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A new week of Ask Apple starts November 14 – Latest News

Join us for another exciting week of the Ask Apple developer series, where you can connect directly with Apple experts. Ask about integrating the latest technologies into your apps, designing intuitive UIs, testing on the latest software, and so much more.

Online one-on-one consultations and group Q&As will run November 14 to 18, with activities in multiple languages and time zones. Registration is open now to current members of the Apple Developer Program and Apple Developer Enterprise Program.

And stay tuned for details on the next round of the Ask Apple developer series taking place in December.

Learn more

Apple calls on global supply chain to decarbonize by 2030

Spotlight on: The Dynamic Island – Discover

Shape-shifting animations. Effervescent effects. And a downright playful name. “I genuinely wasn’t expecting [the Dynamic Island],” says Christian Selig, developer of popular Reddit client Apollo. “That’s what blew me away: It’s just not something that’s been around.”

The feature brings liveliness — and Live Activities — to the status bar on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, transforming notifications, alerts, and activities into a fluid and interactive piece of animation. Whether tracking a delivery, following the game, or checking the status of an upcoming flight, the Dynamic Island helps keep people up to date without distraction.

“(The Dynamic Island is) perfect for us,” says Ryan Jones, developer of the travel-tracking app Flighty. “For travel, which can make you stress about missing something, it offers easy background reassurance.”

We caught up with five developers — including Selig and Jones — to learn how they’re designing and building for Live Activities and the Dynamic Island.

Citymapper: ‘It’s what we’ve been dreaming about for years’

If you’re an app that wants to help people move around a city, it’s hard to overstate the power of live updating in the Dynamic Island. “Live Activities changes everything here,” says Victor Wang, head of product for route-planning app Citymapper. “It’s what we’ve been dreaming about for years, and it’s a big step toward our vision of being a personal assistant in your pocket.”

For Citymapper, the Dynamic Island is less about transit and more about comfort. On iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the app’s signature GO feature — which helpfully lays out the path of your entire journey or commute — uses the Dynamic Island in place of notifications or simply checking the app.

It offers a single live-updating view that communicates key information: how long you’ll have to wait for the next bus, how many more stops until you disembark, and when you need to get off the train or bus (and, by association, your phone). “[The Dynamic Island] will show a countdown so you can understand, ‘OK the bus will be here in 10 minutes — now 5 — now 2,” says Wang. “Our hope is that you’ll feel more comfortable waiting.”

Citymapper’s Dynamic Island shifts based on where you are in your journey, in this case on your train (left), at your stop (center), and walking to your destination (right).

Citymapper’s Dynamic Island shifts based on where you are in your journey, in this case on your train (left), at your stop (center), and walking to your destination (right).

iOS designer Jason Hibbs shares that the Citymapper team initially thought Live Activities would function as an enhanced set of notifications. “But we’re actually able to say not just ‘Turn left,’ but also ‘Here’s how many minutes you have until the bus arrives.’”

Live Activities can help you feel more on top of things.

Victor Wang, Citymapper

Citymapper breaks each trip into four phases: walking to a stop, waiting at a stop, riding, and then walking to your destination. In each phase, Dynamic Island will show a small icon — like a bus, train, or walking person — with a countdown to your next destination or transfer. The team discarded other ideas in pursuit of that simplicity — eschewing, among other things, turn-by-turn directions. “We didn’t want it to get in your way,” says Wang. “The idea is that you can still read or play your game or do whatever you’re doing.”

In short, you can do anything you like — save for worry about your trip. “Live Activities can help you feel more on top of things,” says Wang. “You can plan better and have sufficient confidence for the next step.”

Download Citymapper from the App Store

Apollo for Reddit: ‘It’s kind of hard not to go wild’

When he first learned about the Dynamic Island, Christian Selig pounced. “The way the engineers built the APIs, it’s kind of hard not to go wild,” Selig laughs. “It’s like you write four lines and the widgets are done. It’s pretty magical.”

Ideas for Apollo, his Reddit client, came almost immediately: “Say a new episode comes out, and you’re following a subreddit and reacting with other fans,” Selig says. “The Dynamic Island will auto-refresh and show you new content and comments as they come in.”

Apollo’s Dynamic Island shows new content and comments — like fun Easter eggs in TV shows — as they come in.

Apollo’s Dynamic Island shows new content and comments — like fun Easter eggs in TV shows — as they come in.

If so moved, you could stream the show in one app while tracking new posts on the subreddit through updates in the Dynamic Island. “In compact presentation, you’ll see the current number of comments. When you go to (the expanded presentation), you’ll see high-performing comments — like if someone caught a reference you missed.”

Outside of the Dynamic Island, Apollo’s Live Activities are robust as well: You can keep tabs on what’s trending, follow your Reddit karma, and — this is true — track the actual physical distance you’ve scrolled in Apollo (measured in feet, miles, or by the Eiffel tower). “This has been one of the more fun experiences I’ve had doing iOS development in quite a while,” Selig says, “and it’s a fun job, so that says a lot.”

