SiliconFilter

Dartium: Google’s New Dart Programming Language Comes to Chromium

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It's only been a few months since Google announced its new Dart programming language. While the language is still going through some major revisions, though, Chromium, the open-source project behind Google's Chrome browser, is now starting to integrate Dart into its platform with the release of "Dartium" version of the browser for Mac and Linux.  It will likely take a while before Dart finds its way into mainstream Chrome releases, but the team also today announced that the long-term plan is to include the Dart virtual machine in Chrome.

While Google also offers the ability to compile Dart programs to JavaScript, which is supported in every modern browser, a native virtual machine makes executing applications written in Dart faster.

Google designed Dart to be a flexible programming language for the web that would be fast, easy to learn for programmers and work across all major modern browsers. There has been quite some interest for Dart in the developer community, though the language is obviously still too immature to be used in a production environment. Other browser developers, who are worried about fragmentation and adding support for yet another language to their software, haven't shown a lot of interest in adding support for Dart.

 

 



9:55 am


The Android Market Gets a Bouncer to Keep Malware Out

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Google just announced that it has added a new layer of security to the Android market to keep malicious software out of the store. Android's generally open structure and the fact that the Android Market doesn't employ the same kind of restrictive policies that Apple put in place for its store mean that it's relatively easy for malicious Android software to be distributed through Google's app store. With this service, which Google calls Bouncer, the company actually runs and analyzes the software on its own infrastructure before the app appears in the store. Interestingly, Google notes that Bouncer has actually been active for quite a while now, but this is the first time the company has publicly acknowledged its existence.

Google notes that so far, Bouncer has reduced the number of malware downloads between the first and second half of 2011 by 40%.

Bouncer looks for known malware, spyware and trojans, but also look for, what Google calls, "behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags." In addition, Google also looks at new developer accounts to ensure that those we were banned once can't just come back under a different name and upload another piece of potentially dangerous software.



12:57 pm


Google+ Gets an API for Photos and Videos (Updated: Not Quite Ready Yet)

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Google just announced that Google+ now offers developers a way to get photos and videos out of Google+ and into their apps. As Google is slowly opening up the APIs for its new social network, it makes sense for the company to tackle photos and videos first. These, after all, are one of the backbones of Google+ (though I could do without the support for animated GIFs). Not only do its users get virtually unlimited space for their photos, but a number of professional photographers like Trey Radcliff and Thomas Hawk are using the new network to their fullest advantage.

Update: Looks like somebody at Google posted this update before it was supposed to go live. The original post has now been taken down. I’ve copied it at the bottom of this post.

For now, this new API will be read-only, which means developers can get data out of Google+, but they won’t be able to send photos there themselves. Access, of course, is limited to public albums, photos and videos. Google will also support Creative Commons licensing and this information will be exposed in the API, so that developers can make sure that they respect the copyright information the photographers on Google+ have set for their images.

Developers will be able to get access to a user’s album lists, a list of all photos and the individual photos themselves, of course. The methods for accessing videos are virtually the same.

What does this mean for users? Soon, you will be able to see images in third-party clients that support Google+. Developers can now also import your Google+ photos into their apps, if they choose to do so. Or, as Google’s Yangzhu Li points out in the announcement today, somebody can now create a Google+ screen saver to “crowdsource great images, or a live photo wall for a party.”

Here is the full post:

Bring your apps to Life with Photos and Videos from Google+

Photo sharing is one of my favorite features of Google+. As a new dad, it’s been a joy to take photos of my baby girl and share them just moments later! 

Beyond baby photos, Google+ hosts all sorts of photographs — and all sorts of photographers. Many talented pros have found a home sharing and publishing their work in Google+, such as Trey Ratcliff, Thomas Hawk, and Colby Brown. Today, we’re making it easier to leverage the power of personal and professional images by releasing our first Google+ API for photos and videos.

Google+ gives users full control of their information, and we’re starting with read-only access to public albums, photos, and videos. Google also supports Creative Commons licensing, which we expose so developers can easily respect copyrights.

Using the new API, developers can get a list of public albums from a Google+ user, and list the photos and videos within each album. Combined with our existing public data and search APIs, I’m hoping to see new services such as a family-focused ‘screen saver’, a new way to crowdsource great images, or a live photo wall for a party.

