Apple Maps Recovers From Multi-Hour Outage Affecting Users Globally

Apple Maps Recovers From Multi-Hour Outage Affecting Users Globally

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple Maps faced a multi-hour outage on Friday
  • The outage wasn’t limited to a specific region
  • Apple investigated and fixed the issue

Apple Maps on Friday faced a multi-hour outage that affected navigation and location search services for several hours. The outage wasn’t limited to a specific region. As per the system status available on Apple’s website, all users were affected by the issue that was resolved after over four hours of its emergence. The prime cause of the issue hasn’t been revealed formally. However, Apple said that it investigated and fixed the issues. Users weren’t notably able to access navigation or search for places through the mapping service in the duration of the outage. Some users even spotted its impact on third-party apps, including weather apps, using Apple’s location services.

The system status page on Apple’s site shows that the Maps Routing & Navigation and Maps Search services were down between 6:18pm and 10:35pm IST. While the company didn’t specify the issue, it mentioned on the status logs that all users were affected by the problem.

As folks at Apple Insider report, users on Apple Maps weren’t able to find a route as the app shows a warning message that reads, “Directions Not Available, Route information is not available at the movement.” The Apple Maps app was also showing errors while searching any locations. The Verge notes that the app was showing the error “No Results Found” after attempting to load search results for about 30 seconds before timing out. Furthermore, weather apps on iOS weren’t able to show real-time weather information due to the limited access to Apple’s location services.

Apart from iOS devices, the outage was impacting location-based experiences on Apple Watch and in-dash systems powered by Apple’s CarPlay. The issue apparently affected the Maps Routing & Navigation and Maps Search services, while Maps Display and Maps Traffic services didn’t face any issue.

Launched in September 2012, Apple Maps is competing against services such as Google Maps and Here. Apple recently revealed that it has started using drones to improve its mapping service.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple CEO Says Requested Zero Personal Data From Facebook

Apple CEO Says Requested Zero Personal Data From Facebook

Apple neither requested any personal data from Facebook nor did it receive any, Apple CEO Tim Cooksaid while responding to a New York Times report that claimed that the social networking giant allowed about 60 device makers, including Apple and Samsung, to access personal information of users and their friends.

“We’ve never been in the data business,” Cook told National Public Radio (NPR) on Monday during the company’s annual conference for developers in San Jose, California.

“The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested – zero,” Cook was quoted as saying.

Even before Facebook apps were widely available on smartphones, Facebook had data-sharing partnerships with the device makers, The New York Times report said citing company officials, adding that most of the deals remain in effect.

The deals raise concerns about the company’s privacy protections and compliance with a 2011 consent decree with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), it added.

“What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing,” Cook added.

“So it’s a convenience for the user. We weren’t in the data business. We’ve never been in the data business,” he said.

Facebook is already under scrutiny after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal revealed in March how the political consultancy firm had misused data of millions of Facebook users.

The social network, however, defended on Sunday the pacts with the device makers saying that these partnerships do not raise privacy concerns.

Facebook said that contrary to claims by The New York Times, friends’ information, like photos, was only accessible on devices when people made a decision to share their information with those friends.

“We are not aware of any abuse by these companies,” Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Vice President of Product Partnerships, said in a statement.

The social network added that the device partnerships are very different from the public APIs used by third-party developers who used the Facebook information people shared with them to build completely new experiences.

Facebook said that it had already ended 22 of the device partnerships.

A CNET report on Monday said that Senator John Thune, head of the US Senate Commerce Committee, said his committee “will be sending Facebook a letter seeking additional information” about issues including transparency and privacy risks.

“We look forward to addressing any questions the Commerce Committee may have,” a Facebook spokesman was quoted as saying.

[“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”]