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Should you dump Android for iPhone 6, iOS 8? No, not at all

Filed under
Android
Mac

For Apple, the launch of iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus is a big deal. Literally. The iPhones were starting to look tiny in front of flagship Android phones. But with the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, which have bigger screens, Apple is back in the game.

On the software side, with the iOS 8, which is the latest version of the software that powers iPhones and iPads, Apple has tried to close the feature gap with Android.

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Hey, Android Users, Don't Buy the New iPhones

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Android
Mac

Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the best iPhones ever. The new phones have bigger screens, run an operating system that allows users to customize their experiences in an increasing variety of ways, and even incorporate different kinds of keyboards. If you’re an iPhone user, there is no good reason to bat your eyes at fancy Android (GOOG) phones anymore.

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Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

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Android
Google
Mac

The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device's password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones.

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How to get iOS 8’s best new features on Android even before iPhone users get them

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Android
Mac

When CEO Tim Cook and his fellow Apple executives unveils iOS 8’s great new features on stage during their WWDC 2014 keynote presentation back in June, the most dramatic audience response might have come when the crew unveiled iOS 8’s new Continuity features. With this great new functionality, iOS devices and Mac computers will be more closely connected than ever, able to quickly and easily exchange files and other data. Better still, iOS device notifications appear on a user’s connected Mac, and messages can even be sent and received right from within OS X.

But there’s a catch: despite the fact that Apple released iOS 8 to the public on Wednesday, none of this awesome new functionality is available to iPhone and iPad users yet. If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, however, all of these great features and more are already available thanks to a single fantastic app.

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Android Wear 'to dominate Apple Watch'

Filed under
Android
Mac

Android Wear is rapidly establishing itself as the de facto software platform for smartwatches, and will go on to dominate Apple's recently announced Apple Watch, analysts predict.

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"Evil" Linux Users Teach Mac OS X Fans How to Improve and Destroy Their System

Filed under
Linux
Mac

Apple systems are actually Unix-based, which means that numerous features that you find in a Linux OS are also present in Mac OS X. This is also true for various commands that can be used in a terminal.

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Apple Watch Follows in Android's Footsteps

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Android
Mac
Gadgets

Apple once led the way in mobile devices, leaving those scurvy pirates of the Android world to imitate, innovate, and fill in the niches that Apple neglected. Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, the Apple Watch announced this week appears to be following more than leading.

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The iPhone 6 Is Actually A Lot Like A 2012 Android Phone

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Android
Mac

Calm down, Apple fans. Your beloved iPhone 6 may not be all its cracked up to be. In fact, it's a lot like an Android phone ... from 2012.

It may be shiny and new, but you could look at the iPhone 6 as a time warp to two years ago, as Ars Technica Reviews Editor Ron Amadeo points out in the following graphic.

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Los Angeles schools need to think outside the iPad

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Foisting computers on schools has been a lucrative business, one easily disguised as charity. Among Pearson’s allies is the Gates Foundation, which works alongside Microsoft’s education arm to promote the Common Core in schools and support libraries, with Microsoft software in hand. Gates’ competitor for the richest-person-in-the-world slot, Mexican telecom monopolist Carlos Slim, has proposed to bypass schools altogether by bankrolling the online-only Khan Academy. Now Rupert Murdoch is trying to enter the education tech business with a tablet of his own.

[...]

One might, for instance, consider replacing the iPad with a little device called a Raspberry Pi. About the size of a credit card, it’s a fully featured computer, though a keyboard and screen need to be plugged in separately. It comes as a single circuit board with no casing, which reflects its philosophy; the basic parts of the machine are plain for a student to see — the video card, the CPU, the power system, the USB ports. The nonprofit Raspberry Pi Foundation sells it for as little as $25, compared with $299 to $929 for an iPad. One Laptop per Child (OLPC), another nonprofit project, produces low-cost laptops and tablets with education in mind.

Software can be even cheaper. The Raspberry Pi and OLPC run on Linux, a free, open-source operating system, which is constantly being improved and expanded by thousands of programmers around the world. An enormous variety of free, community-developed programs, including fully featured office suites, graphics tools and games — as well as popular commercial programs such as Skype and Dropbox — can be installed on the device. Apple and Microsoft often tell us that open-source software is unreliable and unfriendly to use, but that hasn’t stopped Linux from being the basis of Android phones, many everyday appliances and most of the Internet. The computer I used to write this article runs Linux.

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Google plans multiple Android Wear updates as Apple's wearable looms

Filed under
Android
Google
Mac

Google's first update to Android Wear is coming this week, and several more will follow it before the end of the year as Google moves to quickly iterate on its new wearable software platform. In an interview with CNET, two leading Android engineers lay out what we should expect to see in some future updates. This first one sounds as though it may not be much — just some navigation and voice control improvements — but a few useful features are coming down the road. That includes Google officially beginning to support custom watch faces from third-party developers: some developers have already figured out how to build them, but Google is working on a toolkit for developers that will allow watch faces to easily be made. Google previously teased details of this in a Google+ post.

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Fedora-Based Qubes OS 3.0 Release Candidate 1 Linux Distro Now Available for Testing

Joanna Rutkowska announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Release Candidate version of the forthcoming Qubes OS 3.0 computer operating system based on the Fedora Linux distribution. Read more

Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 Will Be Named Stretch

On April 26, the Debian Release Team, through Niels Thykier, announced that the next major release of the acclaimed Debian GNU/Linux computer operating system will be named Stretch. Read more

Linux 4.1-rc1

It's been a normal merge window, and I'm releasing according to the normal schedule. The few days of travel didn't seem to matter, as I had internet access at all times. The merge window is pretty normal in terms of what got merged too. Just eyeballing the size, it looks like this is going to fit right in - while 4.0 was a bit smaller than usual, 4.1 seems to be smack dab in the middle of the normal range for the last couple of years. And all the patch statistics look normal as well: the bulk of the changes are to drivers (just under 60% of the patch), with arch updates being about 20% of it all, and the rest is spread all over. No earth-shattering new features come to mind, even if initial support for ACPI on arm64 looks funny. Depending on what you care about, your notion of "big new feature" may differ from mine, of course. There's a lot of work all over, and some of it might just make a big difference to your use cases. So go out and test. Even -rc1, as raw as it may sometimes be, has tended to be pretty good. It's not that scary. Promise. Read more

Quad-core ARM TV-PC dual boots Android and Ubuntu

Ugoos launched a $179 “UT3S” TV-PC that dual boots Android 4.4 and Ubuntu 14.10 on a 1.8GHz quad-core Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3288, and supports 4Kx2K video. Finding a media player or mini-PC that runs Android is easy, but finding one that ships with other species of Linux pre-installed is a bit trickier. Now Ugoos has released a TV-focused Ugoos UT3S mini-PC that can run either Android 4.4 or Ubuntu 14.10 in dual-boot mode. Whereas Ugoos’s earlier Android-based UM2 stick-PC and UT2 mini-PC used the quad-core, Cortex-A9 Rockchip RK3188 SoC clocked to 1.6GHz, the UT3S moves up to the quad-core, Cortex-A17 RK3288 at 1.8GHz. The RK3288, which ships with ARM’s Mali-T764 GPU, is also found in new Android media players including the Tronsmart Orion R28. Read more