Nreal Debuts Air AR Glasses for Android, PC and Soon Apple

A year after debuting in partnership with Verizon its $599 Nreal Light AR glasses in the U.S., Beijing-based Nreal is releasing the sportier Air AR glasses on Amazon. The $379 price is about $100 less than Air ARs were going for in Asia. The company is also upgrading its Nebula AR OS for augmented reality, including a version for Apple mobile, albeit only those powered by Apple silicon (M1 and M2 chips). In other words, newer iPhones and MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. The Apple and Android/PC visual presentations will be different, at least initially. Continue reading Nreal Debuts Air AR Glasses for Android, PC and Soon Apple

Internal Meta Study Shows Reels Struggling Against TikToks

Instagram seems to be having a hard time gaining traction against TikTok, whose users collectively spend 197.8 million hours daily on the platform, compared to the 17.6 million hours a day Instagram users spend viewing Reels, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal sourcing Meta Platforms internal research. The August report, “Creators x Reels State of the Union 2022,” indicates that Reels engagement was down 13.6 percent “over the previous four weeks — and that ‘most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.’” Of about 11 million U.S. creators on Instagram, only 2.3 million, or 20.7 percent, post Reels monthly. Continue reading Internal Meta Study Shows Reels Struggling Against TikToks

Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

Streaming analytics firm Conviva reports that the global streaming market grew 14 percent in Q2 2022 as compared to the same period last year. Asia and Latin America drove the growth, vaulting 90 percent and 70 percent, respectively. The quarterly Conviva State of Streaming Report noted that North America, the most mature streaming market in the world, grew a modest 5 percent year over year. “As the global streaming industry matures, streaming success is getting more complicated,” Conviva reports, citing as factors device fragmentation and heightened quality expectations in an increasingly ad-supported streaming world. Continue reading Conviva: Streaming Growth Surges in Asia and Latin America

Disney+ Shares the ‘Future of Storytelling’ with New AR Short

Disney+ has unveiled a new app for viewing augmented reality, inviting subscribers to test drive “the future of storytelling, in your own living room” with the new short “Remembering: The AR Experience.” Created by an award-winning duo (“Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson, who also produces, and writer/director Elijah Allan-Blitz), the 8-minute film is meant to be viewed “through” an iOS tablet or iPhone that you hold up to your TV screen, allowing its camera to activate a QR code that triggers the AR, bringing fanciful objects (trees, rainbows, shooting stars and clouds) to your IRL surroundings. Continue reading Disney+ Shares the ‘Future of Storytelling’ with New AR Short

Apple Passkey Implementation Begins This Month via iOS 16

The world is preparing for a passwordless future, which Apple provides with the September 12 launch of iOS 16 and macOS Ventura next month. Known as passkeys, the password replacement will work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs, letting users log in to apps and websites and create new accounts without having to store a password. Made from a cryptographic key pair, the passkey is synced across iCloud’s Keychain. Google, Microsoft, Meta Platforms and Amazon are also in various stages of developing passkeys using standards created by the FIDO Alliance, which means they’ll all likely be interoperable. Continue reading Apple Passkey Implementation Begins This Month via iOS 16

Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that Meta Platforms will in October debut the mixed reality headset the company has been developing under the codename Project Cambria. Appearing on Spotify’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast last week, Zuckerberg said the new headset will have outward facing cameras capable of porting the outside world into the VR experience. With improved facial tracking to transpose smiles and frowns and the ability to convey “actual eye contact” between avatars, Zuckerberg said the new device will enhance the experience of “social presence.” Continue reading Zuckerberg Says New Meta VR Headset Launching in October

Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Surmounting inflation and supply chain delays, Apple posted revenue of $83 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year and a record for the company’s third quarter. However, profit declined 11 percent to $19.4 billion, the worst performance since 2020. Sales of iPhones were strong, generating $40.7 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 2.8 percent increase over the same period in 2021. But wearables did not prove as resilient, with revenue down 8 percent to $8.1 billion. On the earnings call to discuss Apple’s fiscal 2022 third quarter ended June 25, CEO Tim Cook said the results were “better than we expected.” Continue reading Apple Posts Record Third Quarter but Major Decline in Profits

Google Delays Alternative to Cookies for Its Chrome Browser

Google is delaying plans to phase out third-party ad tracking cookies on its Chrome browser until late 2024. The move will have broad ramifications as to how ads are targeted on websites. The Alphabet unit has been working under its Privacy Sandbox initiative since 2019 to find less intrusive alternatives to cookie-tracking technology. Google has been working with developers, publishers, marketers, regulators and advertisers to test its cookie alternative, and says feedback indicates more time is needed to test and evaluate the Privacy Sandbox before it’s phased-in to Chrome worldwide. Continue reading Google Delays Alternative to Cookies for Its Chrome Browser

