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28
Jul

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: What’s the rumoured difference?


Apple is rumoured to be announcing three smartphones in September. Yes you did read that right, we said three.

They are going by the names iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro, although they have also been called iPhone 6SE, 6SE Plus and 6SE Pro, and they are said to be hitting shelves on 16 September.

Whether we will see all three actually arrive is anyone’s guess, but if they do, here is how they could compare, based on the speculation.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Design

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are said to be following a similar design to the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus rather than seeing a revamp.

It has been claimed the headphone jack might disappear though and the antenna bands across the rear will move to just the top and bottom for a more seamless look. It has also been said the Home button may evolve to being a Force Touch capacitive component.

The iPhone 7 Pro is expected to follow a similar design path to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but with the addition of a dual-camera setup and Smart Connector, the latter of which is found on the iPad Pro line. It is also thought to be the same size as the iPhone 7 Plus.

Apart from physical size, the leaked images suggest the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be identical to each other in appearance, as the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are. It’s been claimed the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro will measure 7.3mm slim, which is the same as the current iPhone 6S Plus, while the iPhone 7 is said to measure 7.2mm.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Display

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are thought to be sticking with the same size displays meaning 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, respectively. The iPhone 7 Pro is thought to adopt the 5.5-inch size.

Rumour has it Apple will switch to OLED over IPS LCD for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus though, and it is thought the screen resolution will increase to Quad HD. If this is the case, the iPhone 7 Plus would offer a pixel density of 543ppi, while the iPhone 7 should be lovely and sharp at 624ppi.

There have been no rumours relating to the iPhone 7 Pro’s display but it would be surprising to see it not get the same technology as the other two devices, if not more advanced, such as Apple Pencil compatibility.

It’s probably safe to assume we will see Apple’s force touch technology – 3D Touch – on all three models.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Cameras

There haven’t been too many rumours surrounding the resolution of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus’s cameras, but as last year saw a bump in megapixels, it’s thought the sensor may stay the same as the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

If that’s the case, no doubt there will some extra features and improvements, but we can expect a 12-megapixel rear snapper, coupled with a 5-megapixel front camera and Retina Flash.

The iPhone 7 Pro is said to be coming with a dual-lens rear camera, distinguishing it from the other two devices. There has been no word on how it might work, or what the setup might be, but if the rumours are true, we’d expect some extra features on the Pro not offered on the other two devices.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Hardware

Rumours are a little vague when it comes to the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 Pro’s hardware, except the inclusion of the Smart Connector for the Pro.

The Smart Connector would allow for the transfer of both data and power at the same time, as it does for the iPad Pro range, and if it appears, it will probably mean the Pro will be compatible with accessories like the Smart Keyboard.

It is thought the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will both have the A10 processor on board and the iPhone 7 Plus is said to be coming with 3GB or RAM, which we’d also expect for the Pro, if not more.

Other rumours have suggested Apple will start storage options at 32GB this time round, and it is also thought there will be a 256GB option, like the company offers on its iPad Pro range. It’s not currently clear if that 256GB model will only be available for the Pro, or across the iPhone 7 line up.

In terms of battery, the iPhone 7 Plus is said to be coming with a 3100mAh capacity so we’d expect the same, if not bigger for the Pro, and slightly smaller for the standard iPhone 7.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Software

All three iPhone 7 models, if they all appear, will no doubt debut on iOS 10. There are several new features and functions in the new software, all of which you can read about in our iOS 10 feature.

If the iPhone 7 Pro does appear, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see a couple of extra software functions over the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus relating to its hardware, but at the moment, it’s a wait and see game.

Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 7 Pro: Conclusion

Currently, it’s unclear if the iPhone 7 Pro is the stuff of fantasies, or a reality. It looks like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be similar in terms of design and performance, based on the leaks, aside from a larger battery, perhaps more RAM and maybe extra camera features like OIS again.

Based on the leaks, it seems the iPhone 7 Pro will distinguish itself with a dual-camera and the addition of the Smart Connector. We wouldn’t be surprised to see some performance enhancements too though, if it appears at all.

It’s a guessing game at the moment, but we will update this feature as soon as any more leaks appear, or anything official is announced. You can read all about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus rumours in our dedicated feature, as well as the iPhone 7 Pro rumours in our separate feature.

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28
Jul

Amazon Echo now controls your August Smart Lock


Amazon’s Echo is about to become much more useful if you’ve ever worried about leaving the door unlocked. August Home is introducing an Alexa skill that gives you voice control over its Smart Lock system. If you have a first- or second-generation lock with an August Connect bridge, you can ask Alexa to both check a lock’s status and lock the door. It’s a simple addition, but it beats having to pull out your phone or walk across the house simply because you didn’t remember to lock up when you got home.

