Thursday, June 27, 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview Released


At Build 2013, Microsoft released the much awaited public preview of Windows 8.1.
Windows 8.1 is the first major update to the original Windows 8 and the preview (pre-release version) is available for download via Windows Store or from the official website.

Start Screen


The Start Screen is now even more refreshed in Windows 8.1. New sizes of Live Tiles offer more information or reduce clutter on screen, moving backgrounds which animates as you scroll, and the ability to set any image as the Start Screen wallpaper. The All Apps section (swipe up from the bottom) shows all the apps alphabetically, by date installed, most used or by category.

Start Button

The controversial Start Button returns in Windows 8.1 and is customizable as well. The Start Button takes you to the Start Screen, but you can also right click on it and access power user commands and the shutdown or restart options.

Personalization


As stated above, there are moving backgrounds as you scroll through tiles which are called Motion Accents. In the lockscreen, you have the option of running a slideshow, with photos coming from SkyDrive or your local hard drive.

Multi-Tasking & Multi-Monitor

Snapping applications side by side is even more easier in Windows 8.1. You can now snap apps in 50 / 50 mode. You can also change that percentage to better control how much of an app you see on screen.
In the multi monitor scenario, you can snap multiple apps across multiple displays. Also, the scaling for windows is improved, so dragging a window between two different dpi monitors will scale the window appropriately.

Search


The new Search is powered with Bing and is called the 'Bing Heros'. The Search is now a 'everywhere' search and opens up the Bing Heroes page when you search for something. The Bing Heroes page consists of search results from around the web, the PC, from the apps etc.

Apps


Lots of Windows 8 apps got updates including the Internet Explorer, Mail & Office, Xbox Music and Video, Camera & Photos. Some new apps have been introduced such as Reading List which lets you save an article for later reading, Health and Fitness, Food & Drinks, Alarms, Sound-Recorder & Calculator.


To summarize, Windows 8.1 is a great update to Windows 8 and includes refinements and great apps that every Windows 8 user will love.
As mentioned above, to download the preview, go to Windows Store from your Windows 8 PC or head over to Windows official website.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

E3 2013 : Game On

E3 2013 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is the biggest annual computer and video games expo in the world. This year big companies showcased some of the best games and consoles. Sony announces PlayStation 4 and Microsoft showcases the Xbox One.


MICROSOFT

Microsoft press conference started with showcasing the new Xbox One console. It's a cloud-based home-entertainment console sporting an improved Kinect camera, along with a redesigned controller with a new d-pad and integrated battery compartment. The Xbox One was earlier announced at the Xbox reveal event.
The Xbox One will be one sale from November 2013 onwards for $499 in US, 499 in Europe and £429 in the UK.

Some big games announced for Xbox One includes -
  • Metal Gear Solid 5 : The Phantom Pain
  • Ryse : Son of Rome
  • Forza Motorsport 5
  • Quantum Break
  • Titan Fall
  • Dead Rising 3
  • Witcher 3
  • Halo
  • Battlefield 4

SONY

Sony introduces the all new gaming console - PlayStation 4. This new console looks space age and Sony has made sure that it delights the users with lots of new features including Cloud Saves, automatic game updates, immersive multiplayer and a new cloud gaming service launching in 2014.


The PlayStation 4 will be available for purchase this holiday season in US and UK for $399£349.

Some big games announced for PlayStation 4 includes -
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Kingdom Hearts III
  • The Dark Sorcerer
  • Gran Turismo 6
  • Battlefield 4

UBISOFT

Ubisoft showcased some great teasers and trailers of the upcoming games.

The Crew
The Crew is a racing video game co-developed by Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections and published by Ubisoft for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows. It is expected to release in early 2014.


Tom Clancy's The Division
Tom Clancy's The Division is an upcoming action role-playing video game developed by Ubisoft Massive under the Tom Clancy brand for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Division is inspired by Operation Dark Winter and Directive 51. In the game, a disease that spreads on Black Friday causes the United States to collapse in 5 days.


