windows 8 Stories July 30, 2014

Google launches Chrome 64-bit Beta channel for Windows 7 and 8 users

After adding 64-bit support for Chrome to its Canary and Developer channels for Windows users early last month, today Google gets one step closer to making the feature live for all as it adds support for Beta channel users. Features that hit Google beta release of Chrome are usually next promoted to the public, stable release of the browser.

The support comes for both Windows 7 and 8 users and will require the 64-bit installer on the Beta download page to install:

The Chrome Team is excited to announce the addition of the Chrome 64-bit Beta Channel for Windows 7 and 8 users.  To try it out, download the 64-bit installer from our Beta download pages. The new version replaces the existing version while preserving all your settings and bookmarks, so there’s no need to uninstall a current installation of Chrome.       

windows 8 Stories July 2, 2014

office

If you have an Android tablet and would like to try out a pre-release version of Microsoft’s Office for Android tablet app, The Verge reports that the company is looking for beta-testers.

Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is currently preparing a private beta test for the Office Android tablet version, and is accepting participants through a special pre-release program …

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windows 8 Stories June 3, 2014

Microsoftintroducest01_Web

As noted by ZDNet, Microsoft seems to be considering putting the release of the Android version of its popular Office productivity suite ahead of the build for the company’s own Windows 8 operating system. Apparently the Windows version has been pushed back to 2015, while the Android variant is internally being planned for release by the end of 2014.

It certainly seems like an odd strategy to put your most popular software product on every competing mobile operating system before your own–image Apple releasing an Android version of its iWork suite before an Android version, or Google pushing out an iPhone app for a new product that has yet to launch on Android–but Microsoft’s “mobile-first” strategy dictates that the company simply push as much software to as many devices as it can without consideration for platform.

It’s a good plan for getting as much revenue as possible from Office, but it could also be seen as putting Microsoft’s own loyal users on the back burner to instead focus on those who use devices from the competition… and that’s probably not a great way to retain Windows users.

windows 8 Stories January 14, 2014

Google releases Chrome 32 w/ tab indicators, new Win8 Metro design & more

Google today released Chrome 32 bringing a few notable features it launched for beta users back in November. Included in the release are noisy tab indicators, which puts a small speaker icon on tabs to let you see tabs that are making noise at a glance. You’ll also see other icons for tabs using your webcam or sending content to your TV (as pictured above). Google says the latest stable release also includes a stronger Safe Browsing malware warnings and beta preview of the supervised users feature to help families monitor browsing habits and set restrictions.

In addition to the above and new apps/extension APIs for developers,Chrome 32 also brings a redesigned Windows 8 Metro mode:

Manage multiple Chrome windows and quickly get to your favorite Chrome Apps with an integrated app launcher.  On the desktop, we’ve updated the default styling of UI elements like form controls and scrollbars to match the sleek design of the new Chrome Metro interface.

The latest version of Chrome is available now.

windows 8 Stories November 11, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 4.27.36 PMGoogle today has released Chrome 32 beta for Windows, Mac, and PC. The update includes several new features. Arguably the biggest, however, is the ability to track down which tab is the one playing a video and/or making sound. This feature was rumored way back in February, but only now is it making its way to the Chrome beta channel. In Chrome 32, tabs that are playing sound will now show a small speaker icon. Chrome has been doing this for YouTube videos since August, but it will now work with any site. Tabs that are using a webcam or microphone will also now display icons, as will tabs that are being cast to a TV with a Chromecast.

Also new in Chrome 32 beta is a new design for Windows 8 Metro, the automatic blocking of malware files, and a plethora of stability and performance improvements.

  • Tab indicators for sound, webcam and casting
  • A different look for Win8 Metro mode
  • Automatically blocking malware files
  • A number of new apps/extension APIs
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance

You can download Chrome beta to give these features a try. The update should be released in the main channel early next year.

windows 8 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

windows 8 Stories June 20, 2013

On stage at its Premiere event in London, Samsung just announced the ATIV Q, a hybrid tablet running both Windows 8 and Android. Samsung Executive Vice President DJ Lee said that the device is “versatile and adaptable” and can switch between four positions.

That’s really all that has been said about the ATIV Q so far, but seeing that 9 devices were just announced, we expect the company to get back to it soon.

The ATIV Q features a 13.3-inch qHD+ screen with a 3200×1800 resolution. Samsung says it is one of the “best displays you’ll ever see on a mobile device.” The company also says it will be very easy to use and see in bright sunshine. To switch between Android and Windows 8, you simply need to tap the hardware button under the display. You can also pin Android apps onto the Windows 8 start screen.

