It is now simple to port iOS and Android apps to Windows 10

Articles Windows logo courtesy of Microsoft

How Microsoft Is Going To Port Everything To Windows | Gizmodo

Android applications will be able to run on Windows 10 | Android Authority

From the horse’s mouth

Microsoft

Welcome speech for Build 2015 – Blogging Windows

My Comments

Candy Crush Saga gameplay screen Android

This game has been the test-bed for porting to Windows 10

The Web has been awash with rumours about Microsoft allowing Android apps to run on Windows 10. The image projected by these rumours underscored ideas of users running Android APK program files in the Windows 10 environment or a gateway to Google Play on this operating system.

But Microsoft announced at Build 2015 conference a very different scenario that is more about developers being able to easily port iOS and Android apps to Windows 10 Universal Apps. It is part of a simplified code-porting mechanism that will come with this new operating system.

As you already know, a Windows 10 Universal app is designed from the outset to run on a regular desktop / laptop computing environment, a tablet or 2-in-1 in “tablet mode”, a smartphone or even the XBox One games console.

The process of “porting” an app to run on different computing platforms is about making sure that the program conveys a user experience that doesn’t differ no matter the platform that you are running it on. Rather it takes advantage of the bouquets that the platform provides like improved sound or graphics and is something I have seen in action through the late 1980s with games written by the likes of Sierra and Broderbund. In that era, there were a few different home / desktop computing platforms in circulation ranging from the IBM PC (MS-DOS) platform, Apple’s Apple II and Macintosh platforms, to Commodore’s legendary C64 and Amiga computer platforms and anyone who wanted to cover a large market with a games title had to port these titles across the different platforms.

Windows 10 Start Menu courtesy of Microsoft

Now easier to port from mobile platforms to this platform

Take for example “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego” which I had played on an Apple IIe and on an IBM-compatible running MS-DOS 3.3 . These games were ported in a way to take advantage of the graphics abilities the different platforms offered and were worked to give the same smooth operating environment for the platform you bought it for. If I had played that game on a Commodore Amiga, it would have come through with graphics and sound performance appropriate for that platform such as sharper graphics with many different colours along with a richer music soundtrack.

If you were to port an application or game to a different platform, you had to rewrite the program code from the ground up to target that platform. As well, you had to re-engineer all of the resources like the graphics and sound for that platform. This became a costly affair because you had to hire programmers who were conversant with your native computing platform and the target platform to do this job and make sure they run as expected on that platform. In some cases, the software may not run exactly as required nor would it properly take advantage of the platform’s assets.

Microsoft has made this process simpler courtesy of the Project Islandwood and Project Astoria software-development kits which simplify the process of porting iOS or Android apps to Windows 10 Universal Apps. These would allow the developer to reuse the iOS Objective C or Android Java/C++ code as the mechanism for the program and allow them to tweak the code to run smoothly in Windows 10, taking advantage of its assets like Cortana, Live Tiles, XBox Achievements and the like where appropriate.

They worked with King.com to use the new software-development kits to port Candy Crush Saga to Windows, having the gameplay experience on a Windows Phone similar to what was expected out of an iPhone.

What does this mean? It could allow a software developer to target iOS or Android for their programs then have it ready for the Windows platform very shortly after that without it being a costly affair..Who knows when a game like Candy Crush Saga could appear on the XBox One as a “quick-play” game to play on your TV?

Send to Kindle

Smooth looks arriving for personal electronics

Article

LG G4: hands on with the new leather-clad smartphone

LG Promotional Video

My Comments

Time to play some smooth-sounding yacht rock! Personal electronics devices are coming on the market that show a style that doesn’t look out of place in that hotel room at Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto or in that nice BMW or luxury yacht.

How is this coming about? Here, manufacturers are paying attention to how a device looks in order to make that premium device stand out. For example, Harman-Kardon had released the Esquire range of Bluetooth speakers that are finished with the leather trim on a beautiful metal finish.

Then Apple launched their Apple Watch which conveys the look of their personal-computing products and has the Edition premium variant that has that look of luxury with even a model in that variant having a gold finish. LG came up with their Watch Urbane which is the latest in a run of smartwatches offered by different vendors that have the look of a dress watch that you could wear when you want to dress to impress. This has been brought on by Swiss watchmakers like TAG Heuer considering connected watches as part of their luxury watch product lines.

