PO Box 4206, Ainslie, ACT, 2602

Technology News January 2016

Technology News

Happy New Year and welcome to Technology News January 2016.

Let’s recap what has happened in the Technology World in January.


January Update Stories:

On the 16th, Windows 8 lost full support from Microsoft. Getting rid of it was a great idea. If you are on Windows 8 still, why would you be? You can still upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free or even Windows 10 (requires 8.1).

Windows 8.1 alone has a lot more features, stability and power than Windows 8. One other big thing is Security.

You will not be getting any kind of Security patches with Windows 8, meaning you will expose yourself to Malicious things, even if you have 3rd party software.

To upgrade to Windows 8.1, visit the Windows Store App.

Intel’s new Chipset – Skylake, is set to be compatible with Windows 10 only, with some versions allowing Windows 7 or 8.1.

Business users who buy new PCs may want or need to run an older version of Windows because of policy, upgrade schedules, legacy applications, peripheral compatibility and other various reasons.

Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake chips, will require Windows 10. For the Windows 7 and 8.1 capable chips being made along side them, Microsoft will guarantee support for these machines only for 18 months, being mid 2017.

Two choices are now present:

  1. Buy into older Generation Hardware that supports all versions of Windows leaving you no room for future proofing for a few years.
  2. Make the move to the newer hardware, making sure your business is prepared for it first.

So why the changes?

For one, the Windows Operating System does not last forever in terms of zero bugs, support and vulnerabilities.
Two, Microsoft’s shift to support and focus on the one System makes things a lot easier for them, but also Manufacturers and Developers.

Windows XP has gone well over its support yet we still see it being run across the globe. We must all understand that nothing lasts forever, One Direction fans had the shock of their lives with the split and disbanding, it goes for Windows as well. We must depart from the old and embrace the new.

Full support ends on the following for each Version:

  • Windows Vista – April, 2017
  • Windows 7 – January, 2020
  • Windows 8.1 – January, 2023
  • Windows 10 – Technically has no end as it is the “Final Version”

Microsoft has called for a Recall on Surface Power Cables.

As noted on the Microsoft Support page for this issue and where you can register for a replacement:

Microsoft AC power cord recall for Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and certain Surface Pro 3 devices

Damage may occur over time if AC power cords are sharply and repeatedly bent or tightly wrapped, for example. Examples of damage include cracking, fraying or bulging.

They also says that you should replace the cables with them, even if you cannot see any damage.

Here is the comparison of the Old and New Cables:


Left: Old Cable | Right: New Cable

Am I Affected?

Anybody with a Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 will need theirs replaced.
Surface Pro 3 owners, you would of had to have purchased your Surface Pro 3 before 15th July 2015 to have the faulty cable, SP3 users after that date will have the new cable already as shown above, so you are safe.

We suggest filling in the form on the support page and get yours replaced ASAP.

Any questions you have about the situation should be found on the page, otherwise contact Microsoft.

Microsoft Cable Support Site

Microsoft hasn’t been doing too well with Windows Mobile 10 and more so, the Lumia range.

Microsoft has done worse this year than they did last year.

The question is, Why?

Many of you may of had a reason pop up in your head. You may likely be right.

The two biggest things is, Marketing & Apps.

Nobody can really say its the Hardware. In-fact, you could arguably say that the latest 950/950XL is on par or can exceed – in parts, some of the big, popular brands like Sony, Samsung or Apple.

You can see that iPhone & Android devices pretty much do the same things, apart from certain Hardware differences and some Software differences. This conclusion is in the form of the visuals.

With iOS on the left, Android one the right. It might not be exactly the same, but in general, they are.

You have the Major apps at the bottom, which includes the Phone Icon to make calls.
These apps have the Dot Navigation above for each page.

Above that is the apps. Defaults shown for their OS.

Despite iPhone has Rounded square apps and Android round, including icon pictures being different, they are pretty much the same.

