Buildozer Beta Updates
Buildozer, the hosted CI solution for mobile developers, is happy to have many iOS Dev Weekly readers among its beta testers. In the past months the build automation service has been enhanced significantly. The build process has been streamlined: it's now easy to configure a project and generate automated builds for testers or customers. TestFlight integration will be added in the next couple of weeks.
Is Apple Finally Adding Ratings Into Ranking Factors?
Tom Cummings on a potential change to the App Store search ranking algorithm to factor in customer ratings. I would like to see some more wide ranging research done on this but from the information that is presented here it does seem like this has happened. This has to be a good move for the store and gives some real incentive to get the ratings for your app up as close to 5 star as possible.
Will there be an Apple TV SDK?
Ben Thompson with a comprehensive round up of the continuing speculation around whether we will ever see a public SDK for the Apple TV. The quote by Dan Frommer that the HBO Apple TV app was developed completely in house supports the theory that a SDK is ready for consumption outside the confines of Cupertino but there is still no strong evidence that it will ever happen. I wonder if we will ever get our hands on it?
Unity introduces new 2D tools
Lots of new announcements from Unity this week about the next version of their game engine and toolkit. The significant announcement here for me was the inclusion of a dedicated 2D mode, including support for 2D sprites and sprite animations and a dedicated 2D physics engine (Box2D). Definitely not the cheap option for creating 2D games but it's a significant new direction for the product.
Nick Lockwood with an iOS 7 live blur component which performs remarkably well (despite not yet using the iOS 7 snapshotting code as of the current release). It can also be configured to do non-live blurring on a view which is probably a more sensible option for performance. To top it all off it's compatible with iOS 6 and looks to be completely App Store safe to me. This looks like a great solution.
Preventing Xcode from building with #error
Neat tip from Zach Waugh for preventing Xcode compiling in situations where configuration flags would cause bad things to happen. I don't see #error and #warning used very often but they can be very useful in the right situation.
Håvard Fossli with some useful macros for SenTestingKit to wait while asynchronous code is tested. It includes support for timing out after a duration to also fail the test if it takes too long. Looks to be a very simple solution to this issue.
Very pretty, simple, animated pie chart component from XY Feng.
OmniKeyMaster: Upgrade Pricing for Mac App Store Customers
The most disappointing thing to me about this article is the entire premise of the article is based around moving people off the Mac App Store. I love the convenience and licensing terms of the Mac App Store so much, I would buy all of my Mac software there if I could. I think Apple's recent actions with Logic Pro have proven that they don't see upgrade pricing as something they are prioritising so for companies wishing to offer it then something like this is the only option for people who originally purchased through the MAS.
Extracting colours with alpha
I hadn't come across the Color Sampler tool in Photoshop before reading this article by Marc Edwards but it gives a nice run down of a clever technique for extracting pure colours from a composite image. I am not sure how often I will need to do this but I found the technique fascinating.
Business and Marketing
iOS game developer to offer IAP permanent unlock option
Peter Cohen reporting on a new game from Strange Flavour which is planning to offer an "unlimited currency" option in their upcoming IAP game. Even better, if you buy some of the regular in-app currency purchases then the unlock of unlimited currency IAP is reduced in price. This seems like a really good compromise to me and would probably mean I would buy some of these currency based IAPs which is something I never do at the moment.
Behold The World's Smallest Working Macintosh
How small would a tiny iPhone be?