Augmented reality shopping tends to be limited to furniture or other large objects, and that’s a shame. Wouldn’t you like to know how that slow cooker or speaker system looks in your house? Amazon thinks you do. It’s launching an AR View feature inside its iOS shopping app that previews “thousands” of products in 3D, ranging from kitchen appliances to toys to electronics (naturally, this includes Amazon’s devices). It’s clearly something of a party trick, but it could come in handy if you’re wondering whether or not that vase matches your decor.
You’ll need an iPhone 6S or newer to give AR View a try. We’ve asked Amazon whether or not there will be an Android version and will let you know what it says. Don’t count on it showing up in the very near future, though. AR View revolves around Apple’s ARKit, and Amazon would have to switch frameworks (say, to ARCore) to bring the feature to Android devices.
A couple of days ago Microsoft enabled a feature that lets Android users easily use the share button to push a web page from their cell phone to a Windows 10 PC. Now, it’s released an app to manage the same feature on iOS-powered devices. It’s available to users in the “Fast” ring of its Insiders preview program, who will need the latest build released for their PCs. Cross-device web browsing is one of the many features coming in the Fall Creators Update, and every new feature being beta tested means its release date keeps creeping closer.
Hey #WindowsInsiders ‘Continue on PC’ for iPhone is now available! Send web browsing sessions from iPhone to PC!https://t.co/5oI90KfBKj
Almost two years ago, the popular photo-editing and sharing app VSCO released a big iOS update that, among other things, brought the app to the iPad. At the same time, VSCO added a sync feature: if you imported a photo into your VSCO library and made edits on your iPhone, the same photo and edits would appear on your iPad (and vice versa). It was a handy feature, letting you make changes on the iPad’s big screen while sending them to the iPhone for easy sharing to apps like Instagram. However, as of today, that sync feature is going away.
VSCO announced the change with an email to users a few weeks ago, but today is doomsday for the feature. At the moment, sync appears to be working, albeit in limited fashion. I’ve been able to import photos into my VSCO library on both my iPad and iPhone and have edits stay in sync. That’ll probably disappear before long, however, so don’t necessarily rely on it. The good news is that none of your images will be deleted and there’s an “export all” feature to save them to your camera roll. But if you delete the app from a device, those images and edits will be gone for good, so make sure they’re backed up somewhere.
Despite the quality of VSCO’s edits, the app has always been a little confusing, so removing sync might actually make for an easier experience in some regard. And while the experience of making edits on one device and having them appear on another was nice, you can always export your edited photos to the camera roll and have the same image appear on another device thanks to iCloud’s photo library or Google Photos. Given the amount of photo syncing and backup options out there, it does make sense for VSCO to stay firmly focused on editing.
VSCO also recently pushed out a visual redesign in the iPhone app, but most of those changes haven’t come to the iPad yet — maybe as the company removes its sync feature, it’ll put the apps back on par from a visual standpoint.
If you’re eagerly awaiting a load of new features for this year’s iPhone, you might be a bit disappointed come fall. The Wall Street Journal reports that the upcoming models will offer only modest changes from the current iPhone 6S and 6S Plus rather than a more robust redesign. Apple has been trotting out new designs every two years with the “S” models offering mostly internal tweaks in between. According to WSJ’s sources though, that won’t be the case this year.
WSJ reports that both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models will return, and they’ll do so without a 3.5mm headphone jack. Rumors have gone back and forth on whether or not Apple will ditch the port entirely, and we’ve even caught a glimpse of alleged iPhone 7 parts that indicate the jack is staying. The rumblings about the company’s preference for Lightning connectivity for headphones began late last year and has been the most discussed tweak for the new models. Nixing the 3.5mm port is said to not only improve the phone’s water resistance, but also allow for a thinner handset.
Apple is planning a massive overhaul for 2017’s 10th anniversary of the iPhone, according to WSJ. Those updates are said to include an edge-to-edge OLED display while nixing the iconic home button entirely. Sources say that the Touch ID security features would be part of the display itself. Of course, that release is well over a year away, so things could change significantly between now and then.
What’s the reason for not having a major update this year? Apple’s coming off its first quarter of sales decline in the iPhone’s history, but WSJ reports that the reason for subtle changes is due to tech that’s currently in the works taking more time to finish. While the iPhone 5S featured the addition of Touch ID, last year’s 6S and 6S Plus focused largely on internals with 3D Touch and improved cameras. Both kept the same overall design as the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 the year before. Nixing the headphone jack wouldn’t be a small change though, especially if you’ve already invested in a set of wired headphones.
Shazam can build you a Spotify playlist, help you discover new tunes and identify magazines, but song recognition is still at the heart of the app. Even with this core feature getting faster and quicker to start up, sometimes it can still be a race to ask for Shazam’s ear before the DJ drops the next track. In the latest update to its Android app, though, Shazam has added the ‘Auto’ background listening feature so you never have to let a hot beat pass you by.
You still need to open Shazam to enable Auto mode — a feature that came to the iPhone version two and half years ago — but that’s a good thing. It’s described as “battery friendly,” but the app will stay active in the background, draining that bit more of your precious juice. You can at least leave it running while your favorite radio show is on, though, and if you just happen to get a perfect score on the music round at your next quiz night, fear not: Your secret’s safe with us.