Bing is a wonderful search engine. My love for it is hardly a secret, as I declared my affection earlier today. However, while Internet Explorer is getting better all the time, Chrome is still my preferred browser on Windows, Linux and OS X. Unfortunately, using Bing as the default search engine on Chrome just felt wrong. I pictured Google employees spying on my web activity and shaking their heads in disappointment at my horrible crime.
Of course, that is not really happening (I hope), but still Bing on Chrome felt out of place and third-rate in comparison to Google. Today, this changes as Bing comes to new tabs in the Chrome browser.
For a tech nerd, there is nothing more fun than getting a new smartphone. When you get that little box home and carefully open it, it is like reliving Christmas as a child. For some, the contents of the box is just a smartphone, but to others like me and you, it is pure magic.
Sadly, smartphones can be a bit fragile -- dropping it on the concrete or other surface can crack the screen or make the device inoperable. This would be like a child witnessing Santa Claus' sleigh crashing into a tree and turning into a fireball on Christmas Eve -- a nightmare. Of course, you can get a case to protect it, but many of them are bulky and ugly. If you have a beautiful iPhone 5s or Galaxy S5, the last thing you want to do is make it unattractive. No worries, Logitech is once again here to save the day with the beautiful protection+ case for both of those phones.
Given that I used to work for Apple and have lately been quite critical of IBM, readers are wondering what I think of Tuesday’s announcement of an iOS partnership of sorts between Apple and IBM. I think it makes good sense for both companies but isn’t a slam dunk for either.
There are three aspects to this deal -- hardware, apps, and cloud services. For Apple the deal presents primarily a new distribution channel for iPhones and iPads. Apple can always use new channels, especially if they hold inventory and support customers who aren’t price-sensitive. Apple’s primary goal is to simply get more devices inside Big Business and this is a good way to do that.
For years, Steve Jobs fought the good fight against IBM and IBM compatibles. Heck, Apple was the anti-IBM. Sure, the fruit-logo company was out to make money, but not at any cost -- products and perception mattered. To many Apple enthusiasts, IBM was looked at as a dinosaur. Ultimately, IBM failed as a personal computer company, but thrives today offering services. The once mighty ThinkPad line is now property of the Chinese, by way of Lenovo. Apple stands strong in America.
Boy oh boy, Jobs must be spinning in his grave. Today, Apple and IBM join forces to strengthen iOS for the enterprise. Make no mistake, this is not Apple throwing IBM a bone. No, IBM is the stronger enterprise brand lending legitimacy to the iPhone and iPad for business. Big Blue is hired muscle for Apple.
Get ready for another rash of "Year of the Chromebook" stories. It isn't, but tongues will wag. Today, NPD released new data about U.S. commercial computer sales which, like the last set, is sure to be misquoted. Spurred by educational buying, Chromebooks accounted for 40 percent of U.S. commercial channel notebook sales for the three weeks ended June 7. But some nitwits are sure to claim all sales, as they did following December's data drop. Commercial sales are more limited and represent those to businesses, educational institutions, governments, and other organizations.
That's not to diminish Chromebook's success, considering the category is but three years old and supplants OS X and Windows sales in the coveted education market. Users gotten young often stay with a platform for life. The browser-based computers aren't singular entities, either. Android and stand-alone Chrome platforms benefit, too, from halo sales going both ways.
Apple’s mysterious eBay Store is out of the wilderness and back online selling iPhones at prices that undercut the company’s own online refurbished store and pre-empt a new iPhone launch in September.
It’s being reported by Apple Insider that the storefront, which first appeared in 2012, is back on eBay’s site and selling "Apple Certified" iPhone 5 devices in a range of specifications -- something even Apple’s official refurbished site isn’t doing.
Apple has rolled out iTunes 11.3, the latest update to its popular media tool for Mac and Windows. Version 11.3, which is also available as a separate 64-bit build for Windows, extends its iTunes Extras feature to HD movies.
iTunes Extras include additional featurettes -- some of which may be interactive -- to accompany movies, such as behind-the-scenes documentaries, director’s commentary and high-resolution image galleries.
Phones hit the headlines for lots of reasons -- the biggest, the most expensive, the shiniest, or just the newest. We live in times in which security and privacy are major concerns for people in all walks of life. The activities of the NSA, as revealed by Edward Snowden, served only to heighten paranoia -- the prospect of having one's phone calls and text messages intercepted is something that fills few people with joy. Enter Vysk communicastions' Vysk QS1 phone case which can be used with an iPhone 5 or 5s, and a Samsung Galaxy S5 or S4. The selling point here is that it's not just your phone that's protected, but also your privacy.
