Google renews web apps push with ‘Squoosh’ and Writable Files API

Google renews its web apps push with a tool for reducing image sizes alongside a new API increasing native apps interoperability.

Starting with Google’s image-shrinking tool, ‘Squoosh’ is meant to “launch almost instantly, and then [perform] a smooth UI even when it’s doing heavy work, including using Web Assembly to do more with codecs the browser doesn’t have baked in.”

The open source tool supports a variety of web formats like MozJPEG and WebP, and traditional...

By Ryan Daws, 14 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API.

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.

Amazon releases Reminders API for Alexa developers

Amazon has released a new Reminders API which enables developers to expand the notifications Alexa users can receive.

Using the API, users can set reminders for things such as picking the kids up from school or getting that bill paid.

When enabling a skill, the user must grant permission for reminders. They’ll also need to give permission for each subsequent reminder they wish to set to avoid developers abusing their new powers.

Vytas Kancleris, CTO at TvGuide.co.uk said it was easy to add to their...

By Ryan Daws, 06 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, API, Platforms.

Android developers must target API level 26 starting today

Google has decided it’s time for developers to ensure apps target at least API level 26 or they’ll no longer be accepted in the Play Store.

The policy change was announced last year, so the company has provided a fair amount of notice. Today is the big day where the change goes into effect.

Every version of Android introduces new security features but some only apply to apps using newer API levels. Google has been clamping down on security more than ever as part of its bid to prove Android is secure enough

By Ryan Daws, 02 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

Google kills off its spammy Android Nearby Notifications

Google has announced it will discontinue support for Android Nearby Notifications, a feature often seen as ‘spammy’ to users.

Nearby Notifications were introduced three years ago with the idea that users will be sent alerts for relevant nearby information.

According to Google, it’s been used for genuinely useful information such as nearby free WiFi, providing guides in museums, and informing of transit schedules at bus stops. However, it’s also been abused.

In a

By Ryan Daws, 26 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

Amazon’s new APIs make your front porch smarter

Amazon has continued its smart home offensive with a set of new APIs for developers targeted at making our front porches smarter.

There are three new APIs in total – Doorbell Events Source API, Motion Sensor API, and 2-Way Communication API.

Each of their names gives away their use somewhat, but for a full breakdown:

  • Doorbell Events Source monitors for a doorbell press so a relevant action can be taken upon user interaction. The Doorbell Event Source endpoint is prompted by a press of the doorbell through the Doorbellpress event.

  • Motion Sensor...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, IoT.

Fastai is a Python library aiming to make AI simpler

A startup called Fastai is aiming to help developers carry out AI-related tasks with its deep learning library for Python.

Fastai was cofounded by two University of San Francisco employees. Rachel Thomas is a professor at the university, while Jeremy Howard is a research scientist.

Python has become almost synonymous with AI development due to being fast, robust, portable, and scalable. Some of the world’s most popular AI frameworks such as TensorFlow, Deap, and Chainer are designed for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

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.

TomTom launches free mobile maps SDKs to developers

TomTom has announced that it will be offering maps and traffic tiles on its mobile software developer kit (SDK) for free, in both Android and iOS.

As businesses adopting mobile to increase their sales, maps that feature office locations to customers have become a custom across all industries. With the free maps tiles from TomTom, which has global coverage, will assist start-ups all over the world in presenting their image as...

By Developer, 11 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Development Tools.

Pusher 'Beams' enables read receipts for push notifications

Pusher has launched a new feature called 'Beams' which provides developers with read receipts for their push notifications, similar to using most IM apps.

Read receipts are not exactly a groundbreaking new feature. Since the early days of SMS, users have been able to opt-in to receive alerts when their messages have been successfully delivered to another device.

With the rise of instant messaging, the feature has become somewhat default. Now when you use popular services like Facebook Messenger you...

By Ryan Daws, 07 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Android, API, Apple, iOS.

