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Posts tagged ‘apps’


Adobe Lightroom update makes edits easier on desktop and iOS

Adobe brought true RAW file edits to Lightroom mobile for iOS a while back and now the company is updating the interface to make photo tweaks easier while you’re on the go. First, Adobe redesigned the edit view to make it friendlier for one-hand use. This includes a slider-based UI for making adjustments and putting the tools you use most often, like showing the before and after images, where you you can get at them quickly and with one hand.

Lightroom mobile for iOS also now displays the entire image while you’re editing so you don’t have to use a second hand to zoom out or move around a photo. Adobe also expanded the info section in the mobile app so you can add in details like titles, captions and copyright from your phone. Lastly, iOS users are now privy to the professional capture mode that arrived on Android this summer. That mode enables manual controls for Lightroom’s in-app camera. The company says it spoke with Lightroom mobile users of all skill levels to assess what needed to be changed and this update to iOS version 2.6 is the first to include that feedback.

For Lightroom on the desktop, Adobe added a new Reference View to the Develop Module. This side-by-side look at photos should help when you’re trying to make multiple files look visually consistent. For example, if you have a group of photos for your Christmas card and you want to make sure they all have a similar look, this feature will lend a hand there. Adobe says it also made some changes “under the hood” to improve overall performance for Lightroom.

Updates to both the iOS and desktop versions of Lightroom are now available for download via the App Store and the Creative Cloud app on your computer.


HTC launches its own VR app and game studio for Vive

HTC spun its Vive VR business into a subsidiary back in June and today the company announced it’s launching its own studio for VR app and game development. The appropriately named Vive Studios will release games that are developed in-house and by other companies in an effort to boost interest in its virtual reality gear. The first title from the new initiative is called Arcade Saga: a trio of games that shows off HTC’s room-scale VR from the internal 2 Bears Studio.

According to Venture Beat, HTC plans to operate Vive Studios much like Microsoft and Sony do for their internal development of Xbox and PlayStation titles. Oculus also has internal studios, one focused on games while the other creates cinematic experiences for the company’s gear.

In addition to games, Vive Studios is working on virtual reality content for cinema, design, real estate sports and more. We’ve already seen uses for the Vive outside of gaming, including BMW employing the tech to design new vehicles. The internal development arm will also build games for HTC’s VR arcade push, an initiative the company says will lead to “thousands” of locations by the end of next year.

In terms of the first release, Arcade Saga is available today for $30 on Steam and the HTC Viveport store. Based on the trailer, Arcade Saga looks two-thirds a modern VR version of Breakout and one-third an archery-style shooter. The title’s three mini games include 84 levels where you’re playing as your computer’s CPU in a battle against the AI henchmen of a computer scientist who goes by Warlock. The so-called Overlords want to keep all AI, like your CPU, enslaved and working as they were intended. It’s a rather elaborate setup, but you can take a look at the game in the trailer down below.

Source: Venture Beat


Mylingo offers real-time Spanish translation in movie theaters

A new app called Mylingo lets Spanish-speaking moviegoers listen to audio dubs in real time, using their own smartphone and headphones. According to the developer, users can download the studio-recorded Spanish tracks directly to their device, where they’ll be able to sync them perfectly with the action from the screen. The application, which is only available for iOS right now, uses the microphone on your phone to capture the data once the movie starts, and then deletes the audio file for good after it’s over.

Naturally, in order to be able to do that, Mylingo had to partner with major studios and movie theaters, such as Disney, Paramount, Sony, Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Theaters. As a result, the app will work with many of the films scheduled to debut this holiday season, including Moana, Office Christmas Party, Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

In a press release, Mylingo Co-founder and CEO Olenka Polak said hispanic audiences spent nearly $2.5 billion at the box office in 2015, so he knows how important this tool will be for many people in the US. I, for one, know someone like my mom is one of them, since she doesn’t speak English fluently but often takes my younger sister to the theater. At least now she’ll have a better idea of what the characters on the screen are talking about.

