Google Offers 2TB Free Storage To Developers In Partnership With Panzura


Google today announced a partnership with cloud storage company Panzura along with a free storage option for developers. The company will offer 2TB of storage for free, valid for a full year. The move is expected to push the company’s cloud storage offerings even further as it looks to compete with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and others.

The latest news will attract app developers who are looking at the cloud for their storage needs. 2TB seems to be a safe starting point for small to medium sized app developers. If you clock the same amount of storage at Amazon, the prices would come out to be around $240 per year.

Google Cloud Platform is offering the free 2TB of storage through Panzura, a startup. App developers rely on cloud based storage providers rather than setting up their own infrastructure in today’s fast faced development environment. For many app developers setting up their own data centers means a whole lot of trouble and money needed upfront. That’s impossible for small development houses.

Microsoft charges 2.4 cents for 1GB of data per month as part of its plan for the first TB of data stores on its cloud based storage services. Amazon’s service charges come out to be around $120 per TB per year if developers pick the recently introduced service which allows them to access the most frequently used up data for a cheaper price. Google beats both of its competitors hands down with the new free pricing tier.

This is also a way for Google to grab some potential as well as existing smaller Amazon Web Services customers. Most individual app developers would want to go with Google for just the free storage tier. App developers looking to validate their idea initially wouldn’t have to spend a lot of their initial seed funds on storage.

Source: PR

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10 Ways Android Work Can Make A Strong Impact In The Enterprise Mobility Market


Google wants to take back some of the market share it has lost to Apple in terms of the enterprise mobile market. Back in June, the company announced its new program titled Android Work which is likely to take care of just that. It is going to be Google’s turning point in business usage for Android for the time to come.

Currently manufacturers have their own software based solutions to make their devices running on Android more business-friendly. With Android Work, all those might seem unnecessary and Android devices are likely to be more enterprise friendly right out of the box.

Here are 10 things that make Android Work stand out:

1. Google has based Android Work on Samsung’s Knox. With Android L, the Knox container will be a standard part of the release, allowing users to manage it easily on almost any Android device. This adds to the enterprise-friendly nature of the Android L be it on any manufacturer’s device. Making Knox an integral part of Android L will also help other manufacturers.

2. Android Work is being created to allow a seamless transition between personal and work related data. This is the cornerstone of any enterprise level integration in a mobile operating system. To enable corporate employees to use a single device for both work and personal usage, data security and transition is highly important.

The Android Work container can encrypt business data, thus making it more secure, and restrict the usage without making it appear as a different workspace. This is pretty similar to the way Apple does its managed app functionality for enterprise level iOS.

3. Google is also working on developing a volume distribution system for apps. This will allow organizations to buy apps in bulk for their employees using Google Play. These apps can then be rolled out for the company’s users for internal usage. IT managers will be able to push app updates to their employees, enabling a secure rollout.

4. For developers, it’s not going to be a painful process to create apps that work within the Android Work container. Google is working towards making Android Work functional without requiring a deeper investment from the developers’ end. This means that management and user experience of these apps including containerization would all be automatic.

5. Android Work will comprise of a new Device Policy Client (DPC) app that will allow companies to create and manage several work profiles. These work profiles will be used to establish containers on an Android device. It will also be helpful while provisioning apps and work policies along with the EMM solution.

6. Google is adding new enterprise entities to support the work profile. This will include a new profile owner entity that will be used to establish a specific device type administrator along with more capabilities. The owner of the profile cannot be edited by end users, and the profile will be solely controlled by IT managers only. Android Work will also include a new entity called a device owner who will have the authority to manage the entire device.

7. The company will also incorporate an Android Wear certification program. This will allow both corporates and users to smartly buy the devices which are capable of performing well under the Android Wear program for BYOD implementations. The idea is to let prospective buyers pick the right model of a device, from the right OEM. Google’s program will be backed by almost all major Android OEMs.

