Google ‘App Maker’ Low-Code Tool for Building Business Apps Now Generally Available

Google 'App Maker' Low-Code Tool for Building Business Apps Now Generally Available

HIGHLIGHTS

  • App Maker is G Suite’s low-code application development environment
  • Google first launched the App Maker in November 2016
  • App building tool would allow developers access to 40 Google services

Google has made App Maker, its low-code tool for building business apps, generally available and open to all developers, a year and a half after the launch of its beta version.

“Today, we’re making App Maker generally available to help you rethink how your teams operate,” Geva Rechav, Product Manager, App Maker, wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.

“App Maker is G Suite’s low-code application development environment that makes it easy for teams to build custom apps to speed up workflows and make processes better,” Rechav added.

Google first launched the App Maker in November 2016 and made it available through its Early Adopter Program for G Suite Business at that time.

It was created with the idea of enabling line-of-business teams to create bigger apps, revamp company processes, resolve help desk tickets and more.

The new features include a built-in support for Cloud Structured Query Language (SQL), responsive templates, a drag-and-drop user interface design and declarative data modelling.

It would also come with Expanded OAuth Whitelisting controls to let administrators prevent apps from running without their approval.

In addition, the app building tool would allow developers access to 40 Google services including Gmail, Google Calendar, Sheets and other data sources, Rechav said.

The App Maker is now available to all G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, as well as G Suite for Education customers.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple Design Awards 2018 Announced, Indian Developer Bags Award for Calculator App

Apple Design Awards 2018 Announced, Indian Developer Bags Award for Calculator App

HIGHLIGHTS

  • There is only one winner from the US this time
  • Indian developer from Chennai made it to the list
  • All winners receive a prize package filled with Apple products

Apple is currently hosting its annual developer conference, WWDC 2018, in San Jose, California from June 4-8. After announcing major updates to its iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS platforms at the inaugural keynote on Monday, the Cupertino giant also revealed the names of the winners of the 2018 Apple Design awards that include just one developer from the US with the rest coming from other countries. WapleStuff, a developer studio from Chennai, India, is also part of the list with its Calzy app available on Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

This year’s edition of Apple Design Awards has been unveiled, with the event video to be uploaded soon on the company’s official website. Among the winners of the awards is the Chennai-based WapleStuff that developed a modern calculator app called Calzy 3. It offers a unique theme and its USP is a “Memory Area” where you can store multiple numerical values and reuse it across multiple calculating sessions with a simple drag and drop interaction.

Apart from that, the list is filled with developers from European countries. These include the likes of Agenda that offers a date-focused approach to note taking, Bandimal which is a kid-focused app that helps create music and simple tunes effortlessly, iTranslate Converse that is essentially a speech translation app offering a natural conversation experience, Playdead’s INSIDE an adventure-based game, Frost is an app that lets you draw paths to guide the flocking spirits to their home planets, and Oddmar is a drama game with a strong plot line.

The only app from the US to make it to the list is Triton Sponge from the developers over at Gauss Surgical. Available only on iPad, the app helps users estimate real-time surgical blood loss. Florence, from the designer behind Monument Valley, is an interactive storybook exploring an intriguing love story. Finally, Alto’s Odyssey from Canada is another popular adventure game that made it to the list.

According to 9To5Mac, winners of the 2018 Apple Design Awards will receive a “one-of-a-kind aluminium cube” and a prize package that consists of a 5K iMac Pro, a 15-inch MacBook Pro, a 256GB iPhone X, a 512GB iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, a 4K Apple TV, an Apple Watch Series 3, and a pair of AirPods.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple App Store Review Guidelines Updated With Remote Mirroring Changes, Free Trial Details, and More

Apple App Store Review Guidelines Updated With Remote Mirroring Changes, Free Trial Details, and More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Non-subscription apps developers may offer a free time-based trial period
  • Apple says that apps cannot mine for cryptocurrency
  • Apple also released changes in terms of data security

Apple on Monday quietly posted an update to its App Store Review Guidelines in categories such as safety, performance, business, design, and legal. Alongside the unveiling of iOS 12 that is available to developers for beta testing, Apple has officially introduced the new App Store guidelines that it uses to decide which apps can appear in the store. In the new guidelines, Apple has introduced revisions related to free app trials, cryptocurrency mining, data security, and more.

First up, Apple has detailed updates to safety guidelines, and it includes directions related to objectionable content, user-generated content, kids category, and more. The company has told developers to provide users with an easy way to contact them. In terms of data security, Apple says, “Apps should implement appropriate security measures to ensure proper handling of user information collected pursuant to the Apple Developer Program License Agreement and these Guidelines and prevent its unauthorised use, disclosure, or access by third parties.”

