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25
Jul

Google AI could keep baby food safe


Google’s artificial intelligence technology can help the food industry beyond picking better cucumbers. In one company’s case, it could prevent your child from getting sick. Japanese food producer Kewpie Corporation has revealed that it’s using Google’s TensorFlow to quickly inspect ingredients, including the diced potatoes it uses in baby food. The firm and its partner BrainPad trained the machine learning system to recognize good ingredients by feeding it 18,000 photos, and set it to work looking for visual ‘anomalies’ that hint at sub-par potatoes. The result was an inspection system with “near-perfect” accuracy, culling more defective ingredients than humans alone — even with a conveyor belt shuttling potatoes along at high speed.

Kewpie goes out of its way to stress that it’s supplementing human workers, not replacing them. The TensorFlow system handles the initial removal, but there are still people waiting to inspect the potatoes afterward. Think of this as a booster that helps Kewpie process food faster without compromising quality.

Kewpie's inspectors looking at diced potatoes

The tech is currently limited to Kewpie’s baby food, but the company expects to spread it to other foodstuffs before long. Also, it’s not hogging the technology to itself. It wants to offer the AI-assisted inspections to other companies, so the industry at large might see a benefit. There’s no guarantee that other companies will keep all their human staff (we could see others using this as a chance to cut jobs), but it could set a higher quality baseline.

Source: Google

25
Jul

See 14 minutes of adventuring in the next ‘Uncharted’


We’ve been looking forward to Uncharted: The Lost Legacy for awhile, and we know many of you have as well. That’s why we’re excited about Naughty Dog’s announcement today. They’ve released roughly 14 minutes of gameplay from the August release that features the two main characters exploring the Western Ghats. It’s the biggest peek at the game we’ve gotten so far.

This installment of the popular franchise is the first that doesn’t feature Nathan Drake as its lead. Instead The Lost Legacy is a prequel that centers on Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross from Uncharted 2 and 3 and features the two venturing into the Western Ghats to find a lost empire. It’s an add-on, rather than a full game, though the story does stand alone. Writer Josh Scherr told Engadget that this game is about “going back to the basics.” It releases on August 22nd for PlayStation 4; it will be $40 in the US and $50 in Canada.

Source: Naughty Dog

25
Jul

Fleksy Keyboard Development Taken Over by Developer Thingthing as iOS App Improvements Planned


When Pinterest acquired keyboard app maker Fleksy last summer, development was paused on the company’s well-known iOS and Android keyboard apps as the team was integrated into Pinterest’s projects. The companies said that Fleksy would continue to exist with minimal updates, but otherwise not much news has come out about the keyboard app, until today.

Now, Barcelona-based keyboard startup Thingthing [iOS App Store Direct Link] announced in a blog post this morning that it will take over development of the Fleksy keyboard, while the original Fleksy team continues to work at Pinterest (via TechCrunch). Thingthing said that thanks to the deal, the company is “closer than ever to our goal of bringing you the world’s first Keyboard as a Platform (KaaP).”

The company highlighted improvements coming to Fleksy + Gif Keyboard on the iOS App Store [Direct Link] and Android devices over the coming months, including: “A new brand, more themes and extensions, continued focus on data privacy, awesome auto-correction, new services thanks to our open keyboard as a platform, [and] ongoing support to all of you!”

For now, the company updated Fleksy with a few basic bug fixes today, while a “very, very big” product launch is expected sometime this fall.

Thingthing users are used to being productive, using the keyboard’s interface to improve their typing experience and reducing time to realise day-to-day activities, which are performed naturally in Thingthing.

Still, a lot of you have requested more languages, more services, more customization, a better auto-correct, etc. This is exactly what we’re bringing to you: what you asked for.

Thingthing’s chief technical officer mentioned that the developer intends to “vastly improve” upon the current Fleksy keyboard with these updates, building the keyboard up into a platform of its own with extensions for apps like Spotify, YouTube, and more. The upcoming brand refresh will be centered on changing the design and feel of the app and its logo, while the Fleksy name will remain in place.

