Published on October 31 2015

Well this had been coming…

In September Microsoft admitted it is downloading Windows 10 on every Windows 7 and Windows 8 computer. Then in October it claimed an ‘accident’ saw these downloads begin installing without user permission. Well this accident now looks to have been a secret test run because Microsoft has confirmed mass upgrades to Windows 10 from all Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers are about to begin…

In a post to the official Windows blog, Windows and Devices Group executive vice president Terry Myerson announced this will be a two step process:

Step One

Beginning now, Windows 10 has been reclassified as an “Optional” update in Windows Update for Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. This means users who have set their version of Windows to accept all updates will find the Windows 10 installation process will begin automatically and they will need to actively cancel it.

“Windows Update is the trusted, logical location for our most important updates, and adding Windows 10 here is another way we will make it easy for you to find your upgrade” says Myerson.

Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Upgrades Automatic For Windows 7 And Windows 8

Step Two

But in “early” 2016 things will become more aggressive and Microsoft will again reclassify Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update. Given the default setting on Windows 7 and Windows 8 is for all Recommended updates to install automatically this means the vast majority of users will find the Windows 10 install process starts up on their machines.

“Depending upon your Windows Update settings, this may cause the upgrade process to automatically initiate on your device,” admits Myerson.

Opt-Out Becomes The New Opt-In

The end result is a dramatic change of focus. While users will still be able to cancel the Windows 10 installation process, it means proactive effort will now be required to stop the upgrade as opposed to proactive agreement to start it.

Given Windows 10’s status will remain as a Recommended Update, however, it means even those who proactively stop it are likely to find the install process initiating every time new Recommended updates appear. The irritation value of this alone is likely to see many concede.

Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Upgrades Automatic For Windows 7 And Windows 8

As such the title of Myerson’s post ‘Making it Easier to Upgrade to Windows 10’ is something of a double edged sword because it could equally be titled: ‘Making it Harder Not to Upgrade to Windows 10’.

Myerson does have a bone to throw users though: computers which upgrade to Windows 10 will get a 31 day window in which to downgrade. He didn’t say whether, once downgraded, the nagging to upgrade would then be stopped.

Myerson also said Microsoft will introduce a “one-click” opportunity to upgrade pirated copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to Windows 10. Pirates will still have to pay to use Windows 10, but their upgrade process will not be blocked for starting from a pirated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. Microsoft will trial this scheme in the US and “If this turns into a path for most customers to get Genuine, we will expand the experiment”.

So what does all this mean?

Article Source: Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Upgrades Automatic For Windows 7 And Windows 8

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Published on October 31 2015

Surface Pro 4 trade-in program can net you up to $700 off

Recently, it seems like Microsoft’s top priority across the board is to convince users to upgrade their software and hardware. The company’s campaign to bring Windows 10 to as many users possible seems to have been successful, and now it’s targeting Surface users with a discount on new hardware.

Microsoft has set up a website that allows current Surface owners to check how much they could trade in their device for against a new Surface Pro 4, according to a report from WinBeta. The offer of an exchange is open on models dating back to the original Surface RT from 2012.

However, not all of these tablets will net you the same amount of discount. A non-functional Surface RT will only net you a $5 credit — although a high-spec working Surface Pro 3 with all its accessories could put up to $700 towards your purchase of the new model.

Given that the Surface Pro 4 is priced from $799, that could result in a fairly hefty discount. If you have any interest in upgrading the Surface you have at present, it certainly seems worth it to look into the promotion, even if the amount of money being offered for a trade-in alone might not be enough to convince you to take the plunge.

After months of speculation, the Surface Pro 4 was finally announced earlier this month — although the unveiling of the Surface Book seemed to steal some of its thunder. Early impressions of the device have been broadly positive, with our Digital Trends review praising it for its beautiful display and well-implemented accessories.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this offer, you’ll have to be quick. Microsoft will only be accepting trade-ins until November 7, although the credit will be valid until December 7. It’s a hard sell with a very limited lifespan, but anyone currently circling the Surface Pro 4 might well be tempted.

