Google Lens Currently Rolling Out to iOS via Google Photos App

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Google has announced that its previously Android-only Google Lens feature is now rolling out to iOS users who have the Google Photos app installed.

First unveiled last year at the Google I/O 2017 conference, Google Lens uses the company’s image recognition and machine learning algorithms to identify the subjects of photos and videos and present additional helpful actions and information to the user.

For example, if you take a picture of a business card, Google Lens will offer to save the phone number or address to one of your contacts. Similarly, taking a photo of a book, landmark, building, painting, plant or animal can throw up an option to view more details about the picture’s subject.

A few things to note: Currently Google Lens only works if your device’s language is set to English, and you’re running the latest version (3.15) of Google Photos. You can check what version you’re running in the app’s settings – tap the cog icon and select “About Google Photos” in the menu. Also note that your Google Lens activity is saved to your Google Account if you have Web & App Activity turned on.

If you still don’t see the Google Lens icon when viewing individual photos or videos, it’s likely the feature hasn’t reached your region yet. Google says the update is being released in batches and all devices should receive it soon.

Google Photos is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

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How to use color-coded calendars on Mac, iPhone and iPad to maintain balance in your life

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It will surprise no-one to know that I was an early adopter of electronic calendars, starting with a Casio Digital Diary in the early 1990s, followed by a Psion 5mx in 1997. But making the switch from a Filofax to a grayscale PDA did mean giving up one thing I didn’t get back until years later: color-coded calendars.

Many people use color-coding to distinguish work and social events, as well as things like family calendars. But I also use them to help me maintain a balanced life …



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‘Evoland 2’ Review: Let’s do the Timewarp Again

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Shiro Games isn’t the type of game company to release tons of games that are broad reaching and cover many genres. This is kind of weird because in order to be proficient at making a game like Evoland 2[$ 6.99], they have the chops to make a LOT of games. Unlike the original Evoland, the sequel fully explores several genres and manages a voice and a character all it’s own. While the first Evoland really never fully pushed past the big names that it pays homage to, Evoland 2 will draw you in and make you forget at times that it is in many ways an almanac of gaming nostalgia. Evoland 2 just recently released on iOS as a port from the PC version, and it is a really great way to play this enchanting game.

The underlying plot of Evoland 2 is that you as the protagonist have been flung through time and must find your way back and of course go on many adventures, defeat foes and make friends along the way. The lionshare of the gameplay is still in the top-down view ala Secret of Mana or Legend of Zelda. Dungeons, Bosses, Puzzles and a slew of unique challenges all lay in wait to thwart your attempts to save the past present and future. What sets the Evoland franchise apart is the fact that you won’t be playing just one genre of game or graphics engine. Your view and interface with the game will be changing from locale to locale, and while you aren’t necessarily getting thrust into a new situation each moment like a Wario Ware type of situation, you will need to be capable of adapting to new controls and gameplay as you progress further and further into the game.

The entire gimmick of Evoland is that as you progress in the game, the generational technology of the game shifts. So at one point you will be looking at a screen that might remind you of an original NES or gameboy game, other times you might be looking at a PS2 quality 3D rendered environment. That’s basically the breadth of what you will experience as far as video game eras is concerned. Anything within those boundaries you will find well represented in game. You will also find that the game will sometimes be well within standard RPG gameplay limits, but frequently shifts to completely different modes including a card battle system, puzzle solving, bullet hell shooting and much much more.

There is a really solid mix of meaningful dialogue and comedic interludes that keep the pace uplifting yet still plausible. Whether the characters are hashing out philosophical differences or dropping 4th wall breaking one liners, you start to see that the game wants to be thoughtful and playful and it works very well. For a game that has so many evolutions, mode changes and overall mutations, it seems like an easy situation to get whiplash in, but that is not really the case. In the first game you would just find a chest, open a chest, and get a new coat of paint on the game without much reason but the sequel spends time explaining things and showing a lot of consideration for why things are happening and why things are changing. Rather than just offering a reflection of old games we love, Evoland 2 tells it’s own story and does it just like those old games did. In spite of graphical constraints and in spite of platform limitations, the story can still be told that is poignant and relatable.

