Nowadays, all major operating systems are great. Regardless of your preference, it cannot be denied that Windows, OS X, iOS, Android and many Linux distributions are amazing feats of technology. It is not uncommon for me and many others to use multiple operating systems every day. While Windows is what I use mostly for getting work done, Android is my smartphone OS of choice, and the iPad is my bedtime entertainment computer. It is not necessary to live on a desert island-like environment from only one company exclusively.
Bluetooth keyboards have made typing on devices convenient; however, there is an annoying aspect -- pairing. If you use a Bluetooth keyboard with only one device, you should have no issue. Unfortunately, if you want to share it between multiple devices and operating systems, you have to re-pair it every time you switch. This becomes a tedious affair, turning convenience into a hassle. Luckily, Logitech has released a product, that should alleviate this nuisance -- the Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480.
Tesco has launched the successor to the one of 2013's standout budget consumer tech products. The hudl2 tablet has arrived in the UK, and it's well worth taking notice of.
Featuring a decent 8.3in, 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution screen, a 1.83GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor and 16GB of internal storage (which can be boosted to 48GB), its specifications don't exactly make the mind boggle.
When Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 10, the software giant informed us that its latest operating system, which officially launches next year, will run on all sorts of devices, including PCs, smartphones and tablets, and feature a unified app store. Both are firsts, as, so far, there was a Windows to suit everything: one for ARM tablets, one for PCs, one for embedded devices, one for smartphones and so on. Of course, the Server editions will not go away, but that's to be expected.
As a Windows Phone user and watcher, I am particularly interested in seeing Windows 10 in action on smartphones. Microsoft has talked quite a lot about what the new operating system brings on PCs and tablets -- it even released a Technical Preview build for x86 devices -- but kept quiet about its plans for smartphones. Well, that has changed, thanks to Joe Belfiore, the software giant's Operating Systems Group corporate vice president (better known as the head of Windows Phone).
While traveling, my smartphone's always running out of juice sooner than it normally does. This leads to some frustrating moments, like being unable to make calls, open a map or send texts, not to mention having to watch the percentage indicator. Not knowing where someone is, for instance, is never great news in such situations. I know I could use an external battery charger, but I tend to avoid them, and for good reasons.
They generally tend to be bulky, ugly, and almost fragile. Getting the impression that what can only be regarded as a tool is flimsy is not confidence-inspiring -- if it breaks, it's going to be a problem. Microsoft's new Portable Power appears to be different, however. And why wouldn't it be, when it has some Nokia DNA in it?
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.
When it comes to smartphones, I am generally an Android guy; however, the iPad Air is my favorite casual tablet. While the Surface Pro 3 is my choice for best all-around tablet, there are some places I don't want to bring it, such as the bathroom. Yes, the iPad Air usually is with me when I am sitting on the toilet; sorry if that is TMI (too much information). With that said, the iPad Air can be a great all-purpose tablet too when coupled with a keyboard case; even outside of using the potty.
There are many companies that manufacture iPad keyboard cases, but in my experience, Logitech produces the most reliable and consistent offerings. In other words, the company makes great iPad accessories that consumers can depend on; I've yet to see a lemon. Today, Logitech announces the Type+ Protective case with integrated keyboard for iPad Air and it looks pretty sweet.
Microsoft did something rather unexpected earlier this month. The software giant unveiled a revamped MSN, saving the online portal from oblivion -- its biggest merit lately is being the default website for Internet Explorer. The new MSN looks great, connects users to Microsoft's consumer-facing cloud services, and can be tailored to suit their preference. It also makes it easy to trigger a search across the InterWebs. Heck, I have even said it might work as the Bing landing page.
Fast forward to today and Microsoft announces that more than 10 million users have tested the new MSN, with more than 80,000 of them also submitting feedback. Those numbers look really good. And they should, considering the online portal's Microsoft-focused audience. The feedback it has received must have been good also, as Microsoft announces it is rolling out the new MSN in the next three days.
When I bought my first Chromebook, the 2012 Samsung model, I did it mostly for one reason -- price. I drove down to my local Best Buy and was blown away by how inexpensive it was; at $249 it looked like a MacBook Air and promised good battery life. Even though I knew the limitations of Chrome OS beforehand, I still handed over my money thinking I could find a place for it in my home. For the most part it was OK; I mean, it changed the way I thought about computing, but it soon became apparent that it could not replace my Windows machine. I didn't return it; I kept for basic typing on the go, but I later sold it as it collected dust. You see, my iPad Air when coupled with a keyboard-case was a better portable machine.
Now, in 2014, Chromebooks are making huge strides in homes, schools and the enterprise, but Windows still reigns supreme. While I do recommend Chromebooks for people low on cash that only have basic computing needs, today this changes. You see, HP announces the $199.99 Stream 11 laptop, and with a price that low, why would you bother with Chrome OS?
