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Google opens Chromecast to all developers

A key part of Google's plans to build the future of its Chromecast dongle has slipped into place as the company unlocked its Chromecast software development kit on Monday morning.

The Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), available now, will allow app developers to give their users the option to stream their apps or Web sites to the Chromecast, which acts like a receiver that you plug into your TV's HDMI port. Web site compatibility only works in Google Chrome via extension, also available today.

The Cast SDK has been available previously only in restricted form, with Google … Read more

Behind in tablets, Intel pays firms to use its chips

Intel wants to be a player in the tablet market in a big way this year. One way to make that happen is to bankroll a customer's product.

"Contra revenue," as Intel calls it, sounds innocuous enough. One of those murky financial terms that are ignored by people outside of the investment community -- and that's probably why it's been largely ignored to date.

Seeking Alpha, a site devoted to company earnings, wrote about contra revenue in November, and on Friday IDG News did as well.

The upshot: Intel is, in essence, paying tablet makers … Read more

Get-rich-quick schemes might not work for app developers

Gartner announced some numbers on Monday that sound like good news for consumers but bad news for app developers. According to predictions by the research firm, less than 0.01 percent of mobile apps will be considered financially successful by their developers in the next four to five years.

Part of the problem is the plethora of apps on the market, according to Gartner. Not only are there several platforms that sell apps, but the big hitters -- like Apple's App Store and Google Play -- have more than 1 million apps. Rather than sorting through these apps, consumers … Read more

Apple's rumored iWatch delays due to manufacturing issues?

Screen technology, battery issues, and corporate shuffling may be some of the reasons for the delay in the release of Apple's expected iWatch. While all product development hits snags, a report from The Information points to these "bumps" as some of the possible setbacks in the company's rumored smartwatch development.

Apparently, Apple hasn't yet definitively decided on what kind of screen technology to use due to battery issues. However, this is common with lots of smartwatch manufacturing since the wearable's real estate is much smaller than a smartphone or tablet.

According to The Information, … Read more

A non-Windows OS? Microsoft drops clues

Over the past couple of weeks, there were two interesting developments around Microsoft's "Midori" operating system project.

First, I heard from two of my contacts that Midori -- Microsoft's non-Windows-based operating system project -- moved into the Unified Operating System group under Executive Vice President Terry Myerson. (Before that, it was an incubation project, without a potential commercialization home inside the company.)

Secondly, Microsoft officials seemingly gave the green light to some of the Midori team to go public with more details about the project. Specifically, Joe Duffy, one of the Midori team members, blogged on December 27 about the language used to develop Midori, … Read more

Just days after 10.9.1 update, Apple preps Mavericks for 10.9.2

Apple has launched another update to OS X Mavericks, but for now, it's only available to developers.

Dubbed OS X Update Seed 10.9.2, the prerelease update includes some minor tweaks to Mail and deeper integration of FaceTime audio into Messages and associated apps, according to 9to5Mac, which earlier reported on the update. Apple also asked developers to specifically focus their time on testing VPN, Graphics Drivers, and VoiceOver, according to a listing in the Mac App Store.

Apple launched its OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 update earlier this week. It's not uncommon for a subsequent … Read more

Apple: New apps 'must be optimized for iOS 7'

Apple is taking a sterner approach in trying to move app developers into the world of iOS 7.

The company on Tuesday said that all new apps and app updates submitted after February 1, 2014, "must be optimized for iOS 7" and built with the latest version of Xcode 5, a software application for developers.

It's nothing new for Apple to want to push developers toward its most current operating system, and that sentiment could be intensified for iOS 7, it's most drastic overhaul of the mobile OS. But the company has at times been more … Read more

InterDigital execs threatened with arrest in China

Executives from patent licensing firm InterDigital have been threatened with arrest should they try to attend a proposed meeting in China.

What's behind this threat? The story starts with InterDigital, a wireless R&D company that licenses patents for its inventions.

As outlined by Reuters on Monday, InterDigital filed a patent infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission against certain Chinese companies, including ZTE and Huawei Technologies.

That complaint clearly upset China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), an agency that holds much power over the Chinese economy. As a result, the NDRC launched an investigation … Read more

Google barge on 'hiatus' amid scrutiny from two agencies

Whether it's a Google Glass store or a showroom for all things Google X, one thing is clear: No one will be visiting Google Barge anytime soon.

The once-mysterious barge, currently sitting idle alongside a pier at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, is officially "on hiatus," CNET has learned. And while Google is likely still planning on completing the project, it probably won't be finished until well into 2014, long after it was originally supposed to be up and running.

"A variety of senior BCDC staff members have met with Google's representatives to … Read more

1M people try to help Facebook spruce up Android

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- More than 1 million people help Facebook test its Android app, the social network said Wednesday.

Christian Legnitto, Facebook's manager of mobile release engineering, said the company has more than 1 million users who have signed up for the company's beta testers program and 50,000 users for its alpha program. The two programs let users try out early versions of Facebook's app before it's released to the public. That means the apps are buggy and unpolished, but users can give instant feedback within the app. This lets the company improve its … Read more