Wayne Williams

Nokia isn't totally abandoning HERE on Windows Phone, but Android and iOS will be its priority

Driving into sunset

Nokia’s HERE suite of driving and navigation apps first made its appearance on Windows Phone, and although it’s now being developed for other platforms, for many it remains best associated with Microsoft’s mobile operating system.

However, now that Nokia is no longer tied to Windows Phone, the Finnish company’s interest in developing for that platform is waning, and it will in future be focusing on Android and iOS -- which have a much larger user base.

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Canon i-SENSYS MF229dw: A great value multifunction printer for home and small business [review]


There’s no shortage of cut-price mono laser printers on the market, but the multifunction Canon i-SENSYS MF229dw is the perfect example of why it’s worth paying a little extra to get a printer that can do everything you’d want it to, and more besides.

Obviously it’s a mono printer, so the one thing it can’t do is output color pages, but aside from that it can print single and double-sided, scan (in 24-bit color), copy pages, and fax documents. It’s a wireless printer, and you can send photos and documents to print directly from iOS and Android devices.

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Get a classic Start menu in Windows 10

classic shell

Windows 10 is very much a work in progress, but one feature that’s definitely going to be around in the final release is the Start menu. Microsoft has done a clever job of blending the traditional Start menu with the divisive Start screen found in Windows 8.x. I’m a big fan of this approach, and the menu is customizable too, so if you really, really hate the tiles, you can turn them off.

However, for some people nothing less than a classic Windows 7 style Start menu is going to be acceptable. If you count yourself in that number, the good news is you can now get a traditional Start menu in Windows 10 thanks to Classic Shell.

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BuQu's PowerArmour case protects iPhone 6, doubles battery life


There are just two things I’d improve about Apple’s new iPhone -- its durability and battery life. Both are reasonable, but could be better. This is where BuQu’s PowerArmour case comes in. It will protect your device from drops, and provide up to 100 percent extra battery life. What’s not to love?

The Apple certified "Made for iPhone" case has an integrated 2,800mAh battery that keeps your phone charged at all times, and is sourced from the same manufacturer that provides batteries for Apple’s devices so you know it’s going to last.

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Hub It can now charge your devices wirelessly


I reviewed Hub It a couple of weeks ago, and described it as an "essential, fully customizable sync and charging station for all your devices". I liked it so much in fact, I persuaded its creators, Eggtronic, to giveaway two to BetaNews readers. Enter here (but be quick, the giveaway ends soon).

The product comes with three USB 3.0 ports, as well as connectors for Micro USB, Mini USB, Apple 30 pin and Apple Lightning, but you’re not limited to those options. The station makes use of hot switchable cartridges so you can choose exactly which connectors it offers. And from today, you can add Qi wireless charging to the list.

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AOC's new computer screens can reduce eye fatigue and retinal stress

AOC flicker free

If you sit in front of a computer screen all day, as so many of us do, there’s the risk of developing eye fatigue and headaches. Taking regular breaks can help, but you have to remember to do so.

Monitor-maker AOC says it has found a way to reduce the risks of spending so much time in front of computer screens and is debuting two new displays which offer Anti-Blue Light and Flicker FREE technology that it claims can combat eye-related issues such as retinal stress and macular degeneration.

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BT in talks to acquire EE for £12.5 billion


There’s been plenty of speculation over the past few weeks as to which mobile provider British Telecom was sweetest on -- EE or O2 (its ex) -- but today we learn the object of BT’s affection is definitely the Deutsche Telekom and Orange S.A  joint-venture, as the telecoms giant confirms that it has entered into "exclusive negotiations" to buy EE for £12.5 billion.

There’s a long, long way to go before the companies tie the knot, but if things go ahead, part of the purchase price will be paid in BT shares. Upon successful completion of the proposed transaction Deutsche Telekom stands to own a 12 percent stake in the company, and Orange would gain 4 percent.

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What to expect in the next Windows 10 build

9901 leak

Microsoft plans to launch the next build of Windows 10 in January, and we’ll start to see some focus on the consumer side of things. The company is holding an event at its Redmond campus on January 21 to talk about the "next chapter" of the OS.

