Tag Archives: ARKit

Inside iOS 11, AirPlay 2, ARKit, download ceiling up, ProCreate update, Belkin RockStar, Watch 3 issues, Syntronik


iOS 11 Apple’s big productivity upgrade — Apple has released iOS 11 and this is the biggest release since the first iPhone shipped with iPhone OS. Is it worth installing, assuming your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch supports it? The short answer is yes, but iOS isn’t perfect. Read on to see what the Mac Observer likes and dislikes about iOS 11.
The Files app brings some user control of documents stored on an iPad or iPhone. Apple’s iOS 11 introduced this new Files app, allowing iPhone, iPad, and Mac users the ability to seamlessly share working documents across iCloud, as well as integrate other online storage services with compatible applications. It has me minor limitations, but  for the first time, users can move files between apps in a graphical user interface, and not rely on the inconsistent ShareSheet button to move files between apps.
Apple’s Photos app now has native support for animated GIFs, and also automatically sorts them into a dedicated folder of animated images, making it even easier to find the pictures you are looking for. Messages in iCloud has not implemented at present, but it’s coming in a future update to iOS 11.
There is quite a long list of bug and security fixes, and Apple Insider has a movie of all the new features, plus for watchOS and tvOS.
Apple has also posted three new iPad tutorial videos highlighting iOS 11 features like handwriting conversion.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi aren’t full disabled when turned off in iOS 11’s Control Center — Apple says that when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories but Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available, so you can use AirDrop, AirPlay, the Apple Pencil, the Apple Watch, Continuity features (such as Handoff and Instant Hotspot), and Locations services. [Presumably AirPlane Mode still works as it should.]

AirPlay 2 on existing speakers requires a firmware update, support for Apple’s AirPort Express unknown — The upcoming launch of AirPlay 2 comes with a caveat: old hardware will need a firmware update, at the very least, to work with the new protocol. With Apple said to have ceased development on its router products, it’s possible that AirPort Express owners using AirPlay could be left in the dust. [No!! I use this all the time!]

First ARKit apps hit App Store, including Strava’s Fitness AR and room dimensioning app PLNAR — With the release of iOS 11 on Tuesday, iPhone and iPad owners will see a flood of augmented reality titles hit the App Store thanks to Apple’s introduction of ARKit. Fitness tracking app maker Strava and room dimensioning title PLNAR [which needs something more powerful than an iPhone 6] are among the first to take advantage of the specialised API.

Apple sets new 150MB ceiling for over the air App Store downloads — To go along with Tuesday’s big iOS 11 release, Apple announced a change in App Store policy that allows users to download apps up to 150 megabytes in size when connected to a cellular network, up from a previous cap of 100MB.

Procreate 4 delivers drag and drop, Files app support, other iOS 11 enhancements — One of the App Store’s best third-party illustration apps, Procreate, received a massive update on Tuesday with an all-new imaging engine and iOS 11-specific features like drag and drop, Files app support and more.

Belkin rolls out 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar Lightning adapter for iPhones without a headphone jack — The new 3.5mm Audio + Charge RockStar allows Lightning-only devices to plug in headphone jack audio devices and a source of power or data and use both at the same time. The Lightning port allows for not just power, but data synchronisation as well.

Apple issues a statement on Apple Watch Series 3 cellular connection issues — Early reviewers for publications including The Verge and The Wall Street Journal have expressed connectivity issues with the Apple Watch Series 3, which will be available this Friday. Apple has issued a statement about the issue.

Syntronik is IK’s new synthesiser app that features the sound of “the most iconic machines to ever grace the planet” — Syntronik comprises 17 powerful virtual synths recreating the legendary sonic signature of 38 of the most sought-after classic analog synthesizers and string machines ever created, recognisable by their elegantly designed, easy-to-navigate interfaces. It’s a free app, which includes 25 instrument sounds from 17 synths, but Syntronik Full, which offers a more comprehensive experience, has introductory pricing of US$39.99 – this is available as an in-app purchase. Individual synths are also available via in-app purchase for US$9.99 each.

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Tuesday Talk ~ Augmenting this reality


NZ developers Quiver created this tech that brings things alive on physical colouring pages

The problem with Augmented Reality is, simply put, processing power, but this is something all smart and tablet devices are steadily overcoming. That said, even ten years ago there were some genuinely interesting and effective examples of augmented reality. Indeed, it was the buzz back then, but what happened? Pokémon Go, if anything, is what put it back on the table.

Apple is taking it really seriously now, too, with the release of ARKit, which helps developers create augmented reality apps. Augmented reality places extra content over an overlay usually served by the device’s camera: hold your phone up, for example, over a street scene and see additional information overlaid, or a historic site as it looked in the 1880s. Or try new furniture in your own lounge, or impose fantastical storylines on existing scenes, or play dress-ups. Once again, apps like these were available ten years ago already. But releasing ARKit really boots along the whole franchise. New Zealand companies have long been strong in this realm too, for example Quiver which has been making strong, effective AR content from long before ARKit arrived.
(If you want to see if you can run ARKit on your device, here’s a list.)

Apple has made other interesting forays too, of course. Another developer kit is HomeKit, and we saw HomePod announced at WWDC. This little round speaker is easy to write off as ‘just another’ networked speaker, but we won’t really know its full potential until it’s released, of course. But what it will actually do is enable all your Apple devices: your iPads, iPhone, Watch and Mac, to be expressed audibly, tying them all together in useful ways. HomePod will also connect to door chimes, thermostats, garage doors, air conditioners, electrical outlets and more. Literally, you could soon be controlling everything you interact with via your iPhone in your pockets, and you may be able to say things like ‘Open front door’ to your HomePod as well. Perhaps most interestingly, HomePod will work with energy management technologies: imagine a future where your solar roof panels power all these devices and you interact with them via HomePod, including managing your Apple home battery (Tesla has already entered this field – a home battery stores the day’s solar energy so you can use it at night, and not just when the sun is shining).

So, what about Artificial Intelligence? A cuddly pod we can all understand: talk to it, and it responds, and plays music … Artificial Intelligence is another story. You know, it’s intelligent. I have always imagined, thanks to a steady diet of sci-fi growing up, that if anything with any power had the same or better intelligence the us, it would (very sensibly) want to get rid of us. Look at us! We’re idiots. We’re wrecking our home planet and voting for even worse idiots than us.

Am I being crazy? Facebook’s AI program developed its own language, and humans couldn’t understand it. This all went a bit sideways when Facebook’s scientists and engineers realized they couldn’t understand their own chatbots. So Facebook had to shut them down. Yikes!