Google Pay APIs improve checkout and pass experiences

Google has updated its Pay API to support new features which improve the online checkout and pass usage experiences.

Some of the features were debuted at this year’s I/O developer conference, but Google has now provided further detail of how they can be used in practice.

Going forward, the Google Pay payment sheet will display all information about the purchase – item cost, shipping options.etc will be displayed to prevent the customer from having to return to the merchant site.

The new...

By Ryan Daws, 05 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

WWDC 19 recap: Developers will provide the excitement

Apple has completed its annual WWDC keynote for another year, so let's dive into the announcements to see if we should be getting excited.

Let’s start with how our  ‘what to expect’ predictions fared last month:

✔ iOS dark mode

✔ iPad home screen update (widget support added)

✔ Updated first-party apps (Messages, Reminders, Mail, Notes, Music, and...

By Ryan Daws, 04 June 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, Design, Development Tools, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms, Testing.

Developers of banished iOS parental control apps demand screen time API

A group of iOS developers who had their parental control apps pulled from the App Store are demanding a screen time API.

The apps were pulled from the App Store over concerns they violate user privacy. Protecting users is fair, but the developers want a way to provide their apps safely.

Seventeen developers have banded together with a technical proposal for implementing such an API.

The developers believe Apple is preventing competition by only allowing its built-in parental...

By Ryan Daws, 31 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Google tightens Play Store policies around weed, sex, hate, and loot

Google is taking a tougher stance on apps featuring things such as marijuana, sex, loot boxes, and hate speech with new Play Store policies.

Part of Google’s reasoning behind the changes is to protect young minds from being influenced by apps and games they stumble across.

Developers now have to define target age groups for their apps in the Play Console. When minors are included, new ‘Designed for Families’ policies must be applied.

Google provides some examples of common violations:

  • Apps that promote play for children in their...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Gaming, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Chinese app developers are killing it, says Apple’s China VP

Apple’s China chief highlights the nation’s prowess in app development, leading the world in both downloads and revenue.

Isabel Ge Mahe, VP and Managing Director of Greater China at Apple, gave her perspective as the number of Chinese app developers reaches 2.2 million.

Speaking to Xinhua on the sideline of the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 on Sunday, Ge Mahe said:

"Chinese app developers are leading...

By Ryan Daws, 28 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple sends out WWDC 2019 invites – here’s what to expect

Apple has begun sending out invites for WWDC 2019 so here’s your customary rundown of what to expect from the keynote.

The date, time, and location of Apple’s keynote has been set for June 3rd at 10:00 am PT in the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.

Often the invite has subtle hints of what to expect so fans around the world spend hours analysing it. We’ve attempted it for you, and the only thing we’ve gathered so far is Apple plans to launch a happy app-running unicorn...

By Ryan Daws, 23 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms, Wearables.

Huawei’s smartphone OS due this year, supporting Android apps

Huawei’s in-house smartphone OS is due to be released this year and Chinese media reports it will even support Android apps.

The OS has been in development since 2012 following a US investigation into Huawei and ZTE, but recent events are sure to have sped up the company’s plans.

Richard Yu, Huawei Consumer Business CEO, said the OS is "designed...

By Ryan Daws, 22 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Trump’s trade war on China is killing Huawei’s devices

President Trump’s trade war on China has resulted in Google, Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, and Xilinx ending their relationship with Huawei.

Trump signed an executive order effectively banning telecoms equipment from foreign firms deemed a security risk. Shortly after, the US Commerce Department added Huawei to its Entity List. Any US firm wanting to have dealings with a company on the list...

By Ryan Daws, 20 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Progress CTO: Microapps save time, increase productivity

During his keynote talk at ProgressNEXT 2019 today, CTO Dmitri Tcherevik announced ‘microapps’ which promise to save time while increasing productivity.

The promise is something any sane developer would embrace. After all, as Tcherevik quips, it means increased free time for office parties.

“If it takes you half the time to generate the same output – you start generating free time, and we love free time,” jokes Tcherevik. “At Progress, when we have free time we just build...

By Ryan Daws, 08 May 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Enterprise, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google will closely vet first-time Android developers for security

Google has announced plans to closely vet Android developers without a track record in a bid to boost platform security.

Android security has vastly improved since its early days but that hasn’t prevented some rogue developers from abusing Google’s platform.

Sameer Samat, VP of Android Product Management, wrote in a blog post:

“From the outset, we’ve sought to craft Android as a completely open...

By Ryan Daws, 16 April 2019, 2 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

Tax Justice Network: Google dodged £1.5bn tax in the UK last year

Ethically-minded developers may want to know how much tax companies like Google are getting away with avoiding.

In an analysis for The Mirror, the Tax Justice Group estimates Google should have paid an eye-watering £1.5 billion extra in corporation tax last year.

The publication notes how this figure could have paid for 60,000 nurses for the UK's struggling national health service.

In 2018, Google paid just £67 million in...

By Ryan Daws, 08 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Cloud, Ethics, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Snapchat’s new platform delivers Mario Party-like games

Snap is launching a gaming platform which delivers a Mario Party-like experience for users while unlocking a new revenue stream for developers.

Mario Party, if you haven't played it, offers a series of minigames that are catered to multiplayer. Snap wants to harness that social experience to keep users on its platform.

The ‘Snap Games’ platform started from a late-2017 acquisition of Australian game studio Pretty Great. The studio was originally created by former Halfbrick talent which many...

By Ryan Daws, 05 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Gaming, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Opinion: Apple Arcade follows industry shift to gaming subscriptions

Apple Arcade is Cupertino’s jab at following the industry shift into providing unlimited access to games through a subscription model.

Gaming is among the last of the core entertainment industries to switch to such a model. Music is now primarily accessed through services like Spotify and Apple Music, while video is served by companies such as Netflix and Hulu. Even books are heading in that direction with services Like Kindle Unlimited.

Apple is the first platform-holder to debut the model on mobile....

By Ryan Daws, 27 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Gaming, Industry, iOS, Mobile.

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.