The overall gameplay of Evoland 2 is solid. There is not a ton of innovation, but the platforming/action RPG core is very good, if not a little fiddly with the touch controls. I have gone back and forth between using a mfi controller and the touch interface and a controller does bring a lot of ease to otherwise very difficult situations. There were a number of bosses that were incredibly difficult with touch control but I never felt fully blocked or unable to progress without the controller, it is just a more difficult path. I won’t go into detail on each of the side-genres or side-games that this game employs but most of them are a hit, with the notable exception of the card game being a bit of a downer. Some of the references are also a bit hamfisted, like in the Professor Layton style puzzle section. Ok, so a lot of the references are hamfisted, but that’s part of the charm of this game! Also, you should be aware that there are a lot of times you will need to learn a new system in order to move forward and as long as you are like me and really enjoy the variety, it should not cause a problem.

The original Evoland has been estimated around a 4 hour play time. Evoland 2 dwarfs this at a big-boy-RPG 20 hours of estimated play time. I think the first game was a sort of test bed and the sequel really shines as a result. Whether you look at dialogue and story line, or implementation of mechanics, or just sheer volume of gameplay, Evoland 2 is not just a huge improvement on the original but also an amazing way to extend your experiences you may have had with those old school games that it emulates. Evoland 2 pulls off something very difficult to do, it keeps it’s own unique feel and functions as a greatest hits anthology. Go get it if you haven’t already!


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XFINITY Stream app gets fingerprint support for parental controls

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Comcast’s switch from XFINITY TV to XFINITY Stream about a year ago was met with lots of criticism for a number of reasons, and based on the latest Google Store reviews, users still aren’t very happy. But here’s something that might cheer you up: fingerprint authentication has been added for parental controls.


  • Gain faster, easier access to your Parental Controls by using fingerprint authentication instead of a PIN.
  • We’ve worked out a few code improvements and fixed some bugs to enhance your overall experience.

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XFINITY Stream app gets fingerprint support for parental controls was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Coca-Cola and US government use blockchain to curb forced labor

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The quest to end forced labor has created some unusual technological allies. Coca-Cola, the US State Department and a trio of crypto organizations (Bitfury Group, Blockchain Trust Accelerator and Emercoin) have launched a pilot project that will use…
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A Case of Distrust is a minimalist noir story

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

It doesn’t take much to evoke the sense of a place. The right sound or the right look can be transportive, putting you in a location you’ve maybe never even been before, yet still intuitively understand. A Case of Distrust does this not by calling on cultural touchstones from its time period, but works by evoking a nostalgic style from the ‘50s that was used to invoke the ‘20s.

A Case of Distrust takes place in San Francisco in 1925, and puts you in the shoes of newly minted private detective, former SFPD officer Phyllis…

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Weekly poll: Sony Xperia XZ2 takes on its Compact sibling

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The Sony WM-10 was the smallest casette-playing Walkman, the Sony HX80 is the smallest camera with 30x optical zoom, the Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact is the smallest Android with Snapdragon 845. What can we say, the company loves its petite powerhouses. But is the Xperia XZ2 the better phone? It has a few things going for it, besides the bigger screen. It has a slightly bigger battery, for one, about 300mAh more. Plus, only the big one has wireless charging (Sony’s wireless charger can do the respectable 9W). And while it’s not standard, there’s a version of the big XZ2 with 6GB of RAM while… – Latest articles

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[Deal Alert] Pixel 2 XL now offered with $200 statement credit via Google Store Financing, free 18W charger

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Until yesterday, Google had been offering anyone who purchased a Pixel 2 XL $ 100 in Google Store credit. But now, a new offer for the Pixel 2 XL has taken its place: a $ 200 statement credit when financed with Google Store Financing. A free 18W charger will be thrown in even if you don’t choose to finance.

The Google Store has only run one financing deal before, and that was a $ 75 credit on the Pixel when it was just already eight months old.