8. Android L will feature a kill switch by default. This feature isn’t an exclusive one for Android Work but it will make a lot more sense for enterprise customers than general users. Google will allow remote Factory Reset Protection like Apple’s Activation Lock that will allow users from disabling lost or stolen devices.

9. Android L will have a much deeper integration with Google’s Chrome OS. This will enable enterprises to easily pick up Chrome OS based notebooks and computers to implement in their workplace. The pairing isn’t as inviting as Apple showed off at WWDC but it does mark a start. Google doesn’t have much control on what users can do on Windows but it can promote Chrome OS even further with a fluid integration.

10. Android Work marks Google’s strong re-entry into the enterprise mobility market. Apple is looking to dominate the market by expanding its existing massive market share in the enterprise, but not all corporates will have iOS devices for all their employees. Thus Google can cash in on that factor, and start pitching to more corporates across the globe.

Source: Android L documentation

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Why Google’s Android One Is Huge For The Developer Community?


At Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference, we heard about an interesting new program that the company has planned for developing markets. Called Android One, the program is aimed to grabbing the next billion smartphone users, hooking them up to an Android experience on a highly affordable device, and probably ultimately converting them into a high-end Android device user.

So what exactly is Android One? It’s a set of parameters device markers in emerging markets would like to follow in order to make compatible devices. Google wants this so that device makers follow a certain standard, and it makes it easier for Google to make software that works just perfectly in that environment.

Android One has Google written all over it. While Apple won’t make a cheaper iPhone, even though it would still sell previous generation iPhone models in emerging markets, Google can take a step forward and offer a cheaper Android device. It’s not that cheaper Android phones haven’t existed before, but the experience hasn’t been worth it.

With Android One that is all set to change. From what Google announced, and what we can make out — the company is planning to offer a highly improved, advanced version of an affordable Android user experience to the masses.

Emerging markets can be highly rewarding. In India alone, the smartphone market has exploded by 186% in the last year, according to research firm IDC. A little below 80% of the sales in India were from the sub $200 market. Android is currently a leader in emerging markets, but other companies like Microsoft, and even Mozilla have now set their eyes on the emerging markets.

When Google introduced Android 4.4 KitKat last year, it specifically made it clear that it wants even the affordable device owners to be able to access the latest edition of Android. We saw how Motorola offered user-friendly devices, and pushed the latest edition of Android to their Moto G and Moto X phones.

This has a strong potential for developers. For a really long time now, the developer community has been voicing its opinion against the growing fragmentation in the Android marketplace. Multiple manufacturers, phones with multiple form-factors, no hardware consistency, and a massive number of devices in the market — all form a major problem for developers.

Android One could help with that to a lot of extent. Secondly, it would open up a whole new era of opportunities for developers to target audience in the emerging markets. Now users in these countries are known to illegally download applications, but if Google and its OEMs can manage to offer a much tighter integration, and user experience, developers might just be able to offer more value for a user’s investment.

Image source: webcast

Google Pushes For A More Enterprise Friendly Mobile Platform With Android For Work


Google is planning on making Android an optimal choice for BYOD policies at workplaces. Rather than relying on third-party software companies, or OEMs, Google now wants to step into the game itself. The company announced Android for Word at the opening keynote at I/O this year.

With Android for Work, the company is looking to add more security to Android devices, allowing enterprise users to easily carry their personal devices to work. These devices will be able to keep both their personal as well as corporate data secure.

Android L, the next release of Google’s mobile operating system, includes a number of new APIs that will make Android for Work possible. These will allow the unification of work and personal data so corporate apps can still reside on personal devices while the content remains highly secure. Google will also enable better deployment of apps in bulk.

Google isn’t letting older devices stay in the wild. The company has promised support for devices running older editions of Android as well. Android for Work will work right out of the box for any devices running Android L when it is released.