Now LG has raised the bar for how a smartphone looks with their G4 Smartphone that has a lot of attention paid to its looks. One feature that has been added for some variants to have leather trim on the back of the device. Along with this, there is a carbon-fibre look on the front as part of maintaining that luscious look. Previously, one would look around for accessory cases that make a phone have that desireable look. Now this is an effort to make these devices special.

Who knows what will come about for other big-name smartphones, tablets and notebooks that will make them look the part in that C-suite office or premium hotel room. As well, it will be a chance for manufacturers to make sure that these personal-electronics products aren’t just drab and ordinary but are highly special.

Send to Kindle

DisplayLink demonstrates a USB-C dock setup for all notebooks and tablets

Article – From the horse’s mouth DisplayLink Corporate Logo courtesy of DisplayLink

DisplayLink

Press Release

My Comments

DisplayLink has extended its reference design for a “video-over-USB” setup to USB-C and designed a dock that can work with all notebooks and tablets just by having them connect to the device via a USB-A or USB-C cable.

This is hot on the heels of Apple announcing their latest MacBook Air and Google announcing their Pixel 2 Chromebook, both of which implement the new USB Type-C connector. Here, the dock will support multiple-screen video using DisplayLink technology. They also underscore the ability to use the dock (and multi-screen setup) with existing equipment courtesy of the DisplayLink standard and the legacy USB Type-A plug.

One way I see this progress is that the dock could be equipped with the USB Type-C socket and equipment that has this connection is hooked up using a Type-C cable while legacy equipment is hooked up using a Type-C-to-Type-A cable. I also see it as a way to innovate with these devices especially if we are thinking of desktop docks that come in to play when you are using a portable computer at your office.

The idea can be taken further with the dock having MHL software abilities so as to work with Android phones and serve as a simple external-screen device for all computing devices.

What I see of this is the ability for the standard to be raised when it comes to the design of “single-connect” docks or expansion-modules that make it easer to engage in desktop-portable or “work-home” computing.

Send to Kindle

Beware of fake posts and online scams relating to the Nepal earthquake

Previous coverage

Malaysia Airlines air disaster–another event bringing out the online scams

My Comments

Just lately, a disaster that has affected many people has occurred with many casualties in the form of the Nepal earthquake.

But what follows on the tail of these disasters is an avalanche of spam email and flaky social-media posts that offer extra insight or paths to assistance for people who are touched by these events. As well, it is the time when scams pretending to be charity appeals intending to provide aid to the victims of this earthquake also appear on the Internet. It is something I have drawn attention to previously when there was the Malaysian Airlines MH370 air disaster which drew out these scams and am drawing attention to in relation to the latest earthquake. But they lead you to malware or to harvest users’ personal or financial details. In these situations, it pays to think before you click on that link so you are safe with the Net.

Check for legitimate resources that offer information about your relatives’ or friends’ wellbeing and some of these could include Nepalese consulates in your area, the Red Cross or similar services and work with them “from the horse’s mouth”. That means to deal with official websites that are known to the public and are usually published by the media as part of their coverage on the issue.

Facebook does offer a legitimate Safety Check service which comes in to play during civil emergencies. Here, it would identify if one was in an affected geographical area and allow the person to interact with them to know if they are safe and this status would appear in your Facebook Friends’ news feed. For that concerned person, they would be able to check on the News Feed for their relative’s or friend’s status. But be careful of any “fake friends” that appear around the time of this disaster and any post from a friend of yours that isn’t known to be in the area but is out of order should be questioned.

As for charity appeals, most of the media provide information about legitimate fundraising efforts that are taking place so you don’t get fleeced easily.

What to do is to be aware and careful with using the Internet to find details about who is affected by a major event and check with trusted resources.

