Thurrott Daily: April 13

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Music + Videos, Skype, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: April 13

My web site, April 1997.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

4/13/2016 5:04:19 PM

Evidence of updated Xbox One emerges, sort of

A set of Microsoft filings with the FCC may suggest that Microsoft is prepping a new version of the Xbox One in time for a June/E3 release. Ars Technicaengages in some wishful thinking:

We have one more piece of information thanks to a crafty German user at the famed NeoGAF gaming forums. On Tuesday, “Mike R” noticed two FCC filings by Microsoft, both filed in March, for wireless radio devices. The filing for part number 1683 appears to have clear ties to the original Xbox One’s WLAN module FCC filing, as both include a 202kB “user manual” PDF with a “1525” model number designation—and in the old filing’s case, that brings up a guide to the Xbox One’s legal warnings.

The other FCC filing for part number 1682 has a few differences, including a longer list of attached “exhibits” and a lack of that specific user manual PDF—but it has other commonalities, including another “User Manual (system) rev” PDF that is 213kB in both filings. The 1682 filing has a short-term confidentiality request that expires on June 25, weeks after the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, while the 1683 filing’s confidentiality won’t expire until July 29.

Sorry, but this could be anything, including new internal hardware for an Xbox One that uses the exact same form factor as the current device. Keep digging, folks.

Skype for Business u pdated on Android and iOS

Microsoft announced this week that Skype for Business was updated on Android and iOS.

You can now view a presenter’s desktop and applications shared in a meeting on your Skype for Business app for Android phones and tablets … We have also greatly improved the content viewing experience on the Skype for Business app for iOS.

We’ve also improved the ability for you to stay connected to a meeting on your iOS or Android device, even if you experience poor Internet connectivity. You now have the option to easily switch the meeting to your cellular line in case of weak Wi-Fi or data connection.

Spotify declares war on Sweden

Spotify is a Sweden-based company. And boy are they mad at Sweden right now. The Wall Street Journal reports:

In an open letter published Tuesday, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon warned that the music-streaming company they founded a decade ago may turn its back on the Nordic nation unless authorities take swift action to make the business environment more hospitable for technology companies. The letter was addressed to all Swedish politicians.

The Spotify founders’ main complaints: A congested housing market in Stockholm that makes it hard to lure foreign talent. An education system in which the study of handicraft is compulsory but learning computer programming isn’t. A high tax system, especially when stock options are involved.

This bout of public wailing is unusual in Sweden, a country where decisions are typically made after a long process of consensus building.

Here’s the letter. It’s in Swedish. Because, you know.

HTC’s new Android Phone supports Apple’s AirPlay

This is the kind of cross-platform support I’d like to see more of: The newly announced HTC 10 is an Android handset, but it also supports Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming functionality.

So what does that mean?

Android supports Google’s Chromecast/Googlecast for wireless streaming (and older Android devices also support Miracast). On the iPhone side, Apple’s devices of course support the in-house AirPlay technology only, though a handful of (mostly Google) apps on iOS also support Chromecast.

So HTC supporting AirPlay at the system level is a big deal. This isn’t just an app-by-app approach, it means that the entire screen can be cast to an AirPlay compatible device, such as an Apple TV. Like you might do from an iOS device.

Naturally, the HTC 10 also supports Chromecast, so it has the broadest possible compatibility (save Miracast, I guess) for streaming to an HDTV. This is smart because it supports just about anything that people would actually have in their homes.

Soon, you’ll be able to get your USB-C cables tested

I’ve mentioned in the past that not all USB-C cables are created equal, and about how a Google engineer is rating these cables on Amazon so you don’t buy one that fries your device. Well a software tool is coming so you can use to test your cables. And if you find one that’s bad, you can toss it. The Verge reports:

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which certifies cables as safe, isannouncing a new way to ensure that your devices are protected from rogue USB-C cables.

When a device gets certified by the USB-IF, it will then be able to tell your phone or laptop that it’s safe to use via 128-bit encrypted communication. It will happen immediately, before it’s allowed to draw power or transfer data. And on top of that, you’ll be able to set up your device with rules for what is and isn’t allowed from USB devices — charging only, for example, or only accept data from USB drives marked as trusted by your IT department.

 

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