Google Stamp revealed as an AMP-based competitor to Snapchat Stories

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Did you know that Google was interested in buying Snap last year? Snap is the parent company of popular Social Media Platform Snapchat, in which users utilize pictures to tell stories to each other and present content to be discovered by those who watch the stories.

Many other platforms including Facebook, and Facebook owned Instagram, have their on Snapchat inspired stories. Based on a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google will soon have a competitor in the game with Stamp, a Snapchat Stories like application where articles can be presented in a slideshow like format. The report states that the search giant has been developing the feature to compete with Snapchat Stories. The feature, titled Stamp, will be AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) based, and visible in Google Searches.

The name Stamp itself is based from the style of the application, with ‘St’ standing for stories, and ‘AMP’ standing for Accelerated Mobile Pages. With Stamp, publications who opt into the program will be able to create stories in visually different and creative ways. As stated by sources familiar to the matter;

Participating publishers would run stories that could be several swipeable slides encompassing text, photos and video, just as on Snapchat, the people familiar with the situation say.

In the world of content media being thrown at us at break neck speeds, creative ways to produce content will always be welcomed in the world, Google would indeed be playing it very smart by developing a new way for the world to consume content.

Google is currently working with major media outlets including Vox Media, CNN, and Time. Stamp may be announced as early as next week.

Check out more information on the matter here at 9to5Google

 

TH Apps – The Last Day on Earth; Survival

Happy Sunday Folks, lets review a game to end the weekend;  The Last Day on Earth; Survival

 

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What is it?

The Last Day on Earth is a mobile game developed by Andrey Pryakhn for iOS and Android devices (Kefir! looks like the developer for the Android version). It’s a free to play game that pits you, a survivor trying to build shelter and survive in a zombie apocalypse against zombies, mutations, ‘The Big One’, and other survivors in post apocalyptic world.

How much?

I know right?  Last Day on Earth is free to play, however to get some extras to get you a little farther in the game you of course have to spend a couple dollars here and there.  The developers periodically give you deals for various things such as full body S.W.A.T armor,  weapons that you cant build until you’ve leveled up to at least 60, and (why wouldnt they?) extra coins.  Depending on how you feel about freemium models, you can play this game without spending any money,  although it may be a little harder for you to make it through the game.

How does it play?

The game is not completely intuitive, however the game is still in beta therefore the final version of the game could have a completely different move system.  You control your character by the joystick button at the bottom right of the screen.

When you go out to the world map you can go to different areas, including bunkers, forests, limestone ridges, and other survivor camps.  You have to watch your energy level of course and you cant always move as fast as you want to from place to place.

From time to time I tried pinching in and out on the screen to try and zoom out and zoom in on the map, to no avail.  Hopefully the developer brings in a pinch-to-zoom function to get a better view of the screen.  The map on the upper right side of the screen is quite helpful when trying to dodge zombie attacks, kill deer, and find the crates needed to pick up items to build with.

Aside from the not very intuitive controls and the sometimes buggy gameplay (the sound does not cute up with attacks, and I tend to fly from time to time).  The game actually plays pretty well overall.  Getting past the learning curve isn’t terribly difficult, and once you get past you can find yourself playing the game for hours.

Zombies?!

You can only imagine there are multiple types of zombies in this game.  From the easiest zombie, the ‘Roaming Zombie’ to ‘The Big One’ (I saw this and didn’t even attempt to fight this one I just ran away)  the Zombie art is definitely detailed, and pretty intense.  I would say realistic except we are talking about Zombies here so intense works just fine.  There are probably more Zombies in the game, but I only managed to check out the Roaming Zombie, the Fast Biter, the Floater Bloater (sounds like a last of us reference), the Toxic Abomination, and the Big One (I just ran, I wasn’t going to attempt that failure).

So, should I download?

Last Day on Earth; Survival is a zombie survival MMO where you can join friends in conquering zombies and other survivors,  creating army level gear to take control of the post apocalypse world.  You can build ATV’s, choppers, AK-47s, and gun turrets to protect your base, and you can go to enemy survivor bases to steal their gear and weapons.  If this type of game play seems fun to you, go for the download.

If you are interested in the zombie takeover that kicked off with the Walking Dead, why not give it a shot?  If you are bored with the typical Candy Crush/Bejeweled type game play and are looking for something different to pass the time by,  play this.  If neither of these options fall in your wheelhouse, maybe you can skip this one.  Play Geometry Dash, maybe?

Download the game for iOS here,

Download the game for Android devices here,

Check out video on the game here,

Info on the RED Hydrogen Phone, the random expensive device that screams WHY.

No, really, I really want to know what the point of this device really is.

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RED, the camera company known for high end camera products that have extravagant prices, has surprised us all with a new Android phone called the RED Hydrogen (or Hydrogen One). The pre-orders began yesterday.  RED is a company that is known for camera products such as the RED Weapon X, the Camera that costs more than most peoples yearly salary, and other insane 4K and 3D cameras in Hollywood.  The prices of RED camera typically cost 50,000 dollars and higher.  With those prices, we can only imagine that the RED Hydrogen One will have a wildly extravagant price.

So knowing this, its safe to say that the RED Hydrogen will have an equally as ridiculous price tag.  Details are pretty light on the device, however The RED Hydrogen is being touted as ‘The Worlds first Holographic Media Machine”.  The 5.7″ display uses nanotechnology to move “between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content, and interactive games”.  The press release was extravagant at best.

The press release is relatively aggressive, and the phone is known as the RED Hydrogen One in the press release.  Save for the name and a bunch of unfounded claims regarding the display and other features, not much is known about the device.  From what we do know, the phone will be unlocked, with no carrier bloatware.   Additional accessories will be available at launch for an additional price.  Knowing the price of the actual device, and the company as a whole,  the accessories will be relatively insane.

As stated by the press release, the RED Hydrogen will be modular as well. In the press release, the company promised that the RED Hydrogen One will be compatible with its camera products and an “ever expanding modular component system”.  The device will have a headphone jack, microSD expansion for storage, multi-dimensional audio tech, and the phone will have USB-C plug for charging.

The RED Hydrogen is currently taking pre-orders for the Hydrogen, and it will ship in early 2018.  The RED Hydrogen One will come in two variants, the ‘Titanium’ version will cost $1595, and the ‘Aluminum’ version will cost $1195.

Ironically, did anyone catch the pre-order information that states that “Current pricing is available for a limited time only”?  That can only mean these rather expensive phones may be even more expensive.  I’m just not sure what the actual point of an extremely expensive device really is.  Also, why would they launch pre-orders and not give any actual specifications of the device?  I’m highly intrigued about the device.

Apple HomePod, the rumored Siri enabled Speaker, officially announced

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Apple announced HomePod, the Siri enabled speaker, today during WWDC, the companies annual developer conference.  The speaker has been built to compete not only with quality brand such as Sonos; but with its smart home speaker capabilities, HomePod can also compete with the extremely popular Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.   As Apple SVP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller stated ‘Sonos are not smart speakers and Amazon Echo’s aren’t good speakers.  The name ‘HomePod’  is strange, lets be honest.  But with Airpods, and Earpods, and iPods, its not surprising that we would now have HomePod included in the mix.

HomePod is cylindrical speaker that is shaped like a pill.  It has a seven beam-forming tweeter array, with a custom woofer, which is all powered by the Apple A8 Chip.  The A8 chip is the same chip that powered the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.  The color options come in White and Space Grey.  Apple also announced AirPlay 2, which bring multi-room audio capability, which HomePod can utilize through Apple’s HomeKit

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HomePod has been made to revolutionize the way music is played throughout the home. HomePod can use Siri intelligence as a ‘musicologist’ more so than the assistant features that are the main focus of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.   HomePod can optimize the sound no matter where it is playing, and where you are in the home.  Users also have the ability to connect multiple HomePods throughout the home, to further enhance the sound experience.

HomePod was designed to work with an Apple Music subscription, which gives you access to over 40 million songs.   With the perfect blend of Siri intelligence and Apple Music, HomePod will become a sort of musicologist, as it learns music preferences from different genres and moods shared across devices.  Owners will also be able to gather information about the songs played by asking Siri questions via HomePod.

As stated during the HomePod announcement,  quality speakers such as Sonos speakers can be priced  at $300 dollars and up, and most smart speakers are priced in the $100 to $200 dollar range, therefore the $349 price of the HomePod makes sense for the quality of speaker that you will get.

See more details at Apple

New Page Updates on The Tech Homie

We’ve got a new page up on thetechhomie.com where we highlight the pages from the Tech Homie adventures on deck.  Pictures will be updated weekly, depending on how many adventures we go on (either in real life, or on the internet, or both!).

Go ahead and check out the media page here,

If you’d like a description of the services the Tech Homie provides, feel free to click here

If you want to take a look at some earlier pics and don’t feel like endlessly scrolling through blog posts, feel free to take a look at some G6 fun over here!

By the way, the Tech Homie donation page is still up on GoFundMe, but if you find that a little tricky, go ahead and contact me over here for more information

Have a great Saturday Folks!

Would you want a squeezable phone? HTC apparently thinks so.

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I don’t know about you folks, but this new HTC phone that will be announced May 16th seems peculiar to me.  I might have been the only person on earth who did not care to ever interact with the edge display on the S7 edge, and never really had a chance to interact with the edge display on the Note 7 due to its untimely demise.  I know that edge devices are amazing and being able to swipe from the edge to get some added commands and features makes us all feel high tech and futuristic.  But to squeeze your phone in order to use extra features?  Very strange.

The HTC U, codenamed Ocean, will have the squeeze ability when it comes to market in mid may.  The oft-rumored, better than the HTC U Ultra phone will supposedly have sensors strategically placed around the phone as a part of its ‘Edge Sense’ functionality.  These sensors will give you the ability to interact with your phone by squeezing particular places on the device.

The squeezeable phone idea is apparently not new, as it was shown previously in prototype form as the ‘Grip UI’ by Japanese carrier NTT Docomo.  Aside from the squeezability of the device, the HTC U will launch with the Snapdragon 835 chip inside, 5.5 inch 2560×1440 display, 12MP rear and 16MP front (because selfies only matter these days?) camera,  and Android Nougat 7.1.    Hopefully this will come to be more of a success than the overpriced, underwhelming HTC U Ultra that launched earlier this year.

But would you want a phone that you can interact with by squeezing?  Or does the idea make your hand hurt like it does mine?

Oh, and check out HTC’s tagline:  “Squeeze for the Brilliant U”.   That’s too much.

source: @HTC on Twitter