Octoverse 2019: Python slithers past Java to become GitHub’s second most popular language

GitHub has published its latest State of the Octoverse report which provides fascinating insights into the development industry.

As the world’s largest repository host, GitHub is in a fairly unique position to monitor trends among the developer community. The company’s new report has once again highlighted some important changes.

Top languages

Perhaps unsurprisingly, JavaScript retains the crown as the most-used programming language on GitHub over the past year.

The most interesting change is with...

By Ryan Daws, 08 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry, Languages, Python.

Google Cardboard goes open-source as VR SDK development halts

Google has open-sourced its Cardboard project as Mountain View winds down its mobile VR ambitions.

Cardboard was an impressive project which showed expensive hardware was not necessary for VR apps, but that it certainly helps.

In a blog post, Google wrote:

“From a giveaway at Google I/O to more than 15 million units worldwide, Cardboard has played an important role in introducing people to VR through experiences like

By Ryan Daws, 07 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Mobile, Platforms, VR.

TikTok releases SDK to help developers tap into the viral phenomenon

Viral hit app TikTok has released an SDK enabling third-party app developers to create and share to the short video service.

“The new TikTok SDK allows third-party apps an opportunity to extend their reach while giving users a wider selection of creative tools to help their videos match their vision. We’re excited to extend our creative offerings with our new developer program,” the company said in a blog...

By Ryan Daws, 05 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms, Social media.

Apple removes 18 iOS apps for fraudulent advertising activity

Apple has removed 18 iOS apps after determining they were being used to earn money for cybercriminals by conducting ad fraud.

The apps were found to be secretly clicking adverts to earn the attacker cash. While such conduct is not intrusive and may not even be noticeable by the user, it can slow down the device, use more data, and/or drain the battery faster.

Security researchers at Wandera discovered 17 of the infected apps which spanned a wide range of categories including productivity, utilities, and...

By Ryan Daws, 04 November 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Apple, App Stores, iOS, Mobile, Monetisation, Platforms, Security.

Farewell, benevolent dictator: Python creator Guido van Rossum retires

Guido van Rossum, the "benevolent dictator for life" creator of Python, is stepping down from his current role at Dropbox and hanging up his keyboard.

Dropbox hired van Rossum six and a half years ago. The hire made perfect sense, given the company uses about four million lines of Python code. When van Rossum started in 2011, Dropbox’s server and desktop client were written "almost exclusively in Python".

Over the years, other...

By Ryan Daws, 31 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Industry, Languages, Python.

Android 11 looks set to finally add wireless ADB for developers

Google appears set to finally add wireless ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to its mobile platform in the next major release, a feature highly-requested by developers.

ADB enables app developers to communicate between their PC and Android device. Once connected, it's used for sideloading APKs, generating logs, managing files, and more. 

Currently, ADB requires a wired connection.

With more PCs omitting USB ports – particularly laptops, in the pursuit of ever-slimmer devices – the ability for...

By Ryan Daws, 30 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Mobile, Platforms.

Project Treble is making a big difference to the speed of Android updates

Google’s Project Treble initiative to speed up Android updates and reduce fragmentation appears to be working.

Manufacturers of Android devices have a tendency to heavily modify the OS in an understandable bid to differentiate their offerings. The downside is that it takes such manufacturers a long time to deliver OS updates.

Aside from not providing access to all the latest and greatest features to users, Android fragmentation means developers have less certainty their apps will work as intended across...

By Ryan Daws, 24 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Google releases a new Android Automotive emulator for developers

Google has released a new Android Automotive emulator which provides a full replica of the OS to help developers test their apps.

While Android Auto essentially mirrors apps running from a connected Android device, Android Automotive is a full operating system designed for the car.

The tighter integration Android Automotive has with the vehicle opens new opportunities for developers, but it also makes robust testing in an emulator prior to real-world trials even more critical.

Google’s updated Android...

By Ryan Daws, 23 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms.

Samsung announces Bixby DevJam contest with $125k prize money

Samsung has announced the launch of Bixby DevJam, a contest with $125k prize money in total up-for-grabs.

Developers are tasked with developing new “Bixby Capsules” (voice apps, basically) which must be submitted and approved before December 9th to be eligible.

The overall winner will receive $10,000 while second and third place finalists will be awarded $5,000 each. A further five runner-ups will receive $1,000 each.

Winners of the following 20 store categories will also receive $1,000:

  • Art and lifestyle

  • Games and fun

  • News and magazines

  • Social

  • Business and finance

  • Health and fitness

  • Photography

  • Sports

  • Communication

  • Local

  • Productivity

  • Travel and...

By Ryan Daws, 21 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Samsung, Wearables.

Google is pulling open-source apps which feature donation buttons

Google is cracking down on open-source apps which feature a donation button to help support the developer’s work.

The open-source community has been riled up after WireGuard, a free VPN management app, was pulled unceremoniously from the Play Store for accepting donations.