Send to Kindle

Acer to launch a gaming tablet

Articles

Acer Makes Bold Move With Predator Gaming Tablet … But Is It A Wise One? | Tech Times

Acer Attacks Gaming Market With Predator Series Desktop, Laptops, Tablet, And G-Sync Monitor | Tom’s Hardware

Tablette gamer Predator chez Acer | Ere Numérique.fr (France – French language / Langue Française)

From the horse’s mouth

Acer

next@Acer global consumer press release (North America)

My Comments

Acer is trying to get their claws in to the gaming-computer market by announcing the release of more game-focused computer products. One product that drew press attention was their Predator gaming tablet which is intended to be a mobile gaming answer to the NVIDIA Shield mobile-gaming platform.

This is part of building out the Predator game-focused computer product line from desktops to notebooks and tablets. The Predator gaming tablet is also in response to mobile devices being seen as part of the core gaming scene rather than something to play casual games on.

This will have the specifications for premium 8” Android tablet but even have four speakers up front as an attempt to convey the effects to the player. It will also implement haptic feedback to simulate gaming environments. Of course, for a gaming product, it will convey the Predator “rough-and-ready” design language including a rubberised back with the Predator logo on it. As well the display will exploit IPS technology along with 178-degree viewing angles to exploit the ability to swivel the device through gameplay.

The question to raise is whether Acer would offer the tablet that has the real performance that a core mobile gamer would value especially if it is to displace the handheld games consoles of the PlayStation Vita ilk or to displace the NVIDIA-Shield-based gaming platform. Similarly, could this be a chance to bring “enthusiast-grade” gaming to the mobile devices and have this go for gaming while travelling?

Send to Kindle

Why we use our mobile devices while watching TV?

Article

Sports scoreboard app

The smartphone as a companion to one’s TV watching

The Couch Potato is Extinct | The Digital Den (Seagate)

My Comments

When we watch TV or video content, we keep our smartphones or tablets with us and, in some cases, use them. A very common time when this happens is during the commercial breaks on real-time TV, which isn’t just a time to go to the kitchen or bathroom.

Why do we do this?

Communications with other people

We would use the smartphone to check on email or social-network activity; or place one or more phone calls. This may be including the idea about giving our friends a running commentary about what we are watching, something that would happen a lot with reality TV or a drama series.

A resource to verify facts

IMDB Android

Check out which other movies or TV shows they starred in

During a sportscast, we could use a scoreboard app to verify sports scores or use apps like that scoreboard app, Google or Wikipedia to chase down facts about the contestant who is participating in the game itself or facts simply about the game. This may include the rules of the game, where everyone stands in the game or the league itself.

During other entertainment, one could use Google, Wikipedia or IMDB to find out more about an actor such as what other TV shows or films they appeared in. This may be a way for one to settle an argument with someone who thinks they are the armchair expert on the particular kind of content. You may also want to know more about a particular concept that is being featured in the show. For example, you may want to use Wikipedia to find out about a legal concept that is applied in the country where the show is but isn’t applied locally or applied in a different manner, or a medical condition or procedure highlighted in that TV drama.

How did that match go?

How did that match go?

Even during the advertisements, we may want to check the veracity of an offer that is being advertised. This may include finding out where there are better offers or learn more about the products and services that are being touted by the barker on the commercial.

In a lot of cases, some of us may want to “make hay while the sun shines” in relation to the advertisements. This could be to claim a coupon, enter a sweepstakes that is part of the advertising campaign or simply take up on the offer being advertised.

How is this trend being capitalised on by the TV industry?

Shazam for Android

Shazam now used by some TV advertisers as a gateway to offers

Increasingly the TV industry is exploiting the mobile device as a “second-screen” to provide varying levels of interactivity in relation to the content. This is because most TV-viewing setups aren’t conducive to interactive-TV because of factors like inconsistent implementation or restriction of users’ control experiences.

One path that the TV industry are using to capitalise on us using mobile devices while watching TV is to interlink social media with TV shows. This is typically with public affairs shows, panel shows, reality TV and the like where selected comments from one or more social-media feeds are read out by the compere or shown on screen either as a dedicated slide or, more often, as scrolling text at the bottom.

Another path that is being exploited by cooking-themed TV shows, whether they be magazine shows of the “Better Homes And Gardens” ilk or competitive reality shows of the MasterChef ilk is to make the recipes and other information available on the show’s website. Here, people can then read further on that show or obtain the recipe’s details so they can cook whatever tantalised their tastebuds.

