No One Buys PCs Any More, Get Cortana on the Xbox One… [Tech News Digest]
The PC loses out to mobile, how to get Cortana on the Xbox One, how to use the Google app, Overcast goes free on iOS, the new PlayStation 4 remote, and smashing 28 iPhones up for fun.
PC Sales Are Still Dropping
Those Windows 10 adverts are so ridiculous. The kid who changes the world is clearly going to be using a Mac. Not a PC.
— Kirstie McCrum (@kirstiemccrum) October 11, 2015
PC sales fell by a considerable margin over the summer, with both IDC and Gartner estimating hefty drops between the third quarter this year and the third quarter last year. IDC is predicting a 10.8 percent year-on-year drop, while Gartner is predicting a 7.7 percent drop.
The numbers show that Lenovo is now the market leader, beating out HP and Dell. These three all sailed on with small decreases in sales, with the smaller manufacturers such as Acer and Asus suffering the biggest losses. Apple did OK once again, but then it’s immune to the forces that affect sales across the board.
Overall, this is one the steepest drops in recent years, and it happened right when Microsoft launched Windows 10 . An event which could actually explain the precipitous drop in sales. The big question is whether these drops will continue to happen in future quarters as new Windows 10 hardware is released.
Windows 10 is a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8, which rather negated the need to upgrade your hardware at launch. Only now are PC manufacturers launching brand new hardware with Windows 10 pre-installed on it. So, PC sales over the holiday season should be an interesting metric to watch.
How to Get Cortana on the Xbox One
Microsoft is officially bringing Cortana to the Xbox One in 2016, but it turns out the personal assistant is already operational. As discovered by The Verge, if you own an Xbox One and are running the beta of the new Xbox One dashboard, you can access Cortana on the sly.
To do so, simply access the Settings menu and press A several times in quick succession. Cortana will then pop up at the side of the game or app you’re using. This is Cortana as she appears on Windows 10 , so there’s none of the extra Xbox One functionality available as of yet.
Google Releases Google App Infomercials
Google, now relegated to being a subsidiary of Alphabet , is keen to remind us why it exists. At least that’s the feeling inspired by a new trio of videos which seek to bring us all back to basics. As noted by Gizmodo, these look like infomercials.
The videos show different ways of using Google to get things done. They all focus on the Google app, showing how Google’s core components can help us in our daily lives, no matter what we’re seeking to do. Because, let’s face it, without Google, life would be more difficult to navigate.
Overcast Is Now Free on iOS
Overcast, long considered to be one of the best podcast apps on iOS , is now completely free to use. This is due to the release of Overcast 2, which has given its creator Marco Arment the chance to switch to a free business model. The full version of the original Overcast app was priced at $5. Now, those who want to support Arment can voluntarily pay $1-per-month.
As well as being free, Overcast 2 adds some nice new features. Users can now stream their favorite podcasts rather than download them in advance, there’s support for chapters, and, on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus at least, there are 3D Touch shortcuts. Which, if we’re not mistaken, means you’re getting more features for less money. Zero money, in fact.
Sony Launches PS4 Remote Control
The PS4 remote takes me back to those days of weird 90s console controllers: the dance mat, the mouse, the fishing rod…
— Michael Mills (@call_me_kenneth) October 12, 2015
Sony has launched a new remote control for the PlayStation 4 . The PS4 does a lot more than just play games, with media apps such as Spotify and Netflix making it a fully-fledged set-top box. However, controlling different forms of media with a games controller can be very frustrating.
The new Universal Media Remote for PS4 solves that problem, as it lets you turn on the PS4, navigate the UI, and play and pause video content on a range of different apps. These include Netflix, HBO GO, YouTube, and Twitch. The Universal Media Remote for PS4 will be released in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico later this month, priced at $29.99.
A Smashing Good Time With iPhones
And finally, what would you do if you just happened to “have about 30 iPhones just paying around”? Probably not the same thing as this guy, who decided to smash them all into smithereens with a hammer. You know, for science.
Let’s be clear here: no science was involved in this little experiment. It was just a way of making a video likely to go viral and make some advertising revenue. It worked too, with two million views and counting. Nice work if you can get it! [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will PC sales ever recover? Are you keen to try Cortana on the Xbox One? How often do you use the Google app? What do you think of the new Overcast? Will you be buying the new PS4 remote control? Instead of smashing them, what would you do with 28 iPhones?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Dan Mitler via Flickr