15.August 2018 NEW YORKNow68°F
AdminAugust 1, 2018
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2min84

Samsung has announced that it has updated its Augmented Reality (AR) Emoji creator tool with better facial tracking as well as a few new options for customization, which would enable the AR Emoji to capture each user’s individuality.

Samsung’s AR Emoji is Back

The latest update on Samsung’s AR Emoji tool will make it possible for users to tweak various features of the creepy avatar; from the shape of its soulless eyes to the size of its disconcerting grin.

Galaxy S9’s Augmented Reality Emoji

The feature works by generating a digital version of your face that can then be used to log your facial expressions. In a nutshell, the feature creates an avatar of the user and allows him or her to modify elements like hair, complexion, clothes, and so on.

Galaxy S9’s Augmented Reality Emoji

Galaxy S9 will use the avatars to create a set of 18 animated stickers that can eventually be used in other messaging applications like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, which would allow users to share the AR Emoji with friends that don’t have the AR Emoji feature on their gadgets.

Interestingly enough, users who don’t want to use their own face can opt to use the face of Disney characters instead. Samsung has collaborated with Disney in order to let you use the feature with characters like Mickey Mouse and The Incredibles, for instance.

How to Create and Use Galaxy S9 AR Emoji

In order to start the process of creating an AR Emoji, you would have to launch the camera application on your mobile phone and then tap on the AR Emoji mode, which can be found on top.

Then, you take a photo of your face, just as you would when you are taking a selfie. The AR Emoji feature will then automatically spot key data points, such as your eyes and nose, to create a digital version of you.

How to Create and Use Galaxy S9 AR Emoji

Just as a warning though, the digital version that the feature creates may not initially look like you. This is where the abovementioned options come into the picture as they can be used to fine-tune your avatar to perfection. The hair, eyes, nose, cheeks, ears, complexion, and other features can be adjusted with the use of sliders.

Once you’re satisfied with the avatar you’ve created, you can then use the front camera on the Galaxy S9 to record your voice and facial expression. After that, you may send the animation you’ve created to your family and friends.

How Samsung S9 AR Emoji Compares with Apple’s Memoji

When compared to Apple’s Memoji feature, one can say that Apple did a lot better job of creating a feature that most people would want to use. From the beginning, Apple offered a variety of options for customization, which gave users more control over what they look like.

Additionally, when it was examined, it became clear that Samsung’s AR Emoji relied only on software, as opposed to Apple’s Memoji, and so that may be the reason for the quality gap.

How Samsung S9 AR Emoji Compares with Apple’s Memoji

However, Samsung actually did something right, in one aspect at least, by giving users sliders that allows them to hone specific elements. Now that is something that Apple may want to consider incorporating in their Memoji feature.

Overall, I think that the Samsung S9 AR Emoji is worth a try. Although I have to admit that there is still more room for improvement and that it is still a tad creepy, the new update could make the experience more interesting and fun.


AdminJuly 20, 2018
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1min124

The downside to owning a Smartphone

One of the downsides to owning a smartphone is the possibility of its glass being cracked or shattered.  I do not know about you, but buying an expensive smartphone makes me nervous for this reason alone.  Luckily, a new smartphone glass is promising to be a breakthrough in preventing cracked screens.

Manufacturing Corning’s “Gorilla Glass 6” promises to withstand impacts from up to 1 meter in height not just once, but 15 times!  Over 21 percent of smartphone users worldwide have some sort of cracked screen.  This is a nightmare that many of us have been through before.  You purchase that expensive phone and then an unsettling “accident” happens and your precious smartphone, which probably cost more than your laptop, has a cracked screen.

There are even cottage industries all around us set up to fix smartphone screens.  And with the cost of repairing these smartphone screens costing upwards of $100.00, the repair is nearly one fifth the price of the entire phone itself!

The downside to owning a Smartphone

Gorilla Glass 6, what is it? 

“As consumers become more dependent on their smartphones, the opportunity for potentially damaging drops is also on the rise. Now more than ever, it’s critical that the cover glass provides outstanding protection,” said John Bayne, vice president and general manager at Gorilla Glass. “Corning Gorilla Glass 6 improves upon Gorilla Glass 5 by surviving drops from higher heights, but, more importantly, has been engineered to survive multiple drops.”  Corning Gorilla Glass, the company behind this new and improved smartphone glass technology, was originally started when Apple asked Corning to come up with a thin but durable glass that could be used for consumer products.

The end result is that today well over five billion devices are made with Corning Gorilla Glass.  So what exactly makes Gorilla Glass so great?  Scott Forester, the division Vice President of Corning Gorilla Glass, explained, “There’s always two fundamental components for Gorilla Glass.

