Android 8.1 Developer Preview released with Neural Networks API

AI is the next frontier in smartphones, and Google plans to lead the charge with a dedicated Neural Networks API in the latest Android developer preview.

The new API was first announced back in May and promises to enable developers to take advantage of a ‘lite’ version of TensorFlow — Google’s open source machine intelligence software library.

“TensorFlow Lite will leverage a...

By Ryan Daws, 26 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Mobile, Platforms.

Google now lists Instant Apps in the Play Store

Developers who have enabled Instant Apps will now find their users can use a portion of their apps at the press of a button — without requiring a full download.

The feature was first announced back in May last year, so it’s been a long time coming. The first of the apps began rolling out in January, but it’s taken until now for others to come available.

Earlier this week,

By Ryan Daws, 20 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Platforms.

AutoML: Google's AI is now better at machine learning than its own programmers

Google's appropriately-named automatic machine learning AI, AutoML, is now producing better code than its own programmers.

So far there's no sign of Skynet-like aggression, thankfully, but it won't help to calm the fears of leading figures such as Elon Musk that AI is now doing a better job than humans at essentially coding itself.

AutoML is designed to be a solution to the problem of the lack...

By Ryan Daws, 17 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: IoT.

Google moves Instant Apps closer to reality

Google is furthering its vision to make Instant Apps, well, instant, with an update to its programming kit.

The issue with today’s instant Android apps is that Google has to load support for every possible device. With the number of Android devices available globally, many with very unique configurations, this can slow down the loading of the apps considerably.

Developers can now target specific device configurations with unique profiles. A device with a low-resolution screen, ARM chip, and German...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices.

Opinion: Windows Phone is (finally) being put to rest

Microsoft has finally admitted Windows Phone is being put to rest and no further hardware or features will be developed for it. The platform offered a refreshing alternative to the ‘me too’ approach between iOS and Android, but that was also part of its downfall.

While the platform still had a chance, it was too complicated to port apps from iOS and/or Android to Windows Phone. Between iOS and Android, it was relatively easy.

Over the years, Microsoft realised this and launched several tools for...

By Ryan Daws, 09 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Microsoft, Platforms.

Apple authorised API allowing Uber to record users’ iPhone screens

Apple often takes a strict approach to security, but an apparent slip-up authorised an API which allowed Uber to record users’ iPhone screens.

Security researcher Will Strafach made the claim saying the powerful ability would allow Uber to record the screen even when it’s running in the background.

The ability comes from what Apple calls ‘entitlements’ which allow app developers to do things requiring special privileges such as interacting with iCloud or Apple Pay. The screen recording...

By Ryan Daws, 06 October 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, Industry.

Developers can now migrate their Lex chatbots to Alexa

Amazon has rolled out the ability for developers to migrate their chatbots based on the Lex framework into a skill for Alexa.

Jeff Bezos' company is a story of successes. Amazon’s line of smart speakers, Echo, are by far the most popular on the market and can join the company’s long list of achievements.

The AI powering these speakers, Alexa, may be lackluster in some areas, but its capabilities are going from...

By Ryan Daws, 08 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Amazon, Development Tools, Platforms.

ReVive developer joins Khronos' quest for an open VR standard

Jules Blok, the developer behind ReVive, has joined the OpenXR working group at Khronos in their quest to build an open VR standard.

OpenXR was first known as the Open VR Standards Initiative when it was announced by the Khronos Group last December. The plan is for OpenXR to solve the compatibility problems which exist between VR platforms and simplify development.

Here at Developer, we’ve reported on Khronos in the past for its work on the Vulkan graphics API. Vulkan,...

By Ryan Daws, 06 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms, VR.

Instagram API upgraded to Facebook Graph

The API behind Instagram has been upgraded to Facebook’s Graph API — bringing new features and (hopefully) less Bieber nudes.

Following the upgrade, developers can utilise the existing Graph API SDKs and monitor activity using its dashboards. Developers also have access to Facebook’s technical support.

The Instagram Graph API now allows businesses on the platform to see more information about the performance of their organic content via...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Facebook, Platforms.

Apple provides guidelines to ARKit developers

Taking some of the limelight away from Google’s ARCore announcement, Apple has provided guidelines to developers building ARKit experiences.

ARKit is Apple’s new augmented reality framework introduced as part of iOS 11. It combines device motion tracking, camera scene capture, advanced scene processing, and display conveniences to simplify the task of building an AR experience.

The AR guidelines include five main sections:

  • Designing an Engaging Experience

  • Entering Augmented Reality

  • Placing...

By Ryan Daws, 30 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, Mobile, VR.

