Here’s a Look at the First Wave of Augmented Reality ARKit Apps Hitting the iOS App Store Today

With the launch of iOS 11 today, Apple has turned hundreds of millions of iPhones into augmented reality-capable devices thanks to the support of a new developer framework called ARKit. With this technology, iOS developers can more easily craft AR experiences for users on compatible iPhones and iPads, using each device’s built-in cameras, processors, and motion sensors.

As of now, the first wave of these apps are available for you to download and test on the iOS 11 App Store. The first apps range from game updates to practical everyday tools and even apps that encourage a healthier lifestyle, with more refined experiences likely coming in the future once developers get a grasp on what users enjoy with the first wave of apps.

Note that to use ARKit-enabled apps on iOS 11 you must have an iOS device with an A9, A10, or A11 processor. This means ARKit apps can be launched on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the upcoming iPhone X. For iPads, you can use the 9.7-inch iPad or the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The older 9.7-inch model of the iPad Pro is compatible as well.

One you have iOS 11 installed on one of these devices, head over to the new App Store and check out some of the ARKit apps listed below to see how Apple’s new augmented reality technology works in your own home.

Games

Splitter Critters (left) and Egg, Inc. (right)

Splitter Critters ($2.99)

What’s it about? Use swipes of your finger to split a colorful landscape and guide alien critters back to their spaceship, avoiding enemies and solving puzzles in the process.

How’s AR used? Scan a flat surface and then place a fully playable version of the main game into the real world, housed within a small white box.

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade (Free)

What’s it about? Control an Imperial Knight war machine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and fight the evil forces of Chaos through 170 single player missions using cannons, missiles, and thermal blasts to defeat your enemies.

How’s AR used? Drop your Imperial Knight from the main game into an AR “Photo Mode” to take snap shots of the war machine in the real world.

Egg, Inc. (Free)

What’s it about? A farming simulation game focused on hatching eggs, building hen houses, hiring drivers, and researching advanced technologies to upgrade your egg farm.

How’s AR used? Take a glimpse at your farm in AR with a “Farm To Table” picture-taking mode.

Thomas & Friends Minis (Free)

What’s it about? Build, decorate, paint, and create full train sets and then control characters from Thomas & Friends as you drive through your customized train set.

How’s AR used? Bring all of your creations into the real world with the app’s AR mode, which places your train set on a flat surface so you can zoom in and around while still being able to interact with various tools and control characters.

Continue reading “Here’s a Look at the First Wave of Augmented Reality ARKit Apps Hitting the iOS App Store Today”

Destiny 2 sets PlayStation Store sales record

Not everyone loves Destiny 2, but whatever its post-release controversies, there’s no escaping that the game is a big hit.

This time last week news broke that Destiny 2 had only sold half the amount of physical copies as its predecessor in the UK. However, this only tells part of the story. On September 6th the game also broke the global record for day one sales on the PlayStation Store.

We don’t have exact numbers, but it appears that many players eschewed the disc format this time around, perhaps in recognition of Destiny 2’s digitally evolving nature.

Destiny 2’s success was further confirmed when the game clocked up over 1.2 million concurrent players during its first weekend. Last week’s Leviathan raid was also popular on Twitch, reaching No.1 for total concurrent views, some of whom were the fine folks at Bungie.

Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision, said in a press statement:

“With franchise pre-order records broken, and record day-one performance on PlayStation Store, it’s exciting to see engagement at the highest ever week-one concurrency for the franchise. Destiny 2 is off to a strong start as the #1 console gaming launch week of the year to date. With the PC version yet to ship, Destiny 2 sets the stage for being one of the biggest video game entertainment events of the year.”

Bungie’s CEO, Pete Parsons, added:

“We hit some great milestones this week with our community. We are blown away that we’ve had eight days in a row in Destiny 2 where we’ve seen more than one-million concurrent players grace our worlds. It’s equal parts inspiring and humbling, and we’re looking forward to showing everyone what’s coming next!”

Destiny 2 will be released on PC on October 24th, where it will be the first non-Blizzard game to be offered digitally via Battle.net.

Destiny 2 Sets PlayStation Store Records for 2017 Among Other Milestones | Esports News & Videos

Activision and Bungie have revealed statistics records following the release of Destiny 2 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox one.