Source: August

28
Jul

Drinkbox’s creeptastic ‘Severed’ arrives on iOS today


The days are basically numbered for Sony’s beleaguered portable console, the PS Vita, and they have been for some time. But that hasn’t stopped indie developer Drinkbox Studios from supporting it. Three of the company’s four games have been released for the Vita (including the excellent Guacamelee!), and the latest (hack-and-slash explorer Severed) came out earlier this year as a Vita exclusive.

However, Drinkbox knows that it needs to move beyond Sony’s aging handheld: That’s why Severed is coming to iOS devices as well as Nintendo’s Wii U and 3DS. The iOS port arrives today ready for the iPhone and iPad and costs $6.99. That may be a little expensive for an iOS game, but it’s less than half of what the game costs on the Vita. And it dramatically expands the number of people who’ll get a chance to play Severed.

Previous Drinkbox games eventually made their way to various Xbox and PlayStation consoles, but Severed relies heavily on the touchscreen, making iOS and Nintendo’s platforms a far better match this time out. I played an pre-release version of the game on iOS, and it seems particularly well-suited to the wide expanses of the iPad’s screen (though it works on the phone, as well). Slashing your way through enemies feels great on the big screen, and the two-finger gesture to adjust your character’s first-person view is a totally natural gesture.

Everything about the Vita version of the game is intact here, including Drinkbox’s signature bright and eerie art style and some wonderfully creepy atmospheric music. It may cost more than the average game, but Severed is a pretty extensive experience as far as iOS games go. It also has a number of new iOS features, including cloud save across multiple devices, game center achievements, graphics optimizations using Apple’s Metal technology and an easier “casual” difficulty mode.

If you’re a Vita fan, however, Drinkbox has some sad news: It sounds as if Severed will be the studio’s last game for the handheld. “We’ve talked about if we were ever to do a Kickstarter, the Vita might be a stretch goal,” Drinkbox’s Graham Smith told me. “We have an internal game engine that we use that really works well with iOS now, so now all things being equal it’s just as easy to put out a game on iOS as it is on the Vita,” Chris McQuinn from Drinkbox adds. “We love the Vita, but we also need to survive financially.”

But the good news is that Drinkbox appears to be more than capable of bringing its distinctive style to iOS. The company has made some excellent games thus far, regardless of platform, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens once they start building games from the ground up with iOS in mind. And the company’s support of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 thus far means we’ll likely see new games there in the future as well.

28
Jul

This phone-powered vision test can replace your eye doctor


There are dozens of inexpensive ways to buy glasses online today, but getting a new eyeglass prescription is as old-school as ever: Book an appointment with your eye doctor, spend more time than you expect in the waiting room and go through a full exam. Even if you’re lucky enough to book through Zocdoc, it’s still a long process. Smart Vision Labs hopes to make it easier to get a new glasses prescription with the SVOne Enterprise, a smartphone-powered self-guided vision test that’s launching in some New York City glasses stores today.

It may not have the catchiest name, but the SVOne Enterprise could be a huge boon for the vision impaired. It’s based on the same autorefraction technology as the company’s first product, the handheld SVOne Pro, which lets doctors perform eye exams just about anywhere. In a nutshell, the tech involves bouncing a laser off of your retina, which is then measured by the device. The new product adds a telemedicine element: After going through the vision test, the results are sent to a remote eye doctor who approves the final prescription. You can then download the prescription at any time and take it to the glasses retailer of your choice.

The SVOne Enterprise looks like an iPhone with a specialized eyepiece on top of a tripod. It’s more functional than attractive, the sort of thing an optical store can leave in a corner until it needs to test a customer. Since only a few stores can afford to have actual doctors on staff, most are left pointing customers elsewhere to get new prescriptions. Smart Vision Labs’ device allows stores to keep those customers in-house, so they’ll be more likely to buy a pair of glasses.

Founder Yaopeng Zhou says he was inspired to create the SVOne Enterprise after realizing there are almost 200 million people in America who need glasses, but only 106 million eye exams take place every year. He also points out there’s only one eye doctor for every 5,000 people in the US. There’s a definite need for a faster way to perform vision tests.

To be clear, the SVOne Enterprise isn’t a completely self-service product. You’ll still need a bit of help to step through the exam, though it’s still far less involved than going to the doctor. To start, I answered a few questions on the SVOne Enterprise’s iPhone screen about my age and pre-existing eye conditions. If I had any major eye problems, the app would direct me to take a full exam from a doctor.