Article Source: Surface Pro 4 trade-in program can net you up to $700 off

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Published on October 30 2015

Huawei will be unleashing its new flagship smartphone called the Huawei Mate 8 on Nov. 5. It will be powered by the in-house chipset, dubbed Kirin 950.

The Huawei Mate 8 will be coming with a 6-inch display that will carry support for a screen display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. It will be protected by Coring Glass 4.

The device will be powered by HiSilicon Kirin 950 chipset that features a 64-bit processor. Its Cortex A57 quad-core processor clocks at 2 GHz and its Cortex A72 quad-core processor clocks at 2.4 GHz. Its 32 GB storage variant of the Huawei Mate 8 will be featuring 3 GB of RAM and its 64 GB variant will be coming with 4 GB of RAM. The microSD card slot on the device will support up to 128 GB of microSD.

It will be arriving with Android 5.1 Lollipop that will be modified by Huawei’s Emotion UI 4.0. The rear camera of the Mate 8 will be of 20.7-megapixel and it will be coupled with a dual-LED flash. On the front panel of the handset, it will be featuring an 8-megapixel camera. The device will be packed with a humungous battery of 4000+ mAh battery.

The Huawei Mate 8 with 32 GB is likely to launch with a pricing of about $520. The 64 GB variant will be carry a price tag of $610. The rumored specifications of the Huawei Mate 8 indicate that it features a larger display, a very competitive processor and a bigger battery than the Google Nexus 6P, which is also a Huawei product.

Times News has reported that instead of the Huawei Mate 8, the Chinese manufacturer is also likely to announce the Huawei Mate 7S. The Mate 7S specs that were spotted on AnTuTu revealed that the handset will be coming with a 5.7-inch full HD display, Kirin 935 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, inbuilt storage of 32 GB, Android 5.0 Lollipop, a 20-megapixel camera and a front-facing camera of 8-megapixel.

Article Source: Huawei Mate 8 Specs Beats Google Nexus 6P, Speculated To Launch On Nov. 5.

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Published on October 30 2015

Is this what happens when you rush? Having pushed through development of iOS 9.1 and its five betas in a record breaking 33 days, it is now being widely reported that the update has introduced a bug far more infuriating than any of the quirks it was designed to fix…

Users are reporting that iOS 9.1 is shutting off their alarms. The result being an outpouring of anger on social media as people are late to work, missing appointments and even flights. Perhaps the most high profile tweet comes from the Pixies’ guitarist Joey Santiago:

All of our iPhones alarms failed to wake up our household. Did anyone’s iPhone alarm go off this morning?
— Joey Santiago (@JoeySantiago) October 28, 2015

But he is far from alone.

I have been in contact with Apple in the both US and the UK seeking a comment on this issue, but so far the company is maintaining a stony silence. Needless to say, I’ll update when/if the company goes public.

Update: Apple remains silent, but the bug appears particularly prevalent for anyone using the new update overnight feature introduced with iOS 9. So steer clear of that until Apple decides to release a statement or quick fix.

Article Source: Apple iOS 9.1 Has Serious New Problem

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Published on October 30 2015

Windows 10 will be downloaded to Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines next year

Microsoft launched Windows 10 earlier this year with a reservation system designed to tempt Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade for free. While it has been successful in getting Windows 10 onto more than 110 million devices, Microsoft is planning to get a lot more aggressive about upgrading existing machines.

Starting early next year, Microsoft says it’s planning to re-categorize Windows 10 as a "recommended update" in its Windows Update system. That means the Windows 10 upgrade process will download and start automatically on thousands of machines. "A user will be presented with a choice to install Windows 10," explains Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of Windows and devices, in an interview with The Verge. "They’ll come back to their PC and there will be a dialog where they can choose to upgrade to Windows 10 or choose not to upgrade to Windows 10."

