Microsoft updates OneDrive with automatic 'Pokémon detection'

pokemon go india nepal boxall
Considering the number of companies which have opportunistically jumped aboard the Pokémon Go craze, it’s not surprising to see yet another follow suit. On Friday, Microsoft announced a new feature for OneDrive, its cloud mobile storage service, that automatically detects digital Pokémon from the augmented reality game in photos uploaded from your smartphone.

“A lot of [Pokémon Go] players take screenshots of their captured Pokémon to show off to their friends — both digitally and in person,” said Douglas Pearce, OneDrive’s group program manager, in a blog post. “We had to make it easier for you to find all your Pokémon screenshots, so we went to work and partnered with Microsoft Research to bring a Pokémon detector to OneDrive.”

OneDrive-photos-experience-5D

That’s all there is to it, really. If you’re milling about town and notice a Pokémon, just snap a screenshot of it. If you have the OneDrive app installed and its photo backup feature enabled, Microsoft’s cloud intelligence will parse the image for the over 150 species it’s capable of recognizing. Once it’s confident it’s found a match — i.e., that the cute Pikachu in your picture isn’t actually an Eevee — it’ll tag the pic accordingly.

That’s just one element of OneDrive’s Friday update. It’s also gaining the ability to generate albums automatically — it’ll group photos that you’ve taken in rapid succession in a particular location and pick out the “highest quality” ones — and will produce a collage every Monday morning of the preceding weekend’s festivities. And on the web, OneDrive’s gained a new section, “One this day,” which surfaces all the photos you’ve taken over the previous years on a given day.

Microsoft has beefed up OneDrive’s search and organizational tools too. You can now search for photos using emojis, if you feel so inclined, and initiate queries from OneDrive’s photo home page. On the organizational side of things, there’s a new view that surfaces all the folders in your OneDrive storage containing images (the idea is to make it easier to create and manage albums).

The update is rolling out to Android and iOS users today.

Microsoft is far from the first to tap opportunistically into the worldwide phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. Last week, business directory Yelp launched “Pokéstop Nearby,” a crowdsourced filter which lets users identify nearby businesses with PokéStops (Pokémon Go terminology for caches of Pokéballs, health potions, and other level-boosting goodies).

Last week, cellular provider T-Mobile kicked off a Pokémon Go unlimited data promotion for its subscribers. McDonalds recently launched inked a partnership with Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs to provide digital Go goods to players dining out. And battery case manufacturer Zagg, which has heavily promoted its portable power packs as “ideal” for long Pokémon Go sessions, saw its stock price soar 25 percent in the past week.

But app’s popularity has driven meteoric foot traffic to local businesses too. An enterprising café in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, saw sales skyrocket after it began offering a 10 percent discount to patrons who used the app, and food and drink sales at Manhattan pizza joint L’inizios jumped 30 percent following the launch of its Pokémon-themed pizzas.

Given Pokémon Go’s momentum — the app managed to attract an estimated 9.5 million daily active users in the United States in just shy of a week — outfits large and small are sure to follow suit.

Smart Home

Picture this: The Aura packs thousands of photos in a single frame (for a price)

Are you one of those people who miss the good old days of flipping through photo albums to see each and every favorite photo? If so, you might love the Aura digital photo frame. We tested the device and came away impressed.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…
Computing

Capture screenshots with print screen and a few alternative methods

Capturing a screenshot of your desktop is easier than you might think, but it's the kind of thing you'll probably need to know. Here's how to perform the important function in just a few, easy steps.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.
Mobile

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.
Mobile

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: A.I. selfie drones, ‘invisible’ wireless chargers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Mobile

How to choose the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone or tablet

If you need some extra storage space and your device supports it, then a MicroSD card is an obvious place to start. Here, we look at what to consider and suggest some of the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone.