AWT News Update: July 13, 2017

We have a few short stories that add up to a long podcast today:

  • Bloomberg reports that Apple's iOS will have a huge advantage in augmented reality over Android
  • Fast Company says that the upcoming iPhone 8 may use lasers for AR depth detection and faster autofocus
  • We tell you about a free photo filter app that's available to anyone with the Apple Store app loaded on their iOS device

Create amazing websites with drag-and-drop ease with EverWeb for Mac.

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for July 13th, 2017.

One of the top features that could “change everything” with the release of iOS 11 is the addition of augmented reality (AR) software baked into the operating system. Apple’s ARKit framework was announced last month at the 2017 World Wide Developers Conference, and an analysis on Bloomberg Technology today notes that Apple will definitely have the edge in the AR world over Android devices after iOS 11 is released. Why? Well, Google released its toolkit for AR three years ago and it hasn’t gained any acceptance in the marketplace. The tools, known as Tango, requires infrared depth perception sensors that are built into only two phones right now. ARKit, on the other hand, uses the existing hardware such as the gyroscope and camera to perform the same tasks. But the main issue is the fragmentation of the Android operating system. Only 11.5 percent of Android device are running the latest OS version, while 86 percent of iOS devices are running iOS 10 and will be capable of running iOS 11. Although there are over 2 billion monthly active Android devices and only about 1 billion iOS devices in service, well over 860 million devices will be able to take advantage of ARKit apps once iOS 11 is distributed. So developers are jumping on the ARKit bandwagon, with some very tempting demonstrations being worked on at this time for release as polished apps this fall. Expect AR to be the killer app from Apple for the foreseeable future, with Google and Android taking a back seat.

Speaking of augmented reality apps, Fast Company is reporting that the upcoming iPhone 8 may come equipped with what is called a vertical-cavity surface emitting laser or VCSEL system for the rear camera. This is a 3D system that enables much better depth detection for AR apps, and can also be used for faster and more accurate autofocus of the camera. According to Fast Company’s source, “VCSEL laser systems calculate the distance the light travels from the laser to the target and back to the sensor, and generate a Time of Flight (TOF) measurement. The system consists of a source (the VCSEL laser), a lens, detector (sensor), and a processor. The whole thing costs about $2 per phone…” 

Mac users who want to design and maintain high quality websites without coding should look no further than to EverWeb. EverWeb makes it simple to create great-looking and functional websites for any purpose you can think of. Develop a site through a drag-and-drop interface, then publish it to any server with just a click. Learn more about the powerful capabilities of this week’s Apple World Today sponsor EverWeb today at everwebapp.com

Do you like free apps? We do, which is why we’re telling you about Apple’s free redeem codes for the photo editing app Infltr. This app normally sells for $1.99, and provides more than 7 million possible photographic filters. Those filters can be chosen before or after taking a picture or recording video, and are selected by moving a finger in any direction on the screen to change the hue of the filter. Double-tap, and the app selects a filter for you randomly. You can even use Infltr filters in iMessage while doing video calls, and there’s an Apple Watch companion app that lets you shoot photos with a tap and adjust filters with the Digital Crown. To get your free copy of Infltr before August 15, make sure you have the free Apple Store app on your iPhone or iPad. Then scroll down the main store screen until you find the Discover section. You’ll see a promotional ad, which takes you to the App Store when tapped. The app is downloaded after logging into the App Store and tapping a few more times. 

That’s all for today ; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.