While we all await the arrival of the next Nexus from Google -- and the wait isn't likely to be very long now -- other low cost Android tablets are trying to attract both our attention and our cash. Asus has a good track record in this respect. Lest we forget, Asus was in fact Google's partner for the last Nexus tablet, though it looks like Google may be ringing the changes in terms of a hardware partner this time round.
Anyhow, what we have here is the MeMO Pad 8, the latest in a line of smaller format, lower cost tablets from Asus that are designed to cater to our desire for a larger than phablet screen that's still potentially pocket-friendly in size and wallet-friendly in price. The MeMO Pad 8 will set you back around £160.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has decided that mobile phones are completely safe to use in-flight, including during take-off and landing. Previous rules required passengers to either switch off phones, or flip them into airplane mode. The EASA's latest decision does not mean that there is an automatic right of mobile use afforded to fliers, but airlines now have the option to permit handset use on their flights. So if you've splashed out on an iPhone 6, bendy or otherwise, you can show it off to your fellow fliers.
While airplane mode blocks the ability to send and receive calls and messages, many passengers have found that they are asked to switch off entirely and refrain from using their handset in any way. The new ruling will arm passengers with more ammunition if they want to argue their case, but it's likely that many European flights will quickly bow to popular demand and permit the use of phones.
There are lot of ways to get your hands on a free tablet -- stick it on your birthday wishlist, win one in a competition, steal one. But there's also another option: get yourself to university. At least this is a path to a free tablet -- a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 specifically -- if you happen to be a first year student at the University of East London. 4,000 students will be handed a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 8 when they start their studies. The venture will cost the university £2 million (around $3.25 million), but the vice-chancellor thinks that it is money well-spent.
It might not be the newest tablet on the market, but few students are likely to turn their noses up at the freebie. Professor John Joughin said, "We are delighted to be putting support directly in the hands of our students and providing them with a state-of-the-art learning platform for the duration of their studies", explaining that equipping students with the tablets will create a "level playing field for all of our students".
Apple and Google do not want the US Government to be able to access your private data, even when search warrants are involved. It's a bold stand they're taking, which has been applauded by privacy advocates and, quite probably, criminals as well. But, guess what? That does not sit well with the authorities. FBI Director James Comey is troubled by the idea that the all-mighty agency that he runs can be stopped dead in its tracks when trying to see your intimate photos, videos and whatnot. Imagine that.
Here's what the fuss is all about. If encryption is turned on, the encryption key, that is needed in order to access the data that is stored on an Android or iOS 8 device, is in the user's control, instead of Google's or Apple's. As such, this allows the companies to be unable to comply with search warrants. It's clever: you can't give what you don't have.
Flying is terrifying for me, which is arguably illogical. Plane crashes are fairly rare, but turbulence still causes me to wet my pants (no, not literally). What tends to calm me is knowing that a professional pilot is in charge of the plane, and is using the best technology.
Unfortunately my choice for the best tablet, the Surface Pro 3, was not previously permitted for use as an electronic flight bag for pilots during the entire flight (an EFB is a device used for performing flight management tasks). This changes today however, as both the FAA and EASA give Microsoft a big thumbs-up, and authorizes it for uninterrupted in-flight use.
Apple is now advising its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus-toting customers to downgrade from iOS 8.0.1, which was only introduced yesterday, because the latest version of its mobile operating system contains some pretty nasty bugs that ruin the user experience.
Apple publicly admits that installing iOS 8.0.1 on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus may lead to a loss of cellular service and the inability to make use of Touch ID, neither of which plagues iOS 8. The older iteration, which was rolled out on September 17, is not without bugs, however Apple would rather you run into them again over not being able to make calls and use the fingerprint scanner.
Seven years after its inception, online image editing service Aviary has been acquired by Adobe. The Photoshop stalwart is no stranger to the cloud, but this latest purchase seems to indicate that the company is looking to expand further in this arena. Pay a visit to the Aviary website and the Adobe branding is already in place -- there's also a new entry on the Aviary company timeline that has been updated to reflect the acquisition. The Adobe-branded Aviary website makes clear the thinking behind the move: "accelerating delivery of mobile apps that integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud".
It seems that the main reason for Adobe's interest in Aviary is the fact that the ornithologically-named firm has developed a number of mobile SDKs. Aviary is already a popular tool, and Adobe is understandably keen to monetize the popularity of cloud apps and mobile services: Aviary is a ready-made package that encompasses both of these ideas perfectly. An announcement by Adobe explains that "the acquisition accelerates Adobe's strategy to make Creative Cloud a vibrant platform for third-party apps, through a new Creative SDK".