Assassin's Creed IV : Black Flag
It is the sixth major installment in the Assassin's Creed series and a sequel to 2012's Assassin's Creed III modern story and a prequel to its ancestral storyline. The game will feature three main cities; Havana, Kingston, and Nassau, which reside under Spanish, English and pirate influence, respectively. The game will also feature 50 locations to explore, with a 60/40 balance between land and naval exploration. Assassin's Creed IV will have a more open world feel, with missions similar to those found in Assassin's Creed, as well as fewer restrictions for the player.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist
Blacklist introduces a new gameplay mechanic called killing in motion, allowing the player to highlight targets and take them out in quick succession, with a new fluidity while on the run. The game is set in a third-person perspective so the protagonist and the objects around him are visible. As well, there will be voice integration with Xbox 360's Kinect peripheral, which will allow gamers to say things to distract enemies and then attack. The player can also use the Kinect sensor to control the protagonist with their body instead of the Xbox 360 controller.


ELECTRONIC ARTS

Electronic Arts E3 Press conference started with an energetic music. EA is probably the largest gaming company and like previous years, this year also EA bombarded with lots of great games.

Titanfall
Titanfall is a mecha first-person shooter video game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. It is Respawn's first game, and is scheduled for release in 2014.


Need for Speed : Rivals
Need for Speed Rivals is an upcoming open-world racing video game in development at Swedish games developer Ghost Games (formerly EA Gothenburg), the twentieth installment in the long-running Need for Speed series. Running on Frostbite 3 engine, the game is to be released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 19 November 2013 and will also be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later in 2013.


EA Ignite
EA announced a new gaming engine - Ignite. This new gaming engine is used to develop new EA Sports games like Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, NBA Live 14 & UFC.

Electronic Arts announced several features within the engine. Its Human Intelligence framework lets in-game players "think like real athletes", with the ability to make snap judgments, prepare for impact, and perform as a team player. For example, the new artificial intelligence creates a sense of urgency for computer players towards the end of a match, who will rush for more shots on goal. The True Player Motion framework makes players' bodies, limbs, and clothing each move according to physics. The Living Worlds framework models the stadium audience members and their behaviors individually. The audience will have expectations about the in-game sports matches, and will change react with the match's progress. The Ignite artificial intelligence is able to use the next-gen hardware to handle four times as many calculations per second than older EA Sports titles.

Battlefield 4
Developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts, this game is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and the 13th installment in the Battlefield series. Running on Frostbite 3 engine, this game packs a punch. EA also showcased live 64 player multiplayer game on the stage.

NVIDIA

Nvidia introduced their new Graphics card - GeForce GTX 770, a new high-end gaming graphics card faster and more efficient than both the GeForce GTX 670 and GeForce GTX 680.


The GeForce GTX 770 features the same desirable styling as the recently-released GeForce GTX 780, and compared to its predecessor is 15% faster thanks to higher clock speeds, 192 more CUDA Cores, and faster 7Gbps memory. The GTX 770 also supports our latest hardware-software enhancements, like GPU Boost 2.0, Overvolting, Display Overclocking, and ShadowPlay.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Apple WWDC 2013 Roundup


Apple WWDC 2013 - Apple's yearly developer conference kicked off with some great announcements. Apple's CEO Tim Cook took the stage and announced MacBook Air, iOS 7 & new Mac operating system - OS X Mavericks and more.

OS X Mavericks

  • Finder windows, the windowing system OS X uses for folder navigation, now uses tabs. Windows can be drag and dropped on top of each other.
  • Files can now be tagged, for easy access.
  • Multiple displays support: the menu bar goes across multiple displays, dock operates across multiple displays.
  • Improved battery life and less CPU activity.
  • Updated Safari browser with ultra smooth scrolling and less memory usage & with top site where all the bookmarks are stored.
  • New iCloud Keychain to sync data between various Apple devices.
  • New updated Maps app for OS X.
  • New iOS books store with 1.8 million books.


MacBook Air

Apple announced a refreshed line of MacBook Air using the new Intel's Haswell processors. The new MacBook Air will come in two versions - 11 inch and 13 inch with 128 / 256GB flash storage, 4GB LP DDR3 memory, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and Intel Core-i5 (Haswell) processor.

MacBook Airs are priced at $999 for the 11-inch model and $1,099 for a 13-inch model.


Mac Pro

Apple introduced Mac Pro, a high end desktop. It comes with dual AMD GPUs delivering 7 teraflops of performance, and it supports Thunderbolt 2 and 4K displays. The Mac Pro will be available in late 2013.


iOS 7


Tim Cook announced iOS 7, new improved operating system for iPhones and iPads. Apple described it's new operating system as "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone".