Tags: Fleksy, Fleksy Keyboard
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25
Jul

Adobe to Stop Distributing and Updating Flash in 2020


Adobe today announced plans to end-of-life its Flash browser plug-in, ceasing development and distribution of the software at the end of 2020. Adobe encourages content creators to migrate flash content to HTML5, WebGL, and WebAssembly formats.

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

The elimination of Flash and Flash Player should not heavily impact most users because popular browsers have already moved away from the format. Starting with macOS Sierra and Safari 10, Apple disabled Adobe Flash by default to focus on HTML 5, and Flash has never been available on Apple’s iOS devices. Google’s Chrome browser has also been de-emphasizing Flash since the middle of last year.

Adobe’s Flash Player has always suffered from a never-ending stream of critical vulnerabilities that expose Mac and PC users to malware and other security risks. Vendors like Microsoft and Apple have had to work continually over the years to keep up with security fixes.

Apple also shared Adobe’s Flash news on its WebKit blog, and the company says it is working with Adobe and industry partners on the transition from Flash to open standards.

Ahead of its sunsetting in 2020, Adobe will continue to support Flash on major operating systems and browsers, issuing regular security updates, maintaining OS and browser compatibility, and introducing new features and capabilities “as needed.”

Adobe says it will, however, “move more aggressively” to end Flash distribution in countries where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are distributed.

Tags: Adobe Flash Player, Adobe, WebKit
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25
Jul

Apple Releases Third iOS 11 Public Beta


Apple today released the third public beta of iOS 11 to its public beta testing group, allowing non-developers to download and test the new operating system ahead of its fall launch. The third public beta of iOS 11 comes two weeks after Apple released the second public beta and it likely corresponds to the fourth developer beta.

Beta testers that have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will receive the new iOS 11 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.

Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple’s beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Step-by-step instructions for downloading installing the public beta can be found in our how to. Betas should only be installed on a secondary device as the software is not stable and often includes many bugs.

The fourth developer beta brought some of the most significant changes we’ve seen yet in an iOS 11 beta. A much-desired swipe feature for clearing Notifications on the Lock screen has been added, and there are also several visual tweaks to icons throughout the operating system. An overview is below:

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The iOS 11 operating system introduces several design changes to the operating system, including a new Lock screen experience and a customizable, redesigned Control Center. Siri is smarter, has a more natural voice, and can do more, Messages features person-to-person Apple Pay, Notes has searchable handwriting and document scanning, and Music lets you share playlists with your friends.


A new Files app improves file management on iOS devices, and on the iPad, there’s a new Dock, an App Switcher, and support for Drag and Drop, all of which improves multitasking on the device. A revamped App Store is coming in iOS 11, photos and videos take up less space, iMessages can be stored in iCloud, and developers are getting new tools like ARKit for creating impressive new augmented reality apps and games.

For complete details on all of the features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup. Apple plans to release iOS 11 to the public in the fall following several months of testing and refinement.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
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25
Jul

Apple Seeds Third Public Beta of tvOS 11 to Public Beta Testers


Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming tvOS 11 update to its public beta testing group, two weeks after providing testers with the second beta. The tvOS 11 public beta marks the first time public beta testers have had access to pre-release tvOS software, and this third beta corresponds to the fourth developer beta.

Prior to tvOS 11, public betas were limited to iOS and macOS software likely due to the slightly more complicated tvOS beta installation process, but now public beta testers can access all software platforms with the exception of watchOS thanks to new installation procedures.

The tvOS 11 public beta can be obtained by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under “System.” “Get Public Beta Updates” will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.

Compared to iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, and watchOS 4, tvOS 11 is a minor update that brings few changes to the tvOS operating system. It’s minor enough that it received no time on stage at the Worldwide Developers Conference aside from a mention of an Amazon Prime Video app coming to the Apple TV this fall.

