Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green Soundtracks Now on iTunes

The Pokmon Company is releasing all of the Pokmon soundtracks through iTunes this year, but this should be the only one you need. Pokmon Fire Red and Leaf Green‘s tunes are now available for purchase for 11.99. The two games are remakes of the classic Game Boy originals, and their chiptunes are the ones which made the the series’ music so popular thanks to composers Junichi Masuda, G Ichinose, and Morikazu Aoki. ThePokmon FireRed & Pokmon LeafGreen: Super Music Collection features over 90 fully orchestrated tracks guaranteed to spark a few memories of hiding your Game Boy beneath the table at lunch and taking out your buddies with Mewtwo. I have heard the music from most of the Pokmon games, however, the only generation I skipped, the Gold and Silver games, supposedly have the best songs in the series. Can anybody back this claim up

iOS 7.1 Beta 2 Change-Log And First Impressions

You surely know the drill by now. With each and every new beta release of iOS over the last twelve months, I’ve been putting myself through the growing pains of living with a beta operating system on a day-to-day device so that you don’t have to. It’s been hard at times, especially when iOS 7 was just getting started and most of my favorite apps would crash out, seemingly on a whim and completely at random, but generally it’s been worth the hassle. And then iOS 7.1 beta 1 came around, and I was once again reminded why betas aren’t for everyone. Apple’s first attempt at iOS 7.1 came out a month ago, and I’ve been using it all this time. At this point it’s fairly safe to say that while Apple once again saw fit to speed up some animations, it dropped the ball on stability. And we’re back to having apps crashing as well, though I can cope with that much easier than I can with iOS getting its knickers in a twist when I use the stock apps. To say I was ready for the second beta was an understatement, and it was clear that there needed to be one; whatever Apple has changed under the hood in 7.1, it’s big enough to cause problems throughout the OS, and it’s certainly not ready for primetime. At least, beta 1 wasn’t. The jury is still out on its new and improved self. I’ve been using iOS 7 beta 2 for a few hours now, and unlike beta 1, I’ve managed to get through those hours without any OS restarts. We’ve still got apps crashing out, and I can now add some new ones to the list, but that’s what you get when you play this game. Still, you’d expect Apple to be able to keep the operating system functioning underneath those apps. Here’s hoping for continued stability on that front. As far as changes go, there’s no doubt that Apple has once again tweaked the animation times. Opening and closing folders is faster. Quitting apps is quicker. Swiping through menus and screens is more fluid. It was never going to get slower though, was it Those who like bouncing animations will be pleased to hear that Control Center now bounces when it reaches its fully opened state, which is….nice. Video credit: Twitter Much more useful is the ability to now turn on backgrounds to buttons that were previously just text, making them easier to differentiate and ultimately, use. It’s a slight step back from the completely 2D interface Apple was previously favoring, and one that will be welcomed by many. The new beta also sees a revamped list view toggle and display in the Calendar app too, which is well overdue and actually makes the list view usable again and those with iPads will be pleased to hear that the wallpaper from Apple’s own iPad Air ad is now included as standard. There doesn’t appear to be any huge and glaringly obvious changes in interface or functionality, save the moving of some Touch ID settings and the removal of the option to use the dark keyboard which was introduced in Beta 1. Screenshot from iOS 7.1 beta 1: Use Dark Keyboard option has been removed in iOS 7.1 Beta 2 Also as first discovered by 9to5Mac, iOS 7.1 beta 2 also includes an option to enable iOS in the car feature, as can be seen in the screenshot below from Restrictions menu in beta 2: It’s clear that Apple is still tweaking things here and there, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one more beta before iOS 7.1 makes its way to an iPhone or iPad near you. In its current state, unless beta 2 turns out to be a revelation, I’d say Apple has quite a bit of tidying up to do before it’s good to go. That is what betas are for, after all. You may also like to check out: iOS 7.1 Beta 2 Download For iPhone, iPad And iPod touch Released Download iOS 7.1 Beta 1 For iPhone, iPad, iPod touch You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.

iPhone 5s and 5c Spotted On Display at China Mobile Store

It’s been a long time coming but China Mobile is finally picking up Apple’s iPhone line after upgrading to a 4G LTE network. With pre-orders set to kick off at any moment, the world’s biggest carrier is gearing up to sell the latest iPhone models, and it looks like one China Mobile location already has its iOS devices out on display. China-based bloggerPRC and ME stepped into a brick-and-mortar store in Shenzhen to find almost half of the space was suddenly devoted to Apple products. The display featured the iPhone 5s and 5c for 4380 Yuan about 723 and3380 Yuan 558, respectively. The store also had several iPad models out in addition to Apple ads and a TV screen showing Phil Schiller introducing the A7 chip during a recent press event. We know we’ve said it before, but China Mobile picking up the iPhone 5c and 5s is a big deal for Apple. Cupertino has struggled to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing market, where a mix of Samsung devices and homegrown handsets still dominate. But with the country’s biggest carrier clearly preparing for an iOS product shopping blitz, Apple’s already-lucrative holiday shopping season is about to get even better.

