Developers in Tunisia and Zimbabwe can now publish paid apps on the Play Store

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It might surprise you to know that developers in many countries can’t sell paid apps on the Play Store. Last month, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania added support for merchant registration (a prerequisite to sell paid apps and IAPs on the Play Store), and now Tunisia and Zimbabwe have joined in on the fun.

We learned of these additions by way of a Google Play Console support page, but we’re not sure if they’ve officially rolled out yet.

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Developers in Tunisia and Zimbabwe can now publish paid apps on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Developers create a touchscreen MacBook for just $1

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There’s good news for everyone who wants a MacBook with a touchscreen. A group of developers came up with a way that cost them just $1 in hardware. The process involves the laptop’s webcam, a mirror, and some programming. It’s just a proof of concept, but it shows potential. Amish Athatye, one of the developers, […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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macOS 10.13.5 Beta 1 Released To Developers

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Apple has just made available to download macOS 10.13.5 beta 1 to developers registered on Apple Developer Program portal. Here are the details.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Apple issues first macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 beta to developers

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Following the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 on Friday, Apple has restarted the operating system testing cycle once again, issuing its first beta of macOS 10.13.5 to developers enrolled in Apple’s testing program on Tuesday.
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Apple Seeds First Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 to Developers

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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update to developers, just under one week after releasing the macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 beta can be downloaded through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed. The update does not appear to be listed in the Apple Developer Center at the current time, but it is available for developers who previously installed the macOS High Sierra beta profile.


It’s not yet clear what improvements the fifth major update to macOS High Sierra will bring, but it’s likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.4.

We are waiting on several features to come to macOS and iOS, including Messages on iCloud, a feature that was in the iOS 11.3 beta but later pulled. Messages on iCloud has been reintroduced in the iOS 11.4 beta and is likely in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 as well.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 update brought support for external graphics processors (eGPUs) along with Business Chat in Messages and several other bug fixes and smaller feature improvements.

We’ll update this post should any new features be discovered in macOS High Sierra 10.13.5.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Instagram is limiting how much data some developers can collect from its API — and cutting off others altogether

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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom.

Facebook’s response to Cambridge Analytica continues with Instagram.

Instagram is cutting off API access for some developers and limiting how often others can use its API to collect data on Instagram users. The move appears to be part of Facebook’s efforts to cull back data access in the wake of the company’s Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

On Friday, Instagram suddenly changed the rate limit for its Platform API — essentially decreasing the number of times a developer can use the API to ping Instagram for updated information, according to conversations with multiple developers.

The rate limit for Instagram’s Platform API was 5,000 calls per hour, but was suddenly reduced to 200 calls per hour on Friday, sources say.

In other cases, Instagram cut off access to the API for some developers entirely, sources say. None of the developers we spoke with were alerted to the changes before they happened.

What the rate limit update means, in plain English, is that developers can pull data from Instagram much less often than they were allowed to before. For some industries that rely on near-constant access to Instagram data — industries like customer service or brand marketing — these limits can make it difficult to keep up with customer complaints or posts, developers said.

It can also limit the total volume of information that outsiders have access to. If developers need to be pickier about what data calls they make, they might stop collecting data on topics or users they don’t necessarily need simply because they can, developers said.

We don’t know Instagram’s motives for certain, though. The company declined to comment, or to confirm that any changes were made.

But multiple developers pointed out the change on Twitter, and Recode was also directed to a conversation on Stack Overflow, a Q&A site for developers. TechCrunch first reported on the API changes.

While developers might not be happy with the unexpected change, it makes sense. Facebook — and apparently Instagram — is looking hard at all of the ways the two services share data with outsiders as part of the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal that rocked the company last month.

Instagram has already said that it was planning to scale back its Platform API, just not this early. The company originally told developers it would start to sunset features of the API beginning this summer, and to move everyone over to a more limited API by “early 2020.”

It looks like the Cambridge Analytica situation, in which an outside data firm got hold of the personal Facebook data of some 50 million people without their consent, may be speeding up Instagram’s original plan.

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Instagram suddenly chokes off developers as Facebook chases privacy

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Without warning, Instagram has broken many of the unofficial apps built on its platform. This weekend it surprised developers with a massive reduction in how much data they can pull from the Instagram API, shrinking the API limit from 5,000 to 200 calls per user per hour. Apps that help people figure out if their followers follow them back or interact with them, analyze their audiences or find relevant hashtags are now quickly running into their API limits, leading to broken functionality and pissed off users.

Two sources confirmed the new limits to TechCrunch, and developers are complaining about the situation on StackOverflow.

