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Apple lends Vision Pro AR headset to devs on a very short leash


The Apple Developer Program has some very strict demands for anyone lucky enough to get a Vision Pro loaner.
The Apple Developer Program has some very strict demands for anyone lucky enough to get a Vision Pro loaner.
Image: Apple

A fortunate few will soon get their hands on the Apple Vision Pro. Developers can now apply to get a prerelease loaner unit with which to test the applications they’re creating for the upcoming AR headset.

But don’t expect to see people walking the street with a Vision Pro anytime soon. Apple’s rules for the loaner units are extremely restrictive.

Apple VP of developer relations retires as the role gets more challenging


Developer relations is getting more complex
The App Store is critical to Apple, and that makes developer relations an important role.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Ron Okamoto quietly retired after two decades as Apple’s vice president of Developer Relations. He helped oversee the tools provided to third-party iPhone and Mac application developers, and helped set policies for the App Store.

His retirement comes as governments around the world are investigating whether Apple treats fairly the third-party developers who depend on the iPhone and Mac App Stores.

First macOS 11.3 beta brings tweaks to Safari and Reminders


First macOS 11.3 beta brings tweaks to Safari and Reminders
Those in the Apple Developer Program can begin testing macOS Big Sur 11.3.
Image: Cult of Mac

A mere day after the release of a fresh macOS version, Apple went ahead and seeded to developers macOS 11.3 beta 1. The company isn’t one to sit on its hands.

The new beta includes small improvments to Safari and Reminders. And enhancements to a range of other features too. Plus bug fixes, of course.

Controversial anti-tracking feature is about to go live in iOS 14


Your iPhone will soon offer a bit more privacy.
With iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4, applications will have to ask if they can track you.
Graphic: Apple

Apple seeded to developers the release candidates for iOS 14.4 and the iPad equivalent on Thursday. It’s probably the last step before a public release. Among other changes, these new versions will apparently give iPhone and iPad users the option to block third-party applications from tracking them.

Devs can also install watchOS 7.3 RC and tvOS 14.4 RC, which became available Thursday too. But macOS Big Sur 11.2 is still on Beta 2.

Apple quickly begins beta testing iOS 14.4, watchOS 7.3 and macOS 11.2 [Updated]


iOS 14.4 beta 1, iPadOS 14.4 beta 1, watchOS 7.3 beta 1 and tvOS 14.4 beta 1
iOS 14.4 is just one of multiple Apple operating system updates now in beta testing.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Never one to rest on its laurels, Apple already seeded the first betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. And that’s not all. watchOS 7.3 beta 1 and tvOS 14.4 beta 1 are also up for testing.

If that wasn’t enough, macOS Big Sur 11.2 is included in this rush of fresh pre-release versions, too.

Apple makes it easy for devs to offer discounted app subscriptions


Subscription offer codes could turn this crown into potential customers.
This crowd is potential customers that could be wooed with easily redeemable discounts on App Store subscriptions.
Photo: Cameron Casey/Pexels CC

It will soon be possible for developers to give out codes to customers that bring discounts on subscription fees for software or services in the Apple App Store. The goal is to help app creators “acquire, retain, and win back subscribers” with these one-time use codes that people can then easily redeem, according to Apple.

Apple brings in kinder, gentler App Store policies


A new App Store policy makes it easy to suggest a change to the guidelines
A new App Store policy makes requesting a change to App Review Guidelines as easy as filling out a form.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple instituted new policies to make the App Store a bit friendlier for developers. On Monday, it stopped blocking “bug fix” updates because of minor violations of its rules.

Also, when an application is accused of violating the guidelines, developers have the option to suggest a change to the rules.

Apple details exactly how WWDC 2020 will go down


Apple WWDC 2020 lineup revealed
Apple's first online-only WWDC will be open to all.
Image: Apple

WWDC 2020 Apple laid out its plans for “the biggest WWDC to date” in a press release Wednesday, detailing exactly how the first online-only developers conference will go down.

With live streams available on Apple’s website, YouTube and other platforms, everyone can watch the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 22. During the highly anticipated event, Cupertino’s execs will showcase what the future holds for iPhone, Mac and other Apple devices.