Dear Apple, Open up or be left behind…

Four years ago, Steve Jobs announced iOS’ video-calling feature ‘FaceTime’ would become Open so applications can be built cross-platform for the benefit of everyone. iOS users can keep in touch with their contacts in the bigger market which is the Android ecosystem, and vice-versa.

iOS users are still limited to calling each other. Despite adding features like FaceTime Audio (shouldn’t that be VoiceTime?) we're without a way to get in touch with our non-iDevice counterparts.

There's a...

By Ryan Daws, 22 April 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, iPad, Platforms.

Google’s Android 5.0 will be design-focused

Before the release of Android 4.4 “KitKat” DeveloperTech predicted version 5.0 of the OS would see a focus on a complete redesign above all else. The functionality and capabilities of Android is ahead of the competition – but few would call stock ‘droid the prettiest OS of the bunch.

Closest rival, Apple, had a design-focus in iOS7 removing all “skeuomorphic” elements and going for a flat-design reminiscent...

By Ryan Daws, 17 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Platforms, Testing.

Report shows in-app purchases to be most lucrative

Have you noticed the rise in applications making use of in-app purchases? A new report from VentureBeat Intel shows these developers have good reason to implement them; after all, they are by far the most lucrative method of monetisation.

The report collates data taken from 176 various developers across 1,000 different games to get a clear idea of how others can profit from their works.

It takes into account the cost-effectiveness of implementing the various methods...

By Ryan Daws, 16 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, iOS, Marketing, Monetisation.

Android vs. iOS: "Originality" shots fired over new docs

Even if you keep out of the firing range you are sure to have heard the “copy” shots between the passionate Android and iOS camps. With each OS release, features are borrowed from one another in a bid to one-up the competition…

“Good artists copy, but great artists steal” one Pablo Picasso said, a quote more recently repeated by Apple founder Steve Jobs. Despite this, Jobs declared “thermonuclear war” on Android due to seeing the platform as a direct replica of...

By Ryan Daws, 14 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Industry, iOS, Platforms.

Firefox OS 2.0 wants to set iOS and Android ablaze

Everyone loves an underdog, but when it comes to your mobile OS unless you want to spend your days looking at the competitions’ full app stores – your choice comes between iOS, Android, and the fast-rising Windows Phone

Mozilla launched the first iteration of their plucky Firefox OS last year to little fanfare and a fair bit of confusion from consumers. Why was a web browser launching an OS? What can it do different from current beloved platforms?

The...

By Ryan Daws, 11 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: HTML5, Industry, Platforms.

Project Ara’s MDK and the smartphone “designed for 6 billion people.”

Google’s Project Ara is a forward-thinking device with the unique tagline of being able to call itself as “Designed exclusively for 6 billion people.”

If you’re unfamiliar, how can Ara make that bold yet valid claim? The device, or devices dependent on how you look at it, is compromised of modules which can be designed by any manufacturer to “swap” in and out as needed…

We all know how fast hardware advances, and there are a good proportion of us...

By Ryan Daws, 10 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms, Testing.

Chromecast and Android TV: Is there a world where both co-exist?

Google’s last play into the television market was the aptly-named, Google TV. Remember it? Not many will because it wasn’t what you could call a runaway success. Such a failure in fact that it was pulled completely and brushed under the rug.

But the company isn’t ready to give up the living room to Apple, Microsoft, Roku, or the many other companies vying to take over the biggest screen in our homes – and understandably so.

First up is

By Ryan Daws, 09 April 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Android, HTML5, Industry, Platforms, Testing.

Xbox Music: Bringing tunes to the masses (of apps)

Right this second I’m listening to Spotify competitor, Xbox Music. This is a service I’ve come to love and – since enabling music videos – has ended up becoming my go-to service daily for music consumption.

But from a game-changing move for developers at BUILD 2014; it may soon be enhancing your enjoyment without you even realising…

A new Xbox Music API wants to make the service’s “over 18 million tracks” available for use in any game or...

By Ryan Daws, 07 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, Industry, Platforms.

Microsoft: How our Cloud is enabling new gaming experiences…

At BUILD 2014 we’ve seen a lot of advancements regarding Windows and Windows Phone – but a lot us have been waiting for Microsoft to showcase how the much-hailed Cloud is going to help developers create brand-new gaming experiences...

During the company’s annual developer conference – a demonstration showed the differences between using the local power of (even a high-end) PC alone compared to using the same PC but with some Cloud-based assistance.

The performance when pitted...

By Ryan Daws, 04 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Development Tools, Gaming, Microsoft, Platforms.

BUILD 2014: Smart coffees, smarter devices, and the smartest AI?

Microsoft’s biggest event of the year, BUILD, is kicking off today and we already have pretty strong evidence regarding what to expect. But could Redmond shock us with any surprises?

This week Microsoft’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, had his first public appearance in an event to launch the long-anticipated Microsoft Office for Apple’s iPad tablet. Since, he has announced a reorganisation of his executive team…

Both his initial appearance and reorganisation plans have...

By Ryan Daws, 02 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Microsoft, Platforms.