Google will also enable support for Samsung Knox, a security suite for enterprise devices running on Android. Other OEMs like Sony, HTC, Motorola, and HTC will also offer support for Android for Work. Developers won’t need to touch their code to add support for Android for Work, translating into all apps being enterprise ready by default.

The company is even offering unlimited cloud based storage for businesses at just $10 per month per user, via Google Drive for Work. Google will also add support for native Office documents editing inside its Google Docs suite. All this is a result of a major strategy shift when it comes to the enterprise target audience.

Android may have a majority in the consumer market, but most enterprises have always preferred Apple’s iOS mobile platform for deploying enterprise apps and devices. Google is now looking to take back some of that lost market share by offering a massive suite of APIs to developers, and a secure cover for data.

Source: webcast

Image source: Screenshot from webcast feed on YouTube

Amazon Introduces Low-Cost EC2 Instances With Burst Features On Spike Days


Amazon Web Services has rolled out new low-cost EC2 instances that are capable of handling burst load on occasional spikes. The company today announced a set of new T2 compute instances that will offer base-level compute power with “burst up” features.

Bursting can be paid using CPU credits that can be accumulated when the instance has been less busy. These new instances will suit applications like remote desktops, otherwise known as Amazon Workspaces, low-traffic sites, small databases, developer environments, or any other application that doesn’t use a lot of CPU power on an everyday basis.

Even the idea of using CPU credit seems to make a whole lot of sense for the customer. Taking a cue for Google Cloud, the company will enable automatic implementation of these credits to customers. Even Google had announced discounts for customers that will work automatically when the workload comes to a certain level.

According to a blog post on Amazon Web Services, the company said, “Today we are launching new T2 instances for Amazon EC2. The T2 instances will dramatically reduce costs for applications that can benefit from bursts of CPU power.”

The new T2 instances are available in three sizes primarily — micro, small, and medium. The on-demand pricing for these starts at $0.013 per hour which comes out to be around $9.50 per month. Customers will be able to gain access to a pair of t2.micro instances for no extra charge, to run one on Linux and another on Windows, using the Free Usage tier.

Amazon’s Jeff Barr further explains, “The T2 instances are built around a processing allocation model that provides you a generous, assured baseline amount of processing power coupled with the ability to automatically and transparently scale up to a full core when you need more compute power.”

These new low-cost EC2 instances are going to be really useful for customers who run developer environments or low-traffic websites. The automatic CPU credit discounts are also going to make these really economical, and ready for even traffic spikes.


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Amazon Introduces New Services For Mobile App Developers – Cognito and Analytics


Amazon Web Services today announced a number of new capabilities for mobile developers that will allow them to easily build, deploy, and scale mobile apps. These new features and include Amazon Cognito, Mobile Analytics, and the new unified Mobile Software Development Kit.

Amazon Cognito is a new service that offers a simple user ID and data synchronization that will enable developers to create apps that can authenticate users through popular login providers. Developers can keep the app data like user preferences and game state synchronized between their devices.

The new Amazon Mobile Analytics service empowers developers to simply collect and analyze app usage data. The service will be capable of displaying billions of events for a single day, from millions of users. It can help deliver usage reports within an hour of data being sent from within the app. The new unified Mobile Software Development Kit makes it easy for app developers on iOS, Android, and Fire OS to access these new services.

According to a statement released by the company at the launch, “As more and more users utilize the same apps across various devices running different mobile platforms, developers often have to manage multiple user logins to securely store and retrieve data for their users, reconcile different versions of the data as devices go on and offline, and keep data in sync between these devices.”

The problems are very practical, especially in the ever growing post-PC era. More consumers are now using multiple devices, and therefore multiple app instances on different platforms. The ability to offer a consistent user experience across multiple platforms is crucial for modern mobile app developers in today’s age.

Amazon Cognito will manage this complicated task of keeping the app data in sync with multiple devices across platforms, using the user’s login information as the primary identifier. Developers will also be able to use the Cognito client SDK to create local data store that can cache user data on the device to allow apps to keep working be it online or offline.

