Google Cardboard goes open-source as VR SDK development halts

Google has open-sourced its Cardboard project as Mountain View winds down its mobile VR ambitions.

Cardboard was an impressive project which showed expensive hardware was not necessary for VR apps, but that it certainly helps.

In a blog post, Google wrote:

“From a giveaway at Google I/O to more than 15 million units worldwide, Cardboard has played an important role in introducing people to VR through experiences like

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, VR.

TikTok releases SDK to help developers tap into the viral phenomenon

Viral hit app TikTok has released an SDK enabling third-party app developers to create and share to the short video service.

“The new TikTok SDK allows third-party apps an opportunity to extend their reach while giving users a wider selection of creative tools to help their videos match their vision. We’re excited to extend our creative offerings with our new developer program,” the company said in a blog...

By Ryan Daws, 05 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms, Social media.

Apple removes 18 iOS apps for fraudulent advertising activity

Apple has removed 18 iOS apps after determining they were being used to earn money for cybercriminals by conducting ad fraud.

The apps were found to be secretly clicking adverts to earn the attacker cash. While such conduct is not intrusive and may not even be noticeable by the user, it can slow down the device, use more data, and/or drain the battery faster.

Security researchers at Wandera discovered 17 of the infected apps which spanned a wide range of categories including productivity, utilities, and...

By Ryan Daws, 04 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms, Security.

Android 11 looks set to finally add wireless ADB for developers

Google appears set to finally add wireless ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to its mobile platform in the next major release, a feature highly-requested by developers.

ADB enables app developers to communicate between their PC and Android device. Once connected, it's used for sideloading APKs, generating logs, managing files, and more. 

Currently, ADB requires a wired connection.

With more PCs omitting USB ports – particularly laptops, in the pursuit of ever-slimmer devices – the ability for...

By Ryan Daws, 30 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms.

Project Treble is making a big difference to the speed of Android updates

Google’s Project Treble initiative to speed up Android updates and reduce fragmentation appears to be working.

Manufacturers of Android devices have a tendency to heavily modify the OS in an understandable bid to differentiate their offerings. The downside is that it takes such manufacturers a long time to deliver OS updates.

Aside from not providing access to all the latest and greatest features to users, Android fragmentation means developers have less certainty their apps will work as intended across...

By Ryan Daws, 24 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Google releases a new Android Automotive emulator for developers

Google has released a new Android Automotive emulator which provides a full replica of the OS to help developers test their apps.

While Android Auto essentially mirrors apps running from a connected Android device, Android Automotive is a full operating system designed for the car.

The tighter integration Android Automotive has with the vehicle opens new opportunities for developers, but it also makes robust testing in an emulator prior to real-world trials even more critical.

Google’s updated Android...

By Ryan Daws, 23 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms.

Google is pulling open-source apps which feature donation buttons

Google is cracking down on open-source apps which feature a donation button to help support the developer’s work.

The open-source community has been riled up after WireGuard, a free VPN management app, was pulled unceremoniously from the Play Store for accepting donations.

"They (Google) said it was because we're in violation of their 'Payments Policy,' presumably because we have a link inside the app that opens the user's web browser to

By Ryan Daws, 17 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Instagram launches Basic Display API and will deprecate its predecessor

Facebook has announced on its developer blog that Instagram is launching the full Basic Display API and deprecating its predecessor.

The final permission, Basic Permission, is being migrated from the Instagram Legacy API starting today.

With the migration of this final permission, the Basic Display API is now able to do all the expected interactions with Instagram such as importing photos, connect to Instagram profiles, and more.

Facebook's Instagram team have also made the following updates:

  • Introduced new features to enable users to decide what information they share, and to revoke...

By Ryan Daws, 15 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Platforms, Social media.

App revenue is soaring with $21.9bn spent in Q3 alone, up 22.9% YoY

Research from Sensor Tower reveals a range of insights about the app development industry and its rapid growth.

Sensor Tower’s research shows app development is a more lucrative business than ever with almost $22 billion spent in the third quarter alone. The huge spending represents an increase of close to 23 percent over last year’s Q3 2019 spend of $17.9 billion.

sensortower

As the chart above shows, the App...

By Ryan Daws, 11 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Microsoft announces dual-screen Surface devices early to recruit Windows 10X devs

Microsoft has announced hardware due for release next year in a bid to recruit developers for Windows 10X, an OS designed for dual-screen devices.

Both of the new devices, Surface Duo and Surface Neo, have dual-screens and represent what Microsoft believes is the next popular form factor. The former is a futuristic smartphone, while the latter is designed to be a laptop replacement.

