Launching Windows 10, Nintendo goes mobile, reviewing Android apps, reporting Twitter harassment, paying friends through Facebook, and Pixels depicts video games invading Earth.
Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Plans
Microsoft has revealed more of its plans for Windows 10, and the long, drawn out killing of the Internet Explorer brand.
Windows 10 will be launched “this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.” As previously revealed, Microsoft will offer anyone using Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 a free upgrade to Windows 10, and that includes “all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine.” This is seen as an attempt to reconnect with the users who have got used to pirated copies of Windows, which is a particular problem in China.
Microsoft also revealed details of Windows Hello, a new sign-in system for Windows 10 that replaces passwords and PINs with biometric scans of your fingerprint, face, or iris. The fingerprint scans will be the easiest to implement, but the facial and iris recognition will require “a combination of special hardware and software to accurately verify it is you.”
Last and definitely least is the latest news on Internet Explorer. We already knew Microsoft was moving away from Internet Explorer in favor of a new Web browser currently codenamed Project Spartan, and that has now been confirmed by Microsoft’s Chris Capossela. Within Windows 10, Internet Explorer will be a legacy browser, with the newcomer pushed as the standard Microsoft browser.
Nintendo Goes Mobile With DeNA
After years of denying it would ever embrace smartphone gaming, Nintendo has revealed plans to do just that. The Japanese gaming giant has signed a deal with mobile games publisher DeNA, the result of which will be Nintendo games coming to a smartphone near you soon.
Nintendo and DeNA are committed to creating “new gaming applications featuring Nintendo IP, which [both companies] will develop specifically for smart devices.” Nintendo isn’t taking the easy option of porting old games to mobile devices, instead focusing on creating original games for Android and iOS. But not Windows Phone.
As part of the same announcement, Nintendo also confirmed it is working on a completely new gaming platform codenamed ‘NX’. It’s not yet known whether this will be a new home console or handheld console, with Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stating, “It is too early to elaborate on the details of this project, but we hope to share more information with you next year.”
Google Now Reviews Android Apps
I'll sell my unborn seedlings before I switch to an android
— QP (@YourFavLatte) March 18, 2015
Google is now manually reviewing all Android apps before they’re made available to download through Google Play. Most apps submitted to Google will be given the all-clear by an automated system designed to weed out malware and other obvious no-nos, but a dedicated team of human testers is also on hand to get involved as and when necessary.
In a blog post detailing the change, Google stated, “Several months ago, we began reviewing apps before they are published on Google Play to better protect the community and improve the app catalog. This new process involves a team of experts who are responsible for identifying violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle.”
This puts Google on a level playing field with Apple, which has taken a dictatorial approach to accepting or rejecting apps. However, while iOS apps can take days, or even weeks, to get approved, Google is pushing Android apps through in mere hours. Leading the company to suggest there has been “no noticeable change for developers during the rollout.”
Twitter Helps You Report Harassment
Twitter is making it easier to report harassment suffered on its service to the authorities. Anyone who is threatened with physical violence is asked to report the details to Twitter. During that process, Twitter will now offer to send a copy of the report to the victim’s email, which they can then take to their local law enforcement.
The report includes the offending tweet and URL, and the name of the Twitter user responsible. Twitter also holds additional information that can be released to the authorities if warranted. While this still leaves the responsibility for accelerating a claim of harassment in the hands of the victim, it certainly makes it a lot easier for an individual to document any abuse.
Send Money via Facebook Messenger
I will now call Facebook Messenger: Crashy Crash Crash.
— Lamarr Wilson (@LamarrWilson) March 13, 2015
You can now send money to your friends through Facebook Messenger. The process is extremely simple, but it does require both the sender and the recipient to add their debit card to your Facebook account, which won’t be to everyone’s tastes.
The ability to send payments through Facebook Messenger is available on the Web, on iOS, and on Android, and will be rolled out across the United States in the coming months. Facebook promises the payments are secure, talking up its track record of processing payments for gamers and advertisers since 2007.
Pixels Brings Video Games to Life
And finally, the first trailer for Pixels has dropped, and it shows Adam Sandler and Kevin James battling video game characters which are out to destroy Earth. And it’s all Ronald Reagan’s fault, apparently. Thanks, Obama.
This is a genius idea for a movie, and the trailer does a good job of setting up the story. The only misstep may be the casting, as Sandler’s recent flicks have been absolutely dire. Still, Pac-Man could save the day, despite being the bad guy.
Pixels hits movie theaters on July 24, 2015.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you looking forward to the impending launch of Windows 10? Is Nintendo right to embrace mobile gaming on smartphones at this point in time? Are you pleased to see Google reviewing Android apps before they go live?
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 Credit: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier via Flickr