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Apple to refund $32.5m to parents whose kids made in-app purchases
Interesting to note that this didn't go to a court case but was settled. Looking back not just at this case but over the full history of the operating system I would imagine that Apple regret adding that 15 minute purchase permission time window as it has been the cause of so much negative press over the years. With explicit permission becoming necessary for purchases, it's surely time to splash out on that iPhone 5s.
What's really going on with the Starbucks mobile app information leak
Nick Arnott on the Starbucks story that blew up earlier this week when it was discovered that their app was storing location, passwords and other data in plain text on the file system. In this article, Nick clears up some of the misinformation reported when this story broke. Let this be your annual reminder to be careful with what you store to the iOS filesystem and especially careful with what you NSLog (why on earth do people leave NSLog statements in production code anyway).
ClangFormat Xcode Plugin
Travis Jeffery with an integration of the new clang-format tool, which I mentioned back in Issue 93, directly into Xcode. The plugin will format either an entire fiIe or selected text with your preferred code styling format. I bet this feature will be embedded directly into Xcode 6 but until that happens, you can use this to enforce your Objective-C style guidelines.
The Story of Code Pilot
Zbigniew Sobiecki with the fascinating story of the development of Code Pilot. The good news is that Code Pilot is now compatible with Xcode 5, the bad news is that the app was not pulling in enough revenue to be sustainable given the vast amount of effort needed whenever Xcode got updated. Top marks for open sourcing it rather than just shutting it down though.
iOS Static Libraries Are, Like, Really Bad, And Stuff
Landon Fuller on the state of iOS "frameworks" as they stand today. I would say that the limitations around frameworks is one of the biggest weaknesses of the developer platform today. Cocoapods helps with this a little (although it is fundamentally solving a different problem) but the ability to have a standard, supported method of creating static libraries would be a huge step forward. If you agree, Landon has included a template for a Radar in case you want to duplicate this (Hint: It will get looked at by more people inside Apple if you do file a duplicate).
A closer look at the iOS7 App Switcher
Fascinating idea from Vinh Phuc Dinh on using a dynamic image for your app's preview in the iOS 7 task switcher. I really love this concept and while I can see it being overused or used for inappropriate purposes, the idea to create a clear, readable version of whatever content your app is displaying is a brilliant one. There is a sample implementation of this idea included at the top of the post. Inspired thinking.
What a great idea from Julio Andres. Using face detection in Core Image to implement a content mode which centres an image view's content on the subject's face.
Exploring GPGPU on iOS
Bartosz Ciechanowski with an investigation into using the GPU not for rendering pixels to the screen, or even to do image processing but to perform generic calculations. Most of this went far over my head but I enjoyed reading it regardless.
Tips on Designing Sounds for iOS Apps
This FAQ document, which accompanies a royalty and attribution free set of 48 sounds specifically designed for iOS, contains some great advice before integrating UI sounds into your apps. I think the first point is the most important, use sound sparingly (and give the option to disable it) but there is some useful information here on effectively using UI sounds.
Hamish McNeill with a great article on the classic design problem of an empty dataset on the first launch of your app. He takes a look at some of the solutions Apple have used to provide useful information in an empty state and gives some tips on giving that appealing first launch that you should be aiming for.
Business and Marketing
Don’t fall below the app poverty line
Daniel Doebrich with a set of five quite different strategies for ensuring you have a sustainable revenue stream with your mobile app. His advice to think about this at the beginning of an app idea is a good one, but the slightly depressing aspect of the article is that none of the strategies are simply "Charge an up-front price for your application".
Innovation on the App Store
Every screenshot a different app...