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How iOS 14 quietly took a big step towards the Apple Glasses – TechRadar

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Apple’s annual WWDC keynotes are like an easter egg hunt for tech fans – you don’t always get big hardware reveals, but hidden among all the software announcements is a trail of evidence that collectively reveals a lot. And so it was at WWDC 2020. 

On the face of it, this year’s show was all about Apple Silicon, iOS 14 and Craig Federighi’s continually impressive hair. But connect the dots and you’ll clearly see the exciting silhouette of the Apple Glasses.

Naturally, the always-secretive Apple barely mentioned Augmented Reality (AR) explicitly when talking about iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. And as impressive as Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Space Grey glasses were, they weren’t smart (as far as we could tell).

Like Clark Kent, all Apple needs now is a pair of smart glasses to complete the look.

But piece together some of the slightly puzzling individual announcements and the Apple Glasses picture starts to emerge: a spatial audio update for the AirPods Pro, location-based AR tools for developers, ‘App Clips’ that conveniently serve you little pop-ups of digital info, ‘hand pose’ detection in Apple’s Vision framework, and even new 3D icons that look ideal for AR.

There’s no doubt about it – the AR chess pieces are assembling right across Apple’s ecosystem with iOS 14. And like Clark Kent, all Apple needs now is a pair of smart glasses to complete the look.

The Invisible Glasses

Talking of Superman, perhaps the most overlooked and impressive demo at WWDC was one that soared over a digital San Francisco in a preview of ARKit 4. ARKit is Apple’s set of software tools for AR app developers that, as Apple claims, “powers the world’s largest AR platform, iOS”.

(Image credit: Apple)

You might not be aware that iOS is an AR platform because, well, the tech is still very much in its toddler phase. But a particular ARKit 4 demo, which showed the kit’s new ‘location anchors’, revealed how quickly that’s about to change with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. These ‘location anchors’ let apps place AR creations – like statues, game characters or giant signposts – to very specific locations in the real world. In other words, Apple’s AR is stepping outside.

This means that everyone in those locations, some of whom may soon be wearing Apple Glasses, can wander around the same virtual creation and experience it in the same way. Which is a huge deal. Aside from Pokemon Go, true AR has largely been stuck indoors shifting around virtual IKEA furniture. And while virtual home shopping will certainly become big, AR’s move into the great outdoors with iOS 14 is a big leap that paves the way for Apple Glasses.

On location

Perhaps the most exciting thing about ‘location anchors’, though, is the tech behind them. On iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 devices, ARkit 4 can crunch together your geographic co-ordinates with high-res map data from Apple Maps.

iOS 14

(Image credit: Apple)

According to Apple ARKit engineer Quinton Petty, this process – which Apple calls ‘visual localization’ – means you’ll be able to “precisely locate your device in relation to the surrounding environment more accurately than could be done before with just GPS”. This is crucial for a good outdoor AR experience, not to mention other smartphone apps. It’s also where Apple’s approach deviates from rivals like Google and Niantic, the maker of Pokemon Go.

Whereas Niantic recently started collecting 3D visual data from its players, raising privacy concerns, Apple said at WWDC that its location-based AR uses advanced machine learning techniques run “right on your device” and that “there’s no processing in the cloud, and no image is sent back to Apple”. Which neatly fitted Apple’s wider privacy theme better than an Airpod slotting into its charging case.  

Treasure maps

Been wondering why Apple keeps persisting with Apple Maps? It’s the foundation for the AR layer Apple is building on top of the real world, rather than just another way to help you get to the supermarket – even if those new cycling directions in Apple Maps on iOS 14 do look incredibly handy.

iOS 14

(Image credit: Apple)

Naturally, there is still a lot of digital surveying to be done. Right now, those ‘location anchors’ are only available in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami, with “more cities coming through the summer”. This is because much of the localization accuracy appears to be based on Look Around data, which is Apple Maps’ equivalent of Google’s Street View. 

It’s going to take a while to make it global, but iOS 14 is a big step towards Apple Glasses (which are expected to arrive in either March 2021 or 2022) and an outdoor AR experience that’ll see your smartphone apps and games leap into the real world.

The missing pieces

While ‘location anchors’ were the most explicit nod to Apple’s AR plans at WWDC 2020, there were a lot of more subtle nods to the theme too.

The AirPods Pro have a new spatial audio feature, for example, that will bring 3D sound to your favorite true wireless earbuds. Which sounds a bit puzzling, unless you watch a lot of Dolby Atmos films with your AirPods. Still, the real benefit could eventually come with AR, with your phone either giving you simple audio nods to Maps directions or working with Apple Glasses for a truly immersive AR experience.

iOS 14

(Image credit: Apple)

In a similar way, iOS 14’s new ‘App Clips’ feature – which lets you preview small parts of full apps without downloading them – could have some immediate benefits, like quickly paying for your smart scooter (above). But the ultimate aim feels more like it’ll be helping you launch AR experiences by scanning real-world objects.

