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About Oirad20

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  1. A few days ago I decided to search around the web for an alternative to now dead project Turntable.fm. As a huge music fan, I would find myself spending hours on Turntable.fm discovering new music played by others while we would chat about any favorite artists, song, genres, etc. There was this cool feeling of sharing those songs you like with others and expect some positive feedback and praise from your music taste. Unfortunately, Turntable.fm faced many licensing issues that lead to it's demise, but for those of us looking for an alternative on synchronized online music-listening rooms there is a new, solid project (that also comes with a catch). I came across JQBX which is currently available for iPhone and Mac (Windows and Android coming soon). The app gives Spotify Premium users the ability to enter music rooms and share from single tracks to complete playlists with others. Any track played on the room can be added to your Spotify playlist with complete sync between the two apps thus giving users more options than Turntable.fm ever did. This app is relatively new and the developers are still ironing a few details as well as gathering user feedback to add new features but it is certainly heading in the right direction. Future Soundcloud and Apple Music integration is something that the developers are considering as well. If you have a Spotify Premium account and like sharing your music tastes or discovering others then give JQBX a try.
  2. We’ve been hearing a lot about Apple’s ambitions with augmented reality, and a new reportfrom Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman adds to the intrigue. As similar stories have said in the past, Apple is reportedly working on AR glasses (which won’t be ready for a while) and plans to put augmented reality features in the next iPhone. It’s got “hundreds of engineers” working on the tech, says Gurman, including individuals poached from Microsoft’s HoloLens team and Facebook-owned Oculus. Here’s Gurman on what the first iPhone AR tools might look like: One of the features Apple is exploring is the ability to take a picture and then change the depth of the photograph or the depth of specific objects in the picture later; another would isolate an object in the image, such as a person's head, and allow it to be tilted 180 degrees. A different feature in development would use augmented reality to place virtual effects and objects on a person, much the way Snapchat works. This certainly fits with reports from other sources. Last month, the reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that this year’s iPhone would have a “revolutionary” camera augmented with an infrared projector and receiver. This would offer capabilities similar to the Kinect peripheral Microsoft made for the Xbox, including depth sensing and 3D mapping. Augmented reality hasn’t been subject to the same buzz as virtual reality, but arguably, that’s because it’s more practical. It doesn’t immerse you in virtual worlds for entertainment purposes, but adds useful information to your line of sight — anything from navigational cues to mechanical labels. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said on a number of occasions he thinks AR will be bigger than VR. However, if this latest Bloomberg report is anything go by, the first AR features in Apple products will be pretty simple. [Via The Verge]
  3. The ever-trustworthy Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities is at it again with fresh iPhone 8 news, this time about a possible camera update. According to Kuo, via 9to5Mac, Apple will incorporate a 3D sensing front-facing camera in the next iPhone. This would require the addition of an IR module and an improved front-facing camera. Not dissimilar to the Lumia 950 XL’s dual-sensor setup, the new camera would be able to capture a 3D image of the user, which will have multiple uses including biometric security and AR gaming. The innovation is the result of previous acquisitions PrimeSense, which will power the new tech, and, Lumentum’s IR technology. The recent acquisition of Israeli startup, Realface, which specialises in facial recognition technology, also comes into clearer focus with today’s news. Apple gets a new trick The most interesting aspect of KGI’s report is the assertion that Android is “years” behind Apple in terms of 3D algorithms. The exact quote reads, If this report is accurate, and Apple is staking its individuality on 3D algorithms, then it’s a smart direction to head in for two obvious reasons. Firstly, the AR market has had a huge injection in the last year thanks to Pokémon GO. Millions now know, understand and are comfortable with the AR concept and would be open to new innovations and smartphone-related features. If Apple is planning on heavily focusing on AR and 3D tech in the iPhone 8, then it couldn’t have picked a better time than now thanks to the Pokémon craze. Secondly, the reasons for buying an iPhone over an Android - or vice versa - are dwindling. All manufacturers need something to stand out. The operating systems are matched in features and design, whilst there’s little between the iPhone 7 and recent top Android handsets in performance and design. So a solid, genuinely innovative feature like fast and accurate biometric security facial recognition, or AR-inspired gaming, would certainly set the iPhone 8 against the competition. There are a few hurdles to clear, however, when it comes to facial recognition as a security feature. Namely inaccuracy and, as a result, speed. The Lumia 950XL suffered badly because of it, but I suspect Apple will have a better go of it, especially if the plan is to replace Touch ID. Between Samsung’s foldable phone and Apple’s new AR technology, 2017 is shaping up to be a year of smartphone innovation. Something the industry has lacked in recent in recent times. Via [Forbes]
