Android 8.1 Developer Preview released with Neural Networks API

AI is the next frontier in smartphones, and Google plans to lead the charge with a dedicated Neural Networks API in the latest Android developer preview.

The new API was first announced back in May and promises to enable developers to take advantage of a ‘lite’ version of TensorFlow — Google’s open source machine intelligence software library.

“TensorFlow Lite will leverage a...

By Ryan Daws, 26 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Google now lists Instant Apps in the Play Store

Developers who have enabled Instant Apps will now find their users can use a portion of their apps at the press of a button — without requiring a full download.

The feature was first announced back in May last year, so it’s been a long time coming. The first of the apps began rolling out in January, but it’s taken until now for others to come available.

Earlier this week,

By Ryan Daws, 20 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Platforms.

Google and Udacity team up for 50,000 US Android developer scholarships

Google is offering 50,000 developer scholarship opportunities with education platform provider Udacity to help those who want to build on the web and Android.

The move adds to the 130,000 scholarships already put out by the two companies around the world, with this initiative aimed at US residents.

The first phase of the scholarships will revolve around three months of access to Udacity courses on a choice of HTML and CS, offline web applications, Android basics, and developing Android apps. After this, the...

By James Bourne, 16 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Languages.

Google moves Instant Apps closer to reality

Google is furthering its vision to make Instant Apps, well, instant, with an update to its programming kit.

The issue with today’s instant Android apps is that Google has to load support for every possible device. With the number of Android devices available globally, many with very unique configurations, this can slow down the loading of the apps considerably.

Developers can now target specific device configurations with unique profiles. A device with a low-resolution screen, ARM chip, and German...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices.

Linux long term support kernels extended from two years to six years

Long term support (LTS) kernels for Linux will be extended from two years to six years, meaning potentially greater security and bug fixes across Android devices and more.

The announcement was made by Ilian Malchev, Google senior staff engineer, keynoting the annual Linaro Connect jamboree, held this year in San Francisco.

Aside from the intriguing interplay of a Google executive discussing Linux at a Linaro event, the announcement is an interesting one in the context of Android development.  Current...

By James Bourne, 02 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools.

Android Oreo: Developer features, usage analysis, and superhero metaphors

It’s official: the latest flavour of Android will now be known as Android Oreo.

This is not the first time Google has gone brand-centric – 2013’s KitKat, sealed with a secret meeting with Nestle at that year’s Mobile World Congress, came before – but in a company blog for 8.0, Google adopted a superhero and superpower theme to the news. Where have we heard that one...

By James Bourne, 23 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools.

Research: Consumers are most excited about these new technologies

The breakthrough technologies consumers are most excited about have been revealed in new research – providing an indication of what is set to be the next big thing.

Online smartphone retailer,, charted the sharp increase in demand for VR, AR, and AI. The firm also studied how the latest technological advancements are shaping the capabilities of tomorrow’s smartphones.

In the past 12 months, the company noted an increase from UK customers in:

  • Virtual reality (up 300%)

  • Artificial intelligence (up 56%)

  • Augmented reality (up 25%)

  • Curved screens (up...

By Ryan Daws, 21 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iOS, IoT, Mobile, Platforms, VR, Wearables.

Google launches security features while report shows iOS threats outpacing Android

Google has cracked down on security with the launch of Play Protect and other new defense mechanisms while a report has been released which shows iOS malware growth outpacing that of Android.

After the Google Docs phishing attack, the company has been ramping up its security in recent months. This started back in May with the implementation of machine learning to improve the detection of phishing messages – and the company now estimates it can block spam and malicious content with a 99.9 percent...

By Ryan Daws, 20 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, iOS, Platforms, Security.

New report analyses mobile app SDK trends for Android

A report from SafeDK has shed light on a series of SDK (software development kit) trends in Android apps.

The report, which took its findings from data of more than 150,000 free Android apps in the upper echelons of the Google Play charts, alongside a database of 900 mobile SDKs, saw the average number of SDKs per app plateau after consistent increases. The current average, 17.8 for Q217, is the same as the previous quarter, compared with 16.6 for Q316 and 15.6 for Q216.

The company argues the rise is...

By James Bourne, 05 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools.

Android Things Preview 4.1 includes minor improvements for IoT developers

The latest Android Things preview update only contains minor improvements but could be useful for some IoT developers.

As the incremental version number suggests, this update isn’t filled with exciting new features. The first is support for the Pico i.MX6UL revision B board, while support for earlier revisions are being dropped. The latest board supports many common external peripherals from companies including Adafruit and Pimoroni.

A second addition is a smaller, more optimised version of Play...

By Ryan Daws, 16 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Devices, IoT, Platforms.