Thurrott Daily: November 13

Posted on November 14, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows Phones, Xbox with 29 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 13

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/14/2016 3:50:17 PM

John Strike brings 8-bit gameplay, Continuum support to Windows 10

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Plimpli, a new Windows 10 game that supports Continuum on phone. If you enjoyed that one, you might also get a kick out of John Strike, a free UWP game for both Windows 10 PCs and phones. And yes, it supports Continuum on phone too.

The John Strike looks like a good retro platformer game with all the 8-bit glory, shootings, explosions and funky music.

Jump from platform to platform, shoot on enemies, go stealth. Simple and enjoyable fun!

You can play this game on your Windows 10 PC or on your smartphone.

You can use your keyboard, Xbox gamepad, or use the buttons on the screen. (Work on Microsoft continuum)

This game does not have sponsorship or support, if you like the game share and give good feedback in the store.

Nextbit Robin drops to $170 on Amazon.com

If you’re depressed by the high price of today’s smartphone flagships, you have options. Among them is the interesting looking Nextbit Robin, which is now bargain-priced on Amazon.com. Here’s the Neowin write-up:

While we have seen discounts on the Robin before, this has to be the lowest price we have seen on the device yet. Although the specifications aren’t top notch by today’s standards, the handset should offer more than enough power and be a good all-around device.

  • Processor: Snapdragon 808
  • Memory: 3GB RAM / 32GB onboard / 100GB online
  • Screen: 5.2” IPS LCD 1080p
  • Rear Camera: 13MP with phase detection autofocus, dual-tone flash
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 2680mAh
  • Dual front facing stereo speakers
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • NFC
  • Quick charging
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • WiFi A/B/G/N/AC
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 850/900/1800/1900/2100
  • LTE Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/20/28

There aren’t currently any details on when this sale might end, but one thing to take note of is that it is being offered by a third party, but does come with a US warranty.

Buy the NextBit Robin in Mint green for $170

Buy the NextBit Robin in Midnight black for $170

There are over 2 billion Chrome users

Google VP Rahul Roy-Chowdhury recently tweeted about a big milestone:

2 billion active chrome browsers across mobile and desktop. Truly amazing to be making an impact at this scale. Let’s move the web forward!

That’s pretty impressive, though one might argue that this figure is no more impressive than IE’s previous reign at the top because of product bundling. Whatever: Usage is usage. And Chrome really is the best web browser.

Do Chromebooks only get faster over time?

Speaking of Chrome, a Chrome enthusiast website claims that Chromebooks actually get better over time.

Likely, you’ve owned a Windows PC or two and have lived with the eventual slowing and death of that device. It happens and we know it will continue … The problem is, as we all know, that regardless of how much I dump into a Surface or other piece of hardware, in a few years that PC will begin to slow.

Windows is not alone in this flaw. Pick up a 4-year-old Mac and see how quickly it operates now.

Yet, in the midst of this thinking, we have Chrome OS sitting to the side and quietly proclaiming, “Um, not me.”

Take this example for instance. When I originally unboxed and tested the Acer Chromebook 15 with the base Celeron processor, I saw a score of 12,875. When I run that same test right now, I get a score of 14,877.

That is a 2,000 point jump on THE SAME HARDWARE.

Think on that for a second. A device that is used daily around our home has actually become markedly faster over the course of a year. It would be a departure to simply say that this Chromebook is just as fast as the day I bought it.

Instead, I can say in a measurable way that it is actually faster and better than the day I bought it.

Interesting, but I’m skeptical. Anyone have any thoughts or experience here?

What’s new in Android 7.1 Nougat

An official Google video aimed at developers does a nice job of explaining what’s new in Android 7.1 Nougat.

 

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  1. 0 | Reply
    evox81 Alpha Member #1939 - 2 weeks ago

    Tried the John Strike game on the phone and through Continuum... Sadly, the controls don't seem to translate very well to the Continuum version. It was basically unplayable with my PC's keyboard. Can't tell if it's the game or Continuum, but it seems as if only one keyboard input is allowed at a time. Holding right to walk and pressing jump results in the character jumping and ceasing all sideways movement, even with the right key still pressed.

  2. 0 | Reply
    Piras Alpha Member #1773 - 2 weeks ago

    Heads up! The Nextbit Robin is a great phone, great pics, fast, well built and great looking. I have owned one for a few weeks now and let me tell you, it's a keeper.

  3. 0 | Reply
    christosays Alpha Member #1260 - 2 weeks ago

    The only experience I have with Chromebook is the one my company has  provided me. I loathe the thing. We use Office 365 and it's a pain to only use web based solutions. Most of what we need is there but to open anything we have to download the file, upload it to our OneDrive, then open it on the web. And our scheduling system requires IE so I'm having to use a virtual machine over the web to use that.

    It's awful. Love using Microsoft services, hate using them via a Chromebook. 

  4. 0 | Reply
    mortarm - 2 weeks ago

    >What’s new in Android 7.1 Nougat
    I'd be happy if I could get 7.0 on my Nexus 6.  Still waiting, Google!

  5. 0 | Reply
    Narg Alpha Member #420 - 2 weeks ago

    Love the John Strike game!

    The utilitarian look of the Robin is not my style, but it is oddly attractive anyway.  Not a bad price either.

    The Chromebook is just a "dumb terminal" in many ways, so there's no way for it to get slower, other than a bad internet connection.  Where it does need it's own processing power, the software there almost never gets updated, patched and rarely improved.  Any movement to something standing still seems fast...

    Still waiting for Google Assistant in all Nougat releases (other than Pixel of course...)