The details of every aspect of each System is different but follow pretty much the same basic principles. This was a good move for when Android first started, and continues people to convert. Similarities.

For Windows Phone however, you are given this:

Unless you are new to Smartphones and have never used iPhone or Android or are good at adapting and learning at a high rate, then most peoples first thought is:

This is hard to grasp!

And yet, they are square, tiled versions of apps, with icon pictures and names, just the layout is tiles rather side by side apps and pages.

Swipe to the left, you get the list of installed apps.

Swipe down, you get pretty much all the shortcuts and settings you find on Android or iOS.

Most of you will likely be a Windows PC user, and if you have installed Windows 10, you will notice the Settings look the same as the PC, only in a list, unless you turn the phone sideways, then look at it again, it will look even more familiar. Upon further inspection, you will see a Mobile Optimized version of your PC’s Operating System.

If you learn Windows 10, you will have no trouble with Windows Mobile 10.
If you use Windows 8.1 and the tiles, you should be fine with Mobile 10.

Just pointing that out, you can see it isn’t all that bad. All Hardware is pretty evenly matched, of which many of you would not even worry about the nitty gritty.
The focus on Hardware is the things like Fingerprint Scanners, Iris Scanners, Force Touch or the Edge Screen on a Samsung.

So what is it?

It must be the Apps…

Well… there is a small list of major apps not yet on Windows Phone, such as Snapchat and Tinder. Yet, most of the popular, regular daily drivers like Facebook and such is on all platforms. But since the shift to Google Services that we see today, especially thanks to Chrome smashing Internet Explorer and Android being a Google Service vessel. Google apps are the only big things that can make Windows Mobile 10 get there.

The biggest Services Microsoft have over Google are OneDrive & Office. Apple like to force you to use their apps more than 3rd party, so it is a good convincing tactic to not worry about the threats of Apple and get people to use Android.
However, Google have stopped allowing any Google Service or App running properly or at all on Windows Mobile, otherwise you will have everything many commonly use on the wrong platform with no need to move to Android.

Add the missing Mainstream Apps, Universal App & Continuum Features, Windows Mobile 10 would become the ultimate device.

That was just a small summary of the Capabilities of Windows Mobile 10. If you didn’t know any of those things or some, you can only conclude the last basic thing that stops Windows Mobile 10 and the Hardware from being more popular:

It is Advertising.

Outlook (formally Hotmail) Email: has gotten better over time, losing all the negativity it may of had on you to move to another Email Client, unless you moved to e.g. Gmail for the Google Services.
But Outlook supports a lot more features than Gmail & other clients regardless.

OneDrive: smashes Google Drive any day. Most non-Microsoft Service users use Dropbox as the Alternate method, which you can argue who is better, but with other integration’s (if used), Dropbox cannot win.

Google Search: Hands down smashes any competition.

Google Maps: Hands down smashes any competition. Some do like the 3D Cities as something different to Google’s “Street View”.

Microsoft Office: You would be silly to ever think another suite is as good or better than MS.

Chrome: It is a memory eater on PC. We have had crashes and slowness many times over Internet Explorer 11. Firefox is no different. The Edge Browser is still turning heads and giving the competition, even its partner IE 11 a run for its money. The only downfall currently is indeed no Extension/Plugin Support, which may be rectified in the up-coming Update, codenamed “Redstone”.

If you combine Services of Microsoft & Google, add missing Apps, use alternatives of Apps Apple have that Google & Windows cannot have on their phones, you would have a brilliant Phone.

Now if you are thinking:

Microsoft have their apps on Android/Apple

Well the reason why Google needs to come to Windows Mobile instead of the other way around?

Security, Continuum & Universal Apps.

Nothing is 100% safe, but Android is not high in the “Most Secured” List.

Continuum & Universal Apps are Core to Windows 10. It will be most certainly complicated to implement them to Android and communicate well with Windows 10 PC’s.

