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.

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.