In a puzzling move, Instagram is refusing to comment on what’s happening while its developer rate limits documentation site 404s. All it would confirm is that Instagram has stopped accepting submissions of new apps, just as Facebook announced it would last week following backlash over Cambridge Analytica. Developers tell me they feel left in the dark and angry that the change wasn’t scheduled or even officially announced, preventing them from rebuilding their apps to require fewer API calls.

Third-party Instagram platform apps like Reports+ provide users analytics on their audiences, but are breaking due to the new API limits

Some developers suspect the change is part of Instagram parent company Facebook’s scramble to improve data privacy in the wake of its non-stop string of data scandals. In the past week, Facebook announced it was shutting down Partner Categories ad targeting based on third-party data brokers. TechCrunch reported that Facebook also plans to require businesses to pledge that they have consumers’ consent to attain their email addresses, which they use for ad targeting through Custom Audiences.

Most public backlash has focused on #DeleteFacebook and ignored its subsidiaries like Instagram and WhatsApp. But Instagram may hope to prevent the virus of distrust from infecting its app too by cutting the API call limit to 1/25th of its previous volume.

Causing this kind of platform whiplash could push developers away from the Instagram ecosystem, not that the company was too keen on some of these apps. For example, Reports+ charges $ 3.99 per month to give people analytics about their Instagram followers. Sensor Tower tells TechCrunch that Reports+ has grossed more than $ 18 million worldwide since October 2016 on the App Store and Google Play, and made more than $ 1.2 million last month alone.

Instagram might have understandably seen these apps as parasitic, charging users for unofficial functionality or encouraging audience growth hacking that can lead to spam. In January, Instagram announced it would shut down the old API over the next two years, starting with removing the ability to pull a user’s follower list and follow/unfollow people on their behalf on July 31st. Instagram has been slowly trying to clean up its platform for years, having previously threatened legal actions against derivative apps with “Insta” or “Gram” in their names in 2013, and shut down its feed API in 2015 that allowed for unofficial Instagram feed-reading apps.

Instagram is now pushing developers on a much more restrictive platform that only lets approved partners post at users’ behest, and that can only pull mentions of and analytics about business accounts. These changes were slated to kill many of the apps broken by this weekend’s API limit reductions.

But at least developers were given fair warning about the July 31st deadline. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that Facebook put a pause on reviewing any new applications last Monday as it tries to shore up data privacy safeguards in the wake of Cambridge Analytica . Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that the moratorium on app submissions extends to Instagram’s new Graph API, but wouldn’t explain anything about the API limits. So Instagram is breaking old apps while not allowing developers to submit new, compliant ones.

“Instagram’s lack of communication is frustrating to me because now I’m scrambling to update my apps and dealing with loads of unhappy customers,” a developer told me on the condition of anonymity. “If I had had a month to prep for this, I could’ve tweaked things so that limit was harder to reach. I’d be more frugal with my requests. What happened is all of a sudden, I’m getting dozens of emails, DMs on Instagram, with people saying the app’s not working.”

While Facebook is wise to scrutinize apps pulling in lots of user data, doing so without warning or even an announcement is how Facebook hurt its relationships with developers circa 2009 as it tried to rapidly reign in spammy virality. Facebook is enduring a crisis of conscience regarding whether its apps can be misused as weapons by those trying to interfere with elections or just exploit our data for profit.

But as the owner of some of the world’s most popular developer platforms, it’s worrying to see it flail and thrash this way. If Facebook and Instagram can’t even communicate changes to its policies with proper procedure and transparency, it’s hard to imagine it’s composed enough to firmly and fairly enforce them.

For more on Facebook and Instagram’s troubles, check out our feature pieces:

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Apple Seeds tvOS 11.4 Beta 1 to Developers

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Following the public launch of tvOS 11.3 late last week, Apple is moving ahead with a new developer beta to try out an upcoming software update. Continue reading
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Apple seeds first betas of iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1 and tvOS 11.4 to developers

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Apple on Monday seeded the first betas of iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1 and tvOS 11.4 to developers. Registers developers can download the new betas through Apple’s dev center, or they can be installed using each platform’s respective OTA updating mechanism…. Read the rest of this post here


Apple seeds first betas of iOS 11.4, watchOS 4.3.1 and tvOS 11.4 to developers” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 4.3.1 to Developers

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Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.3.1 update to developers, a little under one week after releasing watchOS 4.3, a major update that introduced portrait Nightstand mode and iPhone music controls on Apple Watch.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.


To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

It’s not yet clear what new features will be introduced in the watchOS 4.3.1 update, but it’s likely to include bug fixes for issues that have been discovered since the release of watchOS 4.3.

Should we find any new features in the watchOS 4.4 beta, we’ll update this post.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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