Uber joins Linux Foundation in further nod to open source commitment

Uber has joined the Linux Foundation as a gold member, firming up a long-standing commitment to open source technologies.

The ridesharing firm, which is working on more than 300 open source projects, said it was looking forward to collaborate with other open source leaders to solve problems and further promote open source adoption globally.

One of the hallmark technologies Uber...

By James Bourne, 19 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Google renews web apps push with ‘Squoosh’ and Writable Files API

Google renews its web apps push with a tool for reducing image sizes alongside a new API increasing native apps interoperability.

Starting with Google’s image-shrinking tool, ‘Squoosh’ is meant to “launch almost instantly, and then [perform] a smooth UI even when it’s doing heavy work, including using Web Assembly to do more with codecs the browser doesn’t have baked in.”

The open source tool supports a variety of web formats like MozJPEG and WebP, and traditional...

By Ryan Daws, 14 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API.

Brexit is having little impact on attracting tech sector talent

Research from the world's largest job site Indeed has found Brexit is having little impact on the UK’s ability to attract tech sector talent.

Among the many fears spread about Brexit was the UK would struggle to attract needed talent from around the world to fill high-skilled roles.

Brexit supporters have called for a ‘fairer’ system which no longer prioritises European immigration over anywhere else. Instead, advocates want a skills-based system to focus on filling roles unable to be...

By Ryan Daws, 12 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry.

The benefits of darker in-app colour schemes are clear

Google has finally confirmed what many have suspected, there are clear benefits to offering darker in-app colour schemes.

During its Android Dev Summit this week, Google displayed several comparisons of the power drain while displays show different colours.

As suspected, black is the most power-efficient. White, on the other hand, is by far and large the most power-hungry – consuming over six times as much juice.

By Ryan Daws, 09 November 2018, 2 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Design, iOS, Mobile.

Google provides two new ways for developers to push app updates

Google has introduced two new ways for developers to push their app updates during the Android Developer Summit this week.

The ‘In-App Updates’ API provides features that Android coders have been requesting for some time, according to Google Senior Director of Android Product Management and Developer Relations Stephanie Saad.

Developers can now prompt users to update their app when they use it.

There are two ways of doing this: immediate, or flexible.

  • Immediate greets users with a full-screen message alerting them of the available update and that...

By Ryan Daws, 08 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile.

AI software development line Engineer.ai raises over £29 million

A UK-based startup using AI in tandem with a network of human developers to build software has raised over £29 million in funding.

Engineer.ai launched around two and a half years ago promising to combine AI with crowdsourced developer and designers to build products.

According to the company, their ‘Builder’ solution enables bespoke products to be created twice as fast and for less than a third of traditional software development costs.

Builder functions by getting...

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry.

Amazon releases Reminders API for Alexa developers

Amazon has released a new Reminders API which enables developers to expand the notifications Alexa users can receive.

Using the API, users can set reminders for things such as picking the kids up from school or getting that bill paid.

When enabling a skill, the user must grant permission for reminders. They’ll also need to give permission for each subsequent reminder they wish to set to avoid developers abusing their new powers.

Vytas Kancleris, CTO at TvGuide.co.uk said it was easy to add to their...

By Ryan Daws, 06 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, API, Platforms.

Torvalds is already more empathetic in Linux code reviews

Following a promise to address his unempathetic approach towards kernel developers, Torvalds already seems to be more considerate in code reviews.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds recently acknowledged his problems in an email to kernel developers in September.

In his email, Torvalds wrote:

“I am not an emotionally empathetic kind of person and that probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anybody....

By Ryan Daws, 05 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Android developers must target API level 26 starting today

Google has decided it’s time for developers to ensure apps target at least API level 26 or they’ll no longer be accepted in the Play Store.

The policy change was announced last year, so the company has provided a fair amount of notice. Today is the big day where the change goes into effect.

Every version of Android introduces new security features but some only apply to apps using newer API levels. Google has been clamping down on security more than ever as part of its bid to prove Android is secure enough

By Ryan Daws, 02 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

The Red Hat-IBM acquisition could mean a crossroads for open source creators’ business needs

It is an endearing image for anyone who falls in love with the idea of open source technologies. You have an idea, work hard at it and then eventually give it life, making sure anyone can build with it – and more importantly, build upon it and improve it. Yet, ultimately, bills still need to be paid and mouths fed.

This may have entered the minds of some developers as the news of Red Hat’s blockbuster $34bn acquisition by IBM rippled through...

By James Bourne, 01 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Ecosystem, Languages.

Google kills off its spammy Android Nearby Notifications

Google has announced it will discontinue support for Android Nearby Notifications, a feature often seen as ‘spammy’ to users.

