According to Forbes, Microsoft is preparing to launch a smartwatch in the coming weeks. Forbes says the device will "passively track a wearer’s heart rate and work across different mobile platforms". So the good news is it won’t be tied to Windows Phone which only has a tiny 2.5 percent share of the mobile market.
A device that isn’t tied to the one platform is a very smart move for Microsoft. Apple Watch will probably be the device that propels smartwatches into the mainstream, but it requires wearers to have an iPhone. Android smartwatches connect to Android mobiles. If you switch from one platform to another -- move from Android to iOS for example -- you’ll need to buy a different watch. Microsoft’s device could solve that problem. There are other benefits too.
So yesterday Apple announced the latest iteration of its hugely popular iPad. I own a fourth gen model, and as someone who likes to be on the cutting edge, I was all set to snap up the new device. Except, what I saw didn’t excite me or give me a killer reason to drop $600+.
Tablet sales are slowing, and a large chunk of the reason for that can be laid squarely at Apple’s door. While the iPad Air 2 will appeal to first time buyers, businesses, or people looking to upgrade from inferior tablets, it just doesn’t offer enough to get existing iPad owners like me to upgrade. But it’s thinner! It’s lighter! So what? I’m not a frail old lady, or cursed with a muscle wasting disease. My iPad 4 is hardly a major weight, and to be honest, I like my devices to have a bit of heft to them anyway.
As is the case with all Apple announcements these days, rumors, speculation and leaks were rife ahead of the official iPad event, and pretty much all of what we were expecting to be revealed today, was revealed.
We expected Apple to refresh its iPad Air and iPad mini tablets, and that’s what we got in the shape of the iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 3.
Apple always streams its major events live, but restricts them to existing users of Apple products.
If you want to watch today’s launch of the Apple iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, you need to be viewing on Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second or third-generation Apple TV with software version 6.2 or later. However, there is a way around this.
Microsoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview a fortnight ago, inviting testers to participate in the Windows Insider Program and help the company build a better operating system.
In two weeks, over a million people have apparently signed up to try out the new OS, and according to Microsoft, the tech giant has received over 200,000 pieces of user-initiated feedback to date via the built-in Windows Feedback app. You can see a rough breakdown of the top feedback received so far here. Microsoft also revealed some genuinely interesting information regarding how people are running the OS.
The main highlight in the Windows 10 Technical Preview is unquestionably the new Start menu. It is the perfect blend of the old and the new, mixing the Windows 7 Start menu with Windows 8's tiled Start screen.
If, however, you’re a Windows 8.x user who has become accustomed to working in the Start screen, you may not want to take the 'backward step' of returning to a Start menu. (My colleague Mark Wilson certainly feels your pain). The good news is Windows 10 lets you choose between the Start menu and Start screen, although switching backwards and forwards between the two modes is rather cumbersome. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution.
The GIF was first introduced to the world by CompuServe in 1987 and despite all of the technological advancements that have occurred since then -- including the creation of the web itself -- the ancient graphics format remains as popular today as ever.
With Project GIFV, Imgur has taken what’s great about animated GIFs, but modernized the format. The platform-wide upgrade will automatically convert uploaded GIF files into MP4 video on-the-fly. The resulting .gifv will offer better quality in a smaller file size and load much faster. But that's not all.
Tablets are fantastic for casual tasks such as checking email, browsing the web, watching movies and playing games, but they’re not so good for doing work on because the virtual keyboard takes up so much of the screen space, and it’s difficult to touch type on.
If you want to boost your productivity, you need to consider buying a keyboard for your device. There are plenty of good ones to choose from, but that adds yet another thing to carry around with you. The Atongm Bluetooth Virtual Laser Keyboard is a tiny solution (36x18x74 mm, approx. 40g) which gives you back your screen space and turns any surface -- such as a table in a coffee shop -- into a keyboard.
Apple Watch could well be the device that brings wearables into the mainstream, but if you’re not a fan of Apple products, there are plenty of Android smartwatches to choose from, and if you want to really stand out from the crowd, how about a watch that runs Windows 95?
Microsoft’s veteran operating system will turn twenty next year, and enterprising Samsung Gear Live owner Corbin Davenport has managed to blend old and new, getting Windows 95 running on Android Wear.
While most people will be talking about the return of the Start menu in the next version of Microsoft’s operating system -- and with good reason -- it’s not the only big change in Windows 10.
Windows 8 proved to be something of a productivity killer for many people, but Microsoft is once again catering to the needs of power users, and has finally introduced a feature that has been offered in Linux for many years -- the virtual desktop.
There are lots of excellent Android tablets around, including the Nexus 7, and the Kindle Fire HDX, but if you can’t afford a top of the range tablet, or are looking for a second device, or one to give as gift, then a budget model may be preferable.
Gigaset (previously Gigaset Siemens), which usually makes home phones, has entered the tablet market with the QV830, an ultra-affordable 8-inch Android tablet with some stylish touches -- it has an anodized aluminum rear casing, for example, rather than being all-plastic as you might expect.
Apple devices hold their value well, which is good news if you’re thinking of selling an old one. The downside of this is it makes iPhones an attractive target for thieves.
If you’re looking to buy an iPhone, but can’t afford a brand new one -- on contract or off -- then shopping for a used model makes a lot of sense. But how can you know for sure that the device you’ve got your eye on is being offered by the legitimate owner, and not a thief offloading his ill-gotten gains? A new Apple tool can tell you.
I switched from Windows 7 to Windows 8 from day one, and although I’ve dabbled with Start buttons, Classic Shell being the preferred choice, I learned to live with the Start screen, something that became easier once Microsoft released Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Update. But now that Windows 10 Technical Preview is here, it’s time to once again embrace the Start menu.
Windows 10’s Start menu is the perfect blend of Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. Click the Start button and the menu appears, displaying icons on the left and tiles on the right.
Microsoft has just released the Technical Preview of Windows 10. It’s a very early build, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a better idea.
Microsoft surprised everyone yesterday by announcing that the next version of Windows would not be Windows 9, as was widely expected, but Windows 10. The new name makes little sense really, but that doesn't matter because the new operating system looks good, and should please current users of both Windows 7 and 8.x.
Before it launched Windows 8, Microsoft released preview versions of the OS, allowing people to test what was a radically different UI. With Windows 9, the tech giant is taking the same approach, but with one fundamental difference -- it promises to listen to what users think of the OS, and this feedback will help shape the direction of Windows 10. If the company had done that with Windows 8 there's a very good chance things might have worked out differently for the tiled OS. If you're keen to get your hands on the technical preview, the good news is the wait is over and it's now available.