Phil Spencer: Google Stadia is impressive, but Xbox will ‘go big’ at E3

Xbox boss Phil Spencer his circulated an internal memo following the Google Stadia announcement promising that Microsoft will ‘go big’ at this year's E3 conference.

Microsoft has been working on a Google Stadia-like equivalent called xCloud for some time now and recently showed it off in a smaller demo. Google got the jump on Xbox by taking Stadia to the big stage at GDC yesterday.

In his memo, Spencer admitted that Stadia was impressive but had little surprises beyond...

By Ryan Daws, 20 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Gaming, Industry, 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.

UK inmates will be taught coding to prepare for their own release

The UK government has announced that inmates will be taught coding in preparation for life on the outside as part of a new initiative.

We all know digital skills open up opportunities and have become increasingly vital in today’s workforce. An organisation called CODE 4000 has received new funding to expand its work teaching ‘carefully-vetted’ offenders to code.

Neil Barnby, a workshop instructor at HMP Humber for CODE 4000, said:

“Code4000 workshops are reducing...

By Ryan Daws, 15 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

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.

Opinion: Google is ready to become a major force in gaming

Google has made several moves which suggest it plans on doubling-down its gaming efforts to become a major industry player.

The company’s ambition to enter the gaming space is no secret. A patent for a Google gaming controller, which hopefully will be more comfortable than it looks by the time it reaches consumers’ hands, can already be found

By Ryan Daws, 13 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Amazon now rewards more developers for top Alexa apps

Amazon has expanded its Alexa Developer Rewards program to ensure developers in France, Italy, and Spain get paid for decent voice apps.

The initiative was US-only when it launched in 2017 before expanding to leading European markets – the UK and Germany – as well as Japan and India.

Alexa Developer Rewards also expanded its supported categories. Initially restricted to developers building Alexa-based game apps, Amazon will now pay developers for top apps in the following categories:

  • Education & Reference

  • Food & Drink

  • Games, Trivia & Accessories

  • Kids

  • Health &...

By Ryan Daws, 12 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Industry, 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.

Microsoft boosts developers’ revenue cut across its app stores

Microsoft has updated its app store policies to give developers a much fairer revenue cut of up to 95 percent.

There are some caveats to Microsoft’s revenue cut. To receive the full 95 percent, the app must be purchased through a deep link directly to your app. If the app is purchased through Microsoft listing it or marketing it somewhere, the developers will receive 85 percent.

App store fees have become a hot topic in recent months. The general feeling among developers is the platform holder’s...

By Ryan Daws, 06 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Industry, Microsoft, Platforms.

Report: Open source breaches have increased by 71 percent

A report from Sonatype highlights that open source breaches have increased by a whopping 71 percent along with several other security findings.

This report is the largest DevOps survey conducted by Sonatype with 5,558 people sharing their views. Participants were from most of the major sectors but primarily in the technology and banking/financial industries.

Respondents’ primary reason for implementing security across the development lifecycle is for risk management (34.77%) purposes, followed by...

By Ryan Daws, 04 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Hacking, Industry, Security.

Python overtakes JavaScript as most queried language on Stack Overflow, new data shows

A new study from crowdsourced QA testers Global App Testing has explored developers’ biggest pain points, with Python dethroning JavaScript as Stack Overflow’s most questioned programming language.

The research focused on JavaScript, Python, R, Ruby, C#, C++, Java, Objective-C, Swift, PHP and SQL – not so much 11 languages but 10 languages and a database – and went through a semantic route to determine major...

By James Bourne, 01 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Java, JavaScript, Languages, PHP, Python.

Apple will enable developers to lure ex-subscribers back with discounts

Apple has announced it will soon allow developers to lure users who previously had an in-app subscription back with discounts.

In an App Store Connect post, Apple wrote:

“Apps with auto-renewable subscriptions will soon be able to provide a discounted price for a specific duration for existing or previously subscribed customers. You can use subscription offers to help win back subscribers who have cancelled their subscriptions or...