The device has a unique hinge that allows the screen to sink into the keyboard for tablet use, or rise up and bend several ways for usage with a keyboard. There is no trackpad, however, so you are stuck using a touchscreen for everything, even with a keyboard.

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windows 8 Stories December 12, 2012

Google says it has no plans to develop apps for Windows 8

Google is not planning to develop native Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 apps for its most popular products such as Gmail. This is according to a report from V3.co.uk, which apparently got the news directly from Google Apps Product Management Director Clay Bavor:

Google has revealed that it has no plans to develop dedicated apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 for its business app products such as Gmail or Drive… Speaking to V3, the firm’s product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said that due to what it sees as a lack of interest from its clients on the systems, it is holding back on any work at present.

Bavor said Google would focus on iOS and Android, noting recent improvements, “such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps.” However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of developing Google apps for Windows 8 in the future:

“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8,” he said. “If that changes, we would invest there, of course.”

windows 8 Stories October 14, 2012

Image via <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/15/3504532/xbox-music-pricing-availability-microsoft-xbox-360-windows-phone-8-windows-8" target="_blank">The Verge</a>

Microsoft announced this evening its new music service, called “Xbox Music”, that aims to compete with iTunes, Spotify and RDIO. The service is set to launch tomorrow for the Xbox 360 and Oct. 26 for Windows 8 (coming pre-installed) and Windows Phone 8 devices. GigaOm noted the service will also launch as an Android app shortly after:

But the biggest story to me is that Xbox Music will embrace Android and iOS. Jerry Johnson, general manager of Xbox Music, wasn’t able to tell me exactly when the apps for those two platforms are going to come out, but the sense that I took away from the briefing was that his team is working on making it happen sooner rather than later. Xbox Music on Android and iOS will look very much like Xbox Music on Windows Phone 8, which itself in many ways follows the style formerly known as Metro.

There is no word on what pricing Android users will see, but Microsoft said it will offer a free ad-support version for Windows 8 device owners and a $10 ad-free plan for those wanting an ad-free experience.

More details are at TechCrunch.

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windows 8 Stories June 4, 2012

Microsoft announces ‘SmartGlass’ wireless streaming app for Xbox/Android

Microsoft just wrapped up its presentation at this year’s E3 event. While we did not hear anything about iOS support for its new cross-platform Xbox Music service, the company did confirm Xbox SmartGlass would come to both Android and Apple devices. SmartGlass incorporates at least some of Apple’s AirPlay-like features that enable users to send video from their mobile devices to Xbox Live and Windows 8. It would also allow phones and tablets to be used as a second screen for providing content related to video or games on Xbox.

Microsoft demoed the feature with Madden on Xbox. It allowed players to use their tablet’s touchscreen to draw plays. Unfortunately, Microsoft only mentioned support for Windows 8 mobile devices for the Xbox gaming features:

Microsoft announced ahead of the E3 conference a new software application called “SmartGlass,” which can be downloaded on Windows phones and Windows 8 tablets, as well as devices powered by rivals such as Apple Inc’s iOS and Google Inc’s Android operating systems… For TV, someone watching “Game of Thrones” on the “HBO GO” streaming service via Xbox could simultaneously browse websites about the show’s cast.

windows 8 Stories May 10, 2012

Following announcements from Microsoft that it will restrict third-party browsers in its upcoming Windows 8 release for ARM devices, Google has weighed in and expressed concerns by claiming the decision restricts “user choice, and innovation.” Mozilla, makers of the Firefox browser, recently expressed similar concerns in several blogs posts (here and here). Mozilla project manager Asa Dotzler, who is leading development of Firefox for Windows 8, claimed, “Microsoft is trying to lock out competing browsers,” and he called it a “direct violation of the promises they made to developers, users, and OEMs.” Today, Google provided the following statement to CNET mirroring Mozilla’s complaints:

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windows 8 Stories March 14, 2012

Google is designing a version of Chrome to run in touch-friendly Metro of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the upcoming edition of Microsoft Windows and features a new Metro-style user-interface with input for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen. The platform’s Consumer Preview was just released Feb. 29.

A Google representative told Mashable that Chrome for Windows 8 is based on the desktop browser and not the Android form. The browser will highlight touch support to compliment the company’s interface principle that spans across many of its products and services, such as Xbox 360 and Windows Live. With that said, Chrome for Android indicates Chrome for Windows 8 might feature automatic syncing, swipe-able tabs, and a multitude of extensions.

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” announced a Google representative. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”

More information is available below.

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