Meanwhile Analytics is all the more crucial for most modern mobile app developers. Amazon’s Analytics service will cover all important numbers like an app’s users, revenue generated, and how users are interacting with the app. These can be used by the developers to continuously improve their mobile apps. The AWS Mobile Analytics service is designed to deliver usage reports in around an hour from receiving data from the devices.

Developers who want to use the Amazon Cognito and the Amazon Mobile Analytics services on their mobile apps, using the AWS Mobile SDK or API can start doing that right away. The services are currently limited to the US East (N. Virginia) region.


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Microsoft Releases New Outlook for Mac, Office For Mac Coming In 2015


Microsoft launched an updated version of Outlook for Mac over the weekend. The new-look Outlook for Mac is now available to Office 365 customers. The company also revealed its plans to release a new edition of Office for Mac next year. The update will be a much-awaited one amongst Office users on the Mac.

The new Outlook for Mac is available starting today for Office 365 commercial, Home, Personal, and University subscribers. Regular Office 365 commercial users can get access to the new Outlook for Mac by accessing the Office 365 website, or using the Software page on the Office 365 portal. Other users can simply go to their My Account page to access a download link for Outlook for Mac.

Microsoft has baked in a ton of new features apart from an all-new design on the Outlook for Mac software. According to the company, it now has a better performance and reliability based feature set all thanks to the new threading model and database improvements, a new rich modern user interface that offers improved scrolling and agility, online archive support, master category list support along with enhancements for delivering access to category lists, Office 365 push email support, and faster first-run and email download experience.

This is the first major redesign that Microsoft has offer for Mac users after Outlook 2011. The company feels the new design will offer OS X users with a consistent look and user experience that will match the Outlook for Windows, and Web experience.

Meanwhile Microsoft is still hard at work when it comes to Office for Mac. The company is still working on the main four Office for Mac apps that comprise of Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Excel. The all-new Microsoft is no longer tied to its own ecosystem, and rather wants its suite of apps and services to be available to everyone, on all possible platforms.

Microsoft claims that current Office 365 commercial and consumer customers will be able to access the upcoming Office for Mac release completely free of cost. The company is also looking to release a standalone edition around the same time, that should be ideal for non-Office 365 consumers.


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Facebook Releases Origami Live To Enable App Prototypes On iOS


Facebook today launched a number of new features to its app prototyping tool Origami. The free tool allows app developers and designers to design interactive user interfaces. The company itself uses Origami to design its products like Instagram, Messenger, Paper, etc. The tool was launched just a year ago.

The company today released Origami Live for iOS and a new edition of Origami for Mac. The former is a new app that allows developers to create prototypes on an iPhone or an iPad. The company also launched Origami 2.0 with new features like code exporting, gesture support, Sketch integration, presentation mode, and more.

Facebook claims the most commonly requested feature ever since the Origami launch was the ability to run prototypes on iOS. Developers can install the Origami Live app from the App Store, plug in their device, and they’ll be ready to interact with the prototype on their own device while editing it.

Origami Live will have new features that support device sensors, multitouch, and it’ll be easier to prototype without actually writing any code for a specific functionality. The tool can help create a high-fidelity prototype that will look and feel like a final product, according to the company.

Facebook’s Brandon Walkin wrote on the company’s blog for developers, “When you design and build Origami prototypes, you’re creating a high-fidelity replica of the end product. Once you’ve landed on something you like, you work with your engineers to make the real product look and feel like the prototypes. This is usually a very time-consuming process, in which the designer creates many detailed specs and the team spends time iterating to get the product to be close to the prototype.”

Origami 2.0 will solve this problem using a new feature the company calls Code Export. Developers can easily export the prototype as code at the click of a button. It will generate files for iOS, Android, and the web with code snippets for the animations that were created using the original Origami file. Developers can then copy and paste sections of the resulting file right inside the existing code to get identical animations from the prototype.