The privacy features come in mechanical and software forms. On the mechanical front there are "shutters" that can be used to obscure your phone's front and rear cameras, and there's also a jamming system for microphones. This is described by Vysk as "Lockdown Mode", but you can take things a step further. For $9.95 you can subscribe to "Private Call Mode". This introduces encryption to your texts and phone calls, with an onboard processor taking care of encryption on the fly and sent via the Vysk encrypted network. As Vysk puts it: "No one -- not even Vysk -- will know the identity of the caller or the recipient. No data is collected -- no phone numbers, call times or content - so there is no data to record. Because nothing is recorded, nothing is at risk."
Hitting the road means luggage, and luggage is a pain -- all that… stuff… to carry from place to place. Traveling light can help to make the journey less of a chore, but there are some things that simply have to be packed: no self-respecting technology fan would go on vacation without taking a raft of devices with them. But devices need power, and this means chargers are needed. iPhones, MP3 players, Android tablets, iPads, digital cameras, Chromebooks, and countless other devices all need power -- and that means a lot of chargers.
We just took a look at the Lumsing DCH-5U 5-Port USB Travel Wall Charger which enables you to leave the chargers at home and charge up to five devices simultaneously from a single power point. And we have one to give away!
A few weeks ago I took a look at Lumsing's harmonica battery pack. Now from the same stables comes the lengthily titled DCH-5U 5-Port USB Travel Wall Charger. This is a slightly different twist on the idea of providing power to travellers' devices -- this is a wall charger rather than a portable battery pack. If you're going on vacation, taking a trip, or even just hitting the office, there are your devices to consider. Your phone, tablet, MP3 player, and other bits and pieces all need power, all need their own charger.
Except they don’t. Leave all of your chargers at home, and just take a selection of USB cables -- this 5-port hub allows for up to five USB devices (obviously) to be charged from a single wall power point. The 31W/6.2A unit has two 5V 1A ports for phones, and three 5V 2A ports for tablets and devices with higher power demands. Oddly, the ports are labelled, left to right, iPad, iPad, Samsung Tab, iPhone, and Android. It would have made more sense to simply indicate which of the five were the high-powered ports, but this is a minor niggle in the grand scheme of things.
Taste in music is very personal. My favorite genre is Hip-Hop, but many people detest that music type. And really, that's OK -- not everyone has to like everything. However, it is nice for people to respect all music. Even though I listen to songs from Slum Village, Lil Wayne and Mobb Deep, I can respect others too. Hell, I went to the Beach Boys concert this past Saturday night and had a blast.
As polarizing as music can be, so too can music mediums and hardware. Some people still swear by vinyl, others by CD and people like me are OK with streaming music services and MP3. Sadly, when it comes to hardware, like speakers and headphones, it seems consumers are adverse to spending money on quality. It is crazy to see people listening to music with expensive smartphones and tablets with $10 junk ear buds. Today, I am looking at an expensive and polarizing set of on-ear cans -- Beats Solo2.
Twenty-fifth in a series. The App Store saw some excellent releases this week, including two expensive games (by App Store standards) which are well worth the asking price, a powerful email client, a fun, modern day take on an old arcade classic, a superb journaling tool, and an app which can help you take back control of your digital identity.
In other news, all three Infinity Blade games are on sale this holiday weekend. The original Infinity Blade is now $0.99, Infinity Blade 2 is $1.99 and Infinity Blade 3 is priced at $2.99. If you don’t have any or all of these games, now is your chance to right that wrong.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear has been handed a rotten assessment by Apple’s gadget-loving co-founder Steve Wozniak.
The man who started up the technology behemoth with Steve Jobs complained that the smartwatch doesn’t offer the convenience he was hoping and within half a day it was up on eBay ready to be sold at a bargain price.
WinZip has released WinZip for iOS 3.5, a major update to its iOS app for managing zip files on an iPhone or iPad. The latest version of the app, which is heavily discounted to just $1.99 until July 2nd, allows users to zip, extract, encrypt and share zip files safely.
Version 3.5 opens with added support for two new cloud-based storage accounts, with users now able to directly access both Google Drive and OneDrive accounts in addition to Dropbox.
Speaking at a press event as part of Samsung's Business Discovery Day, Jae Shin, the vice president of Samsung's Knox mobile security business group, said that wearable devices will take off with or without Apple's help.
Historically, the hype surrounding the launch of a new Apple product has provided the kick-start for interest in a new type of technology. This has previously been the case for smartphones and tablet computers, thanks to the iPhone and iPad, respectively.