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.

Google adds Smart Reply and Language Identification APIs to ML Kit

Google has announced the addition of ‘Smart Reply’ and ‘Language Identification’ APIs to its ML (Machine Learning) Kit.

Until now, the APIs in ML Kit have focused predominantly on camera-based machine learning processing. The latest additions begin to unlock the many other possibilities for machine learning.

Smart Reply provides the same features that you may be familiar with in some of Google's products like Gmail and Android Messages. As the name...

By Ryan Daws, 10 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Android, API, iOS.

Adopted or abandoned: Microsoft details Chromium-based Edge features

Microsoft has provided details of what features are being adopted or abandoned from Chromium for its Edge browser reincarnation.

Last year, Microsoft announced it would be scrapping development of its EdgeHTML engine (a decision criticised by some) and switching to Chromium for its Edge browser.

In providing reasons why it made the switch, Microsoft cites better web compatibility for users, less fragmentation for developers, and the ability...

By Ryan Daws, 09 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: HTML5, Industry, Microsoft.

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.

PWNED: Researcher uses broken API to print message on GPS watches

A German security researcher printed the word “PWNED!” on hundreds of GPS watches to prove a point about a broken API.

Christopher Bleckmann-Dreher discovered a vulnerability in an API used by Austrian GPS watch manufacturer Vidimensio.

The firm’s watches are used by a wide range of the population from the elderly down to children, and it affected over 20 models.

Dreher alerted Vidimensio to the problem but it was ignored for over a year. Given the potential for much greater risk in the...

By Ryan Daws, 03 April 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Hacking, Security.

Opinion: Why Kubernetes Managed Services are becoming a key trend

From augmented reality to AI-driven solutions, evolving technology trends have the potential to make our daily lives more efficient and more exciting – provided we understand and embrace them to their full potential. The same applies to the cloud industry.

Operators are looking for every opportunity to deliver simplicity and efficiency to their customers. Container technology has been instrumental in the progress businesses have made in these areas, having allowed them to manage and run a plethora of...

By Maxime Hurtrel, 28 March 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Industry.

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.

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.