Category Archives: Apple

Javelin, Drumlin and Operating System updates: Windows, iOS and OSX

UPDATE 1: Javelin for iOS (a universal version, so iPhones are supported as well as iPADs) is now available on Apple’s iOS App Store and is iOS9 compatible

UPDATE 2 (revised 9th Jan 2016): Javelin for OSX 10.11 is available as via the Javelin downloads page on our website and is now on Apple’s Mac App Store. Javelin does work with El Capitan’s split-screen view, which you also invoke by pressing for longer on the green button and then choosing a screen half where you want Javelin and then another program for the other half.

And now for the full story…

As is ever the case, Apple and Microsoft continue to battle it out with ever more sophisticated updates (upgrades?!) to their operating systems. In nearly every instance this results in problems for end users who are brave enough to update their systems, especially for those “early adopters” who have not waited for the “updates to the updates” first.  The biggest problem for third party applications providers is the lack of backward compatibility with some of these updates. Comments on aspects of the most recent set that may affect users of our Javelin and Drumlin software products is provided below:

iOS 9: again, with essentially no notice (less than a week), on Sept 16th Apple released iOS9 on an unsuspecting public with numerous side effects – and as at 3rd Oct two OS updates to iOS 9 had already been issued by Apple and a new main version, iOS 9.1 was released on Oct 26th.

Where existing apps crash or fail to run at all, in most cases a simple re-install from the App Store will fix the problem – but the App Store app itself has had problems, so no guarantees there! Users who have updated to iOS9 and find the catalog facility results in their app exits suddenly or similar issues occur can resolve this by simply selecting the Grid/List icon on the home page and switching to the List view (see below).


For most versions of the iOS software the grid/list icon shown above is always enabled, but for the Taxbooks app it is turned off as default, but can be turned on via the Settings app on iPADs and iPhones, as shown below:


We have also had some users remove the existing app (deleting it and its files) and re-installing the current version of the app from Apple’s app store, and it then works again after re-authorizing their file or files … so it looks like some of the iOS9 library code is not fully backwards compatible.

Windows 10, and Win7/8 updates to 32/64 bit handling: at the end of July Microsoft released Windows 10, a major new version of its desktop operating system. As part of the move to Windows 10 changes have been made to the way entries in the registry are handled for 32- and 64-bit computers. Along with other changes this has meant we have had to create a new version of Javelin for Windows and Javelin Pro for Windows, specifically for the newer OS versions, including Win10. In addition, the so-called free upgrade to Windows 10 can result in a mess for end users, which takes a lot to sort out. In the case of Javelin, re-authorization will do the trick for most users after updating to the latest versions from our website, whereas with Drumlin, in most cases it works just fine but in some instances it is necessary to completely remove all traces of earlier installations and re-install the latest update from our website, and re-register if necessary (retaining your previous registration data from the apps/roaming/ folder should avoid this step). AdminApp is unaffected by these OS updates.

OSX 10.11 (El Capitan): Some users with OSX10.11 reported that they cannot authorize drmz files with Javelin on 10.11 systems – a version that resolves this is available on our website at: and is now available on the Mac’s AppStore

The list of what’s new in OSX 10.11 is provided by Apple here:

There is no indication in this list of changes in the way the operating system works. However, changes have been made to underlying features of OSX (and iOS9) which are described by Apple in technical notes here:

and tucked away within these release notes are details of a facility called App Transport Security (ATS). Essentially this introduces a mechanism whereby any application that asks for data from a standard web address starting with http:// will generate an error and may be prevented from continuing to work. Apple would like developers to switch to using https:// web addresses for anything that involves data retrieval. Javelin (all platforms) currently retrieves data from a standard http:// address during document authorization, although we may amend this shortly as our DRM servers all have SSL/https: support now.

… more on these OS updates as they occur!

Amazon and Apple targeted by new EEC rules on ebook tax

Amazon and Apple, amongst other corporate giants in the ebook marketplace, have located themselves for EEC tax purposes in Luxembourg for the last few years. With a local rate of VAT (Sales tax) of 3% this is much lower than the 20%+ payable in most EEC countries. Now action has been taken to close this loophole but it does mean that every publisher selling to consumers in the EEC must be aware of the changes and take appropriate action.

Sales of ebooks from businesses to consumers (B2C sales) must have VAT added when the purchaser is located in any of the 28 EEC countries. Until the start of 2015 this VAT has been added at the rate applicable in the Publishers/Suppliers home country, not the Purchasers. As a result, companies like Amazon have been able to add 3% instead of 20%+ to their prices and substantially undercut similar publishers based in the targeted countries. To close this loophole the EEC now requires VAT to be charged at the rate applicable in the customer’s country, not the suppliers. This means applying the correct rate for each country for the product sold, and ensuring that the home country of the purchaser is known and recorded.

To avoid a publisher or service provider having to register with the tax authorities in all 28 EEC countries, a system known as VAT MOSS (Mini One Stop Shop) has been introduced. With this system we now add VAT at the appropriate rate to sales of secure PDFs made via our Managed Services facilities within the EEC. We then report the amount, country-by-country, via the MOSS service in the UK, and the UK tax authoriities will reconcile the taxes due to each EEC member state. What this means is that customers of our Managed Services will not have to worry about the new regulations, but DIY service publishers will need to register for the VAT MOSS service and account for VAT if they are selling to EEC consumers.

The UK VAT people (HMRC) expected 5000+ businesses to register for VAT MOSS – it is claimed that c.350,000 have done so!

If you would like to discuss our managed services please contact us

There has been a massive amount of discussion about the introduction of these charges, as evidenced by topics on Twitter #VATMESS and press articles. For more information on the UK implementation of VAT MOSS please click here

iOS8 release

iOS8: We have recently tested our iPAD apps (Javelin, Taxbooks, NKI and Jee) against the forthcoming release of Apple’s iOS operating system, iOS8. Some may recall the problems caused to many apps by the ill-fated iOS7 initial release last September. All the signs are that iOS8 will not cause similar issues, with the latest beta (Beta 5) working well with our apps. It seems likely that iOS8 will be released on September 10th 2014.