeKit connected accessories. Aside from the app, HomeKit devices could also be capable of responding to voice commands through integration with Siri.

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SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS updated with theme store and improvements

SwiftKey's innovative keyboard app has expanded its selection of keyboard themes on iOS, with a small price tag. The free app just added a new selection of "freemium" themes to download. SwiftKey's Android app dropped its $3.99 price tag last year in favor of a in-app purchases; now, the iOS version is following its lead. SwiftKey only debuted on iOS last year, after gaining popularity on Android systems. The app's late entry into the iOS market was due to Apple blocking system-wide, third-party keyboards from its App Store.

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Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Wunderlist intros public API, will weave through your apps soon

Like most consumers, there are probably several apps that are central to your day-to-day existence. Again, like most, those apps likely operate independently of one another, existing in their own contained environment. Wunderlist, the popular to-do list app, is among the more popular choices for those who want to get things done via their smartphone or tablet (or smartwatch). After re-imagining their app as a platform, Wunderlist is taking the next big step in that process in releasing an API for all.

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Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Dear Apple Watch Developers: Please be like Marco

Apple Watch is going to change a lot of things. It’ll change how other companies consider wearables, and its popularity will certainly make being on the Apple Watch via apps a necessity. Apple Watch is also accelerating how we think about those apps best considered as ‘micro-mobile’; those that are made specifically for wearables. With so many Developers having worked on their Apple Watch apps based off of emulation ahead of launch, we’re starting to see them go back to the drawing board. And they’re right to do so.

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BitTorrent’s P2P chat Bleep keeps your messages secure across platforms

BitTorrent’s P2P chat Bleep keeps your messages secure across platforms

In the age where nothing is ever truly erased from the internet, BitTorrent's decentralized chat platform, Bleep, is a welcome service. BitTorrent's Bleep aims to create messages out of the hands of any third parties by using the same peer-to-peer technology popular for pirating movies and music. Bleep's chat platform doesn't store personal data or chat logs anywhere except on your own local device, which means that all of your messages are safe from prying eyes and the possible long arm of the law.

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Google’s ‘News & Weather’ Apple Watch app has ‘fail’ written all over it

Google’s ‘News & Weather’ Apple Watch app has ‘fail’ written all over it

Apple Watch apps are typically pretty good at being unique, but offering up an experience that’s both familiar and approachable. Some go a bit above and beyond the call of app duty, making Apple Watch features that stand out. Google isn’t one of them. Today, the largest conduit of information on Earth updated their News & Weather iOS app to support Apple Watch, and it’s not good. It’s barely passable, really. Compared to other apps that offer similar info, Google’s News & Weather falls well short of being exciting, much less interesting.

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Periscope’s new phone number sign-in is really Twitter’s ‘Digits’

Periscope’s new phone number sign-in is really Twitter’s ‘Digits’

With Periscope’s most recent update, the ability to sign up with your phone number was added, creating a secondary way to use Periscope if you didn’t have (or want to use) your Twitter account. It’s the first time Periscope has ventured outside the Twittersphere for gaining users, but they didn’t stray too far. We’ve confirmed that Periscope’s new phone number sign-up scheme is simply Digits, which is part of Twitter’s Fabric mobile development platform. So it’s Twitter, but not Twitter.

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Duet now links iOS mobile and Windows desktop fluidly

Duet now links iOS mobile and Windows desktop fluidly

We don’t all live in a contained operating system environment. Some of us have a tablet that runs different software than our phone, or even the desktop. For those users, Duet has introduced a new feature many didn’t see coming (we sure didn’t). Now, you can link your iPad to your Windows desktop, and use Duet to add a second screen to your experience. Duet now supports Windows 7 or Windows 8, and brings a full 60fps experience; so game on PC fans, or extend those videos to the small(er) screen.

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Paper by FiftyThree intros Think Kit for better graphs and charts

Paper by FiftyThree intros Think Kit for better graphs and charts

Paper by FiftyThree is a pretty robust app for those who have artistic flair. For the rest of us, it’s an app for doodling. And for the rest of us, FiftyThree now has a new set of tools named Think Kit, which is aimed at the more linear thinking crowd. The tools allow for the easy drawing of graphs and charts via Paper while still retaining some artistic flair. The backbone of Think Kit is FiftyThree’s Intention Engine, which recognizes your terrible drawings and corrects them into something a bit more visually appealing.

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NYT Now goes free for iOS, adds impressive features

NYT Now goes free for iOS, adds impressive features

Paywalls are kind of terrible in the eyes of most. It’s success is largely debatable, but some larger news entities choose to shelter online content behind a curtain rather than open it up to all in favor of monetization via advertising. The New York Times was one of those who subscribed (pun intended) to the paywall theory, but may be tearing themselves from it. Their latest update to NYT Now, their iOS app, eschews the paywall altogether, letting us all read until the battery on our iPhone dies.

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Feeling lonely? Let IBM’s Watson match you with a therapist

Feeling lonely? Let IBM’s Watson match you with a therapist

Therapy can be a useful tool for those with deep-seated issues or anyone who needs a sounding board for life's big decisions. Seeking a therapist is now seen as a way to reach out for help instead of a strange act of narcissism. When it comes to finding a therapist, a good match can make a world of difference. Picking a practitioner from the Yellow Pages is a complete crapshoot; now, IBM's Watson is lending its supercomputing power to creating ideal matches between patients and therapists on Talkspace, an online, licensed therapy provider that you can access from your smartphone.

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Being an indie Dev is romantic, but may not be lucrative

Being an indie Dev is romantic, but may not be lucrative

I have a question for you: how much do you think an independent Developer makes? Depends on their app, right? It also depends on how well word spreads about the app, pricing, and if it finds its way to media outlets or other curated sites. There are a lot of moving parts when considering the success of an indie Dev, but it’s a romantic notion. Some dedicated soul churning away in their home office, sweating over every last pixel and animation. Still, how much do you think they make?

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