Personal computer Stories September 22, 2015

new-toshiba-chromebook-2

Toshiba, this morning, announced that it’s bringing some welcome upgrades to its already-awesome Chromebook 2. The new Chromebook will feature either a 5th generation Intel Core i3 or Celeron processor, and up to 4GB RAM when it hits major retailers in October. As well as new processing power, the Chromebook 2 will come with an all-new LED backlit keyboard. Pricing will start at $329 for the Celeron-based models, and $429 for the i3-powered Chromebook.

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Personal computer Stories August 25, 2015

Okay, this probably isn’t going to drastically change the lives of either casual users of Android or developers on the platform, but I still found it to be cool. There’s a new Chrome app on the block called Vysor, and it offers a super simple way to view and control an Android device from a desktop computer.

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Personal computer Stories July 15, 2015

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Pushbullet has to be one of the most widely adopted apps for Android. It lets you share links, notifications, images, and more across your smartphone and virtually any other device. Today, the company announced that it has added a new SMS UI to its desktop presence. With today’s update, you can now you can see entire conversations on your computer. expand full story

Personal computer Stories July 9, 2015

blackberry-slider-clean

BlackBerry has snapped up a couple of Android-y domain names very recently. Logs show that BlackBerry Limited bought AndroidSecured.com and AndroidSecured.net on July 7th. This move, of course, adds more fuel to the rumors that the company is planning to launch a Google-powered smartphone in the near future.

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Personal computer Stories June 16, 2014

Parallels Access 2_Galaxy_AppLauncher

After launching on the iPad nearly a year ago, Parallels is today launching Parallels Access on Android tablets and smartphones running version 4.0 or newer. Parallels Access is a remote desktop client that allows you to access your Mac or PC via the touchscreen of your Android device. The software is also launching today on the iPhone and bringing new enhancements to the iPad.

In our review of the iPad version last year, we noted how blown away we were with the speed and performance of Parallels Access. The software makes accessing and using a computer via the iPad’s touchscreen a breeze, and it provides a huge convenience factor for those times when you need to access something on your home computer but do not have the machine with you.

The application is far and above other remote desktop client applications because of its integration with Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, its speed, and its overall reliability. Parallels Access utilizes gestures, Android’s native keyboard with editing, “SmartMagnification” and “SmartTap” to make the computer feel responsive and alive on your Android device. The application allows you to use your Mac swiftly and connects over the internet…

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Personal computer Stories May 6, 2014

Lenovo

The profile of Chromebooks is likely to get a boost after the world’s largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, announced its first Chromebooks aimed at the consumer market. Pricing starts at $279.

Lenovo, best known for its Windows laptops, launched its first Chromebook in January – but that one was pitched at the education market, selling in bulk to schools and colleges. This is the first time it has pitched a Chromebook directly at consumers – something which may worry Microsoft. Lenovo has 18.6 percent of the PC market, ahead of HP, Dell and Acer …  expand full story

Personal computer Stories February 12, 2014

nielsen-smartphone-usage-2013

According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  expand full story

Personal computer Stories January 15, 2014

hp_slate6

Last week, we went on the record saying that HP was set to unveil their new smartphones within a week and here we are just 5 days later with an announcement.  The quad-core Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab are (as predicted) 720P displayed “mega” phablets that will play in the same market as Samsung’s Galaxy Mega line. The initial launch country will be India but more are on the way.  While no price was given, we’d imagine that since the other details were true, the $200 price point for the Slate 6 VoiceTab and $250 for the 7-inch seem like a pretty good starting point.

The phones will come with 16GB of on board storage and have a Micro-SD card for 32GB more storage. As you can see in the image above, they both have stereo speakers a la the HTC One (no word yet on Beats Branding which HP still uses and HTC once used).

It appears that HP has really done its homework here and has identified a market where it can make things happen. HP obviously has a huge brand and PC presence in India and at the same time, the market is easy to enter because the carriers aren’t gatekeepers like they are in the US.

As for the phones themselves, they actually have some styling which is a notable step up from HP’s US slate lineup. While I’ll go on the record saying that I’m not a fan of the Black on Gold appearance from the press release and Android skin they are showing off, I’m not privy to style considerations from India.

