This past Tuesday Microsoft did its long-awaited Xbox reveal, though the company did not unveil every bit of information that customers were waiting for. For instance, we still do not know pricing or release date. However, the biggest urban legend in circulation -- that of used games -- is under attack from the console maker.
On the day of the big reveal, Larry Hryb took to his blog to assure users "While there have been many potential scenarios discussed, today we have only confirmed that we designed Xbox One to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail".
Microsoft: Compliant YouTube Windows Phone 8 app coming, meanwhile take the dreadful old version back
Following a cease and desist letter sent by Google little over a week ago, today, Microsoft reaches out to me and announces a new update for its homebrew YouTube Windows Phone 8 app. You might want to contain that burning desire to hit the "Update" button though.
"Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks", says the Redmond, Wash.-based corporation. This comes two days after the passing of the deadline to remove the app from the Windows Phone Store.
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Fans of social media were reassured this week as Twitter finally rolled out two-step verification, ostensibly making the service more secure for its millions of customers. This is a feature that other major companies like Microsoft, Google, and Facebook have already implemented and, on the surface, seemed a victory.
Not so fast. Security researchers at F-Secure are taking a closer look and deem the implementation "not great". The problem, according to Sean Sullivan, is that "an attacker could use SMS spoofing to disable 2FA if he knows the target's phone number".
Thirtieth in a series. Several stock apps were updated this week. The Xbox Music app supports the import of iTunes playlists in its latest version, and users of the video app benefit from the improved accessibility of actor and director information.
The official Major League Soccer app for Windows 8, MLS MatchDay, has been improved as well featuring "exclusive content and this season’s schedule, standings, highlights, play-by-play, roster lineups, game stats, goals, cards and substitutions" as Alan notes.
App store numbers grab headlines, but don't matter to users. Both BlackBerry and Windows Phone boast constant ecosystem growth with more than 100,000 apps available in each store, yet neither of the two platforms has managed to assert itself as a viable alternative to Android or iOS. Why? Well, Canalys says that it's the quality of the apps that matters not the quantity.
"At a certain point, how many apps are in a store becomes irrelevant. Offering 100 different unit converters or weather apps is not a valuable choice", says Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd. "What is now far more important for BlackBerry and Microsoft is to focus on plugging inventory gaps and making sure they offer the right apps; to focus on quality and local relevance, not quantity". According to the company's latest report, both BlackBerry and Windows Phone fail to offer many of the popular titles available today, hindering their appeal to potential users.
Google is all about searching. Well… not "all" about, but it's what the company is known for. Any firm that logs information about how customers are using its services are usually berated, but Google Trends can provide a fascinating insight into how the rest of the world is using the internet. This tool has been available for a while but there's now a sexy new full screen mode available -- and you can turn it into a screensaver.
If you've ever been curious about what people in other parts of the world are searching for, head over to the full screen visualization tool and you can find out. At the bottom of the screen you can choose from one of several countries, or opt to see an overview of global searches.
European operators have been asked not to go ahead with the launch of the HTC First planned for this summer. The phone comes with Facebook Home which replaces the standard Android screens with its own social media interface.
Home has been available for download to other Android devices too but hasn't proved popular with users. UK mobile operator EE has issued a statement making it clear that Facebook is behind the decision not to launch saying, "Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK." Orange in France has made a similar statement.
The Android web browser market is a packed one, and users are almost spoiled for choice. If you're a fan of Firefox, Chrome or Opera on your main computer, there's an accompanying mobile version for you to work with, and there are plenty of others as well.
The GO Launcher Dev Team is best known -- it should go without saying -- for the Android launcher GO Launcher EX, but it has now branched out and is bringing its stylish looks to a web browser -- Next Browser.
Remote control apps are increasingly versatile, allowing smartphone and tablet users to access and manage computers from the workplace, a holiday resort or the couch in my case. For Windows Phone 8 users the most popular choice is PC Remote but, late-yesterday, another app hit the Store.
"Many Windows Phone users have asked for Splashtop", says Splashtop CEO Mark Lee. "We are excited to partner with Nokia and Microsoft to optimize and deliver the best-in-class Splashtop experience for Windows Phone 8". The app allows folks to remotely access Linux, OS X and Windows-based computers straight from the tiled operating system. Let's take a look at the features.
Internet Explorer’s tight integration into Windows 8, coupled with the fact that IE10 is actually pretty good, means the veteran browser is enjoying something of a resurgence these days. Humorous advertising poking fun at the browser’s past (while distancing itself from it) has also encouraged many ex-users to take a fresh look.
I chatted with Internet Explorer’s Marketing Manager Rebecca Wolff about the "Browser you loved to hate" campaign, asked her what major changes we can expect to see in IE11, and found out why embracing web standards is now a major priority for Microsoft.
A week ago BBC iPlayer finally made its debut on Windows Phone 8, but the existing Android version has been far from forgotten about. BBC iPlayer 1.7 has hit Google Play and now boasts support for 10 inch tablets.
While owners of larger tablets previously had to pay a visit to the iPlayer website, UK viewers can now enjoy their favorite programmes directly in the app. If you're nursing a smaller 7-incher, there's no need to feel left out. The UI for more diminutive tablet and phones has been updated with a few tweaks as well.
We’re used to the somewhat spooky way that websites track our every move. Notice how the adverts on various sites reflect the products you’ve been viewing elsewhere? You only have to look at a CD on Play and Amazon will be trying to sell it to you within hours. We’re used to the GPS tracker on our smartphones monitoring where we are all the time and pointing us towards local attractions too.
Well now this technology is starting to spread to other devices too. The BBC has used the Thinking Digital conference to trial a perceptive radio. Developed by the BBC's Future Media North Laboratory, the radio uses information about where you live to change the listening experience by referencing local places or weather conditions. It also monitors the background noise at your location so it can decide whether to boost certain sounds to enhance the listening experience. The idea is to provide an "immersive" broadcast that can reconfigure the content for each listener.
I recently wrote about some strange but awesome Windows 8 ads geared towards the Japanese market. It appeared that people across the internet were pretty down on them as the ads didn’t say anything about the OS. My point in the article was to show that there are different types of advertising and sometimes companies need to get our attention in some pretty unusual ways.
I’ve been very critical of Microsoft’s advertising approach with Windows 8 and especially Surface. Although the company has increased the frequency of its advertising and is advertising more of its products, there was one area in particular where it was lacking: a strong focus on features against competitor products. None of this was more apparent than its approach with Windows 8 and Windows tablets. I previously wrote,
Removing malware used to be fairly easy, at least in principle. Detect the infection, kill any running processes and files, and that’s it -- finished.
These days, unfortunately, life can be more difficult. Some malware will actively try to block any attempts to remove it, perhaps preventing you from running antivirus tools, locking its files, maybe restarting itself if necessary. This can be frustratingly effective, too, but there are ways to fight back. And KillEmAll is a great place to start.
The cloud has become a battleground these days between heavyweight companies, and Box has remained in the fight. Today the company takes another step towards securing its location in the corporate future with three new features in the Box admin console designed to make the service easier to deploy.
An improved content manager, granular co-admin permission options, and the ability to prevent users from permanently deleting content are all heading the way of IT administrators.