Google launches security features while report shows iOS threats outpacing Android

Google has cracked down on security with the launch of Play Protect and other new defense mechanisms while a report has been released which shows iOS malware growth outpacing that of Android.

After the Google Docs phishing attack, the company has been ramping up its security in recent months. This started back in May with the implementation of machine learning to improve the detection of phishing messages – and the company now estimates it can block spam and malicious content with a 99.9 percent...

By Ryan Daws, 20 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, iOS, Platforms, Security.

Apple cracks down on OS-level ad blockers

If your iOS app uses a VPN-based solution to prevent ads being displayed, you may find it can no longer be updated. For app developers who use ads to monetise, you may find an uptick in revenue as a result.

Apple appears to be cracking down on its policy that apps cannot affect others. The developers of popular ad blocking apps that have managed to slip through and go undetected – such as  Adblock and

By Ryan Daws, 17 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Apple, iOS.

iOS 11 beta 3 seeds to developers with a slew of improvements

The latest beta of iOS 11 has been seeded to developers (and consumers who like to live dangerously) around the globe, and Apple has wasted no time in making some needed fixes and implementing new features.

One of the most noticeable changes from iOS 10 to iOS 11 is to the Control Center. In the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, the Control Center has been consolidated into one tab rather than up to three sections we’ve been used to in past versions of the OS. This consolidation...

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

Google’s DeepMind uses reinforcement learning to master parkour

Google has taught its DeepMind AI to navigate a parkour course by using reinforcement learning.

Reinforcement learning is the practice of rewarding desirable behaviour. The faster the AI could navigate the virtual parkour course, the greater the reward. Further incentives and penalties were added for various other metrics.

“We train several simulated bodies on a diverse set of challenging terrains and obstacles, using a simple reward function based on forward progress,” explains Nicolas Heess, a...

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

Opinion: Xbox One X is what a console should be – innovative

When you set aside preferred exclusive titles and platform affinities, it’s difficult to deny the upcoming Xbox One X is an innovative piece of kit.

There are some known phenomenons in the gaming community. Xbox and PlayStation fight head-to-head for the most powerful consoles and best online services. Nintendo puts gameplay first. And PC gamers as the self-proclaimed “master race” have access to the peak of hardware (and pay the price to remain there.)

Xbox dropped the ball at the start of...

By Ryan Daws, 07 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Platforms.

Open Banking releases payments API spec to prepare industry for transformation

Open Banking, the implementation entity set up by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) to provide new ways for customers to share their financial data with non-bank providers, has released an API specification for accounts and transaction information and payments initiation.

The spec is now available on the Open Banking website for review and development by banks and third-party service providers.

Currently due to go live in January next year, the Payments Initiation API will enable third parties to...

By Ryan Daws, 06 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API.

Linux Kernel 4.12 developers added 795 lines of code per hour

The latest release of the Linux kernel is huge with developers adding 795 lines of code to it every hour.

Launched this past Sunday, Linux 4.12 had 19,093 lines of code per day added to it by dedicated programmers. Greg Kroah-Hartman, a prominent maintainer of the Linux Kernel, posted a chart containing data about the development effort behind the latest release.

Other data about the release included:

  • Commits: 14,570

  • Number of files: 59,806

  • Number of lines: 24,170,860

  • Lines added: 1,202,920

  • Lines removed: 168,962

  • Lines modified: 141,550

  • Number of developers: 1,821

  • Changes per day: 231

  • Changes per hour: 9

  • Lines added per day: 19,093

  • Lines removed per day: 2,681

  • Lines...

By Ryan Daws, 05 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Platforms.

Wetherspoons decided it’s safer to delete customer data

Pub chain JD Wetherspoons has quite a fanbase in the UK, but the company has decided it’s safer to delete all its customer data than risk it being hacked.

Several high-profile hacks in recent months have brought to light the seriousness of data leaks resulting from databases being hacked. Beyond the disrepute which can have an impact on future custom, individuals and companies also have to face a potential fine resulting from increasingly strict data protection regulations.

Wetherspoons’ decision...

By Ryan Daws, 30 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Security.

Developer fund launched alongside Cloudflare Apps platform

Cloudflare has launched a $100 million developer investment fund alongside the launch of its Cloudflare Apps platform.

The company itself raised $110 million of investment from companies including Fidelity, Google, Microsoft, Baidu, and Qualcomm last year, and with good reason. Cloudflare has grown from a team of 37 operating a network in 23 cities and 15 countries in 2012, to now employing over 200 and having a presence in 62 cities and 33 countries.

“When we started Cloudflare we needed two things: a...

By Ryan Daws, 28 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: App Stores, Cloud, Industry, Platforms.

Oxford startup Diffblue raises £17.3 million for bug-zapping AI

Oxford startup Diffblue has raised over £17 million in Series A funding to help launch its AI technology which helps to check the code of developers for mistakes.

While most IDEs feature built-in spelling checkers and similar assistive features, they don’t necessarily help to ensure the code is efficient and/or bug-free. Diffblue likens it to writing “The president of the USA is Donald Duck” in a word processor – it’s factually wrong, but it won’t be flagged as...

