Opinion: Chromecast is a home trojan horse

Whilst the focus at I/O this year was on Android TV, Google hasn't forgotten Chromecast. Yesterday, the web giant posted an update to the Cast SDK which will allow developers to cut many lines of code from their applications for the device as well as improving the Media Player Library.

But although most of the improvements are not the most exciting, there is one addition which may pique some people's interests...

The "route selector" now shows the name of the receiver app...

By Ryan Daws, 09 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, Platforms.

Visual Studio is preparing to be your complete cross-platform IDE with new Unity support

Microsoft's popular IDE, Visual Studio, is being set-up to be the one-stop-shop for cross-platform development with a new prowess for game development. The new abilities will arrive via Microsoft's purchase of UnityVS developers, SyntaxTree, for an undisclosed price.

On their blog, SyntaxTree wrote: "It's an exciting day at SyntaxTree. We are very proud to announce that, as of today, SyntaxTree - including the team that...

By Ryan Daws, 04 July 2014, 2 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, iOS, Microsoft, Platforms, Testing.

Facebook's user-manipulating A/B testing under investigation

Facebook's testing of emotion-manipulation using their unaware users has caught the attention of a UK regulator. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into whether Facebook violated data collection laws during their study.

In one of the tests, Facebook removed positive posts from thousands of users and measured whether the amount of negative posts grew as an impact. Can you imagine if a person suffering from depression goes on Facebook to be filled with...

By Ryan Daws, 02 July 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Facebook, Testing.

We may get our first taste of Windows 9 this year

Windows 8 hasn't been Microsoft's biggest success. The OS is barely a blip on the chart with only a 6% install base, whilst older versions such as 7 and XP continue to grow despite the overall decline of the PC market. There are those who would argue the OS brought some forward-thinking features; but before the OEMs were ready for them.

Microsoft released the ‘Surface Pro’ which displayed the optimum form factor for the OS, but was considered too "clunky" to be used as a tablet for the...

By Ryan Daws, 01 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Platforms, Testing.

Google Glass runs into data protection issues in the UK

The controversial Google Glass has had its fair share of privacy criticisms but up until now has run into few actual legal issues. This week, the eyewear launched in the UK for wealthy tech enthusiasts and has already ran into potential trouble with Britain's data protection rules.

In a blog post by Andrew Paterson, the senior technology officer at the Information Commissioner's Office, he wrote that Glass users are free to use...

By Ryan Daws, 27 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Platforms.

Google’s Material Design pays homage to Microsoft’s flat, cross-platform Modern UI

Few would call Microsoft pioneers of design. Whilst their software is powerful, its design has historically been utilitarian rather than beautiful. Apple got its name in this department, and as a result, many of the best UI designers adopted iOS and Mac.

An account, granted by a Microsoft designer, tells of the fundamental shift within the company with its approach to design over recent years. If it wasn’t obvious from the outside to see how the flat,...

By Ryan Daws, 26 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Design, Platforms.

Google I/O 2014: Grab a Lollipop, check your Wear, and prepare your TV

Google VP, Sundar Pichai, confirmed yesterday we’ll see the next version of Android today – a break from the tradition of releasing later in the year alongside new hardware. In an in-depth profile piece on Bloomberg, Pichai said: "I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner.”

Releasing a preview this early before a general release later this year adds credence to a complete

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Kii discusses solving the Cloud, IoT, and China localisation

DeveloperTech (DT) caught up with Phani Pandrangi (PP) to discuss some of the industry’s biggest topics such as how the company is easing the transitional period we are seeing to the Cloud, as well as how to take advantage of the mighty market of China. Pandrangi is the Chief Product Officer at Kii, a carrier-grade Cloud-orientated mobile app development platform.

DT: The Cloud is undoubtedly the biggest topic for developers at the moment. How is Kii helping it to be utilised to its full potential?

PP: So our...

By Ryan Daws, 24 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Cloud, Development Tools, Platforms.

Learning with Microsoft's Azure Machine

Our machines aren't quite as self-aware as Skynet yet, despite Elon Musk's fears, but that doesn't mean they aren't learning. Behind many modern systems is some amount of machine-learning; Google, for example, uses it to build their vast "knowledge graph" to link data sets to one another and create an engine which can find almost any answer available on the internet (and can you think of much that isn't?)

Microsoft also uses it for...

By Ryan Daws, 23 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Development Tools, Enterprise, Platforms.

Opinion: Microsoft could be a serious Android OEM (for the consumer.)

Before Nokia was acquired by Microsoft, the Finnish company released an Android device they had been secretly working on for some time called the 'X' phone. It was clear Nokia was preparing a backup plan for if Windows Phone doesn't pull significant market-share.

Rather than going with their own UI, the company decided to heavily-skin Google's open-source Android device to look and function as if it was a Windows Phone. Few debate Microsoft's flat-before-flat-was-cool interface offers a refreshing take on a...