Forza Motorsport 5 Update to Lower Prices, Add Drag Racing

Normally, when you’re lowering your car, part of what you’re trying to do is reduce drag, not add it, right Well, Turn 10 is doing just the opposite with their upcoming patch to Forza Motorsport 5. The latest in the Forza series of games has had a rough launch. We loved the driving but were unhappy with elements that made the game feel like a microtransaction cash-grab. Sure, the game didn’t force you into microtransactions because that would be some serious mob action right there, but it sure made it feel like it wanted you to keep your wallet ready. Missing features and slowed progression hurt the game considerably. Turn 10′s first attempt to resolve the issue included a steep sale, bonus credits for dedicated fans, and free cars for VIP Pass owners. All were nice gestures and certainly appreciated, but mostly felt like hush money. The latest title update, which could arrive as soon as next week according to IGN, is a bit more like the usually-responsive Turn 10 we know and love. The 200 cars that come on the game disc will see a 45 reduction in price, while the money players pull in per race will more than double. Turn 10′s creative director, Dan Greenwalt, explained to IGNthe data that influenced the pricing and earn rates in Forza 5 was based on Forza 4 data, but found that people are playing Forza 5 differentlythan anticipated. Exotic cars should take, between price reductions and increased rewards, about one-fifth as long to obtain. In the past, Forza‘s tokens system felt like a nice option for people with less time, rather than an ugly way to make money, even if it was still technically an ugly way to make money. This update will do a lot to assuage my personal frustration with the game’s economy, and I suspect it’ll do the same for many other fans. The cars are still over-priced on the Tokens side of the economy, but it also won’t feel so much like the game is trying to force the token option down our throats. In addition to the massive changes to the economy, Turn 10 is also adding drag racing and tag modes to the game, which will support up to 16 players. The tag mode will have three variations: Keep the It, Tag Virus, and Pass the It. The modes ask you to maintain, spread, or avoid the “it” status and should be a good way to encourage players to not crash into each other or crash into each other more, as the mode dictates for once. Hopefully this is the first of many updates to come. Now, I’m going to back to Rivals mode. I have some lap times to beat. Order This From Amazon

The iPhone / Android Controlled SmartPlane Is A Toy You Should Definitely Ask Santa For This Christmas [VIDEO]

A short while ago, we checked out the incredibly cool – not a term I use lightly – smartphone-controlled paper airplane by the name of PowerUp 3.0. The concept was simple: make yourself a paper airplane, connect it to the precision-crafted hardware, and, using the app, fly it around for half an hour. With that product having raised over 600,000 of a 50,000 goal with many weeks still to go, another product has emerged to try to pique the interest of flight enthusiasts, and it’s arguably even more exciting than the PowerUp 3.0. The SmartPlane has a few similarities to the PowerUp in that it’s a Bluetooth connected, iPhone controlled RC plane, but this is where the comparisons end. The PowerUp, as per its name, offers a versatile, nippy design that brings bursts of speed and sharp changes in direction. This is all fun and all, but once you’ve had enough of buzzing around the park like a mosquito, the SmartPlane delivers a more accomplished, professional flight experience. The SmartPlane is definitely built to be more of a glider than a racer, and although you can go full throttle and drain the touted half an hour of battery life in just five minutes, burning out the device would go against all of the design considerations made in its creation. If the PowerUp were the boy racer, the SmartPlane is the slightly more mature adult, but this by no means insinuates an experience short of pulsating, all-action fun. The company behind it have spent a good two years in optimizing the aerodynamics, and as a result, the plane flies slowly and assuredly. The throttle does let you speed things up now and again, but if you want to maximize the experience and not have to keep charging, then it should be utilized very sparingly. As enjoyable as the PowerUp on Kickstarter may look, this plane, which is also said to be crash-proof thanks its lightweight but substantial frame, seems like it could also be a joy to behold. The accompanying app appears refined, and with Christmas just around the corner, I think I already know which one I’ll be putting atop my list to Santa. Check out the video of SmartPlane in action below You can get more info regarding the SmartPlane by heading over to: smartplane.net You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.

