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Quick Takes: Apple Watch Apps Called 'Frustrating' to Develop, iOS 11 Jailbreak With Cydia, and More

In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest Apple news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Wednesday, February 28

iOS 11 jailbreak released with Cydia, which turns 10 today: Cydia was released by Jay Freeman, better known as saurik, on February 28, 2008. The unofficial App Store is the gateway to installing apps, tweaks, themes, and other files on jailbroken iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices, outside of Apple's control.

Just yesterday, a new jailbreak called Electra was released for iOS 11 through iOS 11.1.2. It is the first iOS 11 jailbreak to include Cydia, although it is a modified version that may cause issues, so proceed at your own risk.

Commentary: While jailbreaking has faded in popularity over the years, Cydia remains a centerpiece of the community after a decade. Freeman is still in the process of updating Cydia and its frameworks to be fully compatible with iOS 11, so it might be a good idea to hold off on using the Electra jailbreak to avoid problems.

Waymo's self-driving cars have now covered five million miles on public roads: Waymo says the first million miles took six years to complete, while the fifth million took just under three months, as its testing rapidly speeds up.

To celebrate the milestone, Waymo shared a 360-degree video today that reveals how its self-driving vehicles view their surroundings, recognize objects like cars and pedestrians, and predict what those things will do. The video combines footage and real-time data from a trip around Phoenix, Arizona.

Commentary: A recent report claimed Apple is accelerating development of its own self-driving software to compete with the likes of Waymo, but it sounds like the iPhone maker may have significant ground to make up still.

Flutter enters beta, Sketch 49 released with iOS 11 design templates: Bohemian Coding's popular app design tool Sketch has been updated with Apple's official iOS 11 design templates, including tab bars, status bars, buttons, and other user interface elements for developers to incorporate into their apps.

In related news, Google's new mobile UI framework Flutter entered beta yesterday. Flutter aims to help developers more quickly craft high-quality native interfaces for both iOS and Android, with support for both iOS 11 and the iPhone X on the Apple side. Beginners can read Flutter's Getting Started guide.

Commentary: Sketch and Flutter can help developers to more quickly design iPhone and iPad apps that are consistent with iOS 11's design language.

Marco Arment says developing Apple Watch apps is "extremely frustrating and limited": Apple doesn't give developers access to the same watchOS frameworks that it uses for its own Apple Watch apps. Instead, it offers WatchKit, which Arment argues can only be used to create "baby" apps.

Image Credit: MacStories

Commentary: There has certainly been a trend of some developers discontinuing their Apple Watch apps in recent months, including notable brands like Amazon, eBay, Google Maps, and Slack. Apple providing developers with expanded watchOS resources could encourage those companies to reconsider.

For more Apple news and rumors coverage, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also visit our forums to join in the discussion.

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago
With Marco's comment about watch development, that may explain why there aren't a lot of watch apps. I hope that changes (for the better) soon.
Rating: 23 Votes
2 weeks ago

Jailbreaking is so pointless.

For you, maybe.
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks ago
Dont think i bothered to open an Apple Watch app in over a year
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks ago

I can’t help but wonder what the self-driving experience will be like at a four-way stop where you’re engaged in a “you go ahead; oh me first? Oh, wait, you’re going now—but you’ve stopped again; I’ll wait; are you gonna go or am I?” scenario.

If all 4 cars are self-driving, they wouldn't even need to stop, as they will have all negotiated the intersection with each other well in advance, and adjust their speeds up or down slightly accordingly, so they all pass through the intersection safely.

If one of the cars is human-driven, then it wouldn't be any different than how it is today, but I imagine out of an abundance of caution the self-driving cars will let the reckless and unpredictable human go first, and then they'll go after in a perfectly synced manner.
Rating: 10 Votes
2 weeks ago

Jailbreaking is so pointless.

This post is hilarious to me.

You should go on an easter egg hunt and find out how many iOS "features" started as "pointless" jailbreak tweaks. You should also go on an easter egg hunt and find out how many currently requested features for iOS are things you can have right now if you're jailbroken. And quite stable.

