In the world of tech, a lot can happen in seven days. For our final tech news update of 2017, we look at Apple’s new acquisition of Shazam, the launch of the iMac Pro, and Snapchat’s new AR developer platform.
Apple Acquiring Music App Shazam
This week Buzzfeed News confirmed that tech giant Apple are to acquire music app Shazam. Shazam is one of the internet’s most well-known services, established all the way back in 1999. The Shazam app listens to music playing and immediately identifies the song title and artist. It also works with TV shows, movies and ads and provides info on the most popular “Shazam’d “ songs.
Apple confirmed in a statement: “We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS.”
Shazam can provide a multitude of data and music expertise to help Apple with its music streaming service which is facing tough competition from its rivals, as well as helping predict popular music trends. When someone identifies a song through Shazam, that's a pretty strong signal that it's catchy, or distinctive. "Our data has shown that we can typically predict 33 days in advance what's going to be at the top of the Billboard Hot 100," a Shazam executive said in 2014.
Apple Launch iMac Pro
Christmas has come early for Apple fans with the launch of the new iMac Pro, described as a computer “truly designed for pros”, by Apple SVP Phillip Schiller. Announced earlier this year, the iMac Pro features Intel Xeon W-class processors with 8, 10, 14 or 18 cores. It also comes with Radeon Vega Pro 56 GPU, 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage making it an incredibly powerful piece of kit.
The beefier software in the iMac Pro has been housed in what is essentially the same slick design as current Mac Pro. There are a few cosmetic improvements and a new coat of colour, but as everyone knows it’s what’s inside that counts. Besides the updates outlined above the full specifications can be found here.
The iMac Pro is aimed at creative professionals, such as those in the film, photography and engineering industries. The previous upgrade, the Mac Pro, launched in 2013 and Apple user’s desire for a software upgrade had not gone unnoticed. Apple addressed this stating “So many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by Mac Pro through a next-generation iMac".
You can read more about the iMac Pro at the Apple blog here.
Snapchat launches AR developer platform
Snapchat has launched Lens Studio AR, a new augmented reality developer app for Mac and Windows computers. Lens studio will allow anyone to create World Lenses that place interactive, imaginary 3D object in your photos and videos.
With over 70 million people interacting with lenses, it offers budding developers a chance to show their skills to a worldwide audience. The move comes as Snapchat looks to compete with Facebook, who’ve launched their own Camera Effects Platform to all developers recently. “This has been an amazing year for AR as a technology,” says Eitan Pilipski, who leads Snap’s camera platform team. “We’re really excited to take this tool and make it as simple as possible for any creator out there to have a presence on Snapchat.”
Lens Studio is available globally, but only in English for the moment. Next year, Snapchat will launch a series of “Lens Studio challenges” designed to attract more developers. You can download Lens Studio here.