Unhappy developers pen letter to Apple over iOS 13 privacy changes

A group of unhappy developers have penned a scathing letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook over privacy changes made in iOS 13. In their letter, the developers even accuse Apple of anti-competitive behaviour with changes as to how apps can access users’ location data.

Many apps which require location data today ask the user to “Always Allow” when the app is first launched. Such an overarching permission often gives apps more access to a user’s location data than is required for the app’s...

By Ryan Daws, 20 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Be aware, Play Store approval times will now take longer

Google is increasing the scrutiny of new apps submitted to the Play Store which means approval times will now be longer.

The official Android app store has witnessed a spate of malware-infested apps making it past Google’s current approval process. Just a few days ago, Trend Micro announced that it reported 85 apps posing as photography and gaming apps to Google...

By Ryan Daws, 19 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Dropbox explains the downsides of sharing iOS and Android code

A software engineer from Dropbox explains the reasoning behind the company’s decision to no longer share code between iOS and Android.

Until recently, Dropbox shared code between its Android and iOS apps using C++ to only write once rather than in both Java and Objective-C. This strategy has been in place since 2013 when Dropbox’s team was still relatively small but needed to support a fast-moving roadmap.

Dropbox, now it’s a much larger company, has switched to developing its Android and...

By Ryan Daws, 15 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei unveils HarmonyOS as more than just an Android replacement

Huawei has unveiled HarmonyOS as a replacement for Android if the China-US trade war continues to escalate, but the OS also has greater ambitions.

The Chinese tech giant continues to find itself in the crossfire between China and the US in their ongoing trade dispute. While the US itself a small market for Huawei devices, the manufacturer has used almost exclusively American software, hardware, and standards to reach its position as the second-largest smartphone manufacturer.

Earlier this year, the US...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Twilio aims for social good by promoting equality and launching initiatives to support non-profits, most vulnerable

Twilio has announced a range of internal policy changes designed to improve workplace equality alongside initiatives to support non-profits and the most vulnerable.

Very little can get done without communication, it’s behind almost everything we do. That puts Twilio in a position which Spiderman’s Uncle Ben would say: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Promoting equality

Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson began his keynote setting out the company’s goal that, by 2023, his...

By Ryan Daws, 09 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will force game developers to disclose loot box odds

While the debate over whether loot boxes constitute gambling or not rages on, the largest console makers are taking matters into their own hands.

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have all decided to force game developers which use loot boxes to disclose the odds of winning items.

The announcement was made following an FTC workshop on loot boxes. During the workshop, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) – which represents all three console makers – announced their plans.

A follow-up

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry.

Moving beyond apps into the next big era with Twilio Conversations

Twilio is hoping to empower developers looking to move beyond apps with Twilio Conversations announced today during Signal 2019 in San Francisco.

Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, kicked off the 2019 keynote highlighting the importance and growth of communication tools with some impressive statistics.

Developers using Twilio's communication solutions now drive 750 billion human interactions per year, a peak SMS rate of 13,000 per second, 2.8 billion unique phone numbers, and 3 billion email...

By Ryan Daws, 07 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google begins testing its own ‘Game Pass’-like subscription

Google has begun testing its own all-you-can-eat subscription service similar to Xbox Game Pass and Apple Arcade.

XDA Developers found evidence of such a subscription last year, but until now any further news had gone quiet.

A screenshot of a signup page for Play Pass was sent to Android Police. The subscription markets itself as: "All play, no interruptions. Access hundreds of premium apps and...

By Ryan Daws, 05 August 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Facebook updates Graph, Messenger, and Marketing APIs to 4.0

Facebook has updated three of its most important APIs to version 4, bringing some important changes to be aware of.

While the version number indicates a large release, it’s worth noting that Facebook is transitioning to major numbers for all new versions. The change in numbering aligns the version numbers of Facebook’s SDKs with the version of the API.

Graph API 4.0

Pages API – Facebook now requires one of the following permissions for an app to access the pages associated with a...

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Industry, Marketing, Platforms, Social media.

Google Play Protect fails AV-Comparatives' anti-malware test

Google’s built-in malware protection for Android has failed a test conducted by security researchers at AV-Comparatives.

AV-Comparatives is an independent lab which tests anti-malware solutions against known malicious applications.

For its Android test, AV-Comparatives pitted security products from ten popular vendors against a test set of 3,601 malicious apps. 

A built-in security solution is somewhat expected to not perform as well as dedicated products, but Google Play Protect fell way behind...

By Ryan Daws, 30 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms, Security.

US sanctions hit GitHub developers in North Korea, Crimea, Iran, and more

Developers in several countries are finding their use of GitHub’s repository service restricted following US trade sanctions.

GitHub has implemented new restrictions on developers in North Korea, Crimea, Iran, Syria, and Cuba. Public and open-source repos are unaffected, but private and paid accounts will face new limitations.

