Apple Watch Hack Allows You to Run Custom Watch Face

I know Apple is strict with its programming and customization, but the company did state it will allow developers to make a few tweaks here and there to the visuals of the watch face in watchOS 2. However, if you choose to push even beyond that, you could end up tweaking even more. A developer by the name of Hamza Sood went and did just that, having created a fully-fledged custom watch face.

The developer published his work in a tweet, along with steps on how to make your own custom watch face. I don’t really know why Apple won’t make at least some guidelines for developers to follow in creating Watch customizations because, to be fair, giving your own personal touch to an accessory is something people are looking forward to. Even so, if they give the thumbs up, more projects such as this one would crop up immediately.

You can also find Sood’s project over on GitHub, should you wish to try it out, but you must be aware that the tweak might void the Watch’s warranty, so do it at your own risk! Until we see more of these projects coming out, you can at least see how it looks like in the video below.

Thank you 9to5Mac for providing us with this information

Visual Studio 2015 Now Supports All Major Apple and Android Devices

If you’re a fan of programming here’s some news you may like. Ahead of the release date for their new operating system Microsoft have released Visual Studio 2015, their programming development environment.

With a list of languages supported straight out of the box such as; C#, C++, Java, JavaScript and SQL amongst the list of initial languages you can already see how this development environment will become a go-to for a lot of developers. Alongside the initial languages it is also possible to get the Android SDK and Xamarin libraries during installation, meaning that not only are Windows and PC’s supported but any Apple or Android devices can also be developed using the IDE (integrated development environment).

The one feature missing that is quite noticeable is the lack of Windows 10 Universal App support. The apps which are said to be better supported and more “universal” than those from the Windows 8.1 platform won’t be released until the operating system is released on the 29th July.

If you are looking at developing Android applications in Visual Studio you now have access to an android emulator which can run everything from Jelly Bean and KitKat to Lollipop. If you want to try your hand at Apple thought you will still need a Xamarin license, and access to a machine running OS X in order to run the compilers needed.

For those who like working in groups or on open source projects, the GIT support has been enhanced with better visual representations of everything from branches to commit history.

As a former Visual Studio user I can see myself returning (stopped using the IDE because I was working on languages other than .Net), and with these new features it seems Microsoft are keen on getting Visual Studio as the number one IDE for developers for any platform.

If you’re interested, the community version can be downloaded for free from here.

Thank you ArsTechnica for the information.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

 

Gears Everywhere! Gears Remastered & Gears 4 Announced!

Gears of War has been a gold mine for Microsoft, with a series of games followed by a range of merchandise, including a board game. Initially owned by Epic Games, the creators of the Unreal engine, Microsoft purchased Gears of War from them earlier this year.  Recently it has been rumoured that Microsoft are looking to relaunch the franchise with a series of HD remastered games, although they have been very careful not to release the details and to silence those who are responsible for leaking them.

This silence has now been broken. Gears Of War: Ultimate edition will bring not only the original game to the Xbox One but also visual upgrades and gameplay features from their latest Gears of Wars games. The Ultimate edition will also feature five campaign chapters that were never released on the Xbox.

In a slightly more shocking twist Gears of War 4 was also announced, with an initial date set somewhere in 2016. Find below the E3 gameplay demo shown for Gears of War 4.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-qwBBLPBJI

With so many Gears of War games coming out its looking more and more like a continuation of the series is coming. Something I am more than happy to look forward to.

Thank you ArsTechnica, Microsoft for the information.

Image courtesy of OnlySP.

Drones Are Now Able to Learn Flight Paths and Fly on Their Own

Researcher José Martínez Carranza from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico developed a new way for drones to operate on their own and use much cheaper tech to navigate, like accelerometers, gyroscopes and camcorders.

This was made possible with an algorithm that drops GPS support in favour of visual feedback. The drones can view the terrain similar to how we see it on Google Maps and orient themselves using the above mentioned technology. If you’ve played games that have unmanned aerial vehicles which you can send by clicking on a map, then you know how this drone can operate in real-life too.

Of course there are more factors to take into account other than the 2D spatial positioning. This is where the accelerometers and gyroscopes come in, helping the drone to properly position itself into the right direction and readjust in case of harsh wind conditions or other external factors that might affect the drone’s orientation. However, the project is still at its early stages, so don’t expect the drones to do loops or move like jet fighters.

Martínez said that he wants to add support for wearable devices for people to control the drones and aid in a variety of situations where drones are most suitable, such as surveillance, exploration of properties and other areas.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Quixel’s Jungle Environment Done in Unreal Engine 4 Reveals Stunning Visuals

It looks like Quixel has made a demo jungle environment using its latest Megascans technology. For those of you who are not aware, Megascans is a vast library of materials scanned with Quixel’s HDR surface capture technology.

MEGASCANS is a new breed of material library, finally bringing full real-world surface scans to the art community. Browse, preview and download 1000+ materials scanned with Quixel’s groundbreaking HDR surface capture technology and experience real diffuse, specular, normal, translucency, AO and much more.

One can argue the jungle environment built by Quixel in Unreal Engine 4 might not be as good as the CryEngine version. Nonetheless, it does add a unique visual experience and further strengthens the Unreal Engine 4’s ability to take full advantage of third-party tools.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Better Visuals and Modding Tools Promised in Latest Wasteland 2 Engine Update

Unity’s latest release, Unity 5, is nearly here and since more and more games are being developed with its Game Engine, a lot of developers will receive new and improved tools to tweak their games. The release promises more flexibility and power, as well as a more simplified process of developing games for a variety of platforms.

inXile Entertainment is one of the companies which are already keen on using Unity 5’s power and is currently planning on ways to upgrade its Wasteland 2 title. Chris Keenan, the project lead for Wasteland 2, posted what to expect in the near future from the title, having significant “visual improvements” and “better tools for modders” as a result of the new changes.

“…one task we’re working on right now is migrating the Wasteland 2 codebase from the Unity 4.5 engine to Unity 5, which will enable some new possibilities for us. A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the tools from Unity 4.x Pro. We relied on many of these tools during our development (like creating and building navigation meshes), and they will be available to modders without having to pay thousands of dollars for a Pro Unity license … Unity 5 offers physically based shading, which is already starting to look amazing in the scenes we’ve touched up.”

inXile stated that it has a few unique features planned as well, but it isn’t ready to reveal them. However, since modding and better visuals are the main topic, it’s hard to imagine the ‘unmentioned’ features being a disappointment.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information