News: Snapchat's Spotlight Confirms That the TikTok, Instagram Social Media War Is On — And AR Is the Next Battlefront
In the realm of social media, all roads lead to one destination: cracking the code of continuous partial attention dopamine hits. We learned this back in the days of Vine, before Twitter foolishly killed it. And I pointed my lens at the emerging trend back in 2016 when I highlighted Musical.ly for Mashable, just before it was snapped up by China's Bytedance for $1 billion and merged into what is now TikTok.
Opinion: Why Facebook Forcing Instagram AR Filters into a Unified Platform Is Bad for Our Smartglasses Future
Quietly, while the rest of the world was engaged in pandemic and political concerns, a few weeks ago Facebook casually upgraded its Spark AR platform with what it calls Unified Effect Publishing.
With the new season of The Mandalorian underway, Google has launched a new AR app that enables some Star Wars fans to connect with virtual characters in between new episodes.
In this year of everything going virtual and remote, it makes even more sense now that Hollywood is leaning heavily on augmented reality. In this case, it's HBO using AR to promote its highly-acclaimed original programming.
The Animal Crossing series has been a big hit for Nintendo, so in a bid to enhance the experience even more for users, the game is getting the augmented reality treatment.
When Treasury Wine Estates released 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Red this summer, named for its new partner in wine, rapper Snoop Dogg, it already came with the brand's signature AR-enhanced label.
News: Amazon's New Augmented Reality App Highlights Dog Reality Stars from Prime Video Series 'The Pack'
Amazon has joined the ranks of film and TV studios using the power of augmented reality to engage fans looking to go behind passive screen viewing.
If you're a man and subscribe to podcasts or YouTube channels that cater to masculine interests, then you've almost certainly encountered sponsorships from Manscaped. And that means I don't have to explain what the company is selling you (for the uninitiated, it's a company dedicated to helping you trim your body hair—most notably, your nether regions, in addition to other areas).
The movie theater business is hurting due to the pandemic, but that hurdle is actually the perfect set of circumstances for movie studios to lean hard into augmented reality marketing.
News: China Wireless Giant Oppo Debuts Mainstream-Friendly Smartphone-Tethered AR Smartglasses & Cloud App
One of China's largest smartphone makers, Oppo, just took the wraps off its new design for augmented reality smartglasses called AR Glass 2021.
The true crime genre has long been popular on television and more recently on podcasts with shows like Serial.
Last year this guy made his own smartwatch from scratch, so in 2020, naturally, he decided to give making smartglasses a try. And it worked!
What was edge automobile technology just a few years ago is now clearly mainstream, as Cadillac just demonstrated via its new 2021 Escalade.
News: What Snap's Voca.ai Acquisition Could Mean for Snapchat & Spectacles — Virtual Voice Assistants Meet Augmented Reality
What does it mean when a software company obsessively focused on innovating the way we use our mobile devices to see and communicate with the world adds virtual voice agents? Possibly e-commerce magic, with a powerful layer of augmented reality.
It is safe to say 2020 sucks. With the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest, things haven't been great. But beyond impacting your emotional state, that upcoming phone you've been waiting for has likely had its release date pushed back.
After the iPhone X eclipsed the $1,000 mark, phone prices skyrocketed. Android OEMs like Samsung started putting out phones in the same price bracket that were crammed with expensive parts. To appease the folks that didn't want to drop over a grand on even the nicest phones, a new segment was created with devices that are still in the flagship tier, but not top-of-the-line.
News: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max: Full Spec Comparison of Samsung & Apple's Best Phones
At the beginning of every year, Samsung drops a fantastic phone in the Galaxy S series, and then tries to top it with the Galaxy Note series in August. This year, Samsung had their work cut out for them. But they managed to improve on their predecessor and properly challenge Apple's best.
If you're in the market for a new smartphone, there are some pretty fantastic options for $400 or less. Both Apple and Google have unveiled budget smartphones with high-end specs in 2020, so you no longer have to suffer from subpar quality to save a few bucks. Low prices no longer mean cheap phones.
News: The Return of the 'Budget Flagship' — Here's What the Major OEMs Are Doing to Combat $1,000+ Phone Prices
After years of complaining about rising prices, OEMs are finally listening to consumers. It couldn't have come at a better time thanks to potential recession due to COVID-19. As evident with the poor sales of Samsung's Galaxy S20 series, consumers are not looking to spending $1,000+ on a smartphone just for the latest specs.
5G is here. Well, not everywhere. All three wireless carriers have turned on their 5G networks, but only in select markets. Like 4G, each carrier is doing things a bit differently, which means your 5G experience will not be the same across the board.
In 2018, Niantic unveiled its in-development augmented reality cloud platform for smartphones, the Niantic Real World Platform. A demo showed Pikachu and Eevee cavorting in a courtyard, darting in front of and behind potted plants and people's legs as they walked through the scene. This would be the future of Pokémon GO.
