| Cult of Mac

Apple boosts trade-in value for Mac mini prototypes to soothe angry devs

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Mac mini with ARM chip
Apple more than doubled the trade-in on the early return of the Mac mini Developer Transition Kit.
Photo: Apple

Apple sweetened the deal offered to developers for the early return of the Mac mini that they used to test macOS Big Sur running on Apple Silicon. Friday, the company responded to complaints that it wasn’t offering enough for the Developer Transition Kits by more than doubling the amount of money previously offering for the units.

iOS devs can now create public beta links through TestFlight

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Apple's TestFlight is used to beta test apps before they're ready for prime time.
Expect easier access to iOS app betas.
Photo: Cult of Mac

It’s now easier than ever for iOS developers to distribute beta versions of their apps.

Apple is allowing them to share public URLs, which allow for quick enrollment when opened on an iPhone or iPad, through TestFlight. Developers no longer need an email address for every tester.

Apple video continues to push devs to use app subscriptions

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App Store
Apple apps no longer dominate App Store search results.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s efforts to encourage developers to use in-app subscriptions continued this week with a new video published to its developer portal.

“Developer Insights” highlights the benefits of a subscription model with reoccurring payments, and features testimonials from app makers who are already enjoying a subscription model. Apple has already held meetings with developers to warn them that one-time purchases are dying.

iAd Workbench Lets Devs Advertise Their Apps For As Little As $50

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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.

iPhone 5 ‘Low Light Boost Mode’ Optional For Third-Party Apps

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The iPhone 5 takes great pictures in low light. This is thanks to a “boost mode” which amps up the signal from the chip to grab back detail from the shadows. This comes at the expense of extra noise (it’s effectively upping the ISO of certain sections of the image), and presumably getting some extra noise-reduction to even things up.

However, right now you’ll only find it in the native camera app. But not for long.

Devs Can Graft Real-Time Analytics Onto Their Apps With TestFlight Live

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Running Cult of Mac, one of the most addictive aspects of managing the site on a daily basis is watching our real-time analysis metrics spit out numbers at us. It’s a fun, gamey way to measure how we’re doing over the course of the day — the site owner’s equivalent of watching XP bubble out of his level 13 warrior’s head as he wades into a crowd of orcs in World of Warcraft.

If I were an app developer, it seems like it would be pretty great to have the equivalent of real-time analytics for my app: a way to see at any given moment how many people were playing with my app, and what they were doing with it. And now TestFlibght, the popular beta distro service for iPhone and iPad apps, is here with a new service that does just that.

pCalc Dev Defiantly Releases Update In Face Of Lodsys Patent Troll Threats

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Screen shot 2011-05-13 at 4.28.22 PM

After indie dev James Thomson was threatened with a lawsuit earlier today by a patent troll called Lodsys for using Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism in his pCalc iOS app, his first instinct was to play things cautious and not release the update scheduled for today.

Several hours later, though, and Thomson is feeling bolder: he’s decided to release the update to pCalc anyway. But will the other devs hit with shakedowns today be so plucky and defiant?