Windows 10 Will Let You Pick Up Where You Left Off on Android or iOS

Microsoft is bringing Apple Continuity-like features to Windows 10 by letting you start tasks on one device, and continue them on another. This will be achieved by leveraging Cortana, its virtual assistant that’s built into Windows 10, and available as a third-party app on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

“With Cortana, you can pick up where you left off across Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Imagine logging off your PC and having the doc you were editing pop up on your phone. Cortana asks if you want to pick up where you left in your app, doc, or website,” is how Microsoft explains the feature.

Windows 10 Will Let You Pick Up Where You Left Off on Android or iOSMicrosoft apps will support this feature – which is being called Pick up Where I Left Off (PWILO) – out of the box, so, say, if you are working on a PowerPoint presentation on your Windows 10 machine, you will be prompted by Cortana to continue working on-the-go when you switch to your Android or iOS device.

The Redmond giant says third-party apps will be able to utilise the PWILO functionality by registering with the Activity Graph using easy to implement APIs. If you are using a PWILO-enabled app on a device and switch to another where you don’t have the app installed, Cortana will even prompt you to install the app.

Microsoft hopes this ability to drive additional app installs will encourage app developers to implement this functionality.

Disclosure: Microsoft sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel in Seattle for Build 2017.

Windows Mixed Reality Development Kits Now Available for Pre-Orders; Microsoft Unveils Motion Controllers

In March this year, Microsoft announced that the company will start shipping development kits for Windows Mixed Reality (earlier called Windows Holographic) later in the month itself. However, the company seemed to have changed its mind later as it didn’t happen. Now the Redmond-based company has finally started taking pre-orders for the mixed reality development kits from HP and Acer. Microsoft also announced its own motion controllers for Windows 10 VR at its Build conference.

Notably, Microsoft has still not announced the release dates for these development kits but interested users can now pre-order the development kits from the company’s website. While the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition has been priced at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,200), the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is available for pre-orders at $329 (roughly Rs. 21,200). The option for pre-orders is currently available for users in the US and Canada.

Both HP and Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets come with some common features including two high-resolution liquid crystal displays with a 1440×1440 pixels resolution, front hinged displays, 95-degree horizontal field-of-view, display refresh rate up to 90Hz (native), built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack, single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity, and inside-out tracking. Additionally, the HP headset comes with double-padded headband and easy adjustment knob, as per Microsoft.

Microsoft has further provided the list of recommended system specifications for developers on its blog. Needless to say, you will need a powerful configuration to support the mixed reality development kit from the company.

microsoft vr controller story Microsoft VR Motion Controllers

Moving to the motion controllers for Windows 10 VR, Microsoft says “a customer who pairs a Windows Mixed Reality headset with motion controllers will have a rich and immersive experience across creativity tools, productivity, games, and entertainment.”

Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers don’t require any external sensors and offer “precise and responsive” movement tracking, as per company’s claims. The company says that it plans to market and sell these controllers on retail shelves this holiday. The company has confirmed that these controllers will not work with HoloLens headset, as per a report by CNET.

Microsoft announced that Acer will sell its Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,700) this holiday season.

Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications Revealed

Intel has announced that it will launch its 8th generation Core processors, codenamed ‘Coffee Lake’, at 8:00am PDT (8:30pm IST) on August 21. The launch will be streamed to the public using Facebook Live, and has been timed to precede the much-talked-about total solar eclipse which will occur the same morning. No specifics are known yet, such as the number of models that will be launched and which market segments Intel is targeting first.

Intel’s teaser claims that the 8th generation Core processors will be “blazing fast”, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company has previously stated that Coffee Lake will improve upon the 7th generation Kaby Lake by 30 percent. Coffee Lake will be the fourth generation to use the 14nm manufacturing process, breaking the three-year Process-Architecture-Optimisation cycle that Intel tried to introduce only last year. Prior to Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake, Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ strategy dictated that the manufacturing process would shrink every alternate year.

