Apple Releases Xcode Update With Fixes for App Thinning Bugs

Apple today released a 7.0.1 update for Xcode, and according to the release notes, the new version of the software include fixes for bugs related to App Thinning.

Last week, Apple notified developers that App Slicing, an App Thinning feature, was unavailable for iOS 9 apps because of an issue with iCloud backups. It appears the update for Xcode may fix some of the issues that prevented App Slicing from being made available to developers.

App slicing is currently unavailable for iOS 9 apps due to an issue affecting iCloud backups created from iOS 9 where some apps from the App Store would only restore to the same model of iOS device.

When a customer downloads your iOS 9 app, they will get the Universal version of your app, rather than the variant specific for their device type. TestFlight will continue to deliver variants for your internal testers. App slicing will be reenabled with a future software update. No action is needed by you at this time.

App Thinning is designed to decrease the size of iOS apps, saving valuable space on iPhones and iPads. With App Slicing, users only need to download the app assets that are designed for their particular device, rather than a full set of assets for a wide range of devices. For example, on an iPhone 6s, a user will only need to download iPhone 6s specific files, ignoring larger iPad artwork and lower quality resources for earlier iOS devices.

App Thinning also incorporates on-demand resources, allowing iOS apps to download content from iCloud only when necessary. A game with 100 levels, for example, might not download levels 30-40 until a user reaches level 20, with content for levels 1-10 removed at the same time. On-demand resources cut down on initial app install sizes and keep apps from eating up too much storage space on devices where space is at a premium.

Xcode can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]



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Twitter Officially Removes 140-Character Limit From Direct Messages

Twitter today announced a major change to the way Direct Messages work on the Twitter platform, removing the 140-character limit that restricted the length of private messages. With the change, Twitter’s Direct Message feature is on par with other chat and messaging apps, allowing for unrestricted conversation.

Twitter first announced its plan to remove the 140-character limit from Direct Messages in June, but the change began rolling out to users around the world today and will continue to become available to users over the next few weeks. The 140-character limit has been removed across the Twitter platform, which encompasses the Twitter app for iOS, the Twitter app for Android, Twitter.com, TweetDeck, and Twitter for Mac.

While Twitter is largely a public experience, Direct Messages let you have private conversations about the memes, news, movements, and events that unfold on Twitter. Each of the hundreds of millions of Tweets sent across Twitter every day is an opportunity for you to spark a conversation about what’s happening in your world. That’s why we’ve made a number of changes to Direct Messages over the last few months. Today’s change is another big step towards making the private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun.

There are no plans to remove the limit from the public side of Twitter, so tweets will continue to be restricted to 140 characters. To get access to Direct Messages that have no character limits, Twitter advises users to upgrade to the latest version of the company’s apps.

Twitter for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Twitter for Mac can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]

TweetDeck can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for free. [Direct Link]



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Apple Releases Flash Storage Firmware Update for 2015 MacBook Pros

Apple today released MacBook Pro Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.0 for the 2015 MacBook Pro, which fixes a storage firmware issue that could cause data corruption in rare cases.

Apple recommends that all customers who have a mid-2015 MacBook Pro download and install the update. It can be acquired from the Mac App Store on affected machines or directly from Apple’s support site.

Mid-2015 MacBook Pros include the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro released in March and the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro released in May.



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Apple Seeds First OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of OS X 10.10.4 to developers, just over a week after releasing OS X 10.10.3 with the Photos for OS X app to the public.

The new beta, build 14E7f, can be downloaded from the Mac Developer Center.

It is not yet clear what’s new in the 10.10.4 beta, but according to the release notes, the update „improves the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac.“ Earlier OS X Yosemite updates, including OS X 10.10.1 and OS X 10.10.2 brought only minor changes to the operating system in the form of bug fixes and performance enhancements. OS X 10.10.4 may serve the same purpose.

OS X 10.10.3, released last week, was the first major update to OS X Yosemite that brought new features, including the Photos for OS X app, a redesigned emoji picker, and new diversified emoji.




