Microsoft will have a hard time convincing consumers who wish to buy Apple's MacBook Air to get Surface Pro 3 instead. That is not because the former is the better purchase, but because these devices aim to please two different crowds. You're either a Mac or a PC, as the old Apple commercials would say today.
I believe that Microsoft does not realize that it is pitching Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd. Swaying would-be MacBook Air owners in the hybrid's direction is not a simple matter of touting feature benefits, as in Surface Pro 3 can be more and do more than MacBook Air. People have to be convinced that those features are things they want; just because they are offered does not automatically mean that they will immediately gravitate towards the device that has them. Yes, some do not want more just because they can get more. And, would-be MacBook Air users do not want more. It's more likely that would-be Surface Pro 3 users do.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display lineup with faster processors across the board and more RAM in the base 13.3-inch and 15.4-inch models, that kick off at $1,299 and $1,999, respectively. The new processors are 200 MHz faster than before.
Both the entry-level and mid-range 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pros come with a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (with Turbo Boost up to 3.1 GHz), while the high-end model packs an even faster 2.8 GHz processor (with Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz). The base model gains 8 GB of RAM in the new generation, twice as much as its predecessor offered, but retains its 128 GB of internal storage.
Even though it has gone to the effort of switching to another rendering engine to reach more users, Norwegian software company Opera, in mid-2013, ceased to further update the Linux version of its browser, leaving users without new features, bug fixes and security patches. In the meantime, Opera's main competitors, like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, continued to give them the level of support that they deserve.
Now, after close to a one-year hiatus, the company behind the well-known browser announces the availability of Opera Developer 24 for Linux (and, of course, OS X and Windows). It is an unexpected release, and also great news for those hoping to witness the browser's triumphant return in the land of the open-source kernel.
Hate all you want, but Skype is awesome. The fact that it is supported on like, everything makes it one of the best video chat solutions. It works on Linux, Android, Windows Phone, iOS, OS X -- it is the bomb. Microsoft shows no favoritism to platform when this software is concerned.
Today however, in a bit of shocking news, Microsoft announces that in an effort to move everyone to the newest version of Skype, it will be retiring older versions for Windows and Mac. Does this mean that outdated versions will move to Florida and join AARP? No, well...maybe. Actually, it is not at all clear what retirement means in this case.
Looking for a way to access programs on your desktop or laptop from your mobile? You could go down the route of installing something like TeamViewer, but with the best will in the world, trying to control your entire Windows or Mac desktop from your mobile is a fiddly experience at best.
A more practical solution can be found by going down the Parallels Access route, and it’s one that’s just been made even better with the release of version 2.0.
Nowadays, if you buy a brand new laptop, it is hard to buy an absolute lemon. Unless you scrape the bottom of the barrel at Best Buy and get some god-awful $200 underpowered computer, you should be fine. Hell, even that inexpensive computer may meet some people's needs. However, some of us spend many hours of each day on a computer, so it makes sense to invest in something great. If you are reading BetaNews, I'm sure you fall into that category. If you ask me which computer to buy, I would recommend many (depending on budget), but two stand out among the rest.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Apple MacBook Air are great balances between portability, power and cost. Yes, there are more powerful computers, but they are often very heavy and have terrible battery life. Portability cannot be underestimated when it comes to a laptop's value and both of these machines are super thin and light. Last month, my colleague Mihaita pondered the question of which was better based on specs alone. However, as someone who has used both, hands-on, for long periods of time, I am ready to definitively tell you that the Surface Pro 3 is better. Do you agree?
In early-June, at WWDC 2014, Apple took the wraps off the latest iteration of its Mac operating system, named OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It is now undergoing beta testing, being available only to registered developers. The official launch is set for this fall.
If you want to take a peek at how OS X 10.10 Yosemite looks and some of the new features it brings on Macs, Apple has released a new video, titled The New Look of OS X Yosemite, which showcases the new OS.
Most everyone, at least the tech-savvy who read this, are familiar with VLC Player -- the Video LAN Client. It's a jack-of-all trades media player, that is capable of handling pretty much any format you can throw at it, no matter how obscure it may be.
Now the developers of the project are revealing one more feature that is on the roadmap -- support for Chromecast. The question was asked on the forums and lead developer Felix Paul Kuehne responded that support was in the works. "Yep, this is exactly what we are up to", he states.
