Mihaita Bamburic

What to expect from upcoming Microsoft Surface Pro 3 firmware update

Surface generated almost $1 billion revenue for Microsoft last quarter

Since launching Surface Pro 3 in June, Microsoft has released frequent firmware updates -- mostly twice a month -- to fix bugs, update drivers, increase performance, improve stability, and enable support for new features. The entire changelog is rather long, and it will get even longer once the new firmware update, that should likely come this month, is released.

The new Surface Pro 3 firmware update addresses the Bluetooth, home button, stylus and Wi-Fi drivers, as well as UEFI. Through new home button and Surface Pen drivers, Surface Pro 3 should no longer accidentally wake up from sleep while it is being carried or stored.

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Microsoft will roll out Lumia Denim firmware update in 2015

Delay Businessman Business Clepsydra Sand Glass

When Microsoft announced the Lumia Denim firmware in early-September alongside Lumia 830, Lumia 735 and Lumia 730, the software giant said that it will be rolled out in a future update for existing Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets, running lesser versions, in Q4 2014. But, as we are in the middle of the last quarter of the year, Lumia Denim has yet to make its way to most compatible Lumia handsets.

While there is still time for Microsoft to commence the much-awaited roll out, it looks like the software giant will only give Lumia Denim to most of its Windows Phone 8 customers in early 2015, according to UK mobile operator O2.

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Microsoft: MacBook Air users, are you really, really sure you don't want Surface Pro 3?

awful headache

If you are a MacBook Air user, chances are you are pretty happy with your device. It may not be the fastest or the lightest laptop around, but it has a great keyboard, gets amazing battery life, is more affordable than ever, can run Windows, and, thanks to iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite, works great with iOS 8 devices. Even Microsoft is impressed, calling it "great" and "delightful".

Microsoft, however, believes you can do better. In a new video ad made for this holiday season, the software giant once again aims to make MacBook Air users finally see the light, and realize that the device they should be using is Surface Pro 3. But if MacBook Air is already "great" and "delightful", why would someone want to switch?

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New Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 preview build adds extra features

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8.1

Microsoft has released a couple of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 builds for devices enrolled in the Preview for Developers Program. Virtually all changes have been made under-the-hood, as Microsoft has seemingly focused on refining the user experience and enabling, rather than introducing new features.

Now though, we have a new Preview for Developers build -- still Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, version 14203.306 -- which adds a number of very useful user-facing features, some of which you might want to take advantage of right away.

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How to install (and update to) Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10

Lollipop Forest

After launching alongside Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Android 5.0 Lollipop is now making its way to the rest of Google's family of smartphones and tablets. So, naturally, you want to get it up and running as soon as possible on your older Nexus devices, now that it is finally ready for prime time. And why wouldn't you? The latest version of Android packs lots of sweet changes, chief among them the new design language dubbed Material Design, the new, faster default runtime called ART, battery life improvements, 64-bit support, beefed-up security, new APIs and much, much more.

There are two ways you get Android 5.0 Lollipop on your Nexus device. You can use the OTA update file to update or the factory image to make a clean install. This article will explain how can leverage both to run the latest version of Android on your Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

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Can't send SMS, browse the web on 4G? This is why

phone signal

For a whole weekend, I thought the new smartphone I had just bought was defective. Because why else could it not send any SMS messages to any of my contacts nor connect to the Internet via 4G? It was the only logical explanation at the time, as everything else -- my monthly plan, the 4G coverage in my area, the settings -- was in order. While that was happening, I could receive SMS messages, calls were working fine. Getting a defective device is not impossible, after all. I am also not the luckiest person in the world. These things happen.

The problem, however, was not with the device, or even the SIM as some may think. As it turns out, whenever this happens, you just happen to be in the wrong place. Literally. Some may be lead to believe that their setup is to blame, when it is actually the carrier's 4G network in the area that is at fault. You may find that it works great in some places, and only have problems at work, for instance.

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HTC One (M8) for Windows arrives at T-Mobile

HTC One M8 Windows T-Mobile


As you may know, HTC One (M8) launched as a Verizon-exclusive in late-August. Shortly after its introduction, both AT&T and T-Mobile revealed that they would too carry the Windows Phone, but at a later date. The former was the first to get it, last week, but now you can also buy it from the magenta carrier.

While things were pretty clear about the cost of buying One (M8) for Windows from AT&T, T-Mobile left this information for the day when it is actually available through its stores. Luckily, if you have waited this long, you will not be disappointed.

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LG rolls out Android 5.0 Lollipop update for G3 flagship

LG G3 Lollipop 2

Unlike HTC or Motorola, LG still has a terrible reputation when it comes to delivering Android software updates. It is usually among the last well-known vendors to upgrade its devices to the latest version of Android, even when those devices are flagships. It also has the bad habit of leaving some handsets out of its upgrade plans, even when those handsets are compatible. Not to mention that its upgrade plans are actually revealed well after its rivals announce theirs.

