How To Keep Your Tech Talent Happy Forbes Keeping talent happy and engaged is a challenge for all companies, but when it comes to tech companies, the challenge is even greater. Most of your key employees find job fulfillment in seeking different challenges, developing new skills, …
Chris sez, “Club Coffee, maker of K-Cup compatible pods, has taken Keurig to court in Ontario, alleging anti-competitive behaviour, including telling retailers that they can’t even talk to Club Coffee, let alone carry its products.”
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The idiom ‘where there’s muck, there’s brass‘, quite simply, means that if there’s a dirty or unpleasant job to be done, there’s money to be made. While the notion of ‘brass’ meaning money has been around since the 18th Century, and the essential elements of the expression were penned by John Ray in A Collection of English Proverbs in 1678 (“Muck and money go together”) that actual saying is a 20th Century creation that grew from the 19th Century expression “Where there’s muck, there’s money”. History lesson now over, the idea of paying someone else to take care of the…
Google’s Play Newsstand app lets you read news from free and paid sources ranging from blogs and newspapers to The New Yorker and everything in between. The app has been available for Android for about a year and the iOS version launched only a week ago. Today, Google is launching a big update for the Android app that it says is meant to improve the magazine reading experience on phones… Read More
Swift is Apple’s in-house programming language built to be a simpler, safer, faster-to-run alternative to veteran Apple-compatible language Objective-C, while still working seamlessly with existing Objective-C code.
Apple unveiled Swift at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, which gave the LinkedIn team approximately three months to learn it and build an app.
“This is our first iOS app for LinkedIn,” Andri Heiðar Kristinsson, project lead, told ReadWrite. “We began working in Objective-C for two weeks, and then when WWDC came around, we heard about the new language and decided to go all in on Swift and start from scratch.”
Kristinsson and his team had Objective-C experience, but like any new language, Swift was a learning experience. Stack Overflow was a staple tool, as were, unexpectedly, Swift tutorials located on SlideShare itself. The team continulously rewrote older Swift code, Kristinsson said, as they continuously learned better and faster ways to do it.
The most surprising part of the development process, however, is that one of Swift’s built-in features influenced and enhanced a key part of the SlideShare app’s user experience.
“Swift’s size class allows you to customize the way things scale. It’s like Auto Layout on steroids,” Kristinsson said, referencing Apple’s system for scaling apps. “It sounds simple but for an app with presentations that have multiple ratios, size classes made that beautiful on every device.”
SlideShare launched Thursday because Kristinsson and his team wanted a week to test it on Apple’s latest hardware. The app also takes advantage of iOS 8’s Notification Center, which displays two slideshows a day in widget form based on a users’ interests.
To see what an app built completely in Swift looks like, you can download SlideShare from the app store on iTunes.
Google should be leading HTML5 development, but it’s not. No, that honor goes to Apple, the company that has done more to trumpet the virtue of native apps than anyone else.
Apple isn’t known for being a champion of open source or open standards, but with iOS 8 it has become both. Among a host of consumer-facing improvements to performance and the user experience, Apple has also introduced significant improvements for application developers, including WKWebView, a new browser engine that promises to make hybrid apps sing on iOS 8.
Ironically, Apple’s one-time Flash-y nemesis, Adobe, may benefit most.
The Way We Build Now
Historically, performance requirements have pushed mobile developers to default to native apps, with an emphasis on either iOS or Android. HTML5 was everyone’s back-up plan, as VisionMobile illustrates in its Developer Economics quarterly report:
But something has been happening in mobile development. While native still makes the headlines, HTML5 has quietly assumed a prominent place in developers’ tool chests as programmers look to reuse code across platforms and to embed Web code in their applications. The latter is “a core functionality for most apps,” as Masa Tanaka, CEO and founder of a PhoneGap-development platform provider in Tokyo, indicates.
A large percentage of apps, as a separate VisionMobile survey shows, are a hybrid blend of native code and, quite often, HTML5:
While HTML5 has managed to eke out a quiet coexistence with native code, Apple just gave it a first-class ticket with the introduction of iOS 8.
Apple Makes HTML5 Sing
A number of people have looked into iOS 8’s improved support for HTML5, but none has offered as detailed a look at both features and performance as Sencha’s Ross Gerbasi. Among many other improvements, Gerbasi showcases a few of the most important ones:
WKWebView, a replacement for UIWebView, includes the Nitro JS engine, which Gerbasi notes has been “tested and measured to have at least 4x the performance of UIWebView.” Not surprisingly, “This has the potential to be a huge win for hybrid apps.”
Nor is it really surprising that “native first” Apple would work so hard to improve the HTML5 experience. As noted above, developers want to embed the Web into their apps, and Apple wants developers to have a fantastic iOS experience. As such, anything that makes its devices better, Apple will support.
Adobe Embraces Jobs’ Vision
Especially if it’s bad for Flash. By supporting HTML5, Apple gets to follow up on the late Steve Jobs’ desire to bury Flash and have it replaced by HTML5. In his “Thoughts on Flash,” Jobs pilloried proprietary Flash even as he touted the openness of HTML5. He concludes:
New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.
Arguably, however, Apple just did more to advance PhoneGap than Adobe could. As good as iOS 8 is for HTML5, generally, it’s particularly good for PhoneGap, as software development house Scirra details:
While this chart clearly shows PhoneGap performance improvements on iOS 8, it doesn’t show just how good they will be when PhoneGap adopts WKWebView in its next release. (Adobe has been trying to, as it writes, but a bug currently prevents it from using WKWebView.) Once WKWebView is incorporated, according to Scirra, PhoneGap will “close this [performance] gap and match Safari’s performance.”
All of which is great for Apple, because it means developers will have even more ways to build great apps for iOS 8. But it’s also great for Apple’s one-time nemesis, Adobe, as its PhoneGap platform disproportionately benefits.
If Yo! has revealed anything, it’s that we could be seeing a steady shift towards a simpler form of digital communication. No sentences, no real effort, just the simplets of taps on your phone to say ‘Hey’. Or in this case, “YO!”. With that in mind, a new app courtesy of London-based developer David Senior is looking to bring this one-tap ethos to business meetings. HERE, not to be confused with Nokia’s HERE, lets you inform fellow delegates that you have arrived and will be with them imminently. HERE is actually a follow-up app to Lowdown which Senior launched earlier this…
Whether you’re off on your morning run or commuting to work, headphone cables shouldn’t slow you down. The TOCCs Feather Buds headphones let you enjoy your favorite tunes as you go about your day with total flexibility. Pair them with any Bluetooth device and enjoy your music — wirelessly. With crystal clear sound, noise canceling outer shells and comfort fit earbuds, Feather Buds are perfect for tuning in at home, work or on the move. Plus, with a built-in mic and remote, you’re in total control of your music and phone calls — play, pause and answer calls without skipping…