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Pioneer's DJ app can upload your mixes directly to SoundCloud

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Eugenio Marongiu via Getty Images

DJs make up a huge part of the SoundCloud user base, uploading long mixes and gathering original electronic music to include in live performances. Pioneer is taking advantage of this fact with an update to its iOS mix recording app, DJM-REC. The company has just made it possible to record and share your DJ mixes directly from the app to your SoundCloud account.

The app is free to try for 30 days and then it will cost $10 to continue using it. In addition to the new SoundCloud capabilities, DJs can also use DJM-REC to upload their recorded mixes to Mixcloud and Dropbox, and live stream to YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram and Snapchat. The app works with Pioneer’s mixers, including the DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2 and DJM-450 models. You may need to apply a firmware update to some mixers to work with the app.

Tech News

Amazon's Part Finder helps you find those weird screws you need

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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mihalec via Getty Images

If you have a home hardware part you can’t really identify but need more of, you might find that the camera in Amazon’s iPhone app is a bit more useful after a low-key recent update. The new Part Finder tool uses computer vision to determine the type of screw, nut, bolt or other fastener you have, and points you to where you can buy more in its store.

Amazon added the feature to its iOS app a couple of weeks back, it confirmed to TechCrunch, but didn’t announce Part Finder or even mention it in the App Store release notes. There’s no sign of an Android release as yet.

To use the feature, you’ll need to place the part on a white surface next to a penny (likely for scale). The app will tell you how to line up the camera, and once it has scanned the item, Amazon will display some results. The following screen will ask you for more details to narrow down the suggestions, including whether a screw has a flat or round head, as well as with the type of screwdriver it needs (which you’d assume the algorithm would be able to determine).

It’s certainly a useful feature, especially if you’re not much of a home hardware type and need some guidance on which parts you need. Part Finder can currently identify more than 100 types of fasteners, which “represents thousands, if not millions of parts,” Amazon says. If it can help us locate the parts we need for flat-pack furniture but never seem to have enough of (so we don’t have to make follow-up IKEA trips), so much the better.

Tech News

This day in Engadget history: The iPhone jailbreak era begins

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Mark Mathosian/Flickr

Engadget has been around for 14 years and counting, which means our archives contain a veritable treasure trove of technology history. From notable reviews and news to the more mundane or ridiculous finds from across the internet, there’s a lot to explore here. “This Day in Engadget History” will take you on a historical voyage as we look at what made the headlines in years past. Join us, won’t you?

It’s definitely been a while since anyone seriously needed to jailbreak their iPhone. While undoubtedly some people still do, it seems like there’s little need now that we’ve seen the tenth anniversary of the iOS App Store. There are plenty of apps these days and a whole different OS (Google’s Android) for those who want something a little more customizable.

Back in 2007, however, the walled garden of Apple’s ecosystem was firmly in place; there wasn’t even an App Store to go find third-party apps in. On July 19, 2007 — just a few weeks after the iPhone launch — a hacker called “Nightwatch” compiled and launched the iPhone’s first third-party app, a “Hello World” program. A typical first program on any computing platform, the app didn’t do much but display those words. It did, however, usher in a whole new era of “jailbreaking” iPhones, along with app repositories like Cydia and the like.

So, whenever you bemoan Apple’s fierce gatekeeping around the apps it allows on the iOS App Store, remember it wasn’t that long ago when there weren’t any at all. And pour one out for Nightwatch, the one who started it all.

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Facebook Messenger for Kids is now available in Mexico

July 19, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

Today marks Facebook releasing its Messenger for Kids app to our friendly southern neighbor. It doesn’t have any Mexico-specific features, and unlike when it was released in Canada and Peru, it isn’t part of a larger feature roll-out like a Spanish-language version, either. No matter, it being available to the nation’s 130 million residents is pretty big in and of itself.

The app has courted controversy since it was released last December. In June, Facebook responded to complaints about it encouraging screen time in youngsters several months later by partnering with Yale to boost the social and emotional learning features of Messenger for Kids. That’s in addition, of course, to increasing the available parental controls.

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'Alto's Odyssey' lands on Android for free next week

July 17, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Apple Design Award winner Alto’s Odyssey hit the App Store in February, but Android players have been forced to wait for the serene platformer to come to Google Play. They won’t have to sit on their hands for much longer — Alto’s Odyssey will land on Android on July 26th. And, when it does, it’ll be free.

The iOS version of Alto’s Odyssey costs $5 and that’s not going to change when the Android edition goes live. There’s precedent for this platform price disparity: Alto’s Adventure, the first game in the series, cost $3 on the App Store when it launched in 2015, while the Android version landed in 2016 as a free game. Snowman, the studio behind Alto, had heard from fellow indie developers that it was difficult to attain App Store-level sales figures on Google Play with a paid game, so they tried out a free model with ad support.

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It worked. Alto’s Adventure has been downloaded 36.5 million times on Android, with 647 billion play sessions total, Snowman founder Ryan Cash told Engadget. Over the past three months, Alto’s Adventure Android players have logged on for an average of 13 million sessions a day across 1.5 million devices. Keep in mind, those numbers are all for a game that’s more than two years old.

Alto’s Odyssey is keeping up the positive sales trend on iOS. It’s been out for five months as a premium title on the App Store, and it’s already picked up an Apple Design Award.

“Sales have definitely met our expectations,” Cash said. “It can be tough to launch a premium mobile game these days, especially with such high-quality console-level games making their way to mobile as F2P titles. With that being said, if you make something really great, and you spend time marketing it properly (and add a bit of luck), you can still make a solid business as a premium title today.”

The Android launch is all about fostering longevity for the series, but it’s also critical to Snowman’s future as a studio, financially and culturally.