Download Apollo for Reddit from the App Store

SmartGym: ‘I had to focus on staying out of the way’

SmartGym’s Matt Abras sees the Dynamic Island more as a coach than a static feature: His app is exploring something that displays both your current workout and the rests between each set — so you know when it’s time to get back to work.

“It’s easy to be distracted by your phone during rests, right? A 30- or 45-second break can become a few minutes,” Abras says. “This is way better than getting a notification that says, ‘Hey, rest ended.’”

SmartGym’s Dynamic Island shows the type and duration of your current workout — and prepares you for your next one.

SmartGym’s Dynamic Island shows the type and duration of your current workout — and prepares you for your next one.

Abras went through a number of iterations when designing Live Activities for SmartGym. He’d initially tried using the Dynamic Island to display heart rate and calories during a workout, but it felt superfluous. “In order to track health data, you need Apple Watch, which is already showing that information,” he says. “What’s really important to show at that time? Health metrics? A large countdown? How many sets you’ve done and how many you have left? There’s a lot of potential information.”

What’s really important to show at that time?

Matt Abras, SmartGym

Instead, Abras refocused, using the Dynamic Island to share metrics and reps. “When someone’s working out, they need to do what they need to do without realizing the app is there,” he says. “I had to focus on staying out of the way.”

How did he keep that balance between practicality and invisibility? “It’s all about taste,” he says, with a smile.

Download SmartGym from the App Store

Flighty: ‘We really have to shine when things go awry’

Apps can easily take advantage of the Dynamic Island to quickly spotlight a single nugget of key information. When it came to Flighty, however, Ryan Jones wanted to tackle a slightly more daunting project: showcasing multiple nuggets of information — departure times, gate changes, baggage claim numbers, and the like — that could all change on the fly.

Flighty is at its best when dealing with such “IRROPS” — the industry abbreviation for irregular operations. “We really have to shine when things go awry,” says Jones. But that meant accounting for every thunderstorm, equipment delay, or late plane into Dallas.

“People want different data points [like]… what time is a flight leaving, where is it leaving from, how long until you land,” says Jones. But this information is almost always time-dependent; after your flight departs, for example, you likely won’t need information about your departure gate.

Flighty’s Dynamic Island helps guide your travel every step of the way, from before you board (above) to after you take off (below).

Flighty’s Dynamic Island helps guide your travel every step of the way, from before you board (above) to after you take off (below).

After exploring a few possibilities for the Dynamic Island and Live Activities, Jones and the team decided to make the information within the Dynamic Island — well — dynamic. Before your gate departure, for example, Flighty’s information within the Dynamic Island will operate like a departure sign at a big airport. “That’s our real-world analogy,” Jones says. “Those signs have one line per flight, and that’s a good guiding light — they’ve had 50 years of figuring out what’s important.”

In addition to the unpredictable nature of travel, Jones and team must also account for how every single person will, at some point, lose their connection. “Whenever [someone] takes off, we have to assume that we won’t see them again until they land,” says Jones.

The solve: Once a plane pushes back, Flighty is ready to go offline at any minute. From that point on, the Dynamic Island switches over to flight progress bars and counters; the minimal presentation is a simple circular chart that tracks your flight’s duration.

No matter where someone is in their flight, the Dynamic Island can help them feel confident and comfortable in their travel routine. “That’s a big change from ‘I’ve gotta be listening for notifications all the time,’” Jones says. And it’s one that Flighty welcomes.

Download Flighty from the App Store

Wakeout: ‘Like a healthy work coach’

Workout-anywhere app Wakeout encourages regular breaks during the day — not only for brief bursts of aerobic exercise, but also for pauses to reduce eye strain, grab a sip of water, or simply clear your mind. “It’s all about: How can we help people break up their sedentary moments but stay in their flow states?” says developer Pedro Wunderlich.

Many of these activities take as little as 15 seconds, making the Dynamic Island a reliable resource for helping people using the app. “I want to find the teams behind the Dynamic Island and Live Activities and ask, ‘Were you thinking of us? Is this a love letter?’” he laughs.

Wakeout's Dynamic Island nudges you to exercise and encourages you to focus.

Wakeout’s Dynamic Island nudges you to exercise and encourages you to focus.

Wakeout has long used push notifications, but the ActivityKit framework in iOS 16 gave Wunderlich a new way to help people stay on top of their routines. “Our customers have actually told us they want more notifications, not fewer,” says Wunderlich. “We hear, ‘Wakeout is really helpful, but only if it interrupts me.’ So Live Activities is what our customers have been asking for without knowing it.”

When designing for the Dynamic Island, Wunderlich kept both tiny tasks and longer aerobic breaks in mind. “[It’s] such a great way to maintain a presence and let people know when it’s a good time to hydrate, move, close your eyes for 30 seconds, and do all these healthy little breaks that add up.”

For smaller pauses, Wakeout’s compact presentation in the Dynamic Island shows a countdown along with a small icon (like a water bottle) to remind you about your next task. If that upcoming rest is a brief one and you’re locked into what you’re doing, you can ignore the countdown with no consequence; the alert will simply slip away “like a ship in the night,” says Wunderlich.