WINDOWS 7 AND WINDOWS 8 USERS WILL ONLY SEE THE UPGRADE PROMPT ONCE

Myerson says Microsoft’s current plan involves it only presenting this dialog once to end users. Windows 10 will automatically download and start the upgrade process, depending on your Windows Update settings, but you can opt out and not receive nagging prompts to update.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users on a metered connection will have to turn off automatic updates to prevent the Windows 10 installer from downloading automatically. Windows 10 is currently a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for a year, but Myerson didn't want to comment on the company's plans after July 29th 2016.

Microsoft is also making some changes designed to entice software pirates to upgrade. "If you try and upgrade a non-genuine PC to Windows 10 today it says the free upgrade is only available to genuine PCs," says Myerson. "We’re seeing people be creative to get around that block, and then many are actually going to the Windows Store and buying a genuine license."

Microsoft has realized it's making it difficult for non-genuine Windows users to get genuine, so the company is planning to run an experiment in the US to get software pirates on board. Microsoft will offer a one-click opportunity to get a genuine Windows license from the Windows Store, but it won’t be a free upgrade. Pirates will have to purchase the genuine license and proceed with an upgrade.

This change in approach is all part of Microsoft’s overall effort to get 1 billion devices running Windows 10 within two or three years of its release. As long as Microsoft avoids nagging people to upgrade more than once, or forcibly updating Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, then this latest change won’t trigger a backlash. "We started out the update process, and we really hadn’t done anything like this before, so we started our with this process of getting people to reserve," explains Myerson. "We’re now kind of in this phase of ‘let’s make it easier for people to upgrade.’"

Article Source: Microsoft planning to automatically offer Windows 10 to existing PCs

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Published on October 30 2015

The rumors were true — Samsung actually made a 18.4-inch tablet, and it’s called the Galaxy View. The massive tablet could be considered more of a portable TV than an actual tablet, given its size and dimensions. Samsung revealed initial details in a press release on its blog, and shortly followed up with availability and pricing.

Updated on 10-29-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added pricing and release date info.

The Galaxy View sports a huge 18.4-inch screen with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Since it’s meant to function like a TV that you bring from room to room in your home, it has a handle on the back and a built-in stand. The stand moves into two positions, one presumably for viewing on a table top and another for watching shows with the device on your lap or while in bed. Samsung popped in two 4-watt speakers to make the audio experience better than that of your average tablet.

It’s powered by an unspecified 1.6GHz octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which should be enough to power all your favorite video streaming apps. Samsung’s offering the View with either 32 or 64GB of storage, though a MicroSD card slot should open up more space for video, if you’re the kind of person who downloads instead of streaming. The 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera is presumably for video calls.

Samsung’s 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet is the portable, touchable TV you always wanted

Samsung claims that its 5,700mAh battery should keep the View running for 8 hours of continuous video streaming, which is great news for binge watchers. The whole tablet weighs 2.65 kg, which is lighter than you would expect for a tablet of such great proportions.

In the press release, Samsung vaguely mentions that the Galaxy View has a special interface and home screen where all your favorite video streaming apps live. One picture from the company shows a grid format with popular apps like Hulu, Netflix, History, YouTube, Crackle, and more. However, the device is actually running Android 5.1 Lollipop. Samsung further says that the Galaxy View is purely an entertainment device that’s geared toward gameplay, video streaming, and other visual experiences.

Samsung will start selling its mammoth tablet on November 6 in the U.S. for $600. Best Buy and other major retailers will offer the Galaxy View on that date.

Article Source: Samsung’s 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet is the portable, touchable TV you always wanted

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Published on October 30 2015

T-Mobile is closing the coverage gap between itself and larger rivals AT&T and Verizon.

T-Mobile doubles 4G coverage to take on AT&T and Verizon

T-Mobile is using low-frequency spectrum to extend the coverage of its 4G LTE network to rural regions of the country like Missoula, Montana.

