What you need to know about Windows 10

What you need to know about Windows 10

Microsoft will be launching its latest OS on July 29th. Windows 10 will be the latest upgrade since Windows 8 & aims to bring the windows we all wanted. A mix of the best features of 7 & 8 while throwing in some new additions. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming Windows release.

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How Much is it?

The Windows 10 upgrade will actually be free to Windows 7 & 8 users for a full year. After the year you’ll have to pay either $120 for the home edition & $200 for the pro edition.

Am I Eligible for the Upgrade?

As noted anyone currently on 7 or 8 can upgrade however there are some hardware requirements. Minimum requirements are as follows:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS or 20GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800-by-600 resolution

How to Upgrade

Microsoft is offering the upgrade to Windows testers first & foremost however if your a normal user you can join the upgrade queue by simply making sure your windows is up to date & you’ll be receiving an option to “Reserve Your Free Upgrade”. Which is worth doing whether you plan on upgrading or not simply for the free price point.

What’s New in Windows 10?

Windows aims to provide that familiar UI that your used to & bring an assortment of new features into the mix.

Cortana-

Cortana is Microsoft virtual assistant rivaling that of Siri or Google Now. It’s finally being ported over to the desktop with Windows 10 & will help you with various tasks on your computer from reminders to a giving you an overview of your day.

 

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Edge Browser-

The new default Windows 10 browser is known as Edge. Coming from Project Spartan Edge aims to bring a sleek UI with various features that tie right into the OS. Useable via  touch screen interface or the classic mouse & keyboard. The browser comes packed with tools to help you while browsing the web. It’s aim is to have you consume & create content easily within the same browsing interface.

Xbox Streaming-

Xbox One owners can rejoice as Microsoft is finally bringing native streaming to Windows 10.  This feature will allow Xbox One users to stream their gaming experience to their PC. So with a click of a button you can sling your gaming over to your laptop or desktop based monitor.

Improved Start Menu-

With the major backlash over Windows 8 UI forcing them to reinstate it in 8.1. Windows 10 aims to bring a new but improved start menu that windows users are familiar with. Everything is essentially tucked into the start menu now versus the whole Window/Modern UI nonsense. Giving you an overview of your latest & most used apps, universal search, and more.

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Flexibility & Unification-

With Windows 10 Microsoft wants the user to work they want. Making it flexible across all platforms phone, tablet, and desktop. Bringing a familiar feel while scaling the content/apps to perfectly fit the platform. Use it with your touch enabled device/screen or stick to the mouse & keyboard the choice is yours.

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All in all Windows 10 brings much needed fixes to the Windows. It’s a a combination upgrade of what Windows should’ve been over the last couple of years. Bringing in the best of previous versions while eliminating the worst & adding in some cool new features. It’s not a full scale change of Windows as we know it rather a throwback to familiarity with some new tricks up its sleeves. This is the first time Microsoft has taken the free upgrade route & it’ll surely help the adoption rate of the new OS. Windows 10 officially is released July 29th & I’ll be spending some time with it & bringing you more content & thoughts after further testing. Stay tuned for more updates.

Apple restricts App Store reviews in prerelease iOS versions

Apple restricts App Store reviews in prerelease iOS versions

Not to long ago Frederico Viticci of Macstories wrote this post. In it highlighting why these prerelease app reviews were harmful to developers. Seeing as betas like iOS 9 are still not out for the public its understandable that there’ll be bugs with certain 3rd party apps. As developers work to update for the upcoming version.

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As Frederico states

Betas are, by definition, unfinished software, and unfinished software has bugs and works inconsistently. As Apple writes on their Beta Software Program website, “you can take part in shaping Apple software by test-driving pre-release versions and letting us know what you think”.

Developers here are crippled in that they literally can’t post updates for iOS 9 & OS X El Capitan as the App-Store won’t allow it. So users on these betas have who’ve been experiencing bugs have been taken to the review section.

However as of today that changes as Apple now restricts anyone from writing reviews on prerelease versions of iOS, as it should be. While most apps work fine on iOS 9 there are still some bugs & crashes you’ll experience that aren’t on the fault of developers who are well aware of the issue. As of right now this is limited to iOS but we’ll surely see this adapted to OS X betas as well. For now however it’s a good start.

 

Instagram Brings Search to it’s Website

Instagram Brings Search to it’s Website

The popular photo sharing app Instagram has finally brought search functionality to its web counterpart. Instagram.com has been a complimentary portal to your feed for some time now. Today they’ve made it possible to search users, hashtags, and locations all via the web.

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Via the website you can just about do everything you can on mobile with the exception of actually uploading photos. The sites main purpose is to serve as another method of access to your photo stream & people your following. While Instagram plans on keeping its main focus of course on the mobile end this is a nice addition for those who like myself time to time like to open up IG on the browser end.

As of now still no word on a desktop/web uploader for photographers who may use another camera to take their pictures. For now you’ll have to stick to importing the photo from desktop to mobile device. However search away at Instagram.com

Spotify Brings Personalized Playlists with Discover Weekly

Spotify Brings Personalized Playlists with Discover Weekly

As the music streaming service battle continues Apple Music brought a focus to personalized user playlists. The “For You” tab centered on interests that the service thinks you’d like to listen to. So far its done a great job of curating new & related music to my tastes. However Spotify is now stepping up to compete with that very feature.

By heading into your “Browse” tab you’ll find a new playlist known as Discover Weekly. This is accompanied by your profile picture & a list of songs you’ve never listened to via Spotify. As the service describes it

Your weekly mixtape of fresh music. Enjoy new discoveries and deep cuts chosen just for you. Updated every Monday, so save your favorites!

