Prepping our Barcelona gear. Should I pack a Windows tablet?

Mobile World Congress could get interesting this year because quite a few of us will be out there and we all have pretty different ideas on the best way to get content onto the web quickly and effectively. For the simplicity, battery life and quickness, you’ll probably already know that I’m using a Chromebook. However, after getting a bit of time with the Windows-powered Acer Aspire Switch 10, I now have the slightly larger Switch 11. It’s a device that doubles as a tablet and a netbook and it’s certainly intrigued me.

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Recently Garry, who’ll be out in Barcelona too, went for another Windows tablet, and it’s the daddy of them – the  Microsoft Surface Pro 3.. It comes with a 12 inch screen, 128GB of memory and is the newest and neatest member of the family. It’s designed to behave like both a sheet of paper and a laptop computer, with a stylus that feels and writes like a pen, and a neat cover plus keyboard as an optional add-on. You can even rest your hand on the screen as you write without disrupting your work. There’s a USB port and a microSD card slot, and you can install heavyweight software like the Office suite, making this a great business tool as well as entertainment hub.

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Other Windows tablets under consideration include the slim, lightweight Lenovo ThinkPad 10.1 Multimode, which has a slightly smaller screen than the Microsoft Surface, but enough extras to give it some serious business computing power. That one includes a front facing webcam and an 8 megapixel rear camera for photos and video, while optional additions include a keyboard and pen type stylus.

I still tend to base a lot of my decisions on the design of the tablet, and devices like the Yoga 2 from Lenovo, another Windows tablet, left a definite impression with me purely due to the way it looks. It comes with a 500GB drive and felt quick with a lightweight feel and great size. The battery life was very decent too, which is ideal when you’re in a long press conference and need all-day power.

Then again, perhaps I should be looking at another one of our past reviews, the Nokia Lumia 2520. This one has a glorious screen, 4G on-board and a microSD slot for additional space. This one runs Windows RT though, although the spec is still good with a quad-core 2.2GHz CPU and that 1080×1920 pixel screen.

Although I’m still a Chromebook user and, as yet, haven’t totally migrated over to an iPad or Windows tablet, I think it might just be worth me taking a Windows tablet onto the flight, even if it’s to push me into using one full-on so that I can get a really good feel of the OS under pressure.

The post Prepping our Barcelona gear. Should I pack a Windows tablet? is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Google explains why it’s not fixing web security in old Android phones

    Android Cupcake, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean statues

    You might not be happy that Google isn't fixing a web security flaw in your older Android phone, but the search giant now says that it has some good reasons for holding off. As the company's Adrian Ludwig explains, it's no longer viable to "safely" patch vulnerable, pre-Android 4.4 versions of WebView (a framework that lets apps show websites without a separate browser) to prevent remote attacks. The sheer amount of necessary code changes would create legions of problems, he claims, especially since developers are introducing "thousands" of tweaks to the open source software every month.

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    Via: Android Police, Wall Street Journal

    Source: Adrian Ludwig (Google+)

    Chrome for iOS plays nicely with Mac browsers, big iPhones

    Chrome 40 on an iPhone 6

    At long last, Google has overhauled its Chrome browser for iOS to fit into the company's Material Design language -- and thankfully, it's a lot more than a fresh coat of paint. The newly released Chrome 40 gives you the expected bright colors, flat surfaces and fancy animations of Google's latest interface philosophy, but its big deal is rich support for iOS 8. The app is now fully compatible with larger iPhones, and it'll hand off web links to the preferred browser on your Mac (if you're running OS X Yosemite, that is). If you're a fan of Chrome but wish that it fit better into Apple's world, you'll want to swing by the App Store for the update.

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    Via: 9to5Mac

    Source: App Store, Chrome Releases

    Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio Review

    The Question: How do you make a lightweight and portable tablet productive? Well apart from adding the appropriate software like MS Office or Google Docs, the other way is to add a keyboard case/dock. That is exactly what I have done with the Nexus 9; I have added the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio.

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    Design and Usage
    So how is it then? Well the first thing is learning to type on that smaller keyboard which takes quite a bit of time. I am writing this review on the Folio right now and once that initial adjustment has been made you can get a reasonable typing speed however don’t expect to be typo free for a while!

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    Bearing in mind that the case is set into a 9 inch case it is really not that bad, and if you were able to type on the old style netbooks then you will be good here. Fortunately for me I am not a touch typist but I do find that having used bigger keyboards like the Surface Pro 3 and the like it is not as nice an experience. What would really help here is if there was any sort of intelligent text correction like you get on the normal on-screen keyboard as this would really help to improve overall speed of text entry. The key travel and pitch is actually really nice considering how thing and light this folio is HTC/Google have done a really good job here to get a decent throw on the keys. That is enough of the keyboard… How is it as a case?

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    As you can see from the pics, the case will add a bit of bulk to the tablet but it is not too bad and it feels much more compact than some of the other solutions that I have seen. The magnets that hold the tablet in its two standing positions are very strong and you can pick up the whole thing from the tablet without fear of the keyboard falling off. Changing between stand modes actually not that unpleasant to do.
    When closed, the case will be placing the screen downward onto the keys which is worrying as I am concerned that over time the keyboard will mark the screen. There is also some slippage when the case is closed as there is no way to hold the case in place when shut. As a deal breaker, I am undecided at the moment I will have too give it a few days in my bag to test its durability.

