Thurrott Daily: July 5

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Microsoft-Band, Mobile, The Sams Report, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: July 5

Tech tidbits from around the web.

7/5/2016 8:59:35 AM

Microsoft is adding a wheelchair for Xbox Live avatars

Responding to user requests, Microsoft is letting Xbox Live customers add a wheelchair to their avatars. Via Twitter:

Sneak peek…

Shown above.

Samsung S Health now integrates with Microsoft Health

When Microsoft first launched its Microsoft Health service (and corresponding app) and Band wearable, it presented both as open platforms. The idea being that Band could work with any service, and that Health could work with any wearable; all that was required that the support be built by developers. Since then, of course, we’ve seen no uptake in these capabilities at all; you can’t, for example, use a Fitbit device with Microsoft Health (or whatever). But this week,Android Police noticed that Samsung has added integration support with Microsoft Health to its Samsung S Health app on Android. Interesting.

Samsung’s S Health app can connect to multiple apps and services to pull and push data through them.

If you’re running S Health 4.8.0 and above … go to More, Settings, Connected services. There, you will see a list of 6 new services that you can integrate with S Health: Fitbit, Jawbone, Microsoft Health, Misfit, Runkeeper, and Strava. Most of them share both exercise and sleep data, except Fitbit which only shares sleep and Strava which only does exercise.

I’d like to see a lot more of this. The ability to mix and match both devices and services is so wonderful and makes whatever you’re using today much more future-proof.

Valve: Almost half of Steam gamers use Windows 10

Which is excellent. But as notable, perhaps:

Barely anyone accessing service via OS X or Linux

The Inquirer reports:

Almost all Steam users access the service via a Windows PC, and almost half run Microsoft’s newest Windows 10 release. Valve’s numbers show that 42.94 per cent of PCs accessing Steam run the 64-bit version of Windows 10, up 3.26 per cent compared with May.

With Windows powering 95.5 per cent of Steam gamers’ PCs there’s little market share left for other operating systems. Valve’s figures show that Apple’s OS X accounts for just 3.6 per cent of devices accessing the gaming service, and Linux a measly 0.8 per cent, suffering a drop of 0.2 per cent since May.

“How to make Google Drive apps look and work more like Microsoft Office”

In which PC World blatantly rips off my 2015 post, Tip: Make Google Docs Look and Work More Like Microsoft Office. I call this “getting Verged.”

Amazon disappears from Windows Phone

You may have heard that Amazon is killing its Windows Phone app. Which … isn’t that big of a deal, given how terrible and out of date it is. But as WinBeta confirms, Amazon killed the app because it was terrible. Here’s the quote from Amazon:

Thanks for reaching out and your interest in the Amazon App for Windows Phone. Regarding your questions below, we cannot comment on our product roadmap. The current Amazon App was built on Windows 8 and it does not provide the most customer obsessed experience for Windows 10. We encourage customers to visit Amazon.com in their mobile browser where they will have access to our newest shopping features and customer experience.

I don’t know what to make of Amazon. Their Audible app is routinely updated on Windows phones, and is quite good. But its Kindle app is abandonware, with no meaningful update since the reign of Ramses II. Come on, Amazon. Seriously.

Google Chrome will finally get native Cast capabilities

I’m not sure why this didn’t happen a few years ago—performance issues, I bet—but Google is finally adding native Cast capabilities to its Chrome web browser. Today, you need to find and install an add-in to do this.

Beginning with Chrome 51, we’re rolling out a few changes to Cast functionality in Chrome:

The Google Cast toolbar icon is no longer required in order to find or use your Google Cast device from Chrome Google Cast functionality is now built in as part of the Chrome browser itself, so you no longer need to install the Google Cast toolbar icon Inactive cast extension in order to use your Google Cast device from Chrome.

chrome-cast

If you previously installed the Google Cast toolbar icon, there’s no need to remove it. The toolbar icon will continue to provide quick access to Google Cast functionality.

Google Cast functionality is available in the Chrome Tools menu.

Google Cast functionality is also available when right clicking a page’s tab in the Chrome browser.

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