Apple’s native Camera app in iOS 11 has plenty of tools for helping you get the right shot, but some are more hidden than others. The camera level is the perfect example of a really handy tool that many users don’t even know exists, mainly because it’s part of a feature that’s turned off by default.
If you tend to take a lot of photos from an overhead point of view, like a picture of a meal on a table, or an object lying on the floor, then you’ll want to use the camera level, as it helps you capture a balanced shot without having to use a tripod arm or mount. It’s also useful for taking shots of scenes directly above you, such as in the sky or on the ceiling.
It’s no secret that Android manufacturers “take inspiration” from Apple’s work on the iPhone. It makes sense — Apple does the same thing! After all, when you have thousands of engineers all trying to make similar rectangular slabs as simple and elegant as possible, it’s almost impossible to work in a vacuum.
But OnePlus has always followed Apple more closely than the rest. It’s evident in the design of the OnePlus 5, which is nearly indistinguishable from the iPhone 7 Plus. It was clear when OnePlus debuted a brand-new Face Unlock feature just days after the iPhone X’s Face ID launched. And if there was any lingering doubt that OnePlus cribs from Apple, it just vanished.
With its latest update, OnePlus is throwing any shred of shame out of the window. In the latest beta build of Android Oreo for the OnePlus 5T, the company has added a feature that lets you disable the software navigation bar along the bottom in favor of gesture controls. Those gesture controls will feel oddly familiar to anyone who’s used an iPhone X: It’s the same kind of upwards swipe to go to the home screen, and a swipe-and-hold for multitasking. Swiping from the left or right side of the screen takes you back.
Honestly speaking, this is a good thing for OnePlus 5T owners. The whole point of the all-screen smartphone design that became popular last year is to maximize the amount of real estate available for content and apps. Gesture controls provide the same functionality as physical or digital buttons, but without taking up the same amount of room. Apple’s gesture controls feel natural and intuitive enough not to be a pain, and they’re certainly simple. If OnePlus forced users to draw out a circle to return home, rather than just mimicking Apple’s swipe up, that would be a poor design decision taken purely for appearances.
When OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T, the designers told BGR that they first tried to make a phone that looked less like the iPhone 7 Plus. But they also said that “the company never wants to be different for the sake of being different. Instead, it tries to make design choices that are familiar to users.” It’s not a bad idea in the slightest — maybe just try to be more subtle next time.
After dropping the first iOS 11.3 beta last week, Apple developers wasted little time in getting to work on a preview of what we’ll see this spring during the public release. For an iOS update that features four new Animoji, it almost feels strange talking about anything other than karaoke with Apple’s new lion, bear, skull, or dragon lenses. But even with four new creatures to love, it’s the release of AIKit 1.5 that’s stealing the show. The highlight of the release is vertical surface detection. Unlike previous versions, developers can now map spaces vertically, meaning instead of placing Ikea…
Dialing the clocks back to March of last year and Bike Baron [$ 1.99 / Free] developer Qwiboo was showing off their latest project to us during GDC 2017. It was a mini-golf style game that at that time was called The Long Trail, and besides bouncing the ball-like bunny around clever hazard-filled courses using a slingshotting mechanic, the big draw was that the game would include a full-featured level editor so players could create and share their own levels, similarly to that in their own Bike Baron. Fast forward 10+ months and one name change to Magic Golf later and the project is finally finished and ready for release this Thursday. Here’s a brand new trailer so you can see it in action.
As with many upcoming mobile games lately, Magic Golf is available for pre-order ahead of its release on Thursday. From an iOS 11 device you can click on this link to be taken to the App Store to go through the pre-ordering process. Then when the game is available you’ll get a push notification and it’ll automatically download to your device like magic. Magic Golf will be free to play with optional IAPs and opt-in video ads for its monetization, and based on Qwiboo’s previous work I’m confident it’ll be a fair experience. So hit up the above link for some pre-ordering action, or simply wait a couple of days and we’ll give you the head’s up when the nifty-looking Magic Golf hits the App Store on Thursday.