Amazon Polly adds over 50 TTS voices to Twilio's platform

Twilio’s communications platform has added over 50 Text-To-Speech (TTS) voices thanks to Amazon's deep learning-based Polly service.

Amazon Polly offers lifelike synthesized speech across various languages.

“You can select the ideal voice and build speech-enabled applications that work in many different countries,” says Amazon on Polly’s page.

Twilio is a cloud-based platform which aims to make it easy for developers to build...

By Ryan Daws, 07 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API, Platforms.

Fortnite bypassing the Play Store will cause Android changes

Fortnite is a phenomenon that Android users have waited a long time for, but the decision to bypass the Play Store will have consequences for the platform.

The battle royale game is an undeniable hit. According to SuperData Research in May, Fortnite had generated $296 million in the month of April across mobile, console, and PC platforms. This year, it’s expected to make developer Epic Games as much as $2 billion.

When it released on iOS, Fortnite earned...

By Ryan Daws, 06 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Ecosystem, Gaming, Mobile, Platforms.

Apple shutters affiliate commissions for apps in the App Store

Effective as of October 1st, Apple will no longer provide affiliate commissions for referrals to apps on its App Store.

The move is of particular concern to publishers who focus on game and app reviews for iOS and Mac. While the commission Apple provides is only around 2.5 percent, a small percentage of the company’s revenue, they are of large importance to such websites.

Following the change, it’s likely there are many publishers out there concerned about how they’re going to make up for...

By Ryan Daws, 03 August 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Apple, App Stores, Industry, iOS, Mac.

CoinMarketCap launches ‘professional’ API for crypto data

Popular crypto data website CoinMarketCap has launched a ‘professional’ API which offers enhancements over its standard API.

The new API is the result of a lot of inbound requests for CoinMarketCap’s data from developers and provides "additional endpoints, more calls, higher rate limits, exchange and market and historical data for the commercial tiers."

CoinMarketCap believes the API provides developers with the data they need for many of their...

By Ryan Daws, 02 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API.

Research: Key insights from the UK developer job market

The number of UK vacancies for developers has increased by four percent over the last two years, according to research by Joblift.

Joblift is a job search platform that also monitors for notable changes in the career market. The findings in their latest research is evidence of the growing appetite for developers.

Seven percent of all vacancies listed in the last 12 months requested programming expertise. These vacancies increased by an average of four percent each month, double the rate of the...

By Ryan Daws, 01 August 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Careers, Industry, Languages.

Google sets Android P guidelines for ‘notch’-featuring devices

Android P is nearing release and so Google has set out its guidelines for how the ‘notch’ found on many new devices should be accommodated.

Love it or hate it, the notch has become mainstream. First marketed by the first ‘Essential’ smartphone and quickly followed by other Android manufacturers to maximise the screen-to-device ratio, even Apple has adopted it with the iPhone X.

On the Android Developers

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Design, Mobile, Platforms, Testing.

Android joins iOS in banning cryptocurrency mining apps

Google has decided Android will follow Apple’s policy of banning apps used for mining cryptocurrencies from its app store.

Last month, Developer reported Apple’s guidelines were updated to state the company will no longer allow cryptocurrency mining apps on the iOS App Store.

"Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency...

By Ryan Daws, 27 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

VLC drops Huawei device support due to background restrictions

The developers of popular media app VLC have decided to drop support for Huawei devices because of their aggressive killing of background activities.

VLC reportedly faced many poor reviews of its app on the Play Store due to an issue out of their hands relating to the “ridiculous” way that Huawei handles apps running in the background.

Notably, the developers highlight that Huawei does not apply the same policy to their own apps on Android.

By Ryan Daws, 26 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Mobile, Platforms.

Twitter removes 143k apps while tightening access to its APIs

Twitter is taking a stricter approach to how developers use its APIs in addition to the removal of 143,000 apps failing to be compliant with its policies.

Starting with a new application process, developers will need to first apply for a developer account using the portal at developer.twitter.com.

Prospective applicants will need to provide detailed information about how they intend to use Twitter’s APIs before they’re provided access.

If a developer who has previously been...

By Ryan Daws, 25 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Platforms, Social media.

Facebook makes the UK its largest engineering base outside the US

London is now Facebook’s largest software engineering base outside the United States following another huge investment in the UK.

Seven months after taking a large site in west London, Facebook has leased 600,000 sq ft at three buildings in King’s Cross.

The buildings can provide employment for 6,000 employees, offering a significant boon to the economy.

Steve Hatch, Facebook’s Managing Director for Northern Europe, said:

“The UK is one of the best places in the...

By Ryan Daws, 24 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Facebook, Industry.

