Thurrott Daily: March 23

Thurrott Daily: March 23
Getting things ready for the next “Everything Must Go” event.

Tech tidbits from around the web:

3/23/2016 11:49:13 AM

Get Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for Xbox One for just $10

Microsoft’s Xbox Spring Sale is in full swing right now, but the best Xbox deal is at Amazon: You can get Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (digital code) for just $10. And that gives you access to all of the previous Gears games for Xbox 360 (which work, or will work, on Xbox One with backwards compatibility plus the ability to be among the first to check out the Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Beta next month. What’s not to love?

Microsoft pledges to fix v-sync issues in UWP games … eventually

In an interview with VentureBeat, Xbox product manager Jason Ronald said that Microsoft hears complaints about UWP games and their inability to customize v-sync. And it will eventually fix this, somehow.

“Some of the early feedback we’ve gotten from the first wave of UWP-enabled games is that people don’t like that v-sync is locked to the refresh rate of the monitor or that there’s a lack of support for Gsync and Freesync [options that intelligently output rendered images onto a monitor at the same rate as that graphics card,” he said. “We’ve taken that feedback, and we’re actively working on fixes that we’re testing with some of our first-party studios. We’ll be shipping these later this year.”


Now Google is working on an iOS keyboard too

With Microsoft getting into the mobile OS virtual keyboard game with its Swiftkey purchase, Hub Keyboard app, and Word Flow keyboard app, it is perhaps not surprising that Google is making its own iOS keyboard too. The Verge reports:

Google has been developing a third-party keyboard for iOS that would put the company’s search engine in a highly used part of the interface.

The keyboard, which incorporates a variety of search options, has been in development for months, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Google keyboard incorporates a number of features meant to distinguish it from the stock iOS keyboard. Like its Android counterpart, the Google keyboard for iOS employs gesture-based typing, so you can slide your finger from one letter to the next and let Google guess your intended word. Tap the Google logo and you can access traditional web search. It also appears to have distinct buttons for pictures and GIF searches, both presumably powered by Google image search. The keyboard is visually distinct from the standard Android keyboard, which incorporates voice search but no text or image-based searching.

iOS 9.3 also enables international Wi-Fi calling on AT&T-based iPhones

Good news for you AT&T customers using iPhones: This week’s iOS 9.3 update also enables international Wi-Fi calling. Apple Insider reports:

Apple iPhone owners who updated their device to iOS 9.3 are being notified via text message of AT&T’s international Wi-Fi calling feature, a service that allows users to place calls to — and receive calls from — the U.S. without incurring airtime charges.

The U.S. wireless provider said its latest carrier software update extends months-old Wi-Fi calling capabilities beyond domestic borders. The feature is sure to be well received by jet-setters keen on avoiding high international roaming charges. AT&T notes calls to and from international numbers will be charged at rates commensurate to a customer’s smartphone package or international calling plan.

Check out AT&T’s Wi-Fi Calling page for more info.

Swift 2.2 includes support for Linux

This week’s release of iOS 9.3 was accompanied by new versions of Xcode (7.3), Apple’s Mac-based developer environment, and Swift (2.2), its new (and open-sourced) C-like programming language. As the Swift blog notes, Swift 2.2 comes with a number of new features, one of the more interesting is Linux support.

Swift 2.2 includes support for Swift on Linux. The Linux port is still relatively new and in this release does not include the Swift Core Libraries (which will appear in Swift 3). The port does, however, include LLDB and the REPL.

Binaries for Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 15.10 are now available for download. This should reach an audience of about 11.


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