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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'

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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

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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

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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

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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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Ten Linux Desktops Showing Just How Far Behind Mac OS X and Windows Designs Are

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Linux
Microsoft
Mac

Linux doesn't have any kind of PR, and in the collective mind of the people, there is still an impression that Linux users spend their time inside the terminal and in dreary desktops. In fact, most of the current Linux desktops are much better than anything made by Apple of Microsoft.

When a new operating system is launched from Microsoft or Apple, it stays pretty much the same as long as it's supported, and even when updates are released, the desktops change very little. On the other hand, Linux developers are pushing the boundaries of what can be done in an operating system every day, and new ideas and applications that enhance the desktop experience are popping up all the time, regardless of the OS devs are doing on their front.

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Android L vs. iOS 8: The Battle for the Best Mobile OS Begins

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Android
Mac

While Android users everywhere are rejoicing at the announcement of what is perhaps the biggest revamp to the open-source mobile operating system, Apple users are impatiently twiddling their fingers for iOS 8 to land on their smartphones. Following its own major revamp last year with iOS 7, Apple seems to have found its voice by letting go of skeuomorphism and following a more holistic design that measures up to the latest trends of "flat design". Also, iOS 8 is a huge stepping stone for "convergence" the big utopia major operating systems are aiming for today. Where does Android L stand on all of this? Well, it matches iOS 8 in pretty much every department. And that is what makes this mobile OS battle so exciting.

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The top 14 hidden features in Windows, iOS, and Android

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OS
Android
Microsoft
Mac

You may think you're a high-tech power user who knows all the nooks and crannies of Windows, iOS, and Android, but let's be realistic: There could be at least a few undocumented (or poorly documented) commands, control panels, and apps that have slipped by you—maybe more than a few.

We've dived deep into each OS to uncover the best hidden tips and tricks that can make you more productive—or make common tasks easier. Got a favorite undocumented tip to share with readers? Add them in the comments section at the end of the article.

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Mozilla Rebranding

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    Mozilla is funneling yet more money into the open source ecosystem. This week, the organization best known for the Firefox Web browser announced an award of $385,000 to fund eight open source projects, including several important online privacy platforms.
  • Mozilla to Rebrand Itself, and You're Invited to Help
    Mozilla has been involved in reinventing itself for some time now. Known for the venerable Firefox browser, it has made forays into several other open source arenas, and was even known for its dalliance with the smartphone business. The company is currently involved in a broad rebranding effort, and the way it is going about rebranding comes directly from the open source playbook.
  • “Branding without walls”: Mozilla’s open-source rebrand
    Internet advocacy and software group Mozilla is rebranding with help from johnson banks. In an unusual move, the company has decided to document the process online – from strategy and concept development to refinement – inviting its community to help shape its new positioning

Google “Project Bloks” education kit starts with RPi Zero

Google’s “Project Bloks” education platform is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero that controls baseboards that talk to “Puck” inputs via a capacitive sensor. Google announced a Project Bloks hacker platform for kids, developed with IDEO and Paulo Blikstein of Stanford University. A prototype has been built based on the Linux-driven Raspberry Pi Zero SBC, and now Google is seeking researchers, developers, and designers who are interested in using the technology “to build physical coding experiences.” Later this year, Google will conduct a remote research study with the help of these partners. Read more

Six free open source alternatives to Windows 10

Windows 10 has generally be viewed as a welcome successor to Windows 8, both by businesses and individuals. However it has also come under scrutiny from users that are concerned about data privacy. So why not opt for a free Windows 10 alternative? We've listed open source Windows 10 alternatives based on features and user reviews. Here's some of the best. Read more

Why GNOME 3.X Has Been Good for Linux and FOSS

I recently took my first look at GNOME 3. I’d played around with GNOME 2 a couple of times back in 2002 and 2003, not caring for it very much. This was in small part due to the fact that on Mandrake 9.X, GNOME was unstable and prone to crashing, but mainly because I found it wasn’t configurable enough for my taste. I stuck with KDE, which even back in the dark ages of the early 21st century was uber configurable. Read more