Third in a series. The holiday season is well and truly behind us now and there's lots of big and important new releases and updates in the App Store this week. One of the most significant is a new app from Google which sees the search giant challenging Apple’s own iTunes Store (albeit with some very important Apple-appeasing limitations).
Elsewhere, cloud storage service Box announced that it has rewritten its app to make it "super-fast, simpler to use and more immersive", and as an incentive for users to try it out the app now comes with 50 GB of storage for free, which definitely makes it worth the download. You can read more about the update here.
The PlayStation 4 might be outselling the Xbox One globally, but last month in the US Microsoft was the undisputed king of the games console.
Research firm NPD Group released sales figures for consoles in December (which Microsoft shared), that showed the Xbox One sold 908,000 units during December, making it the number ones games console in the US. And that’s not the only good news for Microsoft.
These days few of us even leave the house without our smartphones. It’s no secret we’re addicted to our mobile devices, checking them constantly, and using them for all sorts of things -- from talking, texting, emailing and taking photos and videos, to browsing websites, checking the weather, accessing maps and playing games.
A new infographic from Mophie titled "A Day in the Life of a Data Traveler" shows exactly how much we rely on our mobile devices when traveling and provides interesting stats on how we use our smartphones while away and the amount of data being consumed per action.
Yesterday, Wednesday 15 January, was the last day you could officially continue to run the preview versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. From today, if you haven’t upgraded to the full version of the new OS, you’ll see a message telling you to "Reinstall Windows Now". Click the "Get Windows" button to start the upgrade.
You can ignore this warning and continue using the preview, but with a rather major inconvenience -- your PC will restart every two hours. If you’ve only installed Windows 8.1 Preview to test it out, and aren’t using it as your main OS, you may not view this as a massive problem.
Libraries have been removed from File Explorer's sidebar by default in Windows 8.1, but fortunately it's easy enough to restore them -- you just need to click the View tab, click the Navigation button and select Show Libraries. However, there is another more fundamental problem with Libraries and -- worse still -- file searches, which BetaNews reader Rob Howarth alerted me to last week.
In an email he explains, "It is now impossible to add metadata to files as a result of a search from within Windows 8.1. If, for instance, I search for files with the tag 'architecture' Windows will return all the files with that tag wherever they are stored on my machine. This is excellent. But, if I try to amend, modify, or add metadata tags via a search [by right clicking a file and going to Properties/Details] I can no longer do so. I have to find the original source file and update from that location. With over 100,000 files to manage, this is a big hassle for me".
I contacted Nest's PR late last week but heard nothing back. Now I know why. The company has been sold to Google for $3.2 billion. Quite what the acquisition means for Nest and its products long term is difficult to say -- "Nest will stay Nest" according to Nest’s CEO Tony Fadell (the "godfather of the iPod" as he’s also known) -- but it does signal an important move for Google.
The company already knows a lot about you. Depending on which of its services you use it knows what your interests are, where you go on the Internet, and (via Android) in the real world, where you live, who you know, the topics you discuss in emails, the videos you watch and comment on, and more. And now, it could soon begin to know more about what you do in your own home.
The Enterprise edition of Windows 8.x has a feature called Windows To Go that lets you create a working version of Microsoft's tiled operating system on a USB memory stick. You can boot into this and be instantly up and running in the new OS from any computer. Which is great -- provided you have the Enterprise edition of the OS and a "certified" USB drive. If you only have the standard version of Windows 8.x then the option isn't available to you.
But there is a very easy way you can build a personalized and bootable copy of Windows 8 or 8.1 on a USB drive, for use anywhere. All you need is a USB 3.0 device with at least 13GB capacity (it will run on a USB 2.0 memory stick, but slowly), a copy of Windows 8.x (either an installation disc or an ISO -- you can get the Windows 8.1 ISO by following these instructions but you will need a Windows 8.1 key), and a free partitioning program. Here's what you need to do.
Trying to pick one favorite new product at CES is far from an easy task. The show covers all things tech, and there's a lot of desirable new hardware coming out this year. Like my colleague Alan Buckingham's pick, I didn't want to go for something obvious, like a new TV, a new computer, or some form of wearable, but I also wanted to pick something that I definitely plan to buy in the future.
AIRTAME has been seeking funding on Indiegogo, and hasn't just achieved its goal, it's smashed through it. The creators were seeking $160,000 and have to date notched up just over $636,898 (with seven days still to go) and been nominated as the Best Startup of CES 2014 by Engadget -- which is pretty good going. So what exactly is AIRTAME? Essentially it's a dongle, like Google's Chromecast, that aims to provide "wireless HDMI for Everyone".
Second in a series. Big news for Apple this week as the tech giant announces that App Store sales topped $10 billion in 2013, including over $1 billion in December alone. iOS users downloaded almost three billion apps in that one month, which is an incredible figure.
Now the holidays are over, it’s back to business in the App Store, and lots of new apps have been released or updated and there are loads of great new games out too.
Yesterday, I reported that the PlayStation 4 is massively outselling the Xbox One. Inevitably, this sparked a debate in the comments. Is the PS4 really outselling the Xbox One? Yes, unquestionably -- the numbers speak for themselves. But at the same time there are lots of factors that should be taken into account which I didn’t cover in my original post.
Price (which I did mention) is a big factor in these uncertain financial times, and the PS4 is $100 cheaper than its rival. But the number of markets and supply chain issues all also have a huge part to play.
We’re a week into the New Year, a time to look to the future, and all the news flooding out of CES has us excited for what’s coming up. But that’s not to say we can’t still take some time to look back on 2013 -- a year that brought us some great (and not so great) tech.
FinancesOnline.com has created a new infographic summing up 2013 in tech launches and featuring the best smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. Each of the included devices has been sorted into the following categories:
A couple of days ago, Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing, Strategy and Business, Xbox, announced that Microsoft had sold over three million Xbox One consoles to date, across 13 countries. "It’s been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the US during our launch month in November", he said. A million consoles were purchased on 22 November -- launch day -- and the second million was racked up 18 days later.
However, while Microsoft still has plenty to celebrate, Sony’s just dropped a rather large bombshell at CES. Its rival console is not only selling slightly better -- it’s selling an awful lot better.
While the rest of the tech world is announcing hot new products at CES, Apple has chosen this time to reveal some app sales figures in the hope of generating a little press of its own. As you’d expect the numbers it’s offering today are pretty spectacular.
In December iOS users downloaded almost three billion apps, which Apple says makes it the most successful month in the history of the App Store.
There are some near console-quality games available on the iPad, so it makes sense to have a console grade controller to play them with. Gaming peripherals and accessories maker SteelSeries today introduces the Stratus, a wireless gaming controller specifically designed for devices running iOS 7.
The controller, which claims 10+ hours of battery-life (and takes two hours to charge), connects to your iPhone or iPad using Bluetooth, freeing up Wi-Fi so you can play the games on the big screen via AppleTV using AirPlay Mirroring.
Lenovo is making lots of announcements today, chief among them being the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon 14-inch Ultrabook. Designed using carbon fiber (which is lighter than magnesium and aluminum but stronger than both), the X1 Carbon weighs just 2.8 lbs, making it the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook in the world.
The X1 Carbon features the Adaptive Keyboard, which dynamically adjusts based on the software or application being used, and also integrates voice and gesture control. The PC comes with an improved ColorBurst Display which, according to Lenovo, "provides sharper, brighter images at higher resolutions with better viewing angles for a superior visual experience".