Nearby Notifications were introduced three years ago with the idea that users will be sent alerts for relevant nearby information.

According to Google, it’s been used for genuinely useful information such as nearby free WiFi, providing guides in museums, and informing of transit schedules at bus stops. However, it’s also been abused.

In a

By Ryan Daws, 26 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

Apple partners with France-based Simplon for Swift training

Apple has announced a partnership with French vocational school Simplon who will provide Swift programming language training.

Simplon initially plans to launch their Swift training in Paris and Lyon in January. All going to plan, the company will expand to elsewhere in the country.

Participants will enrol in a four-week program which has been developed by Apple itself along with various academic experts.

In addition to the program, Apple will provide funding to recruit more teachers and help with their own...

By Ryan Daws, 24 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, Languages, Mac.

Chrome OS turns down Oreo in favour of some Pie

Analysing the latest Canary build of Chrome OS reveals it will jump from Nougat to Pie, skipping the Oreo version of Google’s system.

For a while now, Chrome OS has been stuck on the Nougat (7.1) version of Android when running apps. With the release of Pie, it makes sense for Google to jump straight to its latest version.

Chrome Unboxed first discovered the apparent plans. Currently, the update is only available for the original $1,000 Pixelbook...

By Ryan Daws, 23 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms.

GitHub suffers hours of downtime from data storage issue

GitHub users in some regions have experienced hours of downtime from what's been identified as a data storage issue.

The problems appear to have started around midnight GMT and some users are still reporting issues. GitHub acknowledged the problem and has been posting regular status updates.

At 9:20am, GitHub said its restore operations were ‘still on track to serve consistent data’ within the hour. However, a further update over an hour after said the repair was...

By Ryan Daws, 22 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Git, Industry, Platforms.

GitHub: Kotlin is now the fastest growing language

Repository giant GitHub has revealed Kotlin for Android is now the fastest growing programming language in the world.

As the world’s largest Git repository host, GitHub has a fairly unique ability to discover notable changes in the developer landscape.

Last year, Google made Kotlin a ‘first-class’ language for Android in addition to existing support for Java and C++. GitHub’s findings show what an impact Google’s decision has had for Kotlin adoption.

Over the course of the past...

By Ryan Daws, 18 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Git, Industry, Languages.

App Store bundles can now include Mac and subscription apps

Apple has announced developers can now include Mac and free apps with subscriptions in their App Store bundles.

With the new functionality, developers can offer a bundle of up to 10 of their apps. This increases visibility while allowing users potentially discounted access.

In its announcement, Apple wrote:

“App bundles make it easy for customers to buy up to 10 of your apps in a single purchase. And now, you can create app bundles for Mac apps or free apps that offer an...

By Ryan Daws, 17 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mac, Platforms.

Amazon’s new APIs make your front porch smarter

Amazon has continued its smart home offensive with a set of new APIs for developers targeted at making our front porches smarter.

There are three new APIs in total – Doorbell Events Source API, Motion Sensor API, and 2-Way Communication API.

Each of their names gives away their use somewhat, but for a full breakdown:

  • Doorbell Events Source monitors for a doorbell press so a relevant action can be taken upon user interaction. The Doorbell Event Source endpoint is prompted by a press of the doorbell through the Doorbellpress event.

  • Motion Sensor...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, IoT.

Microsoft open sources its Infer.NET machine learning framework

Microsoft appears to be in a benevolent mood after deciding to make its cross-platform machine learning framework open source.

The company’s Infer.NET framework is used for model-based machine learning. It was first born at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK in 2004 and later released for academic use in 2008.

Hundreds of papers have since been published using the framework across a variety of fields, everything from information retrieval to healthcare. In 2012, Infer.NET...

By Ryan Daws, 08 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI.

Vulnerability in GitLab’s API exposed confidential data

Popular web-based repository manager GitLab has fixed a bug with its API which may have exposed confidential data about projects.

An insecure direct object reference within the GitLab Events API made information such as private notes, merge requests, and issues available.

In a post, GitLab Director of Security Kathy Wang wrote:

“We discovered that this exposure dates back to June 22, 2017, with the 9.3 release. GitLab’s...

By Ryan Daws, 05 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry, Platforms.

Opinion: Poor user experience is the enemy of customer loyalty

It used to be the case that people bought a product, used it until it wore out, and then replaced it. If it had worked well, they went back to the same manufacturer. Today, the separation of product and service means that purchase decisions are much more frequent and that ongoing loyalty is based much more on the user experience.

App performance, therefore, has a huge impact on whether consumers continue to subscribe to connected services such as Facebook or Netflix. It is also common for an end-user to...

By Matthew Read, 04 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Design, Industry.