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Posts tagged ‘iPhone’

26
Dec

Apple’s AI Team Publishes First Research Paper Focused on Advanced Image Recognition


Earlier in December, Apple announced that it would begin allowing its artificial intelligence and machine learning researchers to publish and share their work in papers, slightly pulling back the curtain on the company’s famously secretive creation processes. Now, just a few weeks later, the first of those papers has been published, focusing on Apple’s work in the intelligent image recognition field.

Titled “Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training,” the paper describes a program that can intelligently decipher and understand digital images in a setting similar to the “Siri Intelligence” and facial recognition features introduced in Photos in iOS 10, but more advanced.

In the research, Apple notes the downsides and upsides of using real images compared with that of “synthetic,” or computer images. Annotations must be added to real images, an “expensive and time-consuming task” that requires a human workforce to individually label objects in a picture. On the other hand, computer-generated images help to catalyze this process “because the annotations are automatically available.”

Still, fully switching to synthetic images could lead to a dip in the quality of the program in question. This is because “synthetic data is often not realistic enough” and would lead to an end-user experience that only responded well to details present in the computer-generated images, while being unable to generalize well on any real-world objects and pictures it faced.

This leads to the paper’s central proposition — the combination of using both simulated and real images to work together in “adversarial training,” creating an advanced AI image program:

In this paper, we propose Simulated+Unsupervised (S+U) learning, where the goal is to improve the realism of synthetic images from a simulator using unlabeled real data. The improved realism enables the training of better machine learning models on large datasets without any data collection or human annotation effort.

We show that this enables generation of highly realistic images, which we demonstrate both qualitatively and with a user study.

The rest of the paper goes into the details of Apple’s research on the topic, including experiments that have been run and the math proposed to back up its findings. The paper’s research focused solely on single images, but the team at Apple notes towards the end that it hopes to sometime soon “investigate refining videos” as well.

The credits on the paper go to Apple researchers Ashish Shrivastava, Tomas Pfister, Oncel Tuzel, Josh Susskind, Wenda Wang, and Russ Webb. The team’s research was first submitted on November 15, but it didn’t get published until December 22.

At the AI conference in Barcelona a few weeks ago, Apple head of machine learning Russ Salakhutdinov — and a few other employees — discussed topics including health and vital signs, volumetric detection of LiDAR, prediction with structured outputs, image processing and colorization, intelligent assistant and language modeling, and activity recognition. We’ll likely see papers on a variety of these topics and more in the near future.
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26
Dec

What to Buy With the iTunes Gift Card You Unwrapped Today


iTunes gift cards are a common gift for the tech enthusiast during the holidays. The cards can be used to purchase apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books, and more, making it difficult to decide what to buy with your freshly unwrapped gift. We’re here to help with some hand-picked recommendations.

Didn’t get an iTunes gift card under the tree? PayPal is offering 10% off iTunes e-gift cards through December 30 in the United States for use on U.S. storefronts only. Available denominations include $25, $50, and $100 for $22.50, $45, and $90 respectively. PayPal is also offering a $50 iTunes e-gift card for $42.50 via eBay in the United States for a limited time. While iTunes gift cards can occasionally be found for 15% off, these are a few of the best deals currently available.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the script for a two-part play based on a new original story J.K. Rowling helped to write. The book was released in July as the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, nearly a decade after the final Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book was released.

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The story begins 19 years after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry Potter is now an overworked Ministry of Magic employee, a husband, and father of three school-aged children, including his youngest son Albus, who struggles with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is available in a digital format for $14.99 on the iBooks Store [Direct Link] for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Texture — Unlimited Access to 200+ Magazines

texture-magazinesTexture is an iPhone and iPad app that provides unlimited access to over 200 of the world’s most popular magazines for $9.99 per month. New users who purchase a subscription as an in-app purchase get a 7-day full trial.

Some of the magazines available include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men’s Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN, Entertainment Weekly, and many others.

Magazines can be read on up to five devices per subscription, including offline by tapping download on a specific issue. Both new issues and a searchable archive of over 5000 past issues are available. A full catalog of available magazines, additional details, and sign-up promotions can be found on the Texture website.

Texture is a free download on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad. The app won a Best of 2016 award on the App Store.

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run launched on the App Store for iPhone and iPad ten days ago, becoming the first official smartphone and tablet game featuring the iconic Nintendo character. The game is free to try for the first three courses, while unlocking all 24 courses in the World Tour requires a one-time $10 in-app purchase.

The game is a timed runner designed for one-handed gameplay. Mario runs forward automatically as players tap to jump, collect coins, pounce on Goombas, avoid obstacles, and reach the flagpole at the end of each course before the timer runs out. In the end, Mario must rescue Princess Peach from Bowser.

