Max Nottingham

New Apple TV's limitations are deal-breakers

Apple just unveiled its new Apple TV at a media event. The set-top box, which is part gaming console as well, boasts several new functionalities including the iOS-based tvOS, support for voice-search Siri, and a new app store designed just for the media streaming device. Despite all these features, there are a couple of off-putting limitations that you should consider before purchasing the new Apple TV.

The Apple TV was rumored to be a great gaming console with support for tons of iOS titles. But when Apple stepped on the stage to make the announcement, not only did the company not announce those features, making it clear that not all the iOS games will support the TV, a couple of things that the company did unveil now are making the whole package, which starts at $149, less exciting.

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Apple Watch gets watchOS 2 with support for native apps; new bands and cases

At a media event today, Apple announces an update to the Watch. The Cupertino-based company announces watchOS 2 with support for native apps, and on the hardware side, the new gold and rose gold aluminum Apple Watch Sport models. Available as a free upgrade, watchOS 2 will become available on September 16.

At the event, where the company also unveiled the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, the iPad mini 4, the iPad Pro, some much-anticipated features for the Apple Watch were announced. Among many new features, the company said that watchOS 2 is bringing support for native apps -- finally you can run an app on the Watch, instead of mirroring it to your timepiece, as well new watch faces. The company said that it would make apps faster and more fluid.

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Yu Yunique launches in India, offers 4G LTE for Rs 4999 ($75)

Yu Televentures, an online subsidiary of Micromax, today launches its third smartphone. Targeting the growing affordable smartphone market, the company introduces Yu Yunique. The 4G capable handset packs in an impressive set of specifications for just Rs 4,999 ($75).

The Yu Yunique sports a 4.7-inch HD (1,280 x 7,20 pixels) display and is powered by a 64-bit capable Snapdragon 410 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.2GHz with Adreno 306 GPU. It has 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, with support for a microSD card should you need more storage. On the software front, the handset runs Android 5.1 Lollipop.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 5 launches in India starting at Rs 53,900 ($800)

At an ongoing media event in New Delhi, India, Samsung today launches the Galaxy Note 5, its latest flagship phablet device, in the country. Unlike the Note 4, and several other Galaxy smartphones and phablets, the Note 5 is comparatively well priced. The South Korean technology conglomerate announced that the Note 5 will be available for purchase starting Rs 53,900 (roughly $800), and will go on sale starting September 20.

Unveiled at an event last month, the Galaxy Note 5 is the company's latest flagship phablet device. It sports a 5.7-inch QHD Super-AMOLED display with a pixel density of 515ppi. It is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Exynos 7420 SoC with four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. It comes in two storage variants: 32GB and 64GB, and doesn't support microSD card. On the software side, it runs on Android Lollipop with TouchWiz UI on top of it.

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Microsoft releases beta of Skype Universal Messaging app

The long-anticipated Skype Messaging app is finally here. That is, if you have a Windows Phone smartphone, and just happen to be running Windows 10 Mobile developer preview. The company quietly released the new messaging client on Sunday.

The Skype Universal Messaging app, as evident in the screenshots and descriptions, comes with a user interface that seems very similar to the built-in messaging app on Windows Phone 8.1 and above. The app, as you would expect, also offers a quick option to do voice calling.

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Microsoft kills several Lumia apps in a streamlining effort

Having trouble locating Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer, and Lumia Refocus in the Windows Store? Quit trying; they are no longer available to download. That's because Microsoft has pulled these services from the official store as part of its ongoing “streamlining” efforts, it announces in a blog post.

The company has pulled Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer, and Lumia Refocus apps, and noted that those who have it installed on their device, will stop receiving any app updates after October 30, 2015. The said apps won't be able to offer online services. Lumia Panorama and Video Uploader are also among the affected apps, and they too won't receive any updates from the company.

