First, we heard that KitKat would bring some changes to the API, breaking many of the SMS apps we've come to rely on. On the day KitKat was released, we were given a more full explanation, shining some light on the technical details and exactly what types of apps would be affected. But did anybody really think this was the end of the story? It turns out that a hidden permission exists which can still grant non-default apps the right to modify the SMS database just like they used to - no rooting required.
The news out of Google is coming rapid-fire with the Nexus 5 going on sale, KitKat becoming a reality, and now the rollout of Google Play Services 4.0. The updated framework comes with a host of improvements to Google+ Sign-In, Wallet Instant Buy, Location Based Services, Maps, and comes with a brand new Mobile Ads SDK.
One of the most popular features announced during Google I/O 2013 was a massively improved set of tools for Location Services, which included geofencing and substantially improved location discovery.
When a tech company holds a conference for developers, you can pretty much bet the speakers will have something new to share with the attendees. At the very first Samsung Developer Conference, this pattern continues as 5 new and updated SDKs have been announced for the company's various platforms. This batch of SDKs are centered on Android, Smart TVs, and enterprise development.
- Samsung Smart TV SDK
- Samsung Multiscreen SDK
- Samsung Multiscreen Gaming SDK
- Samsung KNOX SDK
- Samsung Mobile SDK
The Mobile SDK is technically new, but it's really meant to bring together various TouchWiz SDKs that had previously been distributed separately.
Flash may have died a slow and agonizing death on Android, but it did not depart without leaving its heir apparent. Adobe's lighter-weight successor was built to better handle touchscreen interfaces, lower power processors, and to support applications living independently from a web browser. While the platform hasn't been a high-flying success on Android or iOS, it does play host to a few popular games like Machinarium. Exactly three years and one day after first appearing on the Android Market, Air has been updated to v3.9 and now includes support for multi-threading, background tasks, and xxhdpi icons.
I'll admit it - I tried to avoid signing into apps using Facebook back when doing so first became a thing. I figured the company already had enough information about me, and I didn't want them getting more. Now I wager that consolidating my information is probably no less safe (or unsafe?) than leaving my contact information scattered across many different servers, each maintained by scattered companies of varying size that may or may not exist this time next year.
These days, everyone want a platform and the developers that come with it. In the case of the consumer electronics giant that Samsung has become over the last few years, they've got several platforms, even if their most important one is standing on the shoulders of some giants in Mountain View. To expand the presence of Samsung in the developer community, the company has announced its very first developer conference, currently scheduled for October 27th, 28th, and 29th.
In our review of the Pebble SmartWatch, we only had two complaints about the software: a lack of apps, and a lack of utility. The second point stems from the fact that the Pebble can only receive alerts from your phone, and it can't send information back. Both issues have now been addressed by the Pebble SDK. Developers have been cranking away on watch apps for some time, but the latest SDK update adds AppMessage, a method of implementing bi-directional communication for Pebble.
Heads up, Google, Glass is about to get some serious competition. Recon Instruments, a Canadian technology company known for athlete-focused heads-up display products, is looking to expand into general-purpose HUD technology. The company's prototype device - dubbed Jet - was officially unveiled today, and Recon Instruments hopes to release a retail product by the end of this year.
At first glance, the Jet looks like little more than a pair of sunglasses with an attached LCD screen; you won't be mistaking Recon Instrument's HUD for Google's anytime soon.