Chrome Releases: Chrome for Android Update. Version 44 with bug fixes and performance improvements, still not available for me in the Play store.
Puzzled By Continuum. Continnum is one Windows 10 feature that doesn't appear to work as I expected.
Upgrading My Surface 3 To Windows 10. I successfully upgraded my Surface 3 in one hour.
Hands-on with the 2015 Moto X Pure Edition Ars Technica clarifies the naming of the new Moto X. The model that will be sold in the United States will be called the Moto X Pure Edition, while in other countries the same phone will be sold as the Moto X Style. My guess is the naming is to emphasize the type of Android one will get with the phone, and it provides simpler names for the Moto X in other countries. If there is only one Moto X to be bought in the United States, why couldn't the name just be Moto X?
OnePlus’ Follow-Up, OnePlus 2, Looks Like Another Promising Smartphone. My first reaction is that the Moto X Style is more appealing than the OnePlus 2. Price is nearly the same, and with Moto you don't have all the purchasing challenges that you have with the OnePlus.
Moto X Pure Edition - Motorola. I find it interesting that when I click the Moto X Style link in the announcement below, you end up at a page about the Moto X Pure Edition. I am guessing that at some point someone in Motorola realized that "Pure Edition" didn't have much style, nor understanding amongst normal users.
Today Motorola announced the new Moto G, Moto X Play and Moto X Style.
The Rise of the Virtual Assistant - Sigma BOLD. I wonder whether after getting Windows 10 and using Cortana, I'll want to use Cortana on my Moto X? Right now I can't imagine why I would want to install Cortana on my Moto X because it has Google Now.
The Web We Have to Save — Matter — Medium. Important message about the open web, ironically posted on a closed-web site. People seem to respond to the writer's comments about the streams created by Twitter and Facebook. I want a stream, I don't have time to hunt down web sites, but I want a stream that I manage, and that is what I have with River4.
Yahoo News Digest app now optimized for Android tablets - Android Community. Not thrilled by how this forces landscape orientation on tablets.
Google Gmail custom email address in testing, priced at $2/month. Is this just an alias for an existing address so that email send to the current Gmail address and the new Gmail address end up in the same place and can be managed/sent from all devices and web?
MotoMaker options for upcoming Moto G leaked - Android Community. I've been really impressed with my wife's Moto G, and I think it is a very nice phone for the price.
Microsoft Addresses Flagshipgate and the Future of Windows Phones - Thurrott.com. I agree with Paul's desire to see Microsoft sell their new flagship Windows phones direct and unlocked, but doing so would be very much out of character for Microsoft. Microsoft's mobile products have always been about operating within constraints, one of which are the carriers. I suspect Microsoft values what little relationship they have with carriers to take the risk at appearing to be competing. If Microsoft really wanted to make some noise, they would sell direct, unlocked at compelling prices. Push the price of a flagship to $400 or less and you might at least make some noise. (See the new headlines: Microsoft Aggressively Selling Smartphones).
Microsoft Ships First Beta of Cortana for Android - Thurrott.com I am having a hard time understanding the value of virtual assistants that don't integrate with the underlying operating system. In other words, what can Cortana do on my Moto X that Google Now cannot do?
Detroit Free Press: Fireworks out of control Big money will always win over common sense. We prefer anarchy.
Windows 8.1 RT Update 3 coming in September (it's not quite Windows 10) - Liliputing. A reason to boot up the ole' VivaTab RT.
First time through the new roundabout at 14 Mile and Orchard Lake roads.
Slashgear: "Google has launched Eddystone, a new open-source Bluetooth LE beacon platform which plays nicely with iOS, Android, and other OSes."
The app is called Swivel, and it adds a single new feature to your Android phone or tablet: App-specific orientation lock.
Techcrunch: "WiFi is getting a big upgrade today, thanks to three years of joint research and development by the world’s largest tech companies."
Comic-Con 2015 best trailers: Superman, Star Wars, The Walking Dead. MTV is doing The Shannara Chronicles?
Ask Paul: Should I Stick with Windows Phone? - Thurrott.com. I really think Windows Phone fans are in denial.
Microsoft Windows Phone: A 20-year retrospective of a meandering mobile strategy. My friend, Todd Ogasawara has written a retrospective piece on Microsoft's efforts with mobile. Every mobile effort that Microsoft has taken has been in reaction to their competitors, and that is never a good position.
When Apple announced the first Personal Digital Assistant, called the Newton Messagepad, in 1992, Microsoft's answer was the WinPad, which was to have the same portrait orientation as the MessagePad and supported apps built in Visual Basic. Note the similarities in names, and a big part of MessagePad was the NewtonScript programming language.
WinPad never made it to market, instead we got Windows CE and the first handheld PCs. The clamshell handheld PCs were at least different than the MessagePad in that they had physical keyboards and looked like mini-PCs. For all practical purposes, Windows CE was a slimmed down Windows 95.