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Amid Windows 10 controversy, Microsoft quietly releases privacy botching features to Windows 7 and 8

It's been roughly a month since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft's newest desktop operating system. It packs in several enticing features including the digital assistant Cortana. But despite all the interesting offerings, Windows 10 isn't sitting well with many. Privacy advocates have criticized Microsoft for introducing several features that are seemingly concerning to those who care about their privacy. To make things worse, the company has now rolled out some of these annoying features to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

First spotted by Ghacks, some of the recent updates that Microsoft rolled out to Windows 8 and Windows 7 set a computer to regularly send reports of a machine's activities to Microsoft. The update dubbed 3068708, for instance, introduces the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service on the computers it is installed on. "By applying this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights", Microsoft describes the purpose of the update.

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Microsoft releases Cortana to India, Australia and Canada for Windows 10 Insiders

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it is bringing Cortana, the company's digital assistant, to several new regions, including Japan, India, Australia, and Canada. The feature is available for users as an optional download on Windows 10 build 10532 (to be also available in the later builds). If you're in any other region, sadly, there is nothing here to get you excited.

Back in July, Microsoft had announced its plan to bring Cortana to more regions. As promised, folks in Japan can now use the digital assistant in their local language. The headline feature comes as an optional download.

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Like it or not, Apple Watch is selling like hotcakes

Truth is, many people were hoping the Apple Watch to be a massive failure. But while Apple's first wearable hasn't been the sleeper success folks at Cupertino might have hoped for, it hasn't exactly been a non-success either. According to the unerring research firm IDC, about 3.6 million Apple Watch devices were sold in the second quarter of 2015.

The Apple Watch, which went on sale about six months ago, is the second most popular wearable device on the market, as per the latest figures disseminated by IDC. Apple managed to ship about 3.6 million Apple Watches in the second quarter of 2015. The Apple Watch is only behind Fitbit fitness trackers in the wearable space. Fitbit is estimated to have sold 4.4 million units fitness wearables.

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Samsung is giving away paid apps and magazine subscriptions with Note 5 and S6 Edge+

The retail price of the Galaxy Note 5 starts at around $740 (off-contract) and $250 (2-year contract). Similarly, the Samsung Galaxy Edge+ will set you back by at least $820 (sans contract) and $300 (2-year contract). If that seems like a lot of money to you for the said devices, Samsung is offering an interesting set of goodies -- called Galaxy Gifts -- to offset the otherwise a bit pricey label.

The company is giving away a package of premium apps and subscriptions consisting of paid games including Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Driver Speedboat Paradise, PES Club Manager, and Empire: Four Kingdoms. You also get paid apps like Art Rage, Komoot, and Sketch Book for no extra charge. Worth pointing out that some of these are already free via the Play Store, and the company is taking care of in-app purchases, in such cases.

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Microsoft releases Cortana to Android as public beta

Microsoft’s Cortana is now officially available on Android. The company announced earlier this year that it would release its digital voice assistant to Android and iOS later this year. Prior to the official release, a private Android beta of Cortana leaked this July. Today the company releases a public beta client of Cortana for devices powered by Google's mobile operating system.

In case you’ve used Cortana on a Windows Phone handset before, it wouldn’t take much time to get settled with it on Android. It maintains the same interface and functionalities. In case you haven't used it before, Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Google's Google Now assistant. You can use Cortana to ask for directions, and get your queries answered, among other things.

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Xiaomi releases MIUI 7 beta -- here's how to install it on your smartphone

Xiaomi today releases the highly anticipated beta of MIUI 7 global ROM. The new Android-based ROM is built on Android 5.1 Lollipop and comes with a number of notable features and improvements. If you've recently purchased a Xiaomi smartphone and need assistance with the installation of the beta ROM on your device, here's a guide to help you out.

MIUI 7 beta ROM features several themes and interesting features. Visual IVR, for instance, lets you navigate through the IVR menu without even listening to the caller. The new ROM also features Opera Max to significantly reduce the data usage.

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