Thurrott Daily: November 28

Posted on November 28, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Games, iOS, Mobile, Windows Phones, Xbox One with 26 Comments

Thurrott Daily: November 28

Jony Ive ruins Christmas.

Tech tidbits from around the web.

11/28/2016 3:35:49 PM

Xbox One game streaming coming to Windows 10 PCs with Oculus Rift on Dec. 12

Microsoft announced recently that it is opening up Xbox One game streaming to those with Oculus Rift VR headsets.

Oculus Rift owners will be able to stream their Xbox One library to Rift with the new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app, including fan favorites like “Gears of War 4,” “Forza Horizon 3” and “Halo 5: Guardians,” the biggest sports games, indie darlings, Backward Compatible Xbox 360 games, and more titles coming in 2017. The Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app is available for free in the Oculus Store on Dec. 12.

The new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app connects to your Xbox One via your home network. Once connected, your console’s video output is streamed to your Rift headset and projected onto a massive screen in your choice of one of three immersive VR environments: “Citadel,” “Retreat” and “Dome.”

Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher for Android is updated

MSPowerUser notes yet another update to Microsoft’s excellent Arrow Launcher for Android. Here’s what’s new:

  • Performance. Arrow is 10% more memory efficient than the previous version.
  • Swipe down to search. We’ve made search easier to find.
  • Customize the grid layout of apps page. 4×5, 4×6, and more options at your fingertips.
  • Recent page. Customize the types of content you want to display.
  • Bug fixes. Wallpaper, widgets, and more.

You can get Arrow Launcher for free from the Google Play Store.

HP Elite x3 is getting a third firmware update

One might ask: Why has it needed so many firmware updates? Or one might just be happy it’s being kept up to date. Neowin reports:

HP released its third firmware update for the Elite x3, raising the version number to 0002.0000.0018.0105 from 0002.0000.0014.0100. Here are the issues that were addressed:

  • Apps. HP Display Tools error popup of “We can’t run that here” is fixed. HP Device Hub support of accessories firmware upgrade is enabled.
  • Audio. Handsfree double talk tuning parameters updated. Camera QR code not recognized by certain apps such as Whatsapp, WeChat, is fixed.
  • Connectivity. 3G support for 2nd SIM card is enabled.
  • Stability. Device crash on repeated refresh of certain web sites such as,, is fixed.
  • User Interface. Network registration status shown on Action Center pull down.

Pixel phones to get new “Moves” features

I alluded to this in my Google Pixel XL Review Follow-Up, but Droid Life can explain why Google’s new phones are getting a lot less dumb.

A 261MB update started rolling out moments ago to our friends [in Canada] that bumps the Pixel to build number NPF26J and includes two amazing new “Moves” that we have all been waiting for.

What are those Moves? “Double-tap to check phone” and “Lift to check phone.”

Once updated, to enable these new features, you’ll need to jump through to Settings>Moves and you should see both in the list with “Swipe for notifications,” “Jump to Camera,” and “Flip Camera.” Tap their little toggles and you’ll be on your way to Pixel notification checking glory.

It’s too bad there isn’t an update that enables stereo speakers.

Watch a video, crash your iPhone

From the “too good to be true” files comes a story from The Guardian about a video that actually crashes iPhones.

A link to a video, which when watched slows down any iPhone until it crashes, is being used as the latest iPhone crash prank.

The video from the Sina Weibo-backed video-sharing app Miaopai plays normally in the iPhone’s video player, but once the video is finished it can take up to a minute for the iPhone to lock up, requiring a forced reboot to recover it.

Most people are unaware anything has happened, continuing to use their smartphone until it either won’t turn back on or locks up in an app, the home screen or with a spinning loading logo on a black screen.

The lockup is not permanent, but requires a soft reset or forced reboot to recover the functionality of the iPhone.

Jony Ive ruins Christmas

And no, I don’t just mean the new MacBook Pro. Apple’s chief designer may have finally jumped the shark, CNN reports.

Apple’s chief design officer — the creative genius behind some of the company’s most successful products, including the iPod and iPhone — was tasked with designing a Christmas tree for the prestigious Claridge’s hotel lobby in London.

Known for simplicity, Ive took a similar approach with the tree. In fact, it doesn’t have any decorations. It’s just… a tree.

“Our aim was to create an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition while recognizing our excitement about the future and things to come.”

Because nothing says excitement about the future like a dark, unlit Christmas tree.


