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AfterDawn: News

What kind of battery life can you expect from the Apple Watch?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2015 23:47

What kind of battery life can you expect from the Apple Watch? Apple's upcoming smartwatch, the Apple Watch, is expected to launch in March; one of the most highly-anticipated devices of the year.

Insiders have now revealed the "specific performance targets Apple wants to achieve for the Apple Watch battery" although experts don't believe those targets can be achieved.

According to those sources (via 9to5), Apple's S1 chip will be close in performance to the A5 processor of previous iOS devices, but that the powerful processor and high-end display will lead to major battery drain.

Apple wanted about 19 hours of use if the user was "mixing a comparatively small amount of active use with a larger amount of passive use" or up to 4 hours of "active application use" or 4 days in sleeping mode (meaning you are just telling the time).

It seems, however, that Apple could not achieve any of their goals. Instead the Apple Watch will have 2.5 hours of heavy app use, 3.5 hours of standard app use, and 2-3 days of standby mode.

At $349 at minimum, the newly reported battery life is not impressive but we will learn more in March.




AfterDawn: News

Google Play Edition devices all cleared out from Google Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 14:17

Google Play Edition devices all cleared out from Google Play Store If you were looking to pick up a top device with stock Android rather than the maker's own user interface, it just became harder to do so.

The last of Google's offering of "Google Play Edition" phones is now depleted, with the HTC One M8 GPE now showing up as unavailable.

Over the last few months, Sony's Xperia Z Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the LG G Pad 8.3 and other GPE phones and tablets have been pulled from the store or sold out and not returned.

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AfterDawn: News

Dropbox released for Windows Phones, tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 13:49

Dropbox released for Windows Phones, tablets Dropbox has announced today that their app is now available for Windows Phones and tablets.

The company did a brief list of the features available for the apps:

-Automatically back up your photos to Dropbox

-Mark files as favorites so you can get to them even when you don't have an Internet connection

-Access both your personal and work accounts at once

-We've also tailored the app for the Windows platform, so you can pin any Dropbox folder to your Start screen for quick and easy access.


Dropbox says the app is available for download on Windows Phones (8.0 or newer) and also on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT devices.




AfterDawn: News

Sorry Microsoft RT tablet owners, you are not getting Windows 10

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 13:26

Sorry Microsoft RT tablet owners, you are not getting Windows 10 Yesterday, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users (including Windows Phone) but Windows RT was notably left out of the conversation.

Windows RT was the operating system used on older tablets that used ARM architectures.

When asked, Microsoft said that "We are working on an update for Surface, which will have some of the functionality of Windows 10. More information to come." There were 5 tablets released in 2012 with the operating system before it was basically discontinued.

What that limited functionality will be is unclear. Most likely, some of the newly announced Windows Universal Apps will be made available for RT.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Office 2016 coming this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 12:54

Microsoft Office 2016 coming this year Microsoft has announced today that its upcoming Office 2016 will be released later this year.

The software giant had little to share except to say: "We will have more to share on Office 2016 in the coming months, but this suite will remain the comprehensive Office experience you're long familiar with, best suited for a PC with keyboard and mouse. We expect to make Office 2016 generally available in the second half of 2015."

Microsoft's new version of the popular software suite will include a dark theme, and a slight resurrection of "Clippy" who can assist with learning features. The UI will look similar to Office 2013, but will extend to include new features from Windows 10. All of the software will be more touch-friendly, as well.

A preview will be available in the coming weeks, with the full release slated for later this year.

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AfterDawn: News

Google will sell wireless services directly following deals with T-Mobile, Sprint

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 12:35

Google will sell wireless services directly following deals with T-Mobile, Sprint Google has struck deals with Sprint and T-Mobile U.S. and will offer wireless services directly to consumers.

There are no other details available about how much Google will charge, or where the mobile plans will be offered.