  4. Apple is raising the price of both iOS and Mac apps in several territories by 25 percent or more. These price hikes are as a result of Apple reacting to a number of different factors. However, the result is the same as always… consumers are getting shafted yet again. As reported by BBC News, in the UK, Apple is raising the price of apps and in-app purchases by 25 percent across the board. This means a £0.79p app will now cost £0.99, and a £1.49 app will now cost £1.99 etc. The price of Super Mario Run, which was already an expensive option, is rising from £7.99 to £9.99. Other countries set to see the price of apps increase include India and Turkey. In India, the price of a $0.99 app will rise from 60 rupees to 80 rupees, which represents a 33 percent increase. In Turkey, the price of a $0.99 app will rise from 2.69 lira to 3.49 lira, which represents a 33 percent increase. Is This Really All Because of Brexit? Several publications are reporting that this is all down to Brexit, and the fluctuations in currency that have occurred since. However, that would only potentially explain what’s happening in the UK, and not in the other countries where prices have also been hiked up. Apple issued a statement addressing the increase in app prices, saying: It’s fair to say various currencies have been affected by world events in 2016. However, most of these price hikes are as a result of changes to the rates of tax and VAT being charged on app purchases. Which means Apple can simply pin the blame on the governments in those countries. Ditching the Apple Ecosystem in Protest! This isn’t the first time Apple has increased the price of apps, and it certainly won’t be the last time either. However, 25 percent is a sizable increase overnight, and one which consumers will certainly notice. Whether anyone is annoyed enough to ditch the Apple ecosystem in protest remains to be seen. Via [Make Use Of]
  5. Responding to a recent IDC report claiming less than rosy Apple Watch sales for the third quarter of 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook late Monday said the wearable device's performance actually set a new record during the first week of holiday shopping on the way to what could be its best quarter ever. Though Cook declined to offer specifics in an email provided to Reuters, his remarks represent a rare public rebuttal to quarterly sales forecast data issued by independent market research firms. Earlier today, IDC said Apple Watch posted a whopping 71 percent year-over-year sales contraction in quarter three due to an "aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface." Analysts at the firm believe Apple will see minimal success in the category because of continued pressure from manufacturers marketing less-functional, but cheaper, fitness bands. Apple does not break out Apple Watch numbers in its quarterly earnings reports, instead lumping the product in with iPods, accessories and other miscellaneous hardware. Cook likewise remained mum on exact figures in tonight's note. He did, however, say that Apple Watch sell-through reached a new high during the first week of holiday sales. "Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year," Cook said. "Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product's history. And as we expected, we're on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch." Apple is marketing two versions of Apple Watch this holiday shopping season —Apple Watch Series 2 and the refreshed Series 1 —both of which saw release in September. While Series 1 upgrades stop at an updated S2 processor, the Series 2 features a GPS radio, a water resistant chassis good for swimming down to 50 meters and a brighter display, among other enhancements. The new Apple Watch Series 2 also comes in an aluminum Nike+ version that boasts specialized sports tracking features, as well as a luxe white ceramic Edition model which takes the place of last year's solid gold variants. Via [AppleInsider]
  6. Apple has announced a one-day shopping event this Friday via a new section on its website, rejoining the Black Friday tradition it dropped last year. The Cupertino company appears to be focusing its Black Friday efforts on ecommerce this year. The dedicated web page says the fastest way to shop the event will be via the Apple Store app and there will be free two-day delivery on almost everything on the day. However, Apple is also extending its retail store opening hoursacross the holiday period, which includes Black Friday on November 25. The website does not yet include details on the products and discounts available as part of the promotion. Apple's decision to run the one-day shopping event this year follows its decision to drop the Black Friday retail tradition in 2015 to give staff a break. Apple's brand new web page dedicated to its one-day shopping event this Friday.Apple But this year, it seems, Black Friday is too good a retail opportunity to miss. The web page announcing the event says: "Friday can’t come soon enough. Our one-day shopping event will be here before you know it. Come back this Friday to check everyone off your list." The best discounts on Apple products, however, aren't always from the Apple store, DealNews features editor Benjamin Glaser writes. Third-party retailers have already been selling discounted Apple products this year. Target's Black Friday deals, which include discounts on Apple TV models and the Apple Watch Series 1, began almost two weeks ago.
  7. That is just ridiculous. Nobody wants AT&T to help save data.