Apple developers break $70 billion earnings as Swift Playgrounds expands to educate the next generation

Apple has announced developers total earnings from the App Store have now crossed $70 billion and the company is expanding Swift Playgrounds to educate the next generation of developers.

In the past twelve months alone, downloads in the App Store have grown over 70 percent.

“People everywhere love apps and our customers are downloading them in record numbers,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. He added, “Seventy billion dollars earned by...

By Ryan Daws, 02 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS.

Automotive Grade Linux will debut on the 2018 Toyota Camry

Toyota has decided to use Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) for its 2018 Camry model.

The car manufacturing giant wanted a flexible platform which enabled a quick rollout of all the features today’s consumers are coming to expect from their infotainment systems, and the company decided AGL fit that purpose.

"The flexibility of the AGL platform allows us to quickly roll-out Toyota's infotainment system across our vehicle lineup, providing customers with greater connectivity and new functionalities at...

By Ryan Daws, 31 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Platforms.

Apple launches a curriculum for schools teaching Swift

Apple has launched a curriculum for schools teaching app development using the company’s beloved Swift programming language.

Now available on the iBooks store, the ‘App Development with Swift’ curriculum is a full-year course designed by Apple’s engineers and educators which aims to help students get started with various elements of app design.

“We’ve seen firsthand the impact that coding has on individuals and the US economy as a whole. The app economy and software...

By Ryan Daws, 26 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Mac, Platforms.

IFTTT allows individual developers to build applets

IFTTT has become invaluable for connecting various products and services together, but it was limited to its large partners in the past. Today, however, the platform is opening its virtual doors to individual developers to build and publish applets for anyone.

For those uninitiated, IFTTT (If This Then That) allows people to create ‘recipes’ which help to maximise the potential of products and services. For example, a high carbon dioxide level detected by a Netatmo Weather Station at home could...

By Ryan Daws, 24 May 2017, 1 comment. Categories: API, IoT, Platforms.

Google helps developers take VR ideas from a Daydream to reality

Google made several big VR announcements during its annual I/O developer conference including the launch of new tools which aim to further improve the quality of content.

The VR industry has matured significantly over the past year – so much that BAFTA has rightly begun recognising some of the best examples alongside its renowned awards for film and TV. But for every good example, if we’re honest, there are more terrible examples as designers and developers get to grips with this relatively new...

By Ryan Daws, 19 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Platforms, VR.

Opinion: Google is shifting the focus away from traditional apps

Google’s announcements during their annual I/O developer conference demonstrate the company is beginning to shift the focus away from traditional download-and-install apps.

Downloading, installing, logging in or setting up an account, and navigating the app to find the content we’re looking for is a process many of us have gone through for decades. When you think about it, the process is cumbersome and overdue for modernisation.

Consumers have been able to stream music, videos, and even some...

By Ryan Daws, 18 May 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Skills for Alexa will soon push notifications to devices

Skills for Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa will soon be able to send push notifications to supported devices.

The notifications could alert users to new content available on their Echo or other Alexa-supported devices with a chime and pulsing green light. Announced this morning, Washington Post, Life360, JustEat, and AccuWeather will be among the first four skills with the ability to push notifications to users who opt-in to receive alerts (which can be done on a skill-by-skill basis.)

In the...

By Ryan Daws, 17 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, IoT, Platforms.

NVIDIA will teach deep-learning skills to 100,000 developers in 2017 as part of AI push

NVIDIA has announced plans to train 100,000 developers this year in deep-learning skills to help reach its ambitions to be an industry-leader in artificial intelligence.

Over the past week, NVIDIA has made several AI-related announcements including unveiling the NVIDIA Metropolis intelligent video analytics platform which intends to make “cities safer and smarter by applying deep learning to video streams for applications such as public safety, traffic management,...

By Ryan Daws, 09 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Oculus closes the curtain on its VR film studio and intends to make its tools open source

Oculus is closing down its award-winning VR film studio, Oculus Story Studio, and intends to make its tools open source.

The award-winning studio is responsible for some of the most groundbreaking VR film content yet – including short films such as “Dear Angelica” and “Henry” which stole the hearts of many viewers. The latter won both an Emmy and BAFTA award.

“We’ve been looking at the best way to allocate our resources to create an impact on the ecosystem,”...

By Ryan Daws, 05 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Platforms, VR.

Raspberry Pi developers can now access Google’s AI – if they purchase the Voice HAT

Popular UK-based small computer manufacturer Raspberry Pi has launched a new accessory which provides developers with access to Google’s advanced AI.

Artificial intelligence has received a renewed focus over the past few years; primarily due to the emergence of the IoT. Just earlier today, Amazon announced plans for a UK expansion dedicated to AI and machine-learning which will see 400...

By Ryan Daws, 04 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, IoT, Platforms.

Facebook appears to reject more code from its female engineers

A former engineer at Facebook used data compiled over five years in a bid to prove there's a gender bias at the social networking giant against its female employees.

