Some day you could be flipping through your vacation photos while wearing a VR headset. At the XOXO Festival taking place in Portland, Oregon this weekend, Flickr is showing off an early preview of a virtual reality experience that it hopes to integrate with its photo service. The demo at the festival was with an Oculus DK 2 hooked up to a PC and the idea is that you’ll be able to use the headset specifically with 360-degree panoramic photos. I tried it on and indeed I was able to look all around me in 360 degrees to view an entire scene. To flip through the slides, I looked down at a pair of pink and blue balls for a couple of seconds, which triggers the next photo to load.
Of course, this is still very early days, and a lot of this could change. Bertrand Fan, the front-end architect for Flickr who was heading up the project (and whose contact info you can see in the image above, which he said was fine for me to post on the internet), says he’s only been working on it for the past couple of weeks. The plan right now is to add a VR headset link or button at every page with a 360-degree photo, so if you happen to have a VR headset lying around, you can try the VR experience out. The Flickr VR demo currently only works with the Oculus, but Fan hopes to have it integrated with the Gear VR and other VR headsets as well.
As for whether there are a ton of 360-degree photos out there, he tells me that it’s actually a fairly burgeoning community. You can take these photos with your phone in some instances (through Google photosphere stitching) or with cameras like the Ricoh Theta. He says that there’ll eventually be an Explore Section on Flickr devoted to 360-degree panoramic photos.
But Fan’s ambitions for Flickr VR extends beyond just slideshows. He tells me that some day he wants it to be possible for you to browse through your library and even organize your photos into albums just by waving your hands, Minority Report-style. He hopes to roll out the initial stages of Flickr VR to the general public by early next year.
[Image credit: 360-degree pano of Sydney Opera House by mugley/Flickr]
Tags: flickr, virtualreality, vr, xoxofest
Many will tell you that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain comes across as rushed at times. While there’s a lot to do, it’s light on story — a sharp contrast with earlier Metal Gear games, which are notorious for their epic-length cutscenes. However, there’s now evidence suggesting that the original plan was for a much larger, more substantial game. Players on the Facepunch forums have discovered files in the PC version of MGSV which show that the title was supposed to have not only more prominent characters (such as The Boss), but an entire third chapter. It’s not clear exactly how much is missing, but the released game’s abrupt end hints that the third section was going to bring the story to a proper conclusion.
It’s not shocking that there’s missing content — studios frequently cut material from games, whether it’s to make looming ship dates or simply to scrap elements that didn’t pan out. However, the sheer scope of what was cut, combined with Konami’s attempt to divest itself of Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, doesn’t exactly paint a pretty picture. It hints that the publisher wanted to get MGSV (and its relationship with Kojima) finished as quickly as possible, even if it involved making some big sacrifices. The overall warm response to the shipping game shows that you didn’t lose too much of the core experience, but it’s all too tempting to wonder what might have emerged if Konami had more patience.
Tags: gaming, HideoKojima, KojimaProductions, konami, metalgearsolid, metalgearsolid5, metalgearsolidv, MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain, ThePhantomPain, videogames
Microsoft have purchased Double Labs, the makers of Echo Notification Lockscreen for Android. The lockscreen app lets you customize your lockscreen to show you custom notifications so you don’t have to unlock your phone as much.
Microsoft have already made their own Android lockscreen app last year called Next Lock Screen. It does basically the same thing as Echo Lockscreen. Why do they need two nearly identical lockscreen apps you might be asking? Well, Microsoft Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green says it’s about “taking productivity to the next level.” She also says the current problem with Apple, Android, or even Windows Phone is that they are just alerts of random apps, and not actually personalized to the user.
“It’s a list of what apps want you to know, not necessarily what’s important to you,”
Larson-Green’s main job is to think of new ways for users to receive their information, contextual and personal. Android is a perfect testing ground as it has many users for experimentation. Basically, Microsoft are creating Android apps for testing purposes only and will use the data to make better Windows Phone, Windows 10, Office, and other Microsoft products that send notifications in the future.
Newly purchased Echo Lockscreen has over 50,000 reviews in the Play Store currently, which gives Microsoft a ton of new data to work with.
Larson-Green says that by having standalone apps they can edit and refine them before making them a permeant part of their own operating systems.
“You buy Microsoft for your business, you want to feel good about the products we’ve been building,”
Source: Business Insider
Come comment on this article: Microsoft secretly purchased a popular Android lockscreen app
If you look into it, the following phrase can be seen as a pop-up.
You can’t add this phone unless it has the same Nexus Protect choice as other phones in your cart. You can update your choice or purchase this phone in your next order.
Judging by this text, it is looking like Nexus Protect will be an extended warranty, similar to Apple Care and other store or manufacture extended warranties. The Google Store however, looks like they are doing things a little different. Based on the text, it seems like you can either add the plan to everything you purchase or not add it at all. Meaning, you can’t buy 10 devices and add the plan to only two of them. It’s either all or nothing. We could also be totally wrong on that, but it is our best guess based on the text provided. Feel free to share your guesses in the comments.
