Canon and Microsoft Announce Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement: Future Windows Phone Camera Plans Ahead?

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Yesterday, Microsoft and Canon announced a new broad patent cross-licensing agreement, which will essentially grant the two giant companies licenses to each others patent portfolios.

While Microsoft and Canon have been known to partner up in the past, this time around the situation looks pretty different. There’s a number of reasons this agreement took place, and the top possibilities revolve around the mobile industry. Microsoft and Canon may not have disclosed the terms of the agreement, but they did mention that “certain digital imaging and mobile consumer products have been included in the agreement.”

With Microsoft’s recent business ventures with Nokia, the patent agreement may very well be the beginning of an involvement by Canon in Nokia’s Windows Phone line. With how heavily focused the mobile company is on its smartphone cameras in the Lumia line, Canon would be a great company to get support from.

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StreamNation Introduces Shutter, an iOS Photo App Offering Unlimited Cloud Storage for Free

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With how much of a push companies are making these days toward cloud-based storage, is it really a wonder that phones are still being sold with an infuriatingly small 16 gigabytes of space? When it comes to the actual cloud storage itself, we have to worry about the payments those storage services ask for as well; missing one could inevitably mean that we’d lose what we’d have stored for good. It’s a business model that I’m starting not to like, and I feel like it’s a poor way to ensure the safety of our backed up pictures.

StreamNation is a cloud-based service that’s deciding to do things a little differently; they’ve recently released Shutter, a camera app on iOS that promises us unlimited cloud storage for pictures absolutely free of charge. The app itself is simple: another point-and-shoot interface, but with a different method of storage.

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Android’s Next Update Set to Bring Manual Focus, DNG, Exposure Control, and More

Android L

Earlier this month, Apple raised the bar for the iPhone’s camera when it announced iOS 8; the upcoming software is set to give iOS users features such as manual exposure, time-lapse photography, and more. With the passing of Google I/O just last week, we were introduced to Android L. After a weekend of coverage, it looks like Android’s camera is about to get a few small updates, as well…

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New Chemical Iris Technology Aims to Innovate Smartphone Camera Aperture

As advanced as smartphone cameras are today, they’re still limited by the size they need to be. As a result, most smartphones have a fixed aperture to save space; the iris itself is mad from fixed blades that set the aperture for each camera. But as always, in a time where mobile devices are so engraved into the modern lifestyle, technology is constantly reaching higher ground. In this case, that higher ground is reached by a new type of iris – one made of chemicals that eliminate the need for physical blades.

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A Closer Look at iOS 8′s new Camera

Apple’s new iOS software‘s been in beta mode for about a few weeks now, and that’s been plenty of time for developers (and tech enthusiasts) to get familiar with the features iOS 8 has to offer. One area iOS 8 brings the most improvement to is the Camera app itself, and we now have a much better idea of what the features it comes with are like.

Over on YouTube, you can check out a number of videos that go over how the camera utilizes time-shift and manual exposure. As expected, Apple implements the features so they can be used in the easiest way possible. The time-lapse is started up by swiping to its respective panel and simply pressing record. As for the manual exposure, the controls are activated when you tap to focus; the exposure then gets adjusted by swiping up and down.

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Slingshot: Facebook’s New App Takes Snapchat Head-On

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Facebook’s been expanding like no other social network before it for quite a while now; with the acquisition of apps like Instagram, or companies like Oculus, it’s clear that this is a website relentless in its business strategies. Just about a year back, Facebook attempted to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion, and Snapchat declined. After that, they successfully snagged WhatsApp in exchange for an unbelievable sum of $16 billion. And I’m not too much of an expert on the matter, but if a company’s paying four times what the Star Wars franchise was sold for for an app, it’s safe to say they’re not messing around when it comes to expansion.

Considering Snapchat turned down the company’s offers, Facebook decided to develop something of their own: a new app called Slingshot. Designed to be similar to Snapchat in terms of its basic concept, Slingshot has now officially been unveiled.

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Instagram’s 6.0 Update Finally Brings Real Editing Tools to the Social Networking App

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Instagram hasn’t really been much of a photography app, lately. When it started off, it was a great way for the average smartphone user to give their photos a vintage Polaroid look. But with how popular it’s gotten, especially after its acquisition by Facebook, Instagram’s been keeping more of a focus on social networking than it has on actual photo editing. Today, a new update just released for the app that might change all that.

The latest update, Instagram 6.0, brings improvements to what’s already there – straightening, cropping, rotating – and then it adds on more. This time, the social networking-focused app is coming with tools that have been essential for any photographer up to this point; with 6.0, we get options to adjust brightness, saturation, contrast, and more. No word yet on how those features compare in quality to their counterparts in apps like Snapseed, VSCO, or Afterlight, but considering it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps out there, it’s great to see Instagram bringing tools like this to mainstream attention.

Check out the full list of specs after the break. You can update to Instagram 6.0 right now on Google Play or the App Store.

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Apple Makes Changes to Photography With iOS 8 Playing Catch With Android

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Apple products: love them or not, there’s no denying that they’ve made a tremendous impact on photography today. If you don’t own an iPhone, chances are you most likely own a Mac. If you own neither then you’re in more of a minority than you’d think. Considering how important the company’s become to the photography world in general, the news that came out of Apple’s WWDC keynote today is set to make another mark in how many of us deal with our work. As I’m writing this post, Craig Federighi of Apple is wrapping up the announcement of the new iOS 8. Both the mobile operating software, along with the new update to Mac OSX, were both just recently introduced at the keynote, and the changes they’re bringing to how we work with photos on our Apple devices are far overdue.

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Parrot Want In On The Photo Market, Has A New Drone: Bebop

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In 2010, Parrot introduced the A.R.Drone, and in 2012, a new iteration of the model was released. For a while now, the company’s been a leader in wireless technology through its innovation and quality; when the A.R.Drone first released, drone photography was almost unheard of. Parrot’s had a tendency to be at the right place at the right time, and with their most recent announcement, it seems like that’s not stopping.

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