Apple rolls out peer group benchmarks for developers

Stock Graph

Apple Developer News:

Starting today, you can put your app’s performance into context using peer group benchmarks, which compare your app’s performance to that of similar apps on the App Store. Now you’ll have even more insights to help you identify growth opportunities.

Peer group benchmarks provide powerful new insights across the customer journey, so you can better understand what works well for your app and find opportunities for improvement. Apps are placed into groups based on their App Store category, business model, and download volume to ensure relevant comparisons. Using industry-leading differential privacy techniques, peer group benchmarks provide relevant and actionable insights — all while keeping the performance of individual apps private.

Having checked out the benchmark data for some of the apps I ship or work on, it’s evident Apple still has a way to go if they want these benchmarks to be on par with the data that’s available for Android developers via the Google Play Console. Where Google allow developers to create peer groups containing specific apps, Apple’s approach is based on your apps category, monetisation strategy and download count.

Google’s approach allows for comparison to your actual market competitors, Apple’s is far more generic and less meaningful. But given Apple’s stance towards privacy, and the clear emphasis on protecting individual app privacy it’s hard to see that changing.

On the flip-side, it’s fascinating to be able to compare some metrics and see how well your app is performing against other apps. It adds a valuable context to some of the metrics already available in App Store Connect.

Apple rolls out iOS 16.4 beta 1

NASA Visualization Explorer Now Available For All iOS Devices

Apple is back with a new round of betas today, this time for iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4, macOS 13.3, tvOS 16.4, and watchOS 9.4. Apple hasn’t released any betas since iOS 16.3 reached general availability in January.

iOS 16.4 beta 1 includes a number of changes, including support for new Unicode 15 emojis, manual and automatic updates for Matter accessories.

There’s also new support for OAuth and other types of authorisation requests from SwiftUI, but perhaps the most notable feature included in 16.4 are the changes made to Safari and WebKit. Push notification support is being added for web apps. However, push notifications will only be supported for web apps added to a user’s home screen. In total, Apple says 135 new features are included in WebKit as part of Safari 16.4.

And notably for developers, from iOS 16.4 onwards you’ll be able to opt-in to developer betas directly from the Settings app as long as you’re signed in with the Apple ID used to enrol into the Apple Developer program. Otherwise you’ll only be able to opt-in to the public beta program. Apple will cease issuing configuration profiles in future releases of iOS.

Apple updates App Store pricing tiers

Apple's iPad and iPhone, digital

Apple announced late Friday a number of upcoming changes to App Store pricing tiers in countries across the world. Prices will increase in Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nigeria, Norway, South Africa, and the United Kingdom while they will decrease in Uzbekistan on February 13.

Prices in Ireland, Luxembourg, Singapore, and Zimbabwe won’t increase, but there will be changes to the proceeds shared with developers based on local tax changes.

By February 13, proceeds to developers will then increase in Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Uzbekistan.


The App Store’s commerce and payments system was built to empower you to conveniently set up and sell your products and services at a global scale with 44 currencies across 175 Storefronts. Periodically, we update prices on the App Store in certain regions based on changes in taxes and foreign exchange rates. This is done using publicly available exchange rate information from financial data providers to help ensure prices for apps and in‑app purchases stay equalized across all storefronts.

Apple rolls out iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, watchOS 9.3, tvOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 release candidates

Apple has overnight rolled out release candidates for the following platforms:

  • iOS 16.3
  • iPadOS 16.3
  • watchOS 9.3
  • tvOS 16.3
  • macOS 13.2

The release candidates are available to download now for developers via the Apple Developer Center. The updates are expected to be released to the general public next week.

Apple announces revised MacBook Pro, Mac mini with M2 chips

As predicted by recent rumours, Apple has overnight announced updates to the MacBook Pro and Mac mini line including new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.

Building on the unprecedented power efficiency of Apple silicon, battery life on MacBook Pro is now up to 22 hours — the longest battery life ever in a Mac.2 For enhanced connectivity, the new MacBook Pro supports Wi-Fi 6E,3 which is up to twice as fast as the previous generation, as well as advanced HDMI, which supports 8K displays for the first time. With up to 96GB of unified memory in the M2 Max model, creators can work on scenes so large that PC laptops can’t even run them.

Apple Newsroom

The MacBook Pro gets a reasonable spec bump this time around, with the M2 models offering up to 12-core CPUs, 38-core GPUs and 96GB of unified memory.

Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro delivers faster performance, even more unified memory, and advanced connectivity, including support for up to two displays on the M2 model, and up to three displays on the M2 Pro model.

Apple Newsroom

In light of recent rumours that work on an iMac with a larger display has been paused again, Apple says the mini can be “paired with Studio Display and Magic accessories” to make a “phenomenal desktop experience that will take users’ productivity and creativity to the next level.”

It’s also exciting to see the mini get the M2 Pro chip. The M1 Pro chip was never made available on the first iteration of the Apple Silicon mini.

There’s still no word on the promised Apple Silicon Mac Pro – but given today’s announcement was meant to be made late last year, it seems Apple’s running behind schedule.

The updated models are available for purchase now, but shipping times will vary depending on your country. They’ll ship starting January 24 in the US, but for those in the Asia-Pacific region (countries including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, and New Zealand) won’t be available until Feb 3.

Twitter suspends third-party clients

Twitter on Samsung tablet screen

In yet another sudden move, Twitter has now selectively suspended popular third-party clients without warning or notice.

It feels like the end of an era – for the early years of the iPhone, Twitter clients were a thriving, fertile playground for exploration of touch-centric UI elements and paradigms. Functionality that would eventually become a platform standards debuted in popular third-party Twitter clients, such as pull-to-refresh in the Tweetie app.

What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one is explaining what’s going on. We had no chance to thank customers who have been with us for over a decade. Instead, it’s just another scene in their ongoing shit show.

Craig Hockenberry (Twitteriffic)

While it’s been a bumpy few years now for third-party clients, it certainly seems like now it’s the end of the road. It’s a disgrace the way this ban has been imposed given the role third-party clients have served for Twitter over the years.

And if you’re in the market for a Mastodon client – the team at Tapbots are racing to get Ivory, their new Mastodon client out the door as soon as possible.

Point-Free releases new dependency management library for Swift


We are excited to open source a brand new dependency management system for Swift applications. It makes it easy to propagate dependencies deep into your application in an ergonomic, but also safe, manner. Once you start to control your dependencies you will instantly be able to write simpler tests, unlock new superpowers from Xcode previews, improve compile times, and a whole bunch more.


With this week’s release of swift-dependencies, our new dependency injection and management framework, we have now split out 8 libraries from our work on the Composable Architecture, and each of those libraries can be used in non-TCA code.

The great thing about this new release from Point-Free is that you don’t need to be using their Composable Architecture (TCA) in order to get value out of this new dependency management library.

While there are already a number of other Swift dependency management libraries available, in lieu of any better first-party support for dependency management by Apple this seems like it’s well worth a look.

It’s great to see what was starting to become a rather large framework be broken up into a series of smaller libraries that can be used with or without TCA.

Apple to focus on mixed-reality headset in 2023

Bloomberg (Mark Gurman):

Apple Inc., after seven years of development, is nearly ready to launch its first mixed-reality headset. But the focus on this new product will lead to an otherwise muted 2023.

Up until fairly recently, Apple had aimed to introduce the headset in January 2023 and ship it later this year. Now the company is aiming to unveil it this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, I’m told.

Apple has already shared the device with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, letting them get started on third-party apps. 

If Mark Gurman is on the money, then 2023 is shaping up to be a relatively quiet year for most Apple product categories. Aside from the mixed reality headset, which has been rumoured for many years.

If Gurman’s sources are correct, it sounds like Apple is still having issues with developer tooling for the headset. Given the importance of getting developers on board, hopefully the company can resolve these issues shortly. The last thing we want is another development experience reminiscent of developing for Apple Watch, which can be frustrating to say the least.

With so much of the company’s efforts spent on getting the mixed-reality headset out the door, Mark is predicting a quiet year for most other product lines. The iPhone may see a number of changes in including USB-C and a switch to a titanium body. While the Mac lineup will see minor spec bumps across the line and a Mac Pro that resembles the existing Intel hardware.

One benefit of a quieter year for the other product lines is the chance for Apple to pause and ship versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS that focus on stability, reliability and performance. So expect much of the focus for WWDC this year to be on the headset and the new ‘reality OS’, and less so on splashy iOS & macOS features.

Apple shuts down Dark Sky app

After acquiring Dark Sky in March 2020, as of January 1, 2023 the Dark Sky app is no longer available. Apple will continue to support the Dark Sky API until March 21, at which point it will also be switched off.

Apple has also published a new support guide for those looking at how Apple Weather can replace Dark Sky:

Dark Sky’s features have been integrated into Apple Weather. Apple Weather offers hyperlocal forecasts for your current location, including next-hour precipitation, hourly forecasts for the next 10 days, high-resolution radar, and notifications.

Apple used Dark Sky technology to roll out WeatherKit in 2022, which is now in use in the Apple Weather app across iOS, macOS and more. A REST API is also available, and Apple is encouraging developers to migrate immediately to avoid problems once the Dark Sky app is switched off in March.