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Developer Spotlight: MySwimPro – Discover – Apple Developer

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Developer Spotlight: MySwimPro – Discover – Apple Developer


Developer Spotlight: MySwimPro – Discover – Apple Developer

Sometimes a good idea hits you like a splash of cold water.

Fares Ksebati cocreated MySwimPro in 2015 to provide a deep pool of aquatic workout videos for like-minded athletes. The app syncs with Apple Health to keep your swimming and workout data secure. With 2021 being an Olympic year, he and cofounder Adam Oxner are poised to make even bigger waves: “Swimming gets a lot of public notoriety every four years,” says Ksebati.

We spoke to Ksebati, a three-time U.S. Masters swimming champion, about the power of incremental change and what every entrepreneur should know before diving into app development.

No pool? MySwimPro has hundreds of dryland videos to help swimmers stay in shape.

No pool? MySwimPro has hundreds of dryland videos to help swimmers stay in shape.

How did you start creating apps?
Before launching MySwimPro in 2015, I worked at four different startups and was always coaching swimming on the side. At the time, there was really nothing that addressed swimmers, so that’s when the light-bulb moment happened.

If you work on something you understand intimately, it’s a lot easier because you have that intuition, that unique lens. I’m a swimmer and a coach, but above all I’m a swimming nerd. I not only understand it but I care about it.

How is the MySwimPro team structured these days?
Our HQ is technically in Ann Arbor, but we have team members across the United States and a few countries like Turkey and Ukraine. The app is in nine languages, and we were able to do most of that in-house because we speak almost a dozen languages on our team, which is really unique.

What do you do as a team to stay motivated?
Go to the pool! I literally went for a swim two hours ago. Because we’re a fitness brand, it’s part of our culture to take a break in the middle of the day. I want everybody to feel comfortable doing that, even if they’re not swimming.

What’s been the most challenging time for your team, and how did you get through it?
Back in March, when pools were closing, we thought, “OK, this could be two or three years, but we can’t sit around and do nothing.” So we took action very quickly, creating 200 dryland videos and eight training programs. We went to my brother’s house and rearranged his living room into an at-home fitness facility.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started?
That it’s really important to be consistent, that it takes time to develop, and that if you can just be a little bit better every single day, the compounding impact is absolutely insane. We’ve been at this for five years, which is more than 1,800 days, and we’re trying to be at least 1 percent better each day.


Originally published on the App Store.

Learn more about MySwimPro on the App Store

Learn more about the App Store Small Business Program



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Motorola wants to bring over-the-air wireless power to smartphones

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Motorola wants to bring over-the-air wireless power to smartphones


Motorola Moto Edge front view

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

  • Motorola plans to add over-the-air wireless power to its smartphones with GuRu’s help.
  • You could charge your phone from “meters” away.
  • The two haven’t said when the first phones will be ready.

Xiaomi isn’t the only company hoping to make over-the-air charging a practical reality. Motorola is teaming up with GuRu to add true wireless power to its smartphones, making it one of the first phone brands to embrace the technology.

The future devices would use GuRu’s RF Lensing tech to supply wireless power at a “watts-over-meters” level. Your phone could recharge several feet away from a base station, in other words. It’s not certain how GuRu’s system will change, but Motorola is setting “rigorous” demands for efficiency, quality, and safety.

Read more: The best phones with wireless charging

There was no mention of a timeframe for Motorola phones with over-the-air wireless power, although the timing suggests you won’t see them arrive in 2021.

Fully wireless power currently has its share of compromises. Xiaomi’s system tops out at 5W, for example, so you won’t get fast charging. It’s also safe to presume the system will be expensive compared to Qi wireless chargers, and there’s a good chance it will only be available separately.

Even so, Motorola’s move could bring wireless power much closer to the mainstream. Will you see portless phones soon afterward? Probably not — it could be a while before over-the-air charging is powerful, inexpensive, and reliable enough to ditch cords and pads. Still, the concept of a port-free phone won’t be as far-fetched as you might think.



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Asus Zenfone 8 review

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Asus Zenfone 8 review


Introduction

The Asus Zenfone 8 series is now official, and one thing that might have come as a surprise – there is no Zenfone 8 mini. It’s because the Zenfone 8 itself comes in a mini for factor this year. Asus wanted to make one of the most compact Android phones without compromising anything – speed, screen, camera, battery, not even stereo speakers and a 3.5mm jack. And they did it! Meet one of the most intriguing phones of the season – the Asus Zenfone 8 mini.

The compact class has been barren for quite some time. The iPhone 12 mini was probably the only glimmer of hope that some Android maker might do what Apple did and what once Sony liked to offer on a regular basis – a compact yet proper Android flagship.