Unlocking Smartphone In U.S. To Get Easier As Major Carriers Reach Crucial Agreement

Getting a smartphone unlocked can often be a cumbersome process, and with traditional software and SIM interposer methods becoming rarer and more difficult to undertake, many looking to use their device on different carrier networks are left with a basically unusable device. However, a landmark decision has been reached between five of the United States’ major carriers in an effort to bring a standardized system of unlocking mobile devices. This means the current ambiguity regarding how exactly one would go about getting their smartphone or tablet unlocked, instead outlining exact procedures and practices depending on a consumer’s situation. With AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless all putting pen to paper, it represents a major step forward for mobile device owners, and hopefully, the agreement, which has been initiated by CTIA and its consumer code of conduct, will prove effective. The new policy essentially dictates rulings over such details as how long a device owner needs to have been using their device to be eligible for a free unlock, prerequisites of general eligibility, and other boxes that a consumer will have to tick in order to process their request for a device unlock. It does put some of the power into the hands of consumer, as it were, since, at this point in time, how likely you are to achieve an unlock depends greatly upon which carrier it happens to be tied to. Even then, some will unlock an antiquated device for free, some for a small free, while others will, in certain situations, outright refuse, but this ruling will hopefully put an end to all that. If the policy is approved, which, with the largest companies having already agreed, is doubtful, then the fruits of today’s ruling could kick in within twelve months, so if your contract carries over through another year, then you may be among the first to benefit from the new rules. With the days of twelve-month contracts well and truly behind us as most major network operators look to tie consumers in for a full two years, a more straight-up, uniform policy on unlocking is perhaps more essential than it has ever been. Source: CTIA You may also like to check out: Potential New Trade Treaty Could Leave Jailbreaking And Unlocking Illegal In The US, Canada And Other Countries You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.

Lumia 2520 Review – Nokia Nails Its First Windows Tablet

The Nokia Lumia 2520 is an important tablet for a number of reasons, though primarily because its Nokias first foray into the modern tablet market, and it comes at a time when the firm is about to be swallowed up by Microsoft. In some respects, that could mean its the last Nokia-branded tablet for some time, but we hope not. The device runs on Windows RT 8.1, which means it doesnt have access to x86-based apps that youre used to on most full-blown Windows machines, but Nokia has tried to offset that with its own experience and its knack for top-notch hardware, ranging from build quality to the camera sensor. Weve been using the Lumia 2520 for the past several weeks now, and are ready to report back with our review on the tablet. Without further ado, lets dive in and discuss. Lumia 2520 Video Review Hardware If youre like us and love Nokias super solid polycarbonate smartphones, then youre going to fall head-over-heels for the Lumia 2520 hardware build; it almost looks like a gigantic Lumia 1520 smartphone. It feels rock solid, its super thin and the glossy cherry red option really stands out against the silver, black and white tablets that flood the market today. The only issue with the gloss is that it attracts fingerprints super easily, so our tablet always looked smudged. Verizon and AT&T both sell the Lumia 2520 in the U.S., and while cyan and white options were built, right now youll only find the black and red models here, with the latter currently a Verizon exclusive. There are still a couple of design gripes that really bother us, though. For one, the charging port is on the bottom left and looks almost identical to the 3.5mm headphone jack, which sits above it. We cant tell you how many times we tried to plug the power into the headphone jack, it just seems like a silly move to make them look so identical. We have no idea why Nokia decided to put them on the same side of the tablet. The power button and volume controls reside on the top of the tablet, but we wish the volume controls were down on the left; its too awkward to reach up and try to balance the tablet while youre watching a movie and want to pump up the volume. On the right, youll find a USB 3.0 jack and another jack for outputting HD video. The 10.1-inch ClearBlack IPS LCD 1080p screen is fantastic and the viewing angles are great; youll almost get a full 180-degrees out of them, though the ppi is lower than competing tablets at just 218 pp. Text and video still looked sharp, however. We prefer it over the Surface 2 display, and loved how bright it gets; in fact, we often had to turn the brightness down. Like the shiny back, though, the screen attracts fingerprints like crazy. The Windows button seems overly sensitive, and we found we tapped it a lot only to return to the home screen accidentally. Also, while we love the screen itself, the bezels are huge, almost about an inch wide completely moving around the screen. Were more fond of the edge-to-edge experience. For the hardware heads out there, heres a refresher on the other specs: the 2520 has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.2GHz, a 6.7-megapixel camera, a wide-angle 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, a large 8,120mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot for adding even more. The speakers are pretty awesome. They get really loud and are among the best weve ever found on a tablet. We frequently stood the tablet up on our desk and watched shows on Netflix, like Firefly, and easily heard every conversation. One final gripe with the hardware: we love the kickstand on the Surface 2 and really wish Nokia offered one as well, though to keep the tablet thin we understand why it wasnt included and its not a huge dealbreaker. This can be alleviated with Nokias keyboard accessory, which we didnt get to test, but thats also going to add some bulk to the tablet. Software We wont dive too far into the software, because we think most people generally know what to expect with a Windows RT machine. As we mentioned in the introduction, you wont have full access to legacy Windows apps and instead need to rely on those created for the platform and for the Web. The one true app that stands out is a full desktop version of Microsoft Office, which comes with a purchase of the Lumia 2520. Its powerful and works well, though without a keyboard we didnt really ever use the Lumia 2520 for Office documents. There are apps for Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard and more, but you wont find a lot of the hit tablet apps that are available for the iPad or Android tablets, and thats kind of frustrating. Like some of the Galaxy Note tablets, however, you can run two apps side-by-side. It works well, though we rarely found ourselves actually using the feature. Nokia also adds value with its own apps, such as Nokia Camera, Nokia Story Teller, Nokia Video Director for editing video and more. Nokia Story Teller is pretty cool; it shows you where your photos were snapped and when, while Nokia Camera gives you the granular controls youll find on Nokias smartphones. Finally, HERE Maps is another great addition, especially if you want to use the tablet for navigation or for saving maps offline. Also, we should note: its really awkward to hold the tablet in portrait but Windows doesnt really support that mode in most apps. Camera The 6.7 megapixel Zeiss lens camera is one of the best weve seen on a tablet, though we admit we rarely ever use read: never, unless were testing a tablet for snapping photos. But, if you want to, you have the option. Low-light shots were particularly good, though a bit grainy, and there isnt a flash to help you out when theres no light at all. Shots snapped during the day looked really crisp, though were not surprised since Nokia has focused a lot on using great cameras in its products. The front-facing camera is grainy and the quality looked a bit low to us, though we liked that it has a wide angle lens for fitting more of your shot onto the screen during a video chat or a quick selfie. Battery Life The Nokia 2520 has incredible battery life. Its one of those devices where you never really have to worry about the battery dying; chances are youll plug it in before it ever dips below the 25-percent mark. Its really impressive that Nokia crammed an 8,000 mAh battery in it considering the device is just over 8mm thick. We often found ourselves using the tablet during an entire work week, for about five days, on and off until the battery was dead with brightness at about 80 percent. It offered some of the best battery life of any tablet weve ever tested, and with a lower screen brightness we probably could have hit about seven days of life. Thats pretty stellar. Final Thoughts Rating 8.5 out of 10 Nokia Lumia 2520 Its one of the best options on the market Nokia Lumia 2520 The Lumia 2520 sets out to be the best Windows RT 8.1 tablet, and it does a very good job at that. We love what Nokias doing, and our biggest gripe with the tablet – the lack of apps – isnt really Nokias fault at all. We kind of hope Nokia has a full-blown Windows tablet in the works, though thats probably off of the table for now. Thankfully, however, we know that Microsoft is acquiring Nokias amazing know-how for building first-class hardware designs, so we expect new tablets in the future that build off of what the Lumia 2520 already offers. Were breaking the mold a bit with our scoring here because we really loved using the Lumia 2520 on a daily basis, even over the Surface 2 when we didnt need anything on the desktop side. We wanted to give it an 8.5 or a 9 score, but were going with an 8.75 right smack in the middle. Nokia really nailed its first Windows tablet, and if youre in the market for a new one you really need to consider the Lumia 2520, its one of the best options on the market. Disclaimer: TechnoBuffalo received two tablets for testing from Nokia and Verizon. One was tested in our Irvine office for about two weeks, while the other was tested in New York City for the same period of time. The tablets will be returned to the companies when further comparisons are completed.