According to Apple’s release notes, tvOS 11 introduces automatic light/dark appearance switching based on local time, Home screen syncing options for syncing content between two or more Apple TVs in a household, new background modes and notification support, plus new tools for developers and improvements to Mobile Device Management.

Additional tvOS 11 features may be unveiled ahead of the operating system’s public release, which is expected to be in the fall alongside other software updates.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Don’t Buy)
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25
Jul

Apple Seeds Third Beta of macOS High Sierra to Public Beta Testers


Apple today seeded the third public beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra update to public beta testers, two weeks after releasing the second public beta. The third public beta of macOS High Sierra is likely identical the fourth developer beta, which was provided to developers earlier this week.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program are able to download the third macOS High Sierra beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store after the proper profile has been installed.

Those who want to be a part of Apple’s beta testing program can sign up to participate through the beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. For instructions on how to install the public beta, check out our how to, and make sure to make a backup before giving the software a try. Don’t install the beta on a main machine, as betas are notoriously unstable. High Sierra runs on all machines that support Sierra.

The macOS High Sierra update is designed to improve and refine the existing macOS Sierra operating system. Along with a new, more efficient file system (APFS) designed for modern storage, the update introduces Metal 2, the next-generation version of Apple’s Metal graphics API with support for machine learning, external GPUs, and VR content creation.

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High Efficiency Video Encoding (HEVC aka H.265) is coming in High Sierra, and many of the existing apps are being updated. Photos features a new persistent side view and editing tools for Curves, Selective Color, and Live Photos, while Siri is gaining a more natural voice and support for more music-related commands.

Safari offers a new autoplay blocking feature for videos and Intelligent Tracking Prevention to protect your privacy, while Mail storage is being optimized to take up 35 percent less space. iMessages can now be stored in iCloud, and there are new iCloud Drive file sharing options and new iCloud storage family plans.

For a full overview of the new features you can expect to see when macOS High Sierra is released in the fall, make sure to check out our macOS High Sierra roundup.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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25
Jul

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Quotiful

Quotiful brings you curated quote collections that are specially designed to mirror what you’re experiencing in life or trying to achieve. Get motivated and get Quotiful.

Available on:

iOS

5-Minute Clinical Consult

A best seller for over 25 years, this mobile app version of the best-selling book delivers fast up-to-date guidance on over 900 medical conditions on your mobile device.

Available on:

iOS

PhotoTangler

PhotoTangler Collage Maker is a powerful image app that instantly turns your favorite photos into beautiful collages. It allows you to blend them together in unique and creative ways.

Available on:

iOS

Blink

These powerful and beautifully designed tools will help you add beautiful frames, filters, text and so much more to your photos, in the most creative and playful way.

Available on:

iOS

Gloomlogue

Transform your photos into stunning, illustrated gloom paints. The clean, intuitive interface, paired with powerful and robust tools, will give you the look you want in seconds.

Available on:

iOS

Fontz

Add fonts to your photos with Fontz. With several text fonts to choose from and a wide spectrum of colors, you can add captions to any of your pictures with this app.

Available on:

iOS




25
Jul

These are the best “find my car” apps for Android and iOS


If you’ve ever found yourself running past scores of unfamiliar vans, jeeps, and SUVs while searching frantically for the parking spot you were sure you’d remember, you’re definitely not alone. Unless you’re one of the lucky souls blessed with a photographic memory, finding your parked car in a crowded, homogeneous lot isn’t easy. Thankfully, technology has the answer. The best “find my car” apps for iOS and Android devices combine GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular triangulation to pinpoint the location of your ride. They’re not always the most accurate — and some require more fiddling than others — but they can be a godsend in the right situation.

We’ve also curated a detailed list of the best Android apps and best iPhone apps, if you’re looking to bolster the app selection on your phone.

Find My Car Smarter

If you’re looking for a no-frills app that’ll help you find your car in a jiffy, look no further than Find My Car Smarter, which uses a combination of Bluetooth and GPS to nail down your car’s location.

