Tech tidbits from the web.
4/21/2016 9:27:10 AM
Windows Insider build 14295.1004 heads out to the Slow ring
This week, Microsoft delivered its first-ever “Redstone” build to the Slow ring, though it’s an older build (14295) than the current Fast ring build (14316). Which, of course, should be replaced with a new build as soon as today. Anyhoo. Here’s the info.
Chrome has over one billion users on mobile
As part of an infographic celebrating the release of Chrome version 50, Google revealed a startling statistic: There are over 1 billion people using the mobile app versions (Android, iOS) of its Chrome web browser. So I guess we have yet another member of what I think of as the Mobile Billion Club.
Google Keep adds an extension too
I wrote earlier today about how a new Google Inbox feature requires an extension if you’re using Chrome for Windows. Well, it looks like Inbox isn’t the only recent Google update to come with a new Chrome extension: An update to Keep, Google’s weird little note-taking service, also has a Chrome extension. Odd.
Having a single place to capture what’s on your mind and save your ideas and to-do lists is what Google Keep is all about, and today’s updates give you a few new ways to collect and manage the information that’s important to you.
The next time you’re on a website that you want to remember or reference later on, use the new Keep Chrome extension to add it—or any part of it—to a note in Keep. Just click the Keep badge to add a site’s link to a note, or select some text or an image and create a new note from the right-click menu.
So this works exactly like the Inbox extension: It’s a way to add the global share functionality we see on mobile platforms to its desktop-based web browser (across Windows, Mac and Chrome OS).
But that begs the question. Why not just add an extensible Share button to Chrome and funnel all this stuff through that?
Apple lies reach a new low
Remember that feel-good claim that Apple made during the iPhone SE/9.7-inch iPad Pro event last month, where the firm recycled $40 million worth of gold from its recycled devices, saving mankind and the environment in the process? Yeah. It’s bullshit.
I’ve never come across a story that has been so uniformly misreported—hundreds of outlets covered Apple’s “Environmental Responsibility Report,” and not one article I read came remotely close to getting the story right.
The most egregious and inaccurate storyline goes something like this: Apple, out of the goodness of its heart or perhaps fueled by monetary incentives, took old iPhones and iPads that were brought back into its stores, took them apart, melted down the roughly 30 milligrams of gold in each phone, and ended up with 2,204 total pounds of gold.
Here is the truth: Apple paid independent recyclers to recycle old electronics—which were almost never Apple products, by the way—because it’s required by law to do so. Far from banking $40 million on the prospect, Apple likely ended up taking an overall monetary loss. This is not because Apple is a bad actor or is hiding anything, it’s simply how the industry works.
And that “egregious and inaccurate” bit? That’s the norm with Apple blogging and reporting, VICE. Welcome to my world.
Evernote has released an update for their Windows app
If you use Evernote, the company has released a version of their Windows app today; it’s not an UWP but for those of you who like the service, this is a big update for the product. You can download it here.
Intel is tanking, so ARM must be soaring, right? Right?
We used to talk about Intel vs. AMD, but these days it’s ARM that is causing Intel all the grief. So imagine my surprise when I read in The Wall Street Journal that ARM is struggling too. The reason? The global slowdown of smart phone sales.
The British chip designer warned that economic uncertainty could slow the industry the rest of the year.
ARM makes money through licenses and royalties from the chips it designs … The company currently designs the architecture for more than 95% of the world’s smartphone chips [but] it is seeking to increase its market share in networking infrastructure as well as the server industry dominated by Intel Corp.
The company said it expects revenue for the rest of 2016 to be in line with market expectations, but added that “macroeconomic uncertainty remains, and could influence consumer and enterprise spending, potentially impacting semiconductor sales and industry confidence.”
So I guess the story here is that ARM is expecting the smart phone slowdown to happen earlier in 2016 than it did before. Well, at least tablets are going gangbusters.