Intel was supposed to have launched its first 10nm generation, codenamed Cannonlake, last year, but this was deferred, with Kaby Lake and now Coffee Lake filling in. Intel could move to a “fluid” model using both 14nm and 10nm processes for Coffee Lake processors in different segments. Rumors also point to Intel introducing six-core mainstream desktop processors with this generation, either thanks to thermal and power design improvements, or because of strong competition from rival AMD after years with the highly rated Ryzen CPU line. It is also therefore likely that Coffee Lake will break compatibility with Intel’s current motherboard socket and platform controllers which are common to Kaby Lake and Skylake.

Intel has stated that the launch event on August 21 will include demos of VR and “immersive experiences” that show the power of upcoming 8th generation Core processors. PC manufacturers are expected to demonstrate desktops, laptops and 2-in-1 systems based on these CPUs. Intel is also keen to grab the attention of anyone looking to buy a new PC this holiday season, indicating that products will become available in retail shortly after the launch event.

Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications RevealedIntel has also released the full specifications and launch dates of its top-end Core i9 X-series desktop processors, which offer up to 18 cores. The 12-core/ 24-thread Core i9-7920X will become available on August 28, with a base speed of 2.9GHz, a boost speed of 4.3Ghz on all cores, and 16.5MB of cache memory. The 14-core i9-7940X, 16-core i9-7960X and flagship 18-core i9-7980XE will all become available on September 25. Base/boost speeds are 2.9/4.3GHz, 3.1/4.3GHz, 2.8/4.2GHz, and 2.6/4.2GHz respectively, and the cache amounts come in at 19.25MB, 22MB and 24.75MB respectively.

All four upcoming Core i9 parts can raise their speeds up as far as 4.4GHz on one or two cores if the workload demands it, and official RAM support goes up to quad-channel DDR4-2666 for each. They also share the same 165W TDP, and all have 44 PCIe lanes. Prices range from $1199 (approximately Rs. 76,362) for the i9-7920X to a whopping $1999 (approximately Rs. 1,27,313) for the i9-7980XE.

To see how these new processors stack up against the rest of the Core-X series, check out our complete guide to Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, Motherboards, and Coolers.

Acer Launches Chromebook 11 C771 Laptop With Rugged Body and Sixth-Gen Intel Processors

Acer on Wednesday launched its Chromebook 11 C771 laptop with sixth-gen Intel Core and Celeron processors that should deliver improved performance in comparison to some of the other Chromebooks available on the market. Notably, the new Chromebook 11 C771 laptop comes with a rugged body that has been tested for durability.

The Chromebook 11 C771 laptop comes with an 11.6-inch HD (768×1366 pixels) IPS display with both a touchscreen and non-touchscreen variant. The company claims that the Chromebook 11 C771 is capable of delivering an impressive battery life of up to 13 hours.

The connectivity options offered by the new portable include USB 3.1 Type C port, two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a built-in microSD card reader. The Chromebook 11 C771 also supports fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac/a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. The laptop is 21mm thick and weighs just 1.35Kg.

Acer Launches Chromebook 11 C771 Laptop With Rugged Body and Sixth-Gen Intel ProcessorsTalking about the device’s durability, the company said in its release, “The Chromebook is compliant with the stringent Military Standard US MIL-STD 810G that validates its ruggedness, durability and quality. In addition, the corner-shield structure and rubber bumpers surrounding the display and keyboard further protect the Chromebook, so it can tolerate drops from heights up to 48 inches (122cm).”

Starting this month itself, the company will make the Chromebook 11 C771 with Celeron processors, 4GB RAM, and 32GB built-in storage available in the US with both touchscreen and non-touchscreen variants. The touchscreen variant of the laptop has been priced by the company at $329.99 (roughly Rs. 21,100) while the non-touchscreen variant will be made available for purchase at $279.99 (roughly Rs. 17,900).

The variants with Intel Core i3 and Core i5 will be made available for purchase in the country starting September, as per the company’s release.