    Google have shown the way with how the keyboard gets paired as it couldn’t be easier. All the user needs to do is tap the top of the Nexus onto the hinge of spine of the keyboard (which also contains the battery) and this then sets up the Bluetooth pairing. This is how easy it should be and other manufacturers need to take note, however I do still prefer the way that the Surface Pro 3 makes the connection by the docking connector. I would have loved to see that here on the Nexus 9 but it is not to be yet.

    Conclusion
    I have been pretty impressed with the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio. The real problem that this bit of kit has is that Google have gone and stuck a ridiculous price on it. This board is not worth £110 under any circumstances. The keyboard is missing a vital element for something of this price – a backlight. This makes usage of the keyboard limited as you will need to have good lighting to use it. Come on Google/HTC, if Microsoft can do it then so can you. I also think that the size is going to be a concern for a lot of people and it may even put some people off (if the price doesn’t). So in conclusion if you are a Nexus 9 owner and you really must have a keyboard then this will do the job but try and find one for a lower price than Google’s or wait until they have a sale. If however you have a smaller budget and you don’t want the fancy NFC pairing setup and the magnetic stand then there are other options out there. Verdict? Close, but not close enough.

    The post Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.

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  • Samsung’s newly hired design chief hails from Jony Ive’s old studio

    Samsung may be looking for a design overhaul soon, and it picked someone from the outside to lend a hand. Lee Don-tae is the Korean tech giant's new global design chief, who will report to Samsung Electronics President Yoon Boo-keun and work from the company's Design Management Center. Lee Don-tae is a former CEO of Tangerine, a London-based design studio founded by none other than Apple's aesthetic guru Jony Ive. His work includes an S-shaped redesign of the British Airways business class cabin, a layout that created enough space for the seats to lie flat.

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    Source: Korea JoongAng Daily, The Korea Herald

    Google’s Android launcher lets you pretend you’re using Lollipop

    Nexus 5 with Lollipop

    So you're still waiting for your Android phone's upgrade to Lollipop, and you don't want to look behind the times when your Nexus-toting friends show up. What to do? As of today, you only need to make sure you're using both the Google Now Launcher and a new version of Google's search app. The update gives you some of Lollipop's Material Design look in the Google search bar, app tray and some animations; previously, the launcher mimicked whatever version of Android you were running. This is largely a cosmetic tweak and won't really make you forget about all the Android 5.0 features you're missing, but it could tide you over for a short while.

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    Via: Android Central

    Source: Google Play (Now Launcher), (Search)

    Here’s how accessories will use your iPhone’s Lightning port

    The Lightning port on an iPhone 6 Plus

    Apple already lets accessory makers use the Lightning port on iOS devices for headphones. However, it's reportedly close to opening the floodgates to more devices... and if 9to5Mac's leaked specs are accurate, the company will let these peripherals do more that you might expect. Lightning lets the iPhone send power and data to everything from game controllers to speakers, but it should also let you pass through other accessories at the same time. A dock could charge and sync your iPhone while you listen to music without needing a mess of extra cables, for instance. The connector should also charge battery-powered gear faster than the standard USB cables you use today.

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    Source: 9to5Mac

    CBS News’ iOS app now lets you watch its online-only network

    CBSN live news in CBS' iOS app

    You no longer have to sit at your computer to watch CBS' online news network. The broadcaster has overhauled the CBS News iOS app with both a fresh interface and more video options, including CBSN's live and on-demand feeds. It's now easier to follow a breaking story on your iPhone, or to catch up on the day's events from your iPad. The improvements aren't limited to video, either -- there's more in-depth coverage for both major and developing stories, and full-screen photo galleries give you a better sense of what it was like to be there in person. Yes, you can use authenticated apps from channels and TV providers (not to mention Dish's new Sling TV service) to get similar up-to-the-minute coverage, but CBS News is free. At the least, it won't hurt to give this a try.

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    Source: App Store

    You’re more likely to listen to Spotify on mobile devices than a PC

    Spotify on an iPhone 6

    When's the last time you listened to Spotify on your PC? It might have been a while, according to the company's latest stats. The streaming music service says that 52 percent of listening now takes place on phones (42 percent) or tablets (10 percent). It's not clear how many people listen primarily on these devices, but there's little doubt that both free shuffle-only mobile streaming and carrier bundles played a big part in the shift. Those who use both mobile and desktop apps tend to listen a while, too -- they stream an average of 150 minutes every day, or longer than two large albums. With that kind of interest, don't be surprised if Spotify takes a page from Facebook and pours more of its energy into your away-from-home experience.

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    Source: TechCrunch

    Microsoft’s Office preview for Android tablets is now available to everyone

    PowerPoint on an Android tablet

    If you've wanted to try the preview of Office for Android tablets during its brief history, you've had to request to join a Google+ group. That's not the hardest thing to do, but do you really want to participate in a special club (and in some cases, sign up for Google+) just to try some productivity apps a little early? As of now, you don't have to. Microsoft has posted the previews of Excel, PowerPoint and Word on Google Play, so you can download them like you would any other app. The only major requirements are that your slate runs at least Android 4.4 KitKat and that you're comfortable with less-than-polished software. You may not want to finish an important report with these releases, then, but it's now easy to experiment with the new Office suite before it's completely ready.

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    Via: Office Blogs

    Source: Google Play (Excel), (PowerPoint), (Word)