How old do you look?

How old do I look?

How-Old.net is a web app that will guess your age from photo, and it is by none other than Microsoft. It is more of a fun way for Microsoft to experiment with its facial recognition technology. The app can detect your pet dog from a human, but it can’t differentiate a CGI alien from us (is there really a human being with blue skin tone?). Judging by the few photos we tested, the result is often far from accurate. Safe to say that SkyNet or the rise of the machines is not happening soon if state of the art technology is in used. 

How to create an Apple ID without a credit card, a Mac or an iOS device

Apple ID is one account that glues you to Apple’s Mac, iOS and iCloud platform. A valid credit card used to be a requirement when you sign up to create an Apple ID. Thanks to iCloud.com, you can now create an Apple ID without a credit card number, and without the need to own a Mac or an iOS device.

How to create an Apple ID without a credit card, a Mac or an iOS device

iCloud.com allows you to use Apple’s apps and services with just a browser. In addition to basic apps such as Notes, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, you can also use the web version of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for free.

iCloud.com use Pages, Numbers, Keynote for free

The best part is you do not need to own an Apple device in order to sign up, and there is no credit card number required. The free account also comes with a 1GB of free cloud storage. 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft now on iPhone

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft now on iPhone 

If you’re a fan of World of Warcraft, the wait is now over as Blizzard its publisher has made Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft available on iPhone. Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game that is set within the Warcraft universe, with familiar characters, spells and locations drawing from the War of WarCraft games. The game is first released in March 2014 for Windows and OS X, and support for iPad came one month later in April 2014.  Hearthstone is now released on smaller screen for both iPhone and Android.

Star Wars emojis on Twitter

Star Wars Emojis on Twitter

As part of the promotion for the year-end Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney/Lucasfilm has partnered with Twitter to create custom Star Wars emojis. To display the emojis in a tweet, simply add the respective hashtag representing the emojis. The first three emojis are #C3PO, #StormTrooper and #BB8. New emojis representing Star Wars characters will be added as we approach the film’s release date.

Inside Abbey Road: interactive virtual tour of famous Abbey Road Studios

Google Presents Inside Abbey Road

Abbey Road Studios is one of the most famous recording studios in music history. Albums that came out from the studios include the Beatles catalog, Dark Side of the Moon, among many others. Unless you’re recording technicians and artists, not many have actually seen the inside of the London studios. Abbey Road Studios has now teamed with Google to present Inside Abbey Road, an interactive virtual tour of the studios. 

Get Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series free for episode one

Game of Thrones Telltale Games Series

IGN has partnered with Telltale Games to offer Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series as its Free Game of the Month. This gives you the first episode free which is normally listed at $4.99. Additional episodes need to be purchased from within the game.

This is a great timing with season 5 of the HBO hit show scheduled to premiere on April 12. To download the free offer, visit IGN’s Free Game of the Month page. 

Meerkat vs Periscope

Meerkat vs Periscope

Meerkat and Periscope are the two hot social apps of the moment. They are in competition with each other with the purpose of allowing you to live stream  your video to the world. Both apps are not new, but didn’t get much media attention until Meerkat became a break out hit at the recent SXSW festival. Riding along the hype, Twitter launched Periscope last week which it bought in January.

So it’s Meerkat vs Periscope and apparently the battle is still on-going as to which app would eventually become ‘the’ live broadcasting app. Judging by the App Store app ranking, Periscope is currently leading.

It is still early days to say if live streaming app will become as popular as chat app or Instagram. Give them a try. Please note that when using the apps, you are broadcasting video over the Internet, which by tech is data intensive. It is not a good idea to broadcast often if you have a limited data plan.

What can Apple Watch do?

Many smartphone users nowadays do not wear a watch. To them the function of time telling in a traditional watch has been replaced by their iPhone or Android phone. As of right now, there is not any major use case that makes a smart watch a lifestyle changing necessity . This is partly the reason why there is a $17,000 Apple Watch, as Apple is trying to convince you that the Apple Watch is an essential fashion accessory. What can Apple Watch do besides showing it off to your friends and telling the time?

Apple Watch is a companion device to an iPhone. You need an iPhone in order for it to function meaningfully. Apple Watch is designed as a small screen that is closer to you than a phone in a pocket, that displays short burst of info to you that you care about. With Apple Watch you can answer phone call from your iPhone, interact with Siri, answer your messages/chats or receive notifications from apps. Instead of drawing out your iPhone from a bag, you can use Apple Watch as the scanning device when paying with Apple Pay. Apple Watch will also alert you to be active if you’ve been idle for too long.

During the recent “Spring Forward” March media event, Apple’s Kevin Lynch was on stage to showcase some possibilities with Apple Watch with demo of third party apps. Fast forward to about 1:08 to watch the demo. 

During the demo, Apple Watch is shown to summon a Uber, receive boarding pass and barcode to unlock airport gate, act as door key to hotel room, and remotely control your home’s garage door. It appears that what Apple Watch can do is limited by the imagination of app developers. Will Apple be able to convince you to add a daily-charging-required watch into your lifestyle?

Mario, Pokemon and Zelda are coming to iOS App Store

Mario Brothers coming to iOS App Store

Nintendo is finally letting loose their game characters outside of its hardware platforms. Nintendo held a press conference together with DeNA to announce their alliance. DeNA is a successful Japanese studio that develops games for the iOS and Android. In DeNa’s press release, there is a mention of new games based on Nintendo’s characters for smart devices, without pointing to any specific platform. But it is highly hopeful that iOS will be a target platform.

Leveraging the strength of Nintendo’s intellectual property (IP) and game development skills in combination with DeNA’s world-class expertise in mobile games, both companies will develop and operate new game apps based on Nintendo’s IP, including its iconic game characters, for smart devices. 

There is no specific about if they will be porting their existing flagship Mario and Pokemon games to non-Nintendo hardware. Games under the alliance are expected to arrive by the end of the year. Something to look forward to if you’re Mario, Pokemon or Zelda fans.