A challenge mode called Toad Rally allows players to compete with friends or strangers to see who can obtain the highest score while performing stylish moves. Toad Rally requires Rally Tickets, which can be acquired in a variety of ways, such as clearing worlds or through bonus games in your own kingdom.


Meanwhile, a Kingdom Builder mode enables players to create their own kingdom and customize it using coins and toads gathered in Toad Rally. Super Mario Run has since gained a new Friendly Run mode similar to Toad Rally, but items, coins, or new toads collected do count toward a player’s public totals in this mode.

Super Mario Run has been downloaded over 40 million times, but some players have criticized the $10 cost to unlock the full game due to limited gameplay. But, in the game’s defense, there are technically 72 courses given players have to collect pink, purple, and black challenge coins on each of the 24 courses.

Super Mario Run is available on the App Store [Direct Link] for iPhone and iPad. An always-on Wi-Fi or cellular connection is required.

Apps on Sale

A number of popular iPhone and iPad apps are on sale through the holidays, including Day One, Tweetbot, Alto’s Adventure, Byword, djay Pro, Duet Display, NBA 2K17, Limbo, SteamWorld Heist, Severed, Battleheart Legacy, PCalc, Pennies, Drafts, Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition, Broken Age, and many others.

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More deals, including discounts on Mac apps, can be found on AppShopper or in the App Santa promotion, which runs through December 26. TouchArcade has also finalized its list of the 100 best games available this year. As a reminder, no new or updated apps will appear on the App Store until after December 27.

Apple Music Subscription

iTunes gift cards can be used to pay for an Apple Music subscription, which costs $9.99 per month for individuals, $14.99 per month for families with up to six people, and $4.99 per month for students in the United States and Canada. Prices and student plan availability vary in other countries.


Those looking for a slightly better deal on an annual Apple Music subscription should consider a 12-month Apple Music gift card, which Apple sells for $99. A 12-month subscription to Apple Music normally costs $120 when paying for the service directly with iTunes credit or another form of payment, so you can save $20.

Minecraft for Apple TV

Minecraft for Apple TV launched last week, giving players the familiar task of venturing into a randomly generated world and customizing it to their liking.

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Minecraft: Apple TV Edition is $19.99 and can be purchased directly from the tvOS App Store on the fourth-generation Apple TV.

Holiday Movies

With the holidays and winter weather upon us in the northern half of the world, now is a better time than ever to snug up on the couch and relax. Apple is offering a wide range of holiday movies in HD for $10 or less in the United States for a limited time, so this may be a good way to spend some iTunes credit.

• Elf
• National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
• Home Alone
• Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
• Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
• The Polar Express
• A Christmas Story
• It’s a Wonderful Life
• Love Actually
• The Night Before
• Mickey’s Christmas Carol
• The Muppet Christmas Carol
• A Christmas Carol (2009)
• A Christmas Carol (1984)
• Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas: The Movie
• Miracle on 34th Street (1947)• Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
• The Santa Clause
• Bad Santa
• The Holiday
• This Christmas
• The Family Stone
• Last Holiday
• Jingle All the Way
• A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
• Scrooged
• The Best Man Holiday
• The Family Man
• Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights
• Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
• Black Nativity
• Fred Claus
• The Perfect Holiday
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25
Dec

PayPal Offering 10% Off iTunes Gift Cards Through Holidays


PayPal is offering 10% off iTunes e-gift cards until December 30 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Available denominations include a $25 iTunes e-gift card for $22.50, $50 iTunes e-gift card for $45, and a $100 iTunes e-gift card for $90. The gift cards are not physical but instead delivered electronically via email.

iTunes gift cards can be used to purchase apps, games, music, movies, TV shows, books, and more on the App Store, iTunes Store, the iBooks Store, and the Mac App Store. The credit can also be used towards an Apple Music subscription. The gift cards can be used on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Mac, or PC.

Here’s the fine print summarized: Valid U.S. PayPal and iTunes accounts are required. The deal is valid only on purchases made in the United States from the U.S. iTunes Store. The offer is valid while supplies last. Limited quantity is available. Electronic delivery only. No returns or refunds are accepted.

While iTunes gift cards can occasionally be found for 15% off, this is one of the best deals currently available.
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25
Dec

New iPhone, iPad, or AirPods? Get Extra Apple-Certified Lightning Cables for Just $6


For those lucky enough to find a new iPhone, iPad, or AirPods under the tree today, now is the perfect time to outfit your home, car, work desk, bedside table, or elsewhere with extra Lightning charging cables.

