Apple’s iOS 10.1 Beta Includes Promised Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus Users

Today’s new iOS 10.1 beta, available now to developers, includes a new “Portrait” camera mode for iPhone 7 Plus users, which was shown off at the iPhone’s debut event but wasn’t quite ready for release.

Portrait mode is designed to mimic the kind of…

Today’s new iOS 10.1 beta, available now to developers, includes a new “Portrait” camera mode for iPhone 7 Plus users, which was shown off at the iPhone’s debut event but wasn’t quite ready for release.

Portrait mode is designed to mimic the kind of shallow depth of field images that can be taken with a high-end DSLR, with a front subject that stands out over a blurred background.

iphone7pluscamera

To achieve this look, Apple’s built-in image signal processor scans a scene, using machine learning techniques to recognize the people in the image. From there, it creates a depth map of the image from both of the two cameras included in the device, keeping the people in focus while applying an artful blur or “bokeh” to the background.

According to TechCrunch, Apple’s Portrait option was built on technology acquired from camera company LinX. Portrait mode is using the 56mm lens to capture the image while the wide-angle lens gathers perspective data to build the depth map and divide the image into layers.

appleportraitexample

Once it has this 9-layer slice, it can then pick and choose which layers are sharp and which get a gaussian (randomish) blur effect applied to them.

Once the telephoto lens detects the subject, using autofocus and other stuff we’ll talk about in a second, the image processor inside the iPhone 7 will then apply blur in greater and greater amounts to the layers that are further away from that subject.

It’s in beta, so there are some quirks Apple will need to work out. Apple has said that Portrait won’t be used all the time, and it does appear to require good lightning and the right focusing distance between objects to function properly. It will take some experimentation to get good shots with Portrait.

Portrait mode is a new feature in the camera app that can be found alongside other video and photo taking options like “Video” and “Panorama.” It even includes a Live Preview effect that lets you see what the image will look like before you take it, something that’s unique to the iPhone.
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Nintendo’s Super Mario Run Sticker Pack Launches Ahead of iOS 10

Nintendo today released its promised Super Mario Run sticker pack designed for the Messages App Store, offering Nintendo fans a selection of high-quality Super Mario stickers to share.

The Super Mario Run sticker pack can be downloaded on an iOS dev…

Nintendo today released its promised Super Mario Run sticker pack designed for the Messages App Store, offering Nintendo fans a selection of high-quality Super Mario stickers to share.

The Super Mario Run sticker pack can be downloaded on an iOS device, but it is not listed in the dedicated Messages App Store nor can it be installed on a device running an iOS 10 beta or the iOS 10 golden master.

supermariorunstickerpack

When iOS 10 becomes available to the public tomorrow morning, the Super Mario Run sticker pack, along with other sticker packs, will be accessible. We expect to see iOS 10 released right around 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on September 13.

Unveiled at Apple’s September 9 event, Super Mario Run is an upcoming Mario-themed endless runner. In the game, Mario runs forward continuously while players jump to collect coins and avoid enemies, and there’s also a “Toad Rally” battle mode for competing against other players.

Apple is promoting Super Mario Run heavily, including offering a new “Notify” system in the App Store that will let players know when it’s released. According to the Super Mario Run Stickers app, Super Mario Run will see an official launch in December of 2016.
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The invisible @apple tweet

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 4.46.46 PM Here’s a silly thing because it is the ass end of a Friday. Apple just started using the Twitter account — @apple — that they’ve had since 2011. And they’re using it to send out an ‘invisible’ tweet. Read More

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 4.46.46 PM Here’s a silly thing because it is the ass end of a Friday. Apple just started using the Twitter account — @apple — that they’ve had since 2011. And they’re using it to send out an ‘invisible’ tweet. Read More

Actress Jessica Alba Joins Apple’s ‘Planet of the Apps’ TV Show as a Mentor

jessicaalbaActress and businesswoman Jessica Alba has signed on to serve as a mentor on Apple’s upcoming reality television show “Planet of the Apps,” reports Variety. Alba joins actress Gwyneth Paltrow, hip hop artist will.i.am, and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, all of whom will also be acting as mentors and advisors to app developers.