T-Mobile

T-Mobile executives on Tuesday said the carrier's 4G LTE service is available to more than 300 million people across the US, roughly the same number of people who can access AT&T and Verizon's high-speed networks. T-Mobile said it's also on track to add 1 million new square miles of LTE coverage to its network, which means customers will be seeing a T-Mobile signal in places they've never seen one before, such as Missoula, Montana, and parts of North and South Dakota.

"We have more than doubled our footprint of LTE this past year," Neville Ray, T-Mobile's CTO, said in an interview. "And we are actually expanding into new territory now with our LTE service, which means we're putting LTE into and onto rural ground and turf in brand new markets."

T-Mobile's network expansion means the third-largest wireless operator in the nation is becoming a true alternative to AT&T and Verizon. Up to this point, T-Mobile's network has only covered about two-thirds of the country, concentrated mostly in and around big cities. Customers in the other third of the country and those who might travel to these more remote areas couldn't even consider T-Mobile as an option. Now they can.

For more than two years, T-Mobile has seen tremendous response to its "Uncarrier" marketing campaign, attracting new customers with new no-contract plans and promotions that undercut its competitors' pricing. But T-Mobile recognized that marketing and price promotions would only get the company so far in winning new customers.

Over the past few years, it's embarked on a massive network upgrade. In spite of its late entry to 4G LTE, T-Mobile has quickly caught up. In some markets, its service outperforms AT&T and Verizon, according to independent testing firms such as RootMetrics.

But its network continued to dog T-Mobile, as the lack of coverage prevented millions of customers from even considering the company's service. To fix this problem, T-Mobile acquired additional wireless spectrum, the radio airwaves that carry text messages and cat videos to your smartphone. The spectrum is of the low-band variety, which allows signals to travel over longer distances and also penetrates more easily through barriers like walls.

The use of this spectrum has made it up to four times more cost effective for T-Mobile to deploy new cell sites in new territories, and it's allowed the company to expand its coverage in existing markets using existing cell towers, Ray said. And because signals can actually penetrate inside buildings more easily, it's also improved indoor coverage, resulting in fewer download interruptions and dropped calls.

T-Mobile can now compete with the two largest operators both in terms of network speed and reliability as well as network coverage, according to Mike Sievert, the carrier's chief operating officer.

"A lot of those doubts people may have about T-Mobile are outdated," he said in an interview.

He added that T-Mobile is also planning to bid aggressively in the government's upcoming spectrum auction. It's another reason he's bullish on the company's future.

But there's a catch. The spectrum T-Mobile will likely buy in the upcoming auction is currently being used by TV broadcasters, and the airwaves may not be ready for commercial mobile use until 2020. What's more, even though T-Mobile may be on par with AT&T and Verizon when it comes to LTE coverage, these carriers still have a wider footprint using older 2G and 3G network technology, which comes in handy for subscribers when 4G LTE is not available. Still, Sievert said, in places where it counts, T-Mobile is now a formidable competitor.

"If you look at where people live and work, we are substantially on par now with Verizon," he said. "And we are still building."

Article Source: T-Mobile doubles 4G coverage to take on AT&T and Verizon

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Published on October 30 2015

At an investors meeting in Tokyo today, Nintendo revealed some details on its very first smartphone game: a free-to-play title called Miitomo. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the new game will let players customize their Mii avatars, which will then communicate with Miis made by other players. It's not clear how the game will actually play, but it will have a heavy emphasis on social interaction and looks similar to the 3DS life sim Tomodachi Life. Miitomo will be free to download with character add-ons available as in-app purchases.

However, while Nintendo originally planned to release its first smartphone game by the end of this year, it's now been delayed until next March. The company plans to release four additional titles by March 2017. According to new Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, who succeeded the late Satoru Iwata, the game was delayed in order to better promote it. The company plans to start promoting Miitomo after the busy holiday season.