Released on September 5th, the online-only multiplayer game was one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year, allowing players to partake in various forms of in-game content.

As a sequel to the original Destiny which was released in 2014, D2 looked to build on to the already established franchise which revolves around massively multiplayer online and role-playing elements.

The first person shooter puts players in the shoes of a ‘Guardian,’ with a mix of different storylines, quests, raids, and various other forms of in-game content for both player vs player (PvP), and player vs environment (PvE) settings.

In a press release, Activision details how day-one saw a record performance on the PlayStation Store, along with the title being the number one console gaming launch week of 2017.

“With franchise pre-order records broken, and record day-one performance on PlayStation Store, it’s exciting to see engagement at the highest ever week-one concurrency for the franchise. “Destiny 2 is off to a strong start as the #1 console gaming launch week of the year to date,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision.  “With the PC version yet to ship,  Destiny 2 sets the stage for being one of the biggest video game entertainment events of the year.”

Bungie CEO Pete Parson mentions how the Destiny Universe has recorded over one million concurrent players for eight days in a row.

“Bungie CEO, Pete Parsons, said, “We hit some great milestones this week with our community.”  He added, “We are blown away that we’ve had eight days in a row in Destiny 2 where we’ve seen more than one-million concurrent players grace our worlds. It’s equal parts inspiring and humbling, and we’re looking forward to showing everyone what’s coming next!”

Twitch, an online live-streaming platform to broadcast their gameplay and other means of entertainment, saw millions of minutes watched by viewers from across the globe.

“For the third year in a row, Destiny is the #1 console-only game viewed on Twitch by minutes watched. Destiny 2 , including its two betas, had more than 600M minutes watched on Twitch before the raid, a fan-favourite, endgame, 6-player gameplay experience started. The raid, called “Leviathan,” went live for players on 13 th September and immediately shot to the #1 position on Twitch based on total concurrent viewers. “

You can view the full Press Release courtesy of the Destiny Blog below.

Image: Destiny 2

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iTunes 12.7 Released, Removes App Store

iTunes

Apple has released iTunes 11.7 for Mac and Windows users, a point release update that brings some notable changes to the music and media player app.

The new version of iTunes adds support for iOS 11 while simultaneously removing the iOS App Store from being included in iTunes. Additionally, iTunes 12.7 removes the ability to sync iOS apps and ringtones on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch via iTunes on the desktop. Instead, Apple wants you to manage and download iOS apps from the iPhone or iPad itself via the native iOS App Store application.


Users can download the latest iTunes release from the software update mechanism of iTunes itself, via the Mac App Store Updates tab, or from the apple.com iTunes download page here.

The release notes accompanying the iTunes 12.7 download are as follows:

The new iTunes focuses on music, movies, TV shows, and audiobooks. It adds support for syncing iOS 11 devices and includes new features for –

– Apple Music. Now discover music with friends. Members can create profiles and follow each other to see music they are listening to and any playlists they’ve shared.

– Podcasts. iTunes U collections are now part of the Apple Podcasts family. Search and explore free educational content produced by leading schools, universities, museums, and cultural institutions all in one place.

If you previously used iTunes to sync apps or ringtones on your iOS device, use the new App Store or Sounds Settings on iOS to redownload them without your Mac.

When you launch iTunes 12.7 you will see a pop-up window with an alert informing the user that iTunes has been “updated to focus on music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks” and telling the user to use App Store or Sound Settings in iOS to deal with apps and ringtones.

iTunes message removing App Store

It’s worth mentioning that iTunes 12.6.x is currently compatible with iOS 11, though that may change when the final version of iOS 11 is released to the public on September 19.

Samsung vs Xiaomi offline store fight: Retailers get hurt as Samsung-Xiaomi war intensifies

KOLKATA: Samsung is said to be unhappy with two leading retail chains for promoting rival Xiaomi’s smartphones with store-front signage and in-store branding as its battle with the Chinese company for control of the retail channel intensifies.

The two companies have been trying to dominate the retail space since July when Xiaomi, till then focussed only on e-commerce, stepped up efforts to rope in leading offline stores as preferred retail partners.