It’s all about: How can we help people break up their sedentary routines but stay in their flow states?

Pedro Wunderlich, Wakeout

But if the break is major and there’s a walk, squats, or a set of pushups in your future, the Dynamic Island will spur you to action more insistently. “An actual exercise break — which is Wakeout’s speciality — does stop that timer. Our customers generally do 45-minute focus sessions, so that’s the limit of the sedentary period. After that, we say, ‘OK, it’s time to move your neck, move your shoulders, or stand up.’”

Wunderlich considers the two approaches entirely separate. “The healthy moments are passive; if you don’t pay attention, they dismiss themselves,” he says. “The exercise break is more of a big state change on screen.”

It’s notifications versus interruptions, or reminders versus celebrations. But they all tie back into Wakeout’s goal to keep you firmly on a healthy track throughout your day. “We’re shifting our focus toward healthy work in a more holistic way,” Wunderlich says. “Wakeout has become almost like a healthy work coach.”

Download Wakeout from the App Store

Explore Live Activities and the Dynamic Island

Apple Learning Coach now open to more teachers across the US

App Store Review Guideline updates now available – Latest News

The App Store Review Guidelines have been updated to support new features in upcoming OS releases, better protect customers, and help your apps go through the review process as smoothly as possible.

  • Revised in Before You Submit: “Provide App Review with full access to your app. If your app includes account-based features, provide either an active demo account or fully-featured demo mode, plus any other hardware or resources that might be needed to review your app (e.g. login credentials or a sample QR code).”
  • Revised 1.1.4: “This includes ‘hookup’ apps and other apps that may include pornography or be used to facilitate prostitution, or human trafficking and exploitation.”
  • Added 1.1.7: “Harmful concepts which capitalize or seek to profit on recent or current events, such as violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, and epidemics.”
  • Added to 2.1: “If you are unable to provide a demo account due to legal or security obligations, you may include a built-in demo mode in lieu of a demo account with prior approval by Apple. Ensure the demo mode exhibits your app’s full features and functionality.”
  • Added 2.5.17: “Apps that support Matter must use Apple’s support framework for Matter to initiate pairing. In addition, if you choose to use any Matter software component in your app other than the Matter SDK provided by Apple, the software component must be certified by the Connectivity Standards Alliance for the platform it runs on.”
  • Moved language from 3.1.7 to 2.5.18: “Display advertising should be limited to your main app binary, and should not be included in extensions, App Clips, widgets, notifications, keyboards, watchOS apps, etc. 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 behavioral 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. Interstitial ads or ads that interrupt or block the user experience must clearly indicate that they are an ad, 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.”
  • Revised 3.1.1: “Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.”
  • Added to 3.1.1: “Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase.”
  • Added 3.1.3(g): “Advertising Management Apps: Apps for the sole purpose of allowing advertisers (persons or companies that advertise a product, service, or event) to purchase and manage advertising campaigns across media types (television, outdoor, websites, apps, etc.) do not need to use in-app purchase. These apps are intended for campaign management purposes and do not display the advertisements themselves. Digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed in an app, including buying advertisements to display in the same app (such as sales of “boosts” for posts in a social media app) must use in-app purchase.”
  • Revised 3.1.5(iii): “Exchanges: Apps may facilitate transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange, provided they are offered only in countries or regions where the app has appropriate licensing and permissions to provide a cryptocurrency exchange.”
  • Revised 5.2.5: “Music from iTunes and Apple Music previews may not be used for their entertainment value (e.g. as the background music to a photo collage or the soundtrack to a game) or in any other unauthorized manner. If you provide music previews from iTunes or Apple Music, you must display a link to the corresponding music in iTunes or Apple Music.”

For full details, read the App Store Review Guidelines.

SKAdNetwork 4.0 now available – Latest News

The SKAdNetwork API lets advertisers measure the success of advertisements by attributing app installations to specific ad campaigns — all while maintaining user privacy. It supports multiple ad formats, including static images, videos, audio, and interactive ads. With SKAdNetwork 4.0, now available in iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1, it provides more insight into the performance of ads for apps:

  • Hierarchical source identifiers: Identify which campaign an installation was attributed to, as well as additional attribution information.
  • Coarse conversion values: Receive less specific attribution information when the privacy thresholds for conversion values are not met, or more detailed attribution information when additional privacy thresholds are met.
  • Multiple conversions: Receive up to three postbacks to better understand how often someone who installed an app from a campaign engages with the app over time.
  • SKAdNetwork for web ads: Attribute web advertising that directs to App Store product pages.

Learn more about SKAdNetwork

Get started with Swift concurrency – Discover

Meet Swift Async Algorithms

Discover the latest open source Swift package from Apple: Swift Async Algorithms. We’ll explore algorithms from this package that you can use with AsyncSequence, including zip, merge, and throttle. Follow along with us as we use these algorithms to build a great messaging app. We’ll also share best…