The text will also pop-up on virtually everything in the Google Store. Doesn’t matter if you are looking for Chromebooks, Android TV, or Android Wear devices that aren’t made by Google, the text will show for everything. Since the text isn’t technically able to be seen by all, it could just be this way for the time being and not actually on everything when it goes live in the future.
Come comment on this article: Mentions of ‘Nexus Protect’ show on hardware listings in the Google Store
Apple kept HopStop’s mass transit directions and guides running (with notable exceptions) long after it bought the company back in 2013, but you won’t get to rely on them for much longer: Cupertino has revealed that it’s shutting down HopStop come October. There’s no explanation, but it doesn’t take much effort to understand what’s up. Apple had already discontinued all but the iOS and web versions of HopStop’s apps, and you’ll find much of HopStop’s technology in iOS 9’s mass transit directions. Simply put, there’s not much incentive to keep the older tech running. This won’t make you very happy if you still lean on HopStop to get around town, but you have at least a few alternatives if Apple Maps isn’t your cup of tea.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]
Tags: apple, hopstop, internet, ios, ios9, masstransit, mobilepostcross, publictransit, transportation
Apple development tool Xcode seemingly confirms the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus each have 2GB of RAM, while the iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, as discovered by iOS developer Hamza Sood.
Sood claims the image assets shown below are “chosen based on the memoryClass key in the simdevicetype’s capabilities.plist.”
Not much of a surprise but Xcode confirms 2GB of RAM for the 6s (and 6s plus), and 4GB for the iPad Pro pic.twitter.com/X8Ym4DtamS
— Hamza Sood (@hamzasood) September 13, 2015
http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsAdobe issued a Creative Cloud press release earlier this week that claimed the iPad Pro had 4GB of RAM, but soon after it updated the release to remove any mention of the tablet’s memory.
Apple itself did not mention how much RAM the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus or iPad Pro have during its “Hey Siri” media event, nor does it include RAM on the Tech Specs page for any of the devices.
A few days ago during the IFA 2015 show in Berlin, we got our first look at a very interesting smartphone, the Marshall London. A smartphone made by a speaker and audio company is certainly very intriguing, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a review unit. I’ve received mine, but before diving into a full, comprehensive review, here is a quick look at the unboxing, as we give you our first impressions about the Marshall London!
The device is in plain view on the box, with the front and back views of it on the front face and side of the box. Just from these images, you can see that the smartphone features a leather backing, the same material choice that Marshall favors with a lot of their amps and speakers. Opening the box reveals a guitar pick, one of Marshall’s icons, and and opening that cover reveals the phone itself, but not in the way you’d see with most unboxings. Instead the device is also covered, with the wrapping featuring Marshall’s motto, “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
Under the phone is the battery, and given its replaceable nature, you should technically be able to pick up spares to help with their battery life needs, but these batteries may not be the easiest to find. The battery also features the Marshall motto on it, which is a nice touch. Available in the box is a pair of high quality Marshall headphones, which come with in-built controls to control the music and the volume. Finally, the USB cable that is included also features a unique design, with it being made with a fabric outer material instead of the usual plastic, and coming with a ridged design at the two ends of the cable.
With the big focus on audio, the device otherwise features decidedly mid-range specifications. Going through some of the features of the user interface, you get a pretty standard version of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, with signature Marshall elements, as seen with the clock. Up top is the Marshall button, pressing which opens up the music player. What is great here is that Marshall has integrated a number of different streaming audio players like SoundCloud, Spotify, and MixCloud already, but you can obviously also easily access your locally-stored music as well.
As mentioned, this is a somewhat vanilla version of Android, with a lot of Material Design elements of Lollipop making their way over to this software experience, with of course, a few extra features built in. The volume roller, which is the best way to describe this unique implementation, on the right side, can also be pressed, and functions as a shortcut to the camera.
Speaking of the camera, the Marshall London comes with a 8 MP primary camera and a 2 MP front-facing unit. Up front is 4.7-inch display with a 720p resolution, and under the hood is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The processing package leans towards the lower end of things, and there has already been some instances of slow down when trying to install applications, but nothing beyond what is expected from a lower-spec’d processor.
The Marshall London features a Cirrus Logic sound card, previous known as Wolfson, for audio processing. You will be able to get Hi-Fi audio, and everything from flac files to lossless audio as well. A double tap of the button up top also opens up the equalizer, to let you change the settings to adjust the sound to exactly what you want it to be like. To take advantage of everything, you also have a dual headphone jack setup, that flank the Marshall button at the top. You can check out a sample of how great the audio sounds with the dual front-facing speakers in the video above.
Undoubtedly, one of my favorite parts about the Marshall London is its look, and you don’t usually get a phone that is designed the way this one is, with Marshall’s amp design over on the side, along with all the features underneath. The volume rocker, or roller, implementation is also very different, and a lot of fun to use, giving the feel of an analog control over the volume, even though this is of course, a fully digital device.
