Baking bread, a cake, or cookies is one of life’s little pleasures. It gives you a quick sense of satisfaction and it provides you with some very tasty treats. Where do you begin though? We’ve got some great to get you started in the world of home baking.
Ten years ago this week, Google announced the very first Android phone. I picked up that phone when it first came out and now, a decade later, I fired it up again to see how well it held up after all these years.
If you own a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL, and if you take a lot of pictures through apps like Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, or Snapchat, then you’ll see a marked improvement today. A hidden feature on Pixel 2 phones is officially live that will enable HDR+, giving you much better photos when the lighting is uneven.
When Google shipped the Pixel 2, it had a feature hidden in it called Visual Core. That feature can get a bit technical, but you can read about it at How-To Geek here if you’re curious how it works. The short version is that it adds a special version of High Dynamic Range to the camera, which helps balance the lighting in an image. As you can see in the image above, the picture on the left is shadowy and dark because the light of the sun is blowing out the subject’s face. However, with Visual Core enabled on the right, the picture looks much more balanced and the subject is much brighter without blowing out the sky or other bright elements of the photo.
This feature has been enabled in the default camera app for a while, but the whole point of Visual Core is letting other apps that use the camera join the party. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Whatsapp are the first to add this to their apps. That means the next time you open up Instagram to take a picture—instead of taking a picture with the camera app first and sending it to Instagram later—HDR+ will be available. It’s a small change, but if it saves you a couple extra steps and makes your pictures look better, we’re on board.
To say feelings about Siri are mixed would be an understatement. Fortunately, we live in a world of infinite possibilities. Or, at least four possibilities. On top of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, you can now use Google Assistant on your iPad if you want a different (or better) voice assistant.
For years the benchmark for smartphone cameras was megapixels—years of single lenses with increasingly powerful sensors behind them. If Light has any say in it, however, the new frontier is lenses, and lots of them.