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.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s face it, not everyone drinks enough water each day, especially if they have an active lifestyle. The DrinKup Bottle is a smart water bottle that recommends the most appropriate water intake based on your height, weight and daily activities. When it’s hydration time, the ultrasonic sensor-equipped lid will automatically vibrate and a “♡” will appear on the built-in LED screen, and the app even sends you a notification as well. Plus, it includes Apple Health and Fitbit integration as well. More information. Read more for our full review.
Let’s face it, many people have weight loss as their main New Year’s resolution, and Google Fit could help you accomplish that. This app was recently updated in August 2018, and is centered around two simple smart activity goals based on AHA and WHO’s activity recommendations shown to impact health: Move Minutes and Heart Points. Now, there’s a “New Year Challenge” to really get you moving, and it involves earning Heart Points from activities that you log or actively track with Google Fit. The software automatically detects and logs walks, runs or bike rides for you, with the main goal being to accumulate as many points as possible. Read more for a video about the app and additional information on how to get started.
Snapchat has been known for their face lenses, such as the classic puking rainbow as well as various other filters, designed specifically to recognize human faces, but for those who wanted to try them out on their dogs, there was no easy solution until…now. The company has introduced new lenses for dog faces, enabling you to add a butterfly or even a pair of reading glasses to their pet’s face. Read more for a video and how to use them in the app.
We first covered Chen San-yuan, a 70-year-old in Taiwan that has been dubbed “Pokémon Grandpa,” a few months back when he was only using 6 devices to play Pokémon Go. Now, he’s using 15 mobile phones at once while riding his bike to catch all the rare creatures that he can. How did it all begin? He learned about the game from his grandson in 2016, and has been playing ever since. “I used one cell phone back then and kept playing and playing. After a month, it became three cellphones, six cellphones, nine cellphones, 12 and 15, like that,” said Chen. Read more to see his 11 smartphone rig from a while back and for additional information.
Photo credit: Zackman / Reddit
With so many new apps hitting the App Store daily, it’s hard for a developer to compete and / or make significant revenue. Unfortunately, some are turning to dirty tricks in order to generate a profit. Before using Apple’s Touch ID / Face ID platform for any in-app functions, make sure you’re not being charged for a purchase. Recently, “Fitness Balance” and “Calories Tracker” asked users to place their fingerprint on the Touch ID scanner to “view personal calories tracker”, but instead charged them $99.99, approving the charge instantly if a valid credit / debit card was linked to their Apple account. Read more to see a video of this trick in-action.
Facebook today announced that it will acquire what could quite possibly be the world’s most popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp for more than $16 billion. The deal consists of $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares, along with an additional $3-billion in vested shares for WhatsApp employees and founders. Continue reading for the news report and more information.