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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Google Working on Game Console to Compete with Future Apple Gaming Threat

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According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Google has an Android-based video game console and smart watch in the works in order to compete with products the company expects Apple to produce in the future.

Google is also continuing development on the Nexus Q, a media console that it announced last year but did not release. The Nexus Q was designed to stream music, video, and YouTube content to home entertainment systems, similar to the Apple TV.

    With the watch and game console, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. may release in the future, the people said.

    The people briefed on the matter said Google is reacting in part to expectations that rival Apple will launch a videogame console as part of its next Apple TV product release.

This is not the first time it has been suggested that Apple could use the Apple TV to make a serious foray into the console gaming market. Tech sites have speculated for years that gaming on the Apple TV might be in Apple’s future, and earlier this year, Xbox founding engineer Nat Brown said that Apple could “destroy” console gaming with third party apps on the Apple TV.
In February, TechCrunch’s MG Siegler confirmed that Apple has something television related in the pipeline, which might be a television set or a revised box. Siegler suggested that gaming could be the major focal point of the new television product.

While Apple has referred to its Apple TV as a hobby project, the company has seen sales continue to rise over the years. With the second generation Apple TV and the introduction of AirPlay Mirroring for iOS devices with iOS 5, gaming on the set-top box became possible for the first time.

Clever developers have already begun using that technology to turn the Apple TV into a gaming console, with several implementing second screen capabilities that turn the iPhone or iPad into a controller. A game released earlier today goes even further, morphing the iPhone into a motion controller that serves as a tennis racket.

Now Apple has revealed that it has established partnerships with Logitech and MOGA to develop third party MFi certified gaming controllers, which would better facilitate television-based gaming, suggesting that the company may indeed be turning its focus to serious gameplay. It should also be noted that 21 of the top 25 all time best selling App Store apps are games.

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A MOGA Gaming Controller

It is not unexpected that Google is planning for a gaming solution of its own to compete with a potential Apple offering, as the Mountain View-based company began work on a smart watch around the same time that Apple was developing a watch of its own. News of Apple’s upcoming smart watch dubbed “iWatch” surfaced in December, and hints that Google would develop a competing product surfaced in March, though the company filed for a patent on the technology at an earlier date.

Wearable computers and fitness tracking devices such as the Pebble Smart Watch, the Jawbone UP, and the Nike FuelBand have soared in popularity in recent months and in addition to Apple and Google, other companies like Samsung and Microsoft are said to be developing wearable computing devices. Google already has experience in the market with Google Glass, which it plans to release to the public next year.

According to the WSJ, Google hopes to design and market its devices in house, releasing at least one product this fall. There are no hints on when Apple could potentially launch a revamped Apple TV or a smart watch, but its gaming controllers are expected in the fall alongside the iPhone 5S and iOS 7.

Tim Cook has also suggested that the company has “amazing new hardware, software, and services” coming later in the year and throughout 2014.  by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Apple’s ‘Designed by Apple’ TV Ad Scoring Poorly with Viewers

At its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple rolled out a new advertising campaign centered around the tagline “Designed by Apple in California”, focusing on the company’s brand and how its primary goal is enriching lives. The campaign has included a 60-second television ad, as well as a dedicated page on Apple’s website and most recently two-page spreads in major newspapers.

But Bloomberg reports that the campaign is not registering well with the public, citing survey data from consulting firm Ace Metrix showing that the TV ad is Apple’s lowest-scoring commercial over the past year.

    The company’s latest ad, which began airing June 10, has earned the lowest score of 26 Apple TV ads in the past year, according to Ace Metrix Inc., a consulting firm that analyzes the effectiveness of TV ads through surveys of at least 500 TV viewers. The ad scored 489 on the company’s scoring system, below an industry average of 542 and far below past iconic Apple campaigns that often topped 700.

Boston University advertising professor Edward Boches notes that the campaign marks a significant shift for Apple, with the focus on the company rather than its products rubbing some viewers the wrong way.

    “Apple was never a company that bragged about itself,” said Edward Boches, a professor of advertising at Boston University. “In a manifesto ad, it’s hard not to come across as self indulgent. And even though it suggests the wonderful things Apple products can do, the ad lacks joy.”