By Ryan Daws, 27 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, Mac, 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.

App Store requires devs in ‘Account Holder’ role to enable 2FA

Apple has announced that developers with the ‘Account Holder’ role on the App Store will have to enable two-factor authentication.

The change is compulsory and will come into effect from February 27th.

“In an effort to keep accounts more secure, developers with the Account Holder role in a developer program will need to enable two-factor authentication to sign in to their Apple Developer account and Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles,” the company wrote.

Apple has not disclosed a...

By Ryan Daws, 21 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mac.

Google will revise ad blocker-killing Chromium proposal

Google has decided to revise its proposed Chromium update that would have killed ad blockers and some other extensions.

The proposal, to restrict Chromium's script blocking capabilities to the new DeclarativeNetRequest API instead of the old webRequest API, caused a backlash from extension developers and users.

Chromium engineer Devlin Cronin provided an update on Google Groups following the outcry:

“I’d like to reiterate that all of these changes are still in the draft and...

By Ryan Daws, 18 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, API, HTML5, Industry.

Facebook will open Ad API to increase political transparency

Following increasing pressure, Facebook will be opening up its Ad API to increase transparency around how it serves political adverts.

A letter penned by Mozilla and its partners – which includes “technologists, human rights defenders, academics, journalists, and Facebook users” – demanded this very change. By opening the API, the coalition hopes tools can be made to analyse and counter ads used to influence politics.

Rob Leathern, Product Director at Facebook, responded to the letter...

By Ryan Daws, 15 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Platforms, Social media.

Amazon ‘Moments’ provides real-life rewards for in-app actions

Amazon has launched a new API called ‘Moments’ which allows developers to reward users performing high-value actions with real-life gifts.

Moments leverages Amazon’s position as the world’s largest retailer. It’s perfect for developers wanting to offer their most-valued users more tangible rewards without having to deal with the hassle involved with shipping gifts.

The company’s global reach means products are shipped out from local warehouses...

By Ryan Daws, 14 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Marketing.

Google now only wants Android Things on certain ‘things’

Google is scaling back its ambitions for Android Things with the announcement it will “refocus” the platform on just two device types.

Android Things, once known as ‘Project Brillo’, was first announced in 2016. The platform was designed to be an OS for all manner of ‘things’ in the fast-growing IoT (Internet of Things) market.

Given the success Google has found with smart displays and speakers, the firm has decided to focus its efforts on these products.

Dave Smith,...

By Ryan Daws, 13 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, IoT, Platforms.

Google helps developers automate tasks with Docs API

Google has launched a Docs API which enables developers to automate tasks for the popular word processor.

For many people and businesses, Google Docs has become indispensable. I’m even using it to write this humble article.

Today’s API launch helps developers get the most from Google Docs for their own apps.

Many of the supported features in the Docs API are what you’d expect – including the ability to insert, delete, merge, move, and format text.

Using these features, apps...

By Ryan Daws, 12 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms.

Apple tells app developers to remove screen recording analytics code

Apple is reportedly telling app developers to remove or disclose the use of analytics code, which allows them to record the users’ interaction with their iPhone apps.

While investigating into the matter, TechCrunch found that popular applications like Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com, Hollister, Expedia, and were using “session...

By Developer, 11 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Apple, Development Tools.

Arduino releases IoT Cloud beta for ‘end-to-end’ development

Arduino has announced the launch of its IoT Cloud application platform aimed towards developers, maker hobbyists, and system integrators.

With the help of Arduino IoT Cloud, users are able to develop IoT applications that solve everyday problems which arise in a business environment. Through this platform, the company aims to simplify complex technologies in such a way that it could be used by anyone.

Luca Cipriani, CIO of Arduino, said:

“With the launch of the Arduino IoT Cloud,...

By Developer, 08 February 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, IoT, Platforms.