Many people are loyal to a specific operating system. While I mostly use the wonderful Windows 8.1, I also use Linux and OS X too. Apple's operating system works and looks very well, but from a productivity standpoint, Windows still has it beat. Don't get me wrong, OS X is fun to use and rewarding, but it can't even do window-snapping on the edges of the screen. Don't even get me started on the horrible native email client.
Today, Apple showed-off the latest version of OS X (10.10), dubbed "Yosemite". The fruit-logo company has slapped a new coat of paint on the operating system, making it resemble the flatness of iOS 7. However, the appearance is only part of the story. It not only has a new look, but new features and improvements too. In other words, Yosemite looks to be an important update for Mac users.
There is no shortage of quality operating systems out there. Between Ubuntu 14.04, Chrome OS, Windows 8.1 Update and OS X, you can't make a bad choice. Most modern operating systems are pretty great. Personally, I utilize all of the previously mentioned OSes on a regular basis. However, I have been spending most of my time between Windows and OS X.
No, I don't own a Mac, but I did build a Hackintosh. This is just a normal PC that runs Apple's OS. This allows me to get great performance and customize my machine, while still enjoying the benefits of OS X. Today, after a period of open beta-testing, the final version of Mavericks 10.9.3 is gifted to existing Mavericks users. Is it worth the upgrade?
The concept of beta software has changed dramatically over the years. It used to be that a "beta" designation meant software was buggy and not ready for production machines. However, companies like Google have desensitized users by keeping software in perpetual beta mode. I mean hell, Google Maps navigation still comes with a notification about being beta, yet many people depend on it for not getting lost.
Apple is a company that does not offer beta software to the public very often. Although, voice-assistant Siri was in beta status when it was first released. In this case, the beta moniker was really used as a way to deflect negativity. I mean, come on, how can one of the biggest selling-points of your new smartphone be beta? Well, Apple is back at it today, as it makes OS X beta software available for testing to all users -- not just developers and employees.
My girlfriend was on the prowl for a new vehicle not too long ago, and decided on a Subaru. Not only do the company's vehicles arguably receive some of the highest safety ratings in the States, but their policy of across-the-board all wheel drive is another nicety I love about them. Even so, she wouldn't think of ditching her safety belt, no matter how safe the cars claim to be.
Likewise, sizable portions of American society lives out in rural areas where crime and theft are almost unheard of. Yet they most likely still use locks on all of their doors, and keep them locked shut at night. Their risk of forced entry or other crimes are leagues lower than in congested urban areas (like my neck of the woods, Chicago) but they still follow plain commonsense.
For jotting down digital notes, I prefer Evernote over any other app, including Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote. The main thing I like about it is the superb platform availability that allows me to use the service on every laptop, smartphone and tablet that I own. The sharing feature is also great; my girlfriend and I can seamlessly share and edit each other's notes and notebooks.
While Google Keep is not yet a strong contender for me, OneNote can be as good as Evernote. Some would argue it is even better. Because both my girlfriend and I use Windows Phone 8 smartphones, Microsoft's app would appear to be a natural choice. But, the lack of support for OS X means OneNote is a no-go, as I cannot use it on my MacBook Air. Until now.
Successful people often go everywhere with a pad and pen. After all, you never know when an idea might materialize. However, as the technology age progresses, paper and pen is being replaced by smartphones and tablets. This is ideal, as it is easier to organize digital notes than paper ones -- syncing across devices and computers.
Many companies offer software solutions for idea retention and note taking. For example, Google offers Keep and let us not forget about the wildly popular Evernote. Microsoft also offers an amazing solution called OneNote, although it does not get the attention it deserves. Microsoft intends to change that, as today it announces a few major changes -- there is now a Mac version which will be free. Also free is the Windows version. Clearly, these moves signify Microsoft declaring war on competitors -- but is it enough?
If you do not fancy using the App Store or the built-in recovery mode to download and run the large OS X 10.9 Mavericks setup file, Apple gives you the option to create a bootable USB drive to install the operating system on your Mac. It is fast and works even when there is no Internet connection available.
The process is pretty straightforward, and does not require advanced skills, or downloading a dedicated third-party tool (although I will also explain how to use one, in case you decide or need to go down this road). All you need is an 8 GB USB drive (it can be larger), which you may already have lying around somewhere, and a Mac.