Also ringing an alarm bell is the Android 4.2 launch OS. Combined with that pretty heavy looking skin/overlay, Indian consumers are already starting 2 OSes back…and counting.

In all, though Google has to be pretty satisfied with the launch. HP is traditionally a Windows shop but since Meg Whitman’s return has gone ChomeOS and Android first with the Slate line of tablets and now their Smartphones.

Another image if the Slate 6 Voicetab and Press release below: expand full story

Personal computer Stories January 13, 2014

k1

Nvidia made some pretty big claims when it launched its 192-core Tegra K1 mobile processor, notable among them that it would out-perform many of today’s PC chips. Benchmark results posted on the WCCFtech site suggest that the claims are true: a tablet with a Tegra K1 delivered GFX GLBenchmark of 60fps at 1080p, making it significantly faster than two basic Intel Graphics notebooks included in the comparison.

As you can see the only device included in the bench to beat the Tegra K1 chip was Nvidia’s own GT 740M; and seeing this is a full fledged dGPU with 45W TDP it doesn’t mean much. However for the target niche the Tegra K1 was actually created; it leads with a major gap. Scoring a rock solid 60fps in an off screen 1080p Benchmark it fares significantly better than the Tegra 4. The predecessor to this chip can only manage a measly 16fps so you can see for yourself how great a difference this is …  expand full story

Personal computer Stories January 10, 2014

We’ve gotten word from inside HP that the company is set to release an inexpensive Android smartphone aimed at the prepaid and emerging (BRIC) markets. We’re hearing the street price will be around $200 and it will be released in more than one market. Our source has pegged the launch at next week but delays can’t be ruled out at this point (and we’ve yet to hear anything publicly). Nokia Meego defector and new HP SVP Mobility  Alberto Torres is said to be heading up the group which has been working on the product for a year and a half.

We’re hearing that the device resembles the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note with obvious cost cutting measures to get the device down to the $200 price point. With HP’s Slate Android products, the company cut costs by using low pixel density displays so having a 720P display would seem about right and put it on a collision course with Samsung’s Galaxy Mega line with its 6.3-inch display and current street price of around $400.

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HP CEO Meg Whitman last year confirmed the company was building a smartphone on the trail of dumping its WebOS ‘detour’.

“So a smartphone is not if, but when, for Hewlett-Packard?” – Whitman replied:  “[HP has] to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We’re a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor.”

Computerworld UK reported that she indicated it wouldn’t be in 2013.

“We don’t have any plans to introduce a smartphone in 2013, but we’ve got to start thinking about what is our unique play, how do we capture this element of the personal computing market?” Whitman said.

HP has to offer every kind of device, from workstations through all-in-one PCs, laptops, hybrid PCs, tablets “and, ultimately, smartphones,” she said.

“I believe that five years from now, if we don’t have a smartphone or whatever the next generation of that device is, we’ll be locked out of a huge segment of the population in many countries of the world,” she said.

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Personal computer Stories November 26, 2013

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I’m sure we’re all “tired” to hear about the tablet/PC debate and which format will outsell one another next year. That being said, a new Canalys report caught my eye as it projects that in 2014 tablets will account for 50 percent of the PC market. I consider projections that indicate tablets will become half of the desktop, notebook, and tablet devices that make up the entire PC market to be notable because of the sheer size.

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Personal computer Stories September 9, 2013

Microsoft releases Xbox Music for Android with ad-free music streaming and cross-platform syncing

Microsoft released a brand-new Xbox Music app for Android this evening. The app features ad-free streaming from Microsoft’s massive song catalog, with custom stations built around specific artists, songs, or albums. These playlists can be synced to your other Xbox Music-capable devices, such as an Xbox 360.

The app requires an Xbox Music Pass to work, which comes in both free or paid varieties. The app description doesn’t state that a paid subscription is needed, but free accounts are limited to only ten hours per month after the first six months of use. Microsoft also notes that offline listening is coming in a future update.

The Android app is available now for free on Google Play.

A full list of features in the app via Google Play below:

***An Xbox Music Pass is required to use this app.***

Xbox Music brings you all the music you love, every way you want it. Now you can access your Xbox Music Pass on your Android phone, Xbox, Windows 8 PC or tablet, and the web.

