App Development

Google tipped to let Android devs place app variants on Play Store

Google tipped to let Android devs place app variants on Play Store

Google I/O 2015 is almost upon us, so of course we're bound to hear a lot about what's expected to land at Google's annual developer conference. Among those expected bits and pieces, which includes Android Pay, for example, one particular rumored announcement is causing some app developers to take serious note. According to developers who have been briefed on the matter, Google will use I/O 2015 as a launchpad to reveal it latest tool to help developers maximize and monetize their apps, what the industry calls A/B testing.

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VW Apple Watch app will tell you where your teen driver goes

VW Apple Watch app will tell you where your teen driver goes

Volkswagen just updated their iOS app to add features your teen driver will not be pleased with. Via their Car-Net app (and service), the Apple Watch will tell parents where their teen driver is going and how fast they’re traveling. Looks like the days of ‘studying at a friend’s house’ are coming to a close. The Car-Net app is available for “select trims of 2014 and later Beetle, CC, Eos, Jetta, Passat and Tiguan models and on all trims of 2015 and later Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen and e-Golf models.”

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Swarm adds stickers, bringing Mayorship back ‘soon’

Swarm adds stickers, bringing Mayorship back ‘soon’

Last year, Foursquare split itself in two. The actual Foursquare app would soon see itself battling the likes of Yelp, and is now being leaned on by social service like Twitter to provide better context on your location. Swarm would handle the rest; check-ins, more or less. In the divide-and-conquer strategy, Swarm lost much of what many users liked about the original Foursquare. To help bring Swarm back to center, Foursquare is adding a few of those features back.

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MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal now has a ‘premium’ paid tier

MyFitnessPal is taking a stab at monetization, unveiling a new ‘Premium’ tier of service. For $9.99/month or $49.99/year user will get more granular knowledge on food analysis, improved customer support, and an ad-free experience. There are even personalization options for those who would like to set daily goals, which can also be adjusted based on your daily exercise level. Premium members will also get access to exclusive content and food analysis based on nutritional information you might be tracking.

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Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest opens Developer platform to take over social

Pinterest, the upstart social network centered around imagery rather than words, is trying to become even bigger. Today, Pinterest is announcing details of a Developer platform, a suite of APIs engineered to “bring pins to life”. Developers can now leverage user pins in their own apps, where Pinterest envisions apps that use what people pin to encourage real-life shopping, “like apps for ordering ingredients from a recipe Pin or booking trips based on travel Pins.” The program is still in beta form, but Pinterest already has the underpinnings of a winner.

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Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Video: ‘Project Astoria’, Microsoft’s Android app porting tool, at work

Microsoft’s Project Astoria, their system for taking existing Android app code and running it inside windows, is both exciting and troubling. On one hand, it satisfies the ‘write once deploy everywhere’ strategy that makes a Developer’s life easier. On the other hand, these apps aren’t really native for the platform, which has us wondering about things like performance. Also, how easy is it for Developers to move an app over? Now we know; Microsoft has created a simple video outlining Project Astoria’s strengths, and I have to say — I’m intrigued.

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Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

Meerkat (beta) now available on Google Play

That was quick. It’s only been two weeks that Meerkat, the popular live-streaming app, has been available for Android. When the Meerkat team announced their Android intentions, they granted access to the app via an open beta program. Now, the app is available to all users on the Google Play Store. It’s worth noting Meerkat’s main rival in the space, Twitter-owner Periscope, has not yet landed on Android, though they promise to be on the platform someday; they just haven’t announced when.

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Microsoft’s iOS, Android app porting tools now open

Microsoft’s iOS, Android app porting tools now open

Developers can now start porting their Android and iOS apps to Windows, if they dare. Yesterday, Microsoft announced a suspiciously easy tool that allows Developers to port their iOS and Android apps to the Windows platform. On stage, Microsoft demoed an Android app running on a Windows Phone like it was made for the platform. Now, Project Islandwood (iOS) and Project Astoria (Android) are open for business. They are, of course, in a “limited preview”, so don’t expect too much just yet.

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HTC One M9 camera now supports RAW format

HTC One M9 camera now supports RAW format

Love it or hate it, HTC changed their camera hardware for the One M9. In getting away from their Ultrapixel shooter they touted so much with the One M8, HTC also had to change up the camera software — then fix it. Now, we’re getting a new feature for the One M9 camera; the ability to save and send pictures in RAW format. The update doesn’t need a firmware fix, either. Like many OEMs, HTC unbundled core apps, so all you have to do is update the camera app via Google Play.

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Amazon Instant Video update adds cellular streaming for iOS

Amazon Instant Video update adds cellular streaming for iOS

If you use your Amazon Prime membership for more than just fast, free delivery, chances are you stream TV shows and movies via Amazon Instant Video. If you’re doing so via the iOS app, we’re willing to bet you’ve noticed shortcomings. Streaming was only available over WiFi (which defeats the purpose quite a bit), and you couldn’t cast your content to Apple TV. With an update to their Instant Video app, Amazon is fixing both of those issues, so you can watch over a cellular connection (even in HD) and redirect to Apple TV.

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Windows 10 phones will (sort of) run Android & iOS apps

Windows 10 phones will (sort of) run Android & iOS apps

Remember the Nokia X? It was one of the last Nokia handsets, but its platform was a subversive attempt by Microsoft to get Android apps onto their platform. Without much work, Android Developers could make their apps available on the Microsoft store for the Nokia X, which was meant to bridge a gap between platforms. that concept died, but Microsoft didn’t give up on making it easier for Developers to ‘write once, deploy everywhere’. Now, code written for Android and iOS apps can be compiled in Visual Studio.

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Fotograf review; an easy, powerful iOS photo editor

Fotograf review; an easy, powerful iOS photo editor

I gushed about CameraBag 2 for OS X, and for good reason. It’s powerful, easy to use, and one of the best desktop photo editors around. The same team responsible for that desktop app also have a mobile photo editing app in Fotograf. Silly name, but Fotograf wants to be taken seriously in a competitive, crowded space. With apps like VSCO Cam, Snapseed, and Enlight looming large, Fotograf wants to be your mobile photo editing app of choice. Can the Nevercenter team replicate their solid desktop efforts via mobile?

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