Nat Friedman, CEO of GitHub, tweeted an explanation for the restrictions: "We have gone to great lengths to do no...

By Ryan Daws, 29 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry.

Mozilla criticises Facebook’s political ad API as being ‘inadequate’

Privacy advocates Mozilla have called out Facebook’s political ad API as ‘inadequate’ and not working as it should.

Social media is a powerful tool, especially for those wanting to influence a massive number of people. The reach and potential anonymity of social media have led to huge disinformation campaigns often designed for political manipulation.

Intelligence agencies often point the finger at Russia for many of these disinformation campaigns. Infamous ‘troll farms’ use bots...

By Ryan Daws, 26 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, Social media.

Opinion: WearOS may yet be revived amid potential Huawei Watch 3

Google’s fledgeling wearable platform WearOS may be given a shot at a revival following a certification indicating that Huawei is releasing a new device.

Huawei is widely considered to have been WearOS’ best device manufacturer. Despite lacklustre sales across WearOS devices, the Huawei Watch 1 and 2 continue to be among the most stellar of smartwatches.

Fossil and Mobvoi have become WearOS’ biggest manufacturers in recent years. Huawei has focused on its own OS for smartwatches with more...

By Ryan Daws, 23 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Industry, Platforms, Wearables.

Progress releases NativeScript 6.0 framework to speed up cross-platform development

Progress Software has released the latest version of its NativeScript framework, helping to speed up cross-platform development.

NativeScript enables up to 70 percent of code from a web app to be reused for developing native software for mobile.

The latest version of the framework adds:

  • Support for Angular 8 and Vue.js, in addition to TypeScript and JavaScript.

  • Support for the new Ivy rendering engine.

  • Support for the new Android X library, enabling the use of the latest features of the newest Android versions when shipped.

  • The ability to consume third-party libraries directly in iOS.

Progress has...

By Ryan Daws, 18 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Industry, iOS, Mobile.

Google bans yet another Chinese app developer for invasive ads

Google has banned a Chinese app developer for violating its advertising policies shortly after booting another from the Play Store.

CooTek, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has found itself on Google’s naughty list and had dozens of its app removed.

The company is most well known in Western countries for its TouchPal keyboard but also had a range of apps spanning various categories. CooTek predominately focused on health-oriented apps such as HiFit, Abs Workout, Breeze (a meditation...

By Ryan Daws, 17 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Android, Industry, Mobile.

Samsung releases a blockchain SDK for smartphone dApps

Samsung continues to put its weight behind blockchain technology with the release of an SDK for building dApps.

DApps – as in ‘Decentralised Applications,’ not the British dialect for rubber-soled shoes – promise to function without a middleman and are beyond the control of any single entity. A decentralised Twitter, for example, would be resistant to censorship and once messages are published they could not even be erased by the creator of the app.

As of writing, there are

By Ryan Daws, 12 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Industry, Mobile, Samsung.

Apple launches accelerator in China to boost app design and development

Apple has cut the ribbon on its first app design and development accelerator in China.

The accelerator, located in Shanghai, aims to help Apple scale its operation in one of the world’s biggest markets.

Apple will hold regular lectures and networking sessions for developers at its new accelerator. All of Apple’s platforms will be covered, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS.

Enwei Xie, Apple’s Head of Developer Relations in Greater China, said:

"Local...

By Ryan Daws, 11 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Design, iOS, Mac, Mobile, Platforms.

Huawei founder provides more details about HongMeng OS

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has provided more details about the company’s upcoming Android replacement OS, HongMeng.

Speaking to French outlet Le Point, Zhengfei boasted of HongMeng’s speed. Zhengfei claims the new OS has a processing delay of under five milliseconds and that it will be faster than Android or even macOS.

Developer understands

By Ryan Daws, 08 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystem, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Google subsidiary Wing is first to use a new drone safety API

A subsidiary of Google called Wing is the first to use a new drone safety API developed by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Project Wing is an autonomous delivery drone service aiming to increase access to goods, reduce traffic congestion in cities, and help ease the CO2 emissions attributable to the transportation of goods.

Wing is also developing a platform enabling unmanned aircraft to navigate around other drones, manned aircraft, and other obstacles like trees, buildings, and...

By Ryan Daws, 03 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: API, IoT.

Project Catalyst: Apple explains how porting iPad apps to macOS works

Apple’s freshly minted Project Catalyst team has provided further details on how it’s managed to achieve iPad app porting to macOS.

The macOS store launched in 2011 but has failed to gain the traction of its iOS counterpart. To help fix this, Apple announced Project Catalyst at this year’s WWDC.

Project Catalyst aims to make it easy for developers to port their iPadOS apps to macOS Catalina. Apple claimed basic porting was as simple as opening their iPad project Xcode (currently only in the...

By Ryan Daws, 02 July 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Design, Development Tools, iOS, iPad, Mac, Platforms.