Google rolls out Google Play Services 6.1 update, packs multiple API enhancements

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Google Play Services received an update today, bringing the software version up to 6.1. Nothing too wild here, but there are some updates to the Google Analytics API, Google Drive API and Google Fit API.

The update is slowly rolling out, so be patient. Unless you’re a developer, not much is relevant here, but some solid enhancements nonetheless.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Nest announces access to new API for third-party developers

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Nest has announced a new stage in the development of their home automation platform, a new Nest API that can be used by third-party developers to connect not only apps with Nest hardware and products, but other hardware as well. As an example, Nest indicates LIFX bulbs can be connected to Nest Protect so that they will turn red when smoke or CO is detected. This gives users an additional visual cue to potential problems. The new Nest API is being rolled out as part of a “Works with Nest” certification for partner companies to help develop the ecosystem and in the words of Nest, “anticipate people’s needs and make their lives easier.”
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HTC releases duo-camera SDK for developers

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HTC has released their SDK for the duo-cameras on the HTC One (M8) for developers to take advantage of. The SDK contains plenty of APIs, libraries, and samples for reference, so it shouldn’t take long for a developer to work that into an app.

To download the SDK, you’ll have to create an HTC Dev account, but after that, it’s free to use. Now that it’s available for everyone, we just have to wait and see how many apps take advantage of the unique features that HTC’s camera offers over the competition.

source: HTC Dev

KitKat to Allow Setting Default SMS App, Brings Questions Abound and Hints at Hangouts SMS Integration

 

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Android 4.4 ala KitKat looks to be a big release. Big enough to warrant a name change over being another version of Jelly Bean. With the upgrade it’s been rumored that Hangouts would take over the SMS/MMS functions. If today’s post on the Android Developers blog is any indication it looks like this will actually be the case.

According to the post, there are big changes coming to SMS/MMS apps in KitKat. The first change is creating a public API for SMS handling. In addition to the new API, 4.4 will allow users to set default SMS apps. The blog post purposely spills the beans on this new feature as Google wants third party app developers to prepare their apps for the new OS version.


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Amazon introduces Mobile Associates API to help developers further monetize apps

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Amazon announced the availability of a new API today to help developers further monetize their apps. The Amazon Mobile Associates API is an extension of the company’s Amazon Associates web-based affiliate program, bringing the power of Amazon to Kindle Fire and Android based devices. The new API enables developers to:
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Dropbox announces Sync API as part of Dropbox Platform for third-party apps

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Dropbox has maintained its position as one of the major players in cloud storage space by offering tons of features like automatic photo sharing and storage and some excellent cross-platform apps. Today, they announced a new API for third-party developers called Sync that lets apps take advantage of Dropbox’s reliable storage features, mainly for syncing application data for users. Dropbox Sync is a first step in creating a Dropbox Platform for developers to use to add in cloud storage and file syncing to their applications, which is especially handy for cross-device and cross-platform apps.

Dropbox already offers constantly updated folders and files, so adding in the ability for developers to sync an app’s data across many devices is invaluable. Want to see all of your sketches in your favorite drawing app on both your phone and your tablet? Dropbox Sync can handle that. It’s mainly a developer’s tool, but it’s going to allow developers to make some pretty big improvements to their applications and pad out Dropbox’s impressive 175 million active users.

source: Dropbox

Lambda Labs to release a facial recognition API for Google Glass developers

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Lambda Labs is a startup company that released a beta facial recognition API for Google Glass last year. Co-founder of the company, Stephen Balaban, says that the next version of the API should be available to developers within a week. Since launching the beta, Balaban says the company sees over 5 million API calls per month and usage by over 1,000 developers. Not too bad for a startup making an API for a product that hasn’t even been released to the public yet.

The new API will allow developers to integrate facial recognition like finding friends in a crowd or making intelligent contacts in your device based on the faces it can recognize. It might sound a little privacy invasive, but it doesn’t do the recognition in real-time. Glass snaps a picture, uploads the picture to a server that handles the recognition, then sends the notification back to the device. Still, it’s a pretty creepy, but cool, thought. Hopefully we’ll hear more about it in the near future.

source: TechCrunch

Dropbox releases new Sync API to help developers integrate service into apps

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Dropbox is releasing a new API for developers that should help bring new capabilities to apps that tie into the service for file storage and sharing. The new API handles a variety of sync functions on both iOS and Android devices. Dropbox will now treat files as if they were local, managing syncing, caching, change tracking, and offline access. These functions were previously handled by app developers who had to code all of this themselves. 
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Google+ SDK for Android and iOS Coming Along With a Handful of API’s

Google has made it clear during their I/O Keynote that they are all in on Google+ and are really trying hard to push it to consumers. They’ve shown the possibilities and features that Google+ can offer that no other social media network can. The biggest problem Google had was that there was no option for third party applications to integrate with Google+ such as what Facebook and Twitter have. Google has made that one step closer to reality today with the announcement of the upcoming Google+ API for Android and iOS. Supported out-of-the-box are Google+ sign-in, a share plug-in to share your app content to the G+ stream,  +1 button integration, Google+ history functions, and a personalization feature, which will allow developers to pull in public G+ content and use it in their app. This is a huge step for Google+ as this can really help to bring more users.

I truly feel that Google+ has so much potential, even the potential to overcome Facebook in the future. Google+ has the tools and features to become a social media giant if it’s given enough time and the right marketing. Any of our readers starting to use Google+ over Facebook? Or is Facebook just too hard to stop using considering everyone uses it? Let us know!

source: Google+ Developers

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