After that, Yaopeng had me read from a fairly standard vision chart on the SVOne Enterprise’s iPhone screen using my glasses. I then placed my right eye in the device’s eyepiece and stared at a red laser as it took three photos. I repeated the same process with my left eye, but it took a few tries and a move to a darkened room for it to make a successful measurement. (Yaopeng noted that my pupils were smaller than most, so we had to dilate them a bit by moving to a dark environment.)

A day after the exam, I received a link to an official prescription from one of the company’s contracted doctors. Surprisingly, they didn’t make any changes to my current prescription, which is hopefully a sign that my terrible vision is stabilizing a bit. I can now take that prescription to an online eyeglass outfit like Warby Parker, or a local store in my neighborhood, to get a new pair of frames. (If you’ve only ever gotten new glasses directly from your doctor, it’s definitely worth exploring the wealth of new options out there.)

Smart Vision Labs isn’t the first company to pursue phone-powered eye exams. Blink claimed it would send someone to your home for an exam (it hasn’t launched yet). And Peek has been trying to bring vision tests to the developing world for years. But the SVOne Enterprise is the first product I’ve seen that delivers a valid prescription just as accurate as my current one.

Looking ahead, Yaopeng says the company is attempting to bring the SVOne Enterprise to more markets in the US. Smart Vision Labs’ handheld product is already available in 23 countries. Though it’s only sold around 500 units of that device, they’ve already completed more than 40,000 refraction eye tests over the past few years.

28
Jul

Mini review: Our quick verdict on the Moto G4 and G4 Plus


Since 2013, the Moto G has been our favorite mid-range smartphone — or favorite budget phone, even, depending on how you define “budget.” Now in its fourth generation, the G series has expanded to include three models, two of which we got to take for a spin in a recent review. Indeed, the 5.5-inch G4 and G4 Plus mostly impress, but not every design decision feels like an improvement. Though the phones are more expensive than they used to be, at $200 and $250, respectively, the plastic build feels less durable than we would have otherwise expected.

What’s more, the G4 is no longer waterproof, and its camera suffers in low light, to boot. The G4 Plus at least offers a better camera and faster performance, though it too has a chintzy build that doesn’t feel likely to stand years of wear and tear. Those complaints aside, the handsets nonetheless deserve their strong scores of 84 and 86 — and they continue Moto’s tradition of holding down the “value smartphone” crown.

28
Jul

Spectate in style with VR spectator mode for ‘Dota 2’


If you’re typically someone who prefers to watch matches of games like Dota 2 unfold from the sidelines, you might consider viewing them in an entirely different way. As part of The International 2016 Compendium update, Valve has finally released the Dota VR Hub, which will allow you and your friends to view live matches and replays in VR.

By way of Dota VR Theater, you can put on a VR headset and jump into each game by heading in through the minimap. You can watch from afar or stand in the middle of the battles going on around you at full scale. You don’t have to go it alone, either, as the theater mode supports up to 15 of your friends as well.

If you’re interested in checking it out, read up on the Dota VR Hub via the official site to get started.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: Dota 2

28
Jul

Mercedes gives first responders an AR view of its cars


Only advertisers love QR codes, but Mercedes-Benz actually made them useful in the real world. By putting the codes on the B-pillars and gas doors of its vehicles, firefighters can use its Rescue Assist app and quickly figure out how to help folks involved in an accident. The automaker made the latest version easier to use by adding augmented reality (AR) and 3D visualization features. That lets first responders see dangerous components — like fuel lines and high-voltage components in electric and hybrid cars — overlaid on the real-world vehicle, Pokémon-style.

The app works whether or not you have a data connection and, as before, provides “rescue cards” with safety information relevant to each vehicle. It includes details on Mercedes passenger cars built since 1990, and the QR codes can be affixed to older models. The app is probably more useful to rescue personnel in Europe, however, where a much higher percentage of vehicles on the road are made by Daimler-Benz.

Source: Mercedes

28
Jul

Stream Lollapalooza performances live from Chicago this weekend


We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer and Chicago’s annual late July Music festival starts today. Beginning at 7PM ET, Red Bull TV will stream live Lollapalooza performances from the stages at Grant Park throughout the weekend. While the stream starts then, Yeasayer is the first scheduled act at 8:10PM ET tonight. The music continues through Sunday evening with artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, M83, Future, Major Lazer, Bloc Party, A$AP Ferg and dozens more scheduled to take the stage over the weekend.

