Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night hinted at an incoming change to the 140-character limit for which the social network has been known over the past decade. Dorsey mentioned that the limit has „become a beautiful constraint“ over the years, but the company is aware of certain workarounds its fans are going through to break away from the rule.

He points towards a possibility in the near future for the site to support full-bodied text tweets that are searchable and can be highlighted by users without a strict 140-character restriction. Back in August, Twitter removed the same limit from its private messaging system, and a month later new rumors about the possibility for the same move for traditional tweets began circling.

„At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power. What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to to strengthen that. And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!“

According to people familiar with Twitter’s plans, speaking with Re/code, the project is referred to as „Beyond 140“ and has a tentative launch window around the end of Q1 2016. Numbers that have been considered internally by the team range from 5,000 to 10,000 character limits, the latter of which would fall alongside the same restriction placed inside of private messages on the site.

The sources point to expandable actions for the new tweets that would keep timelines as tight and orderly as they appear with the current limit, but include an expandable prompt that would then showcase the tweet’s full text when clicked. Recently, Twitter updated its site to allow full images to appear without being cut off, and changed the favoriting star to a heart.

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How third-party bands are allowed to work with Apple Watch

One of the biggest questions still surrounding the Apple Watch has been what kind of accessories will be allowed to work with the device. Several third-party companies have already started advertising their own bands and cases, but Apple has yet…Read more ›



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App Store Review Guidelines Updated to Forbid Time-Telling Apple Watch Apps

Apple has updated its App Store Review Guidelines to reflect an Apple Watch rule that it’s been enforcing over the past several weeks, which prevents developers from creating Apple Watch apps that display the time. According to the newly added 10.7 rule under „User interface,“ Watch Apps that have a „primary function“ of telling the time will be rejected.

Though this rule, noticed first by 9to5Mac, was not previously listed in the App Store Review Guidelines or in the Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines until today, Apple has previously been using this guideline to turn down Apple Watch apps, and its enforcement of this rule appears particularly strict based on some of the apps that have been rejected.

MacRumors recently spoke to one developer who had his app rejected from the App Store due to the time telling rule, but offering the time was not the main function of the app. Instead, it was an app that used a clock-like face to display sunset/sunrise times along with the position of the sun and the moon.

The developer was told by Apple that Apple Watch apps containing a clock face, the likeness of a clock, or time-telling functionality would be rejected, and the Apple employee he spoke with mentioned that quite a few developers had been rejected due to the policy.

A video walkthrough of the available watch faces on the Apple Watch
Given Apple’s aim to position the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory, it’s no surprise that the company is maintaining strict control over what’s arguably the most important core function of the Apple Watch – telling the time. In interviews, Apple executives have explained that hundreds of hours of work went into developing the watch faces that are available for the Apple Watch, with an obsessive amount of detail put into each one for the best possible time-telling experience.

Apple’s also advertised the Apple Watch as an „incredibly accurate“ timepiece, a claim that it might not be able to guarantee if a third-party time-telling app is allowed to display the time. Watch faces are one aspect of the Apple Watch that Apple is not allowing users or developers to touch. While watch faces can be customized with Apple’s options, users cannot select their own backgrounds as they can do on the iPhone or iPad and developers cannot develop their own Apple Watch face experiences.

Apple often has strict rules when a product launches, but the rules can and do relax over time, as we’ve seen with iOS 8 and the return of the once-forbidden Launcher app. It’s possible that Apple will open up watch faces to developers in the future, or become less strict with apps that include time-telling functionality, but for now those types of apps will not make it into the App Store.

Today’s App Store Review Guidelines update also included a new bit about HealthKit. Rule 27.10 says that apps conducting health-related human subject research must secure approval from an independent ethics review board.