But while the tech giant isn’t releasing any new builds for a few weeks at least, there have been several leaks on the internet that reveal what we can expect to see when it does. Here’s what coming to a PC near you soon.

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37 percent of young people have sent naked photos of themselves, often to total strangers


UK-based anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label has published its annual study into how people aged 13-25 are currently engaging with (and abusing) smartphone technology. The Wireless Report (2014) reveals worrying details on the increase in the number of cyberbullying cases which includes death and physical assault threats, and exposure of information, including sharing of naked photos without the subject’s permission.

The report, which was compiled from the results of a survey advertised as being about smartphone apps (without mention of bullying, abuse or sexting) reveals some striking statistics.

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Xbox One finally outsells PlayStation 4 -- Sony unlikely to be losing any sleep over the news

Xbox one

Since Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles launched in late 2013, PlayStation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One very, very comfortably. In fact, just a month ago I reported that the PS4 had sold double that of its rival in the first year.

However, in November Microsoft’s console finally managed to claim the top spot, helped in no small part by a price cut and some decent software launches coming into the holiday season.

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Microsoft to unveil the next chapter of Windows 10 in January


Windows 10 is very much a work in progress. While certain elements of the forthcoming OS appear close to how they will be in the finished release, much of what’s in the Technical Preview is early and very buggy. There’s been talk of the new operating system coming out in Spring 2015, but the latest rumors, based on what Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer at Redmond, told the Nikkei news service, a September release is looking a far more realistic prospect. That’s a smart move, as the last thing Microsoft should be doing is rushing out an unfinished OS -- as it did with Windows 8.

You won’t have to wait too long for your next big batch of Windows 10 goodness though, as Microsoft will be holding an event at its Redmond campus on January 21 to talk about the "next chapter" of the OS.

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Fitbit adds Cortana support to its Windows Phone 8.1 app


When Fitbit launched its free, native app for Windows Phone 8.1 four months ago, it was a huge win for Microsoft which has in the past struggled to entice big names to its platform. The Fitbit app includes pretty much everything an owner of one of the firm’s activity trackers could want, including real-time and historical stats, automatic wireless syncing, activity and food logging, and the ability to pin the Fitbit Live Tile to your Start screen.

But where some companies simply port Android or iOS versions of their apps to Windows Phone and then forget about them, Fitbit shows just how committed it is to Microsoft's mobile platform by updating its app to introduce Cortana integration for easy voice-activated food & activity logging, as well as various other features.

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Mous Musicase: The iPhone case that puts an end to lost and tangled headphones [Review]


I use headphones to listen to music and games on my iPhone a lot. As a result, I often have headphones with me, either wrapped around my phone or just shoved in a pocket. Sometimes though I’ll forget to take them when I go out, which can be a pain.

The successfully Kickstarter-backed Mous Musicase aims to solve this problem by integrating Apple EarPods into your iPhone so they’re always at hand and you don’t have to worry about them getting tangled or lost.

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EyeFly3D Nanoglass: Convincing 3D on your iPhone -- no silly glasses required [Review]


3D movies might not be as popular (or ubiquitous) as they were a few years ago, but people still enjoy viewing media with a degree of depth. The massive success of the Nintendo 3DS is testament to this.

If you own an Apple iPhone, and want to view images or video in 3D (without having to wear special glasses), you now can thanks to EyeFly3D Nanoglass. This is a screen protector that you attach to your iPhone and which delivers a convincing 3D effect.

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BetaNews giveaway: Hub It customizable sync and charging station


Designed to make it easy to charge up to seven devices at once, regardless of what those devices actually are, Hub It is a clever piece of kit that uses hot switchable cartridges so you can choose which connectors it offers.

By default you get three USB 3.0 ports and connectors for Micro USB, Mini USB, Apple 30 pin and Apple Lightning, but you can opt for any configuration and there are additional cartridges available for other devices, with more choices coming soon. I reviewed it here, and loved it.

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