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, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms.

Google gives its Android Emulator some Hyper-V and AMD love

Google has announced support for Microsoft’s Hyper-V and AMD processors as part of an update to its official Android Emulator.

According to Android Product Manager Jamal Eason, the new features are two of the most requested by users.

Support for users with AMD processors is unsurprising as they were previously unable to emulate using Google’s official tools. While most PCs use Intel processors, AMD’s market share is growing...

By Ryan Daws, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms, Testing.

Getting OTT to work: How to ensure quality and satisfy users

“Over-the-top”, or OTT, is the sexiest term in entertainment right now. We are on the cusp on significant change in a world that hasn’t changed a great deal in the last 50 years - and OTT sits at the centre of the inevitable and unstoppable merger between the worlds of television and digital video.

For app developers, as well as entertainment companies offering movies and TV shows on demand, the

By Carlo Cadet, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Android, Development Tools, Testing.

Google's new API improves biometric authentication in Android P

Google has announced a biometric authentication API which enables developers to improve the security of their apps.

Biometrics has become a favoured and quick security method for users. While there are certainly more secure methods of authentication, few are so fast and unintrusive.

Vishwath Mohan, Security Engineer at Google, wrote in a blog post:

“Biometric authentication mechanisms are becoming increasingly popular, and it's...

By Ryan Daws, 22 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Hacking, Platforms, Security.

Unity makes it easier to build apps supporting both ARCore and ARKit

Game development platform Unity has made it easier to build apps supporting both ARCore and ARKit with a new cross-platform API.

Unity calls its new solution AR Foundation and it aims to solve many of the problems developers face with augmented reality development.

AR Foundation allows developers to leverage features in the ARCore and ARKit toolkits such as plane detection and world tracking.

Bradley Weiers, AR/VR Technical Product Manager, and Michael Durand, Lead AR/VR Software Engineer, wrote in a blog...

By Ryan Daws, 20 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Gaming, iOS, Mobile, Platforms, VR.

Open source Android Wear alternative AsteroidOS released

After more than three years of development, AsteroidOS has finally reached the version 1.0 milestone. This open source smartwatch OS is designed to offer Android Wear owners an alternative, especially for older watch models that have stopped receiving Wear OS updates.

The first stable release of AsteroidOS includes what its creators call 'all the features needed for a modern wearable experience'. That includes core watch apps like alarms, timers and weather, plus...

By William Judd, 17 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, API, Ecosystem, Mobile, Wearables.

Android Studio gets Chrome OS emulation

Last week, we covered the exciting news that Google had added Linux app support to Chrome OS, allowing apps like Android Studio to run on Chromebooks. Now we're looking at things from another angle, as Google have added a Chrome OS emulator to Android Studio.

That means developers can now test how Android apps will run on Chrome OS, without needing to have physical access to a Chromebook themselves. 

Given the...

By William Judd, 14 May 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Testing.

Apple removes location leaking apps ahead of GDPR deadline

This week Apple has started outright removing iOS apps that don't comply with their location privacy standards. After tacitly permitting these apps for months, Apple has begun delisting leaky iOS apps and sending emails to app developers who have fallen afoul of the rules.

The move comes just two weeks before the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, although it's not clear whether Apple is moving in response to the new rules or merely tackling a new category of...

By William Judd, 11 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, Hacking, Mobile.

Vulkan 1.1 on Android P brings VR improvements and more

In March, the first major update to the Vulkan cross-platform GPU API was released, and as of this week, Google have confirmed version 1.1 will be supported by Android P. Here's what you need to know about Vulkan 1.1 for Android development.

First of all, there are several features here are big news for the update as a whole, but aren't likely to be relevant to Android P devices. Multiple GPU support is perhaps the headline feature in this category, as it requires two or more discrete graphics cards...

By William Judd, 11 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Gaming, VR.

Google's 4K Android TV dongle available to devs now

While Google's Android OS has become a giant in the smartphone industry, it's failed to catch on in other form factors. Android TV is one case in point; announced in 2014, the OS for TVs and set top boxes has remained a bit player in the Android ecosystem. This year, Google is trying to get more app makers to target the platform with a particularly juicy hook: an Android TV dongle running Android P, offered exclusively to developers.

This 4K-capable Android TV device was

By William Judd, 09 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Devices.

Linux app support coming to Chrome OS

Google's I/O developer conference kicked off yesterday, bringing with it a raft of announcements of interest to programmers and users alike. While demonstrations like Google Assistant's natural call to a hair salon took centre stage, Google also slipped in a big scoop for developers: Linux app support will soon be added to Chrome OS.

Historically, developers interested in working on Chromebook hardware such as Google's line of Pixelbooks have had to boot Linux on their devices or use tools like...

By William Judd, 09 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Devices, Industry, 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.

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 Fuschia OS

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

Code for Fuschia 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.

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.

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.

Google helps developers clean up their code with Android KTX

Android KTX is Google’s attempt to make writing code for their platform in Kotlin easier and more concise.

Ever since Google announced first-party support for the Kotlin programming language, many developers have been experimenting with it. As expected, when developers are getting to grips with a new language, this has led to some messy code.

Kotlin itself is designed to be friendly and easy to pick...

By Ryan Daws, 07 February 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Java, Languages.