Great post by Tim Cook about why OS security is crucial

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Despite considerable pressure to open up the iPhone to external agencies, Apple have resisted and explained why, Let’s hope that other companies stand up to be counted as well. If this is forced through it would be the start of a very slippery slope.

Customer Letter

Be aware that in time that link may break (or link to a different letter, but for now …)

Dice words V1.3 now available for sale

Apple have now approved version 1.3 of Dicewords (and Dicewords-X) for sale. :-)

PLEASE NOTE – Updating to V1.3 will lose any save game or puzzle in progress at the time the update was installed. This happens only once so hopefully it will be a very minor inconvenience.

The main change is that the Demo screen has been completely overhauled. We hope that this will be more straightforward and practical for new users to understand how a turn of Dicewords normally proceeds.

At present there is no VoiceOver support for the demo but that will be corrected in V1.4 which I hope will be available within the month.

I remain committed to supporting an enhancing all my apps as long as I reasonably can, though it’s possible that in future the support for older versions of iOS may be dropped.

Where else do people expect refunds?

I saw this review today on the App Store:

I like point and click games but this is painfully slow and not intuitively designed. The puzzle sections are not at all challenging and even that interesting. The graphics are pleasant but there is not that ‘wow’ factor. I really wish I could get a refund.

It was the last sentence that got me.

Why is is that you see people frequently wanting refunds on the App Store?

Didn’t like that “must see” new film at the cinema – ask for a refund.

Didn’t like that beer you just bought – ask for a refund.

Didn’t enjoy that magazine you just bought – ask for a refund.

Didn’t enjoy that album you just downloaded – ask for a refund.

And there’s plenty more I could think of. We don’t expect people to feel entitled to a refund in other situations, but over and over on the App Store this “I want a refund” attitude rears its ugly head.

If an app does not deliver promised functionality then you should be entitled to a refund, but not because you don’t like something.

50 years of Thunderbirds and more

The Tracy family and each of their Thunderbirds

Thunderbirds

Who would have believed it!?

Thunderbirds, one of my favourite TV programmes ever from my childhood (and I still love it today) is having another three episodes made – with puppets, the same voices, in the same building as the original series, and clearly with the same love and care. Wonderful – and I can’t wait for them to be shown!

Not only that, but I recently came across the Operation Megaventures web site devoted to the TV Century21 comics that I read as a kid and which inspired me to create my Identicode app. These comics aren’t only about Thunderbirds, but cover pretty much all of Gerry Anderson’s creations and are great fun to read and of course contain lots of red/blue coded messages for you to decode with Identicode. The comics are not that easy to find today though individual issues are certainly available on eBay.

DiceWords is still waiting …

I have sent the latest update of DiceWords to Apple but it seems to be stuck in an odd limbo-land! I will wait a few more days and if nothing changes I will have to make another update, send it to Apple for another try. I’ll keep you posted here and on Twitter (@blacktabletapps).

Updated Identicode and Pink Plaques now available

Apple have now approved the latest version of these two apps for sale. :-)

Identicode V1.3 now has a share button allowing you to use the standard iOS share sheet to send  your coded or decoded message to fellow agents or otherwise process as you wish – perhaps filing them in your message list in the new iOS Notes app!

Brighton Pink Plaques V2.1 now uses Apple’s new SafariViewController (here is a detailed post about what it’s all about on Federico Viticci’s consistently excellent MacStories web site). This may not be super important in an app like Pink Plaques but it means that you will now have the fastest, most convenient and most secure web browsing I can offer thanks to Apple giving us developers, in effect, a cut-down Safari right in our apps. This feature is only available when running on iOS 9.

I found that the web site URLs associated with a couple of plaques no longer worked so they have been corrected. If you find any that are wrong, please email me and I will issue a correction in the next release.

I remain committed to supporting an enhancing all my apps as long as I reasonably can, though it’s possible that in future the support for older versions of iOS may be dropped.

Bargain V2.2 now available

Apple have approved Bargain for sale. :-)

This has been tested for iOS 9 and boasts a higher quality smiley for when you discover that bargain! It also ensures that after finding a bargain and you clear one field and press Compare that it resets the screen to a correct appearance.

Enjoy finding those bargains.

App updates waiting for Apple to review

Apple now have three of my apps in their queue(s) to review. Due to some unplanned last minute changes to Dicewords and Dicewords-X I have not yet sent those two to Apple but I hope that will happen in the next few days, if not then next week.

Mostly all were running fine anyway but I’ve added a new sharing feature to Identicode, tidied up some screen reset issues in Bargain and enhanced Pink Plaques so that if you are running iOS 9 or later, it will use Apple’s new Safari view within the app to view any web pages which is more secure and convenient for you. Remember, that even if you are not using iOS 9 you can still view the same page in Safari by tapping ‘Safari’ in the top right of the screen.

I’ll post again when I have more news.

Preparing for iOS 9

I’m checking that all my apps will work fine with iOS 9 which is expected to be released in September.

All apps have had small tweaks, a few enhancements and even a new feature or two! Mostly though I’m happy to say that everything pretty much carried on fine without the need to do anything – I must be doing something right! :-)

I’ll post again when they’re ready to release.

Apps are looking good for iOS9

I’m now running iOS 9 and all my apps are looking good except for Identicode which looks as though it was designed for a 3.5″ screen! It will be sorted before iOS 9 is released, have no fear.

I will be incorporating a few of Apple’s new features into some of the apps where it seems right.