Facebook has also made it easier to learn Origami. The company’s new site on the tool has more tutorial videos that offer a step-by-step guide on creating Origami prototypes. There’s a set of examples, along with the documentation and downloadable Origami files that can allow developers to grasp the concept easily.


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Oracle Acquires Digital Marketing Data As A Service Datalogix


Oracle announced today that it has acquired Datalogix, a company that offers digital marketing data as a service. The announcement comes months after Oracle bought BlueKai, another company that offers big data for marketing to its customers. Neither of the companies have revealed the amount of money that will exchange hands as a part of the deal.

Datalogix is able to match a consumer’s offline spending data with digital marketing efforts. As a use case example, the company helps Facebook offer ads to offline buyers. Apart from the world’s largest social network, Datalogix also has more than 650 customers, and has access to over 1500 data partners that help consumer spending for more than $2 trillion. Some of the company’s biggest customers include Twitter, Lenovo, Kraft, and others.

“Datalogix’s mission is to help the leading consumer marketers connect digital media to the offline world, where over 93% of consumer spending occurs,” said Eric Roza, CEO, Datalogix. “We are thrilled to join Oracle and extend the value Oracle Data Cloud brings to marketers and publishers.”

Together with Oracle, Datalogix will offer Data as a Service cloud solution for marketers and publishers with its rich understanding of consumers be it on digital or traditional channels. This enables brands to personalise and measure their customers’ interaction, therefore adding more power to their digital marketing efforts.

Oracle believes the combination is capable of transforming marketing automation. The company said, “The combination fundamentally transforms marketing automation from executing campaigns being able to correctly identify consumers, target them accurately with digital campaigns, allow markers to measure which campaigns and channels are effective, and optimise how they reach consumers and spend their campaign resources.”


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One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Coming To PlayStation 4 This Summer


Bandai Namco Games today announced that it is bringing One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 to PlayStation 4 this summer. The Pirate Warriors series has been a phenomenal success in European countries, and the third version will pack a bunch of new characters, special moves, and another One Piece storyline. The gaming studio is promising an exciting experience for all PlayStation 4 users. The sequel to One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 is being built by Namco Bandai and Tecmo Koei in collaboration with Omega Force which is a subsidiary of Tecmo Koei.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 will release on PlayStation 4 later in August this year. The title’s central characters Luffy and the Strawhat Crew would sail throughout the game’s journey right from the place where everything started, Fushia village, to the Dressrosa kingdom, an island dominated by Donquixote Doflamingo.

The title will also feature a new character, Luffy’s brother named Sabo from the manga. There are several other playable characters for PlayStation 4 players including Shanks of the Red Haired Pirates, Lucci, Moria, Tashigi, Magellan, and for the first time ever Ivankov.

PlayStation 4 users who pre-order the game at select retailers will be able to get an exclusive 3 Brothers metal case. The metal case will feature Luffy, Ace and Sabo, and a DLC pack that comes with 2 additional costumes and 2 quests. This exclusive package won’t be available for sale later on. The two extra quests are titled Luffy as a giant fish and Sabo dressed as Lucy.

Apart from the main store mode in the upcoming One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 title, there will also be a Dream Log mode that will allow players to unlock more characters and items as the player moves on through battles in the mode. The Dream Log mode will also include fight sequences with giant bosses.

Bandai Namco Games also mentioned that they have created a new unique collector’s edition for te title’s fans. The Doflamingo Edition for the PlayStation 4 will include the game as well as an exclusive Doflamingo sculpture figurine. The figurine will be 16 cm in height, and looks gorgeous in those photos. This case won’t be available for pre-orders on Steam though, but the DLC can still be purchased later on.

Meanwhile, interested players can also grab the previous One Piece titles which are currently available at a discount on PSN’s Easter Sale. Both One Piece Pirate Warriors and One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 are listed on the sale.