Games have been a huge part of the App Store since its inception. From Words With Friends to Clash of Clans to Flappy Bird, iOS has proven to be a viable gaming platform with market penetration that traditional handheld consoles could only dream of. Apple has taken notice and provided developers with frameworks that make working with their technologies even more appealing, including SpriteKit and SceneKit. The information at this year’s WWDC was no different, including the announcement of two more game development technologies, GameplayKit and ReplayKit.

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At this year’s WWDC, Apple announced a new and exciting user interface change for iPad with multitasking. With multitasking enabled, users will now be able to run more than one app side by side, greatly increasing the use of the iPad as a true productivity device. This also means that users are going to expect great multitasking experiences, and existing applications will need to adapt to this new paradigm to give users the best experience possible.

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This week, someone sent me a link to the story Billions of Records at Risk from Mobile App Data Flaw. The story talks about how a team of security researchers recently uncovered thousands of application flaws that could potentially lead to billions of records leaking. I’ve seen these types of mistakes in apps before. With the topic in the news it feels like a good time to reach out to the development community to talk about the very important issue of mobile app security, and more specifically, the principle of least privilege (PoLP) with regard to Secure API design.

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iOS9-enhanced-device-security_blog-featured-imageWith the introduction of the iPhone 5S in the fall of 2013, Apple released two new hardware features that altered how we interact with mobile device security. Buried in the A7 chip (and in the chip of any iOS device with Touch ID) is the Secure Enclave, an isolated component that stores cryptographic information necessary for keychain encryption and data protection. The Secure Enclave enables another security feature, one with which we quite directly interact, Touch ID. The fingerprint information for Touch ID is stored in the Secure Enclave. When the user presses their finger to the Touch ID sensor, the system calculates a mathematical representation of the fingerprint; no fingerprint images are ever stored or transmitted. This representation is sent to the Secure Enclave, which then passes a boolean success value to the requesting application. The application then responds accordingly. This has been the extent of our interaction with Touch ID since iOS 8. At WWDC this year, Apple introduced new APIs that give app developers more flexibility with Touch ID and access to the increased security of Secure Enclave.

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At WWDC 2015, Apple announced a new and potentially far-reaching policy called App Transport Security. While the announcement wasn’t headlining any keynote presentation, it could certainly affect any mobile app publisher that deploys their own web services, or the countless other web service providers that most mobile apps depend on. It also represents a concrete step towards fulfilling the decree Tim Cook made about security and privacy that, “We [Apple] must get this right.”

People have entrusted us with their most personal and precious information and we owe them nothing less than the best protections we can possibly provide by harnessing the technology at our disposal. We [Apple] must get this right.”

– Tim Cook

App Transport Security is a new iOS 9 feature that implements the following policy:

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We are proud to announce that our CEO, Tobias Dengel, has been named one of the highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor, according to the company’s most recent report. Glassdoor, known as the most transparent jobs and careers marketplace, released its annual report highlighting the Highest Rated CEOs in several countries throughout North America and Europe.

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How many times have you clicked a button in an iOS app that unexpectedly routed you to another app with no way to get back? Or tapped a push notification and forgotten which app you came from? Using the application-switcher to go back is slow and manual, and good luck finding that app again on your home screen.

Finally with iOS 9, Apple is solving this by adding

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1. Search is a New Battleground 

While it’s been largely glossed over by the press, Apple is making a clear run to own the search game by making Spotlight (Apple’s main search bar) the gateway for most users’ consumption of digital media. By integrating content from across the web (e.g. native applications, To Do lists, contacts, etc.) and making it all accessible via Siri, Apple is in a unique position to replace Google as the gateway to digital content (at least on iOS devices).

To Do: Content-heavy apps, including video, have an immediate opportunity to index/tag their content using Apple’s new approaches. This requires a deep dive into 

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As User Experience (UX) Designers, one of our first tasks is to take a close look at the current and potential users of any system we are designing for. Once we have, it’s up to us to document their needs, frustrations, and behaviors in order to create unique personas that represent each type of user. We create these personas because they help us maintain awareness of user needs as we move forward in the design process. Another early task is to closely examine existing branding for the app or website we’re designing. Clients typically give us their brand colors, typefaces and guidelines to adhere to. And while this gives us a great head start when it comes to designing the basic look and feel of their app or website, it doesn’t allow us to dig deeper into a brand’s true personality.

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In his book, Designing for Emotion, Aaron Walter talks about

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With the new Android binding framework, it’s easy to automatically update your view based on model changes. You just need to make your model observable and the framework will take care of it. For example, you can show and hide a loading indicator just by doing


What is less obvious, is how you would go about animating that change. For example, what if you want to fade the progress bar in and out?

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This year’s Google IO introduces an awesome new framework for Android developers that allows for “binding” of views to fields on an arbitrary object. When a field is updated, the framework is notified and the view is updated automatically.

This system is extremely powerful, and will enable us to use a development pattern that’s been used in the Windows world for some time called Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM). Before we jump into any code, it’s important to understand the basic concepts of this architecture, and how it can benefit you and your app.

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Pick one of the cards below, print it out, and follow along!  (Alternatively, generate one yourself.)








We’ve been following Google I/O for several years, and have noticed several recurring themes.  We came up with a list of things, and then used this helpful bingo card generator to create the cards.  What did we miss?  Let us know in the comments!

  • Matias Duarte wearing a crazy shirt
  • New wearable hardware
  • The self-driving car
  • Android multi-window support
  • Sundar Pichai steepling his hands while talking
  • Android performance improvements
  • Android M Dev Preview announced
  • Joke/hint about what “M” stands for
  • Sundar Pichai opening and closing his hands while talking
  • Material design news
  • Android Auto update
  • Android for Work update
  • Google Fi
  • Polymer updates
  • Google App Engine update
  • More Android / ChromeOS integration
  • Chromecast updates
  • An elaborate countdown timer
  • New Chromecast hardware
  • New Glass hardware
  • Android One update
  • Android TV update
  • Android TV rebrand/cancellation
  • Fake and funny emails or text messages
  • Mention of Nexus line
  • New Nexus device(s)
  • New developer simulator
  • Free failed/will fail Google product
  • Free Nexus 6
  • Free Chromecast
  • No giveaway at all
  • Panned shots of the crowd
  • Charitable or humanitarian Google work
  • Protester interruption
  • Chrome experiment
  • Live demo
  • Failed live demo
  • Dig at rival platform
  • “network problems”
  • Android device activation stats
  • Google Photos unveiling
  • Difficulties with the live stream
  • People sitting on a couch
  • Something to do with VR
  • Developer revenue stats
  • List of hardware partners
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