Sprint Working to Buy T-Mobile, Report Says

Sprint may be considering an acquisition of T-Mobile USA next year, according to a new report from Dow Jones spotted by CNBC. It didn’t work out so well when AT&T tried, mainly due to monopoly concerns, though this could turn out differently. There may be concern, however, since it would give Japan’s SoftBank control over the third and fourth largest wireless carriers in the United States. SoftBank already has a 70 percent stake in Sprint. This isn’t the first time such a move has been considered, however. Sprint was once rumored to have been interested in taking T-Mobile USA off of Deutsche Telekom’s hands, though that was back in 2011. The news is already paying off for Sprint investors; the company’s stock is trading up about 10 percent in after hours on the news, at 9.22 per share. Shares of T-Mobile U.S. are down 1.52 percent to 27.

iPhone Air and Curved iPhone 6c Imagined In Stunning Renders

What if Apple does indeed launch an iPhone Air next year, following in the footsteps of the iPad Air, in addition to a curved smartphone What would those devices look like SET Solution recently set out to imagine two new devices, the iPhone 6, or iPhone Air, and the iPhone 6c with a curved display, and the results are stunning. SET imagines the iPhone Air with an edge-to-edge display and a super thin form factor. The aluminum body is still there, though the entire device is just a hair thick, seemingly leaving no room for the battery at just 3mm thin and 6mm wide. In reality, a body with that kind of design wouldn’t really fit a 3.5mm headphone jack, though the bottom looks slightly larger to accommodate for it. SET also says “obviously there’s TouchID,” too. The iPhone 6c, meanwhile, is imagined as a smartphone with a curved display. “Life is a curve,” the mock ad says, showing off a phone with a thicker top and bottom but a super thin mid-section. The colors are still intact, and we’re not quite sure what the benefit of the actual curve would be: it looks a littletoo curved for our tastes, though a flexible display could help add durability. These are just fun mock-ups, but we do hope Apple considers some of the ideas, like a full edge-to-edge screen and a super thin body. Check out both videos below.

