Facebook Gets Integrated Into Unity Engine

Facebook Gets Integrated Into Unity Engine

Aug 28, 2013

Today at its special developer conference, Unity announced that the famous game engine which powers many modern mobile games will get fully integrated social media features in a special Software Development Kit. This means that the developers will have an option to implement any of their games into Facebook, or conversely – implant Facebook’s social features into any game that uses Unity. Although unwanted Facebook integration can potentially spoil some experiences, it’s one more step in connecting mobile games with stationary platforms, which could lead to very interesting developments. Original Announcement on Facebook: Facebook Developer Blog

Zapstreak Shows Early Results of Android to TV Media Streaming Behavior Through Shortbeam

Zapstreak Shows Early Results of Android to TV Media Streaming Behavior Through Shortbeam

Aug 9, 2012

While they didn’t exactly publicize this app when announcing the initial Zapstreak SDK, there has been one app using their technology on Android, called Shortbeam. This app allows users to stream video from services like YouTube and Reddit TV to a DLNA-compatible TV or media device, along with their photos and music.  Fusion Sheep, the developer of Zapstreak, has shared some data on how users are streaming media with the service to this point.

So far, video has overwhelmingly been the most streamed media, representing 65% of what is streamed to TVs. Photos are actually second above music, at 18% to 17%. A total of over 469 hours of media has been streamed, though the average stream has been for just over 2 minutes. Users may just be interested in finding a way to view short-form content on their TVs, not to use their phones as a media hub to be beamed when necessary.

Inteestingly, the Samsung Galaxy S II was the most popular streaming source. TVs represented 9 of the 10 media receivers, with only the DirecTV set top box being the non-smart-TV in the list. Coincidental or not, 6 out of the top 10 were streaming from and to the same manufacturer. While sample size issues are abound with this information, it could show that cross-hardware branding is a potential strength for manufacturers to focus on.

Shortbeam is free from Google Play. The Zapstreak SDK is still in beta.

Android Emulator Updated with GPU Support, and Hardware Sensor Tethering

Android Emulator Updated with GPU Support, and Hardware Sensor Tethering

Apr 10, 2012

Testing out Android apps on a PC is about to get a lot easier for developers. Android has updated the emulator on their SDK with some crucial new features. First, they’ve added GPU acceleration to the emulator, meaning that performance dramatically improves. As well, for developers working in OpenGL, the emulator now supports that, which should be a boon to developers of games with 3D engines. While not all GPU hardware is supported, they have improved the raw performance of the emulator through floating point operation.

Also helping out is that Android devices can now be tethered to a computer to serve as sensors for the emulator. This makes it possible to test out multitouch and accelerometer input, to go along with the camera support provided in earlier updates. Support for Bluetooth and NFC is coming in a future update as well.

These emulator features are an important part of Android development – the iOS simulator on Macs makes it a powerful tool for app testing, and it allowed for a variety of apps to be released on the original iPad, even before anyone could publicly test on it. This updated emulator will only help developers.