API

ZeroSSL offers web developers a free, simple certificate authority platform

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ZeroSSL
Establish a security certificate for your website the easy and affordable way with ZeroSSL.
Photo: ZeroSSL

This certificate authority post is presented by Eversign.

Over the years, web developers have complained about the costs and hassles associated with establishing a trusted security certificate for their websites. A certificate essentially vouches for a site’s safety. One service, building a client base and updating its wares since 2016, aims to make these tasks not only easy, but free. Enter the latest version of ZeroSSL.

Apple and Google’s contract-tracing system to ban Location Services access

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New guidelines are meant to help developers create easy-to-understand contact tracing apps.
Photo: Apple/Google

Apple and Google released additional details about their coronavirus contact-tracing system Monday, informing public health officials that they will not be able to use Location Services to track people. The companies also said they will limit use of the contact-tracing API to one per country.

Both companies also showed off what an app might look like on people’s smartphones — and shared sample pieces of code local governments could use in their own mobile apps.

Apple acquires Italian startup that specializes in backend automation

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The Stamplay team.
Photo: Il Sol 24 Ore

Apple recently acquired a startup that could soon help the iPhone-maker deliver better backend tools to iOS and macOS developers.

Stamplay, an Italian startup that specialized in building a “low code workflow automation” platform, was reportedly purchased by Apple for about $5.6 million. The acquisition hasn’t been confirmed by Apple but there are some telltale signs that Stamplay’s tech has found a new home.

Twitter calmly explains why it broke your favorite apps

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Twitter
Many of the features of Tweetbot, Twitterrific, and similar apps just stopped working. Twitter's CEO tells us why.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Despite protests, Twitter made changes today that break some features of popular third-party apps. The company’s CEO explains that all Twitter is doing is finally enforcing a 9-year-old policy.

Rob Johnson says the company will no longer devote resources to apps it didn’t want built in the first place. The situation is a bit more complex that that, though.

macOS Mojave changes spell doom for indie Mac games

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Apple is making life a lot harder for smaller game studios.
Photo: Cult of Mac

A big change Apple is making with macOS Mojave could make it more difficult for indie developers to build cross-platform games.

Apple is pushing game creators to drop OpenGL in favor of its own Metal API, which isn’t supported by third-party platforms. It may mean smaller game development teams are forced to choose between releasing on macOS or other operating systems.

Twitter won’t break third-party apps (at least not yet)

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Twitter
Twitter delayed a controversial change that may squeeze out third-party apps.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter today pushed back a change to its service that will prevent third-party applications from offering notifications to their users. The services that Talon, Tweetbot, Tweetings, and Twitterrific depend on will still be shut down. It just won’t happen when originally planned.

The replacement Twitter is working on might be completely unsuited for the needs of these third-party developers. And deliberately so. They’re trying to get the company to change course.

Customer service on Twitter just got a big upgrade

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Twitter has changed its mind on deleting inactive user accounts (for now)
Twitter is crushing dreams in 2020.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter has made new tweaks that make it easier for businesses to provide customer service through direct message.

Its more relaxed rules mean that businesses can more freely reply to customers who need support without having to worry about reaching a direct message limit. Spam accounts will still find it difficult to bombard users with junk, however.

Twitter begins long-awaited crackdown on bots

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Twitter
Will Facebook and Instagram follow suit?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Twitter has finally begun its long-awaited crackdown on bots.

The company has made changes to its API that make it significantly harder for services to batch tweet to multiple accounts, retweet, follow users, and more. This puts a stop to the software that powers Twitter bots.

Sleep Number’s ‘It’ bed will help you improve your sleep habits

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The bed that might know more about how well you sleep than you do.
Photo: Sleep Number

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverage Sleep Number is perhaps one of the very few companies at CES that actually wants to put us to sleep instead of keep us awake with bright screens and games all night. It’s very latest method for accomplishing that goal is the It bed: a bed that will track different aspects of your sleep patterns during the night to inform you on just how well you’re sleeping at night. Plus, it’ll integrate with its own app and other third-party apps to do that.

Apple bans hundreds of apps that swiped user data

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apps
Apple responded swiftly to the discovery that over 250 apps collected data with private APIs.
Photo: Jason Howie/Flickr CC

Apple banned over 250 apps from the App Store that were using software to access users’ personal information. These apps managed to get through the App Store approval process with private APIs, which are against the rules. Apple took action shortly after news broke this morning that a security firm discovered these apps.

iOS 8’s HomeKit puts Apple at heart of home automation

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Craig Federighi talks up Apple's home automation plans. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Craig Federighi talks up Apple's home automation plans. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

In the not-so-distant future, we’ll use smartphones to control nearly everything around our homes. We already have smart light bulbs, thermostats, locks and appliances, but we lack a central platform for all these devices.

That’s all going to change this fall when Apple releases iOS 8 with HomeKit, an important new protocol for developers. This will create the kind of universal platform that could revolutionize home automation.

AgileBits Discounts 1Password 4 For iOS As Dropbox Syncing Stops In Previous Versions

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AgileBits has announced today that 1Password 4 will be on sale for just $7.99 for a limited time. That’s 55% off its regular price tag, and the app’s cheapest price tag to date. But what’s the reason for the sale? Well, on September 1, Dropbox syncing will stop in 1Password 3 for iOS, and AgileBits wants you to upgrade to the latest version to keep this functionality.

Jawbone Up’s New Platform Lets Third-Party Apps Work With Your Wristband

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Jawbone has today launched a new platform for iOS that allows third-party apps to work with your Up wristband. The API is called the Up Platform, and provides access to all of your fitness data, including steps, calories, and distance traveled.

The Up Platform has already been integrated into ten iOS apps, including IFTTT, LoseIt, Maxwell Health, MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, Notch, RunKeeper, Sleepio, Wello, and Withings.

The PopSLATE Case Adds An Additional 4-Inch Display To Your iPhone 5

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Just some of the things you can use a popSLATE case for.
Just some of the things you can use a popSLATE case for.

Apple increased the iPhone’s screen size for the first time when it launched the iPhone 5, giving users an additional 0.5 inches worth of Retina display. If that’s still not enough for you, don’t think you’ll have to give up on iOS and turn to Android; pick up the popSLATE case instead and add an addition 4-inch display to your iPhone 5.

Facebook SDK 3.1 Now Available To iOS Developers

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The latest Facebook SDK makes the Facebook on iOS experience even greater.
The latest Facebook SDK makes the Facebook on iOS experience even greater.

Facebook has released the latest version of its SDK — version 3.1 — to iOS developers. The update brings a number of great new features, such as native Facebook login for third-party apps, native sharing sheets, and more, and Facebook promises that it will make it “easier to build more immersive social experiences, as well as better ways to distribute and promote your app.”

Facebook Integration For iOS 6 Might Flood Your Contacts With Worthless Email Addresses

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Facebook integration for iOS 6 will be launching in a few weeks along side the iPhone 5, which is pretty cool because now you’ll be able to share photos, update your status, or even like songs without having to open up the crappy Facebook app.

The only drawback for iOS 6’s Facebook integration is that Facebook is using it to push their “@facebook.com” email addresses to everyone. What it means is that even though no one uses their @facebook.com address or know they exist, your address book is going to be infested with them.

iOS 6 Fix For In-App Purchasing Exploit Cannot Be Bypassed

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Apple takes down the exploit that bypassed in-app purchases like this one.

Apple’s fight against Russian hacker Alex Borodin, who took advantage of an in-app purchasing exploit to provide users with paid content for free, has paid off. The Cupertino company has developed a fix that will make its debut in iOS 6, which is almost impossible to bypass, according to Borodin.