Google I/O recap: Major Android news; Chrome OS update

Today Google kicked off its annual I/O conference with announcements about Android, Chrome OS, its answer to Apple's HealthKit, and the next generation of developer tools.

Introducing Android L: Android OS's KitKat successor doesn't have a name yet, but it'll begin with L. The platform update will attempt to unite Web and app user experiences through the Material Design interface. Developers will be able to use Google's new Polymer toolkit to design Web apps that look like their Android counterparts, including 3D rendering. Android L also promises notifications on the lock screen (like iOS … Read more

Windows Phone 8.1 features leaked by developer

Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows RT will be able to share the same code, helping developers more easily create the same apps for phone and tablet. At least, that's the take from a round of leaked details.

On Tuesday, a developer with access to the new Windows Phone 8.1 Software Development Kit (SDK) hopped onto Reddit to share several features headed for the new version. New Universal Apps templates will help developers build WinStore/WinRT and WinPhone apps using the same HTML and JavaScript code, according to the SDK. The developer pointed to the new feature as … Read more

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

Pebble reboot: Smartwatch gets iOS 7 upgrade and new SDK with apps, but no new hardware

Can software make the Pebble smartwatch better?

The patriarch of this generation of smartwatches isn't getting a face-lift before the end of this year. The black-and-white nontouch display and bare-bones geek charm of the original Pebble will remain. Instead, Pebble will get a bevy of software and app updates, along with a brand-new SDK that promises the types of apps we'd hoped would be on the Pebble when it was first announced.

iPhone owners finally get notifications galore The first big news is for iOS. The Pebble is getting a software update today for iOS 7 that finally … Read more

The 404 1,358: Where we watch the time with the founder of Pebble (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- CNET's review of the Pebble Watch says it's a work in progress.

- Some of the winning projects from last weekend's Pebble hackaton at MIT.

- The sticky situation that delayed the Pebble Watch.

- Check out Eric's recent Pebble AMA on Reddit.

- Pebble smartwatch goes on sale at AT&T on September 27.

- What's next for Pebble, as of July 11, 2013.… Read more

Qualcomm's AllPlay platform opens up wireless streaming

SAN DIEGO -- Qualcomm is pushing forward its notion of the "Internet of everything" with a new media-streaming platform called AllPlay designed to allow people to wirelessly stream music from mobile apps to multiple speakers in their home.

AllPlay, announced by Qualcomm CEO and Chairman Paul Jacobs at the company's Uplinq developer conference Wednesday, is targeted at developers who can use the coming-soon software developer kit to build wireless streaming capabilities into their iOS and Android applications.

AllPlay is built atop AllJoyn, the chipmaker's open software framework for connecting proximal devices. In essence, AllPlay is Qualcomm'… Read more

Microsoft offering developers early access to Kinect for Windows

Microsoft said today that it will be offering developers early access to its Kinect for Windows program. For $399, developers will get access to tools and a pre-release sensor.

The program begins this November in order to ensure enough time to ready new applications before Kinect for Windows is shipped next year.

Those taking part in the program will get direct access to the Kinect for Windows engineering team, early access to ongoing builds of the software development kit, private access to all API and sample documentation, the pre-release sensor, and a production sensor at launch.

The news was announced … Read more

Google courts Apple developers with new Google Maps tools

Google has updated its developer tools so that any iOS developer can access its Google Maps data and integrate the features into apps.

The updated software developer kit, or SDK, is now available to all iOS developers, not just developers the company had previously granted access to, Google developer advocate Paul Saxman said in a video demonstrating the new tools.

The new version includes support for ground overlays, gesture control, and geodesic polylines. Giving access to all developers may mean that more third-party app developers will choose to use Google's mapping data instead of Apple's.

The two companies … Read more

Microsoft improves Kinect for Windows SDK, launches in China

Microsoft today updated its Kinect for Windows software development kit with a host of improvements.

According to the software giant, the new and important Kinect for Windows SDK now allows developers to consult data from the sensor's three-axis accelerometer, providing access to the device's orientation. In addition, developers will have access to depth data beyond its previous limit of four meters, as well as use of an infrared stream.

"Access to all this data means new experiences are possible: whole new scenarios open up, such as monitoring manufacturing processes with extended-range depth data," Microsoft Kinect for … Read more

Windows Phone 8 clings to secrecy

Microsoft is preparing to release the software development kit for Windows Phone 8 — but only to a select group of developers.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Windows Marketplace chief Todd Brix said Microsoft was starting to accept requests for access to the SDK, which lets app creators tailor their products to the upcoming version of the Windows Phone OS.

However, only the "developers of [the Marketplace's] most-downloaded apps" will get in early, Brix said. As for the rest, they will only get access at the launch of Windows Phone 8 because Microsoft is trying to keep … Read more