App Development

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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TestFlight is currently down; beta apps in holding pattern

TestFlight is currently down; beta apps in holding pattern

Developers trying to seed beta versions of their apps on iOS might be hitting a brick wall this morning. It seems TestFlight, Apple’s (now) in-house app seeding program is experiencing disruption. Developers are complaining en masse on Twitter, and Apple has not yet addressed the issue, but it seems to be server related. I’ve tested it for myself, and hey — it’s down on the Development side. It doesn’t seem to affect users who may have apps waiting for them in the TestFlight app.

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Apple could use ResearchKit to collect DNA for medical studies

Apple could use ResearchKit to collect DNA for medical studies

iPhones can track a myriad of data from your everyday life. From your footsteps to your heart rate, we relay a lot of data without ever having to opt-in. Apple is looking to gather a new type of information from its users--DNA. Apple is planning to release apps, using its new ResearchKit developer tools, to help hospitals and research teams conduct clinical trials and other medical research from their iPhones, and genetic testing is just another piece of that puzzle.

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Jink 2.0 update merges messaging and mapping seamlessly

Jink 2.0 update merges messaging and mapping seamlessly

Last year, we told you about Jink, a messaging app that kept things in a container. With Jink, you can share your location, and even chat, all in a private space; if you want to stop sharing your location or end the chat, it’s done, and the other party is no longer linked to you. With their recent update, available today, Jink is growing past its semi-anonymous beginnings and blossoming into a well-rounded platform. With Jink 2.0, messaging merges with mapping.

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Pixelmator, the darling of iPad photo editing, is coming to iPhone

Pixelmator, the darling of iPad photo editing, is coming to iPhone

There are plenty of good photo editing apps for iPhone, that much is certain. People love VSCO Cam, and Snapseed is still going strong. A new favorite, Fotograf, has taken over my photo editing on the small screen. There are still those times when a simple editor just won’t cut it; you need more than filters. Pixelmator, a favorite of ours for iPad, will soon become available for iPhone as well. To celebrate, the Pixelmator crew is discounting the app by 50%, bringing the price down to $4.99.

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Google tipped to let Android devs place app variants on Play Store

Google tipped to let Android devs place app variants on Play Store

Google I/O 2015 is almost upon us, so of course we're bound to hear a lot about what's expected to land at Google's annual developer conference. Among those expected bits and pieces, which includes Android Pay, for example, one particular rumored announcement is causing some app developers to take serious note. According to developers who have been briefed on the matter, Google will use I/O 2015 as a launchpad to reveal it latest tool to help developers maximize and monetize their apps, what the industry calls A/B testing.

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VW Apple Watch app will tell you where your teen driver goes

VW Apple Watch app will tell you where your teen driver goes

Volkswagen just updated their iOS app to add features your teen driver will not be pleased with. Via their Car-Net app (and service), the Apple Watch will tell parents where their teen driver is going and how fast they’re traveling. Looks like the days of ‘studying at a friend’s house’ are coming to a close. The Car-Net app is available for “select trims of 2014 and later Beetle, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat and Tiguan models and on all trims of 2015 and later Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen and e-Golf models.”

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Swarm adds stickers, bringing Mayorship back ‘soon’

Swarm adds stickers, bringing Mayorship back ‘soon’

Last year, Foursquare split itself in two. The actual Foursquare app would soon see itself battling the likes of Yelp, and is now being leaned on by social service like Twitter to provide better context on your location. Swarm would handle the rest; check-ins, more or less. In the divide-and-conquer strategy, Swarm lost much of what many users liked about the original Foursquare. To help bring Swarm back to center, Foursquare is adding a few of those features back.

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MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal is taking a stab at monetization, unveiling a new ‘Premium’ tier of service. For $9.99/month or $49.99/year user will get more granular knowledge on food analysis, improved customer support, and an ad-free experience. There are even personalization options for those who would like to set daily goals, which can also be adjusted based on your daily exercise level. Premium members will also get access to exclusive content and food analysis based on nutritional information you might be tracking.

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Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest, the upstart social network centered around imagery rather than words, is trying to become even bigger. Today, Pinterest is announcing details of a Developer platform, a suite of APIs engineered to “bring pins to life”. Developers can now leverage user pins in their own apps, where Pinterest envisions apps that use what people pin to encourage real-life shopping, “like apps for ordering ingredients from a recipe Pin or booking trips based on travel Pins.” The program is still in beta form, but Pinterest already has the underpinnings of a winner.

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Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Microsoft’s Project Astoria, their system for taking existing Android app code and running it inside windows, is both exciting and troubling. On one hand, it satisfies the ‘write once deploy everywhere’ strategy that makes a Developer’s life easier. On the other hand, these apps aren’t really native for the platform, which has us wondering about things like performance. Also, how easy is it for Developers to move an app over? Now we know; Microsoft has created a simple video outlining Project Astoria’s strengths, and I have to say — I’m intrigued.

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Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

That was quick. It’s only been two weeks that Meerkat, the popular live-streaming app, has been available for Android. When the Meerkat team announced their Android intentions, they granted access to the app via an open beta program. Now, the app is available to all users on the Google Play Store. It’s worth noting Meerkat’s main rival in the space, Twitter-owner Periscope, has not yet landed on Android, though they promise to be on the platform someday; they just haven’t announced when.

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