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, Mobile, Windows.

Mozilla aims to expand WebVR's capabilities with the WebXR API

Mozilla is building a new API called WebXR aiming to expand the capabilities of WebVR and enable the creation of mixed reality experiences on the web.

WebVR was first conceived in spring 2014 by Vladimir Vukićević from Mozilla with the aim of providing an open source API for displaying VR content on the web. On March 1st 2016, the Mozilla VR team and the Google Chrome team announced version 1.0 of the WebVR API.

The API is supported across many browsers including Firefox,...

By Ryan Daws, 17 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, iOS, Mobile, VR.

Android's latest OS distribution stats are in, and it's still a problem

The long-standing issue of many active Android devices running older versions of Google’s operating system continues.

Android 7.0 (and 7.1) ‘Nougat’ remains the most popular Android version in-use today with 30.8 percent of the devices, although now being two years old. Last year’s release, Android 8.0 ‘Oreo’ is on just 14.6 percent of devices.

Android 9.0 ‘Pie’ was fully announced last month and began rolling out to select devices. Many users expect a rollout...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Devices, Mobile, Platforms.

Play Store expands paid apps support to six more countries

Only developers in a select number of countries have the ability to sell their apps on the Play Store, but that list has now expanded by a further six.

Here are the new additions:

  • Albania

  • Algeria

  • Armenia

  • Namibia

  • Nicaragua

  • Trinidad and Tobago

Back in April, Google enabled support for Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Many of our readers are not based in these countries and so most are likely unaware there are countries where developers can release free apps on the Play Store but cannot monetise with paid apps or in-app purchases.

That unfortunate list, thankfully, is slowly getting smaller.

What are your thoughts on the Play Store’s paid apps support expansion? Let us know in the...

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms.

Fortnite bypassing the Play Store will cause Android changes

Fortnite is a phenomenon that Android users have waited a long time for, but the decision to bypass the Play Store will have consequences for the platform.

The battle royale game is an undeniable hit. According to SuperData Research in May, Fortnite had generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms. This year, it’s expected to make developer Epic Games as much as $2 billion.

When it released on iOS, Fortnite earned...

By Ryan Daws, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Ecosystem, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

Google sets Android P guidelines for ‘notch’-featuring devices

Android P is nearing release and so Google has set out its guidelines for how the ‘notch’ found on many new devices should be accommodated.

Love it or hate it, the notch has become mainstream. First marketed by the first ‘Essential’ smartphone and quickly followed by other Android manufacturers to maximise the screen-to-device ratio, even Apple has adopted it with the iPhone X.

On the Android Developers

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Mobile, Platforms, Testing.

Android joins iOS in banning cryptocurrency mining apps

Google has decided Android will follow Apple’s policy of banning apps used for mining cryptocurrencies from its app store.

Last month, Developer reported Apple’s guidelines were updated to state the company will no longer allow cryptocurrency mining apps on the iOS App Store.

"Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency...

By Ryan Daws, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

VLC drops Huawei device support due to background restrictions

The developers of popular media app VLC have decided to drop support for Huawei devices because of their aggressive killing of background activities.

VLC reportedly faced many poor reviews of its app on the Play Store due to an issue out of their hands relating to the “ridiculous” way that Huawei handles apps running in the background.

Notably, the developers highlight that Huawei does not apply the same policy to their own apps on Android.

By Ryan Daws, 26 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

Play Store increasingly beats App Store downloads, but revenue is still an issue

The number of Play Store downloads of apps continues to beat the App Store, but the latter remains leagues ahead in generating revenue.

According to figures by App Annie, downloads on the Play Store have increased 20 percent year-on-year. That’s impressive enough, but put in the context that represents 160 percent more growth than Apple’s iOS App Store – well, it’s quite staggering.

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Growing up fast: Apple's iOS App Store is about to turn 10 years old

Apple is preparing to celebrate the 10-year birthday of the iOS App Store, over which it's seen phenomenal growth and success for developers.

The App Store was introduced on July 10th 2008 with 500 apps. At the time, it was already impressive for a mobile app store.

Now, that number has swelled to over two million apps.

Phil Schiller, SVP Worldwide Marketing at Apple, says:

“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations — from the innovative apps that...

By Ryan Daws, 06 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

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.

Supreme Court will hear Apple’s case in App Store monopoly lawsuit

The US Supreme Court will hear Apple’s appeal in a class action lawsuit alleging the company is abusing its position to charge developers high fees.

Apple takes a 30 percent cut of developers’ app sales on the iOS App Store. This is pretty industry-standard across most of the major app/game stores, including the Play Store and Steam.

The major exception is Microsoft, which recently slashed its cut of Microsoft Store sales from 30...

By Ryan Daws, 19 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple bans crypto-mining apps from iOS App Store

Apple clearly isn’t a fan of cryptocurrency with its new guidelines saying it will no longer “hodl” on to support for mining apps in the iOS App Store.

The guidelines say that cryptocurrency mining will be disallowed in App Store apps unless the processing is being performed off-device such as on a remote server or cloud provider.

"Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining," the...

By Ryan Daws, 12 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Snapchat plans to launch a developer kit for its AR camera

Social messaging giant Snapchat has become somewhat renowned for its AR features, and it appears some of those will soon be in the hands of developers.

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat is preparing the launch of its first complete developer platform under the tentative name of Snapkit.

Prototypes of the platform reportedly allow other apps to offer a ‘Login with Snapchat’ option; similar to other major social networks such as Facebook and...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms, Social media, VR.

Samsung set to switch from Tizen to Wear OS smartwatches

Prolific leaker Evan Blass (of @evleaks and Venture Beat fame) produced a rather interesting morsel this week: reportedly, Samsung employees have been spotted wearing smartwatches running Wear OS, rather than Samsung's own Tizen operating system.

Samsung has been committed to its homegrown platform for a few years now, with Gear smartwatches and fitness trackers exclusively using the Tizen OS, so seeing a switch to Wear OS is something of a sea change.

This tweet...

By William Judd, 25 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Wearables.

ARM reveals Project Trillium machine learning processor

Arm is best known for its mobile CPU and GPU processors, but the company is keen to also show its expertise in more emerging fields. This week, Arm unveiled its new Project Trillium machine learning processor (MLP), three months after first revealing its existence.

The MLP exists to allow smartphones and tablets to perform machine learning independently, without needing to connect to a server somewhere. While a smartphone has limited performance, there are many advantages to this approach: less bandwidth and...

By William Judd, 23 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, IoT, Mobile, Tablet.

Egretia mashes up HTML5 and blockchain

Beijing-based company Egret Technology is planning to combine two of the most important modern technologies, HTML5 and blockchain, in a project called Egretia. The idea behind Egretia is solving some technical issues in the HTML5 game industry—such as multiplayer matchmaking, digital item marketplaces, data storage, advertising and crowdfunding—using blockchain.

Egret is already well-known in the HTML5 community due to its work on HTML5 development tools, including an engine, IDE and...

By William Judd, 21 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, HTML5, Mobile, Platforms.

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.

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.

Opinion: A 5G-enabled PSP would prove mobile streaming’s potential

If the rumours of a 5G-enabled PSP (PlayStation Portable) are true, it would be a defining moment in proving the next-generation of cellular technology has unlocked the potential for the cloud streaming of apps and games to mobile devices.

The rumours of a 5G PSP started after Sony released its FY2017 financial results. In its results, the company pointed towards 5G as being the reason it should remain in the...

By Ryan Daws, 01 May 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Devices, Gaming, Mobile.