By Ryan Daws, 20 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Microsoft, Platforms.

Opinion: Amazon's "Fire Phone" burns creators, feeds consumers

Rather than teaching the next-generation to create, we're teaching them to consume. Amazon unveiled its anticipated Fire Phone yesterday and the company has removed almost all of Android's productive abilities and replaced them with the ability to easily buy and consume Amazon content. It really solidifies the viewpoint.

One of the key features of the Fire Phone is 'Firefly' where you can point at almost any object with the device's camera in order to purchase it. This is an impressive feat of technology, but...

By Ryan Daws, 19 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Android, App Stores, Devices, Platforms.

Built.io builds an app-building relationship with AppGyver

AppGyver was founded in 2011 to allow rapid mobile application development. It started with ‘Prototyper’ for app prototyping, and ‘Steroids’ for the development of native-quality HTML5 applications. Back in May, the company added ‘Composer’ which is an incredibly easy visual tool for cheating your way to high-performance apps via a drag-and-drop process.

Built.io on the other hand is a powerful BaaS product from Raw...

By Ryan Daws, 18 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Cloud, iOS, Languages, Platforms.

Testbirds’ “Bring Your Own Crowd” tests Enterprise apps securely and efficiently

DeveloperTech spoke to Munich-based TestBirds’ Managing Director, Philipp Benkler, about a new important tool in the fight for bug-free and hassle-free applications in large enterprises. The crowdtesting company dubs the concept “Bring Your Own Crowd” which will undoubtedly be shortened to BYOC and become another acronym for us all to remember!

When you have a small number of employees, there’s the option of doing your testing in-house to ensure apps are working...

By Ryan Daws, 17 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Android, iOS, Platforms, Testing.

Android vs iOS vs WP8: The Battle of Fitness

Summer is here, and many of us are coming to terms with the effects comfort-eating over the previous three seasons has had on our stomachs. I myself have taken up running using RunKeeper alongside a whole host of sit-ups, push-ups, and squats apps from Runtastic's fantastic suite of applications in the hope I can take my top off poolside without ending up with the beach to myself (although that doesn't sound half bad.)

The apps I chose specifically because they all sync with

By Ryan Daws, 13 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iOS, Microsoft, Platforms.

Google (and Android) is getting a redesign and this is the "Quantum Paper" behind it...

DeveloperTech predicted in April that the next version of Android will be getting a complete makeover much like Apple's iOS 7. It wasn't the most outrageous of claims, in fact it was rather obvious, but if you had any doubt left then Google's internal framework for the company's new design ethos across products has come to light...

Dubbed the 'Quantum Paper' framework, it details Google's new design principles to unify the company's design across Android apps and...

By Ryan Daws, 12 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Platforms, Testing.

Xbox One's Kinect removal pushes titles to 1080p, but there's a far more exciting future on the Horizon...

Microsoft has been under the microscope for their Xbox One console released last year with some developers finding it hard to reach the native 1080p resolution synonymous with this generation. A big part of the reason this has been so hard until now is that, despite the Xbox One's GPU already being less powerful than the PlayStation 4's, Microsoft also reserved 10% of the GPU power for its Kinect peripheral.

This crippling reservation was even present in games which do not use Kinect. In this month's update,...

By Ryan Daws, 11 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Gaming, Platforms, Testing.

Apple is "killing in the name of" future headphones

If there is two things you can agree on with Apple, it's that A) The company likes to take even the most simple things and try to do them differently, and B) They very much like proprietary things which work exclusively with their devices.

Apple recently bought Beats, which started its journey as a overly-priced headphones manufacturer with distinct design. Apart from being much like its new owner, many wondered why Apple would want Beats. Maybe it's to continue the company's "cool" image amongst the kids?...

By Ryan Daws, 09 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Apple, Devices, iOS.

DirectX 12, Metal, Mantle... Low-level gaming API market is getting a bit Mental!

2014 is quickly becoming the year of the low-level gaming APIs. Performance is able to be boosted in ways you could convince yourself you were experiencing new, more powerful hardware through getting closer to the "metal" of the GPU when developing the latest titles.

The first to make the headlines in recent years was AMD's 'Mantle' which allows for deep-access to the company's range of GPUs. Games were patched with support for its APIs including DICE's...

By Ryan Daws, 06 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, iOS, Platforms, Testing.

Opinion: Why I’m sticking to Android despite newly-level playing field…

I’ve never been considered an Apple “fanboy” but I was a big iPhone fan up until last year when I converted. I was never caught up in the hype of the original iPhone, sure it had multi-touch, but it didn’t have the applications I even had on my Symbian-based N95 despite many wrongly thinking Apple created apps on the smartphone. Indisputably however, it brought a new level of hardware design and showed us a future of what a smartphone should be with its innovative multi-touch. When the...

By Ryan Daws, 03 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iOS, Platforms.