Whether you're demoing a song for your band or recording a masterpiece to share on Soundcloud, you'll likely need a couple of things to connect to your computer. If you're planning on having any real instruments or vocals, you'll need some sort of audio interface to turn your analog sounds into digital ones. I have an M-Audio MobilePre USB for that task, which runs about $180 on Amazon. In addition, you probably want to have a MIDI controller, to "play" all those sounds you don't have real instruments for. These can typically cost $250 - $500 or so, depending on features. At $300, IK Multimedia's iRig Keys I/O 49 comes in at the lower end of this bracket.
If you've ever used the PlayStation App on your phone, you know how dodgy it has been since launch. Never mind the dated looks -- its interface was a hodgepodge that was never particularly helpful in any one area. At last, though, it's getting a makeover. Sony has released an overhauled PlayStation App for Android and iOS that not only drags the look into the modern era, but borrows more than a few cues from social networking apps. It's dominated by a Facebook-style "what's new" feed that puts your friends' PS4 activity front and center, and clearly does much more to encourage comments and sharing. Even profiles have a more social look, and you get quicker access to your friends list and notifications.
Source: PlayStation Blog
Augmented reality shopping tends to be limited to furniture or other large objects, and that's a shame. Wouldn't you like to know how that slow cooker or speaker system looks in your house? Amazon thinks you do. It's launching an AR View feature inside its iOS shopping app that previews "thousands" of products in 3D, ranging from kitchen appliances to toys to electronics (naturally, this includes Amazon's devices). It's clearly something of a party trick, but it could come in handy if you're wondering whether or not that vase matches your decor.
Apple has released iOS 11.1 and it comes with over 70 new emojis, the return of 3D Touch multitasking and a handful of bug fixes. Some of the new emojis include a cursing smiley face, a vampire, a hedgehog, Chinese takeout, a sandwich and a mermaid. Some existing emojis have been tweaked to improve their design as well. Once you update your OS, the new selections will appear in your keyboard, and if someone sends you one of the new emojis, they won't show up properly on your phone until you've updated.
We've been excited about Mike Bithell's surprise indie game, Subsurface Circular, since it released months ago. The developer of Thomas Was Alone and Volume stealthily made the science fiction text adventure game for iOS after he asked Twitter followers in April if they'd buy a unique hour-long video game for $5. Now the game is out and available on the App Store for iPad.
Source: iTunes App Store
Netflix has flirted with simple games starring its most popular original series, but its latest stab at interactive promo goes a little deeper. The streaming juggernaut tapped developer BonusXP to make a full-on mobile game for Stranger Things. And as you might expect, it's is about as retro as possible, aping classics of yore like River City Ransom and the NES' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for inspiration. All that to say, it's a bit more complicated than Netflix Infinite Runner from January. You can do sweet jumps on your bicycle as one of the kids and explore the Upside Down as Hawkins police chief Jim Hopper, for example.
Kids frequently don't need much more than their imagination to bring a teddy bear to life, but what if they had a little boost? That's what Seedling hopes to do with Parker. The teddy by itself is the same sort of fluffy companion you likely had as a child, but an augmented reality app for iOS turns the bear into something much more. If you want to play doctor, you can look at Parker's insides to cure a stomach bug or ease a sore throat. You can create magic forests and sea gardens using the AR camera. And importantly you're rewarded for being kind: the more you take care of Parker, the more the bear uses AR to 'transform' the world around you.
Ever since the first version of OS X, Apple has regularly released the kernel source code for Macs. In theory, you could learn from it or even build your own projects from it. For iOS, though? Not so simple. Even if you had source code, it wouldn't matter much unless it was optimized for the ARM-based chips that you see in most phones and mobile tablets. However, Apple is shaking things up a bit. The company has quietly posted ARM-friendly source code for the XNU kernels used in iOS and macOS. That's particularly relevant if you're interested in iOS, since you now have code that would theoretically run on an iPhone or iPad. However, it's not quite the breakthrough move it seems at first blush.
iOS 11 is lying to you.
Life is filled with deep, complicated questions, and you don’t learn any of the answers during your scholastic education. Enter the School of Life app on iOS, where you can watch insightful videos, have intelligent conversations, and hopefully find some answers.
Dungeon Masters can rest a bit easier now that the library of Dungeons and Dragons core rulebooks will soon be available in an easy-to-lug digital edition. Instead of a stack of heavy paper-bound volumes, you'll be able to take your iPad or Android tablet to your next gaming session loaded up with the upcoming D&D Reader app, which should be available this fall.
After months of teases and rumour, striking 3D puzzle game The Witness has finally landed in the App Store, for both iPhone and iPad. Likened to a modern-day Myst, the open world game sees players wake up on a strange, colorful island with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Only by exploring the vast island, discovering clues and completing curious puzzles can they hope to regain their memory and somehow find their way home. With dozens of locations to discover and more than 500 puzzles to solve, The Witness is a beautiful beast of a game, available now for $10/£10.
iOS 11 is now available for download, which means you can upgrade one of your many iOS devices to get features like a smarter Siri, a new app dock on the iPad, and improved multitasking support. It also means you’ll be downloading the first version of a major software upgrade, which isn’t the best idea, especially on…