These Augmented Reality apps are made in Canada

Augmented reality for smartphones is on the rise.  The AR experience is getting better and more realistic and allows users to add virtual layers to their real physical world.

Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptics or GPS data -Wikipedia

Canadian companies are leading the way on games and productivity apps that utilize virtual reality to create hyper realistic experiences.

Thomas & Friends Minis based in Montreal
In AR mode, kids can explore the world they have created on any flat surface, looking to discover goods for Thomas & Friends to deliver.
Three friends founded Budge Studios in 2010 after seeing the market for kids apps after the first iPad release. Other games they’ve put out include Garfield and My Little Pony.
 Thomas & Friends Minis is available for free download from the App Store on iPhone or iPad, or at AppStore.com.
magicplan based in Montreal
Create floor plans by using AR to map out your space, view 3D imagery, or furnish a home, and more. The magicplan app takes guesswork of how much flooring, wood, or paint you should buy for a DIY project. It’s also handy for professionals like realtors, designers and contractors to easily create professional floor plans.
 magicplan is available for free download from the App Store on iPhone or iPad, or at AppStore.com.
Tsuro based in Montreal
Tsuro has been the No. 1 Board Game app in over 90 countries, and is now one of the first AR board games. The interface lets you play as if you had the actual game in front of you, along with cool pyrotechnic effects and devious AI opponents in the app.
Interestingly, Tsuro’s first AR beta was created in less than an hour while founder Dan Taylor was waiting for a taxi, and within two weeks, he had Tabletop Mode ready and released it when iOS 11 launched in September.
 Tsuro is available for download for $3.99 from the App Store on iPhone or iPad, or at AppStore.com.
Kings of Pool Based in Toronto

Playing pool is so much better when you can look around the table and line up balls. Founded in 2009, Uken Games has launched 13 games like  Jeopardy! World Tour and Bingo Pop, but Kings of Pool is their first AR option.

Kings of Pool is available for free download from the App Store on iPhone and iPhone, or at AppStore.com

Switching from Apple to Android/Samsung – What you need to know

I recently decided to switch from my Apple iPhone 6 Plus to a new Android phone; the new Samsung Galaxy S8+. Anyone who’s made the switch from Apple to Android or vice versa knows it can be a big change. There are a few things you should know before you make the switch. Continue reading “Switching from Apple to Android/Samsung – What you need to know”

5 Apps you NEED to download today

They can make our lives easier and more fun. That’s why I love finding cool new apps. Check out these five picks that I’ve downloaded to my phone this month.

Cool apps to check out

Cool apps – Steller Stories

This really cool storybook/storytelling app lets you create multi-page visual stories using photos or video. With customizable layouts, different page formats and the ability to add text, you can easily create beautiful online ‘books’ inside the app.

Surf the Steller feed to take in other peoples posts on everything from fashion, to photography, travel, food and more. Once you find a story you like, click into it to swipe through the virtual pages and read short captions.

Warning, it’s a beautiful rabbit hole and heading down it means you’ll no doubt get sucked in and want to stay awhile. It’s like Instagram only with more depth, more curation and lovelier presentation.

Get more info on Steller Stories here.

Cool apps – Spark email 

Apple mail users rejoice! Get more tools and smarter functions with Spark. Spark lets you group email together in your inbox; unread mail, newsletters (if you want) plus you can search better, and remind yourself about an email that needs a response. Tired of having that email stare you in the face in your inbox? If you can’t finish a task you can swipe your email to snooze for tomorrow or another day, and even adjust Snooze times to your liking, such as “This Weekend” and “Next Month” if you wish.

Use one email account or load them all. Spark works with Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, iCloud, Outlook or any other IMAP email server without worrying. The nice tidy interface keep things easy to look at and well organized. There’s also a Mac desktop version too.

Get more info on the app or find a download here.

Cool apps – YoWindow Weather

A reader recommended this neat animated weather app to me. The pretty graphics change constantly depending on the weather in your area. You’ll get the day forecast, plus medium and longer term outlooks in a more interesting format.

You can swipe across the graphics to see the weather changes over time.

Get info about the app here.

Cool apps – Relax Sounds

Sometimes sitting next to people on planes or public transit is enough to drive you nuts. The loud talking, kids fussing, or just noisy chewing… that’s when I break out a pair of headphones and the relax Sounds App. Loaded with soothing presets for sounds like Traffic, Tibetan Bowl, Wind Chimes, White Noise, Birds, Rain and Ocean there’s something that will please everyone. The nice photographs that accompany each sound effect make using the app a pleasing experience too. There’s even some novelty sound effects like Darth Vader and Tribal Drums if pounding beats or heavy breathing are what you need to thrum you into a zen state.

One other aspect that works for me; I can leave the app and the sounds continue playing, unlike other relax apps where you lose audio if you switch apps.

Look for the download in the app store or on Google Play. or get more info here.

Cool apps – Blur Background + Blur Photo

Blur Photo app.

These handy apps are two of the easiest blur tools I’ve found. Easily hide license plates, street numbers or personal information from photos and documents with a touch. Save and share photos instantly and for free afterwards. A must have for those who want to keep on top of internet privacy.

Get Blur Photo here on the app store, or Blur Background here.

 

Have you got an app you can’t live without? What app are you loving?  Let me know in comments below.

Apple upgrades Health app; the internet hilariously poops on apps you can’t delete

Apple announced it was making some upgrades to its Health App at today’s Cupertinofest 7.9.3.

That got me thinking (and asking on Twitter), “great, but does anyone use the Health app anyway?” In my early experience with it it didn’t sync with much, didn’t track much and seemed generally useless.

Twitter agreed with me, and my thread evolved into a hilarious game of one-upsmanship where Tweeps showed off where they hide the apps Apple considers so important they’re un-deleteable. Some of those folders have nice, innocuous, but nonetheless true names.  Others are much more clever. And nearly all of them show how users really feel about Health app.. and some others.

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Apple “Extras”.. that’s nice…

 

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“Never use” is also rather kind.

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Mel calls a spade a spade (bottom right).

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This dog is NOT an Apple fan.

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Cute, and accurate. (Thanks Colin!)

 

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Last word goes to this guy!

Chromecast in Canada; Google Ups their Game

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 2.12.58 PMGoogle Chromecast was the last of the TV streaming devices to launch in Canada, and while it’s still deep in catch-up mode with products like Roku or Apple TV, it is making some improvements to content available in Canada.
Case in point, Chromecast launched with just 6 apps here in Canuckistan, in March of 2014.  By October, it has 18.

So what can you do with your Chromecast now?
Chromecast launched with the Google suite of apps including GooglePlay Movies and Music, Netflix, YouTube, Vevo, Songza, and Plex, now there are several more options.  Click to read the full blog about what’s now become available and what you can do with the apps.

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