The free version of the app uses satellite positioning (GPS) to save your car’s location in roughly five seconds, which it then stores on your phone’s memory to save power. When you’re stationary and located within a half-mile area, such as home or work, the app remains in a suspended state, only waking up periodically to scan the area for Bluetooth devices. When you start looking for your car, the app pulls up the location of your parking spot, shows how far you are from it and how long it’s been since you left it, and syncs all that information via Dropbox.

The Pro version of Find My Car Smarter offers greater precision with the help of Bluetooth proximity beacons, which broadcast your car’s location over local wireless networks. Once you’ve set up the Find My Car Smarter device, which plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, the app automatically recognizes when you’ve parked your car and activates your phone’s GPS. The next time you start searching for your parking place, you’ll get an alert when you come within 0.62 miles.

Download now for: 

iOS

Anchor Pointer

Anchor Pointer is about as barebones as car-finding apps come, and that’s a compliment.

When you park your car, the app uses GPS to pin down your location on a map — you’ll even see the latitude and longitude of your whip. However, the best part about Anchor Pointer is the navigation screen. When you’re ready to hit the road, a single tap of the Find Car button pulls up the app’s compass, which amounts to an animated arrow that indicates the cardinal direction of your parked car. It estimates your walking speed in miles per second, and provides you with the expected travel time before you reach your parking place.

Anchor Pointer does more than save your parking location, though. You can use the app to set meeting points around the city, or find a nearby friend who’s also using Anchor Pointer. You can save multiple points to a list, and choose graphics that indicate various points of interest.

Download now for: 

iOS

Honk

Honk may not be as streamlined as other car-finding apps on the market, and it’s optimized for parking meters rather than parking lots. That said, it’s chock-full of useful features that make finding a parking place — and your car — a breeze.

Honk automatically marks your parking location using GPS when you set its meter alarm (and lets you move the parking pin on the map when GPS accuracy falls short). If you’re not sure that’s enough to remember where you parked, you can also attach a handwritten memo, photo, or voice memo to your parking pin, and enable a “minute-by-minute” display of remaining time on your parking meter. When it comes time to head back to your car, you’ll get an alert on any and all devices you’ve previously synced with the app, including your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Honk makes it just as easy to find your car. When your meter runs out, the app pulls up a digital compass indicating the direction of your car, and a top-down map showing your position relative to your most recent parking spot.

Download now for: 

iOS

Parkify

Parkify may not look all that different from the other car-finding apps out there, but its innovative features help it stand out from the crowd.

The app houses a parking spot finder, and if you can’t see a spot to park your car, the app will tell you where other users just left an available spot, and where you can find the nearest public lots. Bluetooth Auto Connect, another useful feature, even uses your phone’s Bluetooth connection to detect when (and where) you’ve parked.

Parkify also works in other people’s cars, too, thanks to motion recognition. Using a combination of sensors managed by your phone’s operating system, the app can detect when you’re stepping out of a moving vehicle and prompt you to confirm your parking location. And thanks to Parkify’s built-in car manager, you can keep track of multiple vehicles at once.

Download now for: 

Android

Parking Pin

If you’re looking for a worry-free parking app that does the heavy lifting for you, Parking Pin is a strong contender.

The app’s standout feature is automatic parking detection, which uses Apple’s motion coprocessors and Location Services to pinpoint your spot as you park. In the background, while your iPhone is asleep or as you’re using other apps, Parking Pin saves your current location. There’s also a “manual edit mode” — just in case your phone doesn’t get the location right — and a full-screen map, which features a compass with walking directions and showcases the distance to your car, the street name, the date you parked, and how long you’ve been parked for. Best of all, the latter features work without Wi-Fi or cell service.

One caveat to note is that Parking Pin’s automatic parking detection requires an iPhone 5S or newer, as older models lack Apple’s motion coprocessor. That doesn’t mean the app won’t work — it just defaults to GPS.