PlayStation 4 Launches In 16 More Countries Today, Taking The Total To 48 [LIST]

The PlayStation 4 has just begun retailing in a further 16 additional countries atop the 32 that had already seen the release of the Sony machine, bringing the grand total of officially-selling nations up to 48. Although the inventory was rather scarce at launch, with the console selling out in many of its demographic hotspots, the Japanese company appears to be on top of the manufacturing process, or at least enough so to add so many new markets to the fold. The United States was the first to see the PS4 last month, and although there were one or two concerns with pre-release consoles that threatened the entire launch, the last few weeks seem to have passed without incident. The number of games supporting the PS4 is as substantial as we’ve seen from a new console launch in recent years, and with many more confirmed for next year, the transitional phase from the PlayStation 3 era has well and truly commenced. Countries added today include Arab nations as well as parts of Europe, Africa and South America, including: Czech Republic Hungary Slovakia Turkey UAE Saudi Arabia Kuwait Qatar Bahrain Oman South Africa Bolivia Nicaragua Paraguay Uruguay Venezuela So if you happen to live in any of those nations, you will now be able to make your purchase of the PS4. We may only be in the first couple of weeks in the next-gen console battle, but already things appear to be hotting up. The cheaper PlayStation 4, which is slightly more powerful than the Xbox One from Microsoft, also released earlier than its Redmond rival in the United States, but despite these major advantages, the duel is still very finely poised. Sony claimed to have sold 2.1 million units of the PS4 in its first two weeks, while Microsoft’s tot-up found that 2 million had been sold in 18 days. At this point, it’s way too close to call, as well as too early in the day to be casting aspersions about which will eventually triumph. The holiday season is nigh, and with both running extensively-funded advertising campaigns in order to try and sway Christmas shoppers, it will be interesting to see how these two entertainment systems stand up against each other this time next month. You may also like to check out: PS4 Was Top Selling Console In November, Xbox One Was Fastest Selling You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.

Apple iWatch Reportedly Launching In October 2014, Will Feature Wireless Charging

We’ve been hearing a great deal about Apple’s supposed smartwatch endeavors, with reports earlier on in the year suggesting that up to 100 members of staff had been assigned as a dedicated team tasked with building the foundations of the project. Some months on, and we’re now hearing that the device, naturally suspected to be called the iWatch, will be making its way to the market later on next year, and will be the first piece of Apple hardware – unless another product arrives between now and then – to feature wireless charging. Credit for the apparent scoop on this gone goes to Chinese blog C Technology, which suggests that Apple’s iWatch will finally be revealed in October of 2014, alongside a new iPhone. Seeing as the iPhone has been released in September for the past two years, this would represent a slight shift in the Cupertino calendar, and with iPads having also become accustomed to an October announcement, it will be interesting to see, with the alleged introduction of the iWatch, how everything shapes up. At the moment, things are very much still at the prototype stage, with Apple unable to make a call on the eventual display size of the device. We had previously heard a rather ludicrous-sounding claim that there would be two different display sizes – one for males and the other for females – but if this new report has any kind of legitimacy, those aspersions were almost certainly nonsense; not that anybody held the claims in very much regard. The models Apple is currently working on are said to be packing a 100mAh battery, which will not only charge wirelessly, but will be able to recharge from up to 1 meter away from its source. So theoretically, if you were to place your charging hub next to your keyboard, charging could be a seamless, passive action that doesn’t actually require you to keep taking it off and putting it back on again. But even so, 100mAh would seem way too little, and with Apple famous for keeping things compact, it’s going to be a real struggle to achieve the desired form factor and battery in one fell swoop. By comparison, the Galaxy Gear’s battery capacity is more than treble that of these iWatch prototypes and yet, has still drawn criticism of poor retention from early adopters; the few that there are. With so many conflicting iWatch reports flying about, we’re going to wait until we see or hear of something a bit more reliable and concrete before passing judgment. That said, we’re still pretty excited, so stay tuned for more iWatch-related news as it hits the blogosphere Source: C Technology Google Translate You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.