Boches goes on to point out that some view the campaign as inappropriately political, highlighting Apple as a California-based company in tacit contrast to Samsung, which is based in South Korea. He suggests that the campaign may end up being a rather short-lived one, similar to the “Genius” campaign that consisted of just three ads running for a brief period during the Summer Olympics.  by macrumors

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Foursquare checks into Windows 8 with its first native tablet app

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For Windows 8 tablet users, becoming the mayor of your favorite fro-yo place (everybody’s gotta have a dream) is about get easier. Just a few weeks after announcing a tablet UI customized for Android, Foursquare took to the stage at Build today to announce its first native tablet app, designed specifically for Windows 8. While an app for Windows Phone 8 already exists, tablet users had been left in the cold without software optimized for their devices. So far, Foursquare hasn’t specified an exact release date for the app, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Apple patent stuffs two ports into one, saves space in your laptop

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Port space is very limited on laptops, but Apple has just received a patent that could solve that problem in the simplest way possible: cramming two ports into one. Expanding on what we’ve seen with some multi-format card readers, Apple has designed a layered port whose staggered electrical contacts and overall shape let it accept two different connectors. While the company uses the combination of a USB port and SD card reader as its example, the patent could theoretically apply to any two technologies that make sense together. The real question is whether or not Apple will use its invention at all. The Mac maker has a few slim portables that could use some expansion, but there’s no evidence that the company will tweak its computer designs in the near future. by engadget

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Windows 8.1 RT looks just like regular Windows 8.1, performance hasn’t changed

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When we got hands-on with the Windows 8.1 preview earlier this week, it was on a Surface Pro — i.e., an x86 system running full Windows. Until today, though, we hadn’t had a chance to try the software on a device running Windows RT. Well, fortunately for us, Microsoft has a row full of freshly updated Surface RT units on display here at Build, so we took the opportunity poke around a little. As you’d expect, Windows RT 8.1 has all the trappings of the full Windows version, including an always-there Start button and new apps like Food & Drink and Health & Fitness. What’s sort of interesting is that you can boot to the desktop here as well, just as you would on Windows 8.1. (We say “interesting” because, well, how urgently do you need the desktop on RT anyway?) The desktop also still comes with Office apps pinned to the Taskbar, in case you were wondering.

Performance seems much the same as before, particularly because we were handling last year’s Surface RT, which still ships with a Tegra 3 SoC. Browsing and loading tabs in IE11 feels snappy but then again, IE11 was supposed to be a tick faster than IE10. Overall, navigating the OS can still feel slightly sluggish, but the build we tried is at least stable. Other than that, it looks like we’ll have to wait for some new ARM chips before we can revisit performance in Windows RT. We’ll also be back to take a look at the forthcoming RT Outlook app, which we haven’t seen yet. Until then, don’t expect us to write another 4,000 words on the subject.

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Rhapsody debuts app for Windows 8 at Microsoft Build 2013

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Today during Microsoft’s 2013 edition of Build, Rhapsody announced that it’s releasing a version of its music app designed for the Windows 8 operating system. As you might expect, the Win8 variant will bring many of the same features found on its iOS and Android counterparts, including the ability for subscribers to create playlists and stream / download songs from Rhapsody’s ample library of tunes. There will be some tidbits tailored specifically for Redmond’s OS, however, such as a Snap Mode for simple multitasking and an option that allows tracks to be pinned to the Metro-style home screen. The company told us the application will hit the Windows store shortly, so we’ll be sure to update this post as soon as we have a link to the download.

Update: Rhapsody’s Windows 8 app is now up for grabs via the Windows store, linked down below for your convenience.

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 

Firefox gets a new logo, rolls out desktop and Android Beta updates

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Firefox is an ever evolving beast, and that includes both its friendly orange fox logo, and its Beta channel browser. Today Mozilla unveiled the fourth Firefox logo, a (slightly) less textured and glossy icon for its favored web browser — and if you’re . Meanwhile, the latest update for for Firefox Beta brings access to the company’s Social API and, consequently, Share buttons to the platform — so Facebook fanatics can have one-click sharing of images, articles, videos and links from the Firefox toolbar. The new Beta is also getting a Mixed Content Blocker that prevents HTTP (read: nonsecure) content from loading on HTTPS websites. Plus, there’s a new Network Monitor feature to let devs see how quickly individual page components load and optimizations for OS X 10.7 that enable its scrollbar style and and the scroll bounce behavior Apple fans love.

Oh, and for you mobile fans, the Android Beta was updated today, too. Now, it’s got an auto-hide Awesome Bar, a URL autocomplete function and an updated RSS feed reader that allows you to add feeds to with a long press on the aforementioned Awesome Bar. Pretty awesome, gents, now let’s get these Beta features into a full release, and it’ll be really awesome.

 
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Posted by on 28/06/2013 in IT

 
 
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