Snapchat users and iPhone X owners now have one more reason to be happy. New Snapchat lenses have now been rolled out exclusively for the iPhone X users, according to The Verge. If you remember, at the phone’s launch event last year, Apple teased iPhone X-exclusive AR Snapchat Lenses. Those same lenses are now finally being made available to the users.
The new Snapchat lenses launched today are: a Day of the Dead skull, a pretty gold-plated eye cover and a Mardi Gras-esque mask. These new Snapchat lenses are exclusively for iPhone X owners. Possibly, more of such senses will make their way going forward.
This marks the first time Snapchat has implemented Apple’s TrueDepth camera technology in its lenses selfie feature. Following the latest update, iPhone X owners who use Snapchat will now be able to enjoy AR masks that fit on the user’s face more realistically and also track motion more accurately.
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The lenses available currently makes use of the data from the phone’s 2D camera to guess facial features, like eyebrows and mouth. Apple’s TrueDepth camera technology, however, allows Snapchat to accurately put the virtual objects onto your face. Apple’s TrueDepth camera technology is the same technology that powers Apple’s Animojis and Face ID.
According to Snapchat, Apple’s TrueDepth camera technology allows it to blur the background and also accurately apply small details and 3D objects. Snapchat’s photos and videos of the new lenses suggest that they will tightly stick to your face. Further, these lenses are claimed to reflect the surrounding light more realistically.
This is not the first time the social messaging app has harnessed the power of the iPhone to its advantage. Last year, users with ARKit-enabled devices were allowed to superimpose Jeff Koons’ giant balloon installations onto real-world places.
For Snapchat, lenses are among its most popular features. According to the company, 1 in 3 of its daily users doesn’t forget to check lenses. The self-destructing messaging app has even tried to monetize its lenses to boost revenue from the advertisers.
With so much about data privacy issues going on these days, not to mention Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is only fair to ask how much of TrueDepth camera data does Apple share with third-party apps like Snapchat. Earlier this year, Reuters reported that the iPhone maker has plans to share facial mapping data.
According to Apple’s developer agreement, third-party app developers can only access visual facial mapping data. And, the mathematical representation of that data (used for unlocking the iPhone X through Face ID) is kept out of developers’ reach. This data, according to the company, is encrypted on to the device itself, so even Apple has no access to it.
Developers, however, have access to data regarding the map of a user’s face and their facial expressions, notes The Verge. Previously, Apple cleared that the data can’t be used for advertising or marketing, and can’t even be sold to data brokers. Also, developers are not allowed to create profiles of the users. This, according to The Verge, could mean that Snap is also not allowed to make use of this data for targeting ads.
However, as the adoption of TrueDepth and Face ID grows, it would become difficult for the iPhone maker to keep a check on the unfair use of data. There are reports that Apple’s advanced biometric security solution could be integrated into more products, starting with the iPad Pro.
Talking of a new Apple product, it is confirmed that a new Mac Pro is coming next year. Previously, there were speculations that the product would arrive this year. Now, those speculations have been put to rest by Apple executives themselves.
“We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year,” Apple’s senior director of Mac hardware product marketing, Tom Boger, told TechCrunch.
Explaining why the product is taking so long, Boger suggested that the Mac Pro somewhat affects the demand of the rest of its pro-focused product line. “We know that there’s a lot of customers today that are making purchase decisions on the iMac Pro and whether or not they should wait for the Mac Pro,” the executive said.
There are also talks that the new Mac Pro could be the first Apple device to come with the ARM-based processor. Such a move would be part of Apple’s push to move away from Intel chips.