Augmented reality. It's that future tech we've all been waiting for--point your phone at something in the real world, and gain all the cyber knowledge the interwebs can provide. Wondering what species of tree you're looking at? Just direct your iPhone camera to it, and Wikipedia fills you in with a textual overlay.
Of course with the neat comes the not so neat too, so we at Mac|Life have done you the service of sifting out the junk. We've gone through just about every augmented reality app we could find, and here are our four favorites. They may not be the first apps you think of when you think about augmented reality, but they're actually useful. In fact, we'd say they're the best. And, iPhone 4 users, they're all updated for viewing on that gorgeous Retina Display.
If you prefer to take your daily dose of out-and-about with a hearty helping of headphone-funneled music, you'll know that from time to time, some of the finer points of the great outdoors, such as blaring truck horns warning you of the possible end of your life, might escape your attention. As tired a phrase as it is, we have to say, there's an App for that.
Of the various cloud storage services out there, we're most partial to Dropbox. The interface is simple, the uploads fairly quick, and the app works beautifully. Plus, with their open API, Dropbox can sync with tons of our other apps and software making it our number one floating hard drive. Today, it seems, is update day.
If you’re a FileMaker Go user, your hump day just got a little bit brighter: Apple subsidiary FileMaker, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of a 1.1 update to both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions of FileMaker Go which bring some welcome new features.
It's called the Swiss Army Knife of video players, and not for nothing. VLC is your standard go-to software when you end up with some bizarre codec-locked movie file that just won't play in your standard players. With the news that Apple was relaxing its App Store regulations and letting in all kinds of video players, we prayed to see VLC show up. It did, and we grabbed it the moment we could.
The Mac|Life editors are in the midst of midweek madness, as Flo is a bit too jazzed up on caffeine and Robbie manages a few tongue twists. The gang still manages to share their thoughts on VLC's new iPad app, and discuss whether or not AT&T will be hurt by a Verizon iPhone.
Plus, we answer your hard-hitting Facebook and Twitter questions. And stay tuned for outtakes!
We've talked about augmented reality iPhone apps here before, but Plane Finder AR has to be one of the coolest we've seen yet. This application lets you find planes in the air by pointing the camera one your iPhone (or now, iPod touch) in the air near a plane. When you do, a heads up display will show you information about the plane, including flight number, aircraft registration, speed, altitude and how far away it is.
Do you like open source video? Does it make you especially happy to know that said open source video is cross-platform? Are you not really sure why we're asking these questions that you're obviously answering yes to? Alright, we'll budge. It's because we're excited that VLC is now available in the App Store.
This morning, Google announced several updates to its widely used mobile services, including Google Apps Premier, mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the iPad and Android platform, and Retina Display support for Google Earth.