Actually, I'll list some here because this will be loads of fun:

Wi-Fi syncing. This one got scooped by Apple into the next software update pretty much right after it released.

Control Center. iOS 7 in Fall of 2013? Try SBSettings back in 2010

QuickReply. iOS 8 in '14? Hahaha try biteSMS in early 2009. It also had the ability to send messages from anywhere outside of the message app, not just reply. Not to mention a whole host of other features that Apple apparently has no idea how to implement.

Night Shift. This was f.lux for a long time before they cared to make this happen.

Notification Center? Intelliscreen.

Widgets? Had those first.

Task Switcher? Auxo.

Some things people want changed about iOS right now:

Incoming calls dominating the whole screen. CallBar solves that right now.

Individual app locking with biometrics. BioProtect does it.

Apple gets rid of the home button on the X to free up space, yet leaves the home bar as a permanent fixture without a toggle. No problem there if you're jailbroken.

Switch the default maps app. Can't, unless you're jailbroken.

Lazy dev hasn't updated their app to support new device res? Good guy jailbreak dev makes a tweak that forces all apps to fit anyway. (Side note, this doesn't work with CVS because they didn't even update the UI even for the iPhone 6. Lazy af.)

Break the 150mb download limit over data. We have an unrestrictor for that.

Declutter the lockscreen. Jailbreak solves that.


You say jailbreaking is pointless, and I bet you think that stock iOS is "great." But please, PLEASE, tell me more about how "pointless" jailbreaking is when Apple will proudly tout new "features" to you every new *year* that were already available to jailbroken devices for so long. It takes Apple a full year's software cycle to "innovate" with "new" features that a jailbreak dev will make right now, and stable.

But no, that's "pointless." Hahahah, oh man. You're fun.
Rating: 8 Votes
2 weeks ago
Jailbreaking was great before, but at this point, I'd probably go to Android if I wanted that kind of control.
Rating: 8 Votes
2 weeks ago
Agree with the Apple Watch Apps being "baby" apps. I've said it from the beginning, it's the most fun in terms of development.. until you realize you are handcuffed big time! Way to much locked down on the Watch. I understand the health data but good grief refresh request data limits.. seriously? And still after all this time, no watch face store or ability to truly customize the design. If I want 5 apps on a face with a background at the same time, I should be able to do that on the latest watch due to the processing speed.. but no, still nothing. Apple needs to wake up.. loosen the reigns a bit and see where developers can help take the company into the future. At some point those developers.. myself included are going to leave and do great things for someone else. And I love Apple products but they are shooting themselves in the foot constantly with hardly any real changes to their OS's and the way they are built.
Rating: 7 Votes
2 weeks ago
When does Marco Arment not complain? ATP is barely listenable as all they do is spend 2 hours whining and complaining about things. I remember a year or two ago Casey Liss said their New Years resolution was to be less negative (based on listener feedback). Not sure how long that lasted. Every recent show I’ve listened to was whine, moan and complain.
Rating: 6 Votes
2 weeks ago
I can’t help but wonder what the self-driving experience will be like at a four-way stop where you’re engaged in a “you go ahead; oh me first? Oh, wait, you’re going now—but you’ve stopped again; I’ll wait; are you gonna go or am I?” scenario.
Rating: 5 Votes
2 weeks ago

For you, maybe.

Yeah, no kidding! I still carry my old iPhone 5s around with me because it is jailbroken and can thus run a bunch of software I find extremely useful - such as a true WiFi diagnostic tool that I use when building WiFi networks, a function that for some reason Apple thinks is, I'm guessing, too technical for their users (oh, what a dim view of their own customers Apple must have).

I was actually going to move to Android last time around (didn't really want to, just felt I was being forced to) since I want to do things Apple simply won't allow, or at least won't allow properly, but I was unable to easily find a single Android phone that was both small enough (I currently have the se) for me - they all seem to have gone phablet sized, and running a reasonably up-to-date OS.

I would certainly *love* seeing iOS jailbroken again.
Rating: 5 Votes

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