Mercedes-Benz provides an API for its connected vehicles

Daimler-owned automotive giant Mercedes-Benz has launched a new API for its connected vehicles.

The API provides access to some data and features of the supported vehicles. On the data side, developers can request access for things such as vehicle location, fuel level, and tyre pressure.

For obvious safety reasons, developers cannot access things such as steering control. However, they can have control of...

By Ryan Daws, 25 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: API, IoT.

Google shows its ‘Vision’ for accessible AI with AutoML

Google has introduced Vision, the first of its Cloud AutoML series of machine-learning solutions designed to make AI development faster and easier.

AutoML Vision is a new service which aims to simplify the creation of custom machine-learning models for image recognition. The interface is drag-and-drop to ensure it’s accessible to a wide range of developers, researchers, and businesses.

Mike White, CTO and SVP, for...

By Ryan Daws, 17 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: AI, Development Tools, Industry, Platforms.

Skills for these ten platforms are the most in-demand for 2018

A global network of freelance engineers, designers, and finance experts has released a list of the ten most in-demand programming languages for 2018.

According to Toptal’s internal data, skills for the most in-demand platforms requested by its clients are:

  • Angular 2 (+441.5% year over year (YOY)

  • React Native (+353.7% YOY)

  • Docker (+140.7% YOY)

  • Redux (120.6% YOY)

  • React.js (+97.4 YOY)

  • Firebase (+96.4 YOY)

  • Shopify (+93.0 YOY)

  • WooCommerce (69.0% YOY)

  • Azure (+53.0%...

By Ryan Daws, 16 January 2018, 1 comment. Categories: Industry, Languages.

Alexa learns to cook via the Smart Home Skill API

An update to Amazon’s Smart Home Skill API has introduced support for Alexa to control a range of cooking devices.

The new capabilities will enable Alexa to control kitchen devices including microwaves and conventional ovens. Support for the former is available today, while for ovens is said to be coming soon.

Users of apps...

By Ryan Daws, 05 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, API.

Apple steals development tool startup from Android

Apple has acquired a startup which created app development tools for Android and plans to make it iOS-exclusive in the coming weeks.

The startup, Buddybuild, is based in Canada and will soon be folded into Apple’s Xcode engineering group. Buddybuild provides developers with a more efficient method of testing and tweaking their apps. 

By Ryan Daws, 03 January 2018, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, Development Tools, iOS, Mobile, Platforms.

Facebook’s AR Studio opens to all developers

Facebook has opened its AR Studio tool so any interested developer can now build augmented reality experiences.

AR Studio was first announced back in April at Facebook’s F8 developer conference. The tool enables developers to build experiences for Facebook Camera.

Facebook is attempting to use third-party developers to help close the augmented reality gap with rival Snapchat. AR Studio contains...

By Ryan Daws, 13 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Facebook, Mobile, VR.

Microsoft is setting up an ‘AI university’ to address the talent shortage

Microsoft is so concerned about the shortage of AI skills that it’s setting up an ‘AI university’ to overcome it. Unfortunately, it’s only for Microsoft employees (for now.)

The internal AI university will train employees on different concepts that are important for the development of AI. Microsoft Research Director Chris Bishop says the program is designed to give practical skills and knowledge to people who are trained elsewhere in the business.

By Ryan Daws, 11 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

ParseDroid vulnerabilities threatened most Android development tools

A collection of vulnerabilities known as ParseDroid put users of popular Android development tools at risk.

Research from Check Point has discovered several vulnerabilities in downloadable and cloud-based Android development tools which all Java/Android programmers use to build their companies business applications. Even security analysts and reverse-engineers use some of the affected softwares to conduct their work.

By Ryan Daws, 07 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Security.

Fitbit now supports third-party apps on its smartwatch

Fitbit has updated the OS on its first smartwatch to support third-party apps from its App Gallery.

Following the company’s $23 million acquisition of smartwatch maker Pebble, all eyes were on Fitbit’s next move to counter the increasing threat from the Apple Watch and Android Wear-based devices.

What emerged from Fitbit was the Ionic smartwatch. Many critics say its design is uninspiring, but...

By Ryan Daws, 05 December 2017, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Platforms, Wearables.

Sumerian helps developers build AR, VR, and 3D apps in Amazon’s cloud

Sumerian is a new service from Amazon which aims to help developers build AR, VR, and 3D applications in AWS.