For all those wondering whether this device is just another re-branded smartphone, that is actually not the case at all. We were told at IFA that the Marshall London was designed from the ground up in Sweden, and then manufactured for sale in England and across other parts of Europe. The Marshall London will not be officially making its way over to the US, which is a shame, as there are quite a lot of fans of Marshall products in the west, and this phone might be exactly what they are looking for.
So there you have it for this quick look at the unboxing of the Marshall London! Stay tuned with Android Authority for the upcoming comprehensive review of this smartphone, as well as more great content from the world of Android.
It’s Sunday, the time of the week when Talk Android brings you its report on some of the best applications we’ve been using throughout the course of the past week. Today we’re looking at a fantastic list-taking app, a super-reliable third-party alarm clock, an educational game and last, but not least, a music-streaming client.
First up this week we have Wunderlist, a must-have tool for anyone who struggles to complete all the tasks they need to on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. This application allows its users to create a variety of different lists containing individual chores, which can be checked as and when they are completed.
Unlike most other to-do list services, Wunderlist is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Phone/PC and Mac OS X. It permits users to share lists and collaborate with friends, family and colleagues. There’s even the facility to post comments and delegate duties.
This services smart approach to text recognition is pretty handy. If a user enters a task and includes a date or time in the title, it will automatically be set as the deadline. As a result reminders will be pushed to every platform that Wunderlist is installed on, in order to ensure that users don’t forget to execute it.
To really get a feel for all of Wunderlist’s features, you have to see it in action, so be sure to check out the gallery below.
Next up we have a fantastic third-party alarm clock called SleepTime. This application brings a fresh approach to the traditional alarm by observing your sleep pattern throughout the night and waking you at the optimum time, the premise being that you feel relaxed, rested and revitalised after every night’s sleep.
You may ask yourself: “How does this app monitor my sleep pattern if I’m not wearing a tracker?” Well, the answer is simple… It takes full advantage of your smartphone’s integrated accelerometer. All you have to do is pop your handset on your bed next to your pillow and let it do its thing.
SleepTime features one of the best user interfaces I’ve seen on any application for a while now. It’s extremely painless to use and incorporates easy-to-read graphs and has over 20 integrated alarm tones on board. Also, if you’re like me and sleep with your phone on silent, you’ll be glad to know that the alarm will still chime, toot, ding, bong or bing (whatever your choice of siren) regardless of your device’s sound setting.
Take a look through the gallery below to see some action-shots of SleepTime.
Up third, we have Sudoku World. I’ve been playing this game for about two weeks and just can’t seem to put it down. Whether I’m waiting for a train or standing in a queue somewhere, it’s open on my phone and seeing as there are over 2,000 stages (I’m only on 71) organised by four different difficulties — Beginner, Normal, Intermediate and Expert — it doesn’t look like I’ll be stopping any time soon.
There’s also a Challenge Mode for the more experienced Sudoku players, which generates a random puzzle with a strict time limit on maximum difficulty. These are awfully difficult to solve and are guaranteed to keep you entertained for a while. If you don’t want to take on this task alone, you could always invite one of your mates to play it with you and compete for the fastest time.
That’s about all that can be said for Sudoku World. To see it in action, take a look at the teaser video below.
The final application we’re looking at today is Spotify. Now it’s more than likely that you’ve heard of this music-streaming platform before, but if you haven’t it’s a free service that enables you to listen to your favourite music on your smartphone, tablet or computer regardless of where you are.
It’s worth noting that there is a Premium service available too, which enables you to save music for offline listening, enjoy an upgraded sound quality and not get interrupted by annoying audio advertisements in-between songs. This starts at $9.99 per month for one user, with a family membership starting at $14.99.
Take a look through the gallery below to get a feel for Spotify’s user interface:
Previous Apps of the Week editions:
Come comment on this article: Talk Android Apps of the Week: September 13, 2015
On this week’s After Math we look at a galaxy barely newer than the universe that spawned it. We also check out an imaging sensor that makes Apple’s iSight like like a tintype, 360-degrees of GoPro and a whole bunch of other stuff you didn’t know you wanted to learn about.
Tags: Apple, AppleCare, Canon, GoPro, NASA
As Xiaomi get ready to release a bunch of new devices to their smartphone lineup, one of the devices expected to be announced, the Xiaomi Mi Note 2, has had a render leaked.
The renders, courtesy of @KJuma (Weibo), show an extremely thin bezel, fingerprint scanner on the front, and a dual camera on the back.
According to the rumors, the physical home button will house the fingerprint sensor and the dual camera setup will be a 23-Megapixel shooter, with a 12-Megapixel camera on the front. It’ll be powered by a Snapdragon 820 chip, 4GB of RAM, 3500mAh battery, and a 5.7-inch Quad HD screen.
Release date for the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is still unknown but if this device is real and the render is accurate then this looks like an awesome device.
The post Xiaomi Mi Note 2 renders reveal thin-bezels and fingerprint scanner appeared first on AndroidGuys.