Rectangles, squares, flat colors, live tiles…Windows 8 is coming soon and it is a radical departure from previous iterations of Microsoft’s OS. Built from the ground up with a touch screen in mind, Microsoft is completely changing the way people interact with their PCs and even building their own tablet. Although innovation is good, it is hard to say how well consumers will embrace this upgrade.Read More
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Looks like there's more info (images and screen sizes) on the earlier Nokia Windows 8 leaks. Learn more after the break.Read More
I'll admit things have been slow here at the Teenstech office (we do have lives ... and jobs). But I'm glad to announce that we are back to full man-power and will begin writing more posts. So if you want a teens perspective, stay tuned to teenstech.com. After all, it's where the cool kids are.
Being teenagers in high school we (the Teenstech team) take a lot of notes. The problem is that we have electronic notes as well as hand-written notes in our notebooks which is annoying because we have two places to look when studying for a test. The thing is, it's nicer to have an electronic version of our notes so we can access them anywhere, but we weren't able to draw diagrams or graphs and add them to our electronic notes so essentially, we could only have half of our notes be taken on a laptop. This is where the Echo smartpen by Livscribe comes in.
The Echo smartpen truly is a nifty piece of hardware. All you need is an Echo smartpen and some "dot paper" and you just write on the paper. Then all of the notes you take on the special "dot paper" will be uploaded to drop box. To sweeten the deal, the Echo smartpen can also record audio and sync that with your drop box as well.
Now now, I understand there are those who might question this whole interface and ask about how it's similar to the Windows Live Mesh/Onenote/Skydrive system and not without good reason. But hold on, again you have to use a laptop to utilize Microsoft's one note true ability and unless you're willing to shell out for a tablet PC then you really only get half of your notes. You can't draw a graph on a normal laptop - well you can but you're just going to ruin the laptop and it's not going to get you anywhere.
But in terms of Dropbox vs. Livemesh funcitonality, they are few differences. Both give you the ability to sync files on your computer to cloud storage. Both are accessable anywhere in the world (granted there must be an internet connection). I must say, it is actually a pretty good idea to add drop box functionality to the Echo smartpen. Being able to sync your notes to cloud storage and your computer on the fly will become pretty handy.
However,where laptops are limited, the Echo smartpen excels, it lets you take all sorts of handwritten and recorded notes (including graphs and diagrams) and sync them to dropbox so you could access them anywhere. Frankly, laptops aren't there yet.
Now although the Pen is $130+ it looks like a good investment due to the fact that the Echo smartpen is EXTREMELY helpful for students. What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments below!
Although we don't know when the update is being rolled out, Microsofthas given us some more details on windows phone 8. The update will have Windows 8 tablet and phone connectivity, skype integration, super phone support and more. Read on after the break for a full list of improvements.
The List: (provided by Engadget)
- Support for four different resolutions, though no specifics were given
- Support for dual cores
- NFC support added, including payment and content sharing with WP8 and Windows 8 machines
- Carrier control and branding of "wallet" element is possible via SIM or phone hardware
- MicroSD support added for expandable storage
- Transitions to core components from desktop, including kernel, network stack, security components and media support
- Simplified porting of desktop apps to mobile
- Zune desktop integration scrapped in favor of new, unnamed syncing app
- Deeper Skydrive integration, including ability to sync data such as music collections
- Xbox Companion app will get Windows 8 partner client
- Native code support, simplified porting from Android and iOS
- App-to-app communication and integration
- Skype client with deep OS hooks that will make it almost identical to placing standard voice calls
- Camera app now supports "lenses" which allow third parties to skin and add features to camera interface
- DataSmart tracks and reports usage via app and live tile
- Gives preferential treatment to WiFi, can automatically connect to carrier-owned hotspots
- Proxy server will compress websites in Internet Explorer 10 up to 30 percent
- Native Bitlocker encryption
- Support for proprietary, custom built apps to be deployed behind company firewalls
Staying true to their promises, Microsoft released the Kinect for Windows today! The Kinect SDK and runtime is available for download right now and the Kinect for Windows is shipping in 12 different countries for at a hefty retail price of $249. You can buy it right now at Amazon and the Microsoft Store.
According to the Kinect for Windows Team, here are the new features:
- Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
- Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
- Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
- Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
- The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
- Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
- New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
- A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
- Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes
One of the latest features they have been working on is "Near Mode", which allows the Kinect to accurately detect movement a lot nearer than before. The team is claiming accuracy at a distance as close as 40 centimeters away.
Head over to Microsoft's website for more details!
1. Ubuntu TV
Canonical will be releasing its Ubuntu TV in the near future, which is still a proof of concept, but it promises to bring a Linux-embedded TV that does everything Ubuntu OS does, but on a TV. This innovation will come hand-in-hand with the new renovation of the Ubuntu One store, hint hint! Music, movies, applications, and even games will be available through the new store, and we've seen it run on the Ubuntu TV flawlessly. Stay alert for the Ubuntu TV to hit the market sometime in the future!
