iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4 betas bring back AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud & HomePod stereo pairing

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HomePod stereo pairing and the underlying AirPlay 2 technology that powers it have now re-appeared in the developer betas of iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 (that arrived earlier today) following their unexpected removal from the previous iOS 11.3 and tvOS 11.3 updates…. Read the rest of this post here


iOS 11.4, tvOS 11.4 betas bring back AirPlay 2, Messages in iCloud & HomePod stereo pairing” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Apple seeks VR patent to bring zombie attacks and talk shows into self-driving cars

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In recent weeks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published Apple patent applications for several fascinating virtual reality concepts, but the latest one takes the cake: Apple has applied to patent a VR system for autonomous cars that radically transforms the car’s interior and exterior environments, making the ride more fun for pass…Read More
Apple – VentureBeat
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Android P feature spotlight: Here’s how to bring back System UI Tuner

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Sometimes Google takes features away, but sometimes they’re just hiding. Turns out, Android P still does have the System UI Tuner that we previously thought was removed. It’s just not user-facing anymore. Interested parties can still access that hidden list of UI modifications, you just have to do it the long way, and we’ve got two methods here. 

Turns out, that related activities for the System UI tuner are still present in the current developer preview for Android P, just nothing in the current developer preview is set to point at it.

Read More

Android P feature spotlight: Here’s how to bring back System UI Tuner was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android news, reviews, apps, games, phones, tablets

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HMD’s April 4 event in India may bring an Amazon-exclusive Nokia 7 Plus

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HMD has scheduled an event in India for April 4 with hints that it will be about Android One phones. That doesn’t narrow it down much, but Twitter user @IshanAgarwal24 has dug up this image, which suggests the Nokia 7 plus will be exclusive to Amazon India. Apparently, the 7 Plus will be sold through flash sales, similar to the sales approach of Chinese companies. The Nokia 7 Plus may be exclusive to Amazon India There’s a chance that more phones will be shown at the event – Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 6 (2018) – but they may not be exclusive to Amazon. The Nokia 6 (the original)…

GSMArena.com – Latest articles

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Apple wants to bring these accessibility emojis to iOS

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Apple has proposed a bunch of new accessibility emojis that it wants to bring to iOS. There are nine altogether — some of which are available in different genders and skin tones — including guide dogs, a heading aid, prosthetic limbs, and more. One in seven people suffer from some form of disability, Apple states […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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How IBM’s Watson could bring more smart home intelligence to Siri and Homekit

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Earlier this week, IBM announced a new partnership with Apple, explaining how it would be adding IBM Watson Services to Core ML. Since Watson has already proved its prowess on Jeopardy, most folks know what Watson is. Core ML is probably less familiar: It’s Apple’s machine learning framework for the company’s software platforms. Specifically, Apple says that Core ML can be used with Siri, Camera and QuickType.

How Watson works

That reference of Siri jumps out at me. Granted, the IBM-Apple news is really geared towards building apps for enterprises — Apple and IBM have been partners in this area for a few years now — but I’m thinking ahead on other areas where Watson could could benefit Apple products. And Siri surely needs help, especially inside the Apple HomePod.

How so? Well, let’s step back a minute and see how Watson works today.

This video provides a fantastic explanation but if I had to summarize it, here’s how I see it. Watson ingests large amounts of unstructured data, most of which today is written information. After analyzing that data for patterns, Watson attempts to structure it to understand both the content and intent of any actions taken upon that data.

This is far more advanced than simply scanning a never-ending stream of question-answer pairs because not every question is asked the same way and that can change the meaning of the question or analysis. There’s certainly more to Watson than my limited interpretation, but these are the parts most relevant to my thought process.

Data in the smart home: Context and intent

So what if the unstructured data was human behavior in a smart home? Theoretically, Watson could determine both the context and the intent of users of that home and through pattern recognition, possibly anticipate the needs of people in the home from such insights. This is the autonomous level of smart homes that I alluded to last week when discussing routines and automations.

To be more specific, Watson could help make sense of all of the actions we take in, around and near our homes: When we generally wake, leave for work, what we cook and when, who comes and goes, when do we sit down to relax and what do we typically do during that time. For a home to be semi-autonomous, certain patterns need to be recognized from these actions. And those patterns can be combined with already available verification data such as GPS location, network traffic from Netflix or music from an online streaming service.

At that point, a digital assistant such as Siri can begin to anticipate things and make insightful suggestions without any programming or user configuration; two items used today for routines and automation.

