Supreme Court inaction is good news for Oracle in case against Google

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Since 2010 a lawsuit between Oracle and Google has been wending its way through the court system as the two tech giants battle it out to determine whether Google will have to pay Oracle for the use of Java code in the Android operating system. The latest stop was the Supreme Court where Google hoped the justices would hear an appeal concerning the ability of APIs to be copyrighted. The justices declined to take action to overturn a May 2014 appeals court ruling that favored Oracle. Read more

Amazon opens up Alexa platform as part of big voice technology move

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Earlier this week Amazon finally opened up the closed beta for their Amazon Echo voice-activated device to general consumers. However, Amazon was not anywhere close to being finished with a move into the voice-activated technology realm. Today they announced that they are opening up their software platform that powers Echo, Amazon Alexa, to developers via APIs, they are making APIs available for hardware makers to incorporate Alexa technology into new devices, and they are backing all of this with a $100 million fund to support developers. Read more

Retirement of old API results in Google TV versions 1 & 2 losing access to YouTube app

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YouTube is an app that many of us take for granted, it seems to be available on virtually every electronic device from smartphones and tablets to gaming consoles and smart televisions. According to an updated support document, though, the range of supported devices will shrink a little from the end of April thanks to the retirement of YouTube’s old Data API.

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Chrome 43 Beta released with new support for the musicians of the world

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Google’s Chrome team has released an update to the Beta channel, Chrome 43, with support for MIDI devices, a new Permissions API, and a host of other changes and improvements. The new Web MIDI API included in Chrome 43 means users can make use of connected MIDI devices when accessing an online resource. MIDI devices include things like synthesizers, keyboards, DJ decks and drum machines amongst others. With the update, once a user plugs one of these devices into their system, even an Android tablet or smartphone, the device will be able to communicate with web sites without any additional work by the user to load software or drivers. Read more

A true smart home: Logitech’s Harmony API could change the game

Logitech Harmony

We’ve seen so many “smart gadgets” as part of the Internet of things movement, but most of them have worked as dedicated ecosystems and haven’t been compatible with one another.

But Logitech thinks it has an answer, and it’s in the form of an API.

The Harmony API creates a vision where a consumer is watching a movie on his or her Samsung flatscreen via Apple TV and the Philips Huelights in the living room dim to the appropriate level.

Logitech says the programming tool will give developers access to over 270,000 smart devices, allowing the kind of expansive control we haven’t gotten from other smart home solutions.

We’ll have to wait a bit before products become fully integrated and the API is fully developed, but this is a promising start.

Source: Logitech

Google releases Android Auto APIs for developers

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Earlier this year, Google announced Android Auto (a version of Android designed to bring the Android platform into cars), and today the search engine giant has granted developers access to its APIs for this service. According to the company, this will enable mobile apps to “be extended to the car in a way that is optimized for the driving experience.”

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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.” Read more