Microsoft has a new star exec line-up, and it quells Xbox sell-off rumours…

Newly appointed Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, appears to be moving fast to break down the team barriers often said to be a barrier to innovation at the Redmond-based company. His latest shake-up announced in an email to employees today shows a promising future.

The new executive positions relate to the Cloud and Enterprise department, Devices Group, and the company’s consumer ‘Xbox’ brand recently rumoured to be sold to a...

By Ryan Daws, 01 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Microsoft, Platforms.

DRM-gate: A year later and it's Sony's turn

We didn’t even get to E3 last year before Microsoft and Sony both rushed to the stage and displayed the latest versions of their respective Xbox and PlayStation consoles…

Perhaps “rushed” was the key word in that opening sentence; both announcements many would agree felt underprepared and a result of not wanting to allow the rival party to have a head start in an industry where timing can mean make or break.

I’ll get this out the way first – I’m an Xbox person....

By Ryan Daws, 31 March 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Gaming, Industry, Monetisation, Platforms.

Opinion: Office 365, Microsoft's Cloud-based future, and why Google should be worried...

Newly-appointed Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, took the stage yesterday in his first public press conference to unveil the long-anticipated Office suite for Apple's iPad. 

Whilst instantaneously rejoiced by many long-term users of Office in homes, schools, and enterprises worldwide - many also asked the question whether it was too late for Microsoft to position itself as a competitor to Google's free web-based...

By Ryan Daws, 28 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Industry, Microsoft.

UK game industry rejoices as EU approves tax breaks

The European Commission has approved tax breaks for the UK video game industry which trade bodies estimate could result in a welcome £188 million extra per year for the rapidly-growing and increasingly important sector.

It comes after many years of campaigning for such a change – helping the UK to continue being a market-leading force in the global games industry.

Many high-profile UK game studios have closed in recent years; most-recently Blitz Games who shuttered their windows after 23 years in business. IGN...

By Ryan Daws, 27 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, Industry, Monetisation.

Facebook’s Oculus Rift acquisition continues the VR dream…

Virtual Reality (VR) is an inevitable future; and it’s one very-rapidly becoming realised thanks to the plucky-ambitions of Kickstarter-success Oculus and their ‘Rift’ headset. It’s an admirable story, and the headset – now in its second iteration – is nearing a consumer-ready device…

Unfortunately for Oculus, Sony is also nearing such a device in their “Project Morpheus” – which is also looking promising…

Then, albeit in a different space, there’s...

By Ryan Daws, 26 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Gaming, Industry, VR.

New ray-tracing GPU could result in more graphical prowess for future iDevices

As Apple’s long-standing graphics partner; any advancement from Imagination Technologies is worth noting for its probable inclusion in the next-generation of iDevices.

Apple's latest line-up; the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, and Retina iPad Mini – all feature the PowerVR G6430 in Apple’s A7 chip. At the iPhone 5S’ announcement, where the A7 was unveiled, the company had already boasted graphics 56x faster than the previous generation.

Now a successor graphics architecture, the PowerVR

By Ryan Daws, 25 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Gaming, iOS, Platforms.

Facebook’s new “PHP+” language is called ‘hack’

Back in the early days of the social-networking giant known as Facebook, it was coded in PHP by Mark Zuckerberg and his (then) small team. Of course as the website grew into the unstoppable force it is today, PHP became difficult to manage…

Facebook's open-source language, Hack, was born out of a necessity – and combines elements of static-type programming languages such as C or C++ with dynamic-type languages like PHP.

Most of PHP is already usable in Hack but requires...

By Ryan Daws, 24 March 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Development Tools, Facebook, Languages, Testing.

DirectX 12 blasts the past, takes aim at the future of gaming…

Whether you’re a developer or not – you’ll probably have some idea of the importance of DirectX if you’ve played games since its release back in 1995. DirectX is a collection of APIs which – although has a multitude of multimedia uses – focuses primarily on easing game development.

Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay, and DirectSound are the core components of DirectX and although had consistent updates up until 2009 – no major version had been released...

By Ryan Daws, 21 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Gaming, Microsoft, Platforms.

Android Wear: Google’s iPhone?

Google announced its dedicated ‘Android Wear’ platform for wearable devices alongside a cocktail of praise, awe, and ready-to-be-customers on social networks posting the typical “take my money!” remarks synonymous with a potentially game-changing announcement.

The last of such game-changers was, arguably, the first iPhone announcement. Google could – if played right – replicate the very same success which Apple still bathes in with the iPhone...

By Ryan Daws, 20 March 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

iOS8: What we know so far…

It’s that time of year again when rumours start circulating about what Apple has in-store for the next major upgrade of iOS, and when people start deciding (ahead of release) whether it’s going to be a success or the complete and sudden fall of the house of Apple…

iOS7 added little in terms of user-facing functionality – instead focusing efforts on a complete ‘flat’ redesign and removing the skeuomorphic design of Forstall’s time at Cupertino.

Without being given any...

By Ryan Daws, 14 March 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Development Tools, iOS, Platforms.