Opinion: Xbox is Windows 10's built-in Trojan

Xbox is Microsoft's most important brand for consumers, as mentioned by the company's new CEO Satya Nadella himself. The brand may have taken a knock thanks to poor and mishandled business decisions from (former) leadership, but it remains the most relatable name for Microsoft to reach the everyday consumer.

Microsoft will be hosting a 'Consumer Preview' event to show off all the things which the company hopes will make your everyday consumer want to upgrade.

It's for this reason that Microsoft slaps "Xbox" in front...

By Ryan Daws, 22 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystem, Gaming, Platforms, Windows.

Flurry Research: "Install Addicts" drive app downloads

Claims from industry analysts point towards the rate of app downloads having decelerated after reaching saturation in markets such as the US and South Korea. In August, CNNMoney became one of the many publications to run a piece on this supposed slowdown of app downloads. Flurry Research set out to disprove this claim using their analytics data...

Focusing on the US, Flurry found that consumers are still downloading apps...

By Ryan Daws, 18 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, iOS.

Interview: Sinch's new SMS API challenges Twilio

VoIP giant Rebtel spun-off a company called 'Sinch' back in May along with $12 million in funding from Index Ventures and Balderton Capital. The company has gained significant momentum, with sign-ups increasing 25% month-by-month and over four billion minutes of calls connected using its simple communications platform.

Sinch has been on the cutting-edge with powerful innovations such as WebRTC, but has been missing support for that legacy...

By Ryan Daws, 17 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Microsoft gains a Halo with ‘Project Orleans’ and .NET

In an article about IoT-framework 'AllJoyn' yesterday, we discussed and spoke to the team behind Microsoft's renewed push into supporting open technologies. That trend continues today with the announcement that Microsoft will be making the cloud computing framework behind Halo 4, 'Project Orleans', open-source for all developers to use in early...

By Ryan Daws, 16 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Gaming, Windows.

Microsoft helps IoT devices to AllJoyn together

When we announced that AllJoyn support had been found hidden in Windows 10 build 9860, a lot of readers were excited about its potential. AllJoyn is an industry standard for the Internet of Things – created by the AllSeen Alliance – who is formed by industry giants including Microsoft, LG, HTC, Sony, Electrolux, Panasonic, Sharp, D-Link, and over 80...

By Ryan Daws, 15 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystem, IoT, Platforms, Windows.

Google releases Android 'Lollipop' code samples

Android 5.0, or 'Lollipop' if you prefer, is Google's biggest update yet. The latest version of the world's most-popular mobile OS ships with a whole host of new features and a radical redesign from Matías Duarte which Google wants to be adopted across the web, mobile, and desktop.  

Yesterday, the Mountain View-based giant released 20 new code samples which aim to show developers how the new additions can be implemented in their own apps... 

The samples can be...

By Ryan Daws, 12 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, Testing.

Designer vs Developer: Friction is ruining your UX

A study sponsored by enterprise mobility company Kony has highlighted the biggest pain points in the app development process. It reveals the friction between designers and developers often leads to a less-than-optimal UX, and has been found to be why 50% of respondents report their projects were failed to be approved.

Designers say that working with developers is a pain as it seems their guidance is often ignored

The survey takes into account more than 340 respondents across leading global...

By Ryan Daws, 11 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Design, Enterprise, Industry, Testing.

Opinion: What the iPad and iPhone 6 Plus needs

The iPhone 6 Plus has a lot of unrealised potential, and it's down to an uninspired interface that it's not meeting it. Sure, apps can show an extra pane of information, but they can't be opened side-by-side or "floated" like the Galaxy Note 4. Sure, you can copy and paste from apps, but you can't grab specific parts of the screen and pull information from it like the Note 4. These are all features not everyone needs, but it shows that Samsung's device is at least taking advantage of...

By Ryan Daws, 10 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, Platforms.

What issues does a Trusted Execution Environment address?

The richness of today’s connected devices such as smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes and televisions is bringing new challenges to service providers wanting to protect their offering against hackers and malware attacks. At the same time, an increasing number of applications are hosting sensitive, personal and confidential information that could have significant consequences if compromised. Such applications require more protection than can be offered by software solutions alone. This is where the...

By Global Platform, 10 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Hacking, Mobile, Monetisation, Security.

Obama, the first president programmer

Barack Obama set himself in the history books as soon as he was appointed, but now the iconic US president has brought about a day many programmers questioned they would ever see and become the first president to write a computer program...

As part of the annual Computer Science Education Week, Obama wrote a simple program which drew a square on-screen. Sure, that square is not creating the next Minecraft, but it's a start which proves anyone can begin to...

By Ryan Daws, 09 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry.

