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Windows 8.1 Could Get Some Love
October 17, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday began rolling out Windows 8.1 worldwide. This latest update to its flagship OS has improved multitasking, improved search, a redesigned Windows Store, and new and updated apps. The Start button, which users have been clamoring for since Windows 8 was released, has been restored.
How to Get Rid of Bloatware on Your Phone or PC
October 16, 2013
You know all those free programs that typically come on PCs and mobile devices whether you want them or not? Common examples include paid antivirus programs within the PC environment and phone company add-ons like music stores within Android. Often called "bloatware," they are usually manufacturer- or carrier-sanctioned stripped down come-ons designed to get you to buy a subscription or upgrade.
Apple's Oct. 22 Invites Kick Rumor Mill Into High Gear
October 16, 2013
Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to an undisclosed event to be held Oct. 22 in San Francisco, fueling fresh speculation about the company's planned product launches. It's widely expected that Apple will unveil new versions of the iPad and iPad mini. "The most solid rumors are that we'll see a 9.7-inch fifth-generation iPad," suggested Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research.
Lenovo's Android Laptop Will Bend Over Backwards
October 11, 2013
Manuals from Lenovo that were leaked onto the Internet indicate that the company is working on a laptop running Android. Not only were two manuals for the IdeaPad A10 discovered this week on the Web -- one dated July and the other dated August -- but Lenovo has reportedly since confirmed the upcoming product. Android will come preinstalled on the device.
Disney Tech Makes Touchscreens Touchy-Feely
October 10, 2013
Disney Research has developed an algorithm that will render 3D textures and tactile features on a touchscreen, it announced earlier this week, enabling users to "feel" the on-screen images they touch and see. The technology works on still images as well as streaming videos, and it achieves its effect by altering the friction the user's fingers encounter as they glide across the screen's surface.
No Break for Samsung on US Import Ban
October 08, 2013
The Obama administration has upheld a ban won by Apple earlier this year that requires Samsung Electronics to stop importing certain smartphones and tablets into the U.S. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the announcement on Tuesday morning. Two older versions of the Galaxy smartphone and Galaxy tablet were the products affected.
Dell Whisks the Wraps Off New Tablets, Laptops
October 03, 2013
Dell on Wednesday released new tablets and updates to its XPS line of laptops for geeks, less than three weeks after founder Michael Dell won a long and bitter battle to take the company private again. The company launched two Windows 8.1 tablets and two Android tablets under the revived "Venue" name. It also unveiled the XPS 11, XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops.
Apple's Sneak Attack on Gaming Is Now in Play
October 03, 2013
Apple let a silly game demonstration take center stage at WWDC in June, and it released a new framework with instructions on how developers could build physical game controllers. The two together led me to believe that an Apple sneak attack on living room gaming was imminent. Since then, two more elements have risen to the surface, and now I think the sneak attack is well under way.
BlackBerry and Surface 2: The Fight to Reclaim Past Glory
September 30, 2013
Both BlackBerry and Microsoft have been in far stronger positions with regard to personal technology. At one time, Microsoft was contending for leadership in smartphones against Palm and BlackBerry, and BlackBerry took leadership only to lose it to Apple and then Samsung. Microsoft put tablets on the map in the early part of last decade, but it missed a memo and Apple refined them to success.
If You're a Cinephile, You'll Love Mubi - if Not, It May Make You One
September 30, 2013
MUBI is an app for classic and independent movie lovers: Each day, the MUBI team hand picks an international, independent or classic film. MUBI subscribers can then view that film for up to 30 days, and effectively, this means that you can watch 30 or so movies each month for $4.99, or less per month if you sign up for six months or a year. The MUBI app is fantastic.
iOS 7 Is a Stomach-Churning Ride for Some Users
September 27, 2013
Apple's new iOS 7 is making people sick -- literally -- based on complaints that have begun appearing on Apple forums. "The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache," wrote Ensorceled on one forum. "It's exactly how I used to get car sick if I tried to read in the car." Once a user makes the decision to update iOS, there's no going back to the previous version.
