Thurrott Daily: August 31

Posted on August 31, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Mobile, Xbox, Xbox One with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: August 31

Tech tidbits from around the web.

8/31/2016 4:37:31 PM

Microsoft Solitaire Collection reaches 100 million unique users

Microsoft announces a big milestone for a game that is bundled with Windows 10:

Microsoft Solitaire Collection, has reached more than 100 million unique users!

On average, 55 million Microsoft Solitaire Collection games are played per day – that’s equivalent to 20 billion games per year, 2.29 million each hour and 38,194 each minute.

Additionally, for fans of Microsoft Solitaire Collection, we have some exciting new features launching this fall. Microsoft Solitaire Collection is coming to iOS and Android.

We’re also introducing a new game mode in Microsoft Solitaire Collection on Windows 10 called Events, available this fall. If you’ve ever wanted to play Solitaire while winning tons of awards and seeing how you stack up against your friends and the community, now’s your chance to get in on the action. With Events, you can play your favorite games and build your Solitaire legacy. Here’s a little teaser video related to our upcoming Events launch.

New Minecraft mini game available now

And speaking of games, Microsoft has also announced a new Minecraft mini-game that looks really interesting.

Today, we’re really excited to bring you the Tumble mini game available as part of the free game update, rolling out to consoles now.

Tumble is a frantic competitive mini game where your objective is to avoid taking a dip in red hot lava by making sure that other players fall into it first. You get to do this by destroying the floor beneath your enemies’ feet as you stand in platforms that can have one or more layers. Sound easy? Well, remember that other players will use their shovels or snowballs to get you to fall first. And when you get up to eight friends to do this at the same time, it does get a little wild.

The latest free update for Minecraft on consoles is available today for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and other consoles. All you have to do is turn on your console and update your game – nothing extra to buy – and you’ll be dropping opponents into sizzling pools of lava in minutes.

Pandora app on Xbox One now supports background music playback

Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra reveals a big update for Pandora on Xbox One:

Pandora will update over the next 24 hours to include background music on Xbox One functionality!

You may recall that background music playback is a feature of the Xbox One August update. Learn more here.

Google discontinues the Chromebook Pixel 2

This is surprising, given that they don’t have a replacement out yet. But Venturebeat has confirmed it:

The Chromebook Pixel 2 — the second generation of Google’s first-party Chromebook Pixel laptop running Chrome OS, and the fanciest Chromebook to date — has gone out of stock on the Google Store, and it’s no longer available from Best Buy, either. It turns out that Google has chosen to discontinue the product.

The $1,299 computer became available in February 2015 alongside a $999 version that was discontinued in April.

“We’re committed to the Pixel program but we don’t have plans to restock the Pixel 2,” a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Google may be discontinuing the Nexus brand too

Speaking of which, there’s some speculation that Google may nix the Nexus brand and just use its own name on coming phones. Android Central explains.

The ‘Nexus’ brand is going away.

This year’s Google-branded Android phones will not use the “Nexus” name, Android Central understands, indicating a hard break from the past six years of flagship devices for the company. The widely expected HTC-built handsets — referred to as “Nexus” phones in recent online leaks — will instead come to market under a different brand name, according to several people familiar with Google’s plans.

We have no specific info on which name will be used instead of Nexus, however.

I wrote about this possibility in Google Building Its Own Phone? Beware the Surface Curse This is a mistake, I think.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has quality issues

It looks like Samsung’s latest flagship is having some quality control problems. Reuters reports:

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Wednesday shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone are being delayed as the firm conducts additional quality control testing for the premium device.

“Shipments of the Galaxy Note 7 are being delayed due to additional tests being conducted for product quality,” Samsung said in a statement to Reuters. The firm did not elaborate on what it is testing and to what markets shipments are being delayed.

So not much news. But this could get ugly.

Apple will name the iPhone 6SE as the iPhone 7. Because Apple

Netherlands-based TechTastic claims that Apple’s next iPhone will indeed be called iPhone 7.

Vodafone’s Dutch division seems to all doubts to an end. On the site was briefly see a placeholder for the iPhone 7, now the page is gone and now the error message “You are not authorized to view the requested page” appears. Last year confirmed the site for the arrival of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus .

Here’s the picture.

apple

If Apple were being honest with customers, it would name these devices as the iPhone 6SE. But Apple would never do that, of course.

Thanks to Neowin for the tip.

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