Apple Enforces Sandboxing Compliance

For many, the biggest news of the month has been Apple’s official enforcement of their June 1 deadline for sandboxing compliance for all apps.  Although it is only now official, and is changing the way many make their apps, it has been unofficially enforced through the beginning of the Mac App Store since the beginning.

“Sandboxing” officially limits the specific features and data to which an app has access.  In other words, apps must “play in their own sandbox.”  Apps are only allowed to access the data that Apple permits them to see.  Sandboxing is seen as an obstacle for many apps developers, but it is very user-friendly, and helps prevent the inclusion of malicious data or spyware in all App Store products.

Apple’s intent is to make its apps safe for all users.  This has minimal effect on apps developers who have been working within an ethical framework.  Most developers who have been affected have seen minor delays as the result of inadvertent infractions of the new guidelines.

A company called TenthBit has developed an app called “Pair.”  The app is a private messaging app designed for couples.  The app works like many social apps, but ensures privacy for the user.  It allows users to post video messages, photos, and sketches.

It also has a chat function, a locator function, and even has a function called “ThumbKiss,” where both users can touch the same part of the phone simultaneously as it vibrates.  Pair is free, and available for iOS and Android systems.

Fastcase has just launched a legal research app called Fastcase for Android.  The research app is a version of their popular, award-winning iOS app.  Fastcase for Android allows users to research legal cases and statutes using Fastcase’s extensive national law library.  Like its iOS counterpart, Fastcase for Android is free to download and use.

Fastcase for iPhone was named the 2010 New Prodct of the Year by The American Association of Law Libraries, and was also named the 2011 Legal Productivity App of the Year by Rocket Matter.  According to a survey done by the American Bar Association, Fastcase for iPhone was the most popular legal research app in the industry, with a market share of approximately 25 percent.  Fastcase also recently launched Fastcase Mobile Sync, which synchronizes the mobile Fastcase apps with their desktop app.

The upcoming US elections in 2012 now have their own app.  The app, called Voter Planet, is a free app for iOS users, available in the Apple App store.  The app, created by Campaign Junkies, LLC, is available on iPhones, iPads, and the more expensive iPods.  The app allows users to identify the candidates for any offices in their own district, create a “follow list” of candidates, track polls, find basic information and background on candidates, take part in polls, and read news on their favorite candidates and races.

The app can also be used by the candidates themselves to recruit volunteers, raise money, engage constituents, poll voters on issues, and to communicate their platforms and points of view directly to the voters.

According to a survey from Flurry, an advertising and analytics copmany, 69 percent of new apps are being made for iOS, with 31 percent for Android.  The survey was for the first quarter of 2012, and represents a four percent gain for Android.  Flurry cites three main reasons for this disparity.

First, Flurry estimates that app developers make four times as much revenue from iOS apps as they do from Android apps.  The second main reason is that only one Android device, the Samsung Galaxy S II, has a market share over ten percent of Android devices sold, and seventeen other devices holding a market share of six percent or less.  This makes it more difficult for apps developers and users to match apps with specific hardware requirements.

Also, 70 percent of Android devices are still using Gingerbread, which is over a year and a half old.  In comparison, approximately 75 percent of iOS users are on iOS 5+, which was introduced this year.

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