Under the name of Project Oxford, Microsoft has made available a set of RESTful APIs that aim to make it possible for developers to build apps that feature face recognition, speech processing, and other machine learning algorithms. Part of the Azure portfolio, the new APIs are currently in beta and free to use up to 5,000 call per month.
In an attempt to bring Android, iOS, classic Windows and web applications on a single platform and make them available through the Windows Store, Microsoft has launched four projects, also knows as Universal Windows Platform Bridges, namely: Astoria, Islandwood, Centennial, and Westminster.
A major focus of Build 2015 is Office 365 as a platform. The desktop version of Office has been treated as a development platform since the early days of macros written in a variant of BASIC. Microsoft intends to recreate and expand upon that by turning Office 365 into a cross platform development platform available on any form factor or operating system.
Google is going to make Pointer Events the main event type in Chrome, joining ranks with Microsoft, Firefox and leaving out Apple.
Convinced that “whatever can be unit tested should be unit tested”, Mona El Mahdy, a Software Engineer in Test at Google, has written a blog post proposing several approaches to perform unit tests on the user interface of Android applications. Mahdy recommends Robolectric and the Android Studio Gradle plug-in for general unit testing, and Espresso or UI Automator for creating and running UI tests.
Following yesterday’s announcement of releasing ComponentKit, a framework for creating native UIs declaratively on iOS, Facebook has released a number of other projects as open source during their annual F8 developer conference: React Native, Year Class, Network Connection Class, Fresco, and Nuclide.
So far, Places API has been available as a web service, but now it has been integrated in the recently released Android Play Services 7.0, and a beta program has been started to bring it natively to iOS. On Android, this new API can be used on all OS versions starting with Gingerbread. There are not many details yet on how it will work on iOS.
Google has quietly introduced an app reviewing process that monitors new apps or updates for policy violations. This process uses automatic tools and sometimes human reviewers that add a few hours of delay in the publishing process.
The preview of Visual Studio 2015 has been updated to include an emulator for Android Lollipop, also known as Android 5.0. Along with the new SDK, Visual Studio also gained “OpenGL ES support, multi-touch input, and advanced camera simulation”.
Telerik has opened for public access NativeScript, a framework for creating native cross-platform applications for Android, iOS and Windows Universal.
The recently published survey, State of the Developer Nation Q1 2015, conducted by VisionMobile analyzes the key mobile developer trends including the status of mobile platforms, Swift and revenue.
Google has announced the release of Google Play Services 7.0, which brings new APIs inside of Google Places, Google Play Games, Google Fit, and improvements to existing features.
Google has opened sourced gRPC, a RPC framework used internally to connect cloud microservices. gRPC comes with support for 10 languages, making it attractive for creating back-end cloud services for mobile applications.
Google has announced Android for Work, a program making it possible for users to take their Android devices and use in an enterprise environment.
RemObjects Silver is a “free implementation of Apple’s Swift programming language” aimed at making it possible to natively compile Swift code on the .NET, Java, and Android platforms in addition to Cocoa and Cocoa Touch. InfoQ has spoken with marc hoffman (sic), chief architect at RemObjects.