Thurrott Daily: June 25

Posted on June 25, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, Hardware, Mobile, Music + Videos, Windows Phones, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: June 25

Battlefield 1 looks amazing.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

6/25/2016 10:54:15 AM

AT&T’s Lumia 1520 can get Windows 10 Mobile now

AT&T revealed this week that Lumia 1520 owners here in the US can now get the official upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile.

Effective June 23, 2016, Microsoft and AT&T released a new Windows 10 update for the Nokia Lumia 1520. To download the update, you must download and install the Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor app from the Windows app store. The update will be available for download via Firmware Over The Air (FOTA). A Wi-Fi connection is required for the update. Software update includes Windows 10 operating system.

It works similarly to the Lumia Icon upgrade: Run the Upgrade Advisor app, upgrade to build 10586.107, and then get a new build, 10586.420, over the air. And as with the Lumia Icon, I do not recommend this upgrade: Windows 10 Mobile is buggier, less reliable, and less consistent than Windows Phone OS 8.

A closer look at Battlefield 1

Microsoft takes a closer look at Battlefield 1.

The scope of Battlefield 1’s undertaking is, when you step back from the fray and get the wide view, incredibly impressive. Epic 64-player battles on massive maps. An honest-to-goodness attempt to bring the Great War to an interactive experience. Graphics that will knock your gas mask off. And that freakin’ zeppelin!

While we only got to play the team deathmatch mode (and believe us, it was a huge, deep experience), Battlefield 1 will have a campaign with multiple characters to control, and larger, more open levels than in previous Battlefield entries. Players will have the ability to choose their path through these levels, at least to some extent.

I really have a good feeling about this one. Check out the video.

Apple quietly discontinues its Thunderbolt displays

There’s been a lot of speculation around Apple’s Thunderbolt displays, since they were the first to support this standard in a big way and yet their USB-C-based products are incompatible for some reason. Well, TechCrunch says it’s because Apple is probably prepping 4K versions.

Apple today announced that it is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display, the large external display many use to connect to MacBooks or other Macs for extra screen real estate. This is very likely to fuel speculation (which has been ongoing) that Apple will soon launch a 4K or 5K version of the display.

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement given to TechCrunch.

Offline viewing is coming to Netflix

Finally. Though to be fair, even JetBlue’s free in-flight Wi-Fi can stream Netflix or Amazon these days.

Lightreading (whatever that is) reports:

Following similar moves by Amazon, Comcast and others, Netflix is now working on a feature that will allow subscribers to download certain programs for offline viewing, according to industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz. And Taitz thinks there will be a landscape shift when the new Netflix feature arrives.

“We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product,” says Taitz. “My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers.”

Industry gossip from a technology vendor is one thing, but Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Dan Rayburn confirms that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) is developing a downloading solution and says that it’s something of an open secret in the streaming video community.

Thanks to Windows Central for the tip.

Counter-Strike player sues Valve over gambling

Polygon has a fascinating report about a gamer who is suing Valve. Not, not over Half-Life 2 Episode 3.

A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player filed suit against Valve today, accusing the game maker of allowing an “illegal online gambling market” to spring up and propagate around the popular online shooter.

Valve Corporation, the suit says, “knowingly allowed … and has been complicit in creating, sustaining and facilitating [a] market” where players and third-parties trade weapon skins like casino chips.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Connecticut resident Michael John McLeod alleges that Valve and third-party sites (CSGO Diamonds, CSGO Lounge and OPSkins) “knowingly allowed, supported, and/or sponsored illegal gambling by allowing millions of Americans to link their individual Steam accounts to third- party websites.” Through those websites, the suit says, skins for CS:GO, which can be purchased from Valve, “can … easily be traded and used as collateral for bets.”

“In the eSports gambling economy, skins are like casino chips that have monetary value outside the game itself because of the ability to convert them directly into cash,” the suit says.

Valve, the suit alleges, directly profits from transactions tied to gambling.

Say what you will about Valve, but they know how to make money.

Google is testing a Storage Manager for Chrome OS

Here’s another step in the long path of Chrome OS turning from joke into credible competitor for both Windows and macOS. Now Google is testing a storage manager, which is interesting, because one of the defining features of Chrome OS devices like Chromebooks thus far are their lack of storage.

The Chrome OS team is currently implementing a Storage Manager in the last Dev update so that you can have a look at how much space is left on your device and used by Downloads and Offline Google Drive files.

Give it a try now! Enable the experimental chrome://flags/#enable-storage-manager flag, restart Chrome, open Chrome Settings and click the “Storage” button in the Device section.

Speaking of which, Gizmodo says that the addition of Android apps to Chromebook, which I’ve not yet tested, makes this platform a “MacBook killer.”

After a brief software update, you’ll be able to install to almost any Android app on the market, dramatically changing what your Chromebook is capable of doing.

The new software is in the early stages of roll out right now, but even after spending just a few days with the beta, I can safely say that the finished version will be a sea change for Chromebooks, with the potential to transform them from the limited devices they are into full-fledged computing machines.

Well, that is of course the point. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


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