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Details about Windows 8, Microsoft’s newest operating system expected in 2012, have been leaking out thanks largely to Microsoft previews and a stream of blog posts on the company’s Building Windows 8 blog.

Windows 8: TL;DR* (*Too Long; Didn’t Read)

So far, Microsoft has detailed a brand new touch interface for Windows 8 with the traditional desktop UI hiding underneath. The new OS also will run on both ARM and Intel processors, opening up a range of Windows 8-powered devices such as desktops, laptops, and tablets.

Windows 8 also is expected to have an OS X-style Mac App Store, and should include further integration with Microsoft’s growing range of online services such as SkyDrive, Office 365, and the free Office Web apps. Other improvements include USB 3.0 support and an overhauled version of Explorer, Windows’ file management tool.

Here’s a look at everything we know so far about Window 8.

Get in Touch With Windows 8

The most dramatic change for Windows 8 is Microsoft’s emphasis on a new Windows Phone 7-inspired touch interface. Windows 8’s new start screen has large panels that are ideal for touchscreens, but that also can be manipulated by a mouse.

The traditional Windows interface with the start button, task bar, and desktop is still available and will come up any time you load a legacy app such as Microsoft Excel 2010. You can also run new Windows 8 touchable apps alongside traditional Windows apps. Microsoft said HTML and JavaScript will be the primary development language for new Windows 8 apps.

ARM and Intel

The big question, however, is whether people will be willing to give ARM-based Windows devices a chance. Apple’s iPad is the most dominant device in the new generation of one-panel touch tablets. And the consensus among critics and device makers is that people are looking for slates running mobile operating systems such as iOS, Android, and the QNX-based OS on the Blackberry PlayBook. Can Microsoft succeed in the tablet arena by offering Windows with a new touch overlay? I guess we’ll find out in 2012.

App Store App Preview

Speaking of Apps, some Microsoft partners are already hard at work designing touch-based apps for Windows 8 tablets. ZDNet uncovered a purported early design for a USA Today Windows 8 app that has a very Metro UI look and feel to it.

Clouds in Windows 8

Also part of Microsoft’s list of Windows 8 engineering teams was a group called “Windows Online.” It’s not clear what that team might be doing, but there are a large number of online services that Microsoft could integrate into Windows 8, such as Office 365, Office Web Apps, Windows Live and Azure. Some integration with these so-called cloud services already exists, but there are still annoying shortcomings in Windows such as an easy way to mount your SkyDrive as a local drive accessible via Windows Explorer. Dropbox can do it, so why can’t Microsoft?

USB 3.0 Support Windows Explorer: File Management Basics

Microsoft has spent a fair amount of time recently talking about its overhauls to Windows Explorer for the next iteration of Windows. The new Windows Explorer will improve its file management basics such as copy, move, rename, and delete functions, which make up 50 percent of Explorer’s usage in Windows 7.

If you’re copying or moving files, you can also get an expanded view to see throughput graphs and how many bits have already been transferred. Microsoft also claims its time estimates to completion will be more accurate in Windows 8.

Finally, Microsoft has improved the filename collision dialog to make it easier to figure out which files you’ll be overwriting when a new file has the same name as a file already sitting in your destination folder.

Exploring Ribbons

The Windows 8 version of Explorer is also getting Microsoft’s ribbon interface in a bid to make the file management tool more touch friendly, efficient, expose useful commands, and to reintroduce popular Explorer features from Windows XP. Microsoft has also optimized the new Explorer for widescreen displays and will add about 200 keyboard shortcuts for power users.

Explorer’s new File menu gives power users quick access to the command prompt as well as an option to open the command prompt as an administrator. Both options open a C prompt with the file path set to your currently selected folder such as My Documents or Desktop.

There are also contextual menus in Windows 8’s Explorer that only show up when you are doing specific tasks. If you open up Explorer to look at photos, for example, under the “Manage” tab you’ll see options to rotate the currently selected photo, start a slideshow, or set a photo as your background.

That’s all for now, but Microsoft is expected to reveal more details about Windows 8 during the company’s BUILD conference that starts September 13 in Anaheim, CA. We’ll keep an eye on Microsoft’s blogs for more Windows 8 news.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

You're reading Microsoft Windows 8: Here’s What We Know So Far

Can Cbd Help You Chill? Here’s What We Know So Far.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably stressed. Never fear: We’ve dug through the evidence to reveal what science really says about finding zen—and holding onto it through tough times.