News: Google Expands AR Effects in Duo to Video Calling for iPhone & Android in Time for Mother's Day
Over the past few months, Google has prioritized the development of its video communications products as the demand for social distancing solutions continues to increase in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As government officials scramble to contain the new coronavirus outbreak with bans on large gatherings, travel restrictions, and school closures, the rest of us have to worry about how we're going to safely purchase water, toilet paper, groceries, and other household goods during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
We're glued to the news now more than ever, but our "free press" isn't necessarily free of charge. Cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC are locked behind expensive cable TV packages and cord-cutting streaming subscriptions such as Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to get your TV news fix, free of any payment, account, or commitment.
It's not so difficult to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown when there's so much free entertainment to take advantage of. That seems to be the M.O. for many studios and streaming services, as they've made so many shows and movies available to the public for free. That said, they aren't running charities here. These deals won't last forever, so make sure to jump on board before it's too late.
News: Musicians Are Holding Live Online Concerts for Free — Here's How to Watch Them All from Your Phone
Remember concerts? Those were fun. While gathering in large groups to listen to live music might not be allowed at the moment, the live music part still is. Thanks to the internet, more and more musicians are taking the stage each day to perform for those of us stuck in social isolation due to the new coronavirus. The best part? Many of these concerts are 100% free.
Even for those of us who enjoy spending time alone at home, at a certain point, it just gets boring. We all need social interaction, but with stay-at-home orders, that can be hard to come by. If you're feeling the itch to hang out with friends and have a good time, you should know there are plenty of free multiplayer games for iPhone and Android that will let you do just that — remotely.
With all this time spent stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, HQ Trivia would be a prime way to beat the boredom. Unfortunately, HQ went belly up in February, just before everyone had stay-at-home orders. While HQ has teased a potential comeback, there are other trivia games out there that are live right now. One of those brings the spirit of HQ Trivia back to our phones.
In these times of social distancing, video calling is becoming the technological substitute for face-to-face connections. For those who carry an iPhone, the art of video calling defaults to FaceTime, the native app on iOS that is exclusive to Apple devices. But what do you do if you or the other party is on Android?
There's only so much Netflix and TikTok a person can take in quarantine before they've had enough. We've only just started our stay-at-home lifestyle, but already TV and movies are getting old. The COVID-19 lockdown doesn't just have to be a mindless watch party, so why not take the time to learn a new language?
Staying inside during the coronavirus pandemic isn't easy for most of us. As important as it is to keep away from others, it can be challenging to keep to ourselves day after day. That's why mobile game developers are stepping in to help; many are making their games free for a limited time, to provide some much-needed fun during scary times.
In the last decade, the number of people working remotely in the US has increased dramatically, and so has their need for technology and software to supplement that remote work. Whether you work from home or a coworking office space, the requirement for highly compatible and helpful productivity apps is a must if you want to get things done successfully.
It's not hard to let the new SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus put pressure on our minds. Fear of catching COVID-19 is never far from the topic of conversation. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you're struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, or any negative emotions due to the virus's effect on our lives right now, you might find some solace in meditation.
While the airline, casino, cruise, and hotel industries are asking for government bailouts during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies around the US are giving away its apps and services for a limited time. So while you're stuck at home, keep your mind off of coronavirus with free movies, TV, music apps, concerts, internet, fitness sessions, classes, and more.
News: Apple's LiDAR Scanner on New iPad Pro Provides Possible Peek at How Its Smartglasses Will See the World
Just as predicted (but perhaps with less fanfare than usual), Apple has made the move of adding a depth sensor to the rear camera of its latest edition of the iPad Pro.
Your smartphone is likely full of COVID-19 news and coronavirus panic. These are scary days, and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. If you're having trouble coping with the stress and anxiety the virus brings with it, know that your iPhone or Android device can actually help you, rather than just bring you further down.
News: Magic Leap Unveils First Look at Magicverse AR Cloud & New Meetings Capabilities in Lumin OS Update
With many office workers in the US being asked to work from home if their job allows, Magic Leap's customary updates for the Lumin OS and Lumin SDK brings some help to keep distributed workforces connected.
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, counties, cities, and states are closing down businesses, events, and schools that aren't absolutely necessary. Some companies around the US are recommending or requiring employees to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic. If you're stuck at home, there are apps and services to help you make it through a lockdown.
With the whirlwind of noise surrounding the COVID-19 virus sweeping the nation, it's not hard to default to panic mode. One of the best ways to avoid panicking, however, is to follow trusted sources of information and avoid all of the opinions and trolls that don't reflect reality.
Whether you were exposed to the COVID-19 virus or just taking precautionary measures, self-quarantining is a tremendous disruption for anyone. Still, we all have to eat, pandemic or not. But unless you like eating canned food for two weeks, you're going to want to explore other options. That's why food delivery apps are going to be so necessary during such a hectic and uncertain time.