Pokémon Bank Detailed in Overview Trailer

Moving and accessing captured raised Pokmon between generations of software has always been a tough job for trainers around the world. Now, Nintendo and Game Freak are set to introduce a brand new piece of software and an online service meant to deal with that problem. Pokmon Bank will let you store, manage and transfer your entire collection of Pokmon from X and Y into the future of the series. You’ll also be able to use Pok Transfer, Pokmon Bank’s companion software, to get Pokmon from Black, White, Black 2 and White 2into X and Y. From there, yep, you can move them into the Pokmon Bank as well. This is not a free service, unfortunately. Though, it is dirt cheap. If you download the Pokmon Bank between now and January 31st, you’ll get a free 30 day trial period. After that, you’ll need to pay 4.99 annually to keep this going. Like I said, that’s pretty cheap. For folks who play every single Pokmon title backwards and forwards, myself included, that 5 mark is worth it. What do you think of Pokmon Bank Is this a service you’ll use

Apple Seeds iOS 7.1 Beta 2 to Developers (Update)

Apple on Friday rolled out iOS 7.1 beta 2 to developers, nearly one month following the initial iOS 7.1 beta. Developers can grab the beta through the familiar online developer portal, or you can simply wait for it to hit over the air. A full release log hasnt been revealed just yet, but well be sure to let you know as that becomes available. Once or if some big new features are discovered, well update you throughout the day. The first iOS 7.1 beta introduced some standard performance enhancements and bug fixes, and it also included a small UI change, allowing users to switch between a dark and light keyboard. Additionally, there were some subtle changes to Notification Center, and the ability to automatically upload photos shot in burst mode to your photo stream. Not too much to go nuts over, but small changes that certainly improve the experience. Notice anything new in iOS 7.1 beta 2 Update: Here are some of the known changes, via 9to5Mac. Touch ID and Passcode Settings are now more prominently displayed. Animations are now even faster than in beta 1. Bug where all tones were the default is fixed. Control Center has a new bounce animation when you toggle it. New list view redesign/toggle in Calendar app.

Google Play Web Store Now Optimized for Chromecast Streaming

Google’s Chromecast lets you stream media from the Google Play store, such as movies and TV shows from your mobile device, though now the company says that it has optimized its Web-based Google Play Store to cast directly from your Chrome browser to your Chromecast. Much like the expanded YouTube player, which can now be streamed to your television through the affordable 35 device, these entertainment ventures will feature a “cast” button, that makes it easy to stream the media into the Chromecast whenever you don’t have your phone or tablet with you. All that is needed is the installation of the updated Google Cast onto your browser, and from there, a simple click will send the feed to your television. The Chromecast is available for 35 through a wide array of websites like Amazon, Google Play, and the Motorola official website.

Microsoft BUILD 2014 Conference Announced, Here Are The Details

Every year, Microsoft holds its BUILD conference, consisting of a series of workshops for developers as well as a few keynote speeches outlining upcoming products and releases. Next year, BUILD will be held from April 2nd to April 4th in San Francisco, the Redmond company has confirmed, and with talk already circulating about the next version of Windows and indeed, Windows Phone, the conference will certainly mark a significant couple of days in the tech calendar. With CEO Steve Ballmer now outgoing, 2014 will be a big transitional year for Microsoft, and with BUILD taking place in early April, most of the attention will be on what Microsoft plans to do with the next edition of Windows. Having recently switched its release cycle in order to offer more regular updates, Windows 8.1 has already provided some much-needed alterations from last year’s Windows 8 drop, and although the rumor and speculation pertaining what’s next has already begun and will continue to increase as the months go on, April 2nd will provide some clarification on matters. The dates for BUILD 2014 are now officially confirmed, or officially official, depending on how you look at it, and are now plastered on the face of its official website. The new banner states that the conference will be a three-day event held from April 2nd to 4th, and that devs will have the opportunity to register for tickets as of January 14th 2014 at noon Eastern Time, and are priced at 2095. As well as offering insight on Windows 8.1′s successor, which is believed to be called Windows 8.2, the software maker will also give the Xbox One Dashboard its first major update, although whether it will be just announced or released at BUILD remains to be seen. The Xbox One only hit the market last month, but having managed to sell an impressive two million units in less than three weeks from that launch, Microsoft will need to continue improving operability and bringing in new features if it wants to remain in contention in its battle with the PlayStation 4. On the hardware front, there’s talk of a smaller Surface, and with the company having purchased Nokia back in early September, gadget fans could really have something to savor from BUILD 2014. For more details and registration, head on over to: buildwindows.com You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the Web.

