Spotlight, The Big Sick, and other movies on sale in iTunes right now

Apple on Tuesday updated its iTunes Store with new deals on movies and other content. Among the discounted movies are Spotlight, The Big Sick and Manchester By the Sea. Check out the full list below…. Read the rest of this post here

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‘AR as a feature’ is the best use of AR tech right now, and Amazon gets it

ARKit’s release in 2017 unleashed a new category of mobile apps and created a greenfield for mobile app developers. The more than 1,000 AR apps already in the App Store cover a wide range of developers, from big corporations like the NBA and Ikea to indie game developers and independent hackers.

In addition to creating new standalone apps, both Apple’s ARKit and Google’s counterpart, ARCore, offer developers and companies an opportunity to engage users of their existing apps with new AR features. But it might be better to approach this tech as “AR as a feature” — not as the end-all, be-all of the app. It is important to note that while AR is a hot topic that’s quickly gaining momentum across industries, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use it in your branding. Depending on your core audience, it could be could be confusing for those unfamiliar with the technology, and by engaging users through multiple potential entry points, users immediately understand the value of the feature.

One of the best examples of “AR as a feature” is Amazon’s addition of “AR View” into its main mobile shopping app. It enables customers to digitally place an item they might want to buy on a real location. Customers can now “see” how that armchair would actually look in their living room. By adding the AR as a feature, Amazon was able to create a new layer of value to the shopping experience for its customers, without having them leave the app to open a separate tool.

Companies should have multiple entry points for the user to find the tool and to make sure its placement provides relational context for those users that would be unfamiliar to its purpose. Again, Amazon has done this well by introducing it through the camera icon on the Home Screen. This provides the context that the AR feature allows a view of product through the camera. It also created a playful aspect to the AR by making it so users experiment by “viewing” novelty items (such as the Back to the Future Delorean) and cartoon characters.

The second entry point is through product pages. At this point, AR View is providing utility by helping users solidify a buying decision. They can view the product in the real world, at scale, and walk around the product to see all sides of it. Notice that Amazon does not use the term “AR View” here but instead uses descriptive language: “See how this product fits in your room.”

Enhancing the world

Adding “AR as a feature” to your existing app can offer value to your customers and engage them in new ways. Here are some other opportunities and examples of AR as a feature.

One of the main use cases of AR is the capability to enhance the real world by showing what it looks like by adding to it. This can be done in the form of products, face filters, 3D animated characters and much so more.

Other retailers such as Ikea, Wayfair, and Target have added AR into their apps to showcase how products look in your room. Sephora is using AR to enable customers to try on makeup before purchasing. This gives them the tools to test new colors and play around with styling their own face. It not only keeps them engaged in the app, it allows for a whole new sensory experience with new products, but also creates a deeper connection to the brand.

Above: Sephora’s AR app

AR in social media already met wide acceptance, and one of the most popular AR features is Snapchat’s Lenses. Most of us have seen (or interacted with) the Dancing Hotdogs or the 3D cartoon Bitmojis. In gaming, who could forget the craze of Pokemon Go where augmented reality Pokemon and characters could be found at various locations, The company even held a Pokémon Go AR Photo Contest that challenged people to submit the most epic images of the AR characters in the real world. And now any social platform or gaming app can add AR Lenses to their app offering their uses a new way to create content.

Understanding the world

AR can also help users better understand the world around them. Product designer Isil Uzum created a prototype where she reimagines the House Manual feature on Airbnb.

Above: Airbnb AR Map concept by Isil Uzum

By displaying notes, photos, and videos as they relate to the real world, AR can help users better understand complex or non-intuitive environments. How-to guides and tutorials can be enhanced by overlay instruction on the real world item. This application can be used across industries, products and objects (detailing car repairs or instructional use of a machine) to even providing a new audio/visual layer to physical locations, such as visual guides for museum displays because AR is not limited to only visual augmentation. Google’s Pixel Buds are great examples of an auditory AR experience. The headphones provide real-time translation to help users better understand the world around them if they are traveling and do not understand the language.

Recognizing the world

Combining image/object recognition with AR can result in many new opportunities. This demo by Intopalo shows facial recognition being used in an office setting. Imagine new ways for companies such as LinkedIn and Facebook to leverage this feature for identifying and recognizing connections in real-world settings.

In addition to facial recognition, machine learning will enable us to recognize the majority of objects and images in the world. In the same way that Shazam gave us audio recognition at our fingertips, AR combined with computer vision will empower users with real-time visual recognition. Consider how recognition of items (clothing, cars, text, etc.) in the real world can be added as a feature for your users to enhance their experience.

Disney has just announced they have created a way to render virtual characters in augmented reality that can respond to real-world objects. This could take their theme parks, games and toys to a whole new level.

Mixed reality

While AR interacts with the world in front of you, VR transports you to new environments. Combining the two technologies results in a mixed reality that can offer users a unique immersive experience. One of the more interesting features in AR is the use of portals. By placing portals in the world, users can teleport to new places using 360 photos, 360 videos or 3D worlds.

Above: An AR portal generated in Viro

Travel apps can add AR Portals as a feature to help users experience their desired destination. From viewing hotel rooms and patio views to previewing an adventure tour, mixed reality can provide the customer with an experience rich enough to validate making the purchase.

Using AR for app promotion

In an ever-growing app marketplace, it can be difficult to stand out and attract users. AR offers an opportunity to use new incentives that warrant downloads. Apple has been heavily promoting AR apps in their iOS app store with dedicated categories like “AR Apps We Love” and “Shop with AR” to make discovery of the enhanced apps easy for customers. Rather than competing with Instagram and Snapchat, AR apps can get featured prominently in the App Store against a much smaller pool of competitors.