Jessica Alba has starred in a number of movies and television shows, including Sin City, Fantastic Four, and Into the Blue. In 2012, Alba moved beyond acting and founded The Honest Company, devoted to selling non-toxic household goods. The Honest Company has grown steadily since 2012 and is valued at $1 billion.

“I started The Honest Company because I saw an opportunity in the market for a brand that spoke to conscious consumers and created safe and effective products for every need,” said Alba said in a statement. “As a mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps,’ I’m looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision. I can’t wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table.”

Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the initial investors in Snapchat, has also joined the show as a venture-capital partner. Lightspeed will spend $10 million to fund app development during the course of the show.

“Planet of the Apps” is described on a casting website as an unscripted reality television series focusing on apps and the developers who create them. The exact format and content of the show remain a mystery ahead of its 2017 launch, but advisors will offer developers chosen for the show “hands-on guidance” and “funding from top-tier VCs” to improve their apps. Apple plans to use the show to promote iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps and its App Stores.

Casting for “Planet of the Apps” began back in July and applications are still being accepted until September 21, with the series seeking up to 100 developers to participate. The inaugural season will take place in Los Angeles with filming beginning in late 2016.
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jessicaalbaActress and businesswoman Jessica Alba has signed on to serve as a mentor on Apple’s upcoming reality television show “Planet of the Apps,” reports Variety. Alba joins actress Gwyneth Paltrow, hip hop artist will.i.am, and tech investor Gary Vaynerchuk, all of whom will also be acting as mentors and advisors to app developers.

Jessica Alba has starred in a number of movies and television shows, including Sin City, Fantastic Four, and Into the Blue. In 2012, Alba moved beyond acting and founded The Honest Company, devoted to selling non-toxic household goods. The Honest Company has grown steadily since 2012 and is valued at $1 billion.

“I started The Honest Company because I saw an opportunity in the market for a brand that spoke to conscious consumers and created safe and effective products for every need,” said Alba said in a statement. “As a mentor on ‘Planet of the Apps,’ I’m looking forward to meeting entrepreneurs looking to address a problem with an innovative solution, and to help them realize their vision. I can’t wait to see the ideas the app developers bring to the table.”

Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the initial investors in Snapchat, has also joined the show as a venture-capital partner. Lightspeed will spend $10 million to fund app development during the course of the show.

“Planet of the Apps” is described on a casting website as an unscripted reality television series focusing on apps and the developers who create them. The exact format and content of the show remain a mystery ahead of its 2017 launch, but advisors will offer developers chosen for the show “hands-on guidance” and “funding from top-tier VCs” to improve their apps. Apple plans to use the show to promote iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS apps and its App Stores.

Casting for “Planet of the Apps” began back in July and applications are still being accepted until September 21, with the series seeking up to 100 developers to participate. The inaugural season will take place in Los Angeles with filming beginning in late 2016.
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Spotify Punishing Artists Who Offer Apple Music Exclusives

Spotify and Apple Music are becoming increasingly bitter rivals, and according to new reports from The New York Times and Bloomberg, the feuding is now affecting artists. Spotify has been punishing artists who agree to Apple Music exclusives, displayin…

Spotify and Apple Music are becoming increasingly bitter rivals, and according to new reports from The New York Times and Bloomberg, the feuding is now affecting artists. Spotify has been punishing artists who agree to Apple Music exclusives, displaying their content less prominently and offering fewer promotional opportunities.

Spotify has explicitly told artists who offer Apple Music exclusives that their music won’t be included on featured playlists, and Spotify has also “buried” their songs in its search rankings. The music streaming service has reportedly been using these retaliatory tactics for about a year.

applemusic

Spotify has been retaliating against musicians who introduce new material exclusively on rival Apple Music by making their songs harder to find, according to people familiar with the strategy. Artists who have given Apple exclusive access to new music have been told they won’t be able to get their tracks on featured playlists once the songs become available on Spotify, said the people, who declined to be identified discussing the steps.

Spotify’s tactics may not affect major artists in a significant way, but according to Bloomberg, the service has also threatened smaller acts who introduce their music on Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe.

