Huawei’s replacement for Google Mobile Services is coming along nicely

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Building a replacement to Google Mobile Services (GMS) is a gargantuan task, but Huawei is doing a rather good job.

US sanctions, as they stand, means that Huawei will no longer have access to American hardware and software going forward.

The hardware side presents challenges, but Huawei already makes important components like chipsets in-house (and they're impressive, too.)

Losing access to Google's services and having to build an ecosystem which competes with...

Congress wants Apple and Google to clamp down on foreign apps

Congress is calling on Apple and Google to clamp down on apps that weren’t born in the USA (cue Springsteen).

Trump’s administration is currently mulling a complete ban of any Chinese software but, while that debate is ongoing, Congress wants the two largest mobile platform holders to begin clamping down on foreign apps in less radical ways.

The Congressional Committee on Oversight and Reform has sent two letters to the CEOs of Apple and Google to request they probe...

Android 10 sets adoption record, updates to get even faster

Google’s attempts to fix Android OS version fragmentation appears to be working, with the latest flavour becoming the fastest adopted yet.

The wide variety of Android hardware and customised software available on the market is both its biggest perk and its most difficult problem.

Android users often boast of features being available on the platform years before iOS, but it can often take years to reach most people’s devices – if at all.

Apple’s limited...

Opinion: Apple/Google API limits proposed UK contact-tracing app feature

The decentralised Google/Apple COVID-19 API would limit a proposed feature for the UK's illusive contact-tracing app.

According to Financial Times, NHSX is now developing a number of features for its anticipated contact-tracing app that it hopes will boost adoption.

One of the most potentially groundbreaking features will allow users to check the risk of an area they plan to visit, or warn them if they enter an area with a high infection rate. However, the feature will...

The UK is helping to solve a serious Google/Apple contact-tracing API issue

The UK is helping to solve a serious issue with Google and Apple’s contact-tracing API after failing to develop a centralised alternative.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, British health secretary Matt Hancock provided an update on the lack of a coronavirus contact-tracing app in the UK.

Hancock claims that NHSX – the unit of the UK’s national health service responsible for driving digital transformation – was tasked with developing a homegrown...

New developer tools boost Google Assistant’s capabilities

Google has launched new tools for developers which are designed to boost Assistant's capabilities when responding to user requests.

The virtual assistant is regularly found to handle general queries better than its closest competitors, but too often you can think it would just be quicker to do a task yourself. We're still far off from the sci-fi visions of AI assistants like HAL and JARVIS.

Google Assistant, and its rivals, have made large strides in improving areas such...

Google further opens Maps to developers, enables Pokemon Go-like games

Google has improved the access developers have to Maps, providing the ability to build things such as games which offer alternate versions of the real world.

The most obvious example of such a game is Niantic's Pokémon Go which, while not quite as viral as it once was, remains popular today.

Niantic was once a startup within Google – back when it was known for its less commercially-successful but still groundbreaking AR game, Ingress. The company offers a toolkit for...

Microsoft guides Flutter developers on building Surface Duo apps

Microsoft has released a guide on how to build apps for the dual-screen Surface Duo using the Flutter SDK.

The company's flagship developer event, BUILD, begins tomorrow. Like many events this year, it will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's event is likely to be a big one, and it seems Redmond is preparing developers early.

Flutter will require little introduction for many of you; but, for the rest, it's Google's UI toolkit for building native...

Google and Apple will block location access while using contact-tracing API

A contact-tracing API being developed by Google and Apple will block location access to prevent misuse.

The API, called ExposureNotification, is being provided to national health agencies to build contact-tracing functionality into their apps. It's hoped that contact-tracing apps will help societies to safely return to some degree of normality.

An initial version of the API was released last week. This week, new resources – including demo code and example UI assets –...

Study: Half of Americans don’t trust contact-tracing apps

A new study has found that half of Americans wouldn't trust a COVID-19 contact-tracing app.

Contact-tracing apps are being hailed as key to returning to some degree of normality. The apps use Bluetooth to keep track of everyone an individual passes in order to notify that circle if a COVID-19 diagnosis is made so they can isolate and get tested before spreading the virus further.

Naturally, there are concerns about the amount of data such apps could take about their...