In the fall of 1999 Microsoft announced the Pocket PC, the next iteration of the Palm-size PC that while it had a better name, came with the "big" UI innovation of moving the Start button from the top left of the screen to the bottom left of the screen.
Fortunately for Microsoft, their mobile efforts were rescued by one of their hardware OEMs, Compaq. The iPaq, was nearly as slim as the Palm V and had unique expansion capbilities provided via a family of sleeves. In my opinion the iPaq single-handily accounted for Microsoft's increase in market share.
As an aside, Compaq sub-contracted the design of the iPaq to HTC, which also did some design work with Palm. HTC would hang its hat with Microsoft, and produced one of the first Windows Phone 7 devices.
As long back as the late 90s, early 2000s there was debate among mobile enthusiasts about whether Microsoft needed to manufacturer and sell their own devices. Even back then, users were frustrated with the fact that software upgrades did not appear on all devices because hardware manufactures chose not to provide them. (Sound familiar Android fans?) Finally in 2013 Microsoft buys Nokia in an effort to take control of their own fate, which we now know was another decision made too late.
One can only wonder what might have been had Microsoft not been so committed to the Windows 95 UI on their mobile products back in 1999 and instead was willing back then to develop something like the Modern UI on Windows Phone 7.
Mark Wilson, for Fast Company: "The Apple Watch is flopping because it’s very well executed, but not very well designed. In terms of utility, it’s hard to use, and not solving meaningful problems."
More on Windows Phone from Paul Thurrott: "What I mean is that Microsoft needs to apply the learnings from Surface to Lumia/Windows phones and listen, and then deliver what its best customers really want. And it needs to create devices with capabilities that simply don’t exist on other platforms." It is going to come down to revenue and profits, the time for Microsoft to stick with a platform "just because" is diminishing.
Microsoft and Windows Phone: What went wrong, and where can they go from here? I don't think this article quite gets it as there is a difference between developing great apps that provide "mobile experiences" on a number of operating systems and writing your own smartphone operating system. What is really required for the mobile experience? I am not sure it is the smartphone operating system, which requires costly resources to enhance and maintain. Does the mobile experience come from the UI? Could Microsoft develop an Android launcher that provided the modern UI to Android?
Analysis: Microsoft is Scaling Back on Windows Phone Dramatically - Thurrott.com. I agree with Paul, and I suspect Windows Phone will be no more in two years. Microsoft is returning to its roots of being a software company, and I think it sees itself becoming more of a productivity and business software company than a platform company. A productivity and business software company doesn't need an operating system, it needs to create great software that runs on whatever is the popular operating systems currently available. In the phone space, it will focus on creating great software for iOS and Android, which are the defacto phone standards.
The time for Microsoft to push for a smartphone operating system was 2007-2009, and it failed miserably executing at that time. In hindsight, Microsoft's greatest failure was their obsession with making Windows work on phones rather than making the best smartphone/small touchscreen operating system. Microsoft's other failure was fixating on Blackberry's keyboard and not anticipating the success of capacitive touchscreens.
Microsoft's failure in Windows Phone/Pocket PC/Windows CE ought to be fodder for business schools. At the heart of it, in my opinion, is a company losing its identity and seeing its entire future tied to a brand rather than recognizing it needs to continually reinvent itself to survive. You might say it started with the success of Windows 95, where Microsoft stopped seeing itself as a software company and started seeing itself as the Windows company.
Contrast Microsoft from the mid-90s to now with Apple. During that time Microsoft stubbornly committed to Windows everywhere, where Apple Computer, the company that made and sold computers, became Apple, the company that aspires to make the products that will change the world. Fundamentally, what you see is a failure in leadership that you have to lie squarely at the feet of Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, both of whom couldn't see themselves beyond Windows. Come to think about it, the whole antitrust trial probably should have been a big red flag of how far Microsoft had gone off the rails.
Yesterday I had my first experience of paying a vending machine using Google Wallet on my Moto X. I think tap to pay is wonderful for this type of thing, and look forward to using it more often. The "advertising" on the vending machine was that it supported Apple Pay, which is the "universal" sign for support for Google Wallet.
I will be on the MobileViews podcast shortly. We will use Skype to create the podcast, and my set up is as follows: Surface 3 connected to the HP EliteDisplay S240ml via the Microsoft Wireless display adapter and USB cable. The USB connection is needed to use the web camera built in the EliteDisplay. I could use the web cam in the Surface 3, but I prefer looking straight ahead rather than looking down at the Surface 3. I am using a Plantronics C420 USB headset, connected to the EliteDisplay, for the audio part of the process. It will be the first time I have used this particular set up to participate in podcast.
Construction Cam - Provo City Center Temple Click the Time-Lapse Movie button on the left to watch a time lapse video of the construction of this temple, it is simply amazing. From what I can determine from this blog about the construction, this is a reconstruction of a temple that burned in 2010. Ground breaking was on May 12, 2012. Looks like it will be dedicated on March 20, 2016. That must have been on serious capital campaign.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the 14 Mile / Orchard Lake Roundabout construction appears go be progressing nicely.