Since Apple Music launched last year, Apple has been using exclusive content as a way to lure new subscribers to the service. Artists like Drake, Frank Ocean, Dreezy, Taylor Swift, and Katy Perry have debuted content exclusively on Apple Music, something both Spotify and record labels have become increasingly uncomfortable with.

Earlier this week, Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grange told employees that UMG is now prohibiting its artists from offering music exclusives, meaning popular content from Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, and more, will no longer be eligible for debut solely on Apple Music. UMG’s new policy has already affected Apple, preventing Apple Music from inking a deal with Lady Gaga.

At its one year anniversary in June, Apple Music boasted more than 15 million subscribers, and should it continue its rapid growth rate, the service could eventually eclipse Spotify as the most popular streaming service. Spotify continues to have approximately twice as many subscribers but the music service continues to struggle because it has yet to become profitable.
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Twitter’s Night Mode Now Available for iOS

twitterTwitter today announced that it is expanding its “night mode” option to its iOS app, allowing Twitter users to enable a darker mode suitable for reading tweets at night. Twitter first brought night mode to Android devices in July and after a beta testing period, the company is now ready to offer the option in both of its mobile apps.

Night mode can be enabled by tapping on the gear icon and choosing the “Turn on night mode” option. It is disabled in the same way, by tapping the gear icon and selecting “Turn off night mode.”

Night mode should be a welcome addition for those iOS users who have been hoping Apple will implement its own Night Mode option, as it makes the Twitter interface much darker and more comfortable to look at in low light conditions.

Rolling out today – we’re bringing night mode to iOS! 🌙 https://t.co/XxNZHQdth9 pic.twitter.com/WLwKi4H0Oe

— Twitter (@twitter) August 22, 2016

Twitter’s new night mode feature is rolling out to Twitter users starting today. The Twitter app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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twitterTwitter today announced that it is expanding its “night mode” option to its iOS app, allowing Twitter users to enable a darker mode suitable for reading tweets at night. Twitter first brought night mode to Android devices in July and after a beta testing period, the company is now ready to offer the option in both of its mobile apps.

Night mode can be enabled by tapping on the gear icon and choosing the “Turn on night mode” option. It is disabled in the same way, by tapping the gear icon and selecting “Turn off night mode.”

Night mode should be a welcome addition for those iOS users who have been hoping Apple will implement its own Night Mode option, as it makes the Twitter interface much darker and more comfortable to look at in low light conditions.


Twitter’s new night mode feature is rolling out to Twitter users starting today. The Twitter app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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iPhone-Compatible ZEISS VR ONE Plus Headset Launches for $129

ZEISS has announced that its iPhone-compatible VR ONE Plus virtual reality headset is now available at Best Buy stores across the United States for $129. The headset has a universal smartphone tray that fits most smartphones with a screen size between 4.7 and 5.5 inches, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

zeiss-vr-one-plus-fold
iPhone users can use the VR ONE Plus with thousands of virtual reality apps on the App Store, including Google Cardboard apps, in addition to 360 degree YouTube videos and Google Street View. The headset has an immersive field of view of approximately 100° and can be used while wearing eyeglasses.

ZEISS is also accepting VR ONE Plus orders through its website in the U.S. and Europe.
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ZEISS has announced that its iPhone-compatible VR ONE Plus virtual reality headset is now available at Best Buy stores across the United States for $129. The headset has a universal smartphone tray that fits most smartphones with a screen size between 4.7 and 5.5 inches, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

zeiss-vr-one-plus-fold

iPhone users can use the VR ONE Plus with thousands of virtual reality apps on the App Store, including Google Cardboard apps, in addition to 360 degree YouTube videos and Google Street View. The headset has an immersive field of view of approximately 100° and can be used while wearing eyeglasses.

ZEISS is also accepting VR ONE Plus orders through its website in the U.S. and Europe.
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‘Pokémon Go’ update warns you not to catch and drive

You probably know that it’s unwise to play Pokémon Go while you’re behind the wheel, but Niantic and The Pokémon Company aren’t taking any chances. They’re trotting out an update to the mobile game (on both Android and iOS) that tells y…

You probably know that it's unwise to play Pokémon Go while you're behind the wheel, but Niantic and The Pokémon Company aren't taking any chances. They're trotting out an update to the mobile game (on both Android and iOS) that tells y…