Mark AR Virtual Graffiti Google
Built upon Google’s Persistent Cloud Anchors platform, Mark AR is a mobile app that lets you create digital artwork that will be visible to other users in a specific location using augmented reality technology. This app, which made its official debut at New York Comic-Con 2019, was created by iDreamSky and Subway Surfers developer Sybo. In the hands of talented artists, the sky is the limit, and we could soon see AR masterpieces all over the world once the app is released. Read more for a video demonstration and additional information.

AltStore iOS App Store
Photo credit: Alix Diaconis / The Verge
Developer Riley Testut introduces AltStore, an alternative app store for non-jailbroken devices that doesn’t rely on enterprise certificates, but instead uses a developer feature that allows you to use your Apple ID to install apps you’ve developed yourself with Xcode. In other words, it’s a fully native, sandboxed iOS application that allows you to side-load apps by tricking your device into thinking it’s installing apps that you developed. It just requires your Apple ID and password to communicate on your behalf with Apple’s developer servers. Read more for a video and additional information.

Google Play Pass
Google Play Pass is launching this week in the U.S., and it’s a new $4.99-per-month subscription service that gives you access to over 350 paid apps and games without ads or in-app purchases. For those who wish to try before they buy, there’s a 10-day free trial, and if you decide to sign up in the first couple weeks after launch, the Play Pass subscription will be locked in at $1.99-per-month for 12 months before the price goes up to the standard $4.99-per-month. You’ll also be able to share your Google Play Pass subscription with up to five family members at no extra cost. Read more for a video and additional information.

Zao Deepfake App
A new iOS app called Zao, developed by Chinese developer MoMo, was the most-downloaded China over the weekend, as it takes deepfakes to the next level by letting users superimpose their faces onto celebrities in just seconds rather than hours or even days. So far, the only issue users have had is with their privacy policy, which states that the developers could keep and reuse their images forever. Read more for a video of the software in-action.

Facebook Threads App Instagram Snapchat
Photo credit: Alex Castro | The Verge
Facebook is reportedly working on a standalone messaging app that combines the best of Instgram and Snapchat into one. In other words, this companion app to Instagram will enable its users to share content, location, speed, and even battery life with close friends, in addition to standard text / photo / video messages using the service’s filters. Read more for another picture and additional information.

Flappy Fighter

What happens when you combine the 2014 smash hit Flappy Bird with Capcom’s Street Fighter series? You get “Flappy Fighter” of course. Available now on the iOS App Store, it features arcade-style graphics, colorful intros, splash screens, and of course, those crazy knockout animations One caveat: players have to deal with a touchscreen-exclusive interface, but fortunately, you’re only required to dash forward and dash backward. Attacks are executed with four virtual buttons dedicated to one move each. However, a super move, the Shin Flappyken, is activated by simply pressing the health bar once the meter is full. Read more for an extended gameplay video and additional information.

Oldest App Developer

Masako Wakamiya, an 83-year-old from Japan, may not have been a part of the first wave of mobile apps, but in 2017, she launched Hinadan, a game aimed at elderly users. She purchased her first computer when she was approaching 60 to keep up with friends while taking care of her elderly mother. “I felt like my view expanded. I was excited to know that the world was much larger, with a diverse range of people. As I discovered how great it is, I thought I should tell that to people from my generation. Then I opened a sort of PC salon in my tiny house and started teaching people of my generation,” said Masako. Read more for an in-depth look at her life.

Pictionary Air AR

Photo credit: CNET
Mattel has just announced Pictionary Air, an AR-powered version of the classic board game where players draw in the air using a light pen while their smart device (or television) tracks their movements. Rather than using a traditional pen and paper to draw pictures for players to identify, you are provided with a light-up pen and then the drawing is cast in real-time onto a mobile device or TV equipped with Chromecast or AirPlay. Read more for a hands-on video preview and additional information.

Apple Watch Aetna
CVS Health Corp’s health insurer Aetna has partnered with Apple Inc. on a new health app for Apple Watches that uses an individual’s medical history to set personalized health goals. It’s called “Attain” and will reward Aetna customers for meeting activity goals and fulfilling recommended tasks, such as getting vaccinations or refilling medications, with either a subsidy toward the cost of an Apple Watch or gift cards. read more for a video news report and additional information.

Artificial Intelligence Software Hair Color

Photo credit: Electric Amanda
The YouCam Makeup app combines artificial intelligence with augmented reality to let you change your hair color in real-time. When the software is opened, it automatically maps your facial features to give you the most true-to-life makeup application possible. Users can select from either a real-time makeover using Makeup Cam or simply overlay cosmetics onto selfies and portrait photos. You can also try on stylish accessories or even a new pair of sunglasses to see how they would look even before actually touching them. Read more for another video example and additional information.