Alexa can now monetise her ‘Skills’

Amazon has announced new tools for Alexa which enable ‘Skills’ for the digital assistant to be monetised.

The fight for the smart home between Amazon and Google continues to heat up. Just yesterday, our sister publication IoT News reported that Google Assistant has tripled the number of devices it supports in four months.

Today, Amazon is announcing in-skill purchasing (ISP) and support for Amazon Pay in Alexa Skills....

By Ryan Daws, 04 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, IoT, Monetisation, Platforms.

F8 2018: Roundup of Facebook’s developer conference

The first day of Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference has concluded and we’ve rounded up all the most notable announcements from the gathering in San Jose, California.

This year’s show is the first since the world’s largest social network came under fire for allowing Cambridge Analytica and other companies unprecedented access to user data, which may have been used to influence democratic decisions.

In the wake of the fallout, Facebook made changes to its platform to better...

By Ryan Daws, 02 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Facebook, Platforms.

Chrome OS will support Linux apps — with a dash of Material Design

A commit to Chromium’s code has revealed more about Google’s plan to support Linux apps in Chrome OS with a dash of Material Design.

Google’s annual I/O developer conference is just around the corner, and we’re starting to see the usual early hints at what to expect. We’ve known about Project Crostini, the codename for the project to bring Linux apps to Chrome, for some time — but the UI elements have remained a mystery, until now.

The developers behind Crostini appear to...

By Ryan Daws, 26 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Binary scans find vulnerabilities in one in five Android apps

Research conducted by binary-level security and compliance testing company Insignary has found vulnerabilities in one in five Android apps.

Insignary tested 700 of the most popular Android apps on the Google Play Store for the research. Their Clarity system was put to work for the first time analysing APKs for known open source vulnerabilities.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • The binary scans indicate that the Android apps available on Google Play Store by the top software vendors contain versions of open source components with security vulnerabilities. Out of the 700 APK files scanned, 136 contain security vulnerabilities.

  • 57% of the...

By Ryan Daws, 24 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms, Security.

Android Things Developer Preview 8 brings final APIs

The latest Developer Preview of Google's IoT platform Android Things has launched, bringing with it what represents the final API surface before the stable version.

During the preview releases of Android Things, Google committed to providing updates every 6-8 weeks – a schedule the company has kept fairly rigidly to.

This latest release does not bring major new features as some of the platform’s prior releases. Instead, it tunes up the existing to ensure it's ready for general release and...

By Ryan Daws, 18 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, IoT, Platforms.

Google programmer’s guide reveals details about Fuchsia OS

Exactly what Google has planned for its Fuchsia OS is still murky, but details found in an official programmer’s guide is starting to give us a clearer view.

Code for Fuchsia has been available on Google Git (and mirrored on GitHub) for some time. A programmer’s guide for it was posted titled ‘The Book: a programmer-oriented guide to interacting with Fuchsia’ and provided a deeper insight into what to expect from the...

By Ryan Daws, 13 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Platforms.

Android P will support Vulkan 1.1 to bring mobile games closer to consoles

Gaming on Android is about to become more impressive once the ‘P’ version of the OS launches with support for the latest Vulkan graphics API.

Vulkan started its Android journey on the Galaxy S7 before Google added native support for it in Android Nougat. Many developers still use the OpenGL ES graphics rendering API, but making the switch is starting to look as enticing as the desserts of which Google names their mobile operating system.

In the video, we can see Vulkan spreading the workload...

By Ryan Daws, 09 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Gaming, Platforms.

Microsoft prepares 64-bit app support for Snapdragon PCs

Microsoft’s hardware partners are slowly releasing Windows 10 PCs with all-day battery life thanks to Snapdragon processors, and 64-bit apps will be supported.

Erin Chappie, General Manager for Windows, confirmed to Engadget that Microsoft will be announcing an SDK for ARM64 apps during this year’s Build developer conference. The conference, as per last year, will be held in Seattle on May 7th.

Currently, ARM-based Windows devices from Microsoft suffer from only supporting 32-bit apps. Both 32 and...

By Ryan Daws, 06 April 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Microsoft, Platforms.

Google Researcher: Don’t work for Facebook in AI if you have a conscience

Google researcher François Chollet believes anyone with a conscience should not work for Facebook in AI.

While keeping in mind that Google is very much a competitor to Facebook, and is no stranger to criticism itself, Chollet brings up some interesting points about ethics in regards to AI and its use to influence — or rather, exploit — people.

In

By Ryan Daws, 23 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Facebook, Platforms.

ARCore is now used for over 85 apps on Android

Google’s ARCore SDK has been used to implement augmented reality elements in over 85 applications on Android.

