Developers of FireChat release MeshKit to connect mobile apps offline

The developers of mesh networking app FireChat have released MeshKit, a platform for connecting mobile apps offline using peer-to-peer networking.

Open Garden created FireChat to enable communication in areas with limited or no connectivity. Unlike traditional networks where more users cause problems from congestion, a mesh network thrives as the number of devices increases.

App developers worldwide can now reach audiences even when they are disconnected

With the number of smartphones around the world is...

By Ryan Daws, 27 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Platforms.

Qualcomm updates its VR dev kit and launches accelerator

There’s a good chance Qualcomm already powers your smartphone, but the company wants to extend its mobile dominance to VR.

Most current mobile VR headsets require the user to slot their smartphone in – which is often a cumbersome experience. Particularly in China, standalone mobile VR headsets are gaining in popularity, and there’s a strong likelihood we’ll see a headset released this year by a major player such as...

By Ryan Daws, 23 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Devices, Platforms, VR.

Nintendo’s studios have 'mastered' the Unreal engine for Switch

(Image Credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo has often been criticised for prioritising the company’s internal developers, over-relying on historic franchises, and making it difficult for third-party studios to develop or port games with a lack of support for standard industry engines. 

Epic Games is the developer behind the popular Unreal graphics toolkit and confirmed support for the Switch not long after its announcement. While in the past Nintendo has relied on its own...

By Ryan Daws, 07 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Devices, Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Opinion: Windows 10 Cloud offers Microsoft another shot at mobile

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Several references to ‘Windows 10 Cloud’ have appeared in recent Windows test builds and insiders believe it’s Microsoft’s answer to Chrome OS.

Reports claim Windows 10 Cloud will drop support for Win32/64 and rely on UWP apps similar to Google’s ongoing roll-out of Android support in Chrome OS. There was a time when Chromebooks were only useful for web browsing or putting together a quick...

By Ryan Daws, 31 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Devices, Platforms, Windows.

General Motors launches SDK for 'next-generation' apps

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General Motors has launched an SDK for developers with access to almost 400 data points for use in developing in-car applications. 

Apps can be developed in HTML5 and JavaScript using General Motors' NGI (Next-Generation Infotainment) SDK.  To get developers started, the SDK contains a working example of a complete app along with a library of code samples which can be used...

By Ryan Daws, 26 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Platforms.

Mobile development platform Fabric moves to Google

(Image Credit: Fabric

Twitter's mobile development platform Fabric has been sold to Google for an undisclosed sum. 

Until today's announcement, Fabric was one advantage Twitter held over Facebook after Zuckerberg's giant shuttered its own 'Parse' platform. Clearly, mobile development platforms under the control of social networks are not meant to be. 

Developers who use Fabric can at least feel comforted the platform is not...

By Ryan Daws, 19 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, iOS, Platforms.

OneShell will join OneCore in uniting Windows devices

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Microsoft has long envisioned a Windows for developers to focus on building great software and forget about the form on which they'll run. Each update for Windows 10 on desktop, mobile, and Xbox has brought this vision closer to reality, but the next step is a truly common shell. 

This is all part of the "One Windows" concept. Windows 10 devices...

By Ryan Daws, 18 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Mobile, Platforms, Windows.

Opinion: Nintendo forgot to Switch up its strategy

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Nintendo makes fantastic games, but it can only make so many of them at once. This is where third-party studios come in to fill the gaps between releases. Underpowered consoles and lack of promotional support from Nintendo damaged their relationship with these developers in the past and pushed them into reducing or dropping support for Nintendo's consoles in favour of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. 

With the...

By Ryan Daws, 16 January 2017, 2 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Developers warned to update apps prior to Android Wear 2.0 launch

The next major version of Android Wear is almost here, and Google has warned developers to update their apps prior to its launch. 

Launching in February, Android Wear 2.0 will bring a host of overdue features to Google's wearable platform in the hope of giving it the shot of adrenaline it needs. According to IDC, in Q3 2016 smartwatch sales overall dropped 51.6 percent over the same period in the previous year. 

This stagnation in the smartwatch market can be attributed to a variety of...

