Why Did Apple Make Screen Time on iOS 12?

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Writing for Quartz, Nir Eyal opines on the reason why Apple made Screen Time on iOS 12, as well as Google’s Digital Health platform. Mr. Eyal studied the psychological techniques that companies use to get people hooked, and he wrote a book too. He says that Apple and Google don’t want you to get addicted, but instead form a healthy relationship with your devices.

As they often do with successful apps built on their platforms, Apple and Google took note of what consumers wanted and decided to incorporate these features as standard…They also went beyond what app makers can do by adding features only the operating system makers can offer, like batch notifications to reduce the frequency of intraday interruptions and the ability to put the phone in “shush” mode by flipping it over.

With few exceptions, when a product harms people, consumers tend to use it less often or find better alternatives. The feature fight between these two tech rivals benefits everyone. The move to help users create healthy habits with their devices is an example of competition making products better.

Alexa Lets You be a Host in Westworld: The Maze Game

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If you have an Amazon Echo or other Alexa-capable device you can explore HBO’s Westworld in a new game called Westworld: The Maze. It’s like a choose your own adventure game where you’re a Host looking for the center of the maze while trying to not let on that you’ve become self aware. It’s also like a trivia game because you have to answer questions about the series. You’ll need to enable the Westworld: The Maze skill, and then say “Alexa, open Westworld” to start playing.

Apple's AirPower Wireless Charging Pad Not Coming Until September

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AirPower wireless charging mat with iPhone X, Apple Watch, and AirPods

Apple promised its AirPower wireless charging pad for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods would ship some time in 2018, and now it’s looking like that’s going to be September—a year after it was unveiled. Bloomberg reports Apple is dealing with technical issues like keeping the device from overheating. A rumor saying AirPower would come in March came and went, Apple is staying quiet about the device’s status. For now, it looks like we still have three more months to wait for AirPower, and the promised wireless charging case for AirPods, too.

These AI Shoes Could Become Your Fitness Coach

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Writing for Techcrunch, Callum Booth talks about a device called Runvi. It’s on Kickstarter right now, consisting of two insoles, and it wants to be your AI-powered running coach by analyzing the way you move. These AI shoes are connected by something called the Core, which is a part of the insole you can remove. This acts as the brain, and powers the sensors, as well as logging and storing data before sending it to your phone.

There are other running products out there – the Lumo Run or Arion, which is another insole tracker, for example – but Runvi, on the surface at least, appears to be superior. It has more sensors, is cheaper than Arion, and is more self-contained, as it doesn’t need anything hooking over your shoe.

It’s vital to remember this is just on paper though. While the idea and set-up looks promising, we’ll have to wait until we have the physical copies in our hands, or, you know, in our shoes, before we can see how it works in reality. Until then, I’m quietly hopeful I won’t hurt my knee any more.

Just How REALLY Big Are The SpaceX Rockets?

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Because of they way they’re photographed, we don’t often get a good perspective on how big modern rockets are. For example, the SpaceX Falcon 9 is 230 ft (70 meters) tall. The SpaceX BFR rocket is 348 ft. (106 meters) tall. What does that really mean in everyday terms? In this video, a VFX artist, with great style, puts the size of these rockets into perspective for us. (Those who’ve been to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will understand.)

Check Out This AR Business Card Concept

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iOS developer Oscar Falmer tweeted a video of an AR business card concept. It shows someone holding up a business card of Oscar, and content like a website link, twitter link, buttons for contact, and a timeline of recent work appears in mid-air around the business card. There is so much potential in augmented reality, and companies like Apple are just getting started. iOS 12 will bring even more AR goodness with ARKit 2.0.

Check Out This AR Business Card Concept