‘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.

You can now have unlimited GitHub private repos – and free!

Well, that should help silence a few of those critics who said Microsoft will ruin GitHub.

Redmond is starting this year in a benevolent mood and has announced GitHub will now support free private repos. Seriously, you can even have unlimited of them.

The slight catch is that free private repos are limited to three collaborators – fair enough, a service needs to make cash somewhere. Public repos are still free and can have unlimited collaborators.

Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub,...

By Ryan Daws, 08 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Git, Platforms.

Android Q ‘dark mode’ will help logical third-party adoption

Dark mode is an ‘approved Android Q feature’ that will be adopted system-wide, hopefully driving third-party developers to support in their own apps.

A Chromium Gerrit tracker created by Googler Lukasz Zbylut says the “[Android] Q team wants to ensure that all preloaded apps support dark mode natively.”

The tracker also states, “In order to ship dark mode successfully, we need all UI elements to be ideally themed...

By Ryan Daws, 07 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

AOSMark ranks the best and worst OEMs for Android updates

Not all Android manufacturers are equal in supporting their devices with OS updates, leaving many users on ageing flavours.

AOSMark is a site which tells users the best manufacturers for updates while shaming those who are worst.

Naturally, manufacturers with heavily ‘skinned’ Android operating systems are generally slowest to update as they customise the OS before sending it for lengthy approval via Google and each mobile operator around the world (for carrier-locked...

By Ryan Daws, 02 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google uses machine learning to purge Play Store of spam reviews

Google has created a machine learning-powered anti-spam system to get rid of fake reviews from its Play Store.

The multinational tech company’s distribution platform has been plagued by millions of apps that hire users and companies to write fake reviews which boost exposure.

Google has officially listed three categories it classes as violating its guidelines:

  • Bad content: Reviews that are profane, hateful, or off-topic.

  • Fake ratings: Ratings and reviews meant to manipulate an app's average rating or top reviews. We've seen different approaches to manipulate the average rating; from...

By Developer, 19 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple provides app analytics on the Mac App Store

Apple is adding app analytics to its revamped Mac App Store which launched with macOS Mojave earlier this year.

In a post on its developer portal today, Apple wrote:

“Your app data from the new Mac App Store on macOS Mojave is now available in App Store Connect.

Now you can find out how many times your app was seen on the Mac App Store, how many times your product page was viewed, and how many new customers downloaded your app.

By Ryan Daws, 14 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Apple, App Stores, Mobile, Platforms.

Google announces Android ICS has reached its end of life

Google has kept it going for seven years, but the company has announced it’s time to allow Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to thaw out.

Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0) was initially released in October 2011 and now has a small number of users.

In a blog post, Google wrote:

“The Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) platform is seven years old and the active device count has been below 1 percent for some time.

Consequently, we are deprecating support for ICS in future...

By Ryan Daws, 10 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

Qualcomm: Every Android OEM will debut a 5G device in 2019

Chipset giant Qualcomm has made the bold prediction that every Android manufacturer will debut a 5G handset by the end of 2019.

Qualcomm’s chipsets power a large portion of smartphones from a range of manufacturers, so it’s likely the company has some insight into their plans.

A slide presented during a keynote at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii listed the firms partnered with Qualcomm on their 5G rollout.

The list included ASUS, Fujitsu, Google, HMD, HTC, InSeeGo, LG,...

By Ryan Daws, 06 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Mobile, Platforms.

Facebook now allows developers to compete with its own features

Facebook has removed a controversial policy which prevented developers from building features that compete with its own.

Prior to today, Platform Policy section 4.1 stated: “Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.”

Considering how often Facebook is seen to borrow ideas from the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, and more, it was a policy always frowned upon by developers.

And Facebook enforced it.

Vine was one high-profile casualty of Facebook’s policy. The once...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Platforms.

Nvidia open-sources PhysX engine for games, AI, cars, and more

Nvidia’s physics engine PhysX has been made open-source for developers to advance the capabilities of various applications.

Gaming is what often comes to mind when thinking about virtual physics. While the PhysX engine is certainly useful for gaming purposes, it can go a lot further.

Nvidia says its physics simulation can be used for emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, computer vision, and self-driving vehicles.

In a blog post, the company highlights some challenges PhysX solves:

  • In AI, researchers need...

By Ryan Daws, 04 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

Supreme Court leaning against Apple in App Store monopoly claim

The day for Apple to defend itself against App Store monopoly claims in front of the Supreme Court arrived Monday, and it’s not looking good for the company.

Attendees claim the case appears to be leaning in favour of the claimants; Robert Pepper and three other Apple users who joined him in a class-action lawsuit.

The claimants brought the case in front of the Supreme Court with the allegation that Apple is forcing users to get apps from the iOS App Store with no alternative. That means Apple can take...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

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.