Android Q beta 4 released with finalised APIs

Google has debuted Android Q beta 4, bringing with it what's promised to be the finalised APIs of the upcoming release.

The official designation of 'API 29' has been assigned for this release, for developers wanting to target Android's latest flavour.

Developers can now take advantage of Android Q features such as the system-wide dark mode, smart replies/actions for notifications, and foldable smartphone layouts. These features can be used without concern of broken functionality in the final...

By Ryan Daws, 06 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google Pay APIs improve checkout and pass experiences

Google has updated its Pay API to support new features which improve the online checkout and pass usage experiences.

Some of the features were debuted at this year’s I/O developer conference, but Google has now provided further detail of how they can be used in practice.

Going forward, the Google Pay payment sheet will display all information about the purchase – item cost, shipping options.etc will be displayed to prevent the customer from having to return to the merchant site.

The new...

By Ryan Daws, 05 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Google tightens Play Store policies around weed, sex, hate, and loot

Google is taking a tougher stance on apps featuring things such as marijuana, sex, loot boxes, and hate speech with new Play Store policies.

Part of Google’s reasoning behind the changes is to protect young minds from being influenced by apps and games they stumble across.

Developers now have to define target age groups for their apps in the Play Console. When minors are included, new ‘Designed for Families’ policies must be applied.

Google provides some examples of common violations:

  • Apps that promote play for children in their...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei’s smartphone OS due this year, supporting Android apps

Huawei’s in-house smartphone OS is due to be released this year and Chinese media reports it will even support Android apps.

The OS has been in development since 2012 following a US investigation into Huawei and ZTE, but recent events are sure to have sped up the company’s plans.

Richard Yu, Huawei Consumer Business CEO, said the OS is "designed...

By Ryan Daws, 22 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Trump’s trade war on China is killing Huawei’s devices

President Trump’s trade war on China has resulted in Google, Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, and Xilinx ending their relationship with Huawei.

Trump signed an executive order effectively banning telecoms equipment from foreign firms deemed a security risk. Shortly after, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its Entity List. Any US firm wanting to have dealings with a company on the list...

By Ryan Daws, 20 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google calls for Android Automotive developers ahead of I/O 2019

Google has preemptively announced that Android Automotive (not to be confused with Android Auto) will be opened to developers following I/O 2019.

Android Automotive is Google's platform for infotainment systems which is due to launch with the Polestar 2, an electric vehicle developed by Volvo’s standalone brand.

The platform differs from Android Auto in that Automotive is an OS modelled after Android itself but adapted for cars, whereas the former is an interface...

By Ryan Daws, 02 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, IoT, Platforms.

Google will closely vet first-time Android developers for security

Google has announced plans to closely vet Android developers without a track record in a bid to boost platform security.

Android security has vastly improved since its early days but that hasn’t prevented some rogue developers from abusing Google’s platform.

Sameer Samat, VP of Android Product Management, wrote in a blog post:

“From the outset, we’ve sought to craft Android as a completely open...

By Ryan Daws, 16 April 2019, 2 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

Google adds Smart Reply and Language Identification APIs to ML Kit

Google has announced the addition of ‘Smart Reply’ and ‘Language Identification’ APIs to its ML (Machine Learning) Kit.

Until now, the APIs in ML Kit have focused predominantly on camera-based machine learning processing. The latest additions begin to unlock the many other possibilities for machine learning.

Smart Reply provides the same features that you may be familiar with in some of Google's products like Gmail and Android Messages. As the name...

By Ryan Daws, 10 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, iOS.

Tax Justice Network: Google dodged £1.5bn tax in the UK last year

Ethically-minded developers may want to know how much tax companies like Google are getting away with avoiding.

In an analysis for The Mirror, the Tax Justice Group estimates Google should have paid an eye-watering £1.5 billion extra in corporation tax last year.

The publication notes how this figure could have paid for 60,000 nurses for the UK's struggling national health service.

In 2018, Google paid just £67 million in...

By Ryan Daws, 08 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Cloud, Ethics, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Snapchat’s new platform delivers Mario Party-like games

Snap is launching a gaming platform which delivers a Mario Party-like experience for users while unlocking a new revenue stream for developers.

Mario Party, if you haven't played it, offers a series of minigames that are catered to multiplayer. Snap wants to harness that social experience to keep users on its platform.

The ‘Snap Games’ platform started from a late-2017 acquisition of Australian game studio Pretty Great. The studio was originally created by former Halfbrick talent which many...

By Ryan Daws, 05 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.