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How to become Apple’s next Dev Superstar

Tips from two 17-year-old WWDC scholars

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Give any 17-year-old the chance to pick a dream destination or event and chances are you’ll get a range of thrilling options from Costa Rica to ComicCon to Coachella. But for two Singaporean teenagers out to change the world, the answer is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

Both a lofty and unconventional goal, getting into WWDC is much more difficult than scoring tickets to a Kanye concert. Each year, only around 5,000 tickets are made available to members of Apple’s Developer Program, and because of high demand, a lottery system determines which of these members are eligible to purchase the US$ 1,600 conference ticket.

But for Bozheng Zhang and Dalton Ng, the road to WWDC 2018 is even tougher. Both recent secondary school graduates are part of a select group of students from around the globe to receive this year’s WWDC Scholarship. Earning them a free trip to San Jose to take part in the week-long event and an opportunity to learn from and network with developers from around the world.

Bozheng Zhang

Bozheng taught himself how to code at age 11. He is currently in his last year at Victoria Junior College, and hopes to pursue further studies in computing at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, or MIT.


The project that earned him his WWDC scholarship was inspired by a failed chemistry test; the educational tool is a virtual lab of sorts that helps students avoid a similar fate by allowing them to mix a set of chemicals and visually see how they react to one another.

His advice to other young developers is to get to know your target audience, “to create something suited to their needs.” Some of his early projects are available for download from the App Store, including a nifty app that can measure the height of any object using your iPhone’s built-in camera. Bozheng wants to continue building apps that will benefit the community at large.

In his free time, he works part-time developing apps for commercial enterprise, but one day hopes to start his own business, saying “the beauty of tech is that it lowers the barrier to entry, and enables small business to start up.”

Dalton Ng

Dalton also started programming at the age of 11 and is currently working on building his own company that will allow him to “make apps and teach others to make apps too.” His WWDC application, a tribute to the late scientist Stephen Hawking, is an AI-based entity named Karl that can determine how a person is feeling based on that person’s messages and responds accordingly, cheering you up if you need it.


In between his busy schedule as a cyber security freshman at Singapore Poly, he is working on his next big project called SpaceRace, a fake-news combatting artificial intelligence-powered news app, that scours the Internet for stories and authors articles without any input from humans. SpaceRace will be the centerpiece of his startup Agrate. Dalton too dreams of changing the the world, he wants to encourage others to start developing apps by as early as 11, and that by focusing efforts on solving smaller everyday problems, we end up stumbling upon life-changing solutions.

That’s a lot to put on the shoulders of a teenager, barely old enough to drive, but with the lightning-fast pace at which technology drives innovation, there appear to be no limits to what the next generation can achieve. As Dalton so aptly puts it, “I grew up watching Star Trek, now I feel like I’m the generation that makes it reality.”

Features

Sony’s PlayStation is back, Xiaomi outs new Mi 8 variants: Weekend Rewind

Ending the week with nostalgic feels

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. The iconic PlayStation is back!

Let’s kick things off by taking a trip down memory lane. Almost 25 years after its debut, Sony is bringing back the iconic first-gen PlayStation and it will come as the PlayStation Classic.

It’s basically a miniaturized version complete with a pair of original controller replicas. What’s even more exciting is that fans of the original PlayStation will be able to relive 20 legendary titles including Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3!

2. Razer Phone 2 gets a launch date

Razer officially confirms the arrival of its second gaming smartphone — the Razer Phone 2. It succeeds the Razer Phone that was launched last November and based on earlier leaks, it’ll be a familiar-looking product.

The phone should sport the same body as its predecessor including the display with buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, the internals will have beefier specs as well. We’ll know the low down real soon during its special event at California this October 10.

3. Apple is on the lead!

While it may be true that Apple didn’t sell the most number of smartphones, they still earned more than their competitors. According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, Apple had the biggest share of industry profits during the second quarter of 2018.

For comparison, Apple earned 62 percent of the second-quarter smartphone profits. Samsung, which is the top-selling smartphone vendor, is responsible for just 17 percent of smartphone profits in the quarter. Huawei takes the third spot with eight percent of the profits.