The SDK was first released in August last year for testing exclusively on Google’s own Pixel 2 smartphones. During this year’s MWC, the compatibility list grew to include the first generation Pixel devices, Galaxy S7/S7 Edge/S8/S8+, LG V30/V30+, ASUS Zenfone AR, and the OnePlus 5.

By Ryan Daws, 21 March 2018, 2 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms, VR.

Magic Leap’s SDK for building AR experiences has launched

AR company Magic Leap has launched its highly anticipated SDK for building experiences on its platform.

Magic Leap works on its AR technology in relative secrecy. For the first time, the company is opening its doors and inviting developers to build “digital experiences that blend seamlessly with reality, enriching the physical space around us with objects and characters that respond to and interact with their surroundings.”

By Ryan Daws, 20 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms, VR.

GitHub was hit with the world’s largest DDoS attack

It went down for five minutes.

Yes, unlike the last record-breaking DDoS attacks, which caused disruption to major services for days — GitHub was able to quickly mitigate the attack so that few users would have even been aware of the downtime.

The attack was launched on Wednesday last week and GitHub was unavailable from 17:21 to 17:26 UTC. In

By Ryan Daws, 02 March 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Git, Hacking, Industry, Platforms, Security.

User retention on iOS is higher than Android – but not by much

A study examining 11,000 apps has found that users on iOS consistently stick around longer than on Android.

The analysis, conducted by Adjust, confirms a fact that has been widely known for some time still holds true. What's interesting, however, is the iOS user retention lead is marginal over Android.

Adjust defines app retention as “the percentage of users still using an app for a certain number of days after...

By Ryan Daws, 28 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, iOS, Platforms.

Project Crostini: Chrome OS prepares to support Linux apps

In an increasing bid for developers’ attention, Google is preparing support for Linux apps in Chrome OS.

Linux continues to be immensely popular amongst the developer community. Last year, Microsoft stripped the beta tag from its own Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) which allows Linux apps to run on Windows 10.

Similar to Microsoft’s attempts, it’s clear Google believes supporting Linux will ensure developers spend as much time on their respective platforms as possible. While it may seem...

By Ryan Daws, 27 February 2018, 2 comments. Categories: Platforms.

Unity gains AI powers from IBM Watson integration

Game development platform Unity has teamed up with IBM to integrate AI features powered by Watson.

The IBM Watson Unity SDK is now available in the Asset Store to make it easy for developers to implement services like visual recognition, speech-to-text, and language classification.

“This SDK is the first asset of its kind to bring scalable AI services to Unity, enabling developers to easily integrate...

By Ryan Daws, 20 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Enterprise, Gaming, Platforms, VR.

Windows 10 on ARM will have these limitations

Microsoft announced Windows 10 for ARM-based devices back in December, but little information was provided about its limitations.

Spotted by Paul Thurrott, Microsoft accidentally published a full list of its limitations last week. The list has since been removed, but not before it was cached.

Windows 10 on ARM has the following limitations:

  • Only ARM64 drivers are supported

By Ryan Daws, 19 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Platforms.

Apple suffers unprecedented leak as crucial iOS source code hits GitHub

Apple’s tight grip on its code has suffered a devastating blow as confidential iOS source code gets posted on GitHub.

The leaked iOS code is that of ‘iBoot’ which ensures a secure boot and is one of the most sensitive parts of the system. Its purpose is to load the kernel and verify everything is signed by Apple before it’s executed.

In fact, bugs in the boot process are such a concern that Apple values them at ~$200,000 as part of

By Ryan Daws, 08 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Git, Hacking, iOS, Platforms.

One in 10 game developers will use loot boxes for their next game – but express caution on use

More game developers are working on loot boxes but are expressing caution about their use, according to the latest figures published by the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

The company has released its latest State of the Game Industry report building up to the five-day extravaganza in San Francisco in March, polling almost 4,000 game developers. While almost half (49%) of those polled said they were going to use a pay-to-download model for their next game and 39% opted for free-to-download, one in 10 (11%)...

By James Bourne, 25 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

Google shows its ‘Vision’ for accessible AI with AutoML

Google has introduced Vision, the first of its Cloud AutoML series of machine-learning solutions designed to make AI development faster and easier.

AutoML Vision is a new service which aims to simplify the creation of custom machine-learning models for image recognition. The interface is drag-and-drop to ensure it’s accessible to a wide range of developers, researchers, and businesses.

Mike White, CTO and SVP, for...

By Ryan Daws, 17 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Apple steals development tool startup from Android

Apple has acquired a startup which created app development tools for Android and plans to make it iOS-exclusive in the coming weeks.

The startup, Buddybuild, is based in Canada and will soon be folded into Apple’s Xcode engineering group. Buddybuild provides developers with a more efficient method of testing and tweaking their apps. 

By Ryan Daws, 03 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Development Tools, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.