Thurrott Daily: September 15

Posted on September 15, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones with 0 Comments

Tech tidbits from around the web.

9/15/2016 11:02:47 AM

Dell introduces XPS laptops with Windows 10 in new colors

I’m not as taken with the Dell XPS 13 as are some people, but it seems to be the only decent thing Dell makes these days. So this is news: In late October, Dell will start shipping a new version of its XPS 13.Microsoft, for some reason, explains.

Today, Dell announced awesome new XPS laptops powered by Windows 10 that deliver some of the best visual experiences with InfinityEdge screens and vibrant graphics in stylish lightweight designs.

The all new XPS, weighing in at less than three pounds, is available in a beautiful new rose-gold finish … [It will] be available beginning October 4, 2016.

Designed and built for premium performance with new powerful 7th Generation Intel Core processors, mobility and visual fidelity, the new XPS 13 features Dell’s exclusive virtually borderless and premium Full HD or UltraSharp QHD+ InfinityEdge display, and now offers even more power and a better battery life of up to 22 hours in a stylish new rose-gold color.

22 hours? Huh. Well then. 🙂 That is impressive.

xps

But it would be nice if Dell would get over the “form over function” stuff and move some bezel to the top of the display so they could position the webcam properly. I’d even accept a bump.

“Should you wait for the Surface Phone or buy a Lumia 950 now?”

No.

But here’s any equally smart idea. Bring that $750 or whatever ever to the toilet and just flush it away.

Tim Cook casts his vote for AR over VR

Apple gets a lot of undeserved credit for markets in which it is not a real player, like machine learning, VR, and automobiles. But that said, you should pay attention to the occasional hints that CEO Tim Cook provides. And this week, he talked up augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (AR) … on ABC News. For some reason.

His comments.

“My own view is that augmented reality is the larger of the two [compared to VR], probably by far, because this gives the capability for both of us to sit and be very present talking to each other, but also have other things visually for both of us to see. Maybe it’s something we’re talking about, maybe it’s someone else here that is not here, present, but could be made to appear to be present with us. So there’s a lot of really cool things there.”

So a ringing endorsement from a guy running a company with absolutely zero credibility in AR or VR, let alone actual products. Some may take this, wrongly, as some sort of endorsement for HoloLens, but as Microsoft fans, you should be used to disappointment: I’m sure whatever AR thing Apple comes up with will be tied to iPhone, and will be something like Google’s Project Tango. Say what you wil about Apple, but they do build products that people want to buy.

“Some Windows 10 Mobile Insider members report problems with build 14926”

Great headline. Isn’t that technically true of every Insider build?

Pixel Launcher is a thing

I follow Google Nexus news a bit more closely than I should—we all have our unhealthy fixations, I guess—and one of the things I’m curious about, but haven’t written about or even tried yet, is a Google replacement for the Android home screen that was originally called the Nexus Launcher. This was supposed to debut on Nexus devices at some point, but never did. But now it’s been renamed to the Pixel Launcher. And maybe we’ll finally see it soon on new Google devices. Droid Life explains.

In early August, word was out that Google was renaming and redesigning its launcher experience, now carrying the name of Nexus Launcher … Today, known HTC leakster @LlabTooFeR has provided images of the same launcher, but Google has apparently changed the name yet again, this time, to Pixel Launcher.

Seen in the images, the launcher appears to handle landscape pretty well, it still supports an app search directly in the drawer, and the sliding arrow at the bottom of the screen is still present to access the app drawer. Beyond that, it still looks like the same experience Google offered with the Nexus Launcher, including the little Google toggle to access Google Now.

pixel-launcher-8

As the post notes, you can even download this launcher now if you’re super-curious. I may be.

“Samsung makes it easier for Windows Phone 8.1 owners to switch to its Galaxy devices”

Yes, this is just the strategy Samsung needs for success.

 

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