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App Pick - Cubis

Apple Watch Edition Customers Treated Like Mr. Moneybags

If you are thinking of dropping $10,000+ on an Apple Watch Edition device, you will be treated well. If you've got that kind of money, Apple will let you skip the lines and get in to see whoever you want to whenever you want to at their retail stores. It also comes with 24/7 support, private 1-hour appoints and more. If you are dropping $1,500 on their mid-range line, you also get some pretty nice treatment, but if you are trying out any of their Sport models, you'll be treated like the hipster schlub that you probably are. Save more money and they will treat you like you matter.

A Special Station and Chairs: Apple will have a special try-on station for the Apple Watch Edition, including a pair of stools for the customer, an Edition demo kit holding the watches, and a try-on mat like ones found in jewelry stores. Once the customer decides to purchase the Edition, it can be set up in one of two ways: in-store with the same Expert or via a new service called Virtual Personal Setup.

Source: 9to5mac

Final Fantasy Update + Fast & Forza

If you're a fan of Final Fantasy and enjoyed playing as a female character, you may want to reconsider the latest installment. Final Fantasy XV will be all about male champions and while some may consider this discriminatory at first, the creators are trying to get the "boys will be bad boys" thing going on and feel that a girl would compromise the 'bro' feeling the game is going for. You be the judge, but there are more details and more in-depth reasons below.

"Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players. Even the presence of one female in the group will change their behaviour, so that they'll act differently. So to give the most natural feeling, to make them feel sincere and honest, having them all the same gender made sense in that way," Tabata said. 

 

On the other side of the highway, the Fast & Furios Forza expansion is a stand-alone game that can be downloaded for free until April 10. If you've got an Xbox 360 or Xbox One, make sure you go and scoop up this game/expansion for free. Again, you don't need any other Forza game to play it. If you've got a console and a few GB of free space, you're good to go.

 

Source(s): GameSpot, Xbox Wire

Amazon Takes Cloud Storage Battle to Next Level

Amazon has really stepped up their game in the effort to store your data. They have just changed up their online storage plans and now have "unlimited" storage at a very affordable price. Let's take a look at their entry-level package first. For $11.99, you get an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drive, but if you want an infinite number of other files, this will cost you a mere $60 a year. Keep in mind this is their Cloud Drive service - not the S3 service.

The Unlimited Everything Plan is also available for those who need to store a bit more than just a few gigs of files and a lot of photos. This option costs $59.99 a year, but there are no limits on the types of files you can save to Amazon's servers.

Source: Amazon

ChromeOS Major Makeover

If you've got a Chromebook or Chromebox, your next update could be pretty awesome. ChromeOS is getting the material design treatment and the result is fantastic. It is a nice fresh taste that was long overdue. ChromeOS, while very funcitonal, looked like something out of the Windows XP era. This brings it into the Windows 10 era and it looks great. It seems to run really well and look even better on my 1080p Tegra K1 Acer Chromebook. 

Once you're moved over to the beta, you can submit feedback by hitting Alt + Shift + i. And, if you happen to experience bugs with the beta, you can revert back to the stable version pretty easily - but the caveat is that it will delete all local data, so you'd want to make sure that all of what you need is backed up, or stored in the cloud.

Source: HotHardware

Microsoft tries to clear up if Windows 10 is free or not

Microsoft announced that they will be giving free upgrade copies of Windows 10 when it is released and everyone got excited and jumped to conclusions as to who gets it. 

Microsoft has been trying to clarify who gets it and who doesn't, here are the latest highlights:
 

  • Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1 users (if you don't have the updates you will have to update to those levels before you can upgraded to Windows 10 for free)
  • If your license of Windows is 'Non-Genuine' it appears you will be able to upgrade, however, your license will not become 'Genuine' 
  • Enterprise users are not eligible for the free upgrade
  • If you want to do a fresh install of Windows 10, you are not eligible.
  • Windows 10 is not free for everyone, it is just free for some people.
     

There are more details over at Yahoo, and chances are good Microsoft will have to clarify this a bunch more times before Windows 10 arrives as people come up with crazy hypothetical situations where they aren't sure if they qualify or not.

To recap what we’ve known since the Jan. 21 Windows 10 announcement: Microsoft will provide an upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 for free, for a period of one year from the release of Windows 10. There are some important details to this deal that were revealed, and a few that weren’t. In my talk with Woodman, I got what I think is the definitive take on who will have to pay for Windows 10 and when, and who will not.