Other shows exploit this by providing such resources as extended-length interviews, factsheets, resource lists and the like to benefit the viewers who want to follow up on the show and what it was talking about. Even drama and comedy shows make use of their Webpages to provide a way for users to become familiar with the show’s characters and main storyline or simply for fans of these shows to link with it.

Some advertisers are exploiting Shazam and similar software as a tool to link the mobile display to the ad they are running at the moment. It would include such things as access to downloadable resources related to that campaign or simply a persistent “show-more-details” Webpage. This is to ascertain the effect of their campaign and which market segments it is touching. This may also be used be people who are watching broadcast content that is recorded on a PVR and may choose to act on certain campaigns that were recorded as part of the TV show.

Conclusion

The smartphone and tablet are now considered as companion devices for your TV viewing even if you are viewing it on the big screen.

Send to Kindle

Android Wear gains more functionality

Articles

Samsung Gear Live Black Android Wear smartwatch press image courtesy of Samsung

The next iteration of Android Wear adds Wi-Fi to the smartwatch platform

Android Wear gains Wi-Fi, wrist gestures, and always-on apps | SmarterWatching

Android Wear getting big update with Wi-Fi, always-on apps, and more  | Android Authority

From the horse’s mouth

Google Android

Android Wear: wear what you want, get what you need  (Blog Post)

My Comments

A new version of the Google Android Wear wearables pllatform is being rolled out in the coming weeks which will acquire some major functionality improvements. There is talk of having this version rolled out in the coming weeks for most Android Wear devices and an increased likelihood of it appearing in newer watches.

One will be the ability to support an always-on screen with always-on apps like a traditional watch. Here, the apps can show a high-contrast power-efficient display rather than going blank when the the smartwatch isn’t being interacted with so you are able to glance at them for data.

This also ties in with different ways to gain access to other information on your Android Wear smartwatch. Firstly, you can flick your wrist to switch between cards on the display rather than brushing the watch’s face to change app cards. Similarly you can touch the screen in certain ways to show the apps you have or your contacts on your smartwatch.

As we become more addicted to using emoticons and emoji, we can hand-draw the emoticons on the watch face to show up the ones we want in our messages.

But, as far as connectivity is concerned, the new version of Android Wear has support for Wi-FI wireless networking. This is implemented in a way where you don’t even need to have your phone or smartwatch on the same logical network as each other and you can even gain access to your somartphone from your watch even if it is on a mobile-broadband connection. This could encourage smartwatch manufacturers and silicon designers to design Wi-Fi chipsets that consume very little battery power in order to obtain this functionality.

The question I have about this feature is how it will cope with public-access wireless hotspots especially where most will implement the Web-based authentication and provisioning process. Personally, I would like to see “out-of-box” support for Wi-Fi Passpoint technology with this new version of Android Wear to facilitate seamless authentication on suitable networks.

Personally, I see the new version of Android Wear as a sign that Google is putting faith in the idea of integrating Wi-Fi in to smartwatches and other wearables along with simplifying the operation of these devices.

Send to Kindle

NBN to raise the bandwidth on wireless-broadband

Article

Tarcutta Halfway Motor Inn

Small rural businesses like this motel will benefit from the increase in bandwidth provided through NBN’s fixed-wireless broadband service

NBN Co to trial faster fixed wireless | IT News

From the horse’s mouth

National Broadband Network

Press Release

My Comments

The National Broadband Network is rolling out to most of rural Australia a fixed-wireless broadband service. This is based around towers scattered around the country areas which provide a radio link to a fixed-wireless modem that is installed at the customer’s premises and connected to their network’s router.

This connection has been rated at 25Mbps for the top-tier broadband offering has now had this bandwidth speed raised to 50Mbps down and 20Mbps up for this same package. It is being offered on a trial basis with the goal of having this improvement available in full production in the fourth quarter of the year. These are typically “headline” link speeds that can be achieved under ideal situations.

The goal is to expose to the rural community the kind of speeds most of us who live in urban areas and have properly-behaving ADSL2+ setups take for granted. This would lead to something that would suit most Internet activities that would benefit these communities, well more than an ADSL service provided using a DSLAM at the exchange that is connected to long-run decrepit telephone infrastructure that seems to be the order of the day for these users.