In 2013, Charlotte Figi made national news by becoming the youngest patient in Colorado to receive cannabidiol (CBD) therapy to soothe her seizures. The five-year-old had struggled with severe epilepsy since infancy, sometimes experiencing 50 or more episodes a day, with little relief from standard drugs and dietary tweaks. By the time her parents started consulting doctors about CBD extracts, she had difficulty walking, talking, and eating without help.

Figi’s neurologist put her on a low dose of a specially bred strain of medical cannabis, later dubbed “Charlotte’s Web.” The effects were almost immediate. The seizures slowed from daily to weekly events, and soon, the kid was living life almost normally. After close to two years of the oral treatment, the doctors decided to wean Figi off other epileptic medications.

Figi’s story represents one of the clearest, most well-documented cases of the healing potential of CBD. (The young pioneer died in 2023, due to complications of COVID-19.) Though people have used the plant-based chemical to treat migraines and other bodily aches for centuries, the science around its efficacy is still inconclusive because it’s tricky to study its direct effect on the nervous system. Regardless, the industry has boomed in the past decade. Today CBD can be found in a range of products—from lattes to bath bombs to dog treats—and is marketed as a cure-all for pain, anxiety, insomnia, and even AIDS.

So, what should a person who’s buying CBD expect? There’s plenty of information out there, but the bottom line is confusing. Here’s an overview of what medical experts say about the ingredient and whether it lives up to its hype.

What is CBD?

CBD is essentially cannabis, minus the strong psychoactive bits. The carbon-oxygen-hydrogen compound can be found in high concentrations in Cannabis sativa and less-potent hemp plants. Sometimes manufacturers mix it with traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabis-based chemical that gets people high, but it generally doesn’t carry the same dopamine-heightening and possibly addictive properties.

Like THC, though, CBD works its “magic” by cozying up to the nervous system. From what molecular scientists know so far, it somehow changes proteins found all over the body that are responsible for managing pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and even memory. It’s still unknown how extensively it affects that internal chemistry, especially when combined with other ingredients, says Johns Hopkins University food scientist Kantha Shelke.

Is CBD legal?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently updated its regulations to state that it supports further research on benefits, safety, and use of CBD products. For now, the extract is considered a controlled substance if it comes from cannabis plants. It’s treated more like a dietary supplement or food additive when harvested from hemp.

[Related: Cannabis poisoning is on the rise in pets]

That seems relatively straightforward, but throw local laws into the mix and the standards become a lot more unwieldy. CBD is legal to sell and buy in one form or another around the US, though it’s harder to hawk across state lines because of the federal regulations. In places where it’s lawful, the ingredient can be added to any product as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC and is marketed correctly. If it’s labeled as a drug it has to undergo clinical tests and win FDA approval before it’s available for public use. The agency has only approved one CBD medication so far: Epidolex, which is used to treat the same genetic syndrome that Charlotte Figi had.

At the beginning of 2023, the FDA announced that it would work with Congress on a new set of CBD regulations, citing potential long-term risks to people’s livers, the male reproductive system, livestock, and more. Once they are passed, the substance will be in a separate class from dietary supplements and food additives. In the meantime, the agency cautions against giving CBD products to children, pregnant and lactating people, and pets.

What are the proven benefits of CBD?

Some of the best research on CBD’s therapeutic effects comes from treating childhood epilepsy (thanks to the Figi family), schizophrenia, sleep deprivation, and anxiety disorders. The chemical has shown strong results in relieving all four of these conditions, with “a clear calming effect,” according to one 2023 analysis. That said, most of the studies exploring this connection don’t include a control group, or a baseline for comparison.

When it comes to looking at CBD for pain relief, the research is even more flimsy. Tests have shown that it can be effective against arthritis in rats, and that it might work as well as opioids for multiple sclerosis and cancer patients. But many of these treatments also included some amount of THC, so it’s hard to say if CBD was the primary cause of relief.

There’s also the question of which forms of CBD are safe enough for consumers but strong enough to make a difference. For neurological conditions like anxiety or apnea, the chemical needs to be absorbed into the bloodstream to have maximum impact. That means it needs to be ingested, inhaled, or rubbed in at high concentrations. But as health reporter Sarah Jacoby wrote in Self while vetting her own CBD buys, many of the proteins that trigger pain and inflammation are located between the skin and veins. So, any cream or gel that wants to counter aching joints and tight muscles needs to be able to get through the dermis but not as deep as the blood vessels. That’s a tall order for any drugstore formula.

Overall, doctors are reluctant to call CBD a pain panacea. But companies keep putting it in gels, goos, tinctures, massage oils, and roll-on creams, and people continue to snap them up. (One market report put CBD sales at nearly $5 billion sales in 2023.) It’s clear that the ingredient is somewhat beneficial to human health—science just needs to understand how much.

Does CBD have any bad effects?

Medical researchers haven’t pinpointed any deadly patterns with CBD use yet. A few case studies have mentioned respiratory failure, but in many of those instances, the patients also had THC in their system. People have complained about nausea and gastrointestinal issues after taking high concentrations of CBD. The Mayo Clinic also mentions fatigue, dizziness, and loss of appetite as possible complications.

[Related: Can you overdose on weed?]

There are concerns that CBD might interact negatively with other drugs, specifically blood thinners like warfarin. But there’s no specific guidance on which medications to avoid mixing with the extract.

How much CBD should people take?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to calculate safe and effective serving sizes for CBD. Dosing depends on body weight, desired effect, and the way a person is taking it. CBD products often come with suggestions, but those can be misleading, given that the FDA doesn’t test every supplement against its labels and claims. (The agency has issued warnings to dozens of companies who’ve listed incorrect information about CBD and THC levels in their products; see the full list here.)

Why is CBD so hard to study?

Because CBD is one of hundreds of compounds in hemp and cannabis, it’s tricky to extract and standardize. If the chemical is tainted or alternated in any way during the process, it can have a different set of effects. The way it’s consumed also plays a big part in the reaction. As Figi’s neurologist wrote back in 2014, cooking or smoking CBD means adding heat, which could break down the chemical and make it less beneficial. Pills and edibles, on the other hand, need to be carefully engineered so that they don’t get neutralized by stomach acid.

All that variability, both in the plants and the products that are derived from them, makes CBD more challenging to test for medicinal purposes. It’s also often mixed with THC when treating chronic pain or life-threatening illnesses, so it take many extra layers of research to isolate the purely physical perks from the psychoactive ones.

Is CBD safe to cook with?

Plenty of food brands, restaurants, and cookbook authors are now folding CBD into their recipes. But does the ingredient have the same therapeutic effect when it’s baked in a brownie pan at 360 degrees Fahrenheit or seared in a skillet with sea bass and lemon rinds?

“There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, quality, and physiological effects of CBD that need to be addressed before one can identify the effects of various chemical reactions on its efficacy,” Shelke says. Part of the issue with cooking with the extract is that the purity and the concentration is often unknown. This makes it even harder to know how it will interact with other ingredients, and whether that combination will help or harm a person. Bottom line: It’s better to avoid highly processed products or prepared meals with CBD, especially if you’re new to the compound.

What’s the best way to see if CBD works for me?

If you’re looking for a supplement to help you go to sleep at night, relieve a light migraine, or unwind after a stressful event, try a low-stakes gummy or topical oil. Be sure to choose a well-reviewed and reputable product, Shelke says: Just because it says it contains CBD doesn’t mean it will live up to its promise.

To treat chronic pain, depressive disorders, or other serious illnesses, get your doctor’s recommendations first. They can take stock of the latest research specific to your needs and also track how CBD works with other prescriptions you’re taking.

[Related on PopSci+: The tasty chemicals flavoring the edible cannabis boom]

As you head into the experience, manage your expectations. Like most wellness products that are backed by tepid evidence, the results can be hit or miss. Stay within the recommended doses on the products’ labels and report any unexpected side effects to your primary-care physician.

The future of CBD seems full of potential, but in present times, there are more questions than answers.

Update (April 19, 2023): This post has been updated with new regulatory information from the FDA.

Pixel 3A Problems And Solutions We Know So Far

Google’s return to the mid-range market is not as smooth sailing as we thought. Pixel 3a users are complaining about how the phone keeps shutting down randomly throughout the day. It’s even worse because the phone just won’t turn on again without a hard reset.

While we marveled over how Google managed to put an $800 camera into a $400 phone. Maybe it did come at a price and the phone is unable to cope with this massive adjustment. Nevertheless, we’ve looked into problems that users are facing, here they are along with a possible set of solutions as well.

Related:

Random Shutdowns

This particular has been plaguing Pixel 3a users at an alarming rate. The Pixel 3a is shutting down randomly at any time of the day or night when it’s not active and it repeats this behavior every time it’s switched on again. If you’ve been using it in Safe Mode and still facing this issue then it’s time to return it to the vendor and get it exchanged.

If you’re unsure about how Safe Mode works, here’s how:

Press the Volume down+ Power key together for about 10 seconds or until the screen goes black.

Release them once the phone turns on again.

Press and hold the volume down button when you see the logo till device reboots successfully.

You will see safe mode written in the bottom left of the screen.

A Reddit user has also suggested that the bug could be WiFi related. In which case simply switch off the Wifi as a temporary respite till you can RMA it and get a replacement.

Stuck in bootloop problem

This is one of the most recent problems that many Pixel 3a users have been complaining about. The Pixel 3a is shutting down unexpectedly at any time of the day and the only way you can restart it is by performing a soft reset (aka restart).

Since the device is stuck in bootloop, you can restart normally from Android. So, you need to force restart it.

How to force restart Pixel 3a

 Consider running the phone in safe mode in case it’s happening because of a faulty third-party app. Here’s how you can activate the safe mode:

Press the Volume down+ Power key together for about 10 seconds or until the screen goes black.

Release them once the phone turns on again.

Press and hold the volume down button when you see the logo till device reboots successfully.

You will see safe mode written in the bottom left of the screen.

If you still have the boot loop problem even after dealing with the apps, then you’ll have to perform a factory reset. See the link below for help.

How to factory reset Pixel 3a

If your Pixel 3a should work just fine after you’ve performed these steps.

Touchscreen not responding

Reddit users are reporting that the Pixel 3a’s screen is not responding to touch. It’s also either ghosting on users or completely stops responding entirely. If you are facing a similar issue, there are two ways to solve this problem:

Restart your phone using the power button. The phone should start functioning normally after this.

If the issue still persists, perform a factory reset.

If your phone is still acting up, then you’ll have to RMA it as a final resort and get a replacement.

‘Black Crush’ screen issue/ Gradient issue

Are various dark shades being displayed inaccurately in your Google Pixel 3a? It’s facing what is popularly known as a ‘Black Crush’ screen issue. In this scenario, parts of videos or images can appear with blocks or black, pixelated, or grainy. XDA developers have also picked up on a similar gradient issue reported by another Pixel 3a user. Also, the visuals rendered with this “black crush” issue are with significantly less detail, like the video is playing in low resolution. Check out how you can rectify this particular issue:

A ‘Black Crush’ screen can be rectified with a software update. To ensure that you are running the most recent updated version available, here’s a step-by-step.

If you’re still facing this issue, then there is another option.

Download the Screen Balance app for free from the Google Play Store.

Install the app and grant the Screen Balance app Accessibility permission to work.

With the app now enabled, set the Fluorescent to “warm”.

Use the slider to set the Strength to “60%”.

Set the Contrast to “100%”.

Once you follow these steps, the ‘Black Crush’ issue should be rectified. However, it’s only a temporary solution and Google still needs to send you a dedicated update to solve this problem.

Crooked USB-C and misaligned speaker cutouts

In an unfortunate recent development, YouTuber Erica Griffin shared a tweet with an image of her Pixel 3a’s crooked charging slot and speakers and asked followers if they noticed a misalignment in their phones too. Unfortunately, people are facing this issue even with their Pixel 3a XLs. While there is nothing that can be done about this particular issue, make sure to check the alignment on your Pixel 3a and 3a XLs so that you can get a replacement for the same from your vendor.

Storage issue

Is your Pixel 3a showing more space consumed than it ideally should be? This could be a minor bug that needs to be addressed. You could also be dealing with a hidden cache that is consuming space. In such cases, we recommend the following steps:

Go to the Apps and notifications section from the Settings panel.

Tap on an app that you suspect and select clear cache.

Repeat this process for all the apps and check your storage. This process should fix the issue.

Performance problems and slow down

Reddit has blown up with this particular issue and many Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL users are facing this one. While Google’s Digital Wellbeing app is a great way to keep track of your phone usage and set up a system to maintain a healthy relationship with technology, it’s crippling the Pixel 3a’s performance by slowing it down.

Follow these steps to partially disable the app:

Go to the Settings panel and navigate to the Digital Wellbeing app from the Apps and notifications sections.

Tap on turn off Usage access.

This way you can still enjoy ‘downtime’ functions with a phone that’s not slowing down.

You might also need to clear cache in which you can clear it up by following the steps we gave earlier.

Battery drain problem

The Pixel 3a is equipped with a 3000 mAh battery but Google has optimized the phone to sustain itself comfortably on this much fuel. However, if you think your Pixel 3a’s battery is draining at an irregular pace then there could be other issues that need to be looked into. Here are a few things you can do to optimize the Pixel 3a’s battery:

Uninstall any third-party phone manager or cleaning applications. Most third-party phone manager applications run in the background and drain the battery of the device rather than help saving battery.

Check the battery usage stats. This would help reveal any app which is misbehaving and draining the battery from the device.

Go to the Settings panel and look for the Battery section.

Check to see if any app is responsible for using up more battery than usual.

If you spot an app draining battery, simply uninstall the application.

You could also perform a hard reset by following the steps mentioned in the Boot loop problem section.

Bluetooth issues

The Pixel 3a is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 + LE (HD codecs: AptX, AptX HD). Users haven’t reported any issues about the Bluetooth so far however, if you are facing connectivity issues, here are possible solutions for the same:

Remove the Bluetooth cache by following these steps:

Head over to Apps and notifications and press the three-dot button to select Show system apps. Scroll down to find Bluetooth and use the Clear Cache button to erase all of your pairing histories and start afresh.

If you’re unable to stream audio over Bluetooth, then check the Bluetooth device manual to make sure which Bluetooth audio codec is supported by the device. Once you’ve figured that out, simply follow these steps:

Unlock the developer options on your Pixel 3a

Scroll to the Networking section and then tap on Bluetooth audio codec and select the audio codec which is supported by the device.

If you aren’t able to figure out which audio codec is supported by the Bluetooth device, then simply select All codecs. 

Remove and then pair again the given Bluetooth device profile from your Pixel 3a.

Reset the network settings on your device.

Go to Settings and look for Reset till you find the option Reset network settings.

Tap on Reset.

Cellular network issues

Is your Pixel 3a giving you network trouble?  This trouble could range from signal drops and LTE not working to poor reception

In such situations, the best thing to do is to manually select the network provider.

Go Connections from the settings panel and select the Mobile networks option.

Tap on Network operators and choose the Select manually option.

Wait for the device to scan for all the available networks and then try to connect to your carrier’s network.

Reset the network settings as a last resort. Here’s how to do so.

This should definitely help with the network issues you’re facing on the Pixel 3a.

In any of the above situations, remember that a Factory Reset is still an option that you can turn to as the last option. Make sure to follow this guide when you’re performing it. Also, there are chances of a hardware issue cropping up in such scenarios and you will know that after you’ve tried these solutions in which case you can and should RMA the phone and you will be given a new phone.

Related:

Apple Watch Series 9: Everything We Know So Far

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Update, June 26, 2023 (11:17 AM ET): We have updated our Apple Watch 9 rumor hub to include information about a new UWB chip that could make it to the next Apple Watch.

Original article: The Apple Watch goes into 2023 as the king of smartwatches. With the refreshed Watch SE and new Ultra model, it seems that the lineup might keep that crown for a while to come. The Series 8 didn’t set the wearable world alight, playing second fiddle to these two newcomers, leaving the incoming Apple Watch Series 9 with much to do to keep pace. So, what can we expect from the next model? Read on for all the latest details.

The Apple Watch series is due for some significant changes.

Color options are a little less predictable. Apple offered Starlight, Midnight, silver, and (Product) Red colorways for those picking the aluminum chassis. Steel-bodied watches could be had in a more professional silver, graphite, or gold finish. Expect many of these shades to return. However, we’d like to see the Series 7’s green and blue options make a comeback.

As for sizes, the Apple Watch has traditionally offered two dial sizes with its core Series watch. For the Series 8, buyers could opt for a 41mm or 45mm face.

The Apple Watch Series is due for some significant changes.

There’s another rumor relating to the watch’s screen. Research firm Omdia claims that Apple is working on introducing MicroLED panels to its Apple Watch models, but it’s unlikely that these screens will arrive in time for the Series 9. Notably, it’s believed that the panel in question could debut on the next Ultra model, skipping the standard Series line. Mark Gurman also believes Apple may bring MicroLED tech to the Ultra series but suggests this change might only happen in 2024. If accurate, this leaves the Series 9 with AMOLED panels and likely without screen size changes.

In a Twitter post, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed that Apple could aggressively improve hardware specs across devices to make the Vision Pro fit within its interconnected ecosystem. To accomplish this, Kuo points out that Apple may upgrade its Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip and include that chip in a variety of next-gen devices, which may include the next Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 9 battery

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Some would argue that the Apple Watch’s most noticeable flaw is the battery life. While Apple regularly undersells its batteries’ capabilities, we’d still prefer a longer-lasting smartwatch.

Apple tends to adopt the software optimization approach over adding more capacity. Therefore, we don’t expect there to be any massive capacity gains with the Series 9. However, if the Apple Watch is to gain a new chipset based on the A15 Bionic, it should result in considerable efficiency gains.

In reality, the Apple Watch battery estimates are conservative at best. We could easily eke out a day of usage with the Series 8 during our review, more than the 18 hours quoted by its maker.

Will the Apple Watch Series 9 be worth it?

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

It’ll take a catastrophe to displace the Apple Watch from our best list. One of our biggest criticisms of the Series 8 was its lack of tangible improvements over the Series 7. Apple markedly improved the device’s strength and added a temperature sensor, but that leaves little reason to upgrade.

Provided Apple sticks to its $399 asking price, we think the Series 9 should be the best way for those seeking a reliable fitness tracker to join the Apple ecosystem. However, if it gets any pricier, the (potentially discounted) Series 8 starts looking even more attractive.

Apple Ipad: What We Still Don’t Know

Apple answered a lot of questions Wednesday about its fabled tablet, now known as the iPad. We know it has a 9.7-inch screen, weighs 1.5 pounds, has Wi-Fi with a 3G option, and Apple claims it has up to 10 hours of battery life. The iPad runs the iPhone OS and “almost all” iPhone apps and uses the ePub format for books. We know a lot about this device, but there are still so many unanswered questions, not to mention a few mysteries, to keep you guessing. Here’s what’s at the top of my mind:

Adobe Flash

Ten hours of battery life? Really?

Apple is claiming you can watch 10 hours of video on the iPad and that the device can sit in standby mode for one month on one charge. Don’t believe the hype, folks. Computer makers love to exaggerate battery life claims, and Apple is no exception. So don’t take this one to the bank until PC World’s test center checks out the iPad’s battery life.

Mobile Me

What about Mobile Me, Apple’s cloud syncing app for your contacts, email and calendars? Apple says you will be able to sync the iPad with your Mac or PC through the iPad’s 30-pin connector, but why no cloud syncing? Apple has had trouble in the past with Mobile Me, so perhaps the company is not ready to bring the iPad into the mix just yet. But you’ve got to assume this is coming — unless Apple plans on killing the Mobile Me service, that is.

“Almost all” iPhone apps?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the iPad works with “almost all” iPhone apps you can find in the App Store. So which iPhone apps won’t work with the iPad, Steve?

Magazines

We saw The New York Times on the iPad, but what about all that talk we heard about new magazine formats? GQ is experimenting with iPhone apps; will other publishers follow suit, or is there something else in the pipeline for magazines on the iPad?

AT&T? Really?

PC World spent the summer testing 3G connections across the U.S., and AT&T achieved some of the lowest reliability scores compared with Verizon and Sprint. AT&T has a bad reputation when it comes to delivering data to the iPhone, and yet, Apple is relying on this carrier for another data-intensive device. The unlimited data plan pricing is pretty good at $30 per month, but can AT&T’s network handle the iPad?

How much for those accessories?

Apple has yet to release pricing on the iPad’s accessories like the keyboard dock, iPad case and camera connector. The keyboard dock is especially important, since its price may be a deciding factor for people who want to travel with the iPad instead of a netbook.

Is the iPad a threat to netbooks?