Chromecast Ultra Gets Video Smoothness Feature That’s Turned On by Default

With the latest software update, version 90308, for Chromecast Ultra, Google has now added a video smoothness feature that prefers frame rates over resolution to provide a better viewing experience to users. The video smoothness feature has been kept on by default but can be turned off if the viewer prefers to watch videos in higher resolution.

On switching off the video smoothness feature, Chromecast Ultra would “prioritise playing the content at the highest resolution while lowering the frame rate to fit the constraints of the TV. So a 4K TV that doesn’t support 4K 60Hz will default to 4K 30Hz,” the company said in its support forum. Google says that the video content may appear jerky or stutter on switching off this feature.

Chromecast Ultra Gets Video Smoothness Feature That's Turned On by DefaultThe search giant warns that even if you turn off the video smoothness feature, the streaming service itself can prefer higher frame rates over resolution to maintain smoothness and this happens on the partner side so can’t be overridden by Chromecast Ultra.

If you still want to switch off the video smoothness feature, you can open the Google Home app and choose the Devices option seen on the top-right of the app. Then you will have to choose the Chromecast Ultra from the list and head to the settings from device card menu. Finally, you need to head to the video smoothness toggle and turn it off for the required effect.

Frame rates are usually more impactful when it comes to viewing experience in comparison with resolution and users are likely to enjoy this new feature turned on. Let us know in comment section if you think the new addition to the Chromecast Ultra will improve the overall user experience offered by the device.

Blackberry Oslo specs and features: Rounded edges and steel frame

New images of the Blackberry Oslo smartphone have just showed up in the web, giving a glimpse of what the new upcoming smartphone will look like, and what its specifications and features are.

Blackberry wesbite
The Blackberry Passport with its classic, physical keyboard.

The new images, which were revealed by N4BB.com, show that the new Blackberry Oslo will look almost similar in design to Blackberry’s previous smartphone model, the Blackberry Passport.

Reports claim that the Blackberry Oslo will also pack the same specifications of the Blackberry Passport.

The Blackberry Passport was released last September 2014 and runs on the Blackberry OS 10 operating system. The handset is known for its large and wide square-shaped design and display screen.

Unlike the previous model, the images show that the new Oslo smartphone will have smooth and curved edges, and a steel frame that will come with silver plastic. The new Blackberry Oslo is expected to come with a 13 mega pixel rear camera, powered by Qualcomm’s 2.2GHz MSM8974 Snapdragon 801 processor.

The Blackberry Oslo will come with 3GB worth of RAM and a 3450mAh battery. It will run on Blackberry’s latest operating system, the Blackberry OS 10.3.2 version, and will possibly have 32GB worth of expandable internal storage memory. The new handset will also come with Blackberry’s famous QWERTY keyboard, just like its predecessor.

The Blackberry Passport was commended for its large display screen that gives users an easy way to edit and read documents. Others have criticized the Passport for having a large size design, arguing that it only makes it uncomfortable and difficult for users to place in their pockets. The Passport’s display screen is larger than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 and Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

The release date, including the price, of the new Blackberry Oslo handset still remains unclear.

Apple WWDC 2015 rumors – Apple officially announces iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and Apple Music

Apple Inc.’s World Wide Developers Conference has kicked off last Monday, and the tech giant has made some groundbreaking announcements on what to look forward to in 2015.

According to Macworld, the company announced four new things coming to Apple fans this year. These are: Apple Music, iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and Watch OS 2.

Apple Music is Apple’s new music streaming service that gives users the capability to stream everything that is available in the iTunes catalogue, Macworld reported.

Apple Music will allow users around the world to listen to Beat 1, a 24-hour radio station that broadcasts popular music around the world and hosted by several big names include Zane Lowe. Macworld said that the service will have stations in New York, Los Angeles and New York in order to ensure 24-hour broadcast.

The service will not be exclusive to iOS users as it will also be available to Android beginning in the autumn.