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[Deal Alert] Pixel 2 XL now offered with $ 200 statement credit via Google Store Financing, free 18W charger was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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After Math: Space Farce

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It was a parabolic week for space nerds. The president teased the creation of a fourth military branch dubbed the "Space Force," world-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking passed away at the age of 76, and NASA's acting chief retired without someo…
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Internet of Things in Events: What’s in it for Event Planners

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Event planning and management have gone far beyond what it was in the past. From manual registration to collaboration with the attendees, everything has changed with the emergence of technology. From mobile event apps to Virtual and augmented reality, event planners are finding unique ways to engage attendees as much as they could.

With the rise of technology in the event industry, Internet of Things has become the buzzword as well. If you are not aware of what Internet of Things is all about, let us have a brief overview.

What is the Internet of Things?

Internet of Things is defined as the network of Internet-connected objects, able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors.

Connected things include everything from refrigerators to coffee makers and wearable devices to cell phones.

The recent hype in IoT has been quite surprising and an estimated projection suggests that there will be as many as 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

The opportunities offered by IoT in any industry will also play a vital role in revolutionizing event industry. From attendees tracking to check-in and cashless payments, event industry will see a major shift in driving attendees and engaging them.

Why is the Internet of Things Helpful in Event Management?

The event industry is dependent on data more than any other industry. From attendees to caterers and venues to speakers, everything needs a valid data and it is only possible through the Internet of Things.

The data helps event managers and planners to make informed decisions. The data extracted can be helpful in automating attendee management, intelligent lighting, keeping your guests safe and comfortable, and automatic notification based on iBeacon technology.

How Event Planners and Managers Can Benefit from IoT?

The event industry can benefit from the opportunities offered by IoT. How event planners and managers can benefit from IoT, let us have a look.

Access to Information

Events are successful only if attendee experience is unique and drive engagement. For instance, NFC device like iBeacon can connect with attendees in order to access schedule seamlessly, check in to the event and offer precise mapping and direction within the event premises.

Beacons also allow event staff to view visitors’ data from the wearable devices, such as wristbands and smart lanyards. It helps them to collaborate and pitch them in a more personalized way.

Moreover, smart lanyards can help attendees to attend specific session or talk based on their profile. In addition, they can also inform other attendees to attend sessions based on their profession and profile. Hence, IoT can help event managers and planners perfectly pitch tailored message to the attendees based on their interests.

Automated Registration and Check-in

Smartphones are now equipped with NFC, GPS, WIFI, and BLE. These features can help event managers to automate the registration process of attendees at events without making a mess. For instance, BLE connectivity can enable attendees to use their smartphones to collaborate with the onsite registration software to check in when they are near event venue.

Moreover, they can be directed to collection booth to get their event badges through a notification on their mobile phone. It would help event managers to save time and utilize automated system instead of the workforce for onsite registrations.

Interactive Posters

With the help of NFC, attendees can tap on posters or products through their mobile device to get more information. It would allow the exhibitors to extract the list of potential customers who are interested in the product offering.

The potential of IoT is beyond one’s imagination. The real advantage of using IoT in events is to collect data from any device. Imagine if an event planner incorporates the attendee data, it allows them to collect useful information, allowing them to create a personalized experience for the audience.

As you leave the event venue, you receive a notification that acknowledges you for visiting the event and a link to an event survey. At the same time, an email is sent to you with the list of exhibitors that you have visited and information about their service offerings.

Heat Map and Navigation

Allowing attendees to connect to the WIFI or adding BLE chips into the event badges can allow event managers to generate a heat map. The heat map will keep track of the attendees’ location to know which part of the event engages them the most.

With the help of this data, event managers can start improving the way they organize and arrange a venue. Moreover, they can also analyze the most visited areas where attendees were engaged the most and devise new strategies to market the product in a better way.

Security and Safety of Attendees

Smart buildings are optimal to deal with any kind of problems or hazards. Windows and doors in smart buildings are controlled wirelessly through the connection of beacons and cameras. With minimum to no human intervention, guests can be welcomed and unwanted visitors can be kept out. Moreover, the air conditioners, lighting, and heating appliances can be managed wirelessly in order to meet with the rapid changes in the venue.


The deployment of new technologies in your event can help you gather useful data, leading to more efficient event management. It depends on you how you utilize the data because deploying the latest technology is not beneficial unless you are ignoring the key data metrics.


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