iPhone 8 ‘panic’, iPhone AR, Microsoft app describes reality, Oculus cheaper, Omnigraffle for iOS

Microsoft has created an app that describes the world to the visually impaired using neural networks

Enough already with this ‘iPhone 8 panic’ nonsense! A source (unnamed, of course) told Fast Company that June was a tense month for the engineers and designers on Apple’s iPhone team with “a sense of panic in the air,” The article says the group is working around the clock to fix software problems related to wireless charging and 3D sensing. But Apple hasn’t announced a September (or October or November, for that matter) special event to debut new iPhones, and actually, no one has any idea what might be in the new iPhones despite protestations otherwise, so  Dennis Sellers wisely calls ‘rubbish!‘.

Facebook’s Oculus to fight Apple’s AR and VR push with new US$200 standalone headset in 2018 — Facebook’s Oculus is apparently in the early stages of developing a standalone mobile headset, with use cases like watching a movie on a plane, without needing a connected computer or smartphone.

Apple’s unified iPhone user base could help kickstart augmented reality industry — Apple’s hegemony over its hardware and software platforms could boost not just the company’s own augmented reality efforts, but the AR industry in general – in a way that hasn’t been managed by Google so far. [Wasn’t Pokémon Go supposed to have done that? But then see the Microsoft item, below.]

New Microsoft artificial intelligence app for iPhone describes world for visually impaired — Microsoft has released Seeing AI, an iPhone app that attempts to analyse its surroundings and describe them audibly for people with impaired vision. [Great idea! Nice one, Microsoft.]
Using neural network technology, the app can not only translate text but recognize people and currency, scan product barcodes, and offer a simplified description of an entire scene or imported image. In cases like barcodes and text recognition, audio cues guide users towards getting a solid lock. Some basic functions will work without an internet connection.
Seeing AI is a free download, and requires at least an iPhone 5c running iOS 10 or later, and iPad. While it’s currently available in the US, Canada, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Singapore, the only language supported so far is English.

OmniGraffle 3 for iPhone, iPad Includes Mac Features and Free Trial — OmniGraffle 3 for the iPhone and iPad rolled out on Wednesday bringing it inline with the feature set in OmniGraffle 7 for the Mac, and it adds in a free trial mode, too. OmniGraffle is a diagram design app that you can also use to create drawings and vector graphics and includes a free trial mode. OmniGraffle Standard 3 and OmniGraffle Pro 3 adopts the sidebar interface introduced in OmniGraffle 7 for the Mac. [This is excellent on Mac, if expensive. I have created football formation diagrams and more on it for years.]