Developers logging on to iTunes Connect to update their apps this morning got an eyeful of its new iOS 8-influenced design — and many didn’t like what they saw.
Instead of the past’s squat, flat look dominated by dark gray, the main view at the developer website now opens up with acres of white space and a cheery, sky-blue font we’ve all become accustomed to since iOS 7. Apple warned devs of the coming overhaul at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, but it wasn’t clear exactly when the new design would roll out.
The pretty new look was hard to appreciate, though, when trying to push out a new release or version of your app — as we discovered trying to publish the latest edition of Cult of Mac magazine.
Apple has reopened its iTunes Connect developer portal following the Christmas period closure — during which it gave respite to the gatekeepers whose job it is to manually approve new apps and updates.
Every year, Apple takes pity on the poor App Store overseers who guard the gates of the company’s walled garden and gives them a few days around the holidays off from the crushing grind of manually approving new apps and updates. During this time, app store developers can’t submit app updates, price changes, or in-app purchases, and Newsstand publications will not be updated, even if a new issue is available.
When will this fallow period come this year? Exactly when you’d expect: Christmas week.
Isn’t it frustrating when you spend your whole weekend trying to reach the top of the Game Center leaderboard in your favorite game just to find that the top spot has already been claimed by a cheat, whose score couldn’t possibly be beaten by playing the game properly?
Unfortunately, it’s a common problem because Game Center has long been far too easy to hack. But Apple has finally done something about it. Developers now have the power to delete fake Game Center scores and block gamers who persistently cheat.
iAd has not been a big hit for Apple. Although the service was launched with a lot of fanfare about ads that you truly want to play around with and unheard-of levels of engagement, iAds hasn’t really taken off.
Part of the issue was Apple’s strategy: they focused on targeting large companies and demanded they make huge minimum buys-in. There was no dipping a toe in iAd: you either didn’t use it at all, or plunged right into your neck for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Apple’s waffled on that before, allowing ad developers to start hocking their own apps on the iAd network starting in 2010. Today, however, Apple has added an iAd Workbench, making it even easier (and way, way cheaper) for developers to advertise with the network.
After a long hard fought year, Apple plans to let employees take some extra time off for Thanksgiving, and just like last year, they plan to close iTunes Connect for a week during Christmas, meaning developers won’t be able to push out app updates from December 21st till December 28th.
Apple sent an email to developers earlier today confirming that iTunes Connect will be closed for the holidays. iTunes Connect is the developer portal used to manage applications to sell in the App Store, meaning developers won’t be able to submit new apps or app updates during that time.
Business to business app development is likely to be a growing enterprise trend. Apple has a solution, even if it isn’t yet a perfect one.
According a study released earlier this month, Apple’s iOS is becoming the most popular platform for enterprise app development – with 53.2% of developers picking iOS for corporate app development compared to 37.4% of developers standing behind Android. RIM’s BlackBerry, the old guard of enterprise mobility, came in a distant fourth behind Windows Phone with only 2% of developers supporting it.
That’s great news for Apple and the iPhone and iPad in business and enterprise environments. Apple even makes enterprise distribution possible outside of the App Store. Mobile App Management (MAM) and enterprise app store solutions provide efficient and effective distribution and update methods for enterprise apps.
Business to business (B2B) apps and solutions, however, present a different kind of challenge – one for which Apple has a solution, even if it isn’t a perfect solution.
In an email sent out to iOS developers today, Apple has announced a new rule that requires all apps to be submitted for approval with high resolution 1024 x 1024 icons and artwork. That’s a higher resolution than the display built into the iPad 2 — for an icon.
While popular iOS games can make their developers a small fortune in the App Store, not every title is a huge success. With over half a billion iOS apps currently available, some are bound to go unnoticed. However, one developer is attempting to make money from his iOS game in a different way.
With his latest game struggling to take off in the App Store, indie game developer Adam Schwartz is looking to bring in some cash by selling the title’s source code on eBay.
Apple has sent an email out to developers with the reminder that the annual iTunes Connect shutdown is scheduled for December 22nd-29th. The iTunes Connect portal shuts down every year during the holidays while Apple’s corporate employees take a much-deserved break.
The shutdown means there will be no app updates, price changes, or submissions approved for the App Store during that timeframe. This year’s shutdown lasts two days longer than previous years.