Officials of the two retail chains refused to comment due to the sensitivity of the matter.

An email sent to Xiaomi India did not elicit any response. Samsung India, too, did not respond to an email.

“Samsung is trying to sort out the issue with the two retailers ahead of the festive season,” an industry executive said without wanting to be named.

This comes at a time when several neighbourhood cell phone stores are teaming up to take Samsung to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for not supplying handsets for almost two months after they tied up with Xiaomi, three industry executives said. They will approach the CCI arguing that Samsung and its distributors are not allowing them to do business with other brands, impacting their business, the executives said. About 300 retailers in Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Haryana, Indore, Lucknow, Kanpur, Gujarat and Kolkata have been affected after they signed up with Xiaomi as its preferred retail partner, they said.

The owner of a cellphone store in Delhi said the retailers took legal opinion and decided to approach CCI after Samsung and its distributors categorically told them there will be no supplies till they stopped selling Xiaomi smartphones, which already account for 35-40 per cent of their business.

Retailers get hurt as Samsung-Xiaomi war intensifies

“In fact, Xiaomi is helping the affected retailers with advice and additional business support. This is a good opportunity for Xiaomi to get retailers’ confidence, now that it is betting big on brick-and-mortar retailers to grow in India,” one of the executives quoted above said.

The CEO of a retail chain said Xiaomi has informed retailers that it will support them by changing its business strategy. The Chinese smartphone maker is introducing its new models like Mi A1 and Mi Max 2 in offline stores along with their online launch, as compared to its earlier strategy of launching them online first.

Xiaomi India managing director Manu Jain had recently tweeted that the company’s offline sales have grown 10 times since January after it roped in retailers as preferred partners, and around 20 per cent of the sales now are offline. He also tweeted that all those offline retailers who have joined hands with the company have reported massive jump in traffic and sales.

As per Hong Kong-based market tracker Counterpoint Research, Samsung is the smartphone market leader in India with 24.1 per cent share for the April-June period, followed by Xiaomi at 15.5 per cent.

iTunes 12.7 for Mac removes iOS app store

iTunes 12.7 for Mac removes iOS app store | Macworld<!– –><!–
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itunes menu 127

Apple

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iTunes 12.7 for Mac was released on Tuesday with a major change in the app. Apple has redesign iTunes so that it focuses on sales of music, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, and podcasts. It no longer has an App Store for buying apps for your iPhone or iPad.

itunes 126 app store Apple

One last look of the App Store in iTunes 12.6.

This means that in order to buy an iOS app, you must do it on the iOS device itself. You no longer can buy an iOS app within iTunes, and then load the app to your device when you perform a sync.

Apple announced last month that iTunes U content can now be found in the iTunes’ podcasts section.

If you purchased ringtones through iTunes, Apple says that you can download them through your iPhone using the App Store app, or through Settings > Sounds > Ringtone > Store.

itunes 127 featuresApple

Apple’s release notes on iTunes 12.7.

How to upgrade to iTunes 12.7

  1. On your Mac, launch the App Store app in your Applications folder.
  2. Click on the Update button at the top of the app.
  3. The app will use the internet to look for new updates. If you don’t see the iTunes 12.7 update, try reloading the page by pressing Command-R.
  4. When you’re ready, click the Update button next to the section about the iTunes 12.7 update. If the iTunes app is open, your Mac will tell you that the installation cannot proceed until you close iTunes. Click Continue to have your Mac close iTunes and continue with the upgrade.
  5. The installation will take a few minutes. You should not need to restart your Mac, unless you also decided to click the Update All button, which installs any other OS updates available.
  6. When you launch iTunes 12.7 you’ll see a disclaimer about the changes.
    itunes 127 disclaimer Apple





KFC China store lets diners pay with a smile | VentureBeat | Commerce

(Reuters) — Diners at a KFC store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou will have a new way to pay for their meal. Just smile.

Customers will be able to use a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at the tech-heavy, health-focused concept store, part of a drive by Yum China Holdings Inc to lure a younger generation of consumers.

Yum China, which spun off from its U.S. parent Yum Brands Inc last year, is trying to rev up growth in the world’s second largest economy, where food safety scares and changing consumer tastes have dented sales since 2012.

Yum is still the largest fast food chain in the market, where it has over 7,685 outlets. Its China same-store sales have also been slowly improving, rising in the second quarter of the year on a strong showing by its KFC brand.

The new outlet in Hangzhou, called KPRO, is targeting a younger generation of Chinese who are expected to drive the lion’s share of China’s consumption growth over the next decade.

Joey Wat, Yum China’s president, said the store was aimed at “young, tech savvy consumers who are keen to embrace new tastes and innovations”.

The Hangzhou store involves a tie-up with Ant Financial, which is behind the facial recognition software. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd affiliate Ant said this is the first commercial application of the technology worldwide.

Diners can pay by scanning their faces at an ordering kiosk and entering a phone number – which is meant to guard against people cheating the system.

“Combined with a 3D camera and liveness detection algorithm, Smile to Pay can effectively block spoofing attempts using other people’s photos or video recordings and ensure account safety,” Jidong Chen, Ant’s director of biometric identification technology, said in a statement.

The store’s menu offers seasonal produce, made-to-order salads and paninis. The chicken on the menu is “roasted”, while drinks include freshly squeezed juices, gourmet coffees and craft beer.

The concept store is not the first time Yum, or its major rival McDonald’s Corp, have tested new ideas in the market. Yum launched a swanky Italian diner as a test “lab” on Shanghai’s iconic riverside Bund in 2015.

Dragon Quest III Tops PS4 Sales on Japanese PlayStation Store; Undertale Still Strong

Like every week, Sony Interactive Entertainment released its sales chart for the Japanese PlayStation Store, focusing on PS4 games. This time around, we have a new winner,  with the re-release of Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation pushing all the way to the top in its debut week.

Below you can check out the full chart, related to the period between August 21st and August 27th.

  1. Dragon Quest III
  2. Undertale
  3. Dragon Quest X: All-in-One Package
  4. Dragon Quest II
  5. Dragon Quest XI
  6. Rainbow Six Siege
  7. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition
  8. Yomawari: Midnight Shadows
  9. Dragon Quest
  10. Mega Man Legacy Collection
  11. Hitman: The Complete First Season
  12. Megadimension Neptunia VIIR
  13. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  14. Mega Man Legacy Collection 2
  15. Get Eeven
  16. Sonic Mania
  17. Summer Lesson: Hikari Miyamoto Seven Days Room
  18. Horizon Zero Dawn
  19. Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition
  20. Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair

Looks like indie darling RPG Undertale, while losing the top spot, is holding impressively strong in second place. The Dragon Quest XI juggernaut also lose a spot to drop in 5th place, after multiple weeks wearing the crown and one in 4th position.

Ultimately, Dragon Quest still holds four places in the top five like last week, and five in the top-ten, demonstrating once more the solidity of the franchise in Japan.

Yomawari: Midnight Shadows actually comes in with a pretty good start, which isn’t all that common for Nippon Ichi games, that tend to be very niche oriented. Megadimension Neptunia VIIR’s waifus manage to place the game in a 12th place debut, probably hindered by the fact that it’s still difficult to find a PlayStation VR headset on the shelves in Japan.

Speaking of digital sales, we learn from the Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu that Dragon Quest XI sold 113,182 copies digitally on PS4 in its first two days on the shelves (from July 29th to July 30th), while only 62,939 copies were sold digitally on 3DS.

This bring the debut of the two versions in Japan almost neck and neck combined with Famitsu’s retail numbers, with the 3DS version selling 1,193,407 copies combined between digital and retail and the PS4 version at 1,063,520. Considering the launch in Asia only on PS4 for now, it’s not surprising that Square Enix reported stronger initial sales on PS4.

Samsung Gear Icon X earbuds work like Apple’s AirPods but you can store music on them to use offline

SURE, the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

But Samsung’s cordless earbuds – the Gear Icon X – are incredibly nifty.

 The earbuds have up to 7 hours playback, or 4 if connecting to your phone
The earbuds have up to 7 hours playback, or 4 if connecting to your phone

Just like Apple’s AirPods, they sync to your device using Bluetooth, so you don’t get in a tangle while playing tunes.