AR represents a new opportunity for companies and developers to engage their customers with new features. As more customers upgrade to ARKit enabled devices like iPhone 8 and X and ARCore comes to Android, the number of AR users grow exponentially. Examine your apps to see how you can use AR as a feature to enhance, explain and expand your product offerings and re-engage your customers.

Danny Moon is the CEO and cofounder of Viro Media, a platform for developers to rapidly build AR and VR applications.

Apple – VentureBeat

The New IPad Technology – Choosing What Is Right For You

The iPad is not all hype – while everyone wants one, or at least thinks they do, there is a lot to be said about iPad ownership beyond the prestige it brings. You can store recipes on it, listen to music, watch videos and more, and the below tips will help you get the most out of your iPad. Keep reading to learn more.

Did you know that when you are charging your iPad on a flat surface, it can take a while for the battery light to appear? Don’t panic! Plug it in and wait for a bit. The charging symbol will eventually appear and your iPad has been charging the entire time.

Be sure that you only use official iPad accessories with your iPad. Accessories made by other companies have been shown to slow the device and even cause permanent damage at times. Even though the Apple accessories are more expensive than other options they are cheaper than having to replace your iPad altogether.

Shortcuts let you send messages quickly. One shortcut is to double tap the space bar to enter a period and space after a sentence. This will eliminate the need to manually do it and give you more time to send more messages to your friends.

Performing multiple app updates at the same time can slow down your iPad and make it difficult to get anything done. You can alleviate this by pausing apps and forcing them to update one at a time instead of all at once. Tap the icon of the app that is updating to pause it. When one is finished, you can allow another one to finish updating.

The iPad does not come with a user manual, but sometimes it is useful to have one. If you’re trying to figure out how to set a particular feature on your iPad, having the manual handy can help. To get a copy, simply visit the Apple website. There you will find a Pdf version that is easy to download.

Turn on Apple’s iCloud as soon as you get an iPad. iCloud acts as an important backup to your most critical documents, photos, music, and more. The beauty of it is that it just works. No need to manually force it to back your items up; it does it behind the scenes.

It is possible to easily change the default search engine from Google to your preferred search engine on your iPad. To change it, you’ll need to open the Settings menu, tap on Safari, and then tap Search Engine. You can use alternatives like Bing or Yahoo instead of Google.

Don’t forget about multitasking gestures. There are three to be aware of. These include a four finger swipe (either to the left or to the right) to move seamlessly between apps that you are using and a four finger swipe to take you back to the home screen. These make your life easier, so take advantage of them.

If a four-digit passcode is not substantial enough for you, change it. Under the Settings menu, navigate to General and then to Passcode Lock. Disable the Simple Passcode option. This allows you to use any password to lock and unlock your device. Your email and attachments will also be more secure with a more complex passcode.

You should be concerned about hitting links on your iPad that may not be from legitimate sites. The best way to stop that from happening to you is by holding down the link before you click on it. This will let you know the actual URL the link is coming from.

Try to avoid keeping your iPad screen set at 100 percent brightness. Keeping your screen set at maximum brightness can diminish your battery life significantly. This means you have to spend more time plugging your iPad in, and less time using it. It’s easy to change your screen settings, and a setting of 30 or 40 percent is usually adequate for most iPad usage.

Your iPad is a great tool for listening to music. If you have iTunes, you don’t need to download the songs again with this solution. Just go to iTunes and enable Home Sharing for your iPad. Next, go to the music app on your iPad and click “More. Then click on Shared. Enjoy your favorite sounds!

Some people don’t want to know how much charge remains in their iPad’s battery. Fortunately, there is a way to easily remove this feature. Just go to settings, then click the general tab, and choose usage. You can turn off the indicator on this screen. If you need to place it back, then just follow the steps again.

When you first purchased your iPad, pages loaded quickly. Now, you are noticing your machine is not as snappy in it responses as it used to be. Over time, the installation of data and apps will slow down your iPad. To keep your iPad at optimum speed, periodically review the information and apps you have installed and delete those that are no longer being used. By doing this, your iPad will become snappier in its response again.

If you want to add extra security to your iPad, you have a few options. The first is built into your device in the setting’s tab. If you want further security, you can download a variety of free or paid apps that will add extra layers of protection to your iPad.

When taking a picture, tap the screen to set the focus and meter. If you are taking a picture of a person sitting indoors, for example, you may find that their face is washed out because of the light. You may get a better shot by tapping the screen so that the camera focuses on the face and creates the picture you want.

Whether you want to learn how to cook by watching videos on it or even teach others by using its camera, or maybe you want to do something completely different, the ideas in this article will get you started. Put them to use to ensure your iPad provides all you desire. Good luck!

What’s right and wrong about Apple slowing down iPhones with aging batteries

If you’ve felt that your iPhone has been slowing down over time, you aren’t imagining things: Apple has confirmed that it intentionally curbs performance on devices with aging batteries, including the iPhone 7, 6, 6s and SE – and it’ll continue to do so for other products too. Naturally, no one wants sub-par performance from the devices they use daily. But according to Apple, its measure is intended to prevent unexpected shutdowns when their phones attempt to draw more power than the battery can deliver when you’re running a CPU-intensive process. Here’s the statement it provided to TechCrunch on the…

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All the best games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now – January 12th

Happy last day of the week. I hope you’ve been having a good one. I have. I saw ten doggos today. So because I’m in a good mood, I thought I’d round up all of the best games that are currently on sale on the App Store.

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