On the other hand, El Capitan is the latest operating system for Apple’s laptops and computers. While there are some new features, Macworld said that the new OS will be geared more towards improving performance. One of these improvements is the Metal graphics technology, which will ensure better detail and game performance.

Apple also made announcements on the highly anticipated iOS 9 for its mobile devices. The tech giant announced several improvements to mobile device capabilities, including better contextual awareness for Siri, more settings for better battery life for the iPhone 6, as well as a revolutionary “split screen” capability for the iPad tablet.

IOS 9 will also bring trackpad capabilities and quick app switching to Apple’s mobile devices, Macworld said.

The trackpad, which will be built in to the on-screen keyboard, will enable users to exercise finer control over the cursor.

Windows 10 OS Launch after PC Edition

Windows-10-microsoft-phone

Microsoft is really busy at the moment because the company has already confirmed the release date for Windows 10, their next operating system. It is coming on July 29 and it will update the desktop version of the OS and simultaneously the mobile phones as well.

But, if you already own a Lumia phone and expect it to receive the update instantly, you might be in for a surprise now! First of all, technically it is not easy to update every phone to the latest operating system because the hardware specifications are limited and they aren’t ready to handle the new features yet.

Microsoft has officially confirmed that only a couple of phones, including the Lumia 640 and the Lumia 640 XL will receive Windows 10 update as soon as it gets officially launched.

OS Launch after PC Edition

Official statements confirm that Microsoft is going to have a strong focus on the desktop version of the Windows 10 operating system. Their attention is so focused because it is going to be one interface that should make the mouse, keyboard users and touch screen users happy. After making a lot of errors in the Windows 8 platform, the developers and designers have come together to seamlessly bridge the gap. It is going to support a lot of cross platform content, easy porting of Android apps to the devices and also allow people to buy stuff on just one device which will be made available on multiple platforms at once.

windows-10-pc-phone

If the company manages to bring the best of the operating system on the desktop and tablets, they can easily port the same to mobile platforms. Because of these obvious reasons, it has been recently confirmed that Windows 10 for phones is not coming this summer but will rather be rolled out after the desktop edition.

Best Platform Ever Designed

iOS and Android dominate the mobile market at the moment but if things go as planned, Microsoft Windows 10 for phones could be one of the best operating system ever designed for the platform. It comes with Cortana voice assistant, which is an equally competent feature similar to Siri on iPhones. The phone will also sport an all-new browser named Edge which could be a turning point for smartphone internet users if it is as good as promoted by the company. It has been designed with touch screen devices in mind and will allow users to instantly mark any content on a web page, so that it can be shared online, sent or uploaded to the cloud.

The operating system will come bundled with MS Office which is an important software that most business users and people who need productivity will adore. It also has One Note, One Drive for easy cloud storage and Bing search engine, which has seen considerable improvement in the recent past. It shouldn’t be long before the Windows Phone version gets upgraded to 10 and once it does, one can expect the true potential of the platform to come to the forefront.

BlackBerry may put Android system on new device

BlackBerry is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.’s Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The move would be an about-face for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which had shunned Android in a bet that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Android.

The sources, who asked not to be named as they have not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry’s strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management. BlackBerry, which once dominated smartphone sales, now has a market share of less than 1%.

It is not clear whether a move to use Android would spell the end of the company’s BlackBerry 10 line of devices that were initially launched to much fanfare in early 2013. After positive early reviews, the late-to-launch BlackBerry devices haven’t competed well with Android or Apple, mainly due to a lack of big name apps.

“We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched,” said the company in an email.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen is banking on the company’s new device management system, BES12, that allows corporate and government clients to not only manage BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but also devices powered by Android, Apple’s iOS platform and Microsoft Corp’s Windows operating system.

One of the hurdles it faces in that transformation is convincing big customers that its device management software works across many different platforms.

Two sources said that by launching an Android-based deviceof its own, BlackBerry would be sending a signal to skeptics that it is confident that the BES12 system can not only manage, but also secure smartphones and tablets powered by rival operating systems.

