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.

Radar wants to ‘solve’ location for app developers

(Image Credit: Radar)

New startup Radar has decided location is a long-overlooked problem and requires a solution to unlock its full potential.

There are tried-and-trusted solutions for most developer problems today. If you want communications in your app, Twilio can put you in touch. If you need to handle payments, Swipe can put that through for you. For location, Radar’s CEO argues, there’s not been such a solution.

“We’re ten years into the smartphone era, but building...

By Ryan Daws, 15 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Location, Mobile.

Vulkan graphics API is now supported on Intel chips

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/KaiDunn)

Intel has announced support for the Vulkan graphics API in the company’s most recent ‘Core’ chips on Windows 10.

Vulkan, a graphics API similar to DirectX 12, is already supported on graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD. Khronos released v1.0 of the Vulkan specification almost one year ago on February 16th and it has been received well by developers seeking a cross-platform...

By Ryan Daws, 14 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Gaming.

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.

Mobile gaming reached $40.6 billion in 2016 – matching global box office sales

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Czgur)

If there was any doubt left as to how lucrative mobile game development can be, the market generated over $40 billion last year according to research from SuperData and game development platform Unity.

A particular highlight of the “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: The 2016 Mobile Games Market” report is that global revenues matched international box office sales for the first...

By Ryan Daws, 02 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, Industry, iOS.

Opinion: Windows 10 Cloud offers Microsoft another shot at mobile

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/dem10)

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

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/shaunl)

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

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/AdrianHancu)

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

(Image Credit: Nintendo)

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

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/c8501089)

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.

ZigBee has developed an IoT language it's calling dotdot

(Image Credit: ZigBee Alliance)

Do you speak dotdot? I don't, at least not yet.

ZigBee has announced the development of a 'universal language for the IoT' which it's calling dotdot, and this week at CES the alliance has been showcasing the first prototypes of products speaking it. 

The examples on display are based on the network protocol Thread yet use ZigBee's dotdot language to communicate – proving the language is not restricted to ZigBee products. At...

By Ryan Daws, 05 January 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, IoT, Languages.

Raspberry Pi releases desktop computer OS

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/pengpeng)

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.

Futuremark prepares to launch new DirectX 12, Vulkan benchmarks

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Stockfinland)

Futuremark is among the most respected names in benchmarking, and the company is about to launch new tools for examining the performance of the newfangled DirectX 12 and Vulkan graphics APIs. 

You may have used or seen benchmarks conducted with the 3DMark software in the past, you may have even seen DirectX 12 benchmarks tested using it. The current version of 3DMark includes a DirectX 12 test...

By Ryan Daws, 22 December 2016, 0 comments. Categories: API, Development Tools, Gaming, Testing.