By Ryan Daws, 27 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Development Tools, Industry, Testing.

Microsoft is building an online Raspberry Pi simulator

The infamous Raspberry Pi compute board has built a loyal following that’s proving difficult even for companies such as Intel to compete with, but it could be set to gain even more fans as Microsoft is building an online simulator.

Pi is designed to be inexpensive with even the latest, highest-end model costing just £32/$35 but it can remain out of reach for some on lower or no incomes, and the extra accessories can soon rack up the...

By Ryan Daws, 21 June 2017, 5 comments. Categories: Devices, Platforms.

Android Things Preview 4.1 includes minor improvements for IoT developers

The latest Android Things preview update only contains minor improvements but could be useful for some IoT developers.

As the incremental version number suggests, this update isn’t filled with exciting new features. The first is support for the Pico i.MX6UL revision B board, while support for earlier revisions are being dropped. The latest board supports many common external peripherals from companies including Adafruit and Pimoroni.

A second addition is a smaller, more optimised version of Play...

By Ryan Daws, 16 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Devices, IoT, Platforms.

Opinion: Here’s the deal with Xbox VR

Microsoft surprised many with the lack of any VR plans during the reveal of its Xbox One X console at this year’s E3 conference, but it’s a smart move.

Sony is the only company to have launched VR on a console and this year we’re really just beginning to see to see the fruits of their efforts. At Sony’s E3 conference we saw upcoming VR titles like ‘Skyrim’ and ‘Inpatient’...

By Ryan Daws, 15 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Microsoft, Platforms, VR.

Google brings new and updated APIs with Chrome 60

Google has updated its popular Chrome browser with new and updated APIs for developers to improve the experience for all users.

Currently available in the beta channel, Chrome 60 includes a brand new Paint Timing API, enhancements to the Credential Management API, and improvements as to how pages are rendered with a new CSS Font-Display feature.

Paint Timing API

The Paint Timing API is designed to help web developers gauge how quickly a web app or page loads to help make improvements where necessary. This is...

By Ryan Daws, 14 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, HTML5.

Atari seems to be making a brand new console – and wants developers

Amidst all the gaming news coming out of E3, the most surprising news of the week is that it seems Atari will be coming back into the spotlight with a brand new console.

Many gamers have fond memories of the Atari and some of its games such as Pac Man, Space Invaders, and Gauntlet. A number of titles continue to be sought after today via emulators, smartphone reincarnations, and collections on modern consoles such as Atari Anthology.

There’s certainly an appetite for these classic games and similar...

By Ryan Daws, 13 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Gaming, Platforms.

Opinion: Xbox is making PlayStation appear villainous

Sony’s policies and attitude to rival platforms are holding PlayStation back, while Xbox is now embracing the entire gaming community.

There was a time when Microsoft was seen as being an unfriendly corporate giant, and for good reason. Xbox has always been Microsoft’s most approachable brand but it still felt less friendly than PlayStation, in particular to developers.

Sony has long put developers first and maintained a fantastic relationship with them which continues today. Similarly, the...

By Ryan Daws, 12 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Gaming, Platforms.

Google finalises APIs for Android O in Developer Preview 3

Unwilling to let Apple steal all the spotlight this week, Google has announced Android O Developer Preview 3 is rolling out with the final APIs before release.

The second developer preview was announced during Google I/O three weeks ago and included a look at the new ‘Fluid Experiences’ and ‘Vitals’ features.

Some of the Fluid Experience features include; Picture-in-Picture support, Notification Dots which allow developers to inform users an action is now available, Auto-Fill support...

By Ryan Daws, 09 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, API, Development Tools, Industry, Phablet.

Apple now allows any developer to build HomeKit devices

Apple wants to open HomeKit to even more devices by allowing any developer to build products which use the platform.

Many large smart home products support HomeKit for easy control of devices, but you previously had to go through Apple’s licensing program just to start tinkering with it. Apple kept quiet on HomeKit during their WWDC keynote, but it dropped some big news for the maker community shortly after...

Any registered developer can now start building HomeKit devices. Removing the licensing...

By Ryan Daws, 08 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Apple, Devices, iOS, IoT, Platforms.

Android developers who incentivise positive reviews will be punished

Google will now punish Android developers who incentivise users to leave positive reviews under new Play Store rules.

Fake reviews have long been the scourge of most app stores and shady third-party services are available which can automate reviews or even have staff manually leaving false positive reviews in a bid to boost the app’s rankings.

Google tackled these services (for the most part) with improvements to its algorithms which detect and filter these reviews, but cunning developers found another...

By Ryan Daws, 07 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Android, App Stores, Ethics, Industry, Platforms.

What developers need to know following Apple’s WWDC 17 keynote

Apple’s keynote at its annual WWDC event often leans towards consumer announcements, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for developers.

This year, the computing giant announced “the biggest software release ever” for iPad while also squeezing in a few iPhone features, improvements to macOS, a new product line in ‘HomePod’ which is somewhere between a Google Home competitor and Sonos rival, an interesting AR platform, and a machine learning API.

iOS 11

iOS 11...

By Ryan Daws, 06 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: API, Apple, iOS, iPad, Platforms.