BlackBerry will proably use Android on an upcoming slider device that is likely to be released this autumn, two sources said. The slider will combine a touch screen with a physical keyboard that users can use if they prefer.

BlackBerry briefly showed off the slider device on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March, but it has provided little detail on it since then.

By making an Android device that boasts a large touchscreen and a physical keyboard, BlackBerry hopes to snag a niche in the touchscreen-dominated Android market. The device may attract those still using older BlackBerry keyboard handhelds but who want access to the larger app options Android offers.

HARDWARE CONUNDRUM

Two sources said that if BlackBerry moves forward on a plan to launch an Android device, it could come with some of the patented features in its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

In March, BlackBerry announced that it planned to deliver its patented security, productivity and communication tools to any mobile device running iOS, Android or Windows.

The company, which a while ago opened its popular BlackBerry Messaging app to those using rival operating systems, has said it plans to offer more in-house features on rival devices, including BlackBerry Hub and the predictive text capabilities of its virtual keyboard.

Chen in March said the company was still committed to its own devices business.

Since that time however, BlackBerry has cut headcount in its hardware unit even further. The company, which at a 2011 peak employed 17,500 people and in February was down to 6,225, said last month that it was making further cuts on the device side, without providing any numbers.

Exclusive: BlackBerry may put Android system on new device: sources

The Blackberry sign is pictured in Waterloo June 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Mark Blinch

BlackBerry (BB.TO) is considering equipping an upcoming smartphone with Google Inc.’s (GOOGL.O) Android software for the first time, an acknowledgement that its revamped line of devices has failed to win mass appeal, according to four sources familiar with the matter.

The move would be an about-face for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which had shunned Android in a bet that its BlackBerry 10 line of phones would be able to claw back market share lost to Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPhone and a slew of devices powered by Android.

The sources, who asked not to be named as they have not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said the move to use Android is part of BlackBerry’s strategy to pivot to focus on software and device management. BlackBerry, which once dominated smartphone sales, now has a market share of less than 1 percent.

It is not clear whether a move to use Android would spell the end of the company’s BlackBerry 10 line of devices that were initially launched to much fanfare in early 2013. After positive early reviews, the late-to-launch BlackBerry devices haven’t competed well with Android or Apple, mainly due to a lack of big name apps.

“We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched,” said the company in an email.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen is banking on the company’s new device management system, BES12, that allows corporate and government clients to not only manage BlackBerry devices on their internal networks, but also devices powered by Android, Apple’s iOS platform and Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Windows operating system.

One of the hurdles it faces in that transformation is convincing big customers that its device management software works across many different platforms.

Two sources said that by launching an Android-based device of its own, BlackBerry would be sending a signal to skeptics that it is confident that the BES12 system can not only manage, but also secure smartphones and tablets powered by rival operating systems.

BlackBerry will probably use Android on an upcoming slider device that is likely to be released this autumn, two sources said. The slider will combine a touch screen with a physical keyboard that users can use if they prefer.

BlackBerry briefly showed off the slider device on stage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March, but it has provided little detail on it since then.

By making an Android device that boasts a large touchscreen and a physical keyboard, BlackBerry hopes to snag a niche in the touchscreen-dominated Android market. The device may attract those still using older BlackBerry keyboard handhelds but who want access to the larger app options Android offers.

HARDWARE CONUNDRUM

Two sources said that if BlackBerry moves forward on a plan to launch an Android device, it could come with some of the patented features in its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

In March, BlackBerry announced that it planned to deliver its patented security, productivity and communication tools to any mobile device running iOS, Android or Windows.

The company, which a while ago opened its popular BlackBerry Messaging app to those using rival operating systems, has said it plans to offer more in-house features on rival devices, including BlackBerry Hub and the predictive text capabilities of its virtual keyboard.

Chen in March said the company was still committed to its own devices business.

Since that time however, BlackBerry has cut headcount in its hardware unit even further. The company, which at a 2011 peak employed 17,500 people and in February was down to 6,225, said last month that it was making further cuts on the device side, without providing any numbers.