2. Playstation Vita
The Playstation Vita appeared at CES, and many were excited to see a whole new way of portable gaming, but a lot of us were not appealed by the new changes in the new release of the Playstation Portable series. The UI has been redesigned so that everything can be accessed in as little space as possible, so you can play a game and then switch over to listening music in an instant. But then, that also means that users are sacrificing efficiency for a very minimalistic and unaesthetic UI. As usual, the Vita brings everything over from the Portable along with games compatibility. If you want to explore a new frontier in portable gaming, make note of the Vita coming out in the near future.
3. T-Mobile's iPhone Release Promises AWS Radio
Now that the other major phone companies have engrossed in their spoils with their partnership with Apple's iPhone, T-Mobile does not want to fall behind. It has announced at CES that it too will likely partner with the iPhone in the near future, and that its version of the iPhone will support the new radio technology AWS. AWS brings a new spectrum across America that compliments HSPA+. We don't know if the grudge between Apple and T-Mobile from the past will influence the partnership in any way, but we'll see in the coming months.
4. Microsoft's TV Subscription Service Canceled
Microsoft had announced moments ago that it would be starting its own TV subscription service that would allow X-Box Live users, PC users, Windows 7 Mobile users to connect to with maximum compatibility. Too bad, because it has just recently updated us that the service will now be canceled due to lack of funding as well as high licensing costs. In the meantime, it will refocus on its goal of delivering content over the Web and X-Box Live.
5. iNuke Boom: A 10,000-Watt Speaker for your iOs device
We thought it was a joke when we first saw a bulky, giant, monster of a speaker with a microscopic iPod hooked on top of it at the CES. Behringer, the company who designed the 8-foot wide, 4-foot tall speaker has annnounced that it will indeed hit the market soon. It's just hard to believe where anyone could fit such an enormous speaker, but you never know! It has the record for the world's loudest iPod dock, so there could be someone out there who would like to listen to super loud music at home. If they have $30,000.
Well isn't that a nice looking phone? Nokia continues its Lumia phone line and brings the first LTE enabled windows phone to the table. Nokia announced the Lumia 900, a WP7 phone with a 1.4 Ghz processor, 4.3 inch clear black Amoled display, Mango, 512 Megabytes of ram, and 8 megapixel rear view camera and a front facing camera. Oh yea, it also has a 7 hour talk and 300 hour standby battery life.
Despite there is no exact pricing, Nokia has announced that the phone will be competitively priced and that it should come stateside in a few months. It is also an exclusive for AT&T.
If this was out on T-mobile I would but it on day one. It has some nice specs, a killer design, a large screen, and it is carrying Mango (my favorite phone OS). I think it is safe to say that the nokia lumia 900 would be a nice upgrade over my HTC HD7. What do you guys think? Do you think Nokia is going to fail miserably or do you think Nokia has something really cool here.
I've had an HD7 for a few months now and before it, I had a Samsung Galaxy that was running Android 2.2. I've also been allowed to tinker with the Nexus Prime (or Galaxy Nexus) and a handful of Android phones over the past year. So now, I want to give my 2 cents. 2 very, VERY brief cents...
The Windows 7 phone is incredibly fluid and smooth, sure it doesn't have a quad-core processor like some new Androids but it doesn't need one. Thats the beauty of it! If you took Ice Cream Sandwich (the newest Android O.S) and put it on an HD7 it would barely run and that is where Android fails. It needs so much power for all of the shows and sparkles that it drives away from the point of a smart phone .... from a certain point of view. The Windows 7 phone is the bare minimum in terms of looks and that works extremeley well. Its clean, easy to understand and use, and provides little to no strain on the hardware!
Android however has a much larger app library and provides many more customization options. I understand that if WP7 wants to succeed then it will need an actual app library. The amount of apps on the windows marketplace is pittiful in comparrison to Androids. Customization is also a big issue. I loved being able to mod my Samsung Galaxy's O.S. I loved having the power to change the font, keyboard, layout, etc. on my Android phone and WP7 has none of that. The most customizable option is getting to choose wether or not your background is "light" or "Dark" and the color of your tiles.
Now, I have to go so I'll wrap it up here .... for now. But when looking at these three things, funcitonality, customizability, and the app library, it seems like the Android phone is in the lead. But WP7 could easily catch up soon in terms of customizable options. All it takes is another update thats named after a sweet fruit. The apps on the other hand can prove to be a harder issue to take care of. They would need to add a serious amount of incentives to make apps and give developers more tools to play with.
What do you people think? Do you think WP7 was dead before it ever took off? Or do you think that Android could lose to the WP7 once you give it a little bit of time? Argue in the comment section!!!
Microsoft and Skype have finally broken the ice by announcing that Skype, the software that allows users to make voice calls and chats over the Internet, has been sold to Microsoft Corporation for a sum of $8.5 billion. This is great news for Microsoft, who has good ideas in mind for this new pet. It will bring Skype's functions into its vast expansion of technology fields, from mobile phones to the latest computer to its gaming industry, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer states that it will "invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms." Let's hope this deal does some good for $8.5 B to be spent on.
Source: Microsoft to Acquire Skype Press Release