Apps

Snapchat launches Spectacles, its first camera-equipped sunglasses

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Snapchat made two major announcements today: One, the company has changed its name to just Snap; secondly, Snap released its first physical product, and it’s a pair of sunglasses with a camera on board.

snap-spectacles-case

These come as the biggest news since the company began in 2011. The reason for the name change actually makes sense. Now that Snap is branching out to tangible items, the chat branding wouldn’t make sense anymore. The new name has a nice, snappier ring to it, too.

More surprising is the unveiling of Spectacles, which is Snap’s second product, after the original Snapchat app. It looks like a toy, and that’s because the manufacturer itself considers it one. It’s not meant to be a serious pair of shades, so don’t expect to use it outside of its gimmick.

snap-spectacles-2

What exactly does it do? You wear it, then use its wide-angle 115-degree camera to take 10-second videos of whatever you’re looking at — all it takes is a press of the button. If you’re worried about being on the receiving end without permission, you’ll be glad to know there’s an LED light to indicate that it’s recording, so no creepshots here.

Like magic, the videos will be wirelessly sent to your smartphone through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. What’s interesting is that the shots come in a circular format. This sounds a little odd, but when you view the videos on a smartphone, the orientation will adjust depending on how you hold it. Check it out for yourself:

snap-spectacles

The rest of the specifications and features are currently under development, but what we find really cool is the ability to charge while the Spectacles are in their case. Can your Google Glass do that?

It’s going to cost $130 and come in three colors: black, teal, and coral. Details on worldwide rollout are still hush-hush, but we’re ready to welcome this wearable piece of technology with open arms and eyes.

[irp posts=”10832″ name=”WhatsApp copies Snapchat”]

Source: Spectacles by Snap, Inc. via Mashable

Apps

Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Apps

Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

It consumes less power, too!

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After being enjoyed by Android users for years, the slimmed down version of Facebook’s main app finally arrived on iOS. Although, it’s only available to a select few — for now.

The Facebook Lite app was originally designed for developing countries where mobile data can be unreliable and Android phones are pretty basic. But, it also gained popularity among users with better phones because it uses way less data than the main Facebook app.

On iOS, the lite version is available for download through the Apple App Store for less than 5MB. Apart from being an easy download, it also uses less battery power and occupies minimal storage space.

This is going to be ideal for iPhones and even iPod Touch devices that are already showing signs of slowing down. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

For now, the app is only available in Turkey. As the testing phase expands to other regions, Facebook Lite will eventually be open for everyone.

Via: Business Insider

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

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