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!
New Huawei phones are suspended from having Facebook out of the box
Another blow to Huawei, but this is minimal
Here’s more news about the US trade ban against Huawei. The latest American company to take action is Facebook. The popular social networking company is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones.
The latest blow to the Chinese tech giant doesn’t necessarily mean users won’t be able to access Facebook. According to a report by Reuters, customers who already bought Huawei phones will still be able to use Facebook apps and receive updates. Although, new Huawei phones will no longer have Facebook pre-installed. Other Facebook-owned apps are also affected including WhatsApp and Instagram.
If you purchased a Huawei phone lately, you might have noticed that your phone came with a few apps pre-installed — aside from the native apps, of course. Usually, smartphone vendors have deals with developers like Facebook to make their app widely available. Aside from Facebook, Huawei phones also come pre-installed with Twitter and Booking.com in many markets.
While Facebook’s move to stay away won’t badly hurt Huawei, it could affect the partnership sales outlook. Again, the Facebook ban only affects Huawei phones that have yet to come out of the factory. Also, Facebook can still be downloaded from the Google Play Store assuming Huawei will not lose access to it soon.
Google: Cutting off Huawei is an even bigger threat
Could lead to less secure apps
For three weeks, Huawei’s biggest concerns were the loss of Android and ARM architecture support. The recent Trump ban created pandemonium for the Chinese company. Since the ban’s announcement, Huawei has struggled with solutions and appeals. Unfortunately, the company’s troubles are not stopping.
In a Financial Times report, Google argues that Trump’s ban will ironically open Huawei to more cybersecurity issues. Likewise, an Android ban will cascade down to the operating system’s supported apps. Users will likely resort to less secure installation methods for their lost apps.
Google further explains that using an Android hybrid (since the platform is open-source by nature) could result in more holes in the system’s security. Huawei’s alternative — either their own custom OS or a forked Android variant — will not offer the same amount of protection.
In related news, Facebook has banned their app’s pre-installs on their future smartphones. Currently, Huawei’s phones come installed with Facebook’s slew of apps — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp. Arguably, all three apps are essential pieces of a smartphone’s ecosystem. As such, smartphone makers often strike pre-installation deals with app developers, allowing devices to come with these essential apps.
Of course, Huawei users can still install them manually through the Google Play Store. However, this method is also in jeopardy. By August 19, Google is forced to sever support for Huawei, pending a permanent resolution. The ban can feasibly take the Play Store with it. If that happens, Huawei users can no longer install Facebook through the usual means. Users will start resorting to Huawei’s own store or APK installs.
Huawei’s continued dealing with bans rings an ominous death knell for the Chinese company. Without a conclusive resolution, the world’s number-two smartphone manufacturer is facing an uncertain, dangerous future for its phones, inside and out.
Final Fantasy’s music officially comes to Spotify
From every game in the series!
Square Enix has done something we’ve all been wishing for: Uploading a collection of official Final Fantasy soundtracks to Spotify and other music streaming platforms.
News began spreading around the web as Spotify users noticed that there are heaps more FF songs available. It’s also been reported that Apple Music and Amazon Music have them, as well.
The uploaded tracks span all main FF entries plus direct sequels and spin-offs. If you’ve ever been in the mood for a gaming nostalgia trip at home or on the road, this may be the best time.
While there has been FF-related music on Spotify in the past, this is the first time it’s been made official. And yes, it includes songs from Final Fantasy VIII.
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