Source: Mylingo


Mint adds payment tracking so you’ll never pay a late fee again

Missing even one bill payment can have serious repercussions for your credit. Not only does doing so ding your score, it can also invoke penalty and overdraft fees, as well as boost the interest rates on your account. In fact, Americans on the whole spend more than $77 billion in penalties annually for missing their Due By dates. Mint, the personal finance management app from Intuit, aims to reduce those costly mistakes with a helpful new update for its mobile users: unified bill and payment tracking.

So rather than rely on calendar reminders and post-it notes like some people (*raises hand*), these new features will integrate all of your outstanding debt structure into Mint’s architecture so you can see exactly where your money needs to go, all in one screen. And when you have all of that information sitting in front of you, it’s much easier to remember to pay up.

And if that isn’t enough incentive, Mint can also push reminder notifications with both the bill amount and due date to your mobile device. You can even make payments directly from that notification so you have no excuse not to, aside from a lack of funds. What’s more, if you link the app to your checking account, Mint lets you pay an unlimited number of bills — fee-free — every month. Best of all, the entire process in handled within the Mint app so you don’t have to remember logins for a bunch of different websites. As you build up your credit history, Mint will show you how that affects your overall credit score through real-time updates from all three major credit bureaus.


Runkeeper uses Apple Watch GPS to keep track of your route

Apple Watch Series 2 arrived with two notable updates: waterproofing and built-in GPS. Even though the popular jogging app has been letting users run without their iPhone since last fall, Runkeeper now tasks the wearable’s own GPS for better tracking of your routes. An update to the company’s Apple Watch software takes advantage of the built-in feature for “richer stats” and a detailed map you can view on your phone.

Runkeeper’s Apple Watch app also gains a customizable activity screen so you can choose what’s on the wearable’s display during your workout. One of those stats is a new heart-rate graph that shows your BPM over the last five minutes. There’s also a target pace graph that plots out a five-minute snapshot of your run compared to a speed goal you input before you get started.

For updates during your run, the app will alert you with a vibration each time to you log a mile. To give the latest version of Runkeeper a go, download it from the App Store and lace up your sneakers. Keep in mind that in order to take advantage of the added GPS abilities, you’ll need to have an Apple Watch Series 2.

Source: RunKeeper


Microsoft hopes your Windows PC can replace an Amazon Echo

If rumors are true, Microsoft may be one of the few major consumer tech giants that doesn’t have a smart, voice-guided speaker in the works… but that doesn’t mean it’s sitting on its thumbs. In an expansion of recent code discoveries, Windows Central sources claim that Windows 10 is getting a Home Hub feature that will turn supporting PCs into rivals for the Amazon Echo and Google Home. You’d have a shared, login-free desktop that shares family resources like calendars and shopping lists, and a smart home app that would make it easy to control all your connected devices. And as you might surmise, the Cortana voice assistant would play a much, much more important role.

Under Home Hub, Cortana would have access to both shared content as well as that of individual users who are signed in. That would tackle one of the biggest issues with devices like Google Home — that they’re frequently limited to supporting a single user’s account. Supporting PCs would also be much more Cortana-friendly. You could use voice commands from a greater distance, and wake up the PC with voice alone. Home Hub-ready systems could even tout light and motion sensors to wake up whenever someone enters the room.

Provided the leak is accurate, it could be a while before you see every element of Home Hub. It’s reportedly scheduled to arrive through three significant Windows 10 updates (nicknamed Redstone 2, 3 and 4) that would start arriving in 2017. And if you want a PC designed for the feature from the ground up, you may have to wait until the very end of the year. Microsoft is said to be asking vendors (including HP and Lenovo) to step up with Home Hub-optimized all-in-one PCs in late 2017.

There’s no certainty that everything will pan out as planned. WC is quick to warn that delays and cancellations could change features and timelines, assuming Home Hub ships at all. However, it’s easy to see the incentive for Microsoft to make this a reality. In some ways, Echo-like speakers reduce the need for a family computer — you can’t do your homework through a speaker, but you can accomplish tasks that would normally require breaking out your phone or sitting at a desk. Home Hub would keep the PC relevant for homes where a shared machine makes sense, and might even provide an edge over smart speakers by offering the visual, multi-user info that you don’t get right now.

