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microsoft

Today not only marks the beginning of the final month of 2013 and the run up to a holiday season that is likely to award many new Android phones to loved ones, but also the culmination of another week of Android news. This week we’ve seen the continuing rollout of Android 4.4 and more. Let’s take a look! (more…)

Coming out to either support or attack an operating system, company or piece of hardware almost inevitably leads to accusations of fanboyism. My choice of headline here may make it sound as though I’m on the attack, going out for Microsoft all gun blazing… But that’s not the case.

While this is an Android site and I spend a huge amount of my time playing with Android apps, tablets and smartphones, I actually spend the vast majority of my time using — ironically — a first generation Surface Pro… and I love it. So I’ll preface this article by saying that I love Android, and I love Windows and the Surface platform. But I’m not foolish enough to think that Surface will ever overtake Android — or even become its equal. Why? There are various reasons.

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The rise in popularity of mobile devices can be intrinsically linked to the real birth of a casual, mobile gaming market. While individual hardware manufactures and game developers have tried to unify certain games from a specific developer or specific platform with a companion social service, the proprietary nature has historically lead to low user engagment and adoption. That’s where Google comes in.

At Google I/O this week, the company announced Google Play game services, a developer and client-side system for powering and syncing games cross-platform, providing matchmaking, achievements, leaderboards, cloud saves and more for platforms such as Android, iOS and the web. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what Google Play game services is all about and evaluate whether it might have a shot at revolutionising how we play games on our phones and tablets.

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If you were reading this yesterday, this introduction could be filled with May the 4th Be With You jokes. However, it’s a day late so we’re not going to bother with that. Instead, we’re going to shift our focus back to Android and the conclusion of a week filled with industry fan-bashing, new hardware announcements and Twitter for your Glass.

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Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the pricing plans and opened pre-orders for its Surface tablet. The device had been unveiled during the summer, with an NVIDIA T30 quad-core processor, 2GBs of RAM, 32GB and 64GB storage options, a 10.6″ 1366 x 768 display, 720p rear and front cameras, a full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The Surface also has two significant features. First, it runs Windows RT, Microsoft’s stripped-down equivalent to Windows 8 which follows the tiles UI concept and can only install applications from the Windows Store. Second, it comes with a built-in kickstand and offers the option of buying a thin cover that doubles as a wireless keyboard, making it feel like a full fledged computer.

While most small Android tablets will target a different market than the Surface, the competition will be heated when it comes to bigger 10″ tablets. Both Asus’ Transformer Pad family and Samsung’s Galaxy Note family should be worried about this newcomer. As a matter of fact, Microsoft is about to flood the market with Windows 8 on the desktop, putting the tile environment on the forefront and leaving the old Start Menu as an optional switch. Buyers will become familiarized with Windows RT’s look and the Surface should appeal to them, as a full computer-like experience on a small portable device with no learning curve.

I’ve always joked that people who use Android on mobile are most likely Windows — and not Mac OS — users on a computer, which is largely true. That’s why I’m intrigued to see on which side of the balance the community will tip when it comes to tablets. Will it be Android because it’s better adapted to portable devices and lesser demanding specs? Or will it be Windows RT and the Surface because tablets should provide more continuity with the desktop?

Kinectimals is an advanced cyber-pet game in which you can name, play with, stroke, tickle, wash and feed several baby animals. It features a range of extremely cute cubs to nurture, including a cheetah, an African lion and leopard, a panther and a Royal Bengal tiger.

With realistic graphics, incredible sound and thoroughly intuitive gameplay, maybe you have time in your life for an virtual animal cub? Read on for more info… and get ready to emit more ‘aaah’s and ‘oooh’s than you will want to acknowledge.

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To complement the heavy hitters like Word, Excel and Powerpoint, in 2003 Microsoft created an app for the Office Suite called OneNote. It was designed to help students make lecture notes, create class schedules and organize study material. The app was updated in 2007 and 2010 and got a ton of features added to it such as handwriting and sketching, screenshot capture and autosave, making it a solid notetaking tool for all kinds of users. Now it’s available for use on the go, as an Android app known as OneNote Mobile.

So how does the latest version look and feel? Can it compete with the mighty Evernote? And will it fit into your mobile workflow? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at Microsoft’s latest productivity app.

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The great platform war has now shifted. Once it was a constant battle between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OS X, but with the rise in smartphones, it’s become a three-way split between those two mammoths of technology, and the search engine giant Google.

However, it seems like a truce is being formed between Microsoft and Apple, purely for the purpose of sinking the good ship Android by filling them with lawsuits. The very unique selling point of Android – its open source nature – might end up being its downfall as hardware makers are forced to pay up. (more…)

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