Tag - WebGL
Google Australia and Lego have created Build, a WebGL-based Lego construction app. Users can claim a plot of land on a map of Australia and New Zealand, and can build an object on a 32x32 starting base. Using 12 shapes in 10 different colors, builds can be saved and viewed by others on the Build with Chrome website. In a blog post, Google Australia voices hope that Build will expand to more regions in the future.
Google has further enhanced its use of WebGL to now add more 3D perspective to buildings seen on its MapsGL project, an alternative version of Google Maps (which received the improvement in March). The improvements now add a "parallax" view that allows users to pan around buildings and see them from different angles while still in overhead view. The buildings become translucent in order to avoid obscuring roadways or other landmarks while panning, and are most noticeable on taller buildings.
Google took advantage of its 3D acceleration tricks Wednesday to introduce Google Maps 3D photo tours. The technique uses the optional MapsGL mode, which uses WebGL to get a speed boost, to steer viewers through a 3D photo scene. The technology stitches together publicly available Panoramio and Picasa photos, using Google's own 3D depth calculations and transitions to get the added dimensions.
Mozilla has posted the finished release of Firefox 12. The browser has a key update each for Mac and Windows users. Windows' update is most conspicuous and doesn't need the user to confirm the update in a User Account Control prompt on Vista or 7. Mac users see a lift, as Mozilla has fixed slow WebGL graphics performance on some hardware.
Google on Wednesday posted the finished version of Chrome 18. The stable version now brings hardware graphics speedups to HTML5's Canvas for 2D and is potentially much faster for certain websites. Acceleration works on both Macs and Windows PCs, but not Linux so far.
Google in the same breath as the Chrome 17 final release has also posted a beta release of Chrome 18. The new version swings attention to graphics and now hardware accelerates 2D elements using HTML5's Canvas spec, a common part of more advanced websites. Animations and action-sensitive websites should see the most benefit.
Google has just released a teaser video, embedded below, that shows off an upcoming Google Maps-based game. Likely made for portable devices with a motion/gyroscope sensor, users would navigate a ball through the streets by making it follow a cursor, as mocked up in the real-life second video. The game will be powered by WebGL and be available through Google+ Games.
Sony Ericsson has announced that its recent software updates for 2011 Xperia handsets bring support for WebGL. The company claims to be the first to support the WebGL standard in the stock Android browser, enabling users to take advantage of interactive 3D graphics without switching to third-party apps.
Google is currently previewing an "infinite digital bookcase" concept that attempts to organize vast libraries of digital titles. Rather than placing the books on a traditional bookcase, covers are placed on an infinite 3D helix and organized into 28 different subjects. Users can click on a title to view the title, author information and a short synopsis.
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Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu