It’s been two years since Microsoft acquired Skype but it’s hard to tell that the way things have been handled ever since. One would have expected tighter integration of Skype in Microsoft’s products but that didn’t quite happen and at times competing platforms seem to be getting Skype services before Microsoft’s own.
That seems to be changing now (finally) with the upcoming launch of Windows 8.1. According to the sources at The Verge, Microsoft will be integrating Skype functionality directly within the operating system. As of now, you have to use the Skype application, which would then be dropped once the service is integrated within the OS. Read more »
Any gamer knows that the sound in the game matters as much as the visuals. In fact, at times, it matters more, especially when the enemy may not be on the screen but you could still hear them. Normally, people use headphones while gaming but often the level of immersion from just two speakers leaves a lot to be desired and not everyone can afford to purchase a pair of surround sound headphones.
As a solution to this problem, Razer has released a new software for Windows PCs that let you enjoy the benefits of a surround sound headphones from any old pair of stereo headphones. It uses virtual surround sound (which is what most surround sound headphones use anyway) to recreate the experience of listening to a 7.1 channel system through just two speakers. Read more »
Creative Cloud, Adobe’s rebranded Creative Suite, which is now the only way to get the latest versions of popular Adobe programs like Photoshop and Premier, has received a major update to most of its supported programs – 15 in total.
These latest versions now have the CC moniker attached, with Photoshop CC getting new sharpening technologies and designer workflow enhancements. Read more »
The Skype video messaging service is finally out of beta and is now available to all Skype users. It is available on the desktop in Skype for Windows desktop, Windows 8, OS X and on the mobile for Skype for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry. The service is currently not available on Windows Phone.
For those who don’t know, Skype video messaging lets you send short video messages over Skype. Unlike your regular video calls, the recipient of these messages need not be online when you send them and can view them whenever they log into Skype. Basically, video messaging is to video calls what SMS is to voice calls. Read more »
Opera has a very popular browser on both desktop and mobile platforms alike but unlike its biggest rival Google’s Gmail, Opera Mail hasn’t really taken off the ground.
Today Opera announce Opera Mail, which isn’t the mail-providing service but a desktop mail client designed to bring you your emails in a clean and efficient fashion. Read more »
Apple just announced a brand new version of its Mac OS X operating system and the biggest challenge the dev team had to overcome was that they ran out of felines to name the OS versions. So, meet Mac OS Mavericks (new versions will be named after places in California).
The new version focuses on extending battery life and UI responsiveness. Part of that is moving to OpenGL 4 to optimize graphic drawing, but also other tricks like compressed memory and more. With optimizations Apple promises up to 72% lower CPU usage. Read more »
Adobe has released Lightroom 5, the next major version of its photo editing software for Windows and OS X. A beta was released back in April and since then Adobe has fixed more than 400 bugs to bring you this final version.
The latest version brings along several new features, such as advanced healing brush, upright function to adjust tilted subjects, smart previews, video slideshows, highlight and shadow recovery, improved photo book creation, location based organization and much more. Read more »
Opera has released the beta version of the next major iteration of their desktop browser, Opera Next 15. By far the biggest change in this update is a switch from Opera’s longstanding rendering engine Presto to the more ubiquitous WebKit based rendering engine.
Other major changes in this version include a completely revamped interface. You’ll notice that the address bar and the search bar have finally been combined into one. The speed dial screen has a new look with support for folders and there are two more tabs for Stash and Discover. Read more »
Adobe has officially launched its Photoshop Express on-the-go photo editing tool for Windows 8 and RT users.
Photoshop Express comes with the ability to crop, straighten, rotate, flip, remove red eye and other basic functions. The auto-fix feature in the app allows you to adjust brightness, exposure and shadows in one-touch. Read more »
Apple has released a new version of iTunes for OS X and Windows. Among the chief new features is an updated mini player. The mini player got a refresh in v11 but 11.0.3 makes it a bit more usable. There is now a progress bar so you don’t have to switch to the full mode to scroll through the track. Also, clicking on the album art thumbnail expands it.
Other changes include improved Songs view, where you can now view the album art even in the Songs view and multi-disc albums now show as one album in the Album view. There is also a new Update tab for the Apps section where you can view updates for your downloaded iOS apps. Lastly, there are some performance improvements while searching and sorting large libraries. Read more »
As hinted several times, Google’s popular voice-operated search is making its way to the Chrome browser and Chrome operating system.
The new feature comes with support for Google’s Knowledge Graph for four additional languages, bringing the total up to 13. Read more »
Rovio has just announced the latest update for the Angry Birds Seasons game. Dubbed Abra-Ca-Bacon, the new release is set to bring some interesting features to the franchise.
One of them is the addition of Magic Portals which allows you to teleport Angry Birds, Bad Piggies and everything else in the game. Furthermore, there are 30 new levels joined by six bonus levels for your unlocking pleasure. Read more »
You have to hand it to Samsung – it really, really cares about features. The Samsung Galaxy S4 for one is the most feature-rich phone ever and Samsung just keeps coming up with new features. SideSync allows a computer and a smartphone to work as one.
When you hookup a Galaxy phone to a computer running SideSync, files on the phone will be backed up and then the magic starts to happen. Read more »
We have been hearing about Windows 8.1 for quite some time now. Known originally as Windows Blue, the next update to Microsoft’s desktop operating system is soon expected to be available as a public preview.
Speaking at the Wired Business Conference in New York City, Windows chief Julie Larson-Green revealed that Microsoft will be releasing a public preview of Windows 8.1 in its upcoming Build conference in June. A final version of the OS is expected to be released near the end of the year, as we had originally heard. Read more »
Viber has just been outed for Windows and Mac PC’s, bringing the popular cross-platform VoIP service to desktops.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Skype, Viber now gives users the ability to place calls not only to other mobile users, but also to desktops. Read more »