El Capitan gets reviewed, a reminder that Facebook is free, Google launches its iPad Pro competitor, Twitter considers offering more than 140 characters, and the dangers of time travel are revealed.
El Capitan Reviews Roundup
The latest version of OS X, El Capitan (10.11) is due to be released to the general public today. Which means all of you Mac-owning proles should be able to update your machines. However, reviewers have been using OS X 10.11 for several weeks already, and are now able to deliver their verdicts on El Capitan…
The Wall Street Journal likes El Capitan, concluding that, “The Mac’s new operating system may lack that predictive intelligence [Siri] and deeper smarts, but I’ll excuse those absent big-leap features this year. The improved performance and productivity of El Capitan pave the trail for a future operating system that even those of us with dust bunnies in our USB ports might embrace.”
CNET also gives El Capitan the thumbs-up, concluding that it’s a “faster, tidier version of OS X, taking the lessons Apple has learned from mobile devices and baking them into traditional PC form factors. The end result is a new OS X that doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor Yosemite, but instead builds upon that foundation to serve as a pillar in its own right.”
Ars Technica delivers an epic review looking at El Capitan from all angles. It concludes by suggesting that El Capitan “follows in the well-worn footsteps of the Snow Leopard or Mountain Lion releases, which introduced some new features but largely focused on polish rather than pizzazz. That’s a good thing for a platform that’s as mature as OS X has become.” It may not be an exciting update, but it’s a necessary one.
The Verge puts the limitations of El Capitan front and center, reminding us that this “is the small one in Apple’s big-then-small OS update cadence, which means that we have just a few core changes, a bunch of app updates, and a healthy pile of bug fixes.” The end result is that El Capitain is “a good update, but the most interesting thing about it isn’t the features — it’s the philosophy behind them.”
Engadget suggests that, “While this is clearly not as big a release as last year’s update, all of the changes here are welcome, and a few were even overdue.” Unfortunately, “if you weren’t impressed with Yosemite’s flat design and tight integration with iOS, you won’t find much here to get excited about.” So, upgrade by all means, but don’t expect miracles from this latest version of OS X.
Facebook Is Free, and Always Will Be
Despite what you might have read over the past few days, Facebook is still completely free to use and has no plans to charge users to access the site. EVER. This comes direct from the horse’s mouth, with Facebook posting a light-hearted public service announcement saying:
“While there may be water on Mars, don’t believe everything you read on the internet today. Facebook is free and it always will be. And the thing about copying and pasting a legal notice is just a hoax. Stay safe out there Earthlings.”
The reason for this odd update is the resurgence of two posts that first popped up several years ago. The first suggests Facebook is about to start charging, and the only way to stop them doing so is to share the message. The second is a legal notice which claims to protect your content from Facebook’s prying eyes.
Both notices are, quite obviously, total and utter bullshine. But that hasn’t stopped millions of people from falling for one or the other, and millions more will keep the cycle going unless we inform them of the truth. In other words, please inform your less geeky friends and family members not to fall for this nonsense.
The Pixel C Is Google’s iPad Pro
After the iPad Pro and the Pixel C, Microsoft’s Surface event next week could be rather interesting
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) September 29, 2015
Google has unveiled the Pixel C, a new convertible tablet which is the company’s answer to Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface Pro. Like its sister device, the Chromebook Pixel, the Pixel C is a high-end product aimed at those who need more from their mobile devices than the average Android tablet can provide.
The Pixel C has a high-def 10.1-inch display, an Nvidia X1 quad-core processor, a Maxwell GPU, and 3GB of RAM. It also has a keyboard attachment which turns it from a tablet into an actual usable device. Prices range from $499 for 32GB of storage to $599 for the 64GB version. The keyboard attachment costs an extra $149.
Twitter Is Moving Beyond 140 Characters
I see Twitter is thinking of removing the 140 character limit on tweets. I'm not sure I agree because surely 140 characters is more than eno
— James Doleman (@jamesdoleman) September 30, 2015
Twitter has always maintained a maximum message length of 140 characters. But while this made sense at the start (matching the length of SMS text messages) it’s becoming increasingly limiting and, well, pointless as time has gone on. So, it’s no surprise to find that Twitter is considering changing things up.
According to Re/code, this will take the form of a new product which will allow users to post longer updates. Those users who want to will be able to post long-form content on Twitter, while everybody else can carry on as normal. Which makes sense when Twitter is in desperate need to grow its userbase and start turning a profit.
The Dangers of Time Travel Short Film
And finally, if time travel is ever invented, let’s hope we can travel back in time further than three minutes at a time. Otherwise the scenario outlined in this short film could totally happen. OK, it’s a long shot, but it’s surely better to be safe than sorry. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be upgrading your Mac to OS X El Capitan? Have you fallen for the Facebook free scam? Would you prefer an iPad Pro or a Pixel C? Should Twitter stick to 140 characters or go bigger?
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.