Opinion: The State of Windows Phone

Jackdaw Research released a damning report yesterday about Windows Phone and why it is "failing to catch on" with consumers and in the enterprise. It is a scathing study which makes it seem like the platform is doomed to failure, which I don't believe is necessarily the case...

Microsoft is taking a feedback-first approach and allowing users to test and shape Windows 10 before it hits...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Ecosystem, Platforms, Windows.

Google helps offline developers with new kit

Around 60% of the world is unable to access the internet and make use of its vast resources. Of the 40% that do, not all will benefit from the relative speed and reliability with which you are likely reading this article. As many things in our lives, it's something we can often take for granted and forget about those less fortunate.

The content amounts to over 30GB worth which is easy to see why this could be an issue in internet-starved countries.

The whole concept of the web is to connect machines...

By Ryan Daws, 04 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android.

Bluetooth 4.2 wants to be "the foundation for the IoT"

As I write this article, there is one technology which is providing a constant link between my smartphone and my smartwatch. Bluetooth's Special Interest Group (SIG) has advanced the standard and its capabilities far-beyond what anyone could have imagined at its conception, but it's not finished yet...

As we move into the age where we're criticised for not connecting a device to the internet, the amount of devices connected to one another will grow exponentially. At the same time, we're just as...

By Ryan Daws, 03 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, IoT, Security.

Apple shoves its own Push notification rule

In Apple's App Store rules, it quite clearly states "Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind". If you've spent any time on iOS (or any major smartphone platform for that matter) you know that rule is broken all-too-often to the frustration of many customers.

Apple needs to enforce the rule somehow and at least set a good standard for developers to follow everywhere.

It's an effective tactic, however, with...

By Ryan Daws, 02 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Apple, iOS, Marketing, Monetisation.

Google's new "Jack and Jill" Android compilers

With a brand-new Android release, it's only natural we'll see some updates to the development tools as well. As found by Saikoa, the latest Android SDK contains two new build tools called 'Jack' and 'Jill' after the nursery rhyme characters. The twosome aim to replace the less-catchy existing 'javac' and 'dex' compilers...

Google's decision for creating two new compilers could be due to the ongoing dispute with Oracle over the use of...

By Ryan Daws, 01 December 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Java, Languages, Platforms.

Windows Phone 8.1 cracks 50% marketshare

The good news is that the latest and greatest version of Microsoft's mobile OS has reached 50% of the Windows Phone market, according to AdDuplex. The bad news is that Windows Phone still accounts for less than 10% of the entire smartphone market in most countries...

Android still dominates in terms of overall marketshare, but where Google's OS fails is in getting their latest OS onto even the latest flagship handsets from the myriad of OEMs who...

By Ryan Daws, 28 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Industry, Platforms, Windows.

Unity 4.6 brings long-fabled UI creator

Around a year and a half ago, popular game development tool Unity promised to change how user interfaces are created. With the release of 4.6, developers can now ease the painful task of creating UI with a powerful built-in solution which removes the need to use workarounds to achieve what you need.

Unity’s animation system provides support for aspects like bouncing buttons and things which fly into view.

Unity is a WYSIWYG-style creation engine which – up to most solutions – is simple in...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2014, 2 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, Platforms, Testing.

Heads in the Cloud: Why we keep our data on the ground

With all the hype about cloud-based data hosting and the variety of options available, some developers may find it surprising that we’ve never put a single data bit in a cloud server. These days our approach may seem a little anachronistic, after all, surely the cloud is essential to scaling a modern business?

There are several reasons why we've never taken the leap into the cloud:

  • The estimated cost for using popular services like Amazon Web Services (AWS) is projected at 5x current running costs.
  • Cloud pricing is disassociated from the underlying...

By Paul H Müller, 26 November 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Cloud, Testing.

What Apple WatchKit brings to the party for developers

Picture credit: iStockPhoto

Last week, Apple released WatchKit to developers. Over the next few months, ahead of the launch of Apple Watch, developers now have the opportunity to take their existing apps and add the necessary extensions to interact with Apple Watch. This point is really key here, Apple isn’t telling developers they have to build new apps, merely take the successful apps they already have and extend them.As alluded to when Apple introduced the watch, much of the leg work of running apps will be handled by a...

By Mubaloo, 26 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS.

Web Design: Ensuring an immersive experience

The web has experienced some big changes over the past few years. There was a time when the only way to create an all-singing, all-dancing site was to use a proprietary platform like Flash. So when Flash died there was something of a void left behind. We consoled ourselves with the hope that one day native web technology would rise up to take its place...

Recently there have been a number of websites that have delivered on the promise that HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript could rival and surpass the Flash websites...

By Mário Duarte, 25 November 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Design, Marketing.