If you tuned into Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference for major game changing software updates, then the new features might be a tad bit disappointing. With that being said, the features introduced for the new iOS updates are a class act. Here are all the updates announced at the WWDC 2018 Conference!
1. Screen Time
Similar to Google and Android phones, Apple is working at increasing the balance between gadgets and life. The new Screen Time feature details about how much time is spent on the screen and individual devices. The new feature breaks down how much time is spent on individual apps, including games and texting apps! Screen Time will provide you with a weekly summary of how you use your phone. Furthermore, you can set time limits on each individual and once the time is up, a time’s up” message will display when the counter runs out. Apple is also introducing a parental control feature, giving parents the ability to reduce their kid’s screen time.
2. Memoji: Custom Emojis
The new Animoji features were first introduced to the Apple X. Starting with the iOS, Animoji will be able to detect your expression when you stick your tongue out at the camera. Apple terms the new emoji update feature as Memoji. With the new updates, users will not only be able to personalize the emoticons, they will also be able to change the face colour and customise as per requirement. The new updates are a cross between Bitmoji and Nintendo’s Mil characters.
3. Group Facetime
Taking Apple’s coveted Facetime feature a notch higher, iOS 12 has introduced an update called group Facetime sessions. According to the new update, almost 32 people will be able to Facetime at the same time. When multiple people are on a call, their video windows will get larger when they’re speaking and shrink when they’re not. For conversations where your face feels a little boring, you’ll be able to use Animoji and Memoji characters during calls.
4. Improved Augmented Reality Experience
The new iOS software promises improved augmented reality experiences. The Apple team is introducing a new file format called USDZ, a feature similar to the software being used by Adobe, Autodesk, and Sketchfab.
5. Measure APP
The Measure APP is Apple’s coolest new feature. As the name suggests, the app lets you accurately measure surfaces around you. Place the frame around the object needed measuring and the app accurately gives you the measurements you are after.
The Photos App in iOS 12 will automatically offer search suggestions. With the “For You” tab, the new update offers suggestions based on earlier filters used. Furthermore, friends with pictures from similar events and places will be prompted to share their images as well.
7. Shortcuts App
The new Shortcuts App comes as a blessing in disguise for i Phone users. The app lets you string together multiple actions which can be prompted by a customised Siri request.
8. iBooks Become Apple Books
Apple is rebranding its ebook app from iBooks to Apple Books. Along with the name change comes a refreshed design that focuses on discoverability. A new Book Store tab “makes it easy to explore new titles and browse the top charts, curated collections, and special offers,” according to Apple.
The new features promise an improvement in the performance as opposed to improving the apps already available. The new iOS software is expected to roll out in November this year!
CES 2019: The Best Innovations Announced
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES,) one of the largest tech shows held at Las Vegas every January, hosts over 180,000 people with ideas, innovations and new creations fit for a future world! With artificial intelligence (AI) playing the central theme at the show, different startups and tech establishments told us where technology is heading toward in the coming years. From self driving suitcases to flying taxis, here’s taking a look all the inventions which were on display at the CES this year!
1. Ovis Luggage
Developed by a Chinese company called Forward X Robotics, the idea behind Ovis Luggage is to help carry your luggage around without having to put in any physical effort. By using facial recognition and movement tracking algorithms, the bags come fully equipped with cameras which track the surroundings perfectly. To amp up the excitement level, the bags have also been designed to stick to their owners at the speed of 6 miles per hour and through the movement tracking algorithms, they can also avoid colliding into people beyond a certain radius! If by chance the bag does go missing, you can track the suitcase by using the inbuilt GPS system! Priced at $ 799, the bags are expected to go on sale within the next few months.
2. Lenovo Smart Clock
A little over a year after announcing their first invention together, Google and Lenovo came back with another cutting edge invention called the Lenovo Smart Clock. The AI enabled smart clock comes with touch sensors and is designed to map your schedule from sunrise to sunset. Starting half an hour before your alarm is scheduled to ring, the smart clock also functions as a Google smart speaker, which means the clock can send music and podcasts (among other things) to your phone through Chromecast. Priced at $ 80, the smart clock will go on sale this spring!
3. Obsbot Tail AI Camera
While the last major innovative improvement (when it came to cameras,) was in the form of the 360 degrees video, the CES summit saw a new breakthrough in this field. China based startup Obsbot built a camera which uses artificial intelligence in the best way possible. Called the Tail, not only can this camera take extremely smooth pictures and videos, it identifies subjects in the shoot and tracks them using AI. With the ability to switch without friction between different models, this camera is perfect for people looking at making videos without the requirement of someone operating the camera manually. Equipped with the ability to shoot up to 4K/60 fps videos and to support HDR 10, the Tail is going to be priced at $ 500 and will be available at Kickstarter.