You can buy an external keyboard (price unknown), and the price for the iPad is right at $499. You can buy iWork, a suite of productivity apps for the device, so why not replace a netbook with the iPad? One concern might be Microsoft Office compatibility, but the standard version of iWork allows you to save files as Office documents, and presumably iWork on the iPad will do the same thing. Of course, most netbooks come with Webcams for video conferencing, and the iPad, well…

Why no Webcam?

You can put a Webcam in something as thin as the MacBook Air, but not the iPad? Are you kidding me? This is another big miss, to my mind. I have to wonder if the addition of 3G connectivity prevented Apple from even considering a Webcam. The telecoms probably wouldn’t be too happy to see people using Google video chat and Skype across 3G connections on the iPad. What other reason could there be for not having a Webcam? Was Apple afraid a Webcam-enabled iPad would cannibalize the 13-inch Macbook? Not likely, but you never know.

VoIP

Just like the iPhone, the iPad will probably let you use Skype over a Wi-Fi connection, but using 3G with VoIP is likely out of the question. I also wonder if Apple will allow a Google Voice app that’s built specifically for the iPad. There may not be any point to that since the iPad isn’t a phone, and Google just came out with a Google Voice Web app specifically for mobile devices.

How comfortable is the typing?

If you look at the iPad promotional video, you’ll notice the user doesn’t let his non-typing fingers rest on the keyboard. That means the onscreen keyboard probably won’t be very comfortable to use for long periods of time. Again, the unknown price of the iPad’s keyboard dock could be a big factor in how well this device sells.

The next iPhone OS

The iPad brings the issue of background processes up again. Having more than one program open at a time is important, especially if you are going to run Pages, iWork’s word processor, and need to refer to the Web while you’re working. Will the next version of the iPhone OS solve this problem, at least for iPad users?

There are other questions that need to be answered, such as whether or not the iPhone will be able to read iBooks. Will Apple try to ban the Kindle app from the iPad? Also, will the iBookstore be a part of iTunes or something that is accessible only from the iPad? I hope we’ll find out soon.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).

Windows 11 Will Support Android Apps: Here’s What You Need To Know

Windows 11 Will Support Android Apps: Here’s What You Need To Know

To run Android apps on your Windows 11 PC or laptop, you won’t need an emulator like Bluestacks or the YourPhone App (That lets you run Android apps on Windows PC provided you have a Samsung Galaxy with the right specs to go with). Why? Because these Android apps will be able to run natively.

So, does that mean Microsoft has gotten into a partnership with Google to have Google Play Store on Windows? The answer is no!

Also Read: While You Wait For Windows 11, How About Running Android Apps On Windows 10?

What’s This Upgrade All About?

Soon you might want to bid adieu to your Windows 10 and say high to Windows 11. One reason being that if you are a licensed Windows 10 user, the new upgrade will be free. And, if you want to dive deeper and want to check if your current version of Windows 10 is all set for the update, do check this post. And, if your Windows 10 is eligible, you are in for a treat!

Key Points

You will be able to enjoy Android apps on Windows 11

Intel’s Bridge Technology will make it possible

You could find apps in Start Menu or even pin them to the Taskbar

You could download Android apps from Amazon Play Store

How Will Android Apps Work On Windows 11?

The Android apps will run natively on Windows 11, thanks to Intel’s Bridge Technology which is a run time post compiler that allows non-native applications to run natively on x86 processors. Intel also confirmed that not only will Intel bridge support the x86 platform, it will also support AMD and ARM platforms as well. That means Android apps will work on Intel 10th and 11th generation processors as well as AMD processors.

Here’s how you will be able to get and run Android apps on Windows 11 – you will need to install the Amazon app store, a strong alternative to Google Play Store. You will be able to find the app store integrated into the new Microsoft Store. There is no denying the fact that despite being strong alternatives to Google Play Store, Microsoft Store, and  Amazon’s Fire Tablet (That run on a modified Android) both have holes, yet, this merger will surely bring them benefits. And, Microsoft has already promised that it will make it easier for developers to get their apps in the Microsoft Store.

The Downside

Not every Android app or game in the Amazon Appstore will run on Windows 11 at least for a moment. So, how would a user quench the thirst for an app that’s not there on Amazon Play Store? Will it be possible to get third-party Android packages, which are more popularly known as APKs? And, if yes (and as many executives believe it to be), won’t that jeopardize your Windows computer and your Android’s safety.  There are many such questions on which clarity is still to be attained.

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Sarang Bhargava

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