Personally, I would like to know what real improvement will there be for most country properties when the throughput is increased. But I would see this also making Internet real for people living or working in the country.

Send to Kindle

The Net Neutrality battle comes to Australia courtesy of Optus

Articles

Netflix official logo - courtesy of Netflix

Optus considers breaking net neutrality in Australia | IT News

Optus may charge Netflix and streaming services for video quality | Mashable

Optus Wants Netflix To Pay For ‘Premium Service’ Over Its Network | Gizmodo

Optus wants Netflix to pay up to ensure quality video streaming | Digital Life (Sydney Morning Herald)

My Comments

There has been a huge stoush in the USA between the established cable companies and telcos versus the Internet content providers, Internet users and the FCC regarding the issue of Net Neutrality.

This principle is where an Internet service provider can’t charge an internet content provider like Netflix for better throughput to their customers. This has got to the point where the FCC and President Obama had pushed for the Internet to be deemed a utility service in a similar vein to the telephone service. But this is being subject to a legal challenge which is being watched by a lot of the Internet operators over here as well as in the USA.

Now Optus have thrown the possibility of charging Netflix, Stan & Co a premium fee for higher throughput to their customers as one of many ways to cater for the arrival of streamed on-demand video via the Internet. The argument that is pitched is that customers will complain to their ISP rather than the OTT video provider or catch-up TV service if the experience with their video-on-demand service isn’t up-to-snuff.

Like in the USA, Netflix has been standing for Net Neutrality thus wouldn’t go for any unmetered data arrangements with any of the Australian ISPs. So they wouldn’t go for Optus’s arrangement of whoever pays the piper plays the tune.

Issues were also being raised about the cost and availability of wholesale and retail bandwidth in the Australian market especially in the face of video-on-demand becoming more popular thanks to Netflix and co. This will also include factoring in quality-of-service for content streaming so as to avoid “glitches” through viewing sessions along with catering for higher resolution video content.

It certainly is showing that Australia is needing to cope with a higher demand for real broadband with the proper throughput and this has to be provided in a highly-competitive manner and with assurance of Net Neutrality and quality-of-service.

Send to Kindle

Microsoft implements Internet of Things to support ageing at home

Article – From the horse’s mouth

Lab Of Things Helping Seniors Who Live Alone | Microsoft Research

My Comments

I have provided a lot of coverage regarding the concept of technology assisting the “ageing at home” principle where older and infirm people can stay at home and live in dignity knowing that the people close to them and their carers can act as a safety net for them.

Here, I had covered technology being used to guide seniors with shopping and food-preparation along with use of existing technology like cameras for medical observation. I have also covered in an article about CSIRO doing research in this field with a view of using the “Internet Of Everything” technology like energy sensors, movement sensors and smart locks to assess whether someone is keeping well such as knowing if they are going in to the kitchen to keep themselves nourished or if they are surfacing and going outside to collect the paper or mail.

Microsoft is working with their research laboratories in China to address the issue of ageing at home in the Asian communities. This is because these communities are becoming increasingly older like most of the world thanks to the good healthcare that is being made available to them.

Here, they are identifying how older people who are living independently at home coping, including factoring in cultural issues. They are also implementing robotics to build a medical-supplies trolley to serve the medicines that these people will need at the proper times as well as shoehorning the Kinect movement sensor as a fall sensor to detect if one is falling or convulsing.

The medicine trolley doesn’t just work with medicines that require regular doses but also can work with medicines that are taken in response to symptoms like asthma attacks and is based around knowing what the symptoms will look like. The Kinect sensor as a fall sensor has to work in a manner to assure personal privacy which is important because of the fact that some of these falls or convulsions can occur when one is using the bathroom or toilet and these devices could be located there.

What I see of this is various technologies that make use of the computer, the home network and the Internet Of Everything are being used to create a safety net for older people or people with chronic illnesses who want to preserve independence and dignity.

Send to Kindle

Page 1 of 137123456»102030...Last »

Sponsors

HomeNetworking01.Info

Latest PDF issue
Homenetworking01.info website reputation