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Apple Employs Second Push Notification Testing: AIM

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Apple previously invited developers into a high-volume beta testing for the upcoming iPhone 3.0 Push Notification service using the AP (Associated Press) application. They’ve done it again, but instead have focused their efforts on Instant Messaging and prepared a special, 7-day build of AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) in order to stress test the push service:

As a developer actively working with iPhone OS, we would like your help in a private test of the Apple Push Notification service. For this test, we have selected AOL’s AIM Developer Preview for iPhone OS 3.0 to create a high-volume test environment for our server.

The testing of these new notifications have already been through the rounds and screenshots have been submitted showing what exactly the push messages display to the user. This will definitely come in handy for decreasing battery use while still retaining the messages received through an IM service.

Check after the break for a first look at the screenshots

Read more…

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Apple Recruits Developers to Test Beta Push Notifications

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Beginning today, Apple began calling upon developers in order to test push notifications, scheduled for release in iPhone 3.0 next month. The dispatched emails from Apple contained the following:

As a developer actively working with iPhone OS 3.0 beta, we would like your help in testing the Apple Push Notification service. We have selected a pre-release version of the Associated Press app for iPhone OS 3.0 to create a high-volume test environment for our servers.

The modified and unreleased Associated Press application, including push notifications and available on Beta 5 only, will function for trial testing over the next 7 days. After that, the redemption code and functionality will end. The purpose of this week long period is to give Apple and opportunity to monitor how well the push notification system works and what changes can be made before it goes live in 3.0.

Push notification was originally slated for release last August, however Apple underestimated the little demand from developers to make use of this system. It’s great to see Apple extensively testing new features within the developer program, in order to prepare for the final release. I’m sure we all remember how Apple’s MobileMe launch disaster went last year, we can only hope that the newly implemented push notification system will pan out smoothly.

Full text after the break.

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Developers: Ad-Hoc Slots Non-Renewable

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Apple’s Ad-Hoc iPhone distribution program allows developers to register up to 100 iPhone or iPod Touch UDIDs so they can run beta builds or applications without having the purchase them on the App Store. This feature is great for extensive beta testing against applications before it’s submitted to Apple.

A tweet from Dragthing’s James Thompson popped up yesterday explaining an ongoing issue with the developer system, which could eventually put a halt to the amount of UDIDs added to one’s account.

Reading between the lines, and discussions on the forums, it sounds like every time I deleted or modified an entry, I was getting one closer to the magic figure of 100 device IDs you have entered since the beginning of time. When you hit the limit, regardless of how many total device IDs you have listed in the portal, your ability to further edit the list is removed

In a nutshell, the amount of slots available (100) are non-renewable once you delete one of the beta testing slots or change it otherwise. A temporary workaround this issue, is rather than deleting the current devices, edit them with the new information. This will result in the new properties working correctly without losing a slot.

Check out his full post for more insight on this issue. This could pose major problems as people begin upgrading to new iPhones this summer and require new UDID in the developer accounts. Hopefully Apple is coming up with a fix for this before WWDC.

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Apple Seeds iPhone 3.0 Beta 3

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Apple has released the newest 3.0 beta, version 3, which is now available to registered developers for download on Apple’s Developer site.  A new version of the SDK is also apparent in this update.

iPhone SDK 3.0 beta 3 and iPhone OS 3.0 beta 3 are now posted to the iPhone Dev Center. These versions are for development and testing only and should be installed on devices dedicated to iPhone OS 3.0 beta software development. Please read the iPhone OS Pre-Install Advisory and the iPhone SDK 3.0 beta 3 release notes before downloading and installing.

As a reminder, you can now test your applications that will use the Apple Push Notification service. Team Agents can log in to the iPhone Developer Program Portal and proceed to the App ID section to create the components necessary to begin testing applications using the Apple Push Notification service.

Apple also notes that apps targeted for devices prior to 3.0 will not be able to be tested on Beta 3. Beta 1 and Beta 2 have run their rounds, giving loads of information regarding hardware revisions, video recording, and many other features. Stay tune to for what Beta 3 has to bring!

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iPhone 3.0 Beta 2 Seeded to Developers

SDK

With just only 2 weeks after the release of the iPhone 3.0 Beta 1, Apple has released the SDK and firmware for 3.0 beta 2. If you’re interested in reading about the features included in the first beta release, be sure to check our write up on iPhone 3.0 OS. Beta 2 version is now available at the Apple Developer site, so head over and get your download going.

We’ll be sure to keep you updating on any new features or findings within the Beta 2 build. The official iPhone 3.0 release is still scheduled for this Summer.

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Apple Extends iPhone SDK & iTunes Connect Contracts

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Developers who signed up for Apple’s iPhone SDK Beta and iTunes Connect contracts when the iphone SDK was first released, are cutting it close to their one-year renewal deadline.

The only problem is Apple has yet to implement a system in order to handle these renewals.

Erica sadun initially investigated this topic by contacting Apple’s headquarters which sent her to the SDK help center, which eventually sent her back to the starting point as no one had any idea how to handle this mistake. She reports the following:

Apple has now e-mailed iPhone developers to extend their memberships until July 11, 2009. A short-term solution to the problem is good, but it shows that Apple is still working out the longer-term details.

While this does provide a short-term solution to Apple’s mistake, hopefully Apple can step and implement a proper renewal service in the short future.

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Apple + Dev Contracts = ?

iPhone SDK

We are approaching the year way point from which Apple first introduced the SDK Roadmap event providing developers the ability to submit apps to their App Store.  The first developers to jump in signed up for iTunes Connect contracts which last a year.  That year is now less than a month away, but there is one slight problem on Apple’s end – there is no renewal process yet!

Erica Sadun at Ars Technica dove into this issue only to find that Apple had less of a clue than the developers.

When we explained that we were looking both to renew ADC memberships and to update iTunes Connect contracts, the representative instructed us to send a query to devcontracts@apple.com. [...] We did in fact contact the iTunes Connect e-mail address, who wrote back to us saying, “Please refer to the Contact Us links at the bottom of iTunes Connect. devprograms should be able to assist you.” Apparently 1 Infinite Loop does not just refer to a corporate street address.

Developers were told they’d be given an option to renew their contract within 90 days of termination, but this option is not available, even with less than a month less.  The Apple Developer Program also stated that there were “many developers in this situation” and assured them that Apple would not be removing already approved applications from the app store.

Hopefully Apple can setup a renewal system quickly or this could escalate into many problems with the first developers to sign up.  Let us know if you developers out there have heard any news.

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Windows Web App iPhone Simulator

Apple has mainly focused on providing iPhone developer tools for the OS X platform, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the future.  With WebKit being available not only on OS X, but Windows operating system as well, why hasn’t a webapp developer tool been released?  Shaun Sullivan solved this problem by creating a simulator on his own.

The application is called IBBDemo, and gives developers a simulator to test iPhone web applications on a windows machine.  While this utility uses WebKit, you need to download the latest Safari in order for it to run.  The utility also recognizes iPhone mobile sites when navigating to a website which includes an alternate site for mobile devices.  You can view Sullivan’s screencast or download the application here.

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