“With our upcoming Android launch we’re hoping to add an additional and hopefully long-running source of revenue for the company, but more importantly, we’re excited to continue growing the Alto fanbase,” Cash said. “It shows that we take our time with the things we make, and that we’re — hopefully — building a strong and lasting reputation with the kinds of products we make.”

“There’s always something cooking.”

Snowman was founded in 2012 and, thanks in large part to Alto, it’s grown into a stable indie studio that’s able to support the development of multiple projects at once. Today, Snowman acts as a middle man for a few other small studios, offering marketing and collaboration support on games including Where Cards Fall, Skate City and DISTANT.

However, Alto is baked into Snowman’s DNA and the series won’t likely end with

Tech News

Google Assistant adds a snapshot of your daily agenda

July 17, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Google is no stranger to serving up contextual info and commands when they’re relevant. But wouldn’t it be nice if could curate and organize that info in a way that could help with a jam-packed schedule? It does now. The search firm is currently trotting out a “visual snapshot” for Assistant on mobile devices that provides the info and controls the AI helper believes you’ll need to make it through the day. It prioritizes navigation, but scrolling down will show you your itinerary, reminders, reservations (such as flights and movies) and eventually less essential content like stock prices and Assistant action suggestions.

As you’d expect, the data will vary based on the time of day, where you are and your recent history with Assistant.

The feature will expand over time, Google said. You’ll eventually see an overview of your notes and to-do lists (whether or not they’re from Google apps), a discovery section for new activities, music suggestions and even your parking spot. Clearly, Google is hoping that you’ll have a reason to keep returning to Assistant over and over again, rather than remembering to juggle apps at the right times.

You may have to wait a few days for the feature to show up, but you’ll know when it’s ready. There will be an inbox-like icon when you invoke Assistant on Android, while iOS users will see it as soon as they launch the Assistant app. It’s not a radical departure for Google, especially if you’re used to receiving “leave now” notifications and similar alerts, but the consolidation could prove supremely helpful for those days where the sheer number of tasks proves overwhelming.

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Microsoft Edge iOS beta offers handy visual search tool

July 16, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Microsoft

Today, beta testers of the Microsoft Edge browser on iOS can now try out Visual Search, which parses images taken by your device’s camera and delivers links to related information. The Bing-based feature came to early users on Android last month, and it works with just-taken photos or from those in your camera roll.

Microsoft Edge beta testers on iOS also get a couple other new features. One, paste-and-search, saves you a step by letting you look for whatever’s on your clipboard instead of having to paste it in a search field first. Those with a work or school account can access intranet sites from their home as well as the ability to see mobile browser activity on the Windows 10 timeline feature.

Unlike the Android beta users, those who get an early look at Microsoft Edge on iOS must be enrolled through Apple TestFlight.

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Tech News

Instapaper buys itself back from Pinterest

July 16, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Johan Larsson/Flickr

Back in 2013, developer Marco Arment sold his popular read-it-later app Instapaper to Betaworks, the company that had previously acquired Digg. Two years ago, Pinterest bought the little company to “accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinterest.” Now, the very same team that’s been working on it for the past five years is taking Instapaper back.

Newly formed Instant Paper, Inc. will receive ownership from Pinterest after a 21-day waiting period so it can give Instapaper users fair notice about the change. Not much will change for users of the service, which the new owners say they’ll continue offering “for the foreseeable future.” The developers also thanked Pinterest for being a good partner over the last two years, which allowed them to rebuild search within the app, add an extension for Firefox users and optimize the product for mobile operating systems.

Tech News

Adobe plans a full version of Photoshop for iPad in 2019

July 13, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

It’s never been entirely clear why Adobe never entirely embraced the iPad given its increasing prominence in the creative industries. The company has launched several apps for the slate, but none as full-featured as the full-fat, desktop version of Photoshop. That’s now set to change, according to sources familiar with the matter, who have told Bloomberg that Adobe is going all in on the slate.

It’s believed that Adobe will announce a full version of Photoshop for the iPad at its annual conference, Max, in October. It will then be able for users to actually try at some point in 2019, although we’re at such an early stage that the deadline could slip. Bloomberg received some confirmation from Adobe’s Scott Belsky, who said that the company was working on a “new cross-platform iteration of Photoshop.”

One stumbling block is likely to be the numerous architectures and systems that underpin Adobe’s key pieces of its Creative Cloud. Photoshop, Premiere and Illustrator may need ground-up re-writes to both work better with each other and multiple devices in the future. When completed, however, people who pay for Creative Cloud will be able to seamlessly switch between devices — including iPads — when working on projects.

That’s not to say that there aren’t several Photoshop-branded apps already available for iOS, of which there are a handful. It’s just that Photoshop Express, Photoshop Lightroom, Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix don’t offer the same features as its namesake. Not to mention that it’s likely that, before the iPad Pro, developing software that ran on relatively limited hardware would have been quite an investment.

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'The Walking Dead' AR game adds some horror to your walk home

July 12, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Next Games Oy

It’s summertime in the Western hemisphere, which means sidewalks and parks are full of folks catching Pokêmon with their phones. If you’d rather be the prey, though, maybe give The Walking Dead: Our World a chance then. The free-to-play AMC-licensed shooter uses augmented reality to put you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. As you play you’ll unlock new weapons, and stars from the show will help out in battle including Rick, Daryl and Michonne.

Unlike Pokémon Go though, it doesn’t sound like you’ll be out of luck if you live in a rural area. “That was a concern we had,” AMC’s Clayton Neuman told Variety. “The fanbase is huge and diverse and they aren’t just in urban areas. So no matter where you are you should have plenty to do, plenty of missions that spawn around you.”

The Walking Dead: Our World is available on the App Store and Google Play right now.

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