Xbox Music Pass on Android features:

• Stream ad-free music from a catalog of tens of millions of songs • Add songs, albums, and playlists to your Xbox Music collection and access them from other device • Create playlists that sync across your phone, Xbox 360, PC, tablet, and the web • Listen to music while using your Android phone • Enjoy a rich visual experience for searching, viewing, and playing back music

Personal computer Stories May 14, 2013

In March, Fortune reported that Google had signed up Warner Music for an online music service similar but not identical to the popular Spotify service. Today, Greg Sandoval at The Verge is reporting that Universal and Sony Music have also signed on and the service will be launched tomorrow at Google I/O:

When Google rolls out the new services tomorrow at I/O, it will mean that it gets the jump on Apple, which is also trying to launch a new streaming-music service. According to reports, Google’s subscription services would resemble Spotify, and offer on-demand songs that would be streamed to their PCs and mobile devices. In contrast, Apple is working on an online radio service that is said to be more akin to Pandora, the top webcaster.

Google comes to these negotiations as a powerful player in music. While Google Play is still a relatively new service, insiders say YouTube is a juggernaut. The user-generated video site sees more than 800 million unique visitors a month and music videos are among the most popular fare.

I may not have exotic taste in music but I’ve never not been able to find whatever I want to listen to on YouTube. Google already owns the space and an advertising-based version of YouTube streaming is just a GUI change in my book. expand full story

Personal computer Stories August 17, 2012

OnLive closing? Company says ‘of course not’

Update: While OnLive provided the same statement (below) to Kotaku as they did to Joystiq, a new report from Kotaku, citing a source inside OnLive, claimed the company is about to file for bankruptcy and layoff most of its employees:

The source says that everyone at the company knew things were tight. This morning, an all-hands meeting was called at 10 a.m. this morning where CEO Steve Perlman said that OnLive would be filing for ABC bankruptcy in the state of California—a status that affords them a level of protection from creditors. Perlman also said that the company as it stands now would cease to exist and that no one would be employed by OnLive. A subset of employees would be brought on to the company created from the remains of OnLive.

[tweet https://twitter.com/onlive/status/236537627526979584]

OnLive’s Director of Corporate Communications Brian Jaquet has shot down rumors that the game streaming service is closing its doors after several media outlets reported the story earlier today. A report from The Verge, citing video game developer Brian Fargo and emails from former OnLive staff members, claimed the game-streaming service would shut its doors and lay off staff immediately. Emails obtained by The Verge’s sister site, Polygon, claimed a new company would be formed. However, current OnLive employees would be let go for the time being:

“I wanted to send a note that by the end of the day today, OnLive as an entity will no longer exist,” reads an email forwarded to Polygon. “Unfortunately, my job and everyone else’s was included. A new company will be formed and the management of the company will be in contact with you about the current initiatives in place, including the titles that will remain on the service.”

Speaking with Joystiq, Jaquet confirmed OnLive is not shutting down:

“We don’t respond to rumors, but of course not… The exciting news is that the first VIZIO Co-Stars (Google TV stream players) with the OnLive app built-in have just arrived in customer homes,” he continued, “and our second of three ‘Indie Giveaway Weekends’ is going on now. OnLive users can get a free copy of the award-winning games Space Pirates and Zombies and SpaceChem.” So it sounds like OnLive is still open for business.

When asked about possible layoffs, Jaquet confirmed: “The OnLive service is not shutting down.”

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Personal computer Stories February 15, 2012

Just as you are getting content with Google’s latest Android offering Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there are more rumors tonight on Google’s next version of Android. The sometimes-accurate Digitimes reported that Google might launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean this summer.

This new version of Android will reportedly have a focus on tablet PCs, but hopefully not like the tablet exclusive Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich hoped to pick up on Honeycomb’s mistakes by unifying both the handset and tablet platforms.

Digitimes said Android 5.0 would have a unique feature, because it will have a dual operating system approach. It will reportedly be able to boot into both Android and Chrome without having to shutdown. Perhaps Chrome will be part of the experience like it did with the launch of the browser as an app.

We will most likely hear more at Google I/O in June where Google does many of its big announcements.

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