PC vs. Mac becomes Surface Pro vs. MacBook, Google Crowdsource helps you help Google, Apple sends out iPhone 7 event invites, Google Cast is now built into Chrome, and using virtual reality to pop the question.
Microsoft Brings PC Vs. Mac Back
For several years during the 2000s, Apple trolled Microsoft by urging us all to “Get a Mac”. The Get a Mac ad campaign showed PC as a stuffy, old-fashioned character repeatedly bettered by the younger, hipper Mac. The ads were successful to a point, but were discontinued several years ago. However, Microsoft seems intent on bringing them back, albeit with Windows as the star.
Fresh from gently mocking the iPad Pro and Apple’s insistence it’s powerful enough to be a computer, Microsoft is back with another Surface Pro ad. This one takes aim at MacBooks, essentially comparing the two devices and finding the Macs wanting. Not only does Microsoft name and shame the MacBook, the company suggests it’s as useful as “a hat for your cat”. Which is a low blow.
This is a fascinating turn of events. On the one hand it’s odd that Microsoft feels the need to go after a rival with a comparatively tiny market share, but it also shows how confident Microsoft is that it’s now the innovator battling against a corporate giant happy to deliver the same product over and over again. The times really are a-changing.
In Microsoft’s eyes, the roles have reversed, but do you, the average consumer, agree?
Google Wants to Crowdsource Your Time
Google has released a new Android app, but this one is all about you helping Google rather than Google helping you. It’s called Crowdsource, and it enables users to help improve the Google services they use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the company is asking you to work for Google for free, with nothing in the way of rewards yet on offer.
To be fair to Google, each task only takes a few seconds to complete. Tasks include handwriting recognition, image transcription, and language translation. Crowdsource is keeping tabs on how many microtasks you complete, and told TechCrunch that it’s “thinking through incentives” at the moment.
However, the lack of rewards right now is sure to cause consternation, and prevent too many people signing up to the app. Google simply states, “Each microtask takes no more than five to 10 seconds, so knock away a few the next time you find yourself with a few moments to kill. Every time you use it, you know that you’ve made the internet a better place for your community.” The question is, is that enough in this day and age?
The iPhone 7 Debuts on September 7
We all knew the iPhone 7 was due to be announced before the end of the year, but now we know exactly when it’s arriving, with Apple sending out invites to its next big event. This one is taking place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on September 7th, a date which was probably chosen on purpose.
The invite simply reads, “See you on the 7th”. Which is about as simple and straightforward as it could be. However, the 7th probably refers to the iPhone 7 itself, as that’s set to be the star of the show. There’s also more to the invite than immediately meets the eye.
As reported by The Verge, the “See you,” when used in conjunction with the colored spheres, probably refers to the iPhone camera, which is rumored to be undergoing a serious refresh. It may even hint at Apple trying to achieve DSLR-like levels of bokeh (the quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photograph). I guess we’ll find out on September 7!
Google Adds Cast to Google Chrome
In an effort to make the process of casting content easier than ever, Google has built the capability to Cast into the latest version of Chrome. This means that anyone who uses a Chromecast will no longer have to install the standalone Google Cast extension to cast content from Chrome to their TV.
Google Cast is now fully built-in to Chrome. Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome installed! https://t.co/TlBfRQGjjS
— Google Chrome (@googlechrome) August 29, 2016
If you’re on a website integrated with Cast then a Cast icon will appear automatically, and it will only take a couple of clicks to start casting content. On any other website you’ll need to click Settings, and then find Cast to achieve the same thing. Either way, it’s all possible without an extra extension.
In announcing this change, Google shared some numbers, revealing that in the past month alone, people have cast from Chrome 38 million times, adding up to 50 million hours of content. So it’s no wonder Google sought to make the process easier.
A Virtual Marriage Proposal
And finally, there are many ways to propose marriage to someone. You can stick to the traditional method, going down on one knee in a romantic setting, or, if it better matches your personalities, you can try something a little zany, or, if you’re a pair of geeks, you can utilize technology in some way. Which is what the guy in this video does.
In order to propose to his girlfriend he creates his own virtual reality experience before getting her to don the VR headset. It’s all a little confusing until the handwritten, “Will you marry me?” graffiti is revealed, at which point she rips off the headset, screams, “Yes, you moron!” and embraces the nerdy love of her life. Hooray for geeks! [H/T Gizmodo]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Which would you prefer out of a Surface Pro and a MacBook? Will you be helping Google by downloading Crowdsource? Will the iPhone 7 amaze us all or be a major disappointment? Are you pleased to see Cast become a default option in Google Chrome? Which technology would you use to make a marriage proposal special?
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.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.