Download now for: 

iOS

Car Finder AR

Car Finder AR employs augmented reality, 3D Google Maps, and radar to pinpoint your parking place. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Car Finder AR automatically saves your location when you turn off your car, and offers a recovery mode that tracks the car’s location in the event of theft. However, the navigation features are the true highlight. Car Finder AR shows your car’s location in augmented reality; if you point your phone in the direction of your car, you’ll see a green arrow indicating its precise location. You can also pull up walking directions, or switch between up to three different car-tracking screens on command.

Other nifty tools include location history, a parking timer, a parking meter alarm, a note-taking app, and an export tool that lets you send an email or instant message containing your car’s location.

Download now for: 

Android

Google Maps

Google Maps, the navigation app from Google, can remember where you parked. Once you’ve set your phone’s location services to “Always,” turned on “Know where you parked,” allowed Google Maps to access your Motion and Fitness Activity, and (optionally) paired your phone to your car’s stereo system via USB or Bluetooth, you’re ready to get started.

Google Maps also takes care of things automatically (for the most part). The app records your parking spot by detecting when you’ve stepped out of your car, saves your parking location in the Saved parking tab of Google Maps, and sends you notifications that detail where you parked and how long you’ve been there. That’s about as fancy as its car-tracking features get, but the good thing about Google Maps is you probably won’t have to download it, as it comes pre-installed on most Android smartphones.

Download now for: 

iOS Android

Apple Maps

Google Maps isn’t the only big-name navigation app that can remember where you’ve parked. Apple’s eponymous service, Apple Maps, can detect where you’ve stopped and place a helpful pin on the map. Once Apple Maps figures out that you’ve parked by polling your phone’s Bluetooth and CarPlay status, it’ll give you the opportunity to edit your location, or give you walking directions to your parking spot.

Moreover, Apple Maps puts your car’s location front and center for easy access. Parking places show up automatically as recommended destinations in Apple Maps; a “Parked car” option will show up on the lock screen of the Apple Maps widget for easy access, if you’ve enabled it.




25
Jul

The Numi solar backpack gives travelers security, and a lot of power


Why it matters to you

If you’re constantly worried about your gadgets losing power when you’re on your travels, the Numi solar backpack could help you out.

Belgium-based Elaha Rafie traveled in Thailand last year and had a great time. However, “it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows,” Rafie said, as along the way her wallet got stolen, her gadgets’ batteries died at inopportune moments, and organizing all her belongings in her backpack “was a nightmare.”

The experience inspired her to create a backpack that will ensure your devices stay safe and always powered up, while keeping you organized wherever you go on your travels. And it’s already attracting serious interest on Kickstarter.

The Numi is a smart 20- or 30-liter backpack that incorporates a 7-watt solar panel to power an 11,000mAh or 22,000mAh battery pack, with two integrated USB 3.0 ports ensuring your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets are always ready to use. An easy-to-reach smartphone holder allows you to quickly grab your handset at any time, while other holders are built-in for sunglasses and a water bottle.

SET Travel

The smart backpack includes hidden zippers to give would-be thieves a hard time, and five hidden compartments inside and out, offering you greater peace of mind when you’re on the road. The larger bag also includes a separate, detachable compartment for your camera or similarly shaped device (or your lunch!), as well as a detachable waterproof clothing sleeve for your clothes, whether freshly laundered or reeking of the previous day’s adventure.

You’ll find a removable laptop sleeve, too, so you can travel a little lighter by detaching it if you decide not to take your computer with you. The Numi is also water repellent, but an included rain cover will make sure your stuff stays protected if you’re caught in a particularly heavy storm.

Rafie has clearly been careful to think about what’s important when you’re on the road, the result being a stylish-looking bag that aims for a more efficient and safer travel experience.

The Numi quickly reached its funding target of 20,000 euros (about $23,300), and aims to ship in December, 2017. Early-bird backers can pre-order a 20-liter Numi for just 129 euros (about $150) with the 11,000mAh battery pack, or 159 euros (about $185) for the 30-liter version with a more powerful 22,000mAh battery pack.

If you’re interested in finding out more about other backpacks currently on the market, be sure to check out Digital Trends’ pick of the best.




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