Apps Stories May 14, 2015

Starbucks has confirmed multiple reports of users of its smartphone app having three-figure sums stolen from their accounts in the form of gift certificates, reports CNN.

One user lost $550 in a matter of minutes, his account auto-reloaded each time it was emptied by a hacker sending a series of $50 gift cards. Other users have also reported three-figure losses within a matter of seconds or minutes …  expand full story

Lufthansa joins the Apple Watch party, offering flight information & boarding pass app

As someone who still mostly views my Apple Watch as a gimmick, I have to admit that airline apps do make a good case for the device, making viewing alerts and directions as easy as glancing at the time. American Airlines, BA and EasyJet were among the front-runners in offering Apple Watch apps, and now Lufthansa has joined the party too, reports Forbes.

Use your watch as a boarding pass and have your essential flight information displayed on your wrist. It reminds passengers of their flight the day prior to their departure, provides continuous updates about the status of the flight and displays the boarding time, terminal, gate and seat number. Just like a timer, it enables passengers to see – down to the very minute – how long is left until their scheduled boarding time

The app is currently available only to members of Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program, Miles & More, with a general rollout expected later in the year.

Apps Stories May 13, 2015

Wolfram, creator of Siri’s knowledge base, releases impressive new Image Identification tech

Wolfram Research, the company behind the Wolfram Alpha knowledge base that Apple’s Siri taps into, is today releasing new artificial intelligence tech to answer the question, “What is this a picture of?”

Wolfram is showing off what the Wolfram Language Image Identification Project is capable of using this web app accessible on desktop and mobile devices. You simply drag any photo into the app and the image identification AI attempts to detect what it is (as pictured above).

Now I’m excited to be able to say that we’ve reached a milestone: there’s finally a function called ImageIdentify built into the Wolfram Language that lets you ask, “What is this a picture of?”—and get an answer…. It’s a nice practical example of artificial intelligence. But to me what’s more important is that we’ve reached the point where we can integrate this kind of “AI operation” right into the Wolfram Language—to use as a new, powerful building block for knowledge-based programming.

And the new ImageIdentify function will be accessible to developers to create APIs or apps that tap into the feature through Wolfram Language“And if one had lots of photographs, one could immediately write a Wolfram Language program that, for example, gave statistics on the different kinds of animals, or planes, or devices, or whatever, that appear in the photographs.”

Wolfram has a lengthy, interesting read on the backstory of the project and more about how everything works behind the scenes.

Updates to Google Docs & Slides let you insert & quickly edit images on iOS

Google is today rolling out updates to its Google Docs and Slides mobile apps bringing the ability to insert images directly from the app on both phones and tablets.

With the update, iPhone and iPad users will be able to access their camera roll or snap a new photo to insert directly into a document or Slides presentation.

In addition, the update includes quicker access to make basic edits in Slides by allowing users to enter crop mode by double tapping any image in a presentation.

Google notes that both of the new features will work in offline mode.

The updated Docs and Slides apps should be hitting the App Store today.

Back in May of last year, Google started enforcing a policy that requires Chrome extensions be hosted on its Chrome Web Store, but only on Windows. The goal was to prevent malware hidden in extensions installable from outside its store, and it even started disabling extensions already installed on users’ systems that weren’t hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Now, Google says it will bring that requirement to Mac Chrome users over the coming months, as well as the Chrome developer channel for Windows that wasn’t previously enforcing the policy: expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP