EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools

EurekAlert: Smartphones prove to be time-saving analytical tools. “Seemingly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and we find new uses for them every day. They can help us avoid traffic jams or connect us to family from afar. They can even translate languages on the fly. Now, scientists have figured out a new trick. Using a regular smartphone camera and some 3D-printed tools, they’ve developed an easier way to measure soil density.”

AP: Google unveils budget Pixel phone as pandemic curbs spending

AP: Google unveils budget Pixel phone as pandemic curbs spending. “Google has started selling a long-delayed budget smartphone boasting the same high-quality camera and several other features available in fancier Pixel models that cost hundreds of dollars more. The Pixel 4a unveiled Monday will be available Aug. 20 after months of delay caused by supply problems triggered by the pandemic.”

Engadget: Google is releasing a free phone backup tool for iOS

Engadget: Google is releasing a free phone backup tool for iOS. “Last year, Google added automatic Android phone backups to Google One, the company’s ‘membership’ program that includes Drive storage, family sharing and a handful of other perks. It made sense for Google to bake that feature right into Android, but today the company announced it’ll soon do the same for iPhone users as well.”

Engadget: App tracks mental health by studying your phone usage

Engadget: App tracks mental health by studying your phone usage. “The smartphone in your hand might be the key to gauging your mental health. Researchers at Dalhousie University have developed (via CBC and Gizmodo) a mobile app, PROSIT, that can detect conditions like anxiety or depression based on how you use your phone.”

Tom’s Guide: Google Pixel 4 XL glass backs are prying off — and it gets worse

Tom’s Guide: Google Pixel 4 XL glass backs are prying off — and it gets worse. “Wear and tear is an inevitability with any tech product. Smartphones are especially vulnerable, given that we carry them around and use them every day. But a disconcertingly large group of Google Pixel 4 XL owners have found that their devices are aging in quite a strange and potentially dangerous way.”

CNN: Ultrasound machines that connect to smartphones are helping doctors safely scan coronavirus patients

CNN: Ultrasound machines that connect to smartphones are helping doctors safely scan coronavirus patients. “When Butterfly Network first began rolling out its handheld ultrasound scanners in 2018, much of the focus was on providing tools to parts of Africa and Latin America, where access to large and more traditional ultrasound machines was far more restricted. But two years later, a technology that was positioned to help the developing world may find a new use in the United States as hospitals adapt to the new challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.”

How-To Geek: 7 Tips to Make the Web More Readable on an iPhone

How-To Geek: 7 Tips to Make the Web More Readable on an iPhone. “You probably spend more time reading on your iPhone than you do texting, calling, or playing games. Most of that content is likely on the web, and it’s not always easy to see or scroll through. Fortunately, there are plenty of hidden features that can make reading on your iPhone a much more pleasant experience.”

IEEE Spectrum: How the Digital Camera Transformed Our Concept of History

IEEE Spectrum: How the Digital Camera Transformed Our Concept of History. “For an inventor, the main challenge might be technical, but sometimes it’s timing that determines success. Steven Sasson had the technical talent but developed his prototype for an all-digital camera a couple of decades too early.”

BuzzFeed News: Almost 17,000 Protesters Had No Idea A Tech Company Was Tracing Their Location

BuzzFeed News: Almost 17,000 Protesters Had No Idea A Tech Company Was Tracing Their Location. “On the weekend of May 29, thousands of people marched, sang, grieved, and chanted, demanding an end to police brutality and the defunding of police departments in the aftermath of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. They marched en masse in cities like Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, empowered by their number and the assumed anonymity of the crowd. And they did so completely unaware that a tech company was using location data harvested from their cellphones to predict their race, age, and gender and where they lived.”

EurekAlert: Innovative smartphone-camera adaptation images melanoma and non-melanoma

EurekAlert: Innovative smartphone-camera adaptation images melanoma and non-melanoma. “An article published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics (JBO), ‘Point-of-care, multispectral, smartphone-based dermascopes for dermal lesion screening and erythema monitoring,’ shows that standard smartphone technology can be adapted to image skin lesions, providing a low-cost, accessible medical diagnostic tool for skin cancer.”

CNET: 3D photos on iOS or Android are now a thing, thanks to this new, free app

CNET: 3D photos on iOS or Android are now a thing, thanks to this new, free app. “After being in beta for months, the 3D photo app LucidPix is now available to iOS and Android users. Whether you have a newer phone like the iPhone 11 or Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or an older one like a Motorola Moto G6 or iPhone 6S, you can use the app take 3D photos. Best of all, you don’t need a special accessory or multiple rear cameras. Instead, LucidPix uses artificial intelligence to render 3D photos that will move as you tilt and pan your phone.”

BetaNews: The secret life of discontinued apps

BetaNews: The secret life of discontinued apps. “When a book goes out of print the publishers don’t pop round and remove old copies from your shelves. Similarly, when an app is discontinued it can be taken off the app stores but continues to linger on users’ devices. Mobile security company Wandera has been taking a look at what happens to these with an analysis of six-months’ worth of apps that were removed from the app stores, along with apps that were installed on customer devices prior to the six-month period and, subsequently, removed.”

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone

Android Police: A beginner’s guide to Tasker: How to automate (almost) anything on your phone. “Tasker is one of the most powerful apps on the Play Store for automating tasks on your smartphone, but it’s far from the easiest to get to grips with, which is where this guide comes in… For the completely uninitiated, Tasker — which does cost $3.49 — lets you add extra customizations and automations to Android phone. It combines triggers (such as reaching a location, or opening up a particular app) with actions (so turning off Wi-Fi, or boosting screen brightness). The possibilities are almost limitless, provided you can get your head around it to begin with.”

Neowin: Google Stadia can now be used on any Android smartphone, as an experiment

Neowin: Google Stadia can now be used on any Android smartphone, as an experiment. “With today’s announcement, everyone with an Android smartphone that can install the Stadia app can also try to stream games to their device. This is labeled as an experimental feature, and Google isn’t promising that everything will work as intended on every device.”

MIT Technology Review: How to turn filming the police into the end of police brutality

MIT Technology Review: How to turn filming the police into the end of police brutality. “Once again, footage taken on a smartphone is catalyzing action to end police brutality once and for all. But [Darnella] Frazier’s video also demonstrates the challenge of turning momentum into lasting change. Six years ago, the world watched as Eric Garner uttered the same words—’I can’t breathe’—while NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo strangled him in a chokehold. Four years ago, we watched again as Philando Castile, a 15-minute drive from Minneapolis, bled to death after being shot five times by Officer Jeronimo Yanez at a traffic stop. Both incidents also led to mass protests, and yet we’ve found ourselves here again. So how do we turn all this footage into something more permanent—not just protests and outrage, but concrete policing reform?”