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Jun 3, 2014

OS X Yosemite Includes Awesome Screen Recording Feature for iOS 8 App Previews

A function that hasn’t been discussed at WWDC, a screen-casting feature in OS X Yosemite will allow developers to create app previews to show their app in action by recording the movement on their Mac’s display.

Described by Apple as short videos that showcase what’s great about an app, App Previews are meant to help users decide if they should download a certain app or not. “Customers can watch App Previews directly from your app details page in the App Store. App Previews are composed primarily of device-captured footage of your app to help customers make more informed download decisions,” the company explains. The App Store currently doesn’t offer general support for videos. Only a handful of apps have videos in their descriptions, and those apps have already received preferential treatment from the Cupertino giant. Now Apple wants to make video demos ubiquitous, almost as if the company has considered our piece of advice from earlier this month. So how do you create an App Preview in OS X Yosemite? Well, first off you also need to be running iOS 8 on your development device. Another thing you’ll need is the Lightning cable that came with your iDevice. Apple explains the procedure:

“Just connect your device to your Mac using the Lightning connector and it will be automatically available as a video camera. You can capture anything you’re doing on-screen directly to your Mac using QuickTime Player. Edit your captured footage in your favorite video editing app and upload it iTunes Connect—just like your screenshots—to submit it for review along with your next app update.” Each App Preview is device-specific, so developers will need to pay attention to the formatting rules for the app they’re preparing to demo. In other words, you can’t create a showcase video for an iPhone app using a large iPad display. It will ruin the experience and confuse your customers.

Also, submitting or viewing App Previews will requires an iDevice with at least a 4-inch Retina display. In other words, iPhone 4 and anything below that is officially out of the mix. Apple notes on its developer site that “You may only submit a single set of App Previews designed for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad against one language localization. App Previews will appear in all countries where your app is available.” Furthermore, App Previews will appear on the app details page only on devices running iOS 8 and newer. Developers who are looking to leverage this new feature will only be able to submit an App Preview after iOS 8 debuts this fall.

OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 screen recording (App Preview) feature
Image credits to 9to5mac.com

Emdoor I8080 Tablet Is a Dirt Cheap Windows 8.1 Tablet with Bay Trail

So far, Computex has been the scene for unveiling a host of fancy products, from Intel’s ultra slim tablet with Broadwell to ASUS’s 3-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid with smartphone dock, the Transformer Book V.

Surely, if any of these devices make it on the market, they will be selling for hefty price-tags, but if you’re a more budget-oriented consumers, maybe you’d be interested in hearing about the Emdoor I8080. What’s cool about it is that the device ships out with Windows 8.1 out of the box and will cost you an inexpensive $100 / €73, as reported by MobileGeeks. Naturally, don’t expect the tablet to arrive with a premium finish, but a cheap plastic shell, which doesn't look all that horrible, judging by the hands-on photographs. The Emdoor I8080 comes with an 8-inch IPS display and offers 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The device draws life from a low-end Intel Atom Z3735E processor (Bay Trail), which is a quad-core unit clocked at 1.33GHz with burst speeds capable of reaching 1.83GHz in TurboBoost. The tablet is fitted with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.

Keep in mind that HP is also selling a $100 / €73 tablet, but this one comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. It’s interesting to note that the HP Plus 7 1301 offers lower specs, arriving with a 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixels resolution. Power arrives in the form of an Allwinner A31 ARM Cortex A7 processor clocked at 1GHz fitted with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. So when you compare, the Emdoor I8080 might actually make for a good deal.

Emdoor I8080 budget tablet ships with Windows 8.1
Images credits to MobileGeeks

ASUS GR8 Console PC Is Not Really a Console

Game consoles may not exactly fall in the same category as PCs, but they do have similar abilities when it comes to gaming, even though PCs can go a lot higher.

The reverse applies too, and it's why Valve was brave enough to introduce Steam OS. You know, the operating system without which games like “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” would never make it to Linux. ASUS has introduced the GR8 Console PC, which is intended to ship with, or at least be compatible with, the Steam OS operating system. Sure, first, it will ship with Windows 8.1, but when Valve's Steam OS debuts, a new version will be released. The GF8 possesses a Core i7 central processing unit, a GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card, Gigabit Ethernet, SupremeFX audio, WiDi support, and can communicate with Android smartphones and tablets via Miracast.

All in all, ASUS has created a PC alternative to the console. All what's left is to see if anyone takes a shine to it. There's support for wireless game controllers if nothing else, and the possibility to upgrade the storage and memory is a nice thing to have. Sadly, a price isn't known, even though ASUS will release the GR8 PC alongside the ROG G20 Silent Gaming Desktop.

Image credits to ASUS

Sony Xperia Z3 Coming in September with New Design, but No Snapdragon 805 CPU

It’s no news that Sony plans to launch its next flagship smartphone in September. The information was confirmed back in February during Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fair by Sony Mobile’s Creative Director, Kurozumi Yoshiro, who said that the Xperia Z2 would be his company’s flagship device only for the first half of the year.

One of the reasons that Sony Mobile plans to launch not one, but two flagship smartphones in just one year is market share. The Japanese company aims to become the number three smartphone maker in the world, which is no small feat given the rivals that Sony must compete with. Anyway, it appears that new details on the upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 have just surfaced online and there is both bad and good news regarding the upcoming device. According to DooMLoRD, the XDA forum developer specialized in Xperia leaks, the next flagship smartphone will arrive in September with an entirely different design.

The so-called Xperia Z3 will feature slim bezels and will be only 7mm thick. The bad news is that the smartphone will not pack the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, which means that it will be based on the same Snapdragon 801 SoC that’s been integrated into the Xperia Z2 as well. DooMLoRD also claims that Sony does not plan to release an Xperia Z Ultra successor, so those preferring Sony’s high-end phablet may want to think about alternatives.

Sony Xperia logo
Image credits to Sony Mobile

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