iOS 7.1 Beta 2 Download For iPhone, iPad And iPod touch Released

You can download iOS 7.1 beta 2 right now Apple has today released iOS 7.1 beta 2 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to individuals enrolled in the iOS Developer Program. The release follows on from the iOS 7.1 beta 1 that became available on November 19th, and although we aren’t seeing any major new feature implementations, it should go some way to appeasing those users with significant stability issues. Apple has clearly been taking note of developer feedback over the last few months, with iOS 7.1 starting to seriously address a number of issues that have been plaguing users after its September launch. Rather than adding in any new additional features or large-scale functionality, the update brings with it a number of important bug fixes and system wide stability improvements. Keen-eyed developers who are already testing out the first beta of 7.1 will probably have come across a number of extremely minor interface changes. Changes to the wording in Notification Center as well as the adding the new Yahoo logo in the Weather app are unlikely to raise excitement levels with end-users. However, the overall focus of this 7.1 update should definitely impress developers who have been experiencing a number of development related issues with Apple’s frameworks and APIs. Today’s iOS 7.1 beta 2 is only intended to be accessed by registered iOS developers and has been made available through the usual mechanisms. Developers will be able to log into their Member Center portal at developer.apple.com/ios and grab the full firmware file download. An over-the-air OTA update option is also available for those developers who already have the first iOS 7.1 beta installed on their test devices. It should also be noted that those trying to install the update in an unauthorized manner could result in the device being left in an unusable state. If you take away the relatively minor user-facing tweaks and cosmetic amendments then it becomes abundantly clear that iOS 7.1 is all about building on the existing foundation that iOS 7 has laid out. The transition from iOS 6.x to iOS 7 was always going to cause some lasting disruption as Apple engineers move away from the old and usher in the new. It is however very understandable that end-users feel a little dismayed by the iOS 7 experience as it can occasionally feel like a beta product overall. You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.

Nintendo 3DS Breaks 10 Million Sales, Wii U Sales up 340%

November proved to have another positive growth month for the Nintendo 3DS and its two gaming devices. NPD results show Wii U console once again grew in sales by 340 percent of October’s figures, and the Nintendo 3DS handheld broke 10 million sales on American coasts by selling 770,000 in a single month. Overall, Nintendo’s sales figures doubled October’s. The Wii U, despite the 340 percent jump outlined by the press release, only sold roughly 220,000 units during November. Positive growth from October for the system, yes, but still a very, very low amount in a month where other consoles approach 750,000 and 1,000,000 sold. Nintendo gives the credit to seeing two of the best rated games of the year, Super Mario 3D World and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, being released for this surge. In fact, Nintendo was quick to point out that Super Mario 3D World is currently the highest rated next-gen game on Metacritic, with a score of 94. Since launch day, both which coincided with the release of the Xbox One, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds racked up an impressive 280,000 physical and retail copies sold, and when combined with the Nintendo 3DS bundle, its number jumps to over 400,000.Super Mario 3D World shipped out 215,000. PokmonX and Y also continued to fair well with 225,000 units sold, bringing lifetime sales to nearly 2.35 million. Other Nintendo first-party titles like Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Super Mario 3D Landall spiked the previous month as well. This holiday season, Nintendo is offering an unparalleled combination of value and variety, said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of Americas executive vice president of sales and marketing. In looking at these results, two things are indisputable: Our hardware is gaining momentum at the exact right time and our software catalog is stronger than ever. It’s hard to argue about the quality, with each game mentioned by Nintendo being a wonderfully entertaining piece of exclusive software. Sales wise, the console world continues to not look entirely pearly white for Nintendo. Senior Gaming Editor Joey Davidson called it the best value for your money on the console scene this year, and I am in full agreement. It remains to be seen how many others will join us. Show Press Release Dec. 12, 2013 Nintendo Hardware Sales Increase by 100 Percent, Nintendo 3DS Surpasses 10 Million Two games that are among the best reviewed of 2013 launched on Nov. 22: Super Mario 3D World for Wii U and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for Nintendo 3DS. The strong response to these games helped sales of Nintendo hardware systems in November increase by 100 percent over the month prior. This includes nearly 770,000 units of the Nintendo 3DS family, which drove the lifetime total past 10 million to nearly 10.5 million units. Other sales milestones achieved for the month include: Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems Pokmon X and Pokmon Y each sold more than 225,000 combined digital and physical units in their second month on the market. This brought the combined life-to-date total to more than 2.35 million units. On Dec. 4, Nintendo revealed special edition Pokmon X and Pokmon Y Nintendo 2DS bundles that should keep the games momentum going through the holidays and into 2014. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, the sixth Nintendo 3DS title to have a Metacritic score of 90 or higher, sold more than 280,000 combined digital and physical units. That figure jumps to more than 405,000 total units when including the special edition Zelda-themed Nintendo 3DS XL system, which comes with a code to download the game. A handful of first-party Nintendo 3DS titles saw triple-digit sales percentage increases in November over sales in October. This includes standout 2013 titles such as Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D seventh month on market; 140 percent increase and Luigis Mansion: Dark Moon ninth month; 105 percent increase, and legacy titles such as Paper Mario: Sticker Star 13th month; 280 percent increase, Mario Kart 7 23rd month; 130 percent increase and Super Mario 3D Land 24th month; 235 percent increase. Wii U Sales of Wii U hardware increased by more than 340 percent over sales in October. Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, currently the highest-rated next-generation title with a Metacritic score of 94, sold more than 215,000 combined digital and physical units in its first eight days on the market. This holiday season, Nintendo is offering an unparalleled combination of value and variety, said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of Americas executive vice president of sales and marketing. In looking at these results, two things are indisputable: Our hardware is gaining momentum at the exact right time and our software catalog is stronger than ever. Data regarding physical sales of games in November are from the NPD Group. Data regarding digital downloads of games and combined physical/digital life-to-date numbers are from Nintendos internal sales figures. All numbers, unless otherwise stated, are specific to the United States only.