You can start experimenting by listing users’ public albums with the albums.list method. If you already know an album id, you can directly fetch it with the albums.get method. You can list all photos from an album with the photos.listByAlbum method, or fetch any individual photo with the photos.get method:

GET https://www.googleapis.com/plus/v1/photos/{photoId}?key=[yourAppKey]

which returns:

{
“kind”: “plus#photo”,
“id”: “_iZQhpeOJlWzCqLggyWXsO4-Af160osO”,
“published”: “2011-10-16T23:59:36.000Z”,
“updated”: “2011-11-05T08:29:28.000Z”,
“displayName”: “DSC_5575.JPG”,
“summary”: “”,
“author”: {
“id”: “103168604032363426774”,
“displayName”: “Yongzhu Li”,
“url”: “https://plus.google.com/103168604032363426774“,
“image”: {
“url”: “https://googleusercontent.com/…/photo.jpg?sz=50
}

   },
“url”: “https://plus.google.com/photos/…“,
“thumbnail”: {
“url”: “https://googleusercontent.com/…/s64/DSC_5575.JPG“,
“type”: “image/jpeg”,
“height”: 64,
“width”: 43
},

   “image”: {
“url”: “https://googleusercontent.com/…/s1600/DSC_5575.JPG“,
“type”: “image/jpeg”,
“height”: 1600,
“width”: 1071
},

   “album”: {
“id”: “CTWbarJIotAZBfJLEeUxDe4-Af160osO”
},

   “creativeCommonsLicense”: {
“term”: “Some rights reserved.”,
“allowReuse”: true,
“allowCommercialReuse”: false,
“allowRemixing”: false
}
}

 Prefer videos? A quick hop over to the API reference manual explains how to use the similar methods videos.listByAlbum and videos.get. We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback during our next Google+ platform office hours, helping you build your first photo-powered Google+ app on our Discussion Board, and continuing the conversation on Google+.

Posted by Yongzhu Li, Google+ Software Engineer

 



11:32 pm


Report: Rampant App Piracy is Hurting Android Developers

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It’s an established fact that mobile developers on virtually all major platforms have to contend with a rampant piracy problem. While most modern mobile platforms like iOS and Android offer convenient virtual stores for buying apps and prices tend to be low, there is still a large contingent of users who would rather get an app from a forum or BitTorrent site than pay $0.99 for it. Most of the discussion around app piracy so far has focused on iOS. A new report by research and analysis firm Yankee Group (in cooperation with Skyhook), however, is among the first to take a closer look at piracy in the Android ecosystem and finds that most developers there also see piracy as a major problem and often think that Google’s Android Market policies are too lax.

Android Piracy

The report is based on a survey and interviews of 75 Android developers conducted by Skyhook. Overall, about a quarter of all respondents (27%) think that app piracy is a major problem for their business on the Android platform. Another quarter (26%) of respondents thinks its “somewhat of a problem.” Still, while the vast majority of developers thinks  about half of all developers think their apps are not being pirated.

app_piracy_yankee_group

Where Do Users Get Pirated Apps?

While it’s hard to know where exactly these users are getting their pirated apps from, the developers think that piracy forums (41%) and  BitTorrent sites (26%) are the main sources. There are also quite a few developers (17%) who have seen users ask for refunds on copied apps. One issue that seems to be more prevalent in the Android Market than in other stores is the fact that it is apparently relatively easy for others to republish existing apps under a different name.

There are, of course, some anti-piracy measures that developers can implement, including Google’s own License Validation Library. Only half of all developers surveyed for this report actually use copy protection for the paid apps, though. Using copy protection, however, introduces a whole new set of issues, as users generally don’t like it and 62% of developers think they have lost sales because of it and 82% have found that it sometimes locks out legitimate buyers from using an app.

Solutions

Given that Android developers already make less from paid apps than iOS developers (Android users simply don’t buy as many apps as their Apple-toting counterparts), it looks as if app piracy on the Android platform is a major reason why some developers shy away from it. While developers could implement subscription models or monetize their apps through ads, this isn’t a solution for everybody and it looks as if the various market places and Google itself will have to get a bit more proactive in discouraging piracy.

The full (paid) report is available here.



4:00 pm


The Google+ Ecosystem is Slowly Expanding – Even Without an API

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Google+ doesn’t currently offer an API, but that isn’t stopping developers from trying to offer Google+-related  apps and services. Given how fast Google’s new social network is growing, it doesn’t come as a surprise that developers are working hard to get a head start in developing services for it, even without Google’s support. (more…)



6:24 pm