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Apple showcases new developer tools and technologies.

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Apple unveiled new tools and technologies at Worldwide Developers Conference 2021 (WWDC21) to help developers design and create more engaging app experiences and make it even easier to build high-quality apps. Xcode Cloud brings together the multiple tasks and tools required to build, test, and deliver apps using powerful cloud services, enabling individual developers and teams to be more productive and provide great apps to their users. Swift takes a massive leap forward with concurrency support built into the language, and augmented reality (AR) technologies make it easier than ever to build immersive content in apps or on the web.

“We’re thrilled to provide our developer community with powerful new tools and technologies to help create even more compelling and higher-quality apps, while engaging with their users in all new ways through the App Store,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “With the robust set of tools included in Xcode Cloud, continuing innovation in the Swift programming language, a wide range of new APIs, and even more ways to reach users — Apple’s platforms have never been stronger.”

Xcode Cloud

Xcode Cloud is a powerful new tool for Apple developers that will make it easier than ever to build, test, and deliver apps more efficiently. Built into Xcode 13, Xcode Cloud offers a fast and simple way for developers and teams of all sizes to build, test, and deliver high-quality apps even more efficiently. Parallel testing in the cloud means developers can test on a simulated version of every current Apple device, then easily deploy a build of the app for internal testing or deliver to external beta testers through TestFlight for instant feedback.

Swift Playgrounds

 

Swift

Swift — Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming language — now features built-in concurrency support. This means developers can more easily write code that does work in parallel, which is key to building apps that are responsive to user input, while doing more work in the background. With concurrency in Swift, developers can write fast, modern, safe code with fewer mistakes, and take full advantage of the powerful multicore silicon across Apple’s devices.

SwiftUI has reinvented user interface development by making it easier to develop great-looking apps with as little code as possible. Now SwiftUI takes a huge step forward, helping developers bring more great experiences to all their users. This includes enhancements for improving list views, search experiences, in-app accessibility features, multicolumn tables, and so much more.

Swift Playgrounds is a great way to learn to code right on a Mac or iPad. With Swift Playgrounds 4, coming later this year, users will be able to create the visual design of an app with SwiftUI. App projects can be opened and edited in Swift Playgrounds or in Xcode, and when they’re ready, users can build a real app and submit it directly to the App Store right from their iPad.

Augmented Reality

Apple has the world’s largest augmented reality platform with over 1 billion AR-enabled devices powered by ARKit, a framework that allows developers to easily create AR experiences, and RealityKit, the rendering, animation, audio, and physics engine built from the ground up for AR.

RealityKit 2 introduces Object Capture, a simple and powerful API on macOS Monterey that enables developers — like Wayfair, Etsy, and more — to create high-quality, photo-realistic 3D models of real-world objects in minutes by taking photos shot on iPhone, iPad, or DSLR and transforming them into 3D models optimized for AR. These models can be viewed in AR Quick Look or added to AR scenes in Reality Composer or Xcode, making it easier than ever to build amazing AR apps. Developers like Maxon and Unity are using Object Capture to unlock entirely new ways of creating 3D content within some of the leading 3D content creation apps, such as Cinema 4D and Unity MARS.

With new APIs in RealityKit 2, developers can also create more realistic and complex AR experiences with greater visual, audio, and animation control, including custom render passes and dynamic shaders.

Object Capture makes it easier for developers to create high-quality and immersive AR content in just minutes.

Apple’s ARKit has powered more than 1 billion devices

Graphics and Games

New APIs and tools in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS will help game developers create the next generation of games and deliver all-new experiences to their users. A new Metal texture compression tool supports all of the latest formats, as well as optimized formats for Apple silicon, making it easier for developers to bring high-end games to all of Apple’s platforms. Additionally, a new Virtual Game Controller on iPhone and iPad provides an easy method to optimize games that build in Game Controller support.

Apple is providing developers with a range of new tools and APIs that will push their app experience forward and enable them to create entirely new features — all built with privacy at the forefront.

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In Pictures: President Solih meets with the leaders of Adhaalath Party to discuss concerns on Hate Speech Bill.

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China finds 1 billion tons of oil and gas.

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Chinese oil and gas giant PetroChina has found a massive reserve of oil and gas in North Western China.

The oil and gas reserve was found within the Tarim Basin. According to PetroChina, the oil and gas was found in an area deemed as “ultra-deep”.  The Tarim Basin is one of the most challenging areas to explore due to its harsh and complicated  ground conditions. However, it is also highly petroliferous.

Due to this, the output from the basin has significantly increased within the past six years, from 30,000 tons a year to 1.52 million in 2020. It is expected to reach 2 million tons in 2021.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency.

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Leaked documents show India refused to withdraw military personnel and helicopters from the Maldives even after their Visa’s expired.

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Allegations that Indian influence in the Maldives has been one of the most debated topics in the Maldives. Accusation that India has influenced the last Presidential Election and the current administration is a common topic for political debates. However, a series of documents has been leaked by a local news showing communication between the Maldives Foreign Ministry and the Indian High Commission during the previous administration. The documents show the Government of Maldives requesting the Indian High Commission to withdraw their Helicopter stationed in the Maldives. The documents cement the allegations by the public that India has been increasingly overstepping on the sovereignty of the Maldives.

Below is a timeline of the events, first published in Dhivehi language on “Dhiyares News”.

In a letter dated 22nd April 2018, the Government of Maldives informed the Indian High commission on its decision to return the Helicopter being operated from Addu city by the end of June 2018.  While the letter maintain diplomatic composure, based on the events that took place, it is evident that there was tension between the two parties.

A second letter was sent on 06th May 2018. In the second letter, the Government of Maldives informed the Indian High Commission that the agreement for the helicopter operated out of Laamu atoll had expired on 01st may 2018, and requested its withdrawal by the end of June 2018.

And on 10th June, an additional letter was sent to Indian High Commission. This letter acted as a reminder on the order to withdraw the Indian helicopters and their military personnel by the end of June 2018. It also requested the Indian High Commission to provide a schedule of withdrawal.

The Indian high Commission in Maldives replied with their own letter on 25th June 2018. In their letter, the Indian high Commission stated that Indian government would require “more time” to examine the order to withdraw by the Government of Maldives.

It also noted that the Visa for the Indian military personnel in the Maldives would expire on 30th June 2018, and requested their renewal.

The Government of Maldives replied to this with a  letter dated 27th June 2018, reiterating on the order to withdrawal and to provide a schedule of withdrawal.

Sovereignty at stake?

Based on what happened next, it is clear that the Indian High Commission did not withdraw their helicopters nor their military personnel. It is now a verified fact that the Indian military personnel illegally stationed themselves, against the wishes of then government without even a legal visa. However, with the change of administration, their visa’s and the helicopter agreements were promptly renewed.

The current administration and its President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih which has been marked by its close ties to India, acting as its “yes-man” since his election.

It is clear that India does not seem to view the Maldives as a sovereign nation, and is willing to go against the laws and constitutions of the Maldives and international conventions, to impose their people and influence in the Maldives.

This leak comes following weeks of online protest by locals against the growing Indian influence in the Maldives. Many have accused India of meddling with domestic elections and other issues, to increase their influence in the Maldives.  India’s seemingly unilateral decision to establish a consulate in the southernmost city of Addu has further fueled the allegations. The Hanimaadhoo, military planes, radar systems, helicopters, Police academy and military base near the capital has only exacerbated the situation.

This begs us the question, is our independence and sovereignty at stake?. Does the Maldives need to appeal to the International community that India just won’t remove their military personnel from the Maldives? Are we becoming the next Sikkim ?

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