"They (Google) said it was because we're in violation of their 'Payments Policy,' presumably because we have a link inside the app that opens the user's web browser to

By Ryan Daws, 17 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Industry, Mobile, Platforms.

Instagram launches Basic Display API and will deprecate its predecessor

Facebook has announced on its developer blog that Instagram is launching the full Basic Display API and deprecating its predecessor.

The final permission, Basic Permission, is being migrated from the Instagram Legacy API starting today.

With the migration of this final permission, the Basic Display API is now able to do all the expected interactions with Instagram such as importing photos, connect to Instagram profiles, and more.

Facebook's Instagram team have also made the following updates:

  • Introduced new features to enable users to decide what information they share, and to revoke...

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

App revenue is soaring with $21.9bn spent in Q3 alone, up 22.9% YoY

Research from Sensor Tower reveals a range of insights about the app development industry and its rapid growth.

Sensor Tower’s research shows app development is a more lucrative business than ever with almost $22 billion spent in the third quarter alone. The huge spending represents an increase of close to 23 percent over last year’s Q3 2019 spend of $17.9 billion.

sensortower

As the chart above shows, the App...

By Ryan Daws, 11 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, App Stores, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

GitHub employees demand Microsoft cancels its contract with ICE

Microsoft is set to enter into a controversial contract with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and GitHub staff are demanding it’s cancelled.

The contract is worth $200,000 but ICE has repeatedly come under fire from rights campaigners after a string of abuses, including the highly-publicised separation and detention of migrant children from their families.

Here’s the open letter addressed to GitHub’s CEO and leadership team:

By Ryan Daws, 10 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Ethics, Git, Industry, Microsoft.

Beijing warns Apple to ‘think about the consequences’ after Hong Kong app controversy

China says Apple needs to “think about the consequences” after reinstating a Hong Kong protest app following a backlash.

Apple has found itself in an unwinnable position amid the Hong Kong protests against the Chinese government.

Earlier this week, Apple received backlash for banning HKMap Live – an app which crowdsources the locations of protests, police, tear gas, ambulances, water cannons, and more – from the App Store.

The developer of HKMap Live criticised Apple for the...

By Ryan Daws, 09 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Ethics, iOS, Mobile.

Google releases web app for Grasshopper, a tool which teaches basic coding

Google has released a web version of its Grasshopper app, a tool which teaches basic coding skills.

Grasshopper was first developed in Google’s experimental workshop called Area 120 and initially launched in 2018 as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. According to Google, millions of people have since downloaded Grasshopper.

In a blog post, an account is given of Sheila Eichenberger;...

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

Microsoft announces dual-screen Surface devices early to recruit Windows 10X devs

Microsoft has announced hardware due for release next year in a bid to recruit developers for Windows 10X, an OS designed for dual-screen devices.

Both of the new devices, Surface Duo and Surface Neo, have dual-screens and represent what Microsoft believes is the next popular form factor. The former is a futuristic smartphone, while the latter is designed to be a laptop replacement.

By Ryan Daws, 03 October 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Industry, Microsoft, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple doubles use of Swift in iOS 13 as it shifts away from Objective-C

An analysis shows that Apple’s own use of Swift has doubled in iOS 13 as it further distances itself from Objective-C.

First introduced by Apple in 2014, Swift is now the main programming language for development across Cupertino’s platforms. Adoption of Swift by third-party developers is high, but much of Apple’s operating system still uses Objective-C.

Of course, much of Apple’s reason to continue using Objective-C code within its operating systems is that it’s legacy code...

By Ryan Daws, 27 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Languages, Mobile, Platforms.

ICE cold: Developer removes his Ruby library after discovering it was used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A developer has removed his Ruby library after discovering that it was used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE has been called out by human rights groups and activists for inhumane practices. Most of us saw the headlines and images of children stripped from their parents and kept in cages in detainment centres.

Seth Vargo is an engineer that developed Chef Sugar, a Ruby library which aimed to simplify working with configuration management platform Chef.

Vargo has since taken down Chef Sugar...

By Ryan Daws, 23 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Git, Industry.

Microsoft’s free new font Cascadia is designed for developers

Microsoft has released a free new font called Cascadia which has been designed to be aesthetically-pleasing for coders.

With Microsoft debuting its new Windows Terminal command-line experience during the company’s Build conference this year, Redmond decided that developers should also be treated to a new font.

In a blog post, Microsoft program manager Kayla Cinnamon wrote:

“It is the latest monospaced font shipped from...

By Ryan Daws, 20 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft.

Huawei is offering up $1.5 billion to woo software developers 

Huawei is putting over a billion dollars on the line in a bid to lure software developers into supporting its platforms amid uncertainties.

The beleaguered Chinese tech giant announced on Wednesday that it will invest $1.5 billion in its developer program over the next five years.

Huawei’s developer program was first announced in 2015. The company says that it has supported more than 1.3 million developers and 14,000 independent software vendors around the world through its program.

Much of the newly-pledged cash...

By Ryan Daws, 18 September 2019, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Mobile, Platforms.