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WWDC 2014

WWDC 2014

A lot of exciting news from Apple at the WWDC last week! The next version of iOS was announced with many new features. Probably the biggest news was the new programming language, named Swift. iOS 8 will be available to the public in Fall 2014. Until then, I’ll be getting more familiar with iOS 8 and maybe we can use some of its new features in our apps. For more information on iOS 8, please visit https://www.apple.com/ios/ios8/.

Below are some notes of the upcoming iOS 8.

Family Sharing

  • Up to six people in your family can share purchases from the App Store without sharing accounts.
  • Family purchases can be made with the same credit card.
  • Can approve a child’s spending from a parent’s device.
  • Enable “Ask to Buy” to require your child to get permission before making purchases.

App Bundles

  • A number of new features are coming to the App Store, including the ability for developers to sell bundles of apps at a discount.
  • Maybe we will see a bundle of RWH Technology apps.

HomeKit & HealthKit

  • HomeKit will make it easier for developers to create apps for you to control devices around your house. Devices may include lights, heating, doors, etc.
  • HealthKit is a platform for integrating all your health and fitness data in iOS.
  • Both HomeKit and HealthKit have a lot of potential for helping those with disabilities.

Swift

  • Swift is a new, modern programming language for iOS.
  • Includes features to make code more expressive. This gives the programmer more flexibility in design.
  • Is a safer language, so fewer errors and therefore fewer crashes and bugs.
  • The interactive playground will be great for those learning how to program. Students can type code and immediately see results.

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FTC Privacy Concerns Regarding Mobile Apps for Children

A study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that most mobile apps for children are collecting and transmitting personally identifiable information (device IDs, phone numbers, locations and other private data) without the knowledge or consent of the parents.

The FTC reviewed 235 apps from the Google Play and Apple App stores and found some surprising statistics. Nearly 60% of the apps reviewed transmitted the device ID and many shared that ID with a third party, such as an advertising network. 14 apps also transmitted the location and phone number. By collecting personally identifiable information, third parties can create detailed profiles of children and place them at risk. Additionally, over 50% of the apps reviewed included In-App-Purchase or advertising. Only 20% of the apps reviewed included information about their privacy policies.

At RWH Technology we are committed to the privacy and safety of our customers and their children. We created a privacy policy based on the guidelines of the FTC as expressed in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA). Our apps:

  • Do not collect/share any user’s personally identifiable information.
  • Do not contain Social Network Integration or Links to Social Media.
  • Do not contain ads.
  • Do not contain push notifications.
  • May include In-App-Purchases. In such cases, we disclose the In-App-Purchase in the app’s description. The In-App-Purchases are contained on an separate, adult targeted screen.
  • May include Links to other RWH Technology apps. In such cases we disclose the Links in the app’s description. The Links to other RWH Technology apps are contained on a separate, adult targeted screen.

We include privacy disclosures in the descriptions of our apps. You can find our full Privacy Policy at http://rwhtechnology.com/privacy. We hope this helps you decide if our apps are right for you and your children. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

References

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/kidsapp.shtm

http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-ftc-most-mobile-kids-apps-secretly-collect-and-share-information-20121207,0,1679873.story

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New iPad with Retina Display

Apple announced the new iPad! Among the new features is a retina display. With the retina display, photos will look amazing! The next version of SpeakColors and SpeakColorsHD will include images optimized for the new iPad. For more info about the new iPad, see this post on TUAW http://www.tuaw.com/2012/03/07/apple-announces-third-generation-ipad/

TUAW also has an excellent article on retina displays:
http://www.tuaw.com/2012/03/01/retina-display-macs-ipads-and-hidpi-doing-the-math/

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iOS 5

Yesterday Apple released iOS 5, the latest version of the operating system that runs on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There are many new features in iOS 5. Below are some of the new features:

Notifications
– Notifications for new mail messages, tweets, etc can appear on the “lock” screen.

Data Synchronization
– The data (music, video, photos, apps) can be synchronized across all your devices using iCloud or Wifi.
– For example, you can download an app on your iPad and it will automatically be downloaded to your iPhone.
– A benefit of iCloud is that future iOS upgrades shouldn’t be as painful because you will not need to connect the device to a PC or Mac.
– I will be writing an article about iCloud and how to enable it later.

iMessage
– Send messages to other iOS 5 users.
– Similar to SMS text messaging, but uses Apple’s network instead of your phone carrier’s network.

Twitter Integration
– Twitter is now included with iOS 5.
– May be beneficial if you use Twitter a lot.

Camera
– The camera is now accessible from the “lock” screen. You no longer need to “unlock” and then press “camera”. May be useful if you need to quickly take a photo.
– The volume button can be used to take a photo.

Safari Web Browser
– The tabs look the same as the tabs in Safari on the Mac.

Reminders
– Based on your location, it can pop-up a reminder of what you need to do. For example, if you leave school, it can remind you to buy milk.
– This could be a really cool feature on the iPhone 4S with the Siri speech technology.

Security Updates
– Security Certificates from the hacked certificate authority DigiNotar, have been removed.

I recommend upgrading to iOS 5. There are a number of changes that should make using the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad a more enjoyable experience.

I have posted some instructions on how to upgrade to iOS 5 here.

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Siri – Speech Recognition for iPhone4S

Today, Apple announced the iPhone 4S. Siri, a speech recognition technology, will be integrated into the iPhone. In one of the examples, the presenter said, “Do I have any meetings Friday at Noon”. Siri responded with, “You don’t have anything on your calendar this Friday”. Sounds like exciting stuff! Can Siri be integrated into a speech therapy app?

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