There were countless other hints at WWDC 2020 too – some incredible ‘hand pose’ recognition for gesture controls in Apple’s Vision framework, new ‘scene geometry’ in ARkit 4 that lets a lidar sensor automatically categorize different objects and materials, and as AR developer Lucas Rizzotto pointed out on Twitter, a new 3D design language looks ideal for augmented reality and Apple Glasses. 

Considering Apple hardly mentioned AR at WWDC 2020, it was an impressively loud statement for such a ‘quiet’ show. Who knows, by the time WWDC 2021 comes around, Tim Cook might be wearing some considerably smarter spectacles.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra leaks with first real-world images – MobileSyrup

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We’ve seen renders, CAD mock-ups and several case leaks, but this is the first time Samsung’s often-rumoured Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has leaked with real-world images courtesy of YouTuber ‘Jimmy is Promo.’

Though it’s impossible to verify the accuracy of the photograph and Jimmy is Promo’s subsequent tweets regarding the device, the images look very similar to previous leaks we’ve seen over the last few weeks related to the Note 20.

The real-world photos give us a glimpse of the Note 20 Ultra’s triple-rear camera bump that looks very similar to the S20 Ultra’s. There appears also to be a 3D time-of-flight sensor on the back of the smartphone as well. Finally, there’s another photo of the front of the smartphone showing off its centred hole-punch front-facing camera at the top of the display.

Another thing worth noting from the images is the location of the volume rocker and power button on the right side of the device, just like the S20. With the Note 10, these buttons were located on the left side of the display.

Jimmy is Promo goes on to say the handset’s S Pen and bottom speaker are shifting to the left of the smartphone’s charging port.

Regarding specs, the Note 20 is expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor — a processor that hasn’t been released yet — an S Pen with additional features, new camera functionality that includes 100x zoom, and a QHD+ 120Hz screen.

Though these images seem to be of the Note 20 Ultra, there are also rumours circulating that Samsung plans to release the smartphone in two sizes, including a standard 6.42 inch Note 20 and a larger 6.97-inch Note 20 Ultra.

Source: @jimmyispromo

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OnePlus Nord will come with 48MP primary camera with OIS – GSMArena.com news – GSMArena.com

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The OnePlus Nord is coming on July 21 and we’re starting to get a clearer picture of its key specs. The latest report comes from an interview with the brand’s co-founder Carl Pei who detailed the phone’s quad-camera setup. The main shooter will have a 48MP sensor and will offer OIS. Alongside it will be an 8MP ultrawide lens, 5MP macro module and a 2MP depth helper.




The front cameras housed in the pill-shaped cutout are expected to come in at 32MP and 8MP. We also know the device will ship with the Snapdragon 765G chipset, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage on the base version and a 4,300 mAh battery.

The OnePlus Nord will have an Augmented Reality (AR) launch event where the audience will be able to interact with an AR model of the device live during the keynote.

OnePlus Nord will come with 48MP primary camera with OIS

Pricing is expected to start at under $500 (€445) but will likely vary between Europe and India. OnePlus is also hosting a second round of pre-orders in Europe which starts tomorrow at 8AM UTC time.

Via

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Huawei reportedly working on 'Mate V' foldable that looks like Galaxy Z Flip – MobileSyrup

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It looks like Huawei could be working on a new foldable to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip.

According to details from leaker and concept designer Ben Geskin on Twitter, the China-based telecom equipment maker is working on a vertical folding device. Geskin says the phone will allegedly be called the ‘Mate V.’

Further, Geskin tweeted that the Mate V will have a notch on the display and support “3D face recognition,” which Geskin suggests is similar to the face unlock system Huawei included on its Mate 30 Pro phone. That system relies on 3D technologies like a time of flight (TOF) sensor to recognize users and authenticate them.

Finally, Geskin explained in his tweet that the Mate V will look like the Galaxy Z Flip, but will include more cameras.

Included renders show notch display and vertical camera array

Geskin included two images with his tweet that show renders of what the Mate V could look like. The first shows the front and back of the Mate V both while folded and unfolded. The top half of the phone’s rear includes a vertical camera array, although it isn’t clear how many cameras the phone will have.

Additionally, it appears there will be a space below the camera bump. It’s not immediately clear why, but some users replied to Geskin’s tweet saying the space was likely for a small display. The Galaxy Z Flip, for example, has a small external display for checking the time and notifications without opening the device.

Additionally, the render shows a thin rectangle with rounded corners next to the camera array. This will probably be where the phone’s flash and other sensors will reside.

The inside of the phone features a nearly edge-to-edge display and a boxy notch. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely a foldable phone like this will have bezels as small as the render.

The second image shows several side profiles of the device while folded and unfolded. You can see the power and volume buttons on the right side as well as the SIM slot, charging port and speaker grill along the bottom. The hinge looks just like the one on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip.

All in all, it’s an interesting rumour. Huawei already has one foldable, the Mate X, so it isn’t surprising that the company is working on other ones. Considering the positive response to the Galaxy Z Flip, it also doesn’t come as a surprise that Huawei is working on a vertical foldable. It remains to be seen what the finished product looks like, however. These renders — which should be taken with a grain of salt — make the alleged Mate V look just like the Z Flip. While I imagine there will be similarities, there will likely be some major differentiators with the finished product as well.

Source: Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin)

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