The whole design is much more cleaner and flatter. Multi-tasking gets an upgrade, Safari is streamlined to showcase more content, new gestures make navigation easier. Apple also introduced a new peer-to-peer Wi-Fi sharing service with iOS 7 known as AirDrop.

Notification center gets a big update. iOS 7 allows user to access notifications from the lock screen, and notifications sync between devices.

A new Control Center is added to iOS user interface that can be accessed from anywhere at any time. Simply swipe up from the bottom of the display to reveal the Control Center menu, which features options for changing the brightness, engaging Airplane mode, toggling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings, and controlling music playback.

The new Siri in iOS 7 gets a male voice option and integrates with Wikipedia and Web search results from Bing.

iTunes Radio was unveiled and now is a part of Apple's revamped music app, and aims to help listeners discover new artists through tons of curated stations based on genres.

iOS 7 will be available this fall, whereas for iPhone developers it's available in beta, and will be coming to the iPad in the 'coming weeks'.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Everything about the Nokia Lumia 925

Nokia has been steadily gaining market share with its latest Lumia smartphones featuring Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. The company has now added a new high-end smartphone - the Lumia 925 to its lineup. The phone is basically the same as the Lumia 920 in terms of specs, but it offers subtle improvements in the software and design departments. Let us find out more about this smartphone.


Design

The phone borrows most of its design cues from the Lumia 920. It has a rectangular shape with rounded corners and a curved back panel just like its predecessor. However, it ditches the full polycarbonate unibody for a slimmer body with an aluminum frame and a lighter polycarbonate material on its back. The result is a more compact, pocket friendly and stylish yet robust design which makes it one of the most desirable phones in the market.

Display

The Nokia Lumia 925 boasts of a 4.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display which has a resolution of 768 X 1280 pixels for a sharp pixel density of 332 ppi. It features PureMotion HD+ ClearBlack technology which reduces reflections off the screen surface to provide deep blacks even in brightly lit areas. Other features include color profiles, wide viewing angles, Super Sensitive touch technology and Glance Display.

Camera

The handset arrives with an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera that doubles up as a 1080p video recorder. The sensor is accompanied by dual-LED flash and optical image stabilization. Nokia has also included its PureView technology and a wide range of features in the camera interface. Users can use various modes and lenses like Panorama, HDR mode, Smart Shoot, Face detection, Smile Shot, Self-Portrait mode and much more. At the front, there is a 1.3 megapixel sensor for self-shots and videos of 720 pixels at the rate of 30 frames per second.

Internals

The Nokia Lumia 925 brings along Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chipset packed with a Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor, Adreno 225 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. Additionally, there is 16 GB of internal storage space and a 2000 mAh battery. Like its predecessor, the latest flagship from Nokia also doesn't feature a microSD card slot so you're limited in terms of storage space on the phone. However, if you want to store more files you can utilize the 7 GB SkyDrive Cloud storage service account offered by Microsoft for free.

Software

All of Nokia's phones over the past one year have featured Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. Same is the case with the Lumia 925. Some of the apps pre-installed on the phone include HTML5 web browser, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Care, Nokia Music, Nokia Smart Cam, Nokia TV, Kids Corner, Bing, Microsoft Office and much more. In addition, you can access the Windows Phone store to download many more third-party apps for added functionality.

Release Date

The Nokia Lumia 925 will go on sale in the United Kingdom from June 13th onwards. It is also expected to reach countries like Germany, Italy, Spain, and China later this month, but no specific date has been provided. Nokia didn’t provide any official word regarding pricing and worldwide availability at the time of the launch.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

HTC One : Google Edition Announced



At the D11 conference event, Sundar Pichai just revealed a new version of the HTC One that runs an untouched, stock version of Google's Android operating system. When asked about the future of Nexus devices, Sundar Pichai said - "The idea with Nexus is to push on hardware as well, so that will continue."

Google has earlier announced the Google edition of Samsung Galaxy S4 at the Google I/O 2013. So, both HTC's and Samsung's flagship smartphones has now got a taste of stock Android.

The unlocked device will run on both AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States with support for high-speed LTE data on both networks. The device will still be having the Beats Audio.

HTC One Google Edition will be available from the Google Play store starting June 26th for $599.

 
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