GDC: Microsoft wants to bake Xbox Live into mobile games

Microsoft used this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) to make a case for integrating Xbox Live features into Android and iOS titles.

The first of the aforementioned features is called ‘Trusted Gaming Identity’ and it's used to improve the sign-in experience.

Using the same Microsoft account used elsewhere, Trusted Gaming Identity supports: two-factor authentication for improved security, access to payment and billing options, and parental controls.

Custom achievements can be...

By Ryan Daws, 22 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Play Store enables ‘pre-registration’ feature for all, plus larger app bundles

Google added some welcome new features to its Play Store ahead of its appearance at GDC this week.

The first is not strictly an addition but more of an expansion. ‘Pre-registration’ is now available for all developers, allowing hype for a game or app to be generated prior to release.

Next up is a new store page A/B test allowing multiple versions to be trialled with a subset of users. Performance stats will be provided for each to decide the optimal version before a full rollout.

To account for...

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

Android Q adds shiny new APIs while blocking others

Android Q is approaching which means developers are getting treated with a few shiny new APIs while others are getting blocked to boost platform security.

The first preview of Android Q has been released for developers and early-adopters to start tinkering with. In this article we'll provide a rundown of what's changed so far.

API Additions

What's being added or changed is always more exciting than what's being taken away, so it's where we'll start.

Neural Networks API 1.2

We know...

By Ryan Daws, 14 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms.

Google enables devs to monetise free users with ‘Rewarded Products’

Google has introduced a new method for Android developers to monetise free users with a feature called ‘Rewarded Products’.

Free apps are increasingly more popular than paid. In Q1 2018, Statista found 94.24 percent of app downloads are free.

It’s understandable from a user perspective that most want to at least try an app before committing to a purchase. In-app purchases allow users to pay for the full app or...

By Ryan Daws, 07 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

#MWC19: Achieve immersion through video and VR

A session during MWC highlighted the growing importance of video and VR when it comes to creating immersive experiences.

Anjali Sud, CEO of Vimeo, was part of the session. Vimeo is the largest ad-free video network and its monetisation model allows it to be agnostic, even allowing creators to publish to YouTube.

Sud highlighted that video is becoming ‘the de facto form’ of communication. People expect a constant supply of professional, engaging video content.

“If you want someone to see your...

By Ryan Daws, 26 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Devices, Industry, IoT, Mobile, Platforms, VR.

Play Store now accepts PWAs which use Trusted Web Activities

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API are finally supported on the Google Play Store following its 2017 announcement.

TWA is an API for PWAs which allows web content to be displayed in fullscreen with system-level features and limited native code.

Some will note the existence of PWAs like Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, and Twitter Lite on the Play Store. Most of these use WebView and required a lot of added native code for things like notifications. TWA allows web developers to publish...

By Ryan Daws, 04 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple revokes Facebook’s enterprise developer certificate

Apple has put Facebook on the naughty step and revoked its enterprise developer certificate following a data-snooping app scandal.

For those who expected Facebook’s apparent disregard for data privacy to have culminated with the Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018, you may want to think again.

News broke yesterday that Facebook paid users as young as 13 to install a ‘research’ app that collects data of phone and web...

By Ryan Daws, 31 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Ethics, Facebook, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

App Store developers have pocketed $120bn since 2008

Apple has used the start of its Entrepreneur Camp in Cupertino as an opportunity to announce some of its latest App Store statistics.

The firm announced that App Store developers have pocketed $120 billion in total since 2008. An impressive $30 billion was distributed to developers in the last 12 months alone.

With Apple still taking a 30 percent cut from App Store sales, the company is raking in the cash. Recent reports that iPhone sales are slowing appear to have had little impact on App Store revenue.

App...

By Ryan Daws, 29 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

‘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.

Square launches customisable In-App Payments SDK

Payments solution provider Square has launched a new SDK enabling developers to easily integrate support for in-app payments.

With minimal coding, the SDK promises to enable accepting and storing credit card details for checkout purposes. Support for Google Pay and Apple Pay is even included for added convenience.

Carl Perry, Developer Lead at Square, said:

“With the introduction of in-app mobile payments to the Square platform, developers now have a complete, omnichannel payments...

By Ryan Daws, 10 January 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, iOS, Mobile.

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.

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.

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.

The benefits of darker in-app colour schemes are clear

Google has finally confirmed what many have suspected, there are clear benefits to offering darker in-app colour schemes.

During its Android Dev Summit this week, Google displayed several comparisons of the power drain while displays show different colours.

As suspected, black is the most power-efficient. White, on the other hand, is by far and large the most power-hungry – consuming over six times as much juice.

By Ryan Daws, 09 November 2018, 2 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Design, iOS, Mobile.

Google provides two new ways for developers to push app updates

Google has introduced two new ways for developers to push their app updates during the Android Developer Summit this week.

The ‘In-App Updates’ API provides features that Android coders have been requesting for some time, according to Google Senior Director of Android Product Management and Developer Relations Stephanie Saad.

Developers can now prompt users to update their app when they use it.

There are two ways of doing this: immediate, or flexible.

  • Immediate greets users with a full-screen message alerting them of the available update and that...

By Ryan Daws, 08 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile.

BlueStacks emulates Android ‘6x faster’ than leading smartphone

Popular emulator BlueStacks claims to provide six times faster performance when running Android software on a PC than a leading benchmarked smartphone.

BlueStacks was created back in 2009 by Jay Vaishnav, Suman Saraf, and Rosen Sharma. No other emulator has achieved quite the same level of success – even receiving investment from the likes of Samsung, Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and more.

The emulator’s latest update, 4.0, looks set to add even more fans.

According to BlueStacks,...

By Ryan Daws, 19 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Microsoft, Mobile.