This is a small part of what we see in the Apple vs Android vs Windows Mobile argument.

If you can, take a tour of a Windows Mobile 10 Device. Or even better, use it as your main daily driver for a month or two.

You can still use your Google/Apple Services where possible, but consider using Microsoft Services & Apps to maximize your experience.

Experiencing it for yourself is a lot better than judging something by what others say (IN MOST CASES! NOT ALL!).

This goes for anyone who uses the same device and has never experienced the competitors in a thorough way.

Let us know what you think.

  • What is holding Windows Mobile 10 Devices back?
  • What do you use?
  • Have you used all Platforms before?

Comment Below.

Skype has had a very interesting update. It can now translate languages to your native tongue. This might not sound that interesting… yet, especially if you think more than 50 languages on Instant Messages is good to have, but its text translations.

Microsoft introduced Voice-to-Voice Translation!

When Video Calling, you can speak Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish and it will be translated into whatever supported language you speak.


Talks of an iPhone 7 & 7 Plus has been rumbling the web for a while now.

The latest rumors suggest Apple is removing the 3.5mm Headphone Jack!
This move is all in the name of making the new phone super thin.

So what then?

Well it seems the “planned” alternative is going Wireless or using a Lightning Port.

To do this, you would expect Apple to at least bundle something, but you would likely need to purchase a expensive accessory as per usual.

Apple likes to go thin. Latest PC’s have no Optical Drives and the newest Macbook has a single USB Type C Port that handles everything, especially when you get… you guessed it, an accessory to handle older USB Devices and connections.

The only good thing that comes out of it is the fact that the 3.5mm jack is still analog. Everything else suggested will be Digital Audio, which equals better sound, unless you are into the FAD of Record Players…

The next rumor is Hardware based to coax people into upgrading their old iPhones and/or jump ship from the competitors.

In the recent months, Apple have missed its mark in selling iPhones by nearly 2 million. 74 million is still a lot, but when it comes to Wall Street, its a big deal. It would seem like we are finally slowing down on the excitement of iPhones, which is being blamed on the underwhelming 6S & 6S Plus.

The new feature to get Apple back on track is “Duel Lens”.

The iPhone 7 Plus may come with 2 rear facing cameras.

According KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a note, that website “AppleInsider” obtained, states talks of the duel rear cameras and its details.

This rumor isn’t all that new. Back in 2014, Apple was rumored to have already been working on this feature. Not only that, but it was looked at likely being put on the iPhone 6S. Indeed, this never happened.

So what are the details?

It is being said that the cameras would have 12 megapixel lens, one supporting Optical Image Stabilization and a wider field of view, while the other will have a 2-3x Optical Zoom capability.

It will likely require the Plus version to carry it, which will then require something good for the smaller version and its camera to make getting an iPhone 7 more appealing. They may also have a single lens version of the Plus, making the Duel Lens the “Top of the Line” version.

With these rumors, what do you think about the prospects of the new iPhone 7? Will you upgrade or convert?

Comment Below.

iPhone 7 will likely debut around September, per Apple’s usual release date.

iOS 9.3 is nearly out. Here is some of the features you will see in 9.3.

Night Shift

Apple’s trying to help you get better night’s sleep with Night Shift, a setting that changes the colors on the screen at night.

Researchers believe that blue light emitted by LED screens halts the production of melatonin, the hormone that tells our brains to sleep. Switching from bright white and blue undertones to warmer colors (like red, orange and yellow) is said to be easier on your eyes and allow your body to fall asleep naturally.

News App Update

The News app is being updated to give you stories more tailored to you and your interests. This is something Microsoft made sure you could do and get with Cortana and their News app for Windows 10/Mobile 10, of which Microsoft released their own iOS version called “News Pro” to compete with Apple.

Notes App Update

Notes will now allow you to password protect your notes, keeping your private notes safe.
You will also be able to sort notes by Date & Title… in 2016.