Source: Windows Central


Discogs’ vinyl app offers more info on artists, labels and releases

Discogs’ vinyl-tracking app has been available for everyone since February, but today the company revealed an update for the iOS version. The redesign is primarily focused on serving up more details on artists, record labels and releases. For example, the mobile software now pulls it Discogs’ database info on an individual musician or band. We’re talking things like image galleries, band members, name variations, aliases and more. Any related artists and releases are linked which makes it easy to go hunting for new material.

The new artist view will also quickly display how many releases by a particular band or musician you own. Thanks to a handy “In Your Collection” button, that tally is easily visible. Artist pages also have sharing tools so you can broadcast your findings via your social channels, text message or email. You can also simply save a note to your phone to remind yourself to come back later.

Like the retooled artist pages, the label view now displays more information as well. The Discogs app will show you details on the parent label or sublabels for each imprint. You can also easily see which releases from a label are already in your collection or any that you’ve added to the so-called Wantlist for future consideration.

Although Discogs added release details in a previous update, it’s still worth a mention as part of this data-heavy revamp. When you’re looking at info on a particular release, you’ll now see things like sales history, Wantlist stats, collection totals, sales listings, tracklist credits, YouTube videos and more.

All of this added information is an addition to existing features like a barcode scanner to help verify and catalog any records you come across when digging through old crates. The Discogs app comes in handy when hunting for vinyl releases, so adding in loads more data will certainly help audio aficionados make informed decisions and keep track of what they already own.


Geohot open-sources his semi-autonomous car technology

George “Geohot” Hotz’s semi-autonomous driving add-on, Comma One, didn’t work out as planned. However, that doesn’t mean the underlying technology will never see the light of day — far from it. The team has published the source code for both its Openpilot self-driving tech and its NEO robotics platform. You’ll need hardware to use this for its originally intended purpose, but anyone who has a grasp of the programming languages involved can use the code for whatever projects they like. While you probably won’t see homebrew self-driving cars emerge from this (the law would have something to say about it), don’t be surprised if some of the tech finds its way into commercial projects.

Source: GitHub, (Twitter)


Make your own Moments with Twitter’s mobile apps

Back in September, Twitter opened up Moments and gave anyone the ability to create a narrative with a collection of tweets. Since then, the story-curating feature has only been available on the web. Today, Twitter announced that Moments is rolling out to all users on mobile as well.

To get started, all you have to do is hit the down arrow in the top right of any tweet. From the menu options, select “Add to Moment” to begin your collection of posts. After you do so, you’ll be able to add your own tweets, favorites or search for material from other users to fill out the story. As far as customization goes, you can re-order tweets, crop images and select background colors for text-only posts. Set a cover and enter a title and description and you’re all set.

With Moments, you can bring together favorite Tweets to tell richer stories – rolling out on mobile starting today.

— Twitter (@twitter) November 30, 2016

Source: Twitter


PowerPoint brings real-time collaboration to your slides

It’s not much fun to plug away at a presentation, but Microsoft might have found a way to make the experience more bearable for Office 365 subscribers. It’s updating the Windows version of PowerPoint with real-time collaboration that helps you share the workload. You can see who’s editing specific slides, and see typing as it happens. You’ll need to be part of the Office Insider program to use this right away, but don’t be surprised if it’s available more broadly in the near future.

Microsoft’s updates will also let you know what’s going on when you’re away from your desk. Both Android and iOS users are getting notifications that let you know when someone is offering or working on a shared Excel, PowerPoint or Word file. Ideally, you won’t be caught off-guard when a coworker starts editing a team report. You’ll have to be patient if you think these would be useful, however. You need to be an Office Insider to get these notifications on Android at the moment, and you’ll have to wait for the December updates before they show up on iOS.

Source: Office Blogs

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