Tag: iOS

Imgur’s Snacks is a Story-like collection of curated GIFs

Imgur began as a way for Redditors to share images quickly and easily, but has grown into a pretty robust site and accompanying mobile app. Last week, the company announced two new features that should help you find more time-wasting goodness: a tag-based content feed and a new Snacks feature, which echoes Snapchat (and Instagram, Facebook and YouTube) Stories.

Your new feed is accessible from its own tab on your Imgur home screen, right next to the "Most Viral" tab. You'll need to tap through a few tags of your own interests and your feed will fill up with images and GIFs from the people and tags you follow. You can up/down vote, comment and add favorites from the endless scroll of Imgur content. It's a nice way to just browse stuff you're interested in, instead of what's most viral on the service.

You can find Snacks in the search tab within the Imgur app. You'll see a bar at the top, just under the search field, with a curated list of GIFs that you can tap and just, well, watch. There doesn't appear to be a way to create your own list, unfortunately, which separates Snacks from the other social media story features.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Imgur

‘Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp’ adds gardening to its list of chores

Collect fruit, trade it with villagers, build furniture, rinse, repeat. That's been the experience with Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp thus far, and if it's getting tedious, know that there's an update coming soon that'll add some variety to the mix. Next month, you'll be able to start crafting clothes like shirts, pants and shoes. Players will also gain access to a garden. As you might expect, the garden is where you can plant flowers, and you can even water friends' flower beds for them.

At this point, the flowers could just be another resource type for building stuff (like apples), but there's every chance that gardening could be a full-blown new activity. We won't know until we get our hands dirty. Even with this update, Pocket Camp is a far cry from full-fat Animal Crossing, but it's a step in the right direction. Compared to something like Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes, though, it's feeling pretty sparse at the moment.

Source: Animal Crossing (Twitter)

iOS HomeKit bug exposed smart locks to unauthorized access

Apple has another security issue to deal with. As 9to5Mac reports today, Apple's HomeKit framework has a vulnerability that allows unauthorized access to connected smart devices like locks and garage door openers. Apple has already put in a server-side fix that rectifies the issue, but the fix also disables remote access to shared users. Apple says that the reduced functionality will be restored with an iOS 11.2 update next week.

While 9to5Mac didn't share the details of the vulnerability, it also reportedly opened up smart lights, thermostats and plugs to unauthorized control. This issue follows a High Sierra bug discovered last month that allowed users to gain admin access without a password.

Because the server-side fix has already been implemented, users do not need to take any additional steps to secure their smart products. Just be sure to install the iOS update when it's released in order to regain the reduced functionality.

Source: 9to5Mac

HQ’s live trivia is coming to Android in time for the holidays

Since launching in August the HQ app has been attracting hundreds of thousands of players to its twice-daily live trivia games, but so far they're all playing on iPhones. Now, a tweet indicates that Android users will be able to get in on the action soon, since "HQ has a nice little stocking stuffer coming your way." The game came from two Vine co-founders and has seen as many as 400,000 people logging on at 3 and 9 PM ET to try and win cash prizes of up to a few thousand dollars by answering trivia questions.

We've seen some attempts at this before, including NBC's short-lived Million Second Quiz game show/app and the Xbox Live game 1 vs. 100. There are other games like Trivia Crack and Quiz Up, but they don't have the same live event hook, while Family Feud Live features tournaments for cash prizes but also contains subscription fees and pushes in-app purchases heavily.

Source: HQ (Twitter)

Starbucks offers AR tours of its lavish Shanghai coffee shop

Starbucks has a long, long tradition of using tech to bring you into its coffee shops, and that will be truer than ever with the latest supersized Reserve Roastery location in Shanghai. The beverage behemoth will use a mobile app to offer guided augmented reality tours of the coffee-making process when the restaurant opens on December 6th. Point your phone at equipment like the roaster or cask and you'll get an explanation of what happens as beans eventually turn into your venti latte.

The chain is offering virtual badges for participating in the tour, and you'll get a "unique Roastery filter" to mark your trip. We're not sure who's excited to show that they've visited a Starbucks (even if it's a very elaborate one), but it at least means you'll have a virtual record of your trip.

There's no mention of whether or not you'll see this AR experience in other Reserve Roasteries (we've asked about future plans), but it's reasonable to expect that this won't be available at your corner Starbucks any time soon. This is more about turning your visit into a mini event and encouraging you to linger a while longer. As it is, we could see other restaurants following suit if this catches on.

Source: Starbucks

Apple Pay Cash money transfers are available in the US

Apple had to rush-release iOS 11.2 to tackle a nasty date-sensitive bug, leaving hopeful Apple Pay Cash users twiddling their thumbs. Thankfully, you haven't had to wait too long -- Apple's money transfer service is rolling out in the US. As promised, you can add a virtual Apple Pay Cash card to iOS' Wallet app and send Venmo-style payments through your iMessage chats. If you owe a friend for pizza, you don't have to download a separate app or hit the ATM to settle your debt.

