Category Archives: Mobile

What a difference four years makes in iPhone cameras

“People tend to overestimate what can be done in one year and to underestimate what can be done in five or ten years,” as the old saying goes. Similarly, it can be hard to notice one’s own kid’s progress until confronted with an example of that kid from a few years back.

My son Henry has recently taken a shine to photography & has been shooting with my iPhone 7 Plus. While passing through Albuquerque a few weeks back, we ended up shooting side by side—him with the 7, and me with an iPhone 12 Pro Max (four years newer). We share a camera roll, and as I scrolled through I was really struck seeing the output of the two devices placed side by side.

I don’t hold up any of these photos (all unedited besides cropping) as art, but it’s fun to compare them & to appreciate just how far mobile photography has advanced in a few short years. See gallery for more.

Adobe introduces the Design Mobile Bundle

It’s cool to see these mobile creativity apps Voltron-ing together via the new Adobe Design Mobile Bundle, which includes the company’s best design apps for the iPad at 50% off when purchased together. Per the site:

  • Photoshop: Edit, composite, and create beautiful images, graphics, and art.
  • Illustrator: Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.
  • Fresco: Draw and paint with thousands of natural brushes.
  • Spark Post: Make stunning social graphics — in seconds.
  • Creative Cloud: Mobile access to your Creative Cloud assets, livestreams, and learn content.

More good stuff is coming to Fresco soon, too:

Then, there are live oil brushes in Fresco that you just don’t get in any other app. In Fresco, today, you can replicate the look of natural media like oils, watercolors and charcoal — soon you’ll be able to add motion as well! We showed a sneak peek at the workshop, and it blew people’s minds.

New Google Photos widget puts memories onto your iPhone homescreen

YouTube, the Google app, and Photos now offer options to show widgets via the new iOS 14:

To install a Google Widget, first make sure you have the Google Photos appYouTube Music app or Google app downloaded from the App Store. Then follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold  on the home screen of your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap the plus icon on the upper left corner to open the widget gallery
  3. Search for & tap on the Google app, YouTube Music or the Google Photos app
  4. Swipe right/left to select the widget size
  5. Tap “Add Widget”
  6. Place the widget and tap “Done” at the upper right corner

Chrome for iOS improves password autofill, Face ID integration

Teamwork makes the dream work, baby:

Improvements to password filling on iOS

We recently launched Touch-to-fill for passwords on Android to prevent phishing attacks. To improve security on iOS too, we’re introducing a biometric authentication step before autofilling passwords. On iOS, you’ll now be able to authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID, or your phone passcode. Additionally, Chrome Password Manager allows you to autofill saved passwords into iOS apps or browsers if you enable Chrome autofill in Settings.

ML Kit gets pose detection

This is kinda inside-baseball, but I’m really happy that friends from my previous team will now have their work distributed on hundreds of millions, if not billions, of devices:

[A] face contours model — which can detect over 100 points in and around a user’s face and overlay masks and beautification elements atop them — has been added to the list of APIs shipped through Google Play Services…

Lastly, two new APIs are now available as part of the ML Kit early access program: entity extraction and pose detection… Pose detection supports 33 skeletal points like hands and feet tracking.

Let’s see what rad stuff the world can build with these foundational components. Here’s an example of folks putting an earlier version to use, and you can find a ton more in my Body Tracking category:

[Via]

Adobe releases Photoshop Camera

After being announced last fall, it’s free to download for iOS & Android.

TBH I’m a little nonplussed about the specific effects shown here, but I remain intrigued by the idea of a highly accessible, results-oriented app that could also generate layered imagery for further tweaking in Photoshop and other more flexible tools.

As for the rationale, PetaPixel notes,

The main goal of apps like this might simply be to introduce more people to the Adobe ecosystem. Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis said as much in an interview with The Verge, in which he calls Photoshop Camera “the next one in that journey for us.” Photoshop Camera could act as the “gateway drug” to a Creative Cloud subscription for anybody who discovers a dormant love of photo editing.

Action Blocks make tasks more accessible for those with cognitive impairments

I’ve long joked-not-joked that I want better parental controls on devices, not so that I can control my kids but so that I can help my parents. How great would it be to be able to configure something like this, then push it to the devices of those who need it (parents, kids, etc.)?