Amazon's Fire HDX Could Torch the Competition
September 26, 2013
Amazon on Wednesday announced the Kindle Fire HDX, the third generation of its line of tablets. It comes in 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions and has an HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, more memory and dual stereo speakers. It includes free 24x7x365 tech support and a host of new features. Amazon "provides better hardware at a lower cost than Apple," said tech analyst Rob Enderle.
FAA Inches Down Runway to New In-Flight Gadget Rules
September 24, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration is getting closer to lifting some of the restrictions on the in-flight use of electronic gadgets during takeoff and landing. An advisory panel is meeting this week to complete its recommendations on the subject. By the end of the month, the panel is expected to complete a report to the FAA. The panel is reportedly considering allowing a range of activities.
Microsoft Surfaces 2 New Tablet Models
September 23, 2013
Microsoft's new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets are faster and have more battery life than their predecessors. However, "the crux of the matter for Microsoft remains the same," said ABI Research's Jeff Orr, and that is "finding an audience that's interested in hearing what Microsoft has to say that positions it as unique and valuable compared to Apple, Android players or its own partners."
In-App Purchases to Steal the Mobile-App Revenue Show
September 20, 2013
Mobile apps have enjoyed phenomenal and increasing popularity in recent years, but what we've seen so far is just the beginning, according to a new Gartner report. Specifically, mobile app stores will see annual downloads reach 102 billion in 2013, the research firm reported on Thursday, up from 64 billion in 2012. Total revenue in 2013, meanwhile, will reach $26 billion, up from $18 billion in 2012.
Adobe to Give Creatives New Gizmos
September 18, 2013
Adobe will pair hardware devices with its creative software suite next year when it launches a cloud pen and a digital ruler that work with tablets. The company plans to release its Mighty digital pen, a thin-tipped stylus designed to help digital artists have more control over their creativity while drawing on a tablet screen. The pressure-sensitive pen comes with color and tip tools.
Syrian Rebels Use iPads to Target Weapons
September 18, 2013
Syrian rebels have taken to using an iPad app to help guide mortar fire. Rebels were photographed using an iPad reportedly equipped with the iHandy Level Free app, deployed as a method for ensuring that the mortar tube is level. Novel though this may be, reporter Paul Szoldra, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for nine years, is dubious of the iPad's effect.
iSketchnote: an iPad Cover That Digitizes Your Paper Scribbles
September 18, 2013
There's no denying the popularity of Apple's iPad and its Android-based kin, not just with adults but with kids as well. Now, for all those parents out there who wish their kids would play with something else once in a while -- simple drawing paper and pens, for instance -- a new Kickstarter funding project offers fresh hope. Enter iSketchnote, a new effort that promises to bring sketch functionality to Apple's tablet.
Dell Shifts to a Different Venue With New Win 8.1 Tablet
September 12, 2013
Dell on Wednesday revived its dormant "Venue" brand by unveiling a Windows 8.1 tablet that will run on Intel's new Bay Trail system on a chip. Featuring an 8-inch screen, the device was announced at the Intel Developer Forum being held in San Francisco this week. Few other details about the upcoming device were disclosed.
Popboardz Takes the Snores Out of Presentations
September 09, 2013
A great presentation is usually linear, with a beginning, a middle, and an end -- but not always. Enter PopBoardz, an iPad-based presentation and project collaboration app. PopBoardz is designed more for ways to express projects than presentations, to share what's of most relevant interest in the room -- not a Keynote or PowerPoint slide that's simply the next item in a long line of slides.
How to Repair a Broken Screen on a Tablet or Phone
September 05, 2013
Breaking the screen on your mobile device doesn't have to mean a brand new, expensive bit of kit. It's actually quite easy, and cheap, to replace the glass once you get the hang of it. A tablet touchscreen can cost about $50 if you perform the work. I've replaced a few touchscreens on my roughly handled devices and found that tablet and phone construction both rely on the same basic concepts.
Acer's Liquid S2 Phablet Arrives Early at 4K Party
September 03, 2013
Against the backdrop of the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin on Monday, Acer introduced its new Liquid S2 smartphone, a 6-inch full HD handset capable of capturing 4K video. The Liquid S2 has the distinction of being the first smartphone with officially announced 4K Ultra HD recording capability. Its 6-inch screen offers full HD with IPS technology and 1080p resolution.

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