And that’s what the Zenfone 8 is all about – it revolves around a 5.9″ 120Hz AMOLED screen, there is the latest Snapdragon 888 5G chip, a large 4,000mAh battery, a flagship dual-camera that can take wide, ultrawide, 2x lossless zoom and macro photos. Oh, and the Zenfone 8 is water-resistant, too.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

Indeed, it seems Asus made sure to include everything in the Zenfone 8 and we can’t complain. In addition to all these flagship features, we should also note the presence of the little things that sometimes make for the biggest of troubles – there are two loud stereo speakers, a 3.5mm audio jack with Qualcomm Aqstic DAC, a microSD slot, NFC, and even FM radio if you are in a non-EU market.

The camera department seems thoroughly impressive, too. There are only two snappers at the back, but they are pulling double duty. The main 64MP camera with OIS is for your everyday shots, but it can do 2x lossless zoom. The 12MP ultrawide shooter has a large sensor and autofocus and that’s why it can do macro shots. Finally, the 12MP selfie cam is AF-enabled, too, and it is 4K-enabled.

The Zenfone 8 sounds incredible, and we can’t wait to unbox it. So, let’s take a quick look over at its specs and ger this review started.

Asus Zenfone 8 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 147.8×68.5×9.2mm, 165g; Gorilla Glass Victus front, aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 3 back; IP68-rated for dust and water resistance.
  • Display: 5.9″ Super AMOLED, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate; 240Hz touch sampling, HDR10+, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 445ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.
  • Memory: 128/256GB UFS3.1 storage; 6/8/16GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 11, ZenUI 2021.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.7″, 0.8µm, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS, 2x lossless zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual-pixel PDAF, 4cm macro shots.
  • Front camera: 12MP, f/2.45, 28mm, 1/2.93″, 1.22µm, dual-pixel PDAF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS, HDR, three mics for audio zoom and NC; Front camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps.
  • Battery: 4000mAh; Fast charging 30W, QC 4.0, USB-PD 3.0.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; 3.5mm jack, stereo speakers, FM radio (non-EU models).

It seems there is nothing missing on this €599 Zenfone 8 and you can color us impressed. Could this be a perfect phone? Only one way to find out.

Unboxing the Asus Zenfone 8

The Zenfone 8 has the usual retail bundle – it comes with a 30W power adapter, a USB-C-to-C cable, and a grippy plastic case.

Asus Zenfone 8 review

There are no headphones inside the box, though the Zenfone 8 comes with an audio jack and you can use your favorite wired set. Plus, it’s a rather affordable flagship, so we’d surely excuse such an omission.



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Amazon’s updated Echo Show 8 can follow your movement during video calls

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Amazon’s updated Echo Show 8 can follow your movement during video calls


amazon echo show 8 2021

  • Amazon has introduced a new Echo Show 8 with a camera that follows your movements during video calls.
  • There’s also an updated Echo Show 5 with an improved camera.
  • The speakers ship in June at $84.99 for the Show 5 and $129.99 for the Show 8.

You don’t need to buy Amazon’s pricey Echo Show 10 to get an Alexa smart display that handles video calls with grace. The internet retailer has introduced new versions of the Echo Show 8 (shown above) and Echo Show 5 (below) that promise major upgrades for your remote conversations.

The  updated $129.99 Echo Show 8 boasts a 13MP camera that pans and zooms to keep you framed, much like Facebook’s Portal devices or the iPad Pro’s Center Stage feature. You and your family can walk around the room knowing you’ll still be included in the shot. Amazon is also promising that you’ll “soon” get audiovisual reactions (like hearts or confetti) as well as augmented reality effects.

The new Echo Show 8 touts the expected stereo speakers and an adaptive color “HD” display. The biggest changes beyond the camera may instead come through software. The connected display now has a shared home screen and music suggestions based on what you’re currently playing in Amazon Music or Spotify.

amazon echo show 5 2021

The revamped $84.99 Echo Show 5 doesn’t have the auto-following camera of its larger 8 counterpart. You will, however, find an improved camera with double the pixels as well as a new Deep Sea Blue color. Pay $94.99 for the Echo Show 5 Kids and you’ll get a more colorful Chameleon look, a year-long subscription to Amazon Kids Plus content and a two-year warranty that covers accidents.

The Echo Show 8, Echo Show 5 and Echo Show 5 Kids are all available to pre-order now with a release date sometime in June.

Read more: The best smart displays

Whether or not you choose the Echo Show 8 over a rival smart display like Google’s latest Nest Hub is a tough call. Amazon’s device could be the better choice if you regularly hold video chats, but the Nest Hub offers hands-off (if basic) sleep tracking and robust sound. As is often the case, it might come down to your choice of ecosystem. Alexa has the largest selection of third-party smart home devices, but Google Assistant may be better if you’re deeply committed to Android and other Google platforms.



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