| Cult of Mac

Developer gives ‘audible gasp’ using Vision Pro the first time

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Developer gives ‘audible gasp’ using Vision Pro the first time
Apple's Vision Pro labs let developers test their apps on the upcoming headset. Some devs reportedly came away impressed.
Photo: Apple

Developers who visited Apple’s special labs to test their Vision Pro apps on the upcoming headset came away impressed, according to a cheery new Apple press release. The labs, which let devs test third-party apps on the AR headset Apple plans to release next year, are reportedly not well-attended. So, Apple seems intent on drumming up interest.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, developers who went to Apple’s labs offered some very positive comments about the hardware and software.

Take a look at these impressive third-party apps for Vision Pro

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Broadcasts running in the Vision Pro simulated living room
Broadcasts, seen here in the Vision Pro Simulator’s living room environment.
Image: Steve Troughton-Smith

The first screenshots and videos of apps being built for Vision Pro show just how easy it is to port iOS apps to Apple’s upcoming augmented reality headset.

Apple just released the visionOS software development kit last Wednesday, and already people are refitting their iPhone apps for Apple’s new mixed-reality platform and sharing the results online.

The apps include Broadcasts, which lets you tune in to internet radio and livestreams — and leave a little Now Playing window anywhere in your virtual space. With cooking app Crouton in visionOS, you can place timers all around your kitchen. And Tasks, a powerful to-do app, works exactly as it does on your Mac and iPhone.

In my opinion, this is what will ultimately make visionOS succeed where similar mixed-reality platforms failed: It builds heavily on the same technologies that underpin iOS. If you can build an iPhone app, you can build a Vision Pro app.

Here’s a gallery of what some popular indie apps look like running on Vision Pro.

Apple touts events ‘Beyond WWDC,’ from watch parties to hackathons

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Apple launched a
Apple launched a "Beyond WWDC" webpage listing all sorts of fun events.
Photo: Apple
WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac X

In addition to promoting the new #WWDC22 hashtag this week, Apple has made a special webpage highlighting community-hosted events set to happen during or after its Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

The events are a good opportunity for “learning, networking, and fun,” Apple said.

App Store stopped nearly $1.5 billion in fraud in 2021, Apple says

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Apple's press materials led with this graphic.
Apple's press materials led with this graphic.
Photo: Apple

Apple distributed a new set of fraud analysis data Wednesday. It indicated the App Store prevented 1.6 million “risky” and “untrustworthy” apps from defrauding users in 2021, stopping “nearly $1.5 billion in fraudulent transactions.”

As with other recent data compilations, Cupertino released the news at a time when the App Store’s strict policies have come under fire.

Small developers are earning more through the App Store

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Small developers are earning more through the App Store
Revenue growth for small App Store developers outpaces growth for large developers.
Photo: Apple

App Store revenue for smaller developers increased by 113% over the past two years – more than double the growth of large developers, according to a study financed by Apple.

And the iPhone app economy supported more than 2.2 million jobs in the U.S. in 2021.

Lessons we can learn from World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft imparts many powerful lessons, if you're wise enough to listen.
World of Warcraft imparts many powerful lessons, if you're wise enough to listen.
Photo: Adobe Stock

This post on World of Warcraft is brought to you by MmoGah.

Since its debut nearly two decades ago, World of Warcraft has claimed its place at the top of the gaming industry. This massively multiplayer online roleplaying game is probably the most successful video game ever created.

More than 100 million World of Warcraft accounts have been created since the game’s inception in 2004. Additionally, the game has grossed more than $9 billion, making it the highest-earning video game of all time. While its subscription numbers have fallen over the years, WoW offers plenty of lessons for developers and gamers.

One of the main reasons World of Warcraft remained popular all this time is because it equips players with skills and lessons that they can apply in real life. And it’s not only players who can learn from this game. Game developers, especially up-and-coming ones, can pick up a few notes on how to improve their creative output.

Let’s start with what game devs can learn from World of Warcraft.

Ukraine war causes devs to pull software from Russian App Store

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Readdle stands among developers pulling apps from the Russian App Store and calling for help for Ukraine.
Readdle stands among developers pulling apps from the Russian App Store and calling for help for Ukraine.
Photo: Readdle

As the Russian armed incursion into Ukraine continues, several developers have pulled their apps from the Russian App Store. Companies that have done so to date include Ukraine-based Readdle, MacPaw and Ajax Systems, as well as Grammarly and Epam, sources have told Cult of Mac.

The app makers add their voices to numerous other companies taking their business away from Russia amid the conflict.

Regulator fines Apple again, dismisses feeble attempt to add alternative payments

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App Store image
Just as we thought, Apple's approach to alternative payments is a joke.
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

Dutch regulators hit Apple with another $5 million fine Monday for not properly complying with new rules that say dating apps should be allowed to accept alternative payment methods. The penalty now totals $20 million.

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) dismissed Cupertino’s feeble attempts to satisfy its requirements and said developers should not have to build brand-new apps to offer alternative payments options.

Apple gets another $5.7 million fine over App Store payments

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App Store
Apple's response hasn't been good enough.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple today received its third €5 million (approx. $5.7 million) fine from Dutch regulators for failing to comply with new legislation that allows dating apps to accept payments outside of the App Store.

The Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) warned Cupertino that it could have to pay up to €50 million (approx. $57 million) for not abiding by the new rules. “ACM is disappointed in Apple’s behavior and actions,” it said Monday.