What is known is that Google will resell services on Sprint's and T-Mobile's networks under their own brand name. Sprint is said to have put a clause in their deal that if Google gets too many customers, the pricing can be restructured higher for renting the network.

Google will not have to pay to build or maintain a network, but will have to take care of customer service, billing and hardware sales.

Sprint and T-Mobile are vying for the third spot as the U.S.' largest carrier, and offer LTE networks although ones not as large as AT&T and Verizon.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix acknowledges that Popcorn Time is 'competition' with misleading chart

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 12:11

Netflix acknowledges that Popcorn Time is 'competition' with misleading chart During Netflix's recent quarterly shareholders report, in which the company showed huge growth in subscribers, there was a small note in which the streaming giant cited Popcorn Time, the piracy streaming service that has been called the "Netflix of Piracy" in the past.

The company, in a section entitled "Competition," Netflix says: "Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors. This graph of Popcorn Time's sharp rise relative to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands, for example, is sobering." The chart, linked below, shows that Popcorn Time is trending as much as Netflix in the nation, which has 13 million residents.

Popcorn Time, for its part, has confirmed that the Netherlands loves the service, having seen 1.3 million downloads of the app since its launch.

While the trend in one small European nation may be "sobering" for Netflix, checking the Google Trends in other larger nations like the U.S. and Great Britain shows that Popcorn Time is just a blip compared to legal streaming services.

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AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat encrypted video chat service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2015 11:39

Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat encrypted video chat service Kim Dotcom has released his latest software, a browser-based encrypted video chat and file sharing service called MegaChat.

The larger-than-life entrepreneur is calling the service a Skype competitor, and it is being rolled out in beta now.

Edward Snowden called out Skype in 2013, claiming that the NSA had its claws deep in the video chat platform, with zero privacy for users. Dotcom is looking to take customers away from Skype by offering end-to-end encryption.

So far, to use the beta you have to login to Mega.nz (with your free or subscription package), add some contacts and start calling. The video chat works in your browser. Text chat and multi-party chats will be added later this year.

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AfterDawn: News

WATCH: Microsoft's HoloLens fills world with holograms

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jan 2015 19:29

WATCH: Microsoft's HoloLens fills world with holograms Walk on Mars? Microsoft showed off some promising and intriguing technology today in the form of Windows Holographic, and the HoloLens visor.

Microsoft wants to blend your digital world with the real world, using a visor called HoloLens with its new Windows Holographic technology. It promises to be able to give you access to your digital world in extremely useful ways without requiring a screen.

With Windows 10, Universal Apps can be used and interacted with as Holograms using the new system, making it possible to place 3D holograms in the world around you. Microsoft is providing a set of APIs for developers to take their apps into the "real world" too.

Microsoft HoloLens is the world's first "untethered holographic computer", according to the Redmond giant, requiring no wires, no phone to enable it and not even a connection to a PC. Using HoloLens, you can look at Holograms in the real world around you in 3D and even hear them in surround sound.

It is already being put to good use by NASA, which has revealed a collaboration with Microsoft on the development of software called OnSight. Working with HoloLens, NASA scientists can use data from the Curiosity Rover to virtually "walk" on Mars in the area surrounding the rover.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 on PC, smartphones and tablets

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jan 2015 19:08

Microsoft shows off Windows 10 on PC, smartphones and tablets Microsoft is moving away from its traditional view of Windows as its flagship OS product overwhelmingly focused on Desktop, and toward that of a service across devices.

Windows 10 is expected to be released later this year (sometime around the fall) and will be available as a free upgrade for devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, with the goal of getting as many Windows users as possible to the latest Windows experience.

It runs across PCs, smartphones and tablets and utilizes Universal Apps to synchronize content, notifications and more. The Windows Phone era seems to be coming to an end.

Microsoft's demonstrations today showcased how much Microsoft is focused on enhancing the user interface too. We saw a more modern looking Start Menu for example and over all, the visuals on display were quite a step up from where they were just back in September with the launch of the Windows Insider program.