The feature doesn't appear to be immediately available to all iOS 11.2 users, so don't panic if it isn't available right away. And there's no word on Apple Pay Cash availability outside the US, so you'll have to settle for alternatives in the near future.

It's been a long road for Apple Pay Cash: it was originally expected to launch alongside iOS 11 in September, but was pushed to a fall debut -- and clearly a late fall debut at that. Still, it's potentially significant. It gives Apple a counterpart to Google Wallet's peer-to-peer incarnation, of course, but it also serves as a way to keep people in the company's ecosystem. If you know that you can easily send cash to your iPhone-toting friends, both sides of the exchange may be more likely to stick with iPhones going forward.

Via: The Verge

Source: Apple

Google’s Allo messaging may link to your email account

Google has been going out of its way to keep Allo relevant, but there's been one glaring issue: you need a phone number to sign up. How's it going to compete with iMessage or Facebook Messenger if there needs to be a phone involved at some point? You might not need one soon... or at least, you'll be less dependent on it. The 9to5Google crew has sifted through the code of Allo's latest Android release and discovered hidden references to chatting with Gmail contacts once you connect your account. You could find people through their email addresses once you've linked things up, too.

There's no guarantee that this reduced phone dependence will be widely available soon, but code like this typically hints that it's on the horizon. If it does arrive, though, it could make Allo a more elegant experience, particularly if you regularly use it across multiple devices.

Source: 9to5Google

Lego AR-Studio puts virtual dragons in your physical sets

After the costly failure of its toy-to-life video game Lego Dimensions, Lego is turning to augmented reality to mix real sets with virtual elements. The new Lego AR-Studio app for iOS taps into Apple's ARKit platform to add animations and audio-visuals to the company's physical toys. Hold your smartphone over select Lego City and Ninjago sets and you'll be able to summon fire-breathing dragons, trains, and firetrucks dousing flames with hoses. Plus, any special escapades can be captured using the app's built-in camera. Whereas it may not awaken your inner-child (leave that to Nintendo), Lego-mad tikes should get a real kick out of it.

Best of all, the app is free -- of course, you'll still have to stump up for those physical Lego sets to get it to work. The virtual extras also equate to less sorting of clutter (because not everyone can build an AI to organize the colourful blocks).

Bear in mind, this being ARKit, only Apple's flagships packing either the A9 or A10 processors can handle the heat, which boils down to the iPhone 6S and beyond. Alas, that may not bode well for those parents that are overly-protective of their brand-spanking new iPhone X. In addition, the app is also available on the 2017 iPad, and the iPad Pro (10.5-inch, 12.9-inch, and 9.7-inch models).

The arrival of Lego AR-Studio doesn't mean the toy-maker is giving up on video games. It's still cranking out movie tie-ins like clockwork, and this year it released its Minecraft rival, Lego Worlds. But, for the time being at least, it's leaving the toy-to-life trend to Skylanders.

Twitch and Coca-Cola will raise money to fight AIDS with a MOBA tournament

With World AIDS Day coming up on December 1st, Twitch is partnering up with (Coca Cola)RED for one week to help fight the disease in sub-Saharan Africa. On December 2nd, you can stream Twitch's Arena of Valor channel and watch eight popular streamers face off playing the mobile MOBA designed by Tencent Games. There will be a way to make donations during the stream, of course, and if you're a streamer, you can gather donations for the entire week, too. Coca Cola will match up to $50,000 of all donations gathered during the week.

Twitch notes that every two minutes a teenager gets HIV. It only costs $.30 per day for medicine to help those with the disease in sub-Saharan Africa, and your donations will help many people with HIV testing, counseling, education and care services to people in the region. If you don't want to wait until the 2nd, you can donate right now to help the cause.

Source: Twitch

Instagram is testing a lot of new features, including a repost button

The Next Web reports today that Instagram is testing a slew of new features, many of which could be quite welcome among users. Maybe the most exciting feature is a native Regram button, which would let users repost others' photos and videos without having to turn to a third-party app. Another potentially popular addition is the ability to archive your Stories and it appears you'll be able to set Instagram to do that automatically. And it looks like iOS users might soon be able to share Instagram posts and profiles to WhatsApp with just a click of a button.

Some other tests include a GIF search for stories, a Closest Friends list that lets users share select posts with just a core group of people, a top emoji and top hashtag search option, the ability to pin a thread in direct messages and an option to program emoji shortcuts for words. Additionally, while Instagram already has an Android beta app, it looks like it might be offering an iOS beta app as well, so select iPhone users would be able try out upcoming versions of the app ahead of time and provide feedback. Lastly, one final, and rather intriguing, test is an unexplained "Add Coffee" option.

Instagram recently added a photo "remix" feature to its direct message function and the ability to add older photos and videos to a Story from a phone's camera roll. It has also started testing out an option to follow hashtags.

Because these are just tests, there's no guarantee that Instagram will actually implement them. But TNW says it's confident that some will roll out in the near future.

Images: The Next Web

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: The Next Web