 

Source: Yahoo

Here comes 10TB HDDs

Intel and Micro announced that they've figured out 3D NAND technology and should be able to produce 3.5TB M.2 drives and 10TB 2.5" SSD drives which should give you more than enough storage in a small drive that can fit in an ultrabook. Samsung figured out V-NAND (Vertical NAND) technology but 3D NAND takes storage to a whole new capacity level. DigitalTrends has more details over here.

Just think, in a couple years you'll be able to tell young kids about the hardships you endured when "my hard drive only had 500GB of storage"....

Capacity has always been an issue for solid state drives: Each chip is expensive, and there’s limited space on a drive to contain them. Recently, Samsung has tackled the problem with V-NAND, or vertical NAND, which stacks memory for greater storage capacities. Intel and Micron are getting into that game as well, and the solution they’ve come up with, called 3D NAND, is even denser.

WhatsApp to remain closed

People have been hoping for quite some time that WhatsApp (which is now owned by Facebook) would be opening up for 3rd party App developers, however, after the F8 developer conference that appears to not be happening anytime soon. WhatsApp wants to control 'user experience' and they don't want anyone else messing it up for them. Developers are obviously upset at not being able to piggyback on WhatsApp but I don't think anyone can be too surprised at their decision to keep things closed. CNET has the story.

What does $19 billion buy you? Sometimes, it's a spot of trouble.

That's what Facebook found out at its F8 developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday when executives tried to explain to an eager crowd of app developers why it wasn't going to offer a way for them to plug their programs and services into the 700-million-user-strong messaging service WhatsApp.

More new iPhones

Apple is apparently looking to release 3 new iPhone models in the 2nd half of 2015. These models are rumored to be the 6S Plus (5.5"), 6S (4.7") and the 6C (4"). It is interesting to see the "C" models may be returning as they previously weren't as successful as Apple was hoping but I guess we will have to wait and see what actually hits stores shelves later this year. Apple's new approach of offering customers more choice is a big change from previous offerings but it seems to be working as iPhone sales have been huge thanks to the release of the 6 and 6 Plus models. MacRumors has the full story.

A new 4-inch iPhone was also rumored in December 2014, with a report claiming that the device would be aimed toward female users. However, even if a new 4-inch iPhone isn't introduced, Apple will presumably have the iPhone 5s to offer for free on a two-year contract once the current models slide down. 

Samsung interested in AMD?

Here comes the rumor of the week, Samsung is eyeing AMD up for a possible purchase.

Obviously neither company is commenting and this could be nothing more than a rumor on a slow news day, but after a bit of thinking it over, an acquisition by Samsung could be a good thing and would probably benefit both companies. Samsung gaining access to CPU and GPU technologies from AMD (and ATI which they own) would put them on a level with the big guys like Intel. AMD would obviously also benefit from becoming part of the Samsung family and would probably open some doors for them and help them compete on a higher level. 

Once again this is just a rumor at this point but AndroidHeadlines has more over here.

A new report out this afternoon originating from the South Korean media claims Samsung Electronics is potentially trying to purchase AMD, a global semiconductor company who makes processors for a wide variety of computer manufacturers and other devices. Samsung themselves produce their own in-house processors used in many of their handsets and other devices, and an acquisition of AMD, if proven true, would be a great benefit to Samsung in allowing them to bolster their own semiconductor offerings. AMD has a longstanding relationship with many of the top PC brands and is well known throughout the industry in addition to being a major competitor to Intel for the PC-based CPU and GPU markets.

Pay Your Bills in GMail

If you use Google Now, you may be a bit surprised to see your bill reminders popping up on your device. This is the contextual invasion (or beauty) that is Google and it's not going away. In fact, Google wants to take things a step further and they want to deliver your bills through GMail and have you submit payment right through your email. While I'm sure the security issues and obstacles are huge, I really do love this idea. Super simple.

According to a document obtained by Re/code, Google's working on a way for you to receive bills from your service providers in your Gmail account, and pay for them without having to leave the confines of your inbox. The service, currently code-named "Pony Express," is apparently being prepped for a launch in late (think fourth quarter) 2015.

Source: Engadget

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