4. Riding High
At a time when ride sharing cabs like Ola, Uber and Lyft are at the peak of their performance levels, it comes as no surprise, people are looking at creating new ways of sharing rides. A partner of Uber, Bell Helicopters, launched a brand new flying taxi called Nexus Air Taxi. AI empowered, the taxi will seat four passengers and a pilot and will have a range of 150 miles, with the highest speed being 150 mph. Expected to launch next year, the Nexus is looking at being available in major cities by mid 2020.
5. Magic Mirror
Looking at yourself in the mirror and checking yourself out can never be boring! Developed by Electric Mirror Inc., in Everett, Washington, the Savvy Smart Mirror is perhaps the most interesting development in this mix. Designed to resemble a massive touchscreen, the Savvy Smart Mirror is not only a looking glass, but also can be used to show weather reports, play music and connect to your social media accounts as well. Apart from the other features available, the Savvy Smart Mirror also lets you control and adjust the thermostat controls in your room. Initially designed for hotels, the mirror is also going to be designed for homes. Priced at a whopping $ 2,500, the mirror is expected to go on the market soon.
With so many exciting innovations being introduced, the year is definitely dedicated to innovation and creations. What invention are you looking forward to owning the most? Comment and let us know!
Instagram 2.0? Swipe Feature Tested In Massive Roll Out Error
Photo sharing platform Instagram briefly rolled out a massive update to their app changing their entire user interface (UI) by mistake. However, a couple of minutes later, the platform downgraded to the previous version, going back to their typical vertical list of posts. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, confirmed the massive rollout was an error by the company.
UPDATE: Instagram confirmed to me that the tap-to-view feature was a TEST which rolled out to lots of users in error.
It has now been reverted. https://t.co/9LRmw5B0G1
— 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁 𝗡𝗮𝘃𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮 (@MattNavarra) December 27, 2018
— Alexandra Arsene (@lexaarsene) December 27, 2018
This new version of Instagram replaced the scroll feature from the app and introduced a new feature wherein users could either tap or swipe to go to the next post on their feed. In order to explain the way the new app works to existing users, the app also displayed a messaged which read, “Introducing a new way to move through posts. Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories.” It then instructs the users to “tap [the screen] to see the next post.”
The new feature was not meant for a wide scale rollout, however, the update was an attempt improve the experience of the existing users and to transform the way Instagram looks and feels by mimicking the Stories feature.
While the Stories feature was initially started by Snapchat, Instagram took the feature to an all new level, integrating the popularity of the feature onto its app and centering its USP around this subject entirely! Although a news daily reported the update was initially rolled out for people only living in the United Kingdom during the day, the new feature was visible to people all over the world during different parts of Thursday. The new update also started trending on Twitter with the hashtag #NewInstagram.
Startups Which Achieved The Unicorn Status In 2018
The word unicorn started trending in the beginning of 2018 and to define the term simply, it refers to startups which have a valuation of more than $ 1 billion. As this year comes to a close, here’s taking a look at all the different startups which entered the billion dollar club and earned themselves the unicorn status.
Zomato, a food delivery and restaurant discovery startup based out of Gurugram, raised over $ 200 million in a funding round held in February 2018 and since then, there is no stopping the growth of this particular startup. With multiple rounds of investment from various areas, the valuation of Zomato increased by leaps and bounds and right now, toward the close of 2018, this particular food tech startup has an estimated valuation of $ 1.1 billion!
Founded in the year 2013, service apartment provider Oyo entered the Unicorn Club in September by raising $ 1 billion from existing investor, SoftBank. Founded by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo has grown so much over the years in the last five years that it is now extremely popular in places like India, China, west Asia, the UK and the UAE.
When Byju’s was initially founded, the startup barely had a major presence in India. However, through the years, Byju’s grew to become the next Indian startup to enter the Unicorn Club! Standing at a valuation of approximately $ 2 billion, Byju’s became the first startup in the edutech field in India to be valued at more than a billion dollars!
4. Paytm Mall
A subset of Paytm, Paytm Mall came to be in 2016 and with an investment of $ 450 million from existing investors, Paytm Mall is now valued at more than one billion dollars! Using the investments to improve their existing features and to better the customer experience, Paytm Mall will likely achieve $ 10 billion in merchandise volume. Furthermore, with the investment Paytm received, the app is looking at allowing customers to walk into offline stores, scan products through QR codes, go through information about the products and finally, purchase the product through the app.
Food delivery startup Swiggy raised $ 1 billion from Naspers and post that, the startup has grown to stand at a valuation of over 3.3 billion dollars! Not only is Swiggy the second food tech startup to enter the billion dollar club, it is also the fastest startup in India which grew to reach that place. The startup entered the Unicorn Club in just under four years, a feat which is truly commendable.
Based out of Chennai, Freshworks is a software as a service (SaaS) provider, which entered the billion dollar club in August this year. Freshworks entered the Unicorn Club post securing a $ 100 million investment from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG!
With so many startups achieving the unicorn status through sheer hard work and dedication to innovation, the unicorn status is truly a coveted symbol to achieve. If you think we missed out on other startups in this field, comment and let us know!
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