The meeting also provided a few other details about Nintendo's new mobile initiative, most notably the fact that the company will use a cloud transfer system to share data between mobile and console games. And while Miitomo will be a free download, other releases will be traditional paid games.

Nintendo first announced its plan to get into mobile gaming in March, and the five games will be created in collaboration with Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA. Outside of that partnership, Nintendo also recently announced a new augmented reality mobile title calledPokemon Go, built in conjunction with The Pokemon Company and former Google subsidiary Niantic Labs.

Article Source: Nintendo's first smartphone release is a free-to-play game called Miitomo

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Published on October 28 2015

BlackBerry Launches U.S. Preorders for $699 Priv Android Slider Phone

BlackBerry’s Priv will start shipping in the United States on November 6th, and you can preorder the Android smartphone with its slide-out keyboard beginning right now for $699. That’s a bit less than the $750 figure we saw only a couple days ago, but it’s still more expensive than or, at best, at parity with a number of fantastic Android flagships like the Nexus 6P, Galaxy Note 5, Moto X, and others.

For that price, you get a curved 5.4-inch Quad HD display, Snapdragon 808 processor, 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM, an 18-megapixel camera, and that physical keyboard. The Priv also contains a pretty massive 3,410 mAh battery that BlackBerry says is good for over 22 hours of mixed use.

BlackBerry Launches U.S. Preorders for $699 Priv Android Slider Phone

The Priv won’t work on Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular, according to BlackBerry, so your options among major US carriers are pretty much just AT&T and T-Mobile. Aside from all the Android apps you’d expect, BlackBerry is also putting big emphasis on its own software (BlackBerry Hub) and security / privacy with the Priv. A built-in tool, DTEK, will constantly monitor your phone’s OS and apps for any security risks. The camera also sounds decent, features optical image stabilization, and is “certified by Schneider-Kreuznach,” if that means anything to you whatsoever. We’re actually pretty excited to check out the Priv in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more.

Article Source: BlackBerry Launches U.S. Preorders for $699 Priv Android Slider Phone

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Published on October 28 2015

New Apple TV goes on sale in Apple Store online

The new Apple TV with its Siri Remote for touch and voice interactions.

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Apple's late-night side project gets a bump to prime time as its new Apple TV goes on sale through the Apple online store today.

The new Apple TV has gone on sale for $149 (32GB of storage) and $199 (64GB) in the US. That translates to £129 and £169 in the UK and AU$269 and AU$349 in Australia.

The previous-generation models remain available at $69 (£59, A$109).

Delivery in the US should begin as early as Friday, according to the Apple Store. In the UK and Australia, delivery times are listed as three to five business days.

Apple's newest set-top box represents the line's first major overhaul since 2012, and it jumps into a market where consumers have more options than ever before. The Apple box has evolved from one that largely delivered iTunes media content to one that offers services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go, but it also now faces competition from boxes offered by Roku, Amazon and Google. Apple hopes to leapfrog the competition as its large base of developers conjure up thousands of apps to support its platform.

The new Apple TV significantly upgrades the processing power of the existing box and opens the device to app developers for the first time. New content services and numerous iOS games are expected to make the transition from the iPhone and iPad to the living room, with some apps and games expected to become "universal," allowing seamless usage across iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.

Apple has framed the new Apple TV and its tvOS platform as "the future of television." The box features universal voice search, letting you find available content across all installed apps, as well as a new remote with a touch interface for easier navigation. The box itself is a taller version of the previous-generation Apple TV, now including an A8 processor (the same brains powering the iPhone 6 and iPad Mini 4) and the choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage to house apps and other content.

At its launch event in September, Apple demonstrated an impressive redesign of the MLB app, plus games such as Guitar Hero Live and Disney Infinity 3.0, which had been available only on dedicated games consoles.

How quickly new apps and games roll out to the new Apple TV, and how well they translate to the living room, will be the crucial test for Apple TV's ambitions.

Article Source: New Apple TV goes on sale in Apple Store online

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