This Month in Tech: October 2018

In an industry that’s constantly evolving, we feel it’s important to give you the latest mobile and tech news. Whether you’re new to mobile, an industry leader, or an international brand, having the latest mobile news is vital for your mobile app development. So, here are the top tech stories from October 2018. With a heavy dose of hardware news, in October we’ve seen announcements from giants like Apple and Samsung as well as a potentially huge partnership between Snap and Amazon.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the latest mobile news, sign up for the Sonin newsletter today. Here are the quick links to the top stories of our October Mobile & Tech news:

Adobe Launches New Tool for Augmented Reality Experiences

At its Max conference this month, Adobe showed off its new Creative Cloud tool for building Augmented Reality experiences. The iPad app, Project Aero, integrates with Dimension and Photoshop to make AR creation more streamlined and intuitive. According to Adobe, immersive experiences are closing the gap between our devices and our senses. And with Project Aero, creators will be able to deliver these experiences to mobile faster and easier.

Adobe Project Aero Aliens

Source: TechCrunch

Project Aero makes use of the USDZ file format from Apple’s ARKit announced during its WWDC 2018 event. This new file format is a “zero-compression, unencrypted zip archive” that’s optimised for Augmented Reality app development. With Project Aero and the USDZ file format, we’ll be able to create shared AR experiences much faster. Allowing our clients to engage their employees and connecting with their customers in unique ways.

Augmented Reality App Development Sonin

Google Debuts Pixel 3, Home Hub and More

Google Home Hub: One of the key challenges in the smart home or smart office is control. So many different Internet of Things (IoT) devices requiring their own separate apps. This encourages a disconnected and inefficient system. So, to answer this problem, Google is introducing the Google Home Hub. It’s a 7-inch touchscreen tablet from which you can control a wide range of Google and third-party smart home devices.

Google Pixel Slate: The new Chrome OS tablet is Google’s first in three years! With an attachable keyboard, the Pixel Slate looks to be Google’s answer to the Surface Pro. One of the device’s key features is that, rather than a hybrid tablet/laptop user interface, the Pixel Slate can detect how it’s being used and switches its UI accordingly.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: Google’s latest devices in the Pixel line pack in two front facing cameras at the cost of an extended screen notch. The benefit of this, however, is a larger edge-to-edge screen that takes up 82% of the front of the device.

A New (Updated) Chromecast: In addition to the design overhaul, the new Chromecast device is 15% faster and now supports 60fps video at 1080p. Of course, like almost everything in Google’s current line up, Chromecast now supports Google Assistant.

Android’s 10 Year Anniversary

Ten years ago on the 22nd October 2008, Android OS debuted on the T-Mobile G1. But you probably wouldn’t recognise it today. After all, there was no on-screen keyboard and no multitouch. But the foundation was there for an operating system that’s used by over two billion users every single month. For example, the pull-down notification bar was there from day one. And so was the ability for users to customise their home screen. Over the years, these features were refined, forming the foundation for the Android OS we know today.


1, 1.1, Cupcake & Dounut
2. Eclair, Froyo & Gingerbread
3. Honeycomb
4. Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean & Kit Kat
5. Lolipop
6. Marshmallow
7. Nougat
8. Oreo
9. Pie
1, 1.1, Cupcake & Dounut

Android 1 Sonin App Development Agency

Launched with the T-Mobile G1, Android 1 introduced several key features that still remain in the OS today. And saw the start of Google’s “sweet” naming convention with the 1.3 Cupcake update. But it also started off missing key features like an on-screen keyboard, a quick search box and even the ability to run on different sized screens. Over the course of its lifespan, though, Android 1 was refined to form the foundation of the operating system we know today.

2. Eclair, Froyo & Gingerbread

Android 2 Sonin App Development Agency

Android 2 featured:

  • Support for multiple Google accounts
  • Google Maps navigation
  • Live wallpapers
  • An all-new lock screen
  • Support for front facing cameras

3. Honeycomb

Android 7 Nougat

A Droid exclusive operating system for tablets with features like:

  • Improved multitasking and support for multicolumn app layouts
  • Introduction of the “system bar” meaning no reliance on home buttons
  • Introduction of the customisable Android action bar

4. Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean & Kit Kat

Android 4 Sonin App Development Agency

Android Beam: Using NFC to allow users to share data just by touching their phones together.