One is the actual glass composition at the atomic level, which elements are in the glass itself. And what we do is combine it with an ion exchange process, basically a strengthening process.”  This formula and method have led to Gorilla Glass dominating the Smartphone glass market.

Gorilla Glass 6

Something strange is coming

What’s even more interesting is that the new Gorilla Glass 6 can feel like…of all things…snakeskin.  In fact, the new glass can be manufactured to feel like just about any texture you like, including but not limited to wood and marble.  It may seem a little strange to want a smartphone glass window that feels like snakeskin, but with the smartphone market constantly looking for new gimmicks and tricks, manufacturers like Samsung and Apple will surely welcome this option.

Another very cool possibility with Gorilla Glass 6 is that the glass itself can actually be manufactured in a way that it reveals the phone’s inside hardware.  This should prove to be a very cool effect as the phone can show off those fancy microchips that cost you a fortune.

Gorilla Glass 6 is expected to be widely available late this year and it should prove to be one more craze for new Smartphone lovers to go crazy over.


AdminJune 29, 2018
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1min166

Just a few years back, it would have been hard to think that a mindfulness app would end up being a big hit among users and, in turn, could convince investors to invest.

Last year, Calm, a meditation app, was named Apple’s app of the year and is ranked 50th among top grossing iOS apps. Now, the company, which has raised only $1.5 million in seed financing, is being rewarded by investors.

What is the Calm App?

Calm is the number one app for mindfulness and meditation to bring more clarity, joy, and peace to your everyday life. Calm started as a website that plays relaxing sounds and videos, but now it’s a full-fledged meditation app for both iOS and Android.

Like Headspace, the Calm app has a series of guided meditations that you can do for free, which is called the Seven Days of Calm.

The app, which contains the initial Seven Days of Calm, unguided sessions, some guided sessions, and tracking features, has no cost. However, one could opt to subscribe in order to gain access to the entire Calm catalog.

The subscription cost is $12.99 per month. Users could also choose other payment options, such as $59.99 per year and a lifetime subscription for a cost of $299.99.

Calm Offerings to Subscribers

So, what do subscribers get for paying $60 per year? A calm subscription provides the user with access to the company’s full library of content on their website and in the calm app, as well as all new features and content that they release while the user’s subscription is active.

The subscription also includes the Daily Calm sessions that company release every

Calm sleep stories that they update on a weekly basis

day, as well as the Sleep Stories that they update on a weekly basis.

Additionally, the paid offering includes audio programs such as 7 Days of Sleep and 21 Days of Calm, which guide users through 10 to 15 minutes of sessions every day, to relieve stress and anxiety.

Investors to Invest in Calm

Following Calm’s success during the chaotic and stressful 2017, investors are now trying to invest in this San Francisco-based company.

Recently, Calm announced that it was able to raise $27 million in Series A funding at a $250 million pre-money valuation, which was led by Insight Venture Partners with special participation from Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and singer Harry Styles.

Invest in Calm

Since Insight is well-known for making later-stage bets, one could see how Calm has rapidly grown. Calm has more than tripled its sales last year and was generating a $40 million in annual revenue by December 2017.

Now, Calm plans to use this new funding that it acquired to increase its international expansion route and to further its mission to make the world happier and healthier.

No one could have guessed that these unexpected and recent developments would happen, but thanks to an increasing focus on mental health from both start-up companies and larger ones, companies like Calm are now catching the enthusiasm of investors.


AdminJune 28, 2018
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1min176

Apple Offers to Repair Broken Keyboards

After two years and a lawsuit later, Apple has finally admitted defeat with regard to its MacBook “butterfly switch” keyboards. The keyboard redesign did not go as well as Apple hoped for.

After an unsuccessful redesign, the American multinational technology company launched the Replacement Program, which offers to repair broken and problematic keyboards without charging the user.

Redesigning the MacBook Pro’s Keyboard and its Result

Back in 2016, Apple decided to redesign the MacBook Pro’s keyboard in an effort to make their laptops even thinner and lighter than their previously released models. The “butterfly switch” replaced the traditional “scissor” mechanism below each key and was meant to be more stable, receptive, and comfortable.

Soon after that, complaints of failing keyboards rapidly started popping up. Some keys had a tendency to get stuck in place; other keys can move freely but simply won’t respond. Some people even said that the keyboard could be easily damaged by specks of dust.

To have their keyboards fixed, people went to Apple service centers to get the unresponsive keys, as well as a substantial part of their MacBook, replaced. However, the repair does not come cheap. Some people said that the out-of-warranty fix can amount up to $700.

As a result, at least three proposed class-action lawsuits have been filed against Apple.

