Thurrott Daily: June 12

Posted on June 12, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Social, Windows Phones with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: June 12

Tech tidbits from around the web.

6/12/2016 11:19:05 AM

Cyanogen 13.1 adds Microsoft features to OnePlus One phones

As you may recall, Microsoft entered into a major partnership with Cyanogen last year to create a new open version of Android that integrates Microsoft’s apps and services. (Cortana was later added to the list as well.) Well, with the release this week of Cyanogen 13.1, we’re seeing the first major step towards that future. Engadget reports:

Cyanogen 13.1 comes with the “mods” Cyanogen introduced in February, which mostly insert Microsoft features into various parts of the software. For instance, you can now make Skype calls straight from the device’s Phone app and use OneNote to take notes within the Email and Phone applications.

If you’re in the US, Cortana for OnePlus One can take hands-free selfies if you tell it to. It can also set reminders and access your sched with voice commands without having to unlock your device. Microsoft took the chance to bring its Hyperlapse technology to the phone, as well, giving its camera app the capability to capture stable time-lapse videos.

This Cyanogen video explains how Mods work. As you can see, there’s a ton of Microsoft stuff going on there. It’s actually kind of nuts.

NFC Tap to Pay is coming to Windows 10 Mobile in the Anniversary Update

The reliable Dan Rubino reports that Microsoft is finally adding NFC Tap to Pay functionality to Windows 10 Mobile with the Anniversary Update that is due this summer.

In what will be a surprise new feature presumably for the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update aka ‘Redstone 1’ this summer, Microsoft will unveil their new Wallet 2.0 app along with NFC Tap to Pay.

I managed to get my hands on an internal build of the updated Wallet app, which has not seen much attention since its release, and with it, I was able to enable Tap to Pay successfully on a Bank of America debit card.

Unfortunately, my Bank of America Business MasterCard and American Express Corporate Platinum were not eligible for Tap to Pay. Those cards also don’t work with Apple Pay either, so this is not too surprising. Banks need to set it up on their end including the associated security … However, my personal Bank of America debit card did work.

So … what can I say? This feature is beyond overdue, and it’s hitting a mobile platform that very few people use. So it’s good news, of course. But it’s too bad Microsoft didn’t have this going a few years ago.

Motorola is apparently keeping the Moto X available for sale

As I explained the other day, I’m really excited by the modular Moto Z that will ship this summer on Verizon and a bit later in unlocked form. But it appears that the arrival of the Moto Z doesn’t necessary mean that it’s predecessor, the Moto X, is going anywhere. Android Police reports:

I reached out to Motorola via email last night to ask them to comment on the whole X to Z transition. It turns out that there isn’t a transition, so much as just a new member of the family: Moto Z is not replacing Moto X, at least not at this time.

Here’s the statement from Motorola:

Moto X is alive and well. In fact, Moto X Force recently launched in multiple new markets around the world. Moto X and Moto Z do share some great qualities, but they ultimately provide different experiences and make our portfolio more robust for consumers looking for the perfect smartphone to fit their needs. Tech-hungry consumers who are looking to get a brand new set of experiences from their smartphone will turn to Moto Z and Moto Mods.

Speaking of which…

The dividing line between iPhone and Android seems eerily familiar

Forbes’ Jay McGregor sees an interesting dividing line between the iPhone and Android, one that will only grow as we move forward. If this seems familiar, it is: It is the same dividing line we see between the Mac and the PC, too. This is perhaps not surprising.

With the news that Motorola has launched a modular smartphone, it seems likely that others will eventually follow suit. There’s now a clear-cut, easily explainable reason to buy an Android over an iPhone.

What’s exciting is that Android is going in a completely direction to Apple with this new wave of modular technology.

Apple, as it always does, will [provide] an excellent overall experience. Android manufacturers meanwhile will focus on customisation with modularity. Which will mean the Android versus Apple duel circling back to its original battleground: a seamless experience versus customisation.

I’m surprised he didn’t see the Mac/PC comparison, frankly.

“Your next iPhone could have Intel inside”

And the clickbait headline of the week goes to Computerworld. Since the Intel thing that will be inside the next iPhone is a modem, not a CPU.

What is Google’s Project Tango?

CNET takes a stab at explaining Google’s augmented reality technology:

Google’s Tango is hard to explain. The new feature, which will first be available on the Lenovo Phab2 Pro superphone this September, is an indoor mapping technology…but it’s also augmented reality. You can measure objects! Take dinosaur selfies! Live out your Ghostbuster fantasies.

Still not clear? There’s a video. You should watch that.

“Apple’s next big challenge: Making Siri smarter”

That’s not much of a challenge. Siri could only be smarter.

Facebook continues to piss off its users

Taking a page from Microsoft’s Windows 10 upgrade strategy book, Facebook is forcing its customers to download yet another mobile app, called Moments. TechCrunch explains:

Facebook is continuing its heavy-handed push to get users to install its private photo-sharing app Moments. The company’s latest move – warning people some of their photos will be deleted if the app isn’t installed – has managed to make Moments the number one app in the [Apple] App Store. Users are being given a deadline of July 7th to move to Moments or download their Synced albums, Facebook warns. After that date, Facebook will delete the album containing their Synced Photos, it says.

Facebook is using notifications to spread this message, and further details can also be viewed from the Synced album’s page on Facebook (if Moments is not yet installed).

The company has also taken the step of actually emailing users and telling them to install the app, which is unusual, but necessary now that it has plans to delete their data.

Facebook—like Windows, actually—is necessary, so this is troubling. Normally, I’d just skip out on such an offensive app, but I just can’t do so with Facebook. Which of course, they know.

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