For 2in1 devices (laptop/tablet), we also saw a "continuum mode" that changes Windows Apps to full screen display and optimizes for touch-screen when the keyboard is disconnected, while a new Task View really eases multitasking. The Windows automatically revert to their original size when the keyboard is re-attached.

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AfterDawn: News

Popular music discovery app Shazam now valued at $1 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2015 13:38

Popular music discovery app Shazam now valued at $1 billion The popular music discovery app Shazam is now valued at $1 billion after having raised $30 million in new funding.

Shazam did not say who invested, but did say that the new round from a whole set of new investors.

If you have a mobile device, you have more than likely heard of Shazam. The app/widget can recognize what song is playing and save your "tags" to a list so you can purchase it, see the lyrics, or watch the music video right from your device or later at home.

Shazam started in 1999 as a text/voice call-based service where you called a number, held the phone up to the radio/speaker/etc and waited to receive a text response for the name of the artist and the song title. The app became widely popular for the iPhone when it launched in 2008.

Since it started, Shazam has raised $125 million, and the most recent funding values the company at $1 billion despite never making a penny of profit. The company currently receives commission on sales of tracks that are tagged and then purchased through the app. Advertisers and TV shows can also pay to be included in the service, so that consumers can tag commercials and episodes.




AfterDawn: News

Sony's original series 'Powers' for PlayStation is coming in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2015 13:19

Sony's original series 'Powers' for PlayStation is coming in March Sony has confirmed that their upcoming original series 'Powers' will be released exclusively on PlayStation on March 10th.

Powers "tells the story of homicide detectives Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who are ordinary detectives working on cases that just so happen to involve people with extraordinary powers" and is based on the graphic novel of the same name.

Reads Sony's blog post:

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AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 will be free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 users

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jan 2015 12:53

Windows 10 will be free upgrade for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 users Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade for users of devices running Window 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 for a time.

The announcement was made by Terry Myerson at an event showcasing Windows 10's consumer experience features to date. The next iteration of Microsoft's most popular product will be released later this year, projected for the fall, and will let Microsoft close the door on the Windows 8 era.

It's not clear how exactly the free upgrade will work for users running Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but it will be limited to its first year of availability.

No doubt an upgrade will depend on hardware, and limited to verified genuine copies of Windows.




AfterDawn: News

'The Interview' is headed to Netflix on Saturday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2015 23:01

'The Interview' is headed to Netflix on Saturday Netflix has announced today that U.S. and Canadian streaming subscribers will be able to watch the infamous 'The Interview' starting this Saturday.

The company did not discuss the terms of the deal, but it certainly marks the quickest time in which a major motion picture has been made available via the streaming service.

Sony Pictures recently announced that the film brought in $46 million from digital rentals and sales and from theater showings in a a couple hundred independent theater chains. The movie will hit Blu-ray on February 17th.

The movie dominated headlines in December after Sony Pictures was decimated by a cyber attack and the attackers threatened a terrorist attack on movie theaters leading the major U.S. chains to suspend the release. Sony then made film available online as a rental or purchase on Christmas, where it became the top online film of all-time.




AfterDawn: News

Official: Google and Fidelity invest $1 billion in SpaceX

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2015 22:52

Official: Google and Fidelity invest $1 billion in SpaceX SpaceX, Elon Musk's space travel and satellite company, has raised $1 billion in new funding from Google and Fidelity, who now take a 9.9 percent stake in the company.

Google and Musk appear to have the joint goal of making the Internet available to all, and there have been reports that SpaceX is looking to use satellites to bring cheap Internet connectivity to places where it is typically hard to obtain.

Musk has also already stated that SpaceX wants to ensure that there is Internet in space, including in Mars for future travels.

Google has been, through their Loon project, also trying to bring Internet connectivity around the globe, using balloons.

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