Windows 8.1: New Features, but Same Problems

Microsoft is hoping for a Windows 8 do-over with version 8.1 of the operating system, but this reboot likely isn't enough to change buyers' opinions. Windows 8 was the first major redesign of the storied Windows OS in years, and its launch was accompanied by a loud and splashy campaign. For consumers, however, that largely amounted to a lot of background noise.

Microsoft Announces Update 3 For Windows Phone 8

Yesterday Microsoft announced its third update to Windows Phone 8. This is the set of new features and upgrades that will carry the smartphone platform through the holiday sales cycle. Included among the new set of code is support for faster processors, larger screens, higher resolution displays, better Internet sharing, and a set of quality of life changes that will be welcome to current handsets owners.

Google App Engine Adds New Starter Package

Google App Engine has added a new starter package to speed iOS development. The new service,  Mobile Backend Starter for iOS, is designed to speed the development of connected mobile apps without writing server-side code. The new service allows users to store data in the cloud and share it between users.

Microsoft Promises Quick App Approvals

After a public face plant regarding the release of its operating system update to developers, Microsoft announced that applications built for Windows 8.1 will be approved no more than five days following their submission, once the new build of Windows becomes generally available.

New Google Maps Regains Support For Multi-Destination Trips

The big, still-in-Beta Google Maps overhaul brought a bunch of new shiny stuff, from its new fullscreen interface to drastically improved public transportation integration. It also lost some features, though – and when you take away things that people have been using for years, those people get sad. One of the features that got washed away in the refresh: multi-destination trips.

Mozilla Fills Feature Gaps with Firefox OS 1.1 Release

Mozilla released Firefox OS 1.1 on Wednesday, filling in a large number of missing features and improving the performance of the browser-based operating system for mobile phones. Firefox 1.0 debuted with the first generation of mobile phones earlier this year, generally low-end models targeted at feature-phone owners who wanted to take the smartphone plunge but not have to spend as much money as required for higher-end Android or iOS devices. Like many first-version operating systems, though there were a lot of missing pieces.

Google Begins Barring Browser Plug-ins from Chrome

 In case it wasn't clear before, a Google decision has shown the writing is on the wall for plug-ins such as Java and Silverlight that for years have been used to extend what browsers can do. Starting in January 2014, Google will ban all but the most widely used browser plug-ins in favor of programming methods that use standards built directly into the Web, Chrome security engineer Justin Schuh announced in a blog post Monday.

Adobe Revamps Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements

Adobe on Monday released its latest version of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, lower-cost version of the company's photo- and video-editing suites geared toward hobbyists. Photoshop Elements 12 and Premiere Elements 12 have been overhauled to incorporate new mobile capabilities and a revamped editing experience, the company said in a statement.

Google Updates Chrome For iOS

When it comes to voice search, Google still runs circles around its competitors. Today’s update to Chrome for iOS adds a new layer of intelligence to this feature and now lets you use pronouns. The company previously introduced this capability a few months ago and already uses it on the desktop and Android. Thanks to this, you can now ask it “Who is the president of the United States?” and you can then use the pronoun in the next question instead of Barack Obama’s full name.

Apple’s iOS 7 Update Now Available

Get your motor running, head out on the highway – and download some software. Apple’s big iOS 7 update is now available to all, or at least to anyone with an iPhone 4 or higher, iPad 2 or above, iPad mini or 5th generation iPod touch. The big question will be whether people are as quick to update to iOS 7 as they have generally been with less extreme mobile OS changes from Apple.

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