Tech tidbits from around the web.
4/8/2016 2:05:48 PM
NexDock is now fully funded
[I wrote about NexDock last week and how one might use this intriguing device as a Windows phone-based laptop of sorts.](First Look: NexDock with Windows 10 Mobile and Continuum) Well, now they’re fully-funded, so everyone who has pledged money will be getting a device.
We are so happy to announce that we reached our goal of $300K this morning and we’re 100% funded. NexDock is officially a sure thing!
Thank you for being our first backers and early believers. We are incredibly excited to have you as part of the NexDock team.
Congrats to Emre and co. Nicely done.
Get the new Outlook.com earlier. Maybe.
The new Outlook.com experience—which is the third major user experience change since the shift away from Hotmail—is supposedly live for “millions” of users, but from what I can tell the migration is going very slowly. But now, Microsoft is letting users who are interested in getting the new experience sign-up. And, if they’re lucky, get it a bit earlier than might have otherwise been the case.
Get a first look at our newest features.
Are you an Outlook.com user ready to see what we’ve been working on?
Excited to try some new features, and tell us what you think?
Interested in helping us build a service that hundreds of millions of people use to stay connected and productive?
How long a wait has it been? Microsoft announced these changes in May 2015, almost a year ago.
Microsoft Edge will handle Flash a lot more elegantly
Microsoft revealed this week that in the Windows 10 Anniversary update, its Edge web browser will handle Flash a lot more elegantly than it does today.
With the Anniversary Update to Windows 10, Microsoft Edge will intelligently auto-pause content that is not central to the web page. Windows Insiders can preview this feature starting with Windows 10 build 14316.
Peripheral content like animations or advertisements built with Flash will be displayed in a paused state unless the user explicitly clicks to play that content. This significantly reduces power consumption and improves performance while preserving the full fidelity of the page. Flash content that is central to the page, like video and games, will not be paused.
Brilliant. And overdue: This is just how the web should work.
Microsoft improves its Arrow Launcher for Android
A newly-released version of the Microsoft Arrow Launcher for Androidadds some new features.
- FEATURE: Never lose your reminders again! Sync your reminders with Wunderlist, and access them anywhere! We have also revamped the Reminders page for you.
- FEATURE: Reverse Apps page ordering. Placing the most used apps closer to your thumbs! You can reverse the order of apps via settings.
- FEATURE: You asked, we delivered! Privacy on the Recent page. You can now hide an item on Recent.
Microsoft could be bringing “pocket to picture” to Windows phones without a camera button
WinBeta notes that Microsoft might be adding a Camera button to the Windows 10 Mobile lock screen, which will help users with phones that don’t have a dedicated camera button get there more quickly.
Recent internal Windows 10 Mobile builds appear to include a new feature on the lock screen that gives users quick and direct access to the Camera app, something that many Insiders have been asking for since Windows Phone 8.1 back in 2013. The toggle is accessed by holding the Camera button on the navigation bar whilst on the lock screen for around a second, before vibrating and opening the Camera app.
Looks good to me.
Google reportedly considering switch to Swift programming language
When Apple announced the Swift programming language in 2014, I wasn’t impressed. But I’ve learned a lot more about it since, and of course Apple has improved Swift steadily and made the language available as open source. Which leads us to this interesting development, as reported by The Next Web:
Sources tell The Next Web that Google is considering making Swift a “first class” language for Android, while Facebook and Uber are also looking to make Swift more central to their operations.
Google’s Android operating system currently supports Java as its first-class language, and sources say Swift is not meant to replace Java, at least initially. While the ongoing litigation with Oracle is likely cause for concern, sources say Google considers Swift to have a broader “upside” than Java.
This is an excellent idea, and it would of course help Google end its reliance on the aging Java language and their legal issues with Java owner Oracle. I will say this: If Google does adopt Swift, it’s game-over. And Swift will become the language choice for mobile developers.