4. A complete but affordable smartwatch

Huami, Xiaomi’s sub-brand in China, has a smartwatch that offers tremendous bang for your buck. The company just unveiled the Amazfit Verge and it’s got everything you could ask for in a wearable without the high price tag.

The Amazfit Verge has a GPS, heart-rate sensor, and a full-circle AMOLED display. It’s also equipped with a microphone and loudspeaker that allow voice calls through the smartwatch.

5. Xiaomi outs Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite

On a related note, Xiaomi also held a quick event to announce a few things including two new Mi 8 variants — the Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite.

In a nutshell, these are additions to the flagship Mi 8 family. The Mi 8 Pro is similar to the Mi 8 with the same specs like its Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and 128GB of expandable storage. Although, this model comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

As the name suggests, the Mi 8 Lite is a toned-down Mi 8 and comes with a midrange Snapdragon 660 chipset, dual rear cameras, and a 24-megapixel front camera. Both phones are initially available in China, but international availability is yet to be announced.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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Features

Singapore’s first iPhone XS buyer goes all out

He went for the 512GB storage!

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Whenever new iPhones launch, a familiar scene is people lining up in front of Apple Stores long before launch date. The same is true in Singapore where the iPhone XS and XS Max officially became available on Friday, September 21.

We visited the Apple Store in Orchard Road and caught up with the first person to cop the new iPhones. His name is Daniel and he went all out getting two units of gold iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage. Watch our interview with him.

The same situation is true elsewhere in the world. In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and more, lines formed as those who pre-ordered got ready to claim the new iPhones.

This is the first time that the two sizes of iPhones feature the same specs. In years past, there was always a plus model that had more features other than just having a bigger form factor. In 2018, the only difference is the screen size — 5.8 inches for the iPhone XS and 6.5 inches for the iPhone XS Max. Both phones are equipped with the new A12 Bionic processor. Apple says it’s their smallest and most powerful chip to date. Both also sport dual cameras.

The Apple Watch Series 4 also launched today. It’s a significant update to Apple’s primary wearable featuring medical advantages other than the usual improvements. As always, it still is a lifestyle gadget and comes with an array of available looks.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XS unboxing: Beautiful gold color!

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Apple iPhone XS unboxing: Beautiful gold color!

We have them early!

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It’s now mid-September and if you’ve been following technology news, you’d know that means one thing: new iPhones from Apple. And if you’ve been following GadgetMatch closely the last few years, you’d expect us to be brewing content by now.

This year, we got them early. What we are unboxing the 5.8-inch model, dubbed the iPhone XS and the bigger variant, the iPhone XS Max. There’s also a more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone XR coming later in October.

The box has not changed much — it’s still the same minimalist white box with the image of the phone you’re getting. Inside are a packet with manuals and stickers, USB-A charging brick, Lightning cable, and a pair of Lightning EarPods (not AirPods, they just look alike).

It’s worth noting that the bundled charger is the regular adapter and cable from yesteryears, even if the new iPhones already support fast charging. To get fast charging on the iPhone XS and XS Max, you need to spend an additional US$ 75 for a Lightning to USB-C Cable and a 29W USB-C adapter.

Since omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack, these new iPhones are also the first ones to not include a headphone jack to Lightning dongle — an extra US$ 9 purchase if you ever need one.

Unlike previous years where you need to get the bigger model to have the best features iPhones have to offer, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are essentially the same phones — the latter just has a bigger display and battery capacity.

The iPhone XS and XS Max also come in a new beautiful gold color, something similar to our favorite iPhone 8 and 8 Plus color from last year — a subtle, non-tacky shade of gold. A slightly darker gold but shiny stainless steel band also highlights the edges of the phones. Button and port placements have not changed, and the notch housing Apple’s TrueDepth Camera technology lives on.

We have more iPhone content coming in the next few days so make sure to stay tuned for that. Our unboxing video is also coming where we unboxed a new case color as well. Subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t yet.

SEE ALSO: Apple iPhone XS cruises to top of AnTuTu benchmark ranking

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