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I like the idea of music lists being generated solely on your taste & listening habits. Thus far Spotify has done a decent job of compiling artists, renditions/covers of songs, and new music I haven’t heard before. This certainly will be a great feature for users who enjoy it via Apple Music’s service & without a doubt will have to be updated in order to be relevant. The idea here is to keep the content fresh & not recycle artists, songs, and genres. Apple does a great job of making this part visually appealing, having a whole tab dedicated to this. While Spotify aims to keep it simpler & provide it as an add-on within a playlist. So head over to your browse tab today & start following your weekly playlist.

 

 

Beme Aims to Make Video Sharing Authentic

Beme Aims to Make Video Sharing Authentic

I’ve personally been a huge fan of Casey Neistat (Film maker, vlogger, all around great guy) & his content for some time now. Not too long ago he ventured on a journey to start a daily vlog series in which he’d share his life while also talking about his new company in the making. That company would be working on an app that is known as “Beme”. 100+ vlogs later Beme has come to the world & aims to bring a unique spin to the social media world.

Casey bias aside, Beme is a social network that focuses on video sharing in an effortless & authentic way. While I plan to overview the app next week when they release their big update here’s what I’ve learned so far about the app.

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Credit: Thanks to the user @JammyLaffers on Twitter for the invite code

The Premise:

Beme aims to record & share video immediately without revisions. There is no adding of filters, editing, or re-shooting. Just post out whatever it is you recorded. Even more unique than the concept behind it is the recording method. Beme utilizes the proximity sensor on the iPhone to start the recording of your beme. From there it’ll instantly send out your post to your followers. The idea behind this is to take the phone out of the way when it comes to capturing moments. To be looking at the person your talking to, see the sunset your capturing, and so on. Now this entails you either block the sensor by whatever method you see fit. Put it against your chest, block the sensor with your finger, & so on.

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This idea behind is really interesting. I like the idea of making video more honest & almost unobtrusive. People react differently when an iPhone is in their face. This wouldn’t completely eliminate that but it’d be more discrete. Proximity controls make it a bit difficult to see how it’ll be used in the real world & how people will interact with it. Initial testing led to a lot of bemes that weren’t meant to be sent. The bemes are ephemeral so they disappear after someone has viewed it without any option for replaying.

Sign Up Process:

As of right now Beme is live in the app store you can download it here for iOS. However the process isn’t as simple as install & setup. Their is currently an invite process in which people who have access to the app can invite their friends & the cycle carries on. Trying to create more of a community behind this app versus random fly by installs. This will last for the initial app launch phase, as the app goes public for everyone in 100 days. There’ll be a lot of updates to come along & fixes to be made as its now in the wild. As Neistat himself has stated in his vlog

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Reactions:

The interaction part of the app comes with “reactions”. Followers & other viewers of your Bemes can react as they watch your video. An overlay appears in the top right that allows you by tapping to take a selfie to show your reaction while viewing their video. This is meant to capture the response of the viewer in that very moment. Shock, joy, laughter or what have you.

 

The app is very much still in its infancy. There’s much to be improved & even explained for some new users. However the direction is taking is very interesting. Sharing without the need to create. Think of Snapchat but stripped down to just the video aspect. Storytelling being the key focus. However at the same time introducing an honesty to videos. Now with all good certainly comes bad. Privacy issues will surely arise for users who unknowingly may have posted something or sent something they didn’t mean to. Furthermore I’ve found myself reshooting my bemes due to them being cut short. Defeating the authentic feel the app is going for. In the normal video creation process you have the ability to take & edit then post. In this case it’s straight from capture to live. Picking up on some social trends while creating its own. Beme isn’t perfect but it’s a start.

Follow me on Beme at @Adrianc & stay tuned for updates to come on the apps progress.

Also be the first to comment & receive a Beme code/invite! I’ll try to distribute as many codes as the app allows.

How to Get Apple Music on iOS, OS X and Windows

How to Get Apple Music on iOS, OS X and Windows

Apple Music makes its big debut today on 3 main platforms iOS, OS X, and Windows. This signifies Apple’s official move into the music streaming business since its acquired Beats. The streaming service will offer a 3-month free trial & proceed to cost $10 a month following the trial. The highly talked about service will feature millions of songs in its library & focus on some other aspects such as radio through Beats One, Connecting fans & artists, and music curation.

All that said how do you go about getting Apple Music on your specific platform?

Android/Windows Phone:

Currently Apple’s rollout of the music service will be delayed till an unannounced date for said platforms. So you’ll have to hang tight if you want to try it out.

iOS:

For all iOS users be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad its as simple as an iOS update. Going into your Settings, General, and Software Update will prompt for an iOS 8.4 update that will be required to get the all new Apple Music app. After updating you’ll be presented with the new stock app that will allow you to sign up via your Apple ID or if your a previous Beats Music subscriber you can simply login through there importing all music, playlists, and so on.

OS X/Windows:

Mac users will have to run the update via iTunes to get access to the service. Specifically iTunes 12.2. At the time of launch iTunes servers are all over the place preventing many from updating. Be patient as Apple sorts out the update & pushes it across to all OS X users. The same can be said for Windows users, you’ll need to have iTunes on your PC & update it to the latest version once the server situation is sorted in order to get access to Apple Music.

Read more about my thoughts on the Apple Music service here & enjoy then newest player in the streaming game. With a 3-month free trial you’ll surely be able to test it out to see if it’ll take place as your new go to streaming platform & or replace services such as Spotify or Tidal.