Android Q adds shiny new APIs while blocking others

Android Q is approaching which means developers are getting treated with a few shiny new APIs while others are getting blocked to boost platform security.

The first preview of Android Q has been released for developers and early-adopters to start tinkering with. In this article we'll provide a rundown of what's changed so far.

API Additions

What's being added or changed is always more exciting than what's being taken away, so it's where we'll start.

Neural Networks API 1.2

We know...

By Ryan Daws, 14 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms.

Google will revise ad blocker-killing Chromium proposal

Google has decided to revise its proposed Chromium update that would have killed ad blockers and some other extensions.

The proposal, to restrict Chromium's script blocking capabilities to the new DeclarativeNetRequest API instead of the old webRequest API, caused a backlash from extension developers and users.

Chromium engineer Devlin Cronin provided an update on Google Groups following the outcry:

“I’d like to reiterate that all of these changes are still in the draft and...

By Ryan Daws, 18 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, API, HTML5, Industry.

Facebook will open Ad API to increase political transparency

Following increasing pressure, Facebook will be opening up its Ad API to increase transparency around how it serves political adverts.

A letter penned by Mozilla and its partners – which includes “technologists, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, and Facebook users” – demanded this very change. By opening the API, the coalition hopes tools can be made to analyse and counter ads used to influence politics.

Rob Leathern, Product Director at Facebook, responded to the letter...

By Ryan Daws, 15 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Platforms, Social media.

Amazon ‘Moments’ provides real-life rewards for in-app actions

Amazon has launched a new API called ‘Moments’ which allows developers to reward users performing high-value actions with real-life gifts.

Moments leverages Amazon’s position as the world’s largest retailer. It’s perfect for developers wanting to offer their most-valued users more tangible rewards without having to deal with the hassle involved with shipping gifts.

The company’s global reach means products are shipped out from local warehouses...

By Ryan Daws, 14 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Marketing.

Google helps developers automate tasks with Docs API

Google has launched a Docs API which enables developers to automate tasks for the popular word processor.

For many people and businesses, Google Docs has become indispensable. I’m even using it to write this humble article.

Today’s API launch helps developers get the most from Google Docs for their own apps.

Many of the supported features in the Docs API are what you’d expect – including the ability to insert, delete, merge, move, and format text.

Using these features, apps...

By Ryan Daws, 12 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms.

Amazon releases a dedicated API for childcare gadgets

Amazon has released a new API which helps Alexa developers build applications for childcare-focused devices.

The aptly-named Baby Activity Skill API will allow things such as logging the latest diaper change. For parents who work shifts at different hours, this could be useful to ask Alexa for the latest change without having to disturb the other person at work.

“With the Baby Activity Skill API, you can build Alexa skills and that enable your customers to easily log and query activity information using...

By Ryan Daws, 06 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Ecosystem, Platforms.

Play Store now accepts PWAs which use Trusted Web Activities

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API are finally supported on the Google Play Store following its 2017 announcement.

TWA is an API for PWAs which allows web content to be displayed in fullscreen with system-level features and limited native code.

Some will note the existence of PWAs like Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, and Twitter Lite on the Play Store. Most of these use WebView and required a lot of added native code for things like notifications. TWA allows web developers to publish...

By Ryan Daws, 04 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Twitter kills API access of apps used to buy followers

Twitter is finally tackling its problem of people buying followers by cutting off API access of apps claiming to offer such a service.

Three of the most notorious apps – Crowdfire, ManageFlitter, and Statusbrew – have been affected by Twitter’s clampdown.

Such apps follow thousands of users with similar interests in the hope some will follow back. The services often monitor those who do not follow and offer their user to unfollow them.

In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson explained:

By Ryan Daws, 01 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.

Chrome update to kill ad blockers will affect other plugins

An update to Chrome which appears intended to kill the use of ad block plugins will impact extensions in other categories.

The change would restrict Chrome's script blocking capabilities to the new DeclarativeNetRequest API instead of the old webRequest API.

Raymond Hill, Author of the uBlock Origin and uMatrix ad blockers, said in a bug report:

“If this (quite limited) declarativeNetRequest API ends up being the only way content...

By Ryan Daws, 25 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, HTML5, Industry, JavaScript.

Google donates $2 million to Wikipedia along with free APIs

Google is donating $2 million to Wikipedia in addition to providing free access to APIs which help editors improve Wiki pages.

One important Google API is making free to Wikipedia is the Translate API “to provide editors with resources and insights to drive the creation of new Wikipedia articles across 10 languages in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and the Middle East and North Africa region.”

Elsewhere, the Google Cloud Custom Search API will help editors “ensure contributions are...

By Ryan Daws, 23 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Cloud, Industry.