BCCHardware

iTunes turns 13 (and still needs work)

iTunes is celebrating its 13th birthday. You'd think in 13 years Apple would have improved iTunes more than they have, but of course they haven't. Quartz has a history lesson on iTunes and why it's still awful.

Enter the iTunes Music Store, unveiled with a proud flourish by a beaming Steve Jobs. It was a digital jukebox, a music distribution game-changer, a record store to end all record stores—and it did, in fact, kill off a great number of those. The addition of the online store to the iTunes media player (which debuted in 2001) completely altered the way people bought, sold, and made music around the globe.

Google Adds "Sick" New Feature

Google Voice Search / Assistant is a great feature that I use daily - multiple times a day. It allows me to quickly and easily add appointments, math, calendar events and a number of things on my device. It allows me to contact people via SMS or even ring them up. Google has just added a new command to their voice database. See if "OK, Google. I think I'm dying," works for you. Google will help search up your symptions - vetted through Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic to help get you some answers. This is not a replacement for your doctor, and no I'm not pregnant.

"Our goal is to help you to navigate and explore health conditions related to your symptoms, and quickly get to the point where you can do more in-depth research on the web or talk to a health professional," said Google project manager Veronica Pinchin.

Source: TheInquirer

Will Netflix finally allow downloads?

Once again the "Netflix is finally going to allow downloads" rumor is swirling. Every few months people who are wanting to use Netflix on the go without having to pay for mobile data get excited but apparently thanks to "creditable sources" we might finally see a download feature maybe even by the end of 2016. Take this with a grain of salt as this isn't the first time that people have predicted that Netflix will add this feature. LightReading has the full story.

Following similar moves by Amazon, Comcast and others, Netflix is now working on a feature that will allow subscribers to download certain programs for offline viewing, according to industry insider and Penthera COO Dan Taitz. And Taitz thinks there will be a landscape shift when the new Netflix feature arrives.

"We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," says Taitz. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."

What's next for the Microsoft Surface?

Last year when the Microsoft Surface 3 launched people were genuinely impressed. You would think after you come up with a successful product that you'd be working on the next version to keep people talking, however, in typical Microsoft fashion, people aren't sure what is happening. So far we've heard nothing in regards to the successor to the Surface 3 and the stock levels are dropping to the point that only a few configurations are available. Basically it seems like Microsoft is either really good at keeping a secret and is going to come out with something to replace the Surface 3 or they are looking to get out of the hardware business. ArsTechnica has the full story.

Microsoft's Surface 3 impressed us when it launched last spring. It's a smaller, cheaper iteration of its Surface Pro concept, and this setup struck us as a pretty compelling mix. But there are signs that the device is not long for this world. Brad Sams at Thurrott.com writes that many versions are listed as out of stock in Microsoft's online store, with no expected availability. Online, only the 2GB RAM/64GB storage/LTE version is in stock.

In-store stock levels show a bit more availability, but the Surface 3 remains limited, with only some configurations on offer.

$4 Smartphone Shipping Next Week

Some people are happy with "free" phones on contract, while others won't settle for anything less than the most flaggy (that's a word right?) flagship device available. Other people are content with any device as long as they can afford it. This is where the $4 smartphone comes in. It actually as pretty decent specifications - but the screen is nothing that amazing. Still, they are only losing $2 each, but the initiative to get phones into the hands of everyone in India is noble. More details at the link below.

The Freedom 251 is now set to start shipping on June 30 to those who pre-ordered the device. Built by India’s Ringing Bell, the phone sports some very ho-hum specs when compared to other devices — but it’s four dollars. It has a 4-inch screen, and an 8MP camera around back (but a 3.2MP front-facing shooter for selfies!). An 1800mAh battery powers the 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. There is also a mere 8GB storage.

Source: TheNextWeb

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