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.

LinkedIn lists blockchain developers as top emerging job

Blockchain developer has been ranked as the number one profession on LinkedIn’s emerging jobs list for 2018.

LinkedIn’s recently released report, which places blockchain development at the top, shows 33x growth in the number of blockchain developers, 12x growth in machine learning engineers, 8x growth in application sales executives, and 6x growth in machine learning specialists and professional medical representatives.

Guy Berger, the chief economist at LinkedIn, said that growth can also be seen...

By Developer, 17 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry, JavaScript.

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.

Microsoft launches Clarity analytics solution for A/B testing

Microsoft has launched a Google Optimize 360 competitor it calls Clarity, a solution enabling web developers to understand user behaviour at scale.

The company found limitations in current A/B experimentation solutions it believes could be solved and set out to do so with Clarity.

In a blog post, Microsoft wrote:

“While A/B experiments allow developers to see when their key metrics are moving, the primary drawback is the lack of...

By Ryan Daws, 13 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Development Tools, JavaScript, Microsoft, Testing.

Google announces Android ICS has reached its end of life

Google has kept it going for seven years, but the company has announced it’s time to allow Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) to thaw out.

Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0) was initially released in October 2011 and now has a small number of users.

In a blog post, Google wrote:

“The Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) platform is seven years old and the active device count has been below 1 percent for some time.

Consequently, we are deprecating support for ICS in future...

By Ryan Daws, 10 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Platforms.

Mozilla is concerned about Microsoft’s decision to ditch EdgeHTML

The open internet advocates at Mozilla have shared their concern that Microsoft’s decision to ditch EdgeHTML hands too much power to Google.

Microsoft announced it would be dropping its EdgeHTML rendering engine for its desktop Edge browser in favour of Chromium next year. The company uses Chromium for its Android version but has now scrapped an EdgeHTML transition plan.

Chromium is an impressive engine, but a reduction in competition is a concern. There’s less incentive to invest when...

By Ryan Daws, 07 December 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Industry, Microsoft.

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.

Facebook now allows developers to compete with its own features

Facebook has removed a controversial policy which prevented developers from building features that compete with its own.

Prior to today, Platform Policy section 4.1 stated: “Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.”

Considering how often Facebook is seen to borrow ideas from the likes of Snapchat, Twitter, and more, it was a policy always frowned upon by developers.

And Facebook enforced it.

Vine was one high-profile casualty of Facebook’s policy. The once...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Platforms.

Nvidia open-sources PhysX engine for games, AI, cars, and more

Nvidia’s physics engine PhysX has been made open-source for developers to advance the capabilities of various applications.

Gaming is what often comes to mind when thinking about virtual physics. While the PhysX engine is certainly useful for gaming purposes, it can go a lot further.

Nvidia says its physics simulation can be used for emerging technologies such as AI, robotics, computer vision, and self-driving vehicles.

In a blog post, the company highlights some challenges PhysX solves:

  • In AI, researchers need...

By Ryan Daws, 04 December 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

Amazon’s toy car helps developers code self-driving tech

Amazon has unveiled a toy car designed to help developers safely test self-driving code which could be used in full-sized vehicles.

The 1/18th-scale vehicle is called DeepRacer and costs $249 if pre-ordered, or $399 post-release.

DeepRacer wants to help democratise reinforcement learning development. The technique was used by Alphabet’s researchers to create AlphaGo, an AI which defeated the human world champion of the notoriously difficult Go board game.

Created by the Amazon Web Services division, the...

By Ryan Daws, 29 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, Devices, IoT.

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.

Amazon Web Services opens up machine learning courses to all developers – for free

If you want to get on board with machine learning, then there may be good news from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud giant has opened up its machine learning courses previously used to train Amazon engineers to all developers.

There are more than 30 digital courses totalling more than 45 hours of material, focusing on four key groups: developers, data scientists, data platform engineers, and business professionals. Devs...

By James Bourne, 27 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Amazon, Development Tools.

Microsoft goes password-less through FIDO2 certification

Microsoft has enabled functionality for sign-on using either a FIDO2 device or biometric tool Windows Hello – thus potentially paving the way to kill off the password.

The move will mean users can more seamlessly sign in to a variety of applications, from Outlook, Skype and Office, to OneDrive, Cortana and Xbox Live.

Writing in a blog post confirming the move, Alex Simons,...

By Developer, 21 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Security.

Uber joins Linux Foundation in further nod to open source commitment

Uber has joined the Linux Foundation as a gold member, firming up a long-standing commitment to open source technologies.

The ridesharing firm, which is working on more than 300 open source projects, said it was looking forward to collaborate with other open source leaders to solve problems and further promote open source adoption globally.

One of the hallmark technologies Uber...

By James Bourne, 19 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

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.

Brexit is having little impact on attracting tech sector talent

Research from the world's largest job site Indeed has found Brexit is having little impact on the UK’s ability to attract tech sector talent.

Among the many fears spread about Brexit was the UK would struggle to attract needed talent from around the world to fill high-skilled roles.

Brexit supporters have called for a ‘fairer’ system which no longer prioritises European immigration over anywhere else. Instead, advocates want a skills-based system to focus on filling roles unable to be...

By Ryan Daws, 12 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry.

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.

AI software development line Engineer.ai raises over £29 million

A UK-based startup using AI in tandem with a network of human developers to build software has raised over £29 million in funding.

Engineer.ai launched around two and a half years ago promising to combine AI with crowdsourced developer and designers to build products.

According to the company, their ‘Builder’ solution enables bespoke products to be created twice as fast and for less than a third of traditional software development costs.

Builder functions by getting...

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry.

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.