HTML5 iOS app demos to interactive ads on mobile phone

I’ve covered App.io a few times in the past. The service, which allows app devs to deploy fully useable HTML5 demo versions of their native iOS apps on the web, first launched under the name “Kickfolio” back in 2012. The goal for the company was originally to let devs bring demos of their apps to promotional webpages and it eventually expanded the platform to include Facebook and other channels. Today, and around 2 million interactive app demos later, the company is announcing that it’s bringing those same app demos directly to mobile devices as interactive ads.

The ads go a step beyond the interactive app-like experience that Apple promised, but never quite delivered, with iAd, and allows users to play a demo of the app before deciding to purchase/download or even visit the App Store at all. The ad starts off as a banner or like any other ad but turns into a demo version of a native iOS app that is fully playable for a set period of time before prompting the user to visit the App Store. The company tells me in its initial tests it saw “3-5x higher conversion rates than normal mobile ads.”

Apple considers Notification Center + Messages tweaks,removing Game Center app in IOS 8

IOS 8

Besides adding new Maps, Healthbook, and iTunes Radio applications, Apple plans to enhance and refine the functionality of some of its current pre-bundled applications and features for iOS 8. Here is a list, provided by sources, of some of the refinements Apple is considering for select applications and system functions in iOS 8:

 

- Notification Center: Notification Center, the translucent drop-down menu for managing alerts may be simplified. In iOS 7, Notification Center includes a “Today” view, “All” Notifications view, and a “Missed” Notifications view. In iOS 8, Apple is considering reducing the panel to solely include the “Today” and “Notifications” views.

ios 8

The new “Notifications” view would combine all notifications with missed notifications, making the overall experience simpler. After acquiring the team behind the app Cue last year, Apple has likely been working on adding additional pertinent information to Notification Center, but it is uncertain if those enhancements will be ready this year for iOS 8.

- Inter-app communication: Apple is said to be working on and testing functionality that would allow apps from the App Store to better communicate. This is known as an “XPC” service in the developer world. An API is being developed for apps to be able to share data. For example, a future photo editing application could have the ability to push the edited content for upload via the Instagram or Facebook apps. The debut of the API has been in development for the past couple of years, and it had been removed from the launch version of iOS 7 last year for unspecified reasons. With that in mind, it is plausible that Apple could, again, choose to hold back the functionality.

- Voice Memos: Apple plans to move around some of the controls in the Voice Memos application to be more visible. Some iOS 7 users have complained that it is unclear which controls in Voice Memos need to be clicked to play recordings, and iOS 8 will fix this.

ios 8

- Messages: Apple is said to be considering adding the ability for Messages threads in iOS 8 to automatically be deleted. The options for auto-deleting of threads on a user’s local device are said to be removal after a month or after a year. The functionality is being integrated in order for the iOS Device storage space to not be clogged up by old Messages threads, which is a common problem among iOS Device users with old backups or dated hardware. The auto-deletion will be optional, so users who never want their threads disappearing have nothing to worry about.

- Game Center: Sources say that Apple is considering removing the Game Center application from iOS and OS X. Instead of having the (little-used) Game Center app, the functionality will solely be found inside in games that have integrated the social gaming service. Just last year, Apple completely redesigned the Game Center app for iOS 7 to remove the green felt and casino theme from the Scott Forstall era. Yesterday’s leaked screenshots did, however, show the Game Center icon.

- CarPlay: While iOS 7’s version of CarPlay exclusively works over the Lightning cable, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that can conduct CarPlay (in certain vehicles) over WiFi. The lines up with Volvo saying that its CarPlay implementation will work wirelesslyin the future. Of course, Apple has been testing WiFi CarPlay for sometime now with iOS 7, so perhaps the functionality will be pushed back once again.

In addition to the in-app tweaks, Apple has been working to speed up iOS 8 in comparison to iOS 7. Applications are said to launch more quickly, close more quickly, and overall system navigation is said to feel much smoother and more stable. Apple sped up animations and improved stability in the recent release of iOS 7.1, but the enhancements in iOS 8 are said to go a bit further.

Of course, Apple’s official introduction of iOS 8 is still a few months away, so the company’s plans can and likely will change at any time before WWDC.

Succeeding iOS 7, Apple’s “new beginning” for mobile software, iOS 8 will be the first major update to provide several refinements to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch software under the watch of design head Jony Ive and engineering lead Craig Federighi

Source From: 9to5mac

iOS 7.1 Update

Apple’s much-anticipated iOS 7.1 update could come any day now, according to new information from John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Gruber has heard that Apple has plans to release an iOS 7.1-reliant app that will stream the iTunes Festival performances at SXSW, and as SXSW will begin on March 11, iOS 7.1 will need to be released to the public ahead of that date.

Apple’s first iTunes Festival in the U.S. starts a week from today at SXSW in Austin. Apple is going to stream the performances to iOS devices using an app, but I’ve heard from a little birdie that the app requires iOS 7.1 (which explains why the app isn’t out yet). That means iOS 7.1 should ship any day now.

iOS 7.1 has been in testing since mid-November, and has seen five different developer betas thus far with the last beta coming on February 4. The operating system update includes a number of visual tweaks, including revamped shift and caps locks keys on the keyboard, refined icons for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages apps, and a new look for several aspects of the Phone dialer.
ios 7
Details on features in past beta releases can be found in our previous beta posts: Beta 1,Beta 2, Beta 3, Beta 4 and Beta 5.

A mid-March release date for iOS 7.1 is in line with several previous reports that havepointed to a March launch for the operating system. Apple has yet to seed a Golden Master build to developers, however.

Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, and London Grammar kick off the SXSW iTunes Festival with a performance on March 11 that begins at 7:30 PM CST.

iOS 8 Concept Video Features Unified Interface for Control Center and Multitasking

A concept video of what a unified Control Center and multitasking interface would look like in iOS 8 has been created by designer Bill Labus and posted by TheTechBlock (via Cult of Mac).

 

The version of iOS 8 in the video shows the app switcher and user settings in one unified view accessed by a single swipe up gesture. Users are free to multitask or toggle preferences such as music volume and WiFi, as the buttons for the toggles themselves have been combined into one space to allow for more room. The video also shows a refined Notification Center that features a minimalistic look with more centered text, which is triggered by a swipe gesture down.

ios 8
Labus also noted his reasons for making such changes to integrate the multitasking switcher into Control Center:

Unfortunately, I find double-clicking the home button to be irritating- there’s a noticeable delay between the second click and the multitasking view appearing, and in my haste I often accidentally triple-click the home button, forcing me to wait while the OS bounces into, and back out of, multitasking. Control Center’s bottom edge gesture is far faster and easier to perform, however as I said I do use Control Center frequently as well, so I wouldn’t necessarily want to swap the two and use the home button double click to bring up Control Center.

Apple introduced Control Center and a refined version of multitasking with the release of iOS 7 last fall. While an overhaul or unification of both is unlikely to happen with any immediate update to iOS 7, it is possible that Apple could make major changes in time for iOS 8, which will likely be released this fall.

Apple Acquires ‘TestFlight’ iOS Beta Testing Platform

Apple has purchased Burstly, the company behind the popular iOS beta testing platformTestFlight, according to TechCrunch. The site says its sources have “pointed in Apple’s direction” and that though it’s just a rumor at this point, it would make a good fit.

TestFlight said on Wednesday that it would be discontinuing its Android product and it will no longer take new customers for its beta testing SDK — existing customers can continue using TestFlight, however.

iOS Beta

Odder still is how these product announcements – which greatly impact the company’s mobile developer user base – have been handled so far. There’s been no mention of them on the TestFlight changelog, for example, no company blog post, no emails, and no mention of them on social media channels – that is, unless you count the replies to confused developers from @testflightapp, the company’s main Twitter account. Developers are being asked to reach out directly to the company via an email form instead of being given a more useful public reply.

There are a number of different beta testing iOS platforms, including TestFlight andHockeyApp, though a number of larger developers have created their own testing platforms through Apple’s Enterprise distribution program.

iOS 7.1 Will Release in March ?

new report from 9to5Mac claims iOS 7.1 will indeed be released to all iOS users in March, representing the first major revision since iOS 7 was launched publicly in September of last year.

Sources note the next version of iOS 7 will continue with the visual improvements, minor tweaks and bug fixes reported in earlier beta versions seeded to developers.

While recent reports are pegging a launch sooner than later, reliable sources say that Apple is currently planning to ship iOS 7.1, the first significant update to iOS 7, in March. The iOS 7.1 update is said to not have any “secret features,” and it will basically be what we have been told to expect by the past five betas: some user-interface tweaks in the Phone app, an improved Calendar app, speed improvements, and numerous bug-fixes.

BGR originally cited a March release date for iOS 7.1 back in late December, but a follow-up report earlier this week seemed to hedge on that claim somewhat by noting that the update was expected in the “coming weeks.” Slowing increments of build numbers from the developer beta versions suggest the software is nearing a public launch, but whether that date lands in late February or the early March is not clear.

ios 7.1

Previous iOS 7.1 betas have included various improvements such as a new “Button Shapes” option in Accessibility, keyboard tweaks that indicate shift and caps locks, a new event list view within the Calendar app and refined icons for the Phone, FaceTime, and Messages app. The unreleased iOS in the Car feature has also been refined in the iOS 7.1 beta testing period, but it is unclear when the functionality will be made available to the public.

Apple may be released iOS 7.1 beta 4 to developers recently

Apple may be close to releasing iOS 7.1 beta 4 to developers, according to a report byBGR. The new beta is reportedly in the hands of testing partners and is slated to be released to developers as soon as tomorrow. The beta will be the fourth of a reported six planned developer builds for iOS 7.1.

iOS 7.1

We are told there are various fixes in this latest version, including fixing keyboard issues, problems with the contacts app, more changes to the phone UI, and other changes. We have heard from sources that with iOS 7.1, Apple is working very hard to address some large memory bugs and other issues in iOS 7 that have caused crashes and restarts for a lot of people. Additionally, iOS 7.1 should help unify iOS 7 better graphically, with various user interface updates across the entire system and in apps for a more cohesive feel.

BGR has a bit of a hit-or-miss track record when it comes to predicting iOS releases, but the timing for a new iOS 7 beta release makes sense. Apple tends to release new beta versions every few weeks, and tomorrow would be two weeks since the release of iOS 7.1 beta 3. It should be noted that the build number mentioned by BGR for the fourth beta, 11D5127c, is actually for the current iOS 7.1 beta 3. A possible typo, however, doesn’t invalidate the entire rumor, and therefore it remains plausible that the beta 4 is still in the pipleline for a developer release tomorrow.

Chrome for iOS Adds Data Compression and Translation Tools

Google today announced an update to its Chrome web browser for iOS, bringing data compression functionality that can reduce data usage by up to 50%.

To start saving data and turn on an even more secure browsing experience, visit “Settings” > “Bandwidth management” > “Reduce data usage.” Then simply turn the toggle to “On.” From this menu, you’ll also be able to track how much bandwidth you save each month as you browse on Chrome.

iOS
The update will also see the addition of a translation bar that automatically offers to translate web pages into the user’s language. The translation bar will be familiar to users of the desktop version of Chrome, as a similar feature is already available on that platform.

Google says that the update will be rolling out “over the next few days”. Chrome is a free download from the App Store.