Thurrott Daily: December 27

Posted on December 27, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in iOS, Mobile with 17 Comments

Thurrott Daily: December 27

Carrie Fisher, you will be missed.

Kind of an eclectic set of tidbits from around the web today.

12/27/2016 5:15:05 PM

Amazon had a killer holiday selling period

No surprise there. But as Reuters reports, one billion items? Yikes. Inc said it shipped more than 1 billion items worldwide this holiday season, which the top online retailer called its best ever, and its shares rose 1.6 percent in afternoon trade.

The Amazon Echo home assistant and its smaller version, Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list, said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, in a press release.

“Despite our best efforts and ramped-up production, we still had trouble keeping them in stock,” he said.

Sales of voice-controlled Echo devices were nine times more than they were during last year’s holiday season, the company said. Amazon did not disclose comparable sales figures from a year earlier.

Amazon likely sold between 4 million and 5 million devices this year to date with Alexa


How to Determine the Power Rating of Your Gadget’s Batteries

This is useful information. The New York Times explains:

A battery in a smartphone might be only about 12.4 watt-hours. But professional broadcast cameras, batteries for power tools and even some extended-duration laptop batteries can exceed 100 watt-hours (the airline industry’s safety limit for lithium-ion batteries for each device).

Newer batteries may show the watt-hours, as Wh preceded by a number, but not all are marked this way.

Calculating the watt-hours based on the information printed on the outside of a battery is not difficult. Multiply the given volts by the battery capacity, shown as milliamps or mAh. Divide the sum by 1,000 to get the watt-hour rating.

More info about flying and battery-powered devices here.


Apple rumors: Stupid is as stupid does

Because it’s never too early for a rumor about the next iPhone, here’sFortune.

On Tuesday, unnamed supply chain sources told Apple news blog Mac Otakara in Taiwan that Apple is working on three new models for 2017. Entering the current line up of phones with 4.7- and and 5.5-inch screens could be a new medium-sized model with a 5-inch screen that also includes the dual-lens camera currently only found on the larger screen Plus model.

Other sources, including well-regarded analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities, have also reported a third model will be added to the line. But while Kuo has written that only the new model would boast higher-end specs and a brand new edge-to-edge OLED screen, Mac Otakara reported all three phones would contain identical technology.

Yes, people actually care about this stuff. 10 months before the products will be finalized and announced.


ASUS debuts new $499 convertible Chromebook with Intel M3, 4GB RAM, and backlit keyboard

Neowin covers an interesting-looking new Chromebook. But seriously, how about all that stuff and a decent-sized screen?

The ASUS C302CA-DHM4 offers 2 USB Type-C ports, a touchscreen display, and backlit keyboard. Another perk of the unit is that it is a convertible model that will allow the screen to be folded all the back for a more tablet-like experience.

Full specifications of the ASUS C302CA-DHM4:

-Intel Core M3 m3-6Y30 (4M Cache, up to 2.2 GHz) -4G LPDDR3 with 64GB storage expandable via microSD -12.5″ touchscreen display with 1080p resolution -2 x USB Type-C -11.97″ x 8.27″ x 0.54″ -2.65 lbs

The C302CA-DHM4 is now available directly from Newegg for $499 in the United States.

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Comments (17)

17 responses to “Thurrott Daily: December 27”

  1. 639

    ASUS debuts new $499 convertible Chromebook with Intel M3, 4GB RAM, and backlit keyboard

    If the point of a Chromebook is to be easier to use and simpler than a PC, why is there a drive to make them more powerful and complex?  At what point does it make sense to just stay with the PC I have instead of learning a new OS that is evolving to do what my PC already does?

    • 412

      In reply to cseafous:

      I am still in the group that still doesn't fully "get" Chromebooks. 

      • 5767

        In reply to wolters:

        Supposedly the 'value' proposition is for schools. Chrome is easier to manage compared to Windows PCs. Of course this all depends on exams being web-based and not native applications. That's why you see Chromebooks taking off in schools.

      • 6453

        In reply to wolters:

        Try doing residential tech support for people who do NOTHING but web-based tasks, and consistently click on every ad and pop-up that presents itself. Chromebooks start looking really good after a while.

      • 1377

        In reply to wolters:

        Chrome OS could become a better tablet OS than Android. Newer Chrome OS machines can run Android apps in partical-screen Windows on the Chrome OS desktop, and that may be sufficient to address the full-screen limitation of Android tablets. Many newer Chromebooks also have touch screens. All that's left is an acceptable virtual keyboard, and Chrome OS could replace Android on tablets.

        As for Chromebooks themselves, if one's willing to switch to developer mode and install crouton, the Chromebook could become a Linux machine. Chromebooks capable of running Android apps can run CrossOver for Android, and that means they can run a fair amount of Windows Win32 desktop software.

        • 661

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          I attended a Google presentation at a trusted computing conference and asked about a Chrome OS tablet to fit a thin-client based architecture and they looked befuddled at such a request. I don't think there is much product road mapping done at google


  2. 5394

    Apple batteries are no longer efficient and stable. My 2 year old iPhone 6 can burn its charge as quickly as one hour from using Google Maps while in congested traffic. Thus, I had to dust off my battery power pack case and recharge several times a day. Oddly, my battery pack maintains the iPhone power more efficiently than the internal battery. I suspect the new iOS 10.1.1 update was the cause of the problem and no solution is in sight yet. 10.2 did not fix the problem. 

    • 180

      In reply to glenn8878:

      iOS 10.2 really seemed to hose my battery life. I was actually going to take it to the Apple store to see if they could help, but decided to do a full battery cycle first. It lasted 3 and a half hours on 1% battery (normal use, no battery saver enabled). So something they did, for me at least, seems to have jacked up the gauge specifically.

  3. 7037

    Newegg canceled orders for this new Chromebook. They took down the page advertising it. Newegg mistakenly accepted orders before the computer's official release date.

  4. 5386

    The battery information is important to know if you travel to China, they actively search for and check LiON batteries for compliance.  I had one confiscated because it didn't have a capacity marked on it, even though it was well under the limit.  

  5. 5767

    Honestly the problem with any Chrome OS device is the moment you need a single Windows application this computer is worthless. Whereas, a Windows 10 laptop can do everything a Chromebook can do(access all Google services through Chrome) + millions of applications.

  6. 5553

    I'd want it if it ran W10 ?

  7. 5553


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  8. 214

    I Phone rumors... harrumph - I distinctly recall Tim Cook standing up and saying the next iPhone was going to be an amazing life-changer. It was the IPhone 7 of which he spoke. Now, Paul does say its the best out there, but... ?

    Now, Mr. Cook may just be baking the same old Apple pie, or...

    Perhaps he was alluding to this next one with the wrap around screen... Alakazam - crystal-ball shine bright - I predict touch-screen MACs with some sort of interface portability across to tablets and phones.... In other words - Windows 10 with Apps...

    Yeah. Sigh. People care about the darndest things.

  9. 699

    I think it says something about Americans (or human beings, perhaps) who croon for the next big Apple 'thing', all the while ignoring other wonderful devices and phones. I agree, Apple devices are a thing of beauty, but only simpletons are blinded by the light of beauty. At the end of the day, it's what inside that counts. With iPhones and other Apple products, the inside seems to be completely evaporating and lacking these days. So thin and light that they're mostly unusable. Apple apologists and fanboys can be very fickle.

    For your consideration, re: the new MacBook Pro and Consumer Reports 'not recommended' rating: utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=navigation&utm_source=im

  10. 214

    Can't get Leia's Theme out of my head...