When the smartwatch concept started to take off, I was dubious to say the least. I mean, I own a smartphone, so why do I need another device that essentially duplicates functionality of my phone? It is an honest argument, but I'll concede that I was wrong -- smartwatches rock. Well, to be more specific, Android Wear in particular kicks major ass. I love my Samsung Gear Live which I recently got.
As great as Google's watch concept is, it is a bit limited. It tells me the weather, checks my heart rate and alerts me to Android notifications, and that's cool, but clearly the sky is the limit for the new platform. Today, an unlikely company releases a new Android Wear app called "Torque" and it is powered by Bing. Yes, a Bing app on a Google watch -- are pigs flying?
Okay, that may be a bit over the top. I doubt most users will be forgetting Facebook anytime soon, but it isn't the only social network. Don't forget Microsoft owns Yammer, which is geared more towards business than personal use. That doesn't mean it should be left out of the equation though.
In an effort to cash in on the social sharing craze, Microsoft is bringing Yammer to web sites. Yes, the business network will be included with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and the rest of the set, allowing users to share stories.
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I will admit that I am addicted to my smartphone -- there, I said it. Quite frankly, I am becoming addicted to my smartwatch too, but I digress. You see, I am not alone in this, as many people seem glued to their devices nowadays. However, I know to put away my devices when it is time to work. Sadly, many people use their smartphones for personal reasons as they do their job. If I go to Starbucks, the barista is usually distracted by her iPhone, and I end up with the wrong drink -- I'll be like "listen lady, I wanted a venti, not a grande, hop off of that Instagram, yo!"
Sadly, this seems to be plaguing society, but businesses are getting hit hard; employees are too damn distracted! Today, a new report explains that a large amount of the workforce is distracted by technology. Should employers start banning smartphones and tablets at work?
We've looked at the two public builds of the Windows 10 Technical Preview -- the initial, disappointing, embryonic build 9841, and the very slightly less disappointing build 9860 -- but of course the best is still to come. There are many features we expect to find their way into the final build, such as Cortana, and there are sure to be many surprises. One interesting inclusion is built-in two-factor authentication.
The presence of this valuable security feature is revealed by Jim Alkove in a post on the Windows blog in which he talks about the importance of identity protection and general security. He explains that Windows 10 will start to move users away from single factor authentication -- the humble password -- in favor of more secure options.
Microsoft is pushing music fans towards Music Pass by cutting off one supply of free streaming music. On December 1st, the free streaming feature of Xbox Music will be no more, leaving Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and web users looking for new ways to satisfy their music streaming cravings.
In an announcement posted on the Xbox website, Microsoft explains that it wants to encourage music fans into signing up for a paid Xbox Music Pass. The posts explains that there is a free 30 day trial available, but once this is up, the charge is $9.99 per month. Is this likely to fly with users who have been enjoying music for free? That remains to be seen...
Kinect has moved on. Once a peripheral that encouraged gamers to dance manically in front of their consoles, it has now evolved into something rather more sophisticated. As part of Kinect's on-going development Microsoft today released Kinect SDK 2.0 following the developer preview program from last November. Developers not only have scores of improvements to enjoy, but they now have the ability to deploy Kinect apps to the Windows Store.
This news goes hand in hand with the release of a new Kinect adaptor. The adaptor makes it possible to take an Xbox One Kinect and connect it to a PC or tablet. There's no need to choose between a Kinect for Windows v2 and Kinect for Xbox One as they both now perform identically.
Hands up if your inbox is out of control? From that quick show of hands, it's clear that the idea of inbox zero has not caught on globally. We all have more email to deal with than ever before, even if most of it is junk. Google has a new solution to email overload. Inbox. This is, Google is quick to point out, not Gmail, although it is from the same people.
Available for your Android phone and the web, Inbox by Google helps to cut through the crap to ensure that you're free to focus on what actually matters. It expands on some of the ideas already found in Gmail, but is a completely separate tool. This is Google recognizing that people use email not only to communicate with others, but also to organize their lives and keep on top of a schedule.
The Internet and digital downloads have moved us past the times when the shelves of record stores were often cleared of every last copy of the latest hit single. But that doesn't mean that the mad onslaught of devoted fans can't still cause havoc as they scramble to get the newest songs.
The businesses behind online music stores and artists' sites often fail to predict the incredible and unusual demand for their services and, rather than queues at record shops, the shift to downloads now means that website crashes are the new normal for merchants caught by surprise. Here are 10 music releases that have caused web crashes -- it really can happen to anyone.
The program, which allows users to take both file- and image-based backups from a single tool, gains one significant new feature with this release: the ability to mount and unmount image backups.
One of the problems that enterprises often see in implementing cloud computing is that they risk getting tied into a single supplier for software and platform.
This is leading to more interest in 'hybrid cloud' solutions which allow the mixing and matching of features from different suppliers. Today industry giants IBM and Microsoft announce that they're working together to provide their respective enterprise software on Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud.
Nokia is coming to the end of the road as a name in phone making, and the brand will likely get subsumed into owner Microsoft in the not too distant future. With Nokia phones already well and truly part of the Windows Phone stable, you won't be surprised to learn that the Lumia 735 runs Windows Phone 8.1. Nor will its general looks be any surprise -- it is a straightforward Nokia monolith.
But there are some pleasant surprises under the hood that lift this budget handset above the ordinary. A 5 megapixel wide angle front camera for taking high quality selfies is Nokia's own selected highlight, but Cortana, Microsoft's much talked about digital assistant, is also here, making a belated arrival in the UK to join Apple's Siri.
With Android 5.0 Lollipop yet to be released, some manufacturers have already revealed their upgrade plans for the latest version of the mobile operating system, effectively setting a high bar for the rest of the pack. You can thank HTC, Motorola and Sony for doing so last week. In fact, HTC and Motorola consistently rank among the first in this regard, and when it comes to rolling out those software updates to their customers' devices as well.
Not to be outdone by its far-distant competition, top maker Samsung wants us to know that it too has some upgrade plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop. But, instead of actually showing them, it has posted a rather lame teaser on Twitter, regarding Galaxy Note 4. Pundits have fallen for it, writing that the much-awaited software update is fast-approaching. Really?
You never know when you’ll see or hear something interesting when out and about. If you want to record what's going on around you, the easiest solution is to whip out your smartphone, but that’s not always practical -- if you’re driving for example, or performing any task that requires both hands (like mountain biking down a treacherous slope).
The EHEAR E2 is a small finger-sized recording device that hooks over your ear, and lets you record what you see. You can fire up the camera with a single tap, and then view your recordings on a phone or tablet later on.
Google Analytics has become something of an industry standard for gathering web metrics. But a new report from form building company Formstack says that businesses may be concentrating on measuring the wrong things.
It suggests that users tend to focus on vanity metrics, like page views and bounce rate, but stop short of real data tracking. What they should be focusing on are the actionable GA metrics that will impact conversion rate and ultimately revenue.
Bitdefender has announced the availability of Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for PC, the first public beta of its portable program to detect and remove unwanted software.
The Removal Tool arrives as a single 41.8MB executable file. There are no supporting files, and it doesn’t download anything else: just run it and go.