But unlike its Silicon Valley rivals, its allows you to store music on the buds themselves, so they can be used offline.

Available soon in black, grey or pink, each earpiece can store 4GB of memory.

Samsung unveil Gear IconX earphones that they hope can rival the Apple AirPod

Samsung claims you’ll get up to seven hours juice in Standalone Mode or up to five hours when connected in Bluetooth Mode.

Talk time is up to four hours and the charging case provides one extra charge on the go.

 The new earbuds come in black, white and pink and may lack the sleek design of Apple's AirPods but appears to have much better function
The new earbuds come in black, white and pink and may lack the sleek design of Apple’s AirPods but appears to have much better function

If you’re pondering over Apple’s latest headphone release, have a gander at our Apple AirPods review.

But Apple fans might not be happy when it comes to the numbers.

If Samsung’s specs are to be believed, they well and truly trump Apple’s offering.


OUT OF THIS WORLD? Samsung Galaxy Note 8 out NOW! UK release time, price, camera, spec and phone features


The iPhone compatible AirPods offer just five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time on one charge.

Announced on Wednesday at annual tech conference IFA in Berlin, it was not immediately clear when Samsung’s new headphones will be released in the UK.

They were the third wearable announcement from the Korean electronics giant today.

 The new Gear Sport boasts 'sophisticated fitness tracking, built-in GPS and a standalone music player'
The new Gear Sport boasts ‘sophisticated fitness tracking, built-in GPS and a standalone music player’

It unveiled two new smart watches at the IFA conference in Berlin  – which saw tech fans queuing to get in.

Gadget fans can look forward to the Gear Sport – an update of the Gear S3 – and a lightweight Gear Fit2 Pro.

 The AirPods were unveiled in September 2016 along with the iPhone 7

Alamy

The AirPods were unveiled in September 2016 along with the iPhone 7

Cynical onlookers might say the move was an attempt to derail its biggest rival.

Apple is said to be launching its new iPhone and a mystery new smartwatch on September 12, less than two weeks away.

Samsung isn’t pulling any punches after a tumultuous 2017 in which it had to recall its luxury smartphone because it was found to explode in people’s hands.

But is successor was unveiled at special “unboxing” press conference in New York last week without a hitch.

Apple AirPods VS Gear Icon X in numbers: The stats tech geeks will want to know

Battery life

AirPods have five hours of listening time and two hours of talk time on one charge.

Gear Icon X has seven hours of listening time and four hours of talktime

 

Charging

The AirPods case has enough juice to last 24 hours and can fully charge the Airpods in roughly half an hour. It’s fitted with a lightning connector, so can be plugged into the USB slot on a computer or the power adaptors which come with other Apple devices.

Gear Icon X case has one full charge – it’s unclear how long this takes at time of writing.

 

Sensors

AirPods have a microphone for voice calls and Siri as well as an optical sensor to detect if the AirPod is in someone’s ear. The microphone can automatically detect speech, whilst an accelerometer detects movement.

Similarly, the Gear Icon X buds have an accelerometer, capacitive touch and can detect your voice.

Weight 

Apple wins at 4g per bud and the charging case weighs 38g.

Gear Icon X weighs 8g per bud and the case weighs 54.5g.

It wasn’t just Apple that needs to watch its back.

Samsung announced a cordless vacuum cleaner the POWERstick PRO, which does a similar job to Dyson’s version.

It also unveiled its most massive QLED smart TVs yet along with new versions of its swanky Frame model – which looks like a picture mounted to your wall.


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Amazon Gamescom, PlayStation store, QuakeCon, and more of the best sales

Earlier this week we mentioned the $200 price cut on the HTC Vive system, which is still available for $599 at Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy. Other highlights of the week’s game deals include Gamescom, QuakeCon, and PlayStation Store sales. Also the PlayStation VR headset is back down to $350 ($50 off) if you’re in the market for one.

Hardware & Accessories

Gaming

Miscellaneous

Looking for tech deals? Check out The Verge’s roundup here.

Polygon Deals is a weekly roundup of the best deals on the internet, curated by Vox Media’s commerce editor, Chloe Reznikov, in collaboration with Polygon’s editorial team. You can submit deals to tips@polygon.com and find more Deals here.

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