By Ryan Daws, 12 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Platforms, Windows.

China's largest social network launches its own App Store

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WeChat dominates China's social networks, and it now wants to pull attention from Apple's app store in favour of its own. 

Tencent, parent company of WeChat, announced the 'Xiaochengxu' (translated as 'mini programs') feature yesterday. WeChat told Reuters the function “allows users to access merchants’ services without having to download their...

By Ryan Daws, 11 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Industry, Platforms.

Ford and Toyota partner on SmartDeviceLink consortium to standardise in-car development

(Image Credit: Ford)

A consortium established by Ford and Toyota called SmartDeviceLink hopes to bring various automakers together with OEMs of third-party devices in order to standardise app development for vehicles. 

SmartDeviceLink will enable consumers to access their smartphone apps – regardless of platform – and interact with them using voice and in-vehicle displays. The support of automakers enables SmartDeviceLink to be integrated with...

By Ryan Daws, 06 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Mobile, Platforms.

Raspberry Pi releases desktop computer OS

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The creators of the Raspberry Pi, a small $35 computer often used for 'maker' projects, have released an OS for traditional x86 desktop computers. 

Under the name of PIXEL, the primary aim of the OS is to enable Pi creators to write software which can be used across fellow devices without the need for changes. The secondary aim, and it's a bold one, is to produce the "best" computing experience...

By Ryan Daws, 23 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Devices, Platforms, Windows.

Opinion: Smartphone technologies to consider when developing an app

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Apple has long been at the forefront of minimalistic, user-focused design. Back in the ‘80s, Steve Jobs created the Macintosh computer with a single button, bringing to life an aesthetic trend that continues to this day.

To add the functionality once provided by additional buttons, Apple installed 3D Touch into the iPhone 6,...

By Q Manning, 13 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Microsoft looks beyond smartphones to 'cellular PCs'

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With market share now sitting below one percent, it's safe to say most people have discredited Windows Phone. During the 2016 WinHEC conference, however, Microsoft announced its work on a significant advancement which could revive the platform, or at least give a boost to other Windows 10-based mobile devices. 

The biggest complaint users have with Windows Phone is...

By Ryan Daws, 08 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Windows.

Google further shrinks Android app install sizes – now up to 90 percent

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Earlier this year, Google announced it had shrunk app updates by 47 percent, but it turns out that was just the start as the Android platform owner has further boosted its compression abilities. 

Google is using a new updating technique called 'File-by-File patching' to shrink updates by 65 percent on average but it can reduce sizes up to 90 percent in some...

By Ryan Daws, 07 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms.

Google and Elon Musk's AI platforms open to researchers

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We're still a way off from complex AI like we've seen in films, but two of the most prominent AI platforms have opened their code today with the goal of advancing research in the area. 

Elon Musk, best known as the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, is also the chairman of OpenAI who today released Universe, a software platform that...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

Nintendo is actively pursuing third-party developers for Switch

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According to game publishing giant Take-Two, Nintendo is learning from its past mistakes and actively pursuing third-party developers to help make its upcoming Switch console a success. 

Take-Two Interactive is the parent firm of renowned game developers companies such as Rockstar, creator of GTA, and 2K Games, creator of the Borderlands franchise. During the Credit Suisse Technology, Media, and Telecom conference this week, Take-Two president...

By Ryan Daws, 30 November 2016, 1 comment. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Play Services 10.2 will drop support for Gingerbread and Honeycomb

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Google has warned developers the next Play Services update will increase the minimum supported API level to 14, which means Android versions 'Gingerbread' and 'Honeycomb' will no longer be supported. 

Once an app is published to the Play Store, with this new minimum requirement, the minority of users still on legacy platforms will no longer see the app or its...

By Ryan Daws, 29 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Nvidia claims it's simple to port PS4, Xbox One games to Nintendo Switch

(Image Credit: Nintendo)

Mobile gaming leaves a lot to be desired in terms of performance and graphical fidelity when compared to more powerful consoles, but that gap is closing fast with today's mobile GPUs already offering more power than last-generation consoles. 

The Nintendo Switch is set to arrive in the first half of 2017, and...

By Ryan Daws, 17 November 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.