  • Face unlock: Arguably more of a novelty, and easily tricked by a photo of the person, but Android 4 used the phone’s front-facing camera for a face unlock feature.
  • Data usage analysis: Giving users a much better breakdown of their data usage
    Actionable notifications: For the first time, Android users could expand notifications to reveal more info and controls without opening the app.
  • Predictive Text: The keyboard shifted focus from text correction to prediction.
  • Full-screen apps: Apps now had the option to hide the status bar and navigation buttons entirely, providing a much more immersive experience.

5. Lolipop

Android 5 Lollipop Sonin App Development Agency

Material Design: The introduction of Google’s iconic design language which would soon be rolled out across its web apps and desktop interfaces too.

Multitasking redefined: Rather than simply letting users preview recent applications, Android Lollipop’s new multitasking let users hump straight into the part of the app users were interested in.

6. Marshmallow

Android 6 Marshmallow Sonin App Development

Android Pay: Preinstalled on Marshmallow devices, Android Pay (Now Google Pay) allowed users to make payments with their phone using NFC.

Now on Tap: A precursor to Google Assistant, users could hold down the home button to activate Google Now. The feature would then pull up relevant info, laying the groundwork for smarter app actions and functions.

7. Nougat

Android 7 Nougat

Split screen support: Two apps running fully in split screen mode along with a new way to quickly switch between recent apps by double tapping the overview button.

Quicker quick replies: For the first time, developers could add quick replies to their apps’ notifications. Again, continuing the trend of smarter app interactions.

8. Oreo

Further improving the Android lock screen, Oreo organised notifications by priority. For example, media controls and people-to-people messages were now right at the top. Followed by other notifications like news alerts or promotional push notifications.

Other features included:

  • Halved the booting speed
  • Auto-filling details for app logins
  • ‘Notification dots’ which quickly show which of your apps have new notifications
  • ‘Picture-in-Picture’ which lets you see two apps at the same time
  • Android Instant Apps launch instantly from your browser without the need to install first
  • Google Play Protect will scan apps to keep your device and data
  • Improved battery life

9. Pie

Android 9 Pie

Android P has a huge focus on artificial intelligence. Using it to deliver a smarter, faster user experience that adapts over time. Its features include:

  • Smarter app suggestions
  • Gesture control for switching between apps
  • Digital health tools giving users more transparency over the time they spend on their phones
  • Wind Down mode that switches to a grayscale colour mode and automatically turns on Do Not Disturb before bed
  • Indoor navigation by using Wi-Fi RTT

Next year, if Google sticks with its naming convention, we can expect Android 10… Q. We’re not sure what Android Q has in store for us (it’ll likely continue the trend of smarter app interactions) but we do know it’s Google’s biggest naming challenge yet. After all, how many sweets or treats can you name beginning with Q?

martha-mobile developer

As a junior developer, I loved the RecyclerView (the successor of ListView). It has the ability to render any adapter-based for a large data set. It’s perfect for displaying lists (vertically or horizontally)!

Another one will be Constraint layout. It is a ViewGroup which allows you to position and size widgets in a flexible way. It made the implementation of UIs so much easier!


A Closer Look at HTC’s Blockchain Phone

HTC just officially announced the specs for its Blockchain phone. The Exodus 1 contains a secure wallet where you can store all those crypto keys and tokens. HTC is now accepting pre-orders but, you guessed it, you can only pay in cryptocurrency.

Effectively a beta test device and “not for the mass market yet,” the Exodus 1 hopes to act as a middle ground Blockchain device. Somewhere between the inconvenience of keeping your cryptocurrency offline and the risk of storing it in a centralized market. After all, earlier this year Japan’s Coincheck exchange lost $532 to hackers.

With the device, HTC is also championing a ‘social key recovery’ tool. This way you can lose your phone without losing all the keys stored securely inside. All you need is three trusted friends to download the official app. Your unique recovery key is algorithmically split between them.

We’re yet to see whether the Exodus 1 and similar devices can help usher in the age of mass decentralisation. But it’s interesting to see big name brands willing to let consumers test with emerging technologies. All on a platform that’s convenient, accessible and personalised: mobile!

What is Blockchain Sonin App Development Agency