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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fastai is a Python library aiming to make AI simpler

A startup called Fastai is aiming to help developers carry out AI-related tasks with its deep learning library for Python.

Fastai was cofounded by two University of San Francisco employees. Rachel Thomas is a professor at the university, while Jeremy Howard is a research scientist.

Python has become almost synonymous with AI development due to being fast, robust, portable, and scalable. Some of the world’s most popular AI frameworks such as TensorFlow, Deap, and Chainer are designed for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Apple Watch apps became 64-bit due to ‘Bitcode’ feature

Apps developed for the Apple Watch transitioned from 32-bit to 64-bit last month thanks to the ‘Bitcode’ feature hidden in Xcode.

The feature was added to Xcode 7 three years ago in November 2015. While optional for iOS apps, it was mandatory for watchOS and tvOS. Now we know why,

Rather than update and recompile each app for 64-bit, Bitcode sits between human-written code and machine code to prevent this being necessary. Bitcode provides a partially-compiled app to Apple which can be completed...

By Ryan Daws, 02 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Development Tools, Platforms, Wearables.

Analyst: Supreme Court won’t rule on App Store fees until mid-2019

Developers awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling in a case against Apple over its App Store fees may have to wait until mid-2019.

Benjamin Schachter, Analyst at Macquarie Research, expects the verdict will be heard soon but the ruling won’t be made until early next year. Furthermore, any potential financial impact will be at least a year away.

The case against Apple was filed in 2011 by a group of app developers who allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviours in taking a cut from...

By Ryan Daws, 28 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Monetisation, Platforms.

Apple simplifies beta testing apps with TestFlight links

Apple developers who use the company’s TestFlight beta testing service can now share invite links with up to 10,000 people.

The new feature aims to simplify the process for both developers and testers.

Developers create a public link which can be shared with multiple users instead of having to create an invite for each.

Potential testers can simply click the link to be guided through installing the required TestFlight app, in addition to downloading the requested beta.

In

By Ryan Daws, 27 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Development Tools, iOS, Platforms, Testing.

Microsoft unveils Cortana Skills Kit for enterprise developers

Microsoft has announced Cortana Skills Kit for Enterprise during this year’s Ignite conference, enabling custom AI experiences for businesses.

Developers may already be aware of the Cortana Skills Kit as it’s been available to build consumer experiences for some time. As its name suggests, the version announced today is tailored at building enterprise solutions.

Javier Soltero, Microsoft CVP in charge of Cortana, said:

“At heart, we are about providing valuable assistance...

By Ryan Daws, 26 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Enterprise, Platforms.

Android Studio 3.2 released boasting over 20 new features

Google has released the latest version of Android Studio with over 20 new features including some relating to the ‘Pie’ release of the OS.

Among the major new features is support for ‘App Bundles’ which is Google’s new way of packaging Android apps to shrink their size.

Google’s research has found the larger an app is, the fewer installs it receives. Size reductions achieved by using App Bundles varies but Twitter saved 35 percent, Jomo...

By Ryan Daws, 25 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms.

Linus shows humility in apology to Linux kernel developers

Linux creator Linus Torvalds isn’t known for mincing his words, but in his latest update, he’s apologised for his rude behaviour towards kernel developers.

The apology was made in the latest email to kernel developers regarding the most recent Linux 4.19-rc4 release.

Only a quick note was made regarding the actual kernel, mentioning small changes and being ‘fairly average in size for this stage in the release cycle’. However, the ‘other, much longer, part’ (in Linus’...

By Ryan Daws, 18 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Android's latest OS distribution stats are in, and it's still a problem

The long-standing issue of many active Android devices running older versions of Google’s operating system continues.

Android 7.0 (and 7.1) ‘Nougat’ remains the most popular Android version in-use today with 30.8 percent of the devices, although now being two years old. Last year’s release, Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ is on just 14.6 percent of devices.

Android 9.0 ‘Pie’ was fully announced last month and began rolling out to select devices. Many users expect a rollout...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Devices, Mobile, Platforms.

Consumers are more satisfied with Apple CarPlay over Android Auto

In the battle to become the car platform of choice, it seems Apple’s CarPlay is winning in satisfaction over Google’s Android Auto.

In a survey conducted by J.D. Power, more consumers are satisfied with CarPlay than Android Auto. This is despite most drivers preferring Google Maps over Apple Maps.

On a 1,000 point scale, CarPlay beat Android Auto 777 to 748. It’s not a substantial difference by any means, but notable regardless.

In terms of mapping choice, the majority (56%) choose Google...

By Ryan Daws, 31 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iOS, Platforms.

Fortnite developer and Google have an Epic spat over vulnerability​​​​​​​

Fortnite developer Epic is not too pleased with the way in which Google publicly disclosed a security vulnerability with the game’s Android installer.

Rather than pay the 30 percent cut which Google takes from distributing games through its Play Store, Epic decided to bypass the official app store in favour of its own installer.

Sideloading games poses an increased risk to consumers as it bypasses many of...

By Ryan Daws, 28 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, Hacking, Industry, Platforms, Security.

Twitter makes third-party apps worse by killing ‘legacy’ APIs

Despite promises to improve its relationship with developers, Twitter continues targeting third-party apps by killing ‘legacy’ APIs.

Most of the core functionality is still available but more limited and not as attractive as Twitter’s official app which it’s clearly pushing users towards.

For example, popular Twitter client Tweetbot had to put out this changelog:

- Timeline streaming on WiFi is now disabled. Your timelines will now refresh automatically every 1-2...

By Ryan Daws, 17 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.