The low-code tool offers a point-and-click user interface for building scenes and applications which should help to make AR and VR development more accessible without the need for years of coding and design experience.

Sumerian has a built-in library of pre-built assets and templates, but users can...

By Ryan Daws, 27 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Cloud, Development Tools, VR.

Legislators say ‘loot boxes’ are subject to gambling laws

Lawmakers have been examining whether so-called loot boxes should be subject to the same rules as casinos.

Loot boxes in games can often be bought for real money in return for a random selection of items. They’re designed to be addictive, yet can feature in games available to people under the legal gambling age in many countries.

‘Designed to lure kids into spending money’

By Ryan Daws, 23 November 2017, 2 comments. Categories: Ethics, Gaming, Industry.

GitHub now warns of security flaws in your project

GitHub is helping to ensure your project is secure by alerting developers if a vulnerability is detected.

The company says over 745 percent of projects hosted on the platform use dependencies, and that opens them up to inherent vulnerabilities.

Last month, GitHub launched its ‘dependency graph’ feature to help keep track of those your code depends on. This month, it’s about checking those dependencies are...

By Ryan Daws, 17 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Platforms.

UK computing education needs an upgrade — or risks being left behind

A new report co-funded by Microsoft and Google has found a dire need for a tenfold increase in computing education funding in the UK.

The study, conducted by The Royal Society, warns an entire generation is at risk of not having the vital technology skills for the future. In fact, it found more than half of schools in England do not even offer a GCSE in Computer Science.

Other findings in the report, led by famous engineer Steve Furber

By Ryan Daws, 10 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Industry.

Keras and the Dataset API graduate in TensorFlow 1.4

The latest release of Google’s popular open-source library TensorFlow graduates the Keras framework and Dataset API.

Keras is a machine learning framework written in Python which aims to minimise the time between ideas and working implementations. It consists of two high-level APIs: Keras Sequential, and Keras Functional.

Sequential models are created using the

By Ryan Daws, 09 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, IoT.

Google’s new SDK adds spatial audio to your VR apps

Google is making it easier to offer more immersive VR experiences with the launch of a new SDK featuring support for spatial audio.

The SDK is called Resonance Audio and aims to simulate the perception of sound in the real world. This includes simulating direction as well as volume drops as you move away from virtual objects projecting sound.

As hearing represents one of the key senses, audio is one of the...

By Ryan Daws, 08 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, iOS, Platforms, VR.

Microsoft details Windows 10’s IoT capabilities in the Fall Creators Update

Microsoft has outlined all the ways the Fall Creators Update improves on the capabilities of Windows 10 for IoT solutions.

This build is version 16299 and is separate from the latest 1709 build of Windows 10. In the past, Windows 10 IoT was known as ‘Windows Embedded’ and represents a version of the OS for low-powered devices.

These are the new features in the update:

  • Richer .NET API surface for UWP apps. The set of managed types that can be used to

By Ryan Daws, 03 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT, Microsoft, Platforms.

Google copies Remix 3D with Poly service for VR/AR developers

Google aims to speed up how VR and AR development with a new service it’s calling Poly.

Poly is an online library of 3D objects developers are free to use in their own projects. Building everything from scratch is time-consuming and wastes resources which are better used on improving the experience for end users.

“If you’re building for virtual and augmented reality, you need 3D objects for your apps,” wrote Google in a

By Ryan Daws, 02 November 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, iOS, VR.

Polar opens its API for developers to access health data

Polar has been steadily growing in the wearables space and is now taking the next step by opening up its API to third-party developers.

While larger competitors such as Fitbit have opened their API for some time, it’s made little sense for Polar until this point.

Polar has a wide range of health-related products on the market including smartwatches, fitness trackers, bike computers, and chest straps. In 1982, the...

By Ryan Daws, 31 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Wearables.

Android Studio 3.0 brings treats like Kotlin, Java 8, and Instant Apps

Google isn’t waiting for Halloween and has begun handing out the sweet treats early with the stable release of Android Studio 3.

We first heard of Google’s intention to bake Kotlin support into Android Studio back in May during its annual IO developer conference. Fast-forward five months and Google is making good on its promise.

Much like Swift is to iOS, Kotlin is to Android. The...

By Ryan Daws, 27 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Development Tools, Java, Languages, Platforms.