How Open Banking initiatives are creating new opportunities for developers

The UK’s Open Banking initiative, introduced in January, heralds a new landscape for increased competition in financial services. The legislation empowers customers to share their banking data with any trusted third-party service provider they choose – making it imperative for incumbent banks to innovate and evolve their services to compete more effectively with newcomers. This in turn has the potential to create a wave of opportunity for the developer community.

It’s not just developers...

By Mitesh Soni, 05 September 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Development Tools.

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.

Google upgrades its speech APIs with improved features

Google has updated its Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text APIs with a range of feature improvements alongside support for more languages.

For many developers, the addition of 17 new WaveNet-based voices for a variety of languages will be the highlight of today’s update.

WaveNet is Google’s technology which uses machine learning to create a natural-sounding voice when performing text-to-speech.

By Ryan Daws, 29 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Cloud.

Twitter makes third-party apps worse by killing ‘legacy’ APIs

Despite promises to improve its relationship with developers, Twitter continues targeting third-party apps by killing ‘legacy’ APIs.

Most of the core functionality is still available but more limited and not as attractive as Twitter’s official app which it’s clearly pushing users towards.

For example, popular Twitter client Tweetbot had to put out this changelog:

- Timeline streaming on WiFi is now disabled. Your timelines will now refresh automatically every 1-2...

By Ryan Daws, 17 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.

eBay bids for developers with latest round of API updates

E-commerce giant eBay has announced its latest round of API updates ahead of the company's annual developer conference in San Jose.

As is the current industry trend, eBay is adding some AI magic. Its latest features use the firm’s custom-built computer vision and deep learning technology.

Developers are now able to incorporate new computer vision-based eBay features including

By Ryan Daws, 15 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, API, Platforms.

Amazon Polly adds over 50 TTS voices to Twilio's platform

Twilio’s communications platform has added over 50 Text-To-Speech (TTS) voices thanks to Amazon's deep learning-based Polly service.

Amazon Polly offers lifelike synthesized speech across various languages.

“You can select the ideal voice and build speech-enabled applications that work in many different countries,” says Amazon on Polly’s page.

Twilio is a cloud-based platform which aims to make it easy for developers to build...

By Ryan Daws, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Platforms.

CoinMarketCap launches ‘professional’ API for crypto data

Popular crypto data website CoinMarketCap has launched a ‘professional’ API which offers enhancements over its standard API.

The new API is the result of a lot of inbound requests for CoinMarketCap’s data from developers and provides "additional endpoints, more calls, higher rate limits, exchange and market and historical data for the commercial tiers."

CoinMarketCap believes the API provides developers with the data they need for many of their...

By Ryan Daws, 02 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API.

Twitter removes 143k apps while tightening access to its APIs

Twitter is taking a stricter approach to how developers use its APIs in addition to the removal of 143,000 apps failing to be compliant with its policies.

Starting with a new application process, developers will need to first apply for a developer account using the portal at developer.twitter.com.

Prospective applicants will need to provide detailed information about how they intend to use Twitter’s APIs before they’re provided access.

If a developer who has previously been...

By Ryan Daws, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.

Android Q may use the Vulkan graphics API for UI rendering

A comment left by a Google engineer suggests the company is preparing a switch to the Vulkan graphics API for its UI rendering.

The engineer’s comment was posted on the Chromium gerrit instance with regards to a bug report for the upcoming support of Vulkan in the Chrome browser for Android.

Currently, Google still partly uses Skia for its graphics rendering – a 2D engine used for Chrome, Chrome OS, Android, and more.

As of Android 3.0, the...

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API.

Apple appears to be cracking the whip on Vulkan-Metal hybrid MoltenVK

Apple appears to be cracking down on the use of a hybrid graphics API which is a cross between Apple’s proprietary Metal and the open source Vulkan.

MoltenVK allows developers to use Vulkan in their programs, but the library then makes Metal API calls allowing the apps to run on iOS and macOS.

Apple has refused to update a game from an indie studio which uses MoltenVK.

MoltenVK 1.1.73 was being used without any modification. Had some tweaks been used, it would provide another potential reason for the...

By Ryan Daws, 09 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, Gaming.