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Industry, Microsoft, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple doubles use of Swift in iOS 13 as it shifts away from Objective-C

An analysis shows that Apple’s own use of Swift has doubled in iOS 13 as it further distances itself from Objective-C.

First introduced by Apple in 2014, Swift is now the main programming language for development across Cupertino’s platforms. Adoption of Swift by third-party developers is high, but much of Apple’s operating system still uses Objective-C.

Of course, much of Apple’s reason to continue using Objective-C code within its operating systems is that it’s legacy code...

By Ryan Daws, 27 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Languages, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei is offering up $1.5 billion to woo software developers 

Huawei is putting over a billion dollars on the line in a bid to lure software developers into supporting its platforms amid uncertainties.

The beleaguered Chinese tech giant announced on Wednesday that it will invest $1.5 billion in its developer program over the next five years.

Huawei’s developer program was first announced in 2015. The company says that it has supported more than 1.3 million developers and 14,000 independent software vendors around the world through its program.

Much of the newly-pledged cash...

By Ryan Daws, 18 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple is giving iOS apps which handle real cash in an HTML5 wrapper a bit longer to transition to native

Apple is giving iOS developers whose apps use HTML5 containers and deal with real cash, six months longer to make them fully-native.

The new rules were first announced on June 3rd. Here’s what the guidelines said:

“HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce.

This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can...

By Ryan Daws, 17 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, HTML5, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Analysis of the average JavaScript developer and their favourite tools

A new analysis based on data from StackOverflow has shed light on the average JavaScript developer and their favourite tools and technologies.

JavaScript remains the world's most popular programming language despite many others nipping at its heels.

90,000 developers took this year's StackOverflow survey, making it still among the most comprehensive insights of the development community.

The majority of those who describe themselves as primarily JavaScript developers say they are 'full stack'...

By Ryan Daws, 03 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Devices, Industry, JavaScript, Languages, Mobile, Platforms.

Google will pay hackers to discover bugs in apps with over 100m installs

Google has announced changes to its bounty program in a bid to tackle vulnerabilities found in popular Android apps.

Just this week, CamScanner, an app with over 100 million installs, was removed from the Play Store after it was caught spreading malware.

Discovered by Kaspersky researchers, CamScanner's recent versions shipped with the malicious Trojan Dropper module which extracted and ran another malicious module from an encrypted file that is...

By Ryan Daws, 30 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

Unhappy developers pen letter to Apple over iOS 13 privacy changes

A group of unhappy developers have penned a scathing letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook over privacy changes made in iOS 13. In their letter, the developers even accuse Apple of anti-competitive behaviour with changes as to how apps can access users’ location data.

Many apps which require location data today ask the user to “Always Allow” when the app is first launched. Such an overarching permission often gives apps more access to a user’s location data than is required for the app’s...

By Ryan Daws, 20 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Be aware, Play Store approval times will now take longer

Google is increasing the scrutiny of new apps submitted to the Play Store which means approval times will now be longer.

The official Android app store has witnessed a spate of malware-infested apps making it past Google’s current approval process. Just a few days ago, Trend Micro announced that it reported 85 apps posing as photography and gaming apps to Google...

By Ryan Daws, 19 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Dropbox explains the downsides of sharing iOS and Android code

A software engineer from Dropbox explains the reasoning behind the company’s decision to no longer share code between iOS and Android.

Until recently, Dropbox shared code between its Android and iOS apps using C++ to only write once rather than in both Java and Objective-C. This strategy has been in place since 2013 when Dropbox’s team was still relatively small but needed to support a fast-moving roadmap.

Dropbox, now it’s a much larger company, has switched to developing its Android and...

By Ryan Daws, 15 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei unveils HarmonyOS as more than just an Android replacement

Huawei has unveiled HarmonyOS as a replacement for Android if the China-US trade war continues to escalate, but the OS also has greater ambitions.

The Chinese tech giant continues to find itself in the crossfire between China and the US in their ongoing trade dispute. While the US itself a small market for Huawei devices, the manufacturer has used almost exclusively American software, hardware, and standards to reach its position as the second-largest smartphone manufacturer.

Earlier this year, the US...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Twilio aims for social good by promoting equality and launching initiatives to support non-profits, most vulnerable

Twilio has announced a range of internal policy changes designed to improve workplace equality alongside initiatives to support non-profits and the most vulnerable.

Very little can get done without communication, it’s behind almost everything we do. That puts Twilio in a position which Spiderman’s Uncle Ben would say: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Promoting equality

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson began his keynote setting out the company’s goal that, by 2023, his...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.