If you’re planning to watch, you’ll need the Red Bull TV app to do so if you don’t want to watch on the web. As far as mobile devices are concerned, there’s a version of the software for Android, iOS, Kindle Fire and Windows 10. For streaming in your living room, the app is available for Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV (and Fire TV Stick), Roku, PlayStation and Xbox. You can also access Red Bull TV on Samsung smart TVs and Blu-ray players as well as LG’s connected TVs. For the full livestream schedule or to set a reminder for specific artists, consult the source link down below.

Source: Red Bull TV

28
Jul

I’ve accidentally joined the cult of Pokémon


Pokémon passed me by when it arrived in the UK back in 1999, and I’ve never really been a fan. The way my friends were suddenly gripped by its cult-like lure made it seem like the worst thing ever. In my mind, 15-year-olds shouldn’t be hunched over their Game Boy Colors; they should be trying (and failing) to talk to girls. I also objected to the title on moral grounds, since it glorifies bloodsports like dogfighting for an audience that isn’t old enough to appreciate nuance. My stance between the ages of 15 and 30 was simple: fuck Pokémon. Which is why it’s so galling that I spent last weekend roaming the city for Pokéballs. Thanks to Pokémon Go, I’ve become everything that I hate.

I’m not much of a gamer, but I installed Pokémon Go out of a sense of obligation to the site I work for. I figured that at some point I’d have to cover the title, even if the only game I play is FIFA 13 on Xbox 360. But I decided to have some fun with it, using the Pikachu workaround to capture it first and then wind up my colleagues and friends. I sent them a screenshot of my captured Pikachu and told them that I’d won the game on my first try and therefore never needed to play it again.

I didn’t bother with it much after that thanks to the one-two punch of me not liking Pokémon and also thanks to Niantic Labs’ hilarious server issues. But, while out for a walk a few days later, my wife spotted a Pidgey close to our home and encouraged me to catch it. The further we wandered, the more times her phone began to vibrate, informing her of a nearby animal to capture. After the third or fourth capture, I started to enjoy the Paper Toss-esque mini-game in which you attempt to bounce a ball on the head of your prey.

At the end of that trip, I stumbled across a Golduck with a combat points rating of 165, far in excess of the 10-point minnows we’d been catching. Naturally, we both went for it, but I managed to rinse my supply of 45 Pokéballs attempting to capture this thing which kept escaping my clutches. That was probably the moment when I became lost to the cause, since I was determined not to let this creature get away. It meant, naturally, that I had to swing past plenty of Pokéstops on the way back to replenish my supply.

This is what a winner’s Pokédex looks like, if they suck at winning.

In the UK, it’s customary to celebrate a lunchtime Sunday roast with a long walk to balance out the Thanksgiving-level of calories you’ve just consumed. So we decided to venture out, but while we’d planned to just walk across the river, Pokémon Go had other ideas. It began suggesting that, through the older, cobbled streets that surround the cathedral, there was a litany of Pokéstops. So, we obligingly began to follow that path instead, stocking up on powerups, eggs and balls. On the way, we found a medieval defensive tower we’d never encountered before, plus a hidden riverside pathway that isn’t obvious from the road.

The walk was twice as long as planned, and I returned delighted to have found all these new spots nearby. I’d also managed to rinse my phone battery in about four hours — a new record even for me. The following morning, those same colleagues I’d ribbed the week previously were now dealing with a litany of questions. I wanted to know how best to level up, how gyms worked and what was the best way of improving my collection so that I can take over the gym across from my home.

Today, I’ve not been out on the catch, although I’ve had my phone open for much of the day picking up anything that comes within my range. When I’m done writing this, I’ll wander at least as far as my local Pokéstop to re-up on supplies, and maybe think about going a little further. I can’t believe that any game is getting me out of the house and wandering around historic sites, let alone a Pokémon game. It’ll be a while before I can get to the point where I’ll be able to fight my locals — their Pokémon all have combat points in the thousands — but I’ll get there at some point.

28
Jul

Fitbit data has been utilized for various clinical trials


Fitness wearable manufacturer Fitbit and Fitabase, a research platform, have announced that their individual tech has been picked up by researchers round the nation to help further medical studies.

Fitabase has collected over 2 billion minutes of data from users who actively wear their Fitbit activity trackers to measure sleep, activity and more. Such data has been pulled for studies on spine surgeries like that of the Northwestern Medicine and the University of California San Francisco’s work.

This isn’t the first time this sort of data has been gathered from a wearable or portable device, such as with Apple’s ResearchKit, but it does call into question how reliable the data actually is. When Fitbits will measure steps when I’m wearing it and typing vigorously, is that data still viable for clinical trials?

Either way, this is an interesting step for Fitbit to take, especially with so many users out there and various trackers to take advantage of.

Via: BusinessWire

Source: BusinessWire

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