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 now only wants Android Things on certain ‘things’

Google is scaling back its ambitions for Android Things with the announcement it will “refocus” the platform on just two device types.

Android Things, once known as ‘Project Brillo’, was first announced in 2016. The platform was designed to be an OS for all manner of ‘things’ in the fast-growing IoT (Internet of Things) market.

Given the success Google has found with smart displays and speakers, the firm has decided to focus its efforts on these products.

Dave Smith,...

By Ryan Daws, 13 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, IoT, Platforms.

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.

Apple tells app developers to remove screen recording analytics code

Apple is reportedly telling app developers to remove or disclose the use of analytics code, which allows them to record the users’ interaction with their iPhone apps.

While investigating into the matter, TechCrunch found that popular applications like Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Hollister, Expedia, and were using “session...

By Developer, 11 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Apple, Development Tools.

Arduino releases IoT Cloud beta for ‘end-to-end’ development

Arduino has announced the launch of its IoT Cloud application platform aimed towards developers, maker hobbyists, and system integrators.

With the help of Arduino IoT Cloud, users are able to develop IoT applications that solve everyday problems which arise in a business environment. Through this platform, the company aims to simplify complex technologies in such a way that it could be used by anyone.

Luca Cipriani, CIO of Arduino, said:

“With the launch of the Arduino IoT Cloud,...

By Developer, 08 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, IoT, 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.

Apple revokes Facebook’s enterprise developer certificate

Apple has put Facebook on the naughty step and revoked its enterprise developer certificate following a data-snooping app scandal.

For those who expected Facebook’s apparent disregard for data privacy to have culminated with the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018, you may want to think again.

News broke yesterday that Facebook paid users as young as 13 to install a ‘research’ app that collects data of phone and web...

By Ryan Daws, 31 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Ethics, Facebook, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

Microsoft Staffer: Mozilla, give up and switch to Chromium too

A staffer for Microsoft has said Mozilla should follow his employer’s decision to switch from its own rendering engine to Chromium.

Microsoft recently announced it’s halting development of its EdgeHTML rendering engine and switching its Edge browser to Google’s Chromium this year.

Privacy advocates Mozilla shared their concerns about Microsoft’s decision.

In a blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard wrote:

By Ryan Daws, 30 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: HTML5, Industry, Microsoft.

App Store developers have pocketed $120bn since 2008

Apple has used the start of its Entrepreneur Camp in Cupertino as an opportunity to announce some of its latest App Store statistics.

The firm announced that App Store developers have pocketed $120 billion in total since 2008. An impressive $30 billion was distributed to developers in the last 12 months alone.

With Apple still taking a 30 percent cut from App Store sales, the company is raking in the cash. Recent reports that iPhone sales are slowing appear to have had little impact on App Store revenue.

App...

By Ryan Daws, 29 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

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.

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.

Report indicates developer jobs may be on the decline

A report from job site Freelancer highlights an uncharacteristic decline in the number of developer-related careers.

Developer jobs have been growing in demand for decades as most technological advancements require programmers to some extent or another.

To see a decline in developer jobs would be a surprise to many, especially given the emergence of technologies such as the IoT, AI, and cloud computing.

Freelancer’s report highlights a huge drop of over 70 percent in popularity for job titles such as...

By Ryan Daws, 22 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

‘Android Game SDK’ is a joint project between Google and Unity

Google is partnering with Unity on a dedicated ‘Android Game SDK’ project with the goal of improving game development efficiency.

Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, so it’s little surprise many game developers want to put their work in front of its audience. Google is more than happy to oblige and continues to find ways to invest in Android game development.

The project itself is based on the Android...

By Ryan Daws, 18 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

Google details Play Store’s upcoming 64-bit app requirement

Google has provided further details on the upcoming requirement for Android apps on the Play Store to have 64-bit versions.

The company first announced the change in late 2017, providing ample preparation time.

Android itself has supported 64-bit since 5.0 (‘Lollipop’) while the Play Store has required apps using native code to provide a 64-bit version in addition to 32-bit.

Starting August 1, 2019:

  • All new apps and app updates that include native code are required to provide 64-bit versions in addition to 32-bit versions when publishing to Google...

By Ryan Daws, 16 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

JETCO provides access to over 200 APIs from 13 banks

Hong Kong-based JETCO is a cross-bank ATM service that has today announced the launch of its APIX exchange platform.

APIX provides access to over 200 APIs from 13 banks. Supported banking services include deposit, Forex, loans, investment, insurance, safe deposit box, branch, ATM, and more.

Angus Choi, CEO of JETCO, said:

“Open banking is a global trend that will help drive innovations and enhance the competitiveness of the local financial industry.

JETCO...

By Ryan Daws, 15 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms.

UK games industry expects strong 2019, expanding workforce

While resisting the ‘despite Brexit’ often accompanying positive UK stories, a study has found the British games industry expects strong growth in 2019.

Games trade association TIGA has released its latest Business Opinion Survey. Around 60 companies were questioned for the survey about their plans for the coming year.

The strongest indicator of growth is employment. Over three-quarters (77%) of businesses plan to expand their workforce in 2019, an increase of nine percent over last...

By Ryan Daws, 11 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.