Live Photos Update

Apple’s Live Photo, introduced on the iPhone 6S & 6S Plus. It was already bad enough to bring Live Photo’s and Wallet to their platform and without batting an eye, ignored the fact they are Microsoft Windows Mobile Apps & Features, then allowing Apple fans to call Apple “innovative”. The new feature that Live Photos can do (that is on Windows Mobile, and with less effort) is to be able to save the still image of the live photo so you can edit it and use it as a still. Until now, you will need to disable the feature to get still photos. You could only have one or the other.

To do it:

  1. Tap the share button while viewing the Live Photo
  2. Scroll all the way down the list until you find “Duplicate”, press it.
  3. A prompt will appear to ask to “Duplicate as Still Photo”.
  4. Accept it, and you will have a saved image from the Live Photo as a copy.
  5. You can now goto that photo
  6. Edit it.
  7. Save it

You now have the Live Photo and Still you want.

For Windows Mobile:

  1. Goto to the Live Photo
  2. Open up the Menu and select an editor of whatever edit app you have.
  3. Edit it how you want
  4. Hit the save button

You now have the Live Photo and Still you want.


Still waiting for the new Marshmallow Update? You ain’t the only one.

The blame can be put on two people, your Carrier (Optus, Telstra) and Manufacturers. They must take the time and test the update on devices before releasing it, otherwise you might run into issues.

Marshmallow was released back in October 2015, so it has been awhile to start seeing the push. According to Google’s Platform Deployment Chart, as of February 1st, Marshmallow is on only 1.2% of devices.

The only ones that could bring the updates to their phones during the release date was indeed Google and their Nexus Phones.
Google’s latest devices like the 5X and 6P came pre-installed with Marshmallow, but upon the Updates release, it didn’t take long for older Nexus to retrieve the update.

The good news is, atleast Marshmallow gained traction early. Lollipop released in November 2014, and according to blog site – Android Police, Lollipop didn’t even show up in the stats in January 2015, it wasn’t until February that the stats showed progress.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai just announced that the annual I/O developer’s conference has been scheduled for May 18th through the 20th with a tweet. The venue this year has changed. It will be held in Google’s Hometown – Mountain View, the the Shoreline Ampitheatre.

The event was usually held in San Francisco, but holding it in their Hometown will allow them to better demonstrate “Self Driving Cars & Delivery Drones” they have been working on.

Another big part of I/O is the announcement of Major Android Updates. Last year we saw Android M – now Marshmallow. We may also see new Hardware but hopefully an answer to the rumored Chrome OS/Android Blending.

More details on the event will come soon. We will keep you up-to-date on any new news regarding I/O and we will cover the event through our Live Blog & Recap.

Oracle’s lagging Lawsuit against Google for Copyright Infringement revealed at the January 14 hearing, that Google paid $1 Billion to Apple in 2014 to make sure Google’s Search Bar is on every iOS device and used as the main sources of Search from every user.

Just like Microsoft makes sure their brand is on every platform, Google is willing to pay, and pay the big bucks to keep their Services the most popular.

You can read more about the hearing and Google’s “furious” moment when a percentage of 34% popped up – [on (Archived)].

Back on Technology News October 2015, we told you a story of a man who purchased for $12USD – Sanmay Ved. Google revealed they tried to pay Ved a reward for his efforts in finding the bug. The amount they attempted was to spell out something obviously related to the Child Company of Alphabet… the cheque read: $6,006.13. If you have trouble seeing it, it was an attempt to spell “Google” in numbered form.

Indeed Ved was happy, but he didn’t want to have it, instead telling them he would donate it to the Art of Living India foundation which runs free schools for children in poverty-stricken areas of India.

Google was so impressed about his decision, they announced to him that they would double the amount.

That’s it for now.

Comment & Share Below.

Thanks for reading.

See you on Technology News February 2016!