Taiwan’s Foxconn to Invest $800 Million in Chinese Chip Firm

China’s troubled Tsinghua Unigroup chip conglomerate is about to get an $800 million infusion from Taiwan’s Foxconn in the consumer electronics giant’s bid to expand its electric vehicle activity. Battery-powered cars generally require more semiconductors than those that run on gas, and analysts say Tsinghua Unigroup is attractive to Foxconn — which makes everything from iPhones to Xboxes — for its mobile chipset and memory expertise. In 2021, Foxconn secured a deal with U.S. automotive startup Fisker to jointly manufacture electric cars with automotive chips Foxconn plans to develop with Stellantis. Continue reading Taiwan’s Foxconn to Invest $800 Million in Chinese Chip Firm

Developers Criticize Meta Platforms for Costly VR App Fees

Meta Platforms is facing a backlash based on the fees it is charging virtual reality developers for access to its Meta Quest Store, which uses a financial model similar to that of leading mobile app stores. The Meta Quest Store supports the leading consumer market VR headset, the Quest 2, and reportedly demands 30 percent from digital purchases and anywhere from 15 percent to 30 percent on subscription sales, which is comparable to Apple and Android store fees. Because Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously criticized those companies’ fee structures, he’s being labeled a hypocrite by those opposing the charges. Continue reading Developers Criticize Meta Platforms for Costly VR App Fees

Apple to Shake-Up Financial Services Sector with BNPL Plan

Apple’s all-in approach to buy now, pay later (BNPL) is viewed as an indicator of the company’s increased emphasis on financial services. Apple Pay has been around since 2014, and three years ago the tech giant issued a credit card with the help of Goldman Sachs. Now, Apple Pay users will be able to avail themselves of the new Apple Pay Later. A subsidiary of the Cupertino-based iPhone firm has received the necessary licenses to launch the new financial offering in most U.S. states. Apple’s initial plans are to underwrite and fund loans capped at $1,000. Continue reading Apple to Shake-Up Financial Services Sector with BNPL Plan

Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Weak and repeated passwords are a huge vulnerability when it comes to navigating one’s digital life, and it appears 2022 is the year online companies will make a concerted effort to navigate users away from passwords altogether. At the WWDC 2022 developer conference last week, Apple announced passwordless logins across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. Later this year, iOS 16 and macOS Ventura users will be invited to log into apps and websites using passkeys. Once a passkey is set up for an app or site, it gets stored on the device used to activate it. Tech giants Google and Microsoft are also backing the passkey protocol. Continue reading Password Era Coming to End as Providers Support Passkeys

Android 13 and iOS 16 Bring Smartphone Upgrades This Fall

New Android and iPhone operating system updates for smartphones will be made available free this fall. Both Google and Apple have announced improvements to text messaging apps. Notably, Apple’s iMessage will allow iPhone users to edit or recall text messages after they’ve been sent, a much-requested feature over the years. The iPhone’s iOS 16 will also debut a redesigned lock screen. Meanwhile, Google’s Android 13 will have among its upgrades a new and improved wallet app that can store important documents like credit cards and medical records. Continue reading Android 13 and iOS 16 Bring Smartphone Upgrades This Fall

WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Apple unveiled a slew of new tech at WWDC 2022, previewing macOS Ventura, iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, the next MacBook Air with new M2 chip, the Apple Pay Later service, password updates, new security features and more. Propelled by the tagline “Personal is powerful,” iOS 16 is crafted around helping customers create individual experiences, with ways to customize the Lock Screen, organize desktops and optimize video calls. The Stage Manager feature of macOS 13 Ventura allows easier multitasking and promises updates to improve Spotlight and Apple Mail. Safari is substituting “passkeys” for passwords, allowing users to login to websites using their iPhones or Macs. Continue reading WWDC: Apple Unveils macOS Ventura, iOS 16, MacBook Air

Sony: Smartphone Camera Tech Will Make DSLRs Obsolete

A top Sony executive predicts smartphones will make DSLR cameras obsolete by 2024. Speaking at a business briefing, Sony Semiconductor Solutions president and CEO Terushi Shimizu said the company expects smartphone cameras “will exceed the image quality of single-lens reflex cameras within the next few years,” Nikkei Asia reports. According to the Sony presentation, “still images are expected to exceed interchangeable lens camera (ILC) image quality” within three years. In addition to the older DSLR tech that has fallen by the wayside, the ILC category also includes more modern mirrorless cameras. Continue reading Sony: Smartphone Camera Tech Will Make DSLRs Obsolete