Amazon Offering Up Awesome DSLR Packs for the Holidays

If you’ve been pondering getting a DSLR for yourself or a loved one, now is definitely the time to head over to Amazon where you can get free or discounted accessories to go with your new purchase. Currently if you head over to Amazon and order any one of numerous different models of a Canon DSLR you’ll get free accessories such as a case and memory card, as well as deep discounts on second or primary lenses for your new camera. 300 off Canon EF 70-300mm – use promo code “DXHB8ZN9″. Eligible only on Qualifying Canon EOS 6D, 7D, 70D and 60D 150 off Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS – use promo code “VNM87N39″. Eligible only on Qualifying Canon EOS 70D and EOS Rebel T5i, SL1, T3i, T3. 150 off Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS STM- use promo code “MTDL3ZXR”. Eligible only on Qualifying Canon EOS 70D and EOS Rebel T5i, SL1, T3i, T3. 150 off Canon EF 75-300mm – use promo code “DHYJAWRL”. Eligible only on Qualifying Canon EOS Rebel T5i, SL1, T3i, T3. I personally took the leap from point-and-shoot cameras to DLSR just after Christmas last year thanks to a similar sale, and I couldn’t be happier I did. If you’ve been on the fence, at these prices, and these additional perks, it’d be difficult to go wrong. Order This From Amazon

Apple iWatch with Wireless Charging Rumored for October 2014 Launch

Apple’s iWatch has been the subject of many rumors over the past year or so, and now the latest one suggests it will hit the market in October of next year, just in time for the 2014 holiday season. The new report lines up with rumors from last spring that also pointed to a 2014 launch for Apple’s wearable device. According to today’s report, which comes fromC Technology, the iWatch will support wireless charging. An Apple patent discovered earlier this month revealed a new wireless charging hub that has the potential to charge multiple devices at once, so the rumor lines up with technology that Apple has at least been thinking about. Oddly,C Technology says prototypes of the iWatch right now only have a 100mAh battery, which seems far too small for a watch that will need to last at least a day and hopefully longer on a full charge. As a prototype, however, it’s likely that can still change. Rumors from earlier this year have suggested Apple has been beefing up its iWatch engineering teams and that the device will run a version of iOS 7, which means it will very likely work with iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. It’s possible Apple will add some sort of fitness element, too, since it recently hired one of Nike’s FuelBand experts. Additional whispers have suggested Apple will also release two sizes of the iWatch, one with a 1.7-inch screen and one with a smaller 1.3-inch display. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company is looking to enter new product categories in 2014, and wearables seems like a hot place to get started.

Nexus 5 Gets Cosmetic Changes To Fix Minor Issues Related To External Hardware [Photos]

Google’s Nexus 5 recently made its long-awaited dbut after the Nexus 4 had held the fort as the flagship Nexus smartphone for well over a year. As per the release before it, the Nexus 5 has provided many Android fans with powerhouse of a handset for a very reasonable price, but as with its predecessor, it’s far from flawless. Thanks to these shortcomings, it had been rumored that the search giant will come through with a revised version of the handset very soon, and this now appears to be the case as the image below shows. Thanks to a forum thread on XDA-Developers, we may have our first glimpse of the slightly altered device. As you’ll notice, the alterations are very subtle, but collectively, offer significant improvement given some of the complaints so far. The build quality and design seem to have been the nagging issues with the vast majority of those encountering problems, with problems ranging from SIM tray protrusion to loose buttons. Of course, what the Nexus range has tended to lack in build quality, it has always made up for in performance, but while the Nexus 4 did look and feel rather cheap while the Nexus 5 offers a more premium approach, these unnecessary little shortcomings really seem to have tarnished the launch. Despite this, it’s great to see that Google – as ever – has acted quickly in tweaking the product to offer a more refined experience. The handset runs the latest and greatest Android KitKat right out of the box – the first smartphone to do so – and with the GOOG’s mobile software now as smooth as its ever been, we can perhaps begin to say the same about the hardware. As well as the minor imperfections as aforementioned, some users were taking exception to the speaker’s performance, and again, it would seem that after some careful consideration, Google has made the necessary changes. The speaker grilles have been widened by a matter of a millimeter, but in relation to the actual size of the speaker, this could greatly improve the quality of the audio being pumped out. So, if you’ve been considering the Nexus 5 but have been off-put by the issues raised with it, now would seem like the right time to go ahead and make the purchase, which can be processed over at the Google Play Store. Source: XDA-Developers You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.