Redesigning the MacBook Pro’s Keyboard

Apple’s Response to the Complaints

To address the complaints, Apple published a webpage teaching the users how to clean the keyboard using a can of compressed air, but some people have said that didn’t work.

So when this approach didn’t work, Apple launched a replacement program. With this decision, Apple seemed to appear to be admitting that the problem is worse than they initially thought.

In order to get your keyboard repaired, you have to take your affected laptop into an authorized service provider or an Apple retail store. Experts will examine the customer’s device to validate eligibility and then perform the service free of charge. “Service may involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard,” Apple says.

People who have already paid for a repair related to the service program can still request for a refund. Apple has already announced that people can contact the company to get a refund for the service cost.

Apple Keyboard

Coverage of the Replacement Program

The program covers both the latest models of the MacBook and MacBook Pro. Now, before you panic and worry that your warranty is about to expire or has already expired, Apple says that these keyboard repairs will be covered from four years after the original acquisition, regardless of the warranty status.

Here is the list of laptops that are eligible for the Replacement Program:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

Jim BevinJune 22, 2018
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2min174

When the iPhone was first released back in 2007, the only way to run software on it was through Web applications or apps for short, and it was limited to those apps published by Apple. A year later, when Apple’s iTunes and App Store were introduced, iPhone owners were suddenly able to choose from a variety of apps that could actually be installed on the phone itself.

To date, there are over 2 million apps that are available in the App Store. That may sound like a lot of apps, but the public’s appetite for apps is endless and grows every day. People still want even more apps and so they eventually turned to jailbreak.

What is Jailbreaking?

Jailbreaking an iPhone doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve unlocked it. To be more clear, it’s a kind of hack that opens up the iPhone’s firmware (code that contains the operating instructions for hardware) to allow you to install third-party applications.

Jailbreaking, also called iOS jailbreaking, is a process whereby an iPhone owner removes software limitations and restrictions that are imposed by Apple on their products, such as iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. The main limitation of iPhones is that their applications or software can only be installed from the App Store.

Jailbreaking is usually done by using a series of kernel patches. These kernel patches permit root access to iOS, allowing the downloading and installation of additional applications, extensions, and themes that were originally not available through the official Apple App Store.

In broader terms, jailbreaking means breaking the device out of its “jail”. In some

aspects, it is comparable to Android rooting.

There are four types of jailbreaks: the untethered jailbreak, tethered jailbreak, semi-tethered jailbreak, and semi-untethered jailbreak. In this article, we will be discussing jailbreaking in general, so we won’t be going deep into these four types.

Is it Safe to Jailbreak Your iPhone?

Jailbreaking an iPhone is relatively safe and surprisingly legal (in some countries), although you might want to consider the fact that jailbreaking your phone will take you away from Apple’s safety walls. Security concerns may possibly arise. Also, you will invalidate your iPhone’s warranty plus it might cause your iPhone to function erratically, which might frequently drain your battery.

Of course, every time you update your iOS, it will break your jailbroken phone. Or you can always opt to un-jailbreak your iPhone if you so wish.

Jailbreaking Your iPhone

When you jailbreak an iPhone, it goes through a “chain of trust” that is a sequence of checks among software components, which is always executed in a certain order. The sequence begins with boot ROM. Then, it moves on to loading low-level bootloader software, also called LLB, which controls the general data storage and transfer between computers and digital devices. After that comes iBoot, then the operating system kernel. And finally, the operating system kernel loads the user application. As these sequences of checks are done, the iPhone is being checked for any unauthorized application or software.

So, basically, when you jailbreak your iPhone, you are altering or modifying the iBoot and operating system kernel in the process, making them unable to do the digital signature checks, which evaluate and identify the authorized from the unauthorized application or software.  Jailbreaking iPhones is a one million dollars plus industry which shows no trace of slowing down.  This is because jailbreaking extends the capability of your phone beyond the limitations that Apple has created for it.


AdminDecember 15, 2017
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1min656

The wireless AirPods are eliminating the supply constraints this year and they will be available everywhere in 2018. According to our sources, Apple is about to double the production of the earbuds. The company plans to increase the AirPods shipments by a hundred percent every year.

This is now possible due to the fact that Apple outsourced their AirPod production by adding a whole new company – Luxshare. This huge improvement cut down the shipping time on Apple’s official website significantly.

The earbuds have been far more successful than users thought at the beginning due to the production delays and other concerns. Once again, the company doesn’t share information that includes their sales so we can’t say how many units the company sells on a yearly base.

However, not long ago Tim Cook revealed that their “wearables” department is roughly the size of a Fortune 400 company, which means that the growth isn’t a surprise to anyone.

 



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