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.

GitHub employees demand Microsoft cancels its contract with ICE

Microsoft is set to enter into a controversial contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and GitHub staff are demanding it’s cancelled.

The contract is worth $200,000 but ICE has repeatedly come under fire from rights campaigners after a string of abuses, including the highly-publicised separation and detention of migrant children from their families.

Here’s the open letter addressed to GitHub’s CEO and leadership team:

By Ryan Daws, 10 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Ethics, Git, Industry, Microsoft.

Google releases web app for Grasshopper, a tool which teaches basic coding

Google has released a web version of its Grasshopper app, a tool which teaches basic coding skills.

Grasshopper was first developed in Google’s experimental workshop called Area 120 and initially launched in 2018 as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. According to Google, millions of people have since downloaded Grasshopper.

In a blog post, an account is given of Sheila Eichenberger;...

By Ryan Daws, 08 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

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.

ICE cold: Developer removes his Ruby library after discovering it was used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A developer has removed his Ruby library after discovering that it was used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE has been called out by human rights groups and activists for inhumane practices. Most of us saw the headlines and images of children stripped from their parents and kept in cages in detainment centres.

Seth Vargo is an engineer that developed Chef Sugar, a Ruby library which aimed to simplify working with configuration management platform Chef.

Vargo has since taken down Chef Sugar...

By Ryan Daws, 23 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry.

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.

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.

Changing the face of computing: UNIX turns 50

In the late 1960s, a small team of programmers was aspiring to write a multi-tasking, multi-user operating system. Then in August 1969 Ken Thompson, a programmer at AT&T Bell Laboratories, started development of the first-ever version of the UNIX operating system (OS).

Over the next few years, he and his colleagues Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, and others developed both this and the C-programming language. As the UNIX OS celebrates its 50th birthday, let’s take a moment to reflect on its...

By Andrew Josey, 30 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

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.

Industry legend John Carmack gives his thoughts on modern video games

Gaming legend John Carmack, id Software founder and CTO of Oculus, has given his take on modern video games.

Carmack has illustrious gaming credentials having been the lead programmer of renowned titles such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake, Rage, and their sequels. Many of Carmack’s games were considered groundbreaking and continue to be influential today.

A large number of gamers feel there’s little innovation and variety in most modern games despite budgets often surpassing that of Hollywood...

By Ryan Daws, 29 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.

DRM system Denuvo is coming to Android as ‘Mobile Game Protection’

Controversial DRM technology provider Denuvo is coming to Android as the aptly-named  ‘Mobile Game Protection’.

Denuvo’s parent company, Irdeto, made the announcement today promising to help counter the scourge of hacked games.

Beyond piracy reducing the revenue available for a game’s developers, cracked games can pose a security risk to users. The in-game experience for users can also be affected, with hacks potentially providing ways to gain an unfair advantage over legitimate...

By Ryan Daws, 21 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, Industry, Mobile, 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.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will force game developers to disclose loot box odds

While the debate over whether loot boxes constitute gambling or not rages on, the largest console makers are taking matters into their own hands.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all decided to force game developers which use loot boxes to disclose the odds of winning items.

The announcement was made following an FTC workshop on loot boxes. During the workshop, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – which represents all three console makers – announced their plans.

A follow-up

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.

Moving beyond apps into the next big era with Twilio Conversations

Twilio is hoping to empower developers looking to move beyond apps with Twilio Conversations announced today during Signal 2019 in San Francisco.

Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, kicked off the 2019 keynote highlighting the importance and growth of communication tools with some impressive statistics.

Developers using Twilio's communication solutions now drive 750 billion human interactions per year, a peak SMS rate of 13,000 per second, 2.8 billion unique phone numbers, and 3 billion email...

By Ryan Daws, 07 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google begins testing its own ‘Game Pass’-like subscription

Google has begun testing its own all-you-can-eat subscription service similar to Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade.

XDA Developers found evidence of such a subscription last year, but until now any further news had gone quiet.

A screenshot of a signup page for Play Pass was sent to Android Police. The subscription markets itself as: "All play, no interruptions. Access hundreds of premium apps and...

By Ryan Daws, 05 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.