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Aperture and iPhoto Removed From Mac App Store Following Photos for OS X Launch [Mac Blog]

Following Wednesday’s release of OS X 10.10.3 and the new Photos for OS X app, Apple has, as promised, removed Aperture and iPhoto from the Mac App Store. Apple warned that development would stop on the two photo editing apps in the middle of last year, and put notices in the Mac App Store a couple months ago to let users know the apps would be pulled from sale following the launch of Photos.

The two apps remained available for download from the Mac App Store for approximately a day after Photos for OS X was released, but attempting to access them via search now gives no results and clicking through from an external Mac App Store link gives an „Item Not Available“ message.

Apple has ceased development on Aperture and iPhoto to concentrate its resources on Photos for OS X, its new photo editing software that integrates with the Photos for iOS app and iCloud Photo Library to let users access their complete set of photos on any device.

Photos for OS X has been described by many as an excellent replacement for iPhoto, as it includes more advanced tools and it runs much faster. Aperture users may find Photos for OS X lacking, however, as it does not have advanced tools like a loupe or brushable adjustments. It also does not support plugins.

With only one major photo editing app to focus on, it’s likely that Apple will make improvements to Photos for OS X that could bring its feature set more in line with Aperture in the future, making both casual users and professional photographers happy.

Photos for OS X is available through the OS X 10.10.3 update, and when opened for the first time, it will prompt you to migrate your existing Aperture and iPhoto libraries. Though they won’t receive updates beyond compatibility fixes, Aperture and iPhoto can continue to be used for editing purposes, both alone and in conjunction with the new Photos app.




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Apple Notifying Aperture Users of Impending Removal From Mac App Store

Apple has sent an email to Aperture customers this afternoon as a reminder about the impending removal of the professional photo editing software from the Mac App Store. The email confirms that Aperture will be removed from the Mac App Store upon the release of Photos for OS X as we initially reported last month.

„When Photos for OS X launches this spring, Aperture will no longer be available for purchase from the Mac App Store. You can continue to use Aperture on OS X Yosemite, but you will not be able to buy additional copies of the app. 

You can migrate your Aperture library to Photos for OS X, including your photos, adjustments, albums, and keywords. After migrating, your Aperture library remains intact. However, Aperture and Photos do not share a unified library, so any changes made after the migration will not be shared between the apps.“

Aperture users will be able to continue using the software on OS X Yosemite following its discontinuation, although the app will no longer be available for purchase on the Mac App Store and new feature updates are not planned. Aperture users can migrate their photo libraries to Photos for OS X, including photos, adjustments, albums and keywords.

Photos for OS X will be available this spring for OS X Yosemite.




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Apple Releases Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update 1.2 [Mac Blog]

Apple today released Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update 1.2, designed for the Thunderbolt Display that was released in 2011. According to the release notes, the update improves reliability when connecting devices to the Apple Thunderbolt Display and addresses a rare issue that may cause the display to go black.

Thunderbolt Display owners can download the update from the Mac App Store.

Thunderbolt Display Firmware updates are fairly rare, with the last firmware update released in December of 2011 to fix an issue with fan noise.




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Apple Releases iTunes 12.0.1 Alongside OS X Yosemite [Mac Blog]

Alongside OS X Yosemite, Apple today released iTunes 12.0.1, a revamped version of iTunes that’s been designed with OS X Yosemite in mind. iTunes 12.0.1 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store and is available for both Mavericks and OS X Yosemite.

iTunes 12 offers an elegant new design that incorporates translucency to improve depth. It also has a streamlined toolbar that aims to give users more room to experience content, and it melds the iTunes Store with the Library, making it easier to navigate between personal collections and what’s available in the store.

There are dedicated icons for music, movies, and TV shows, and Recently Added albums, movies, and TV shows are displayed at the top of the library for easy access.

iTunes 12 also includes support for several iOS 8/Yosemite features, including Family Sharing, and it brings improved playlist editing as well.

Apple has also released Security Update 2014-005 for OS X Mavericks.




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