Apps

Top AR apps to download for the holidays

How to make the most out of ARKit on the iPhone and iPad

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The holidays are upon us and whether it’s time spent allotted for friends and family, for buying gifts, or for self-improvement, knowing how to maximize the tools you have can help you make the most out of the festivities. Thankfully, in 2018, everything is more convenient with technology, and with augmented reality features right in the palm of our hands, you can be more efficient, learn new skills, and have fun using the devices you already have.

Here’s a roundup of things you can try all throughout the holiday season using your existing iPhones and iPads:

1. Do your shopping online

There’s nothing more annoying than spending precious hours in traffic or in queues just to get the best gifts for our loved ones or for ourselves. There are shops like Magnolia, Pure Cycles, and Sephora that have ARKit integration, which makes the online shopping experience closer to being physically present at the store and seeing the products in real life.

Instead of buying gifts on impulse online, you can put a weekender bag in front of you using your iPhone and see whether it’s the size that your best friend needs, or try a new lipstick shade on to check if it suits your skin tone.

2. Play games with family

Celebrations won’t be a bore with your existing iOS devices. Whether it’s LEGO AR with your favorite brother or Kings of Pool with friends, you’ll never run out of games to play at the next family get-together now that multiplayer AR games are available on the App Store.

3. Learn a new language or hone existing skills

The holidays are the ultimate me time — the time you can spend to recover from the year that was and work on self-improvement. Apps like Memrise take learning to a different level using augmented reality. Aside from the usual flashcards, you can use the iPhone’s camera, point at everyday objects, and learn what they’re called in the language you want to learn. If you’re into basketball, HomeCourt can help you improve by using AR to track your shots, misses, and spots.

ARKit is available on devices that run iOS 11 and above, and an A9 processor or later — that’s the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s or up, iPad 5th and 6th Gen, or any iPad Pro.

Are you trying a new activity this year using augmented reality? There are over 5,000 AR apps available on the App Store that you can choose from. Let us know in the comments what your favorite is!

Apps

Disney+ now streaming in Singapore

Have you subscribed yet?

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The wait is over. Disney+ is now finally available in Singapore.

If you’ve been longing to stream Disney classics, new shows like The Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe, or just want a feel good flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can now do so via the streaming app.

The subscription costs SG$ 11.98 per month or SG$ 119.98 for a year. With it you’ll have access to a library of 500 movies and over 15,000 episodes of some of your favorite shows from Disney Channel.

You’ll also gain access to content by other major entertainment companies like Pixar, National Geographic, and Star.

To sign-up, users need to go to the Disney+ website and you’ll be asked to input your email address so they can keep you updated on how to subscribe. A subscription plan lets the user stream on four different devices at the same time. There are also different profiles for each subscription just like Netflix. However, instead of just five, Disney+ gives you up to seven profiles.

GeekCulture put together a list of supported devices so check them out to see if you have any of them.

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Apps

Netflix now has a Downloads For You feature

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads

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Netflix Downloads

Netflix wants to make sure you have something to watch even when you’re on the go with its new Downloads For You feature.

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads which lets you find the next episode of your favorite show even when you’re on the go, the Downloads For You feature automatically downloads recommended shows or movies to your mobile device based on your tastes.

Don’t worry though, despite it doing things automatically for you, you’re still ultimately in control. It takes two steps to opt in.

  1. Go to the Downloads tab on your mobile device and toggle on Downloads For You.

  2. Choose the amount of content you want downloaded to your device (1GB, 3GB, or 5GB) and click Turn On. The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.

Here’s how it should look like.

Just like Smart Downloads, the Netflix Downloads For You feature will only work while you’re on Wi-Fi. It’s also only currently available on Android with iOS testing happening soon.

SEE ALSO: DOTA anime series coming to Netflix

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Spotify will launch high-quality audio later this year

Price unannounced

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Since the advent of music streaming, Spotify has enjoyed its dominance as the most popular service with the most varied gallery of music. However, competing services, like Tidal, can easily one-up the industry leader in terms of audio quality. Despite Spotify’s relentless promise to deliver top-tier audio, the service hasn’t upgraded its audio quality that much. That will soon change, though. Spotify has now confirmed that high-quality audio is coming later this year.

Currently, Spotify is streaming its music at a paltry 320kbps. From an audiophile’s standpoint, 320kbps is the bare minimum bitrate for music listening. However, hi-fi audio — that is, bitrates that escalate from 1000kbps and go as high as 9216kbps– unlocks an entirely new experience for more discerning ears. To put it lightly, hi-fi audio sounds more vibrant and more alive, especially given a workable audio setup.

With the announcement, Spotify is reportedly pushing the feature to select markets at an unannounced date. Unfortunately, the company has not announced how much the new feature will cost users who want to upgrade. Hi-fi audio definitely costs a lot more. Tidal, for example, offers its highest quality audio for US$ 19.99 per month.

In the past, though, Spotify has talked about launching the feature for an additional US$ 7.50. At the time, the promise didn’t result into anything. This time, Spotify Hi-Fi finally seems official.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

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