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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Thurrott Daily: November 28”

  1. 5394

    That Christmas Tree was brilliant. Don't you see the magic? What tells you Christmas than a bare tree in all its glory. It isn't the tree, but what's on it. Nothing. Christmas is nothing. Nothing is Christmas. And about that iPad or iPhone? You're not getting that for Christmas either. As for the lack of Christmas decorations, I'm sure Jony Ive pocketed the difference. His brilliance costs money. Nothing is free, but in this case, nothing costs plenty.

  2. 5530

    that Jony Ive christmas tree story is hilarious! I can't believe it, but it's a thing! LOL

  3. 5592

    Re: HP Elite x3 is getting a third firmware update

    That's the whole point of Agile development. Constant change with little fixes getting released when they're ready. It's how software is developed these days by pretty much everybody.

  4. 5496

    And how much did Jony Ive get paid?

    A bare tree? That's a rip off. I would want my money back.

    • 5234

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      Whatever it was, it was more than the $50 it costs to go to the local lot and pick one up.


      No doubt it costs 10's of thousands for a North American designer, and about $2.50 to get it shipped from China.

  5. 670

    This goes far beyond jumping the shark. Sir Jony has been mailing it in for some time now, and this just confirms that Apple has lost its creative edge - Phil Schiller better cover his nether parts with flame retardant underwear since his last innovation, THREE YEARS AGO, was a Quaker Oats can that hasn't been updated since...he was absolutely right, he can't innovate his @$$...

  6. 5641

    What's missing from the photo (apart from the decorations!) is that the photo is taken from the spot where there is a mini forest with projectors on the wall and owl's hooting etc. If you stand in a certain spot - it's like being in the wood. There is a small tree then in this place, with a spotlight shining on it.

    I think the whole experience - when taken in all at once, is pretty good.

  7. 165

    A Christmas tree without lights is just an iTree

  8. 1775

    >Because nothing says excitement about the future like a dark, unlit Christmas tree.

    Well, to be fair, it is lit.  Sorta.

  9. 1043

    I'm surprised the tree isn't made of milled aluminum with a dull finish, and at least 30% thinner than competitor trees. Has anyone checked the bottom of the tree to see if there is a "Designed in California" / "Made In China" disclaimer? I'm sure it will make Brits even happier if so.

  10. 5553

    Ive and Apple both jumped the shark...and what about the new Pixel Move called Lens Flare ???

  11. 5234

    Clearly, London gets absolutely no snow in the winter.

    This setup could've been plastic, would've cleaned up easier, required no water, and could've been covered in fake snow powder, and used year after year....unless you figure that a real tree is a symbol of the fragility and disposability of Apple's products.

  12. 2371

    Someone should tell Jony Ive that there is a difference between indoor and outdoor decorating.  That hotel should be next door to a funeral home!

    • 5234

      In reply to RM:

      There's nothing quite like slamming 50's diner esthetic and middle-aged 80's fad together like checkerboard tile and brass-and-glass doors in this trainwreck interior design.

  13. 206

    So, Jony Ive took the 'do nothing' approach, fancied it up with a new fangled 'The Emperor Has No Clothes' tag line and laughed all the way to the bank.  (Can we really fault Jony Ive?  Its brilliant.)

  14. 3958

    If you force close the video player task as soon as the video is done playing, does it still lock up the phone?

  15. 2175

    Ugh, Jony Ive. I think Apple's success has distorted his view on reality, for the worst.

  16. 5534

    To Waethorn over on the other side of the tracks. I saw a commercial during the Broncos/Chiefs football game last night where Apple was boasting about the iPhone 7 having stereo speakers, and saying it was "practically magic". Well, I guess it isn't really all that magical considering the HTC One M7 that that came out almost four years ago (February 2013) had front-facing stereo speakers. You've got to love Apple and it's advanced technology, though.

  17. 412

    "Microsoft’s Arrow Launcher for Android is updated."

    Arrow Launcher is quite good, especially some of the extra screens you get as far as recent apps, recent documents and recent people. The one thing they need to add is the ability to save Chrome Websites to Home Screen. 

  18. 5234

    "It’s too bad there isn’t an update that enables stereo speakers."


    It's called a headphone jack.


    What?  Your iPhone doesn't have that???   UPGRADE!!!

  19. 5534

    "... an all-enveloping magical experience that celebrates our enormous respect for tradition ..."

    I'm not aware of this tradition of people setting up completely bare, undecorated trees in their houses for Christmas. I guess Jony Ive can live in whatever fantasy land he chooses.

  20. 639

    Jony Ive ruins Christmas

    I would have paid money to see the looks on the hotel managements' faces when it was unveiled.