Another notable change appears to be surrounding multi-platform services. It appears to be related to apps like Steam Link, which Apple rejected last month. Later, the company said it was working with Valve to make sure the Steam Link app fit within the company’s guidelines. Now, the company is saying that apps operating across multiple platforms may allow users to access content acquired elsewhere, but that content must also be available via in-app purchases.

“You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase,” Apple said. For remote mirroring applications like Steam Link, the company also outlined that the host device for such apps must be a personal computer owned by the user, all account creation and management must be initiated from the host device, any software or services appearing in the client are fully rendered on the screen of the host device, and may not use APIs or platform features beyond what is required to stream the Remote Desktop, and more.

The guideline revisions also include new details regarding in-app advertising. According to Apple, ads must be appropriate for the app’s audience and may not target sensitive user data. Apple says, “Ads displayed in an app must be appropriate for the app’s age rating, allow the user to see all information used to target them for that ad (without requiring the user to leave the app), and may not engage in targeted or behavioural advertising based on sensitive user data such as health/medical data (e.g. from the HealthKit APIs), school and classroom data (e.g. from ClassKit), or from kids (e.g. from apps in the Kids Category), etc.”

Also, interstitial ads or ads that interrupt or block the user experience must clearly indicate that they are an ad. They also must not manipulate or trick users into tapping into them, and must provide easily accessible and visible close/ skip buttons large enough for people to easily dismiss the ad, the company says.

Talking about cryptocurrency, Apple has released some new details and specifically said that apps cannot mine cryptocurrency in the background. Also, apps may facilitate virtual currency storage, given that they are offered by developers enrolled as an organisation. For ICOs, Apple said, “Apps facilitating Initial Coin Offerings (“ICOs”), cryptocurrency futures trading, and other crypto-securities or quasi-securities trading must come from established banks, securities firms, futures commission merchants (“FCM”), or other approved financial institutions and must comply with all applicable law.”

Also notable is that Apple has described how developers can offer free trials of their apps. Previously, it allowed free trials of subscription-based apps, but now any app can offer a free trial. Apple says that non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial by using a ‘non-consumable’ in-app purchase. It said, “Non-subscription apps may offer a free time-based trial period before presenting a full unlock option by setting up a Non-Consumable IAP item at Price Tier 0 that follows the naming convention: 14-day Trial.” Also, before the start of the trial, apps must clearly identify its duration, the content or services that will no longer be accessible when the trial ends, and any downstream charges the user would need to pay for full functionality.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children

TeenSafe App Leaks Apple ID Credentials of Thousands of Parents, Children

HIGHLIGHTS

  • TeenSafe app is found to have leaked user data
  • It reportedly exposed Apple IDs and their passwords in plaintext
  • The vulnerable servers have been disabled

TeenSafe, an app that lets parents monitor their children’s text messages, social media, and phone location, is found to have leaked data related to thousands of its users that include both parents as well as children. The data, which was reportedly stored on two of the vulnerable servers backed by Amazon Web Services, compresses the email addresses of parents that are associated with the teen monitoring app, alongside the Apple IDs of children and their plaintext passwords. It is also said that at least 10,200 records from the past three months were put at risk.

UK-based security researcher Robert Wiggins reported that two of the TeenSafe servers had exposed the user data, as spotted by ZDNet. While the company pulled the affected servers shortly after it received an alert, ZDNet was able to verify some of the data exposed. It is reported that the servers were unprotected and accessible without requiring a password. Further, as the app asks users to disable the two-factor authentication, attackers can view personal data only using the credentials that surfaced on the servers.

Among other data surfaced, there were the email addresses and passwords of the parents using the TeenSafe app in addition to the email address of children that were used as their Apple ID. It is also reported the device names of children who were being tracked using the app were spotted alongside their device’s unique identifier. Likewise, the data also included error messages associated with a failed account action – in some instances highlighting the time when parents weren’t able to identify their children’s real-time location. All this was notably stored in plaintext instead of under any encryption. However, the company claims on its website that its app is “secure” and uses encryption to protect the data.

ZDNet’s Whittaker verified the leak by reaching out the parents whose email addressed were spotted in the leaked data. Moreover, various email addresses of children were found to be associated with their high schools.

“We have taken action to close one of our servers to the public and begun alerting customers that could potentially be impacted,” a TeenSafe spokesperson said in a statement to ZDNet.

Since the vulnerable servers are no longer live for access, attackers won’t be able to obtain the data. However, TeenSafe hasn’t provided any clarity on how it is set to protect their servers in future.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]