The compiled data shows female engineers’ code being rejected 35 percent more than males during the review process. While this alone rings some alarm bells, the fact that females waited for 3.9 percent longer on average for their code to be reviewed, and received 8.2 percent more comments, just adds evidence to the bias claim.

Facebook...

By Ryan Daws, 03 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Industry.

Apple slashes affiliate app commission by almost 65 percent

According to a document obtained by MacStories’ Federico Viticci, Apple plans to slash the commission received for some affiliate referrals.

The rate, beginning May 1st, will be reduced by almost 65 percent to just 2.5 percent from the current 7 percent. The document indicates the reduced rate will only affect App Store and in-app purchase referrals, at least for now. Referrals for iTunes content such as music, movies, TV shows, and books will still receive the 7 percent rate.

Apple plans to slash the...

By Ryan Daws, 25 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Apple, Industry.

Research: The state of the video game industry in 2017

The release of two separate pieces of research from the ESA and Newzoo has provided an interesting look at the state of the video game industry in 2017.

“The video game industry excels because it anticipates demand – giving people what they want before they realise they want it – and drives trends in entertainment and across countless other sectors,” says Michael Gallagher, President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association.

In the ESA’s latest

By Ryan Daws, 21 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Industry, VR.

Facebook launched Android UI and VR frameworks during its F8 developer conference

Social behemoth Facebook used its F8 developer conference to launch two frameworks – one for Android UI, and the other for VR.

Litho

Facebook’s internal framework to build efficient UIs on Android is called Litho, and the company has been talking it up since last October (much to the frustration of the rest of us outside the company without access to it.)

The company built its own framework after finding Android’s standard tools for building scrollable lists were lacking for the complexity...

By Ryan Daws, 19 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Facebook, VR.

Google explains how to design optimal VR/AR experiences

As Google's UX engineer working on Daydream and Tango, Mary Cassin knows a thing or two about what makes the optimal VR/AR experience.

With VR adoption growing, we're learning new things every day about what makes a great and comfortable user experience. Google has vast resources to learn from its users and afford the odd pitfall along the way – but few of us have such a luxury.

Over the coming years, best practices are sure to adapt, but Cassin has shared her current findings on what could make...

By Ryan Daws, 13 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Design, Gaming, Industry, VR.

AMD: VR requires creators to 'rethink the Z'

VR is coming of age, but it will suffer unless creators ‘rethink the Z’ and don’t let content of the past define content of the future.

That was the message of AMD Corporate Vice President Roy Taylor in the opening keynote of VR World Congress. “Our understanding of virtual reality is seen through the prism of our current understanding, and our understanding is going to develop,” observes Taylor. Pioneering studies into how time distorts while in VR, and how pain can be decreased...

By Ryan Daws, 13 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, VR.

Opinion: Speculating about Xbox’s plans for VR

It's no surprise the Xbox team are working on VR – we've heard for a long time now the company has plans – but we've been left to piece together bits of information to speculate on the details.

AMD’s Corporate Vice President, Roy Taylor, may have slipped up today in announcing the company's partnership with Microsoft on VR for Xbox. While speaking of his company's past work with Sony on PSVR, Taylor also said: "and with Xbox in the future."

After Oculus started...

By Ryan Daws, 12 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Microsoft, Platforms, VR.

NHS England launches dedicated space for developers

As part of a new healthcare app initiative, NHS England has launched a dedicated online space for developers alongside a library to discover approved software.

The new space for developers can be found here and provides access to appropriate health-related data, tools, and a testing facility for apps. Features which enable validation and authorisation are in the pipeline and will be added soon.

“Our vision is to transform the way people experience the NHS, by designing digital health...

By Ryan Daws, 11 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Development Tools, Industry.

Algoriddim shows off Microsoft’s Bridge capabilities with port of djay Pro

App developer Algoriddim has shown off the capabilities of Microsoft’s iOS app porting tool, Bridge, with the release of their complex djay Pro app on Windows 10.

The app store of iOS has long been the envy of Windows fans. Microsoft has attempted to lure app developers into bringing their iOS apps to Windows 10 with the release of their ‘Bridge’ porting tool which makes it relatively trivial to bring apps from iOS over to Windows.

“We’re thrilled to unveil djay Pro for...

By Ryan Daws, 10 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Development Tools, Industry, iOS, Microsoft, Platforms.

Android Things Developer Preview 3 is out with full support for Bluetooth and USB

The third major developer preview of Android Things is now out and it adds full support for vital connectivity options.

Bluetooth remains important for many IoT deployments and today’s addition to Google’s platform will be welcome news for many developers. First noted back in February, the latest developer preview adds support for Android’s existing APIs for both standard Bluetooth and its BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sibling.

Now, applications designed for Android Things can interface with custom...

By Ryan Daws, 07 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, IoT, Platforms.