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8 awesome features in Apple’s new Photos for Mac

Apple is finally letting developers get their hands on Photos, the long-awaited successor to iPhotos. Revealed at Worldwide Developers Conference 2014, the new app is a complete revamp of iPhotos, allowing Mac users to organize, edit, share and print their…Read more ›



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Apple’s legal team blasts the media over requests to release Steve Jobs video

Apple’s latest class-action lawsuit made the news primarily because it featured none other than Steve Jobs as a key witness, as he appeared courtesy of a video deposition taken shortly before his untimely death in 2011. Immediately, news outlets jumped…Read more ›



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Flight Attendants Union Challenges FAA Decision Allowing Passengers to Use Electronics in All Phases of Flight

The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) launched a lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last Friday in protest over the FAA’s decision to allow passengers to use their iPads, iPhones, and other small portable electronic devices in nearly all phases of flight.

As outlined by the Associated Press (via TechCrunch), the lawsuit alleges that the FAA „acted improperly“ and failed to follow proper protocol implementing the changes. A lawyer for the Association of Flight Attendants argued that portable electronic devices distract passengers from safety announcements and can „become dangerous projectiles.“

Dure argued that in greenlighting the expanded use of electronics, officials violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act. The act requires government agencies to give the public notice and the ability to comment when a rule is changed. That didn’t happen properly, the union argues.

FAA lawyer Jeffrey Sandberg responded to the AFA’s allegations by suggesting portable electronic devices are „no more dangerous“ than the books passengers have been allowed to keep out during landing and takeoff. The government agency also suggested that the policy change did not trigger the requirements for public notice.

Officially implemented in October of 2013, the FAA’s policy change on portable electronic devices allows smaller electronics, like iPhones and iPads, to be used during all phases of flight. Prior to the rule change, all electronics were required to be stowed away until an altitude of 10,000 feet was reached.

Though devices can now be used during landing and takeoff, passengers are still required to place them into airplane mode, restricting cellular access. Usage of larger devices, like laptop computers, continues to be restricted for safety reasons.

While the FAA enacted the policy change that allows passengers to use their devices in all phases of flight, airlines have always had control over the implementation of the rule. Individual airlines, as the FAA points out, have control over when and if passengers are able to use their electronic devices in flight. A judge hearing the case expressed a similar sentiment, telling the AFA that „Airlines have always had discretion on how to handle this.“

Thus far, the FAA has cleared 31 airline operators to allow passengers to use portable electronics during landing/takeoff and combined, those operators carry 96 percent of all U.S. commercial passengers.




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Hulu Updates ‘Hulu Plus’ with New Look, In-App Subscriptions [iOS Blog]

Hulu has updated its Hulu Plus app for iOS with a brand new look, new navigation options and in-app subscriptions, allowing users to subscribe to the service and create Hulu Plus accounts within the app.

What’s New in Version 4.0.0
– Home – Best content of the day on Hulu, handpicked and curated by our expert editorial team
– Shows You Watch – Easy access to all the shows you are currently watching, personalized to your viewing habits
– Navigation – Discover the entire breadth of the Hulu catalogue from TV, Movies, Kids, Latino, British and Hulu Originals
– Player – Brand new player with cleaner controls and a nested menu for rich features like captions, share and cast to TV
– Action Tray – Quick access to search, queue and cast to TV features from anywhere in the app
– Search – Reimagined search with contextually grouped results by category
– Remote control – stream and control your viewing experience on the big screen via Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox1, PS3 and PS4
– Share – Share your favorite videos with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, text and email

In 2011, Hulu had complied with Apple’s rule to remove links to external mechanisms for subscriptions as well as the ability to sign up for accounts. The rule forced developers to use iOS’ in-app subscription feature and granting Apple 30 percent of the subscription fee. However, as GigaOm notes, it’s likely Hulu has realized that the ability to gain subscribers from mobile users is more important than giving 30 percent of its mobile subscriber fee to Apple.

Additionally, the apps are also now optimized for iOS 8, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Hulu Plus is a free app available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad. [Direct Link]




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