editorial

Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat could make Augmented Reality mass-market

Snapchat's reported $30m buy of an Augmented Reality specialist could be the key to taking mixed-reality mainstream, as its real-world users embrace virtual products. The news earlier this week that Snapchat owner Snap paid as much as $40m for Cimagine, an AR startup focusing on making online shopping more immersive, prompted questions as to just what the ephemeral messaging app might have in mind. Certainly, with its vast cohort of Millennial users, it could be the first truly successful push of Augmented Reality into the mass market.

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The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

The big, frustrating thing Google Wifi is missing

Google Wifi may look like a shorter, squatter version of Google Home, but while the two smart home devices might share DNA, there's oddly little overlap. The mesh router, which began shipping earlier this month, doesn't stint on features to go with its boosted range. Despite that, there's still one big thing missing.

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Amazon Go may kill retail jobs but privacy is the real victim

Amazon Go may kill retail jobs but privacy is the real victim

If Amazon Go has taught anybody anything today, it's shown retail employees exactly what long-distance truckers meant by the sinking feeling in the pit of their stomach when they realized tech could make them obsolete. Just as autonomous semis could cut human drivers out of tomorrow's haulage, so Amazon's surprise announcement of an unstaffed store that replaces the checkout line with artificial intelligence could have a big impact on retail and the jobs involved in it. Even if it's not the person at the register that's made redundant, an unblinking AI could have big implications for today's stores.

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USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

USB-C could kill Lightning, but Apple can’t afford it

Apple could technically kill off Lightning on the iPhone and still maintain an iron-fisted grip over its MFi program, but the outcry over a switch to USB-C might prove too costly for it to happen today. With the arrival of the new MacBook Pro there’s been no shortage of commentary about the ports you’ll find on your Apple smartphone versus those you now get on your Apple notebook, and a fair amount of that has not been flattering. The “Made For iPhone/iPod/iPad” MFi program has been blamed by many for that disparity, but it may not be quite the culprit it's accused of being.

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A simple fix for the new MacBook Pro’s big problem

A simple fix for the new MacBook Pro’s big problem

Courage is a double-edged sword, and while consumers may have taken the death of the iPhone 7 headphone jack in their stride, professionals aren't being so generous with the new MacBook Pro. Apple's decision to ditch almost all the legacy ports on its flagship notebook was done in the name of ushering in widespread adoption of Thunderbolt 3 and enabling a thinner machine. However, while Thunderbolt 3 may undoubtedly be a better connector than the bevy of sockets along the edge of the old MacBook Pro, the Cupertino firm's decision to go slim has frustrated many who have legacy devices to plug in, and who were hoping for a more significant power upgrade.

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Apple early-adopted itself into a dongle nightmare

Apple early-adopted itself into a dongle nightmare

Apple has a dongle problem, and it only has itself to blame. The company's new MacBook Pro line-up, with as many as four Thunderbolt 3 ports, finds itself on the cutting-edge of notebook connectivity, but it's a rare owner indeed who will be quite so modern in their digital lifestyle. Just as an ethernet adapter was par for the course with the old MacBook Pro, so even more dongles and connectors are likely to feature in the laptop bag of the typical new MacBook Pro user.

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Let’s get real on iPhone 8 rumors

Let’s get real on iPhone 8 rumors

Even before the iPhone 7 came out, people were speculating on what’s next for Apple’s 2017 iPhone. Some even believe Apple will skip it’s tried-and-true tick-tock release cycle and skip ahead to the iPhone 10 to coincide with the iPhone’s 10th anniversary (2007-2017; time flies). And there’s speculation the iPhone as we know it will turn into something completely different — something less like a phone and more like a pocket projector. And it’s all nonsense.

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There are still more questions than answers about the Chevrolet Bolt EV

There are still more questions than answers about the Chevrolet Bolt EV

It was a moment of celebration for one of the American auto industry's stalwarts: the Chevrolet Bolt EV would, at 238 miles, go further than Elon Musk's upstart Tesla Model 3. Cue flag-waving in Detroit, not least because the Bolt EV is expected to arrive at dealerships later this year, versus the late 2017 promised for the "cheap" Tesla. Nonetheless, while the early feedback has been fairly glowing from drivers given previews at the electric car's wheel, there's still a lot Chevrolet has to do before the Bolt EV is anywhere near ready for primetime.

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Apple must take its iPhone 7 AirPods decision and run with it

Apple must take its iPhone 7 AirPods decision and run with it

If you're not already sick and tired of hearing arguments about Apple's iPhone 7 headphone jack decision, don't worry: give it a few days and you'll be ready to strangle yourself with your outmoded 3.5mm cable. Whether or not I agree the decision to ditch the legacy - but apparently beloved - port was as "courageous" as Apple's Phil Schiller argued on stage this week, there's one thing I'm pretty certain of, though: Apple will not reverse course.

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I was wrong about Project Ara

I was wrong about Project Ara

Google has given up on Project Ara, another of the company's more intriguing skunkworks projects shuttered without making the big waves the initial hullabaloo promised. Ara was to usher in a new generation of upgradable, wildly flexible smartphones: a platform that would both buck the trend of the relentless replacement cycle, and unlock possibilities for niche and custom gadgets that wouldn't make financial sense as a traditional device.

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Huawei is now a force to be feared in smartphone design

Huawei is now a force to be feared in smartphone design

Amid exploding Samsungs and fast-incoming iPhones, a new challenger in smartphone design has arisen, and Huawei is landing hits not only in the price bracket it has traditionally played in, but against devices several hundred dollars more. Latest from the company is the Nova series, a pair of Android phones differentiated primarily by their size, but unified by two core elements.

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Making your phone battery last all day (without using a power bank)

Making your phone battery last all day (without using a power bank)

Our phones are always with us, and they're our only tool for doing most things anymore: getting in touch with someone, finding an address or phone number, navigating somewhere, taking a picture, and all that fun stuff. As such, a low or dead phone battery is harrowing. We'll keep the phone on a charger when possible, but getting through a day without having to charge is ideal...and, fortunately, entirely possible.

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