Play Store increasingly beats App Store downloads, but revenue is still an issue

The number of Play Store downloads of apps continues to beat the App Store, but the latter remains leagues ahead in generating revenue.

According to figures by App Annie, downloads on the Play Store have increased 20 percent year-on-year. That’s impressive enough, but put in the context that represents 160 percent more growth than Apple’s iOS App Store – well, it’s quite staggering.

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Ecosystem, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Android Q may use the Vulkan graphics API for UI rendering

A comment left by a Google engineer suggests the company is preparing a switch to the Vulkan graphics API for its UI rendering.

The engineer’s comment was posted on the Chromium gerrit instance with regards to a bug report for the upcoming support of Vulkan in the Chrome browser for Android.

Currently, Google still partly uses Skia for its graphics rendering – a 2D engine used for Chrome, Chrome OS, Android, and more.

As of Android 3.0, the...

By Ryan Daws, 19 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API.

Chrome OS will recommend installing Android apps during setup

Google is advancing its goal to bring its mobile and desktop platforms closer together by recommending installing Android apps during the setup of ChromeOS.

The company first announced support for Android apps in ChromeOS back in 2016 with just six Chromebooks initially compatible. That initial support was riddled with bugs and issues.

Since then, support for over 80 Chromebooks has been added. The stability of Android apps on the platform has also improved substantially.

Support for Android apps hasn’t...

By Ryan Daws, 13 July 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Android, Platforms.

Apps in the Microsoft Store are blocked from downloading content

Developers are finding their apps in the Microsoft Store are being prevented from downloading external content such as images and videos.

The developer of Monocle Giraffe, an app for browsing Imgur, has posted an email he received from Microsoft after submitting an update:

monocle

The downloads banned from the app were, presumably, videos and photos from Imgur. Akshay Zade, the developer of Monocle Giraffe, says he’ll be...

By Ryan Daws, 12 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Microsoft, Platforms.

Google gives its Android Emulator some Hyper-V and AMD love

Google has announced support for Microsoft’s Hyper-V and AMD processors as part of an update to its official Android Emulator.

According to Android Product Manager Jamal Eason, the new features are two of the most requested by users.

Support for users with AMD processors is unsurprising as they were previously unable to emulate using Google’s official tools. While most PCs use Intel processors, AMD’s market share is growing...

By Ryan Daws, 10 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Platforms, Testing.

Apple appears to be cracking the whip on Vulkan-Metal hybrid MoltenVK

Apple appears to be cracking down on the use of a hybrid graphics API which is a cross between Apple’s proprietary Metal and the open source Vulkan.

MoltenVK allows developers to use Vulkan in their programs, but the library then makes Metal API calls allowing the apps to run on iOS and macOS.

Apple has refused to update a game from an indie studio which uses MoltenVK.

MoltenVK 1.1.73 was being used without any modification. Had some tweaks been used, it would provide another potential reason for the...

By Ryan Daws, 09 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, Gaming.

Growing up fast: Apple's iOS App Store is about to turn 10 years old

Apple is preparing to celebrate the 10-year birthday of the iOS App Store, over which it's seen phenomenal growth and success for developers.

The App Store was introduced on July 10th 2008 with 500 apps. At the time, it was already impressive for a mobile app store.

Now, that number has swelled to over two million apps.

Phil Schiller, SVP Worldwide Marketing at Apple, says:

“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations — from the innovative apps that...

By Ryan Daws, 06 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Industry, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Facebook tightens security of some APIs in platform changes

Amid the continued fallout after Cambridge Analytica took advantage of Facebook’s APIs, the social media giant is making several platform changes.

For anyone who’s been living under a rock, election data firm Cambridge Analytica partnered with an app which used prior versions of Facebook’s advertising API to collect data on at least 87 million users without their consent.

Investigations...

By Ryan Daws, 03 July 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, API, Facebook, Platforms.

GitLab's shift from Azure to GCP is not due to ex-GitHub users

GitLab is shifting from Azure to Google Cloud but says its decision was not due to users who migrated from GitHub following its Microsoft acquisition.

Following the news of Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub, traffic spiked of people using GitLab’s tool for importing projects from the world’s biggest Git service. It’s clear developers still have very...

By Ryan Daws, 26 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Development Tools, Git, Industry, Platforms.

Facebook leaked developer reports to external app testers

Facebook’s woes over its handling of user data continue as it admits to leaking private information to external app testers.

The company accidentally sent analytic reports intended for developers and their direct employees to external app testers.

None of the emails contained personal information, but they did contain data which should be kept private to the developer such as views, average users, and other information which could be especially useful to a competitor.

Fortunately, only a small...

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Analytics, Development Tools, Facebook, Industry, Platforms, Testing.