For example, I typically retire to the home office at some point after dinner but I don’t do work. Instead, I turn a light on to read a book or watch TV and I may play some low-volume music. Now imagine if Siri knew that, thanks to Watson.

I might head upstairs to the office and find the light already turned on to my preferred brightness. Siri could proactively ask if I wanted to catch up on the show I most recently watched on Netflix. Perhaps I respond and say, “No thanks, I’m going to read for a while.” Maybe Siri prompts to see if I want music that’s tailored for light background noise while I read. You see where I’m going.

Google is doing this with Docs already

If it sounds impossible that such patterns could be detected or useful, think about Google Drive. Using its own machine learning, Google knows when I typically return to specific documents and it highlights them at the appropriate time. Think context and intent here.

A perfect example is when Stacey and I collaborate on the IoT Podcast show notes. The day and time of that effort varies but I’d say that 90% of the time, I open up Google Drive to add topics for the next show, the spreadsheet appears above my Drive contents in the “Quick Access” area. In fact, under the document, it says, “You usually open this Sheet around this time.” It’s a simple example of pattern recognition, but it’s also a powerful one.

If Google can do this with Drive documents and Watson can do this with unstructured, written data, it’s just a matter of doing the same thing with a different type of data: Objects and their actions in the smart home. There’s no guarantee that Apple is working with IBM on this to make Siri a smarter digital assistant in the home, but if they’re not, I think they should be.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Google Will Soon Bring a Blockchain-Like System to the Cloud

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Google, the hipster of the tech world, was into blockchain before it was cool.

Between 2012 and 2017, when some people were only just learning about the blockchain and what they could do with it, Google was acquiring blockchain startups and pumping millions of dollars into others. Only one other company invested more money into blockchain in that timeframe. In 2016, Google opened its cloud server to blockchain developers.

Now, Google may be close to reaping the benefits of those years of research and funding. Industry insiders have told Bloomberg that Google plans to embrace a blockchain-like ledger system to support its cloud business.

Using the cloud is like renting a storage unit. You pay a certain amount of money in exchange for a certain amount of space, only the space is on a company’s servers and not in some shady gated facility. Instead of unused furniture, you store data, and instead of a padlock, you use a password to protect your valuables.

However, a determined thief could crack the padlock on the storage unit, so too could a savvy hacker break into your cloud storage company’s servers to access your data.

Blockchain would make that kind of break-in impossible. Companies have taken a number of different approached to blockchain-based cloud storage, but the idea is that your data is “decentralized.” Instead of stashing your rock collection in your one storage space, you could store each rock in a different locker. You could even duplicate the rocks just to be safe, and then store those in different lockers.

In a blockchain-supported cloud system, your files are the rock collection. The data gets broken into bits, stored on a bunch of servers, and you’re the only person with the key needed to put the pieces back together.

With the damage caused by major data hacks still fresh in the public consciousness (looking at you, Equifax), Google could use the promise of blockchain’s near-impenetrable security to draw customers away from companies offering less secure, traditional cloud storage.

And Google has even figured out a way to make money off other would-be competitors. An anonymous insider told Bloomberg Google also plans to release a white-label version of its system. That means third parties could offer customers the same system Google provides, but on their own servers and with their own branding, and would have to pay Google to do it. After all, why develop your own blockchain-based cloud storage system when you can just buy Google’s?

Of course, Google isn’t the only company exploring blockchain for cloud storage. The company hasn’t shared a release date for their system, so a competitor — another major company, even a startup — could bring their product to market first. But it’s hard to imagine that Google wouldn’t immediately become the dominant player in this field when its service does launch. After all, the company has done its blockchain homework.

The post Google Will Soon Bring a Blockchain-Like System to the Cloud appeared first on Futurism.

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Bring Your Photos To Life With Photolemur Spectre [Deals Hub]

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Your pictures are some of your most priceless treasures, but sometimes they do not reflect the moment you captured to their best ability. It could be the lighting, the framing, the background, or something else that just doesn’t seem right. That complete and vibrant look is what you want and over-complicated editors are annoying and frustrating. You can easily handle edits for photos on your Mac with a Family License for Photolemur. It’s on sale now in iPhoneHacks Deals Hub. Continue reading
iPhone Hacks | #1 iPhone, iPad, iOS Blog
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iOS 12 To Bring New Today Section In iBooks

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According to a new report on iOS 12, Apple is said to add a new Today section to iBooks app in the new firmware. Here are the details.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Redmond Pie

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