This is a nice change of pace then. Today, LG gets to proudly claim "first" for once, as it is rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop ahead of any of the usual suspects, namely HTC, Motorola and Google. Its first device to see Android 5.0 Lollipop is the G3 flagship.

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Wiper makes conversations more secure, offers on-demand chat deletion

Wiper

Today, there is a messaging service for just about anything and anyone. The core features are pretty much the same across the board, however. Where they differ is mostly in the way those features are implemented. For instance, you can chat with others using any messaging app, but not all offer encrypted conversations or delete your messages after they're received. The devil is in the details, as always.

Despite all the different options available today, there is still room for new messaging services to make their mark. Wiper is among the new up and coming players, with its main highlights being the option to delete conversations everywhere, on-demand, and provide secure HD video chats.

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Microsoft prepares new Lumia handset

Lumia Windows Phone Microsoft first

Since taking control of Nokia's Devices & Services business in April, Microsoft has introduced a couple of important new Windows Phones. We have the replacement of the popular entry-level Lumia 520, called Lumia 530, and the much-awaited successor of two year-old mid-ranger Lumia 820, dubbed Lumia 830, as well as two in-between offerings, Lumia 730 and Lumia 735.

Under Microsoft's leadership, there appears to be something fresh for everyone looking to be part of the Windows Phone world, except up-to-date versions of Lumia 1320 and Lumia 1520 phablets. And, next week, we will see the software giant unveiling yet another Lumia Windows Phone, this time, perhaps, even featuring its own branding, instead of Nokia's.

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Want to stay safe from WireLurker malware on iOS, OS X? Don't use shady app stores!

Warning Sign Sky Cloud Cloudy

In spite of some incidents here and there, both iOS and OS X are mostly safe from malware. Obviously, that assumption only holds true assuming that users do not go out of their way to get into trouble by jailbreaking their devices and messing with cracked apps or software grabbed from shady places. It is common sense, really -- the security measures that Apple enforces can only go so far to protect users in uncontrolled environments. (The same thing can also be said in regards to Android and Windows, but that is a different story.) And if you need any more proof of just how important it is to stick to trusted sources, this is it.

In the past six months, hundreds of thousands of iOS and OS X users have been affected by the WireLurker malware family, according to security research firm Palo Alto Networks, after using Chinese third-party app store Maiyadi App Store to download OS X software. Go figure!

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Samsung details all the freebies you get by buying Galaxy Note 4, Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

When you buy a Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge you don't just get a great phablet. On top of all the powerful features that Samsung packs in its stylus-toting flagships, it also throws in a lot -- and I mean a lot -- of freebies, most of which you may not even be aware of.

And by freebies I mean freebies that you may want to take advantage of, not free stuff that is nice to have but hardly useful. This is something that Samsung has been doing for quite some time, as it applies to other flagships in its portfolio like Galaxy S5, but is only now detailing the freebies for its Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge customers. The best known perk is probably the 50 GB of free Dropbox storage, which is good for two years.

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Jawbone announces UP Move, UP3 activity trackers

Jawbone UP3 UP Move

Jawbone is expanding its collection of activity trackers with the newly-announced UP Move and UP3. The two new devices target different ends of the market, with the former being designed as a clip-on for basic activity tracking, while the latter is a fitness band meant for demanding users, who wish to have access to a comprehensive feature set.

UP Move is, as you might expect, the cheapest of the two, being priced at just $49.99. Its low cost makes it an attractive first choice for folks on a budget who wish to get into activity trackers. In fact, undoubtedly because of the low asking price, Jawbone markets Up Move as a "great option for anyone at the beginning of a fitness or weight loss journey".

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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge to launch soon at AT&T, T-Mobile

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Even though more than two months have passed since Galaxy Note Edge was unveiled, Samsung has yet to finally bring its phablet to Western markets. Sure, many can get Galaxy Note 4 instead, which has similar specs, but it does not offer that intriguing curved display on the side, nor the appeal of owning a more exclusive device.

However, if you are an AT&T or T-Mobile customer looking to get Galaxy Note Edge, then you're in luck as Samsung will soon introduce its much-awaited device in US. Both mobile operators have announced that they will carry the phablet this month.

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Samsung reveals Find My Mobile is safe, far too long after vulnerability goes public

relieved

Samsung's Find My Mobile device-tracking service was revealed last month to be vulnerable to a denial of service attack, which would allow hackers to lock and wipe enrolled handsets. The media quickly jumped on this, with some pundits suggesting that users should stop using Find My Mobile as soon as possible, due to the apparent risks involved.

Samsung today finally decided to chime in, telling its customers that they actually have nothing to worry about. The vulnerability in question, Samsung says, was fixed more than a week before it went public, resulting in no user data being compromised. Well, it sure took Samsung a long time to come forward with this information, seeing as news about it started to surface a week ago.

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