Apple charges $19 for its 1-meter Lightning to USB charging cable, but you can save yourself $13 by purchasing an Apple-certified 0.9-meter Anker Lightning to USB charging cable for just $5.99 on Amazon.

The cable qualifies for free two-day shipping in the United States for Amazon Prime members. Without a Prime membership, free standard 6-8 days shipping in the U.S. is available on orders over $49 in total.

While counterfeit Apple cables and chargers on Amazon are common, and potentially dangerous, Anker claims its cable is certified by Apple under its MFi Program. MFi-certified products have been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. The Wirecutter, owned by The New York Times, said Anker has the best Lightning cable.

This article is not affiliated with Anker, but MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon and may sometimes get paid if you click one of the above links.
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25
Dec

Louis CK’s app gives you direct access to his comedy shows


Louis CK helped prove that artists can make good income by selling videos directly to fans, but getting his comedy shows to your phone can be a bit of a headache if you’re unfamiliar with the intricacies of local file syncing. As of this week, though, you don’t have to bend over backwards. The entertainer has released apps for both Android and iOS that let you buy, watch and listen to shows right on your device — there’s no sideloading required, and no third-party studios getting in the way. As Louis explains in a newsletter, this is really a mobile version of his website, just optimized to make your life easier.

The pricing is the same $5 per show (less for most Horace and Pete episodes), and anything you’ve bought before will be available the moment you sign in. You’ll also get notifications for new shows and tour dates.

There is a question about how the app works on iOS: is Louis giving Apple a cut of in-app sales like other developers, or raking it all in? We suspect the former (at least if he wants to abide by App Store guidelines). If so, it might be best to buy that stand-up special on the web if you want to make sure that Louis gets his full share.

Source: App Store, Google Play

23
Dec

TouchArcade Shares the Top 100 Mobile Games of 2016


The team over at our sister site TouchArcade plays, reviews, and highlights thousands of mobile games every year, making them experts on the best iOS titles out there.

Now that the App Store freeze is in place and no additional apps will be coming out in 2016, TouchArcade has compiled its list of the top 100 mobile games of the year.

TouchArcade’s list, which is alphabetical, spans multiple genres and covers both mobile exclusives and games that are available on multiple platforms. It was compiled by all of the TA staff and includes commentary from each of the TA writers. From TouchArcade Editor-in-Chief Eli Hodapp:

We tried to provide a good list that represents all of the best things the App Store had to offer in 2016, covering as many genres as possible and aiming for an even mix of exclusive games and great multi-platform ports.

Instead of just sorting our reviews by the highest rated, which anyone can do just by looking at our top reviews, we aimed to build a list of games that would have something for everyone regardless of whether you love simple one-button games or in-depth point and click adventure games.

TouchArcade’s list includes a huge range of titles, from in-depth RPGs like Crashlands to independent platformers like Mikey Jumps to free games like Rodeo Stampede. Check out TouchArcade’s top 100 games over at the TouchArcade website.
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22
Dec

‘App Santa’ Offers Discounts of Up to 80% Off Popular iOS and Mac Apps


Each year, a group of developers behind some of the most popular iOS and Mac apps get together and offer significant discounts on their content as part of an “App Santa” promotion.

This year’s App Santa went live this morning, and includes apps like Tweetbot, Screens, Launch Center Pro, Star Walk, and more. Many apps in the promotion are available at a 50 percent discount, but for some apps, prices are down 80 percent. A full list of apps on sale is below, with direct links included.

iOS

  • Tweetbot – $4.99, down from $9.99
  • Rando Emoji – $0.99, down from $1.99
  • Screens – $9.99, down from $19.99
  • Drafts 4 – $2.99, down from $4.99
  • Deliveries – $3.99, down from $4.99
  • Pennies – $0.99, down from $4.99
  • Vee – $0.99, down from $2.99
  • Launch Center Pro – $2.99, down from $4.99
  • Castro – $2.99, down from $2.99
  • Star Walk – $0.99, down from $4.99
  • Star Walk HD – $0.99, down from $4.99
  • Group Text+ – $0.99, down from $2.99
  • Interact – $2.99, down from $4.99
  • Soulver – $0.99, down from $3.99
  • Pcalc – $6.99, down from $9.99

Mac

  • Tweetbot – $4.99, down from $9.99
  • Screens – $14.99, down from $29.99
  • Deliveries – $3.99, down from $4.99
  • Pcalc – $6.99, down from $9.99
  • Day One – $29.99, down from $49.99

