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.

Google will soon be reviewing every WearOS app for quality

Google will soon be reviewing every WearOS app to ensure those on the platform are high quality as part of its bid to revitalise the platform.

WearOS has struggled to take off quite as people hoped. Part of the reason is a perceived lack of reason to hand over hundreds of pounds for a glorified notification extender.

To help ensure users find good apps for WearOS, Google will soon be assessing whether submitted apps are of a decent standard.

Having a WearOS app review by Google was optional as of Android Wear...

By Ryan Daws, 16 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Platforms, Wearables.

eBay bids for developers with latest round of API updates

E-commerce giant eBay has announced its latest round of API updates ahead of the company's annual developer conference in San Jose.

As is the current industry trend, eBay is adding some AI magic. Its latest features use the firm’s custom-built computer vision and deep learning technology.

Developers are now able to incorporate new computer vision-based eBay features including

By Ryan Daws, 15 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Platforms.

Apple’s crackdown on gambling apps has wider casualties

Apple's crackdown on gambling apps in the iOS App Store is having some wider casualties as others get caught in the crossfire.

Developers who’ve been affected received a message from Apple saying it was removing gambling-related apps to “reduce fraudulent activity … and comply with government requests to address illegal online gambling activity.”

Here’s the full message:

By Ryan Daws, 13 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Platforms.

Google warns users against fakes of Play Store-bypassing apps

A new Play Store feature helps to protect users against software imitating those from developers who’ve decided to bypass Google's official app marketplace.

With the confirmation that Epic Games’ popular game Fortnite will be shunning the Play Store in favour of sideloading, an influx of fake apps is expected to hit Google’s marketplace.

Google will likely be taking measures to ensure such apps never reach the Play Store, but for any that slip through, it warns users that no...

By Ryan Daws, 10 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Platforms.

Chrome OS update simplifies installing Linux applications

A recent Chrome OS update has made the installation of Linux applications as simple as most of the popular distributions.

Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel and it’s been possible to install applications designed for the latter for some time using tools like Crouton.

However, installing Linux apps on Chrome OS has never been friendly to beginners and required users to be in developer mode and have some knowledge of the command line. A recent OS update has changed...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms.

Play Store expands paid apps support to six more countries

Only developers in a select number of countries have the ability to sell their apps on the Play Store, but that list has now expanded by a further six.

Here are the new additions:

  • Albania

  • Algeria

  • Armenia

  • Namibia

  • Nicaragua

  • Trinidad and Tobago

Back in April, Google enabled support for Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Many of our readers are not based in these countries and so most are likely unaware there are countries where developers can release free apps on the Play Store but cannot monetise with paid apps or in-app purchases.

That unfortunate list, thankfully, is slowly getting smaller.

What are your thoughts on the Play Store’s paid apps support expansion? Let us know in the...

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

Amazon Polly adds over 50 TTS voices to Twilio's platform

Twilio’s communications platform has added over 50 Text-To-Speech (TTS) voices thanks to Amazon's deep learning-based Polly service.

Amazon Polly offers lifelike synthesized speech across various languages.

“You can select the ideal voice and build speech-enabled applications that work in many different countries,” says Amazon on Polly’s page.

Twilio is a cloud-based platform which aims to make it easy for developers to build...

By Ryan Daws, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Platforms.

Fortnite bypassing the Play Store will cause Android changes

Fortnite is a phenomenon that Android users have waited a long time for, but the decision to bypass the Play Store will have consequences for the platform.

The battle royale game is an undeniable hit. According to SuperData Research in May, Fortnite had generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms. This year, it’s expected to make developer Epic Games as much as $2 billion.

When it released on iOS, Fortnite earned...

By Ryan Daws, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Ecosystem, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

Google sets Android P guidelines for ‘notch’-featuring devices

Android P is nearing release and so Google has set out its guidelines for how the ‘notch’ found on many new devices should be accommodated.

Love it or hate it, the notch has become mainstream. First marketed by the first ‘Essential’ smartphone and quickly followed by other Android manufacturers to maximise the screen-to-device ratio, even Apple has adopted it with the iPhone X.

On the Android Developers

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Mobile, Platforms, Testing.

Android joins iOS in banning cryptocurrency mining apps

Google has decided Android will follow Apple’s policy of banning apps used for mining cryptocurrencies from its app store.

Last month, Developer reported Apple’s guidelines were updated to state the company will no longer allow cryptocurrency mining apps on the iOS App Store.

"Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency...

By Ryan Daws, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

VLC drops Huawei device support due to background restrictions

The developers of popular media app VLC have decided to drop support for Huawei devices because of their aggressive killing of background activities.

VLC reportedly faced many poor reviews of its app on the Play Store due to an issue out of their hands relating to the “ridiculous” way that Huawei handles apps running in the background.

Notably, the developers highlight that Huawei does not apply the same policy to their own apps on Android.

By Ryan Daws, 26 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

Twitter removes 143k apps while tightening access to its APIs

Twitter is taking a stricter approach to how developers use its APIs in addition to the removal of 143,000 apps failing to be compliant with its policies.

Starting with a new application process, developers will need to first apply for a developer account using the portal at developer.twitter.com.

Prospective applicants will need to provide detailed information about how they intend to use Twitter’s APIs before they’re provided access.

If a developer who has previously been...

By Ryan Daws, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.

Play Store increasingly beats App Store downloads, but revenue is still an issue

The number of Play Store downloads of apps continues to beat the App Store, but the latter remains leagues ahead in generating revenue.

According to figures by App Annie, downloads on the Play Store have increased 20 percent year-on-year. That’s impressive enough, but put in the context that represents 160 percent more growth than Apple’s iOS App Store – well, it’s quite staggering.

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Chrome OS will recommend installing Android apps during setup

Google is advancing its goal to bring its mobile and desktop platforms closer together by recommending installing Android apps during the setup of ChromeOS.

The company first announced support for Android apps in ChromeOS back in 2016 with just six Chromebooks initially compatible. That initial support was riddled with bugs and issues.

Since then, support for over 80 Chromebooks has been added. The stability of Android apps on the platform has also improved substantially.

Support for Android apps hasn’t...

By Ryan Daws, 13 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Platforms.