The Boatload-Of-AR Edition Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Preview Of The First Wave Of AR Apps Coming To iPhones, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

I’ve seen some very cool things from one and two person teams and I’ve seen big corporate developers flex their muscle and get pumped about how capable AR can be.

At a round robin demo event yesterday with a bunch of developers of AR apps and features, I got a nice cross-section of looks at possible AR applications. Though all of them were essentially consumer focused, there was an encouraging breadth to their approaches and some interesting overall learnings that will be useful for developers and entrepreneurs looking to leverage ARKit on iOS.

Apple ARKit: Inside Apple's Plan To Reinvent The World, by Lisa Eadicicco, Time

One thing is certain: a boatload of apps that use the iPhone's camera to conjure new worlds inside the real one are about to hit the App Store. "Because it's Apple, [ARKit] gets a critical mass of developers excited," says Nguyen. "And that's important because they're the ones who are innovating." ARKit's success will depend on what developers manage to do with it, in other words. If these early apps are any indication, the results are sure to be fascinating.

Apple Shares Detailed Human Interface Guidelines For Developers Building ARKit Apps, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple this evening has released a handful of new resources for developers who are building augmented reality applications. The company has outlined the best practices for building such applications in its Human Interface Guidelines, it said in a blog post.

Microsoft Was Leading The World In AR; Now It’s At Risk Of Being Left Behind, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

The surprise reveal of Microsoft's HoloLens back in 2015 caught the world off guard. The product hadn't leaked, and it offered something genuinely new: a self-contained headset that mixed 3D computer graphics with the real world, offering the kind of augmented reality experience that had hitherto been the sole preserve of science fiction. [...] But is Microsoft going to be able to turn this leadership in innovation into leadership in market share? That's where things look challenging.

Future of the Home Button

How Apple Plans To Change The Way You Use The Next iPhone, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Across the bottom of the screen there’s a thin, software bar in lieu of the home button. A user can drag it up to the middle of the screen to open the phone. When inside an app, a similar gesture starts multitasking. From here, users can continue to flick upwards to close the app and go back to the home screen. An animation in testing sucks the app back into its icon. The multitasking interface has been redesigned to appear like a series of standalone cards that can be swiped through, versus the stack of cards on current iPhones.

Bloomberg: High-end iPhone Will Totally Ditch Home Button, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

A lot of this rings true to me. The Home button is a time-honored part of the iPhone, but Apple has never been shy about ditching traditions when practicalities get in the way—cf. the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. There’s valuable real estate to be reclaimed by ditching the Home button, both in terms of increasing screen size and, as on the iPhone 7, getting rid of the physical button mechanism.

App Economy

The Unbearable Irony Of Meditation Apps, by Scott Rosenberg, Wired

Between their nagging screens and their gamifying tendencies, today’s crop of meditation apps might well drive you to find a lower-tech alternative. People somehow managed to meditate for thousands of years without the help of iPhones. As Lifehacker reminds us, “like music, incense, and floor cushions, apps are never necessary to meditate. You need nothing at all to get started...You’re even meditating when you are being mindful about washing the dishes or walking around your neighborhood.” For a bit of inspiration, just head over to YouTube, take in a fine old Alan Watts lecture, and then sit down and start following your breath.

At least, that’s the path I’m more likely to take. To hell with 15 seconds of nothing! Meditation isn’t about “doing nothing”—it’s about learning to do one thing deliberately. Computers and phones are general-purpose devices; multitasking is their essence. Apps will always want to add more features and track new data. I began getting seriously worked up about the absurdity of expecting an app to lead you to enlightenment when my phone lit up with yet another message: “It’s time to meditate.” And I laughed again.

Why Some Restaurants Are Cutting Ties With Mobile Ordering Apps, by Brenna Houck, Eater

While the restaurant owners admit that food delivery platforms like GrubHub, UberEATS, and DoorDash increase the number of orders their businesses receive, most also say that these apps increase operational headaches behind the scenes and don’t have a significant effect on profit margins. Each app requires its own hardware and software to communicate with the restaurant, causing employees to juggle multiple orders from iPads, phones, and in-store lines. Proposition Chicken co-owner Maxwell Cohen tells Reuters that not only do the apps require him to hire more staff to execute the orders, but that commission fees eat up between 10 and 30 percent of each order.

My iPhone Turned Me Into A Squirrel-Chasing Dog, by Katie Hafner, Wired

To assess an older patient’s ability to live independently, geriatricians often test what they call “activities of daily living.” I am still firmly in middle age, yet I would not score well on such a test—not because of medically diagnosable cognitive decline, but because I have been plunged into a state of premature absent-mindedness. Not few are the times I have left the house wearing one earring, or found scorched eggs in a burnt saucepan atop a full flame, the water long since boiled away.

I blame electronics for my affliction. The devices in my life teem with squirrels. If I pick up my iPhone to send a text, damned if I don’t get knocked off task within a couple of seconds by an alert about Trump’s latest tweet. And my guess is that if you have allowed your mind to be as tyrannized by the demands of your devices as I have, you too suffer to some degree from this condition.


State Of Outliner Apps For iOS And macOS, by Amir Masoud Abdol, Hacker Noon

Overall, the Outlinely has the complete package. The developers have done the research and managed to keep things as simple as possible and still provides many advanced and requested features.

Pedometer++ Hits 3.0, Adds Achievements, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

The biggest new addition, however, is that the app now includes achievements for your steps, complete with badges. That includes not only awards for your day totals, but also for streaks, lifetime steps and floors, and a handful of special achievements.

This Mac App Makes Cheap Headphones Sound Way Better, by Antonio Villas-Boas, Business Insider

The app helps boost certain levels of sound, like bass, mids, and treble to give your music a clearer, richer sound.


Developing From An iPad, by

Recently, I've been reading up on a lot of tools that let you use your iPad as an actual development box, which makes it incredibly more useful to me. To be clear, most of these things are going to require you to have a network connection on your iPad so you can connect to another server like Digital Ocean, although you can use cloud based tools like Google Cloud, AWS, etc to push up to. The only downside to the cloud based option is that you'll have to push your changes up every time you want to test something, as opposed to just being able to save, switch to Chrome, and reload.


Apple Now Accepting WeChat Pay For App Store Purchases In China, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Apple customers in China now have a new option for making payments in the App Store: WeChat Pay. People will be able to use the popular service not only for purchases in the App Store but for their Apple Music subscriptions as well.

And The Emmy Goes To… Apple, DJI, Microsoft And Comcast (?! 💁), by Devin Coldewey, TechCrunch

Apple, Comcast, Nuance and Universal Electronics were all honored for “Contextual Voice Navigation for Discovering and Interacting with TV Content.” You know: “Siri (or whoever), show me crime shows.”

Bottom of the Page

The iPhone Pro with iOS 11 sounds interesting as we get closer to Sept 12. I sure hope that the HomePod leak didn't ruin all surprises.


I've always thought this is the version of the 'famous' sentence: "The quick red fox jumps over the lazy brown dog". It is only when I am much older that I discovered that the version many people use is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".

Of course, I like mine better. There is a certain symmetry between "quick red fox" and "lazy brown dog."


Thanks for reading.