The App Santa discounts will be available from today, December 22, through December 26. Many other developers are offering holiday discounts on their apps, and our sister site AppShopper is a good way to find all of the apps that are available on the cheap.
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21
Dec

Algoriddim squeezes its djay Pro app into the iPhone


For the past 10 years, DJ software maker Algoriddim has been steadily updating its djay app, adding fresh features as software and technology have improved. It started out in Apple’s eco-system on the Mac, adding the iPhone and iPad as it went, even letting Android join the party eventually. Last year its fully-outfitted Pro version added video mixing alongside sampling, effects and four decks. This comprehensive party software hit iPads last year, but starting today the backbreaking work of hauling laptops and tablets around is over, with the newly laid out djay Pro for iPhone. Yep, you new get a fully capable DJ package, with access to Spotify’s pool of tracks, four decks, effects and video mixing in a pocketable format. If you’re intrigued, now’s the time to try it, with a limited time launch price of $4.99.

This revamped version of djay Pro isn’t much different from before. Most of the changes are subtle, aimed at improving accessibility on a small screen. There are some new features that take advantage of 3D-Touch and haptic feedback capabilities, though. You can now feel left, right and center spots on the crossfader as little nudges, plus cue marks can be created on the fly by hard presses on the screen. Also impressive, is the ability to feel each kick as you’re scrubbing through waveforms, which helps bring a semblance of actual record queuing back into the process.

In my opinion, DJing with just an iPhone isn’t necessarily the most pleasant experience. I suppose tiny fingers could help — perhaps it’s purpose-built for the emerging generation — but, with the combination of 3D-Touch and haptic feedback, it’s definitely workable. Djay Pro for iPhone makes the best of available space, offering easy access to effects, filters and tracks with centrally placed buttons.

Spotify integration is onboard as expected, but the browse function is a new addition, helping you search out new selections by mood, genre or popularity. It’s a great way to have access to a pool of tracks without building up your own collection, plus it’s a lifesaver if you find yourself in need of songs that fit a vibe you absolutely didn’t prepare for in advance.

For those adventurous enough, the video mixing capability is great, and it’s surprising to have access to such rich features from a device that fits in your pocket. You can use AirPlay to stream both music and video to to compatible systems, making it a pleasantly wireless experience. On top of this, if you have an Apple Watch, the watchOS 3 updates offer mix control from your wrist with improved ultra-low latency. While small fingers may help, the watch interface is intuitive and easy to use.

What could be the perfect on-the-go combo, is to pair the mobile app with Algoriddim’s latest hardware collaboration called Mixtour. This ultra-portable DJ controller manufactured by Reloop is definitely bag friendly and lets you run most of the app’s standard features from its larger interface. It takes a bit more forethought to carry one of these around on the off chance you’ll be playing some tunes, but it could help you avoid hunching over your phone when you’re in the mix.

If you’re not using one of Apple’s latest handsets, don’t worry, you can still use djay Pro for iPhone if you have an iPhone 5 or later running iOS 10, but you’ll have to do without the haptic and 3D-Touch perks. You can pick up a copy of the app on iTunes starting today and save 50 percent off the regular price for a limited time.

21
Dec

Apple Releases Firmware Update 7.7.8 and 7.6.8 for AirPort Base Stations With Back to My Mac Bug Fix


Apple today released new firmware updates for its Wi-Fi base stations, including the AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule. The 7.7.8 update is available for 802.11ac base stations, while the 7.6.8 update is available for 802.11n base stations.

According to Apple’s release notes, the update fixes an issue that caused AirPort base stations from appearing in the AirPort Utility when Back to My Mac is enabled. The firmware updates can be installed using the AirPort Utility app for iOS or OS X.

Apple has reportedly stopped development on its AirPort wireless routers, with no new AirPort products planned for release, but the company will continue to offer bug fixes and updates in the near future.
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21
Dec

Apple Stops Signing iOS 10.1 and iOS 10.1.1


Now that iOS 10.2 has been available for over a week, Apple has stopped signing earlier versions of iOS 10, including iOS 10.1 and iOS 10.1.1.

Customers who have upgraded to iOS 10.2 will no longer be able to downgrade their iOS devices to iOS 10.1.1, the previous version of iOS.

Apple routinely stops signing older versions of software updates after new releases come out to encourage customers to stay up to date. iOS 10.2 is the only version of iOS 10 that can be installed on iOS devices, though developers and public beta testers can download iOS 10.2.1, a future update that is currently in a beta testing phase.

Released to the public on December 12, iOS 10.2 introduced major new features like the dedicated TV app, new emoji, and a range of bug fixes. Apple has also stopped signing tvOS 10.0.1 for the fourth-generation Apple TV.
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