Cloud processing behind Crackdown 3 shown off in proof-of-concept

The impressive cloud processing technology which powers the upcoming installment of the hit Crackdown franchise has been shown off in a new proof-of-concept.

Cloudgine has shown off its technology with a new game, They Came From Space, which should push even the best local hardware alone to its limits. By using the cloud technology, it renders at 90fps despite being available in VR, offering fully-destructible and dynamic environments, and online multiplayer battles.

“Our team...

By Ryan Daws, 16 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Development Tools, Gaming, Platforms.

HomePod code reveals how the virtual home button on the iPhone 8 will function

With a virtual home button for the iPhone 8 unofficially confirmed, more details have been revealed about how it will function.

The findings come via iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who you may recognise from his attempts to port Siri to the iPhone 4. He’s sure to be causing a stir at Apple once again with his digging into the HomePod firmware.

An outline of the iPhone 8 was found in the firmware with no home button in sight to accommodate a “bezel-less” design. Further analysis found...

By Ryan Daws, 11 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, iOS, Platforms.

Developer demonstrates ARKit for 3D finger painting

A developer has demonstrated the use of ARKit and Vision for performing 3D finger painting in augmented reality.

The developer, Osama Abdel-Karim, demonstrates how a user could draw in the air similar to as if they were holding a pen. The ink will then magically appear on the surface. You can even add an effect to make the drawing into a 3D object.

Of course, it’s not actual magic powering the experience, but rather a form of wizardry...

By Ryan Daws, 10 August 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, iOS, VR.

Comply with COPPA or risk a lawsuit like Disney

If you build apps that are intended for children, make sure you comply with COPPA or risk a lawsuit similar to Disney.

The Walt Disney Company is facing a lawsuit for allegedly failing to protect the personal information of children using its apps. Amanda Rushing, the complainant, filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the San Francisco/Oakland division of the United States District Court.

Four other affiliated defendants will join The Walt Disney Company including Disney Electronic Content, marketing platform...

By Ryan Daws, 08 August 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Ethics, Industry, Marketing, Platforms.

Developers will compete to build under 13kb games

In a world of increasing content sizes, one developer has partnered with industry leaders to run a competition to build under 13kb games and win some prizes for the achievement.

If you’re a big gamer, like yours truly, you may have multiple external hard drives kicking around to store increasingly big games. As we move from 1080p to 4K graphics, it’s a first world problem without an end in sight.

Andrzej Mazur, Founder of indie game studio Enclave Games, decided to take the fight to large games by...

By Ryan Daws, 31 July 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Gaming.

Microsoft releases preview of ChakraCore with N-API support

Microsoft has announced the release of a new ChakraCore preview with N-API support on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

ChakraCore, which is based on Node.js 8, was developed by Microsoft to extend Node.js to Windows 10 IoT Core. The project grew in scope as the developers realised the need to address problems with the Node.js ecosystem across platforms.

At NodeSummit 2016, Microsoft unveiled support for the Node-ChakraCore interpreter and runtime on Linux and macOS. Since its announcement, Microsoft added support...

By Ryan Daws, 28 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Mac, Microsoft.

OpenAPI specification v3 further guides interoperable API development

The latest OpenAPI specification has been released to advance the Linux Foundation project’s goal of providing a foundation to developers building interoperable APIs.

Now in version 3.0.0, the latest release is described as a “culmination of nearly two years of collaboration among senior API developers and architects from across multiple industries” such as payment and banking, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and vendors building API solutions.

Some of the most notable additions in...

By Ryan Daws, 27 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Industry.

General Motors beats competitors to in-vehicle testing for app developers

General Motors is putting the accelerator down on their connected car plans with the launch of in-vehicle testing for developers.

As global car manufacturers race to become a leader in the connected car space, GM is hoping to woo developers with their NGI SDK. First released back in January, the SDK enabled app developers to emulate their apps but not test in production cars.

In what GM is calling an industry-first, the...

By Ryan Daws, 24 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Platforms, Testing.

Research: Consumers are most excited about these new technologies

The breakthrough technologies consumers are most excited about have been revealed in new research – providing an indication of what is set to be the next big thing.

Online smartphone retailer, Mobiles.co.uk, charted the sharp increase in demand for VR, AR, and AI. The firm also studied how the latest technological advancements are shaping the capabilities of tomorrow’s smartphones.

In the past 12 months, the company noted an increase from UK customers in:

  • Virtual reality (up 300%)

  • Artificial intelligence (up 56%)

  • Augmented reality (up 25%)

  • Curved screens (up...

By Ryan Daws, 21 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apple, iOS, IoT, Mobile, Platforms, VR, Wearables.