Windows 10 news in just a moment – but first something interesting… or creepy. I’m not sure which.
You probably know you can use a tablet, phone or PC to make video phone calls (just like the ones in Star Trek, except the real ones actually have a better picture).
You may even use video calls – you can do it using Skype, Facebook Messenger or Apple’s FaceTime (and one or two other options).
Well, I’ve just been looking at the latest version of Apple’s system – one that’s not out yet.
(I’d like to say that’s because I have spies in Apple who smuggled it out of the headquarters past the hi-tech security hidden in a shoe but actually anyone can sign up to get the “test” version of iOS before it’s quite finished. It’s meant for people who develop apps for it.)
And they’ve done something interesting with FaceTime in it.
Except you might not use the word “interesting” – you might call it “creepy”.
If you’ve used FaceTime or any of the other video calling apps, you might have noticed that it doesn’t look like the person at the other end of the call is looking straight at you.
It’s because they’re looking at the picture of you on the screen instead of straight at the camera.
So it doesn’t feel quite as nice as if they were looking straight at the camera – it doesn’t give you such good eye contact… a bit like they’re staring at your chin instead of looking at your eyes!
Apple have decided to fix that – and used some technical wizardry to adjust the picture so it looks like the other person is looking straight into your eyes.
It works by bending the picture – if you put a ruler across in front of your face you can see how the picture bends the bits by your eyes upwards.
It works really well – the other person really sees you looking into their eyes.
But I’m not sure – it’s very clever and it does make it feel more natural, so I suppose that’s good. On the other hand I find it a little bit creepy that it’s actually changing the picture to make it feel more natural.
I mean, what next? Will they start cleverly editing out yawns or glances at your watch if you seem bored by what the other person is saying?
Anyway, at the moment only FaceTime has this… and not until the Autumn. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Skype and the others are working on it already – we’ll see.
News if you use Windows 10 on anything (Laptop, PC, tablet)
You’ve probably noticed we recently launched a new course on using tablets – it was the second online course we’ve done. The first one was about Windows 10, last year and since the end of November last year the doors to it have been closed.
But after launching Tablets Made Simple, several people asked if we’re going to open up the Windows 10 Made Simple course again.
And since we’ve just updated it to keep it up to date with changes to Windows 10, it seems like a good time.
So from today… as of NOW, enrolment in the Windows 10 course is open.
BUT – it’s only for a week – next Monday at 5pm (UK time) it closes again, so there’s not much time if it might be helpful to you.
Pretty much everything I’ve said about the Tablet course over the last few weeks applies to the Windows 10 course (apart from it’s about Windows 10 instead of iPads and Android). Oh, and this one has more actual video of me talking to the camera – it worked better for these topics.
If you’re interested and want to know more about it, the info is here.
If you are already on the Windows 10 course, from last year, don’t join again! You’ll get the slightly updated version automatically if you log in to the course. If you’re not already on it, here’s the info again.