Shield Android TV Update 3.1 Brings Game Optimizations, Mouse Support And More

NVIDIA has released a new over-the-air update for the Shield Android TV. The update brings several new features for the device and bumps up the version number to 3.1. Some of the new features in this update include the ability to use apps with a mouse cursor, aside from game optimizations and much more. NVIDIA didn’t list in the changelog which games are getting optimizations.

The changelog only says that this update brings optimizations for “new games,” and that it adds mouse navigation when using Shield controller’s right stick. This feature is automatically supported in apps that don’t use the right stick like the Google Chrome browser which can be installed on the device using the Google Play Store on PC.

Marshmallow features and stability improvements like external USB drive detection, HDMI-CEC, SD card formatting, FTP write access, idle/sleep stability and more are also included in update version 3.1. The monthly Android security patch is also baked into this release, it’s the March 2016 security patch.

Shield users can check the device now to see if the update has gone live in their region. It’s rolling out over-the-air so it shouldn’t take more than a few hours for this update to go live for everybody. It comes in at around 800MB so some patience will be required when downloading the update, particularly on a weak internet connection.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Preview For Xbox One Out Late May Or Early June

At its Build conference late last month, Microsoft confirmed that the next major update for Windows 10 is called the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and that it’s going to be released this summer. Prior to the public release, this update will be seeded to beta testers who will put it through its paces before Microsoft deems it ready for a full release. It has also been confirmed that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update preview is going to arrive for Xbox One either late next month or in early June.

Microsoft seeds upcoming Xbox One updates to members of the Xbox One Preview Program. It has been doing so for quite some time now and will continue doing so for the next major Windows 10 update.

Microsoft has made all Windows 10 updates free so they will be available at no additional cost to customers across all of the company’s supported platforms, that includes the console and the HoloLens.

Xbox team member Mike Ybarra confirmed via Twitter that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update announced at Build 2016 comes with key gaming features and that the next Xbox system update will go to preview in late May or early June.

Though it won’t be the only update that preview program members get. In a reply to a question, Ybarra also confirmed that members will get preview updates before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update preview arrives.

Potato-Powered Security Device Is Unique

If you have some spare potatoes in your home, you might want to think about using them to be more than just food or your main source of carbohydrates. Rather, you might actually want to look into securing your home with smart sensors, and to have these smart sensors be powered by potatoes.

This is what Globio has come up with, and since their smart security sensors happen to be so low on energy consumption, they can actually run off a potato in a more modern update of the classic science experiment. Such smart security sensors can then get to work to monitor the likes of movement, magnetic fields, vibrations, temperature, air pressure or humidity, before triggering an alarm as and when the need arises.

The very first PPSD, or Potato Powered Security Device as it is better known, will allow saltwater or a cooked potato to deliver 0,2 mW of electrical energy – which happens to be 10 times the amount the most economical globio would consume. Now that is darned economical, and when you take into consideration that the sensors run on conventional batteries too, achieving operating times from one up to seven years depending on the individual tasks, this is all the more impressive.

Google Releases Tool To Measure Touch Latency On Android Devices

There are many reasons as to why an app on a phone might not be running as smoothly as it should. It could be that the phone’s hardware is old and there might not be enough RAM to handle the app properly. Or maybe it could be that the app was not designed properly and not optimized, hence potential lag.

However the good news is that if you’re an app developer looking to check your Android app for any touch or audio latency when it comes to performance, you will be pleased to learn that Google has released a tool called WALT that will basically help you measure any potential latency in your app.

WALT is actually a tool that is being used by Google themselves when it comes to developing their own apps, as well as for other products like Chromebooks. However Google has decided to make it open source so that other developers will be able to take advantage of it. Unfortunately the only downside is that you will need to build separate hardware in order to make full use of it.

The upside is that according to Google, purchasing the parts necessary to build your latency-testing machine will cost less than $50, so if you’re motivated enough to try and optimize your app as much as possible, then you will be able to find the code and the instructions on GitHub.

Google Reminders Arrives On Web Calendar

google-calendar-reminderGoogle continues to march forward in the right direction with yet another update for its web-based calendar, bringing with it reminders this time around. If one were to recall correctly, in early December last year, Google updated its Calendar apps for Android as well as iOS with a rather nifty feature, that is, to include ‘reminders’.

Why was this particular feature designed in such a way to function as a cross-platform basis? Well, it was so that Google apps users need never have to miss an event, ever again, and neither shall they forget about that looming deadline or other happenings. The web version of their calendar missed the proverbial boat, but that is no longer the case.

Google has confirmed that the web-based Google Calendar will now be able to handle the reminders feature, and this means basically whatever entries that you create will be able to be seen all across the different devices and platforms of yours. Hence, any reminder created on the web itself too, will be spotted on all of your other mobile devices. Not only that, it also translates to the likes of Google Now, Keep and Inbox being aware of your calendar entries, which will certainly enhance the way you live your life.

LG Innotek Claims Wireless Charger Works As Fast As Wired Charger

When it comes to juicing up your modern day smartphones, most of us would rely on two things – the standard issue charger that comes with each handset purchase, as well as a powerbank that comes in handy whenever you need to power up your device but have not a single power outlet in sight. Wireless charging has not quite become the norm just yet (although it might be with the rumored 2017 iPhone model to sport such a feature), but this does not mean that the likes of LG Innotek has no say in the matter – laying claim that their wireless charger will be able to charge a handset as fast as a regular, wired charger.

LG Innotek has announced its 15-watt transmission modules that have been specially developed for smartphone wireless charging, and has tipped for it to be mass produced sometime later this year. Meant to deliver the same amount of electric power that is sent by traditional wired chargers, it will definitely shorten charging times. At 15W, their charging speed is said to be up to three times faster than current 5W modules.

LG also claims that this particular module is compatible with most of the smartphones which support wireless charging, in addition to chargers that have already been installed in electric vehicles as well as household or office environments. The Korean company touts that they have supplied receiving modules to global smartphone manufacturers like LG Electronics, Motorola, and Kyocera to date.

Seagate Innov8 USB-Powered Desktop Hard Drive Is World’s First

seagate-innov8Yes, there have been USB-powered hard drives in the past such as this particular model from Verbatim, but how many of them are able to measure up to what Seagate is offering? The Seagate Innov8 boasts of being the first USB-powered desktop hard drive in the world that comes with a whopping 8TB of storage space, now top that!

Sporting various advancements in USB 3.1 technology in order to deliver speedy data transfer speeds, the Seagate Innov8 will boast of its very own (and new) Ignition Boost Technology, which allows this 8TB desktop hard drive to rely fully on a USB outlet rather than having it hooked up to a power outlet. Ignition Boost, when working alongside USB 3.1, would allow the Innov8 to thrive off bus power without the need for a dedicated power source or adapter.

Not only that, the Seagate Innov8 is also a sight to behold, having already picked up this year’s Red Dot design award, as it arrives in a premium, well-balanced aluminum enclosure and design that enables users to place it horizontally or vertically, depending on their preferences.

Each Innov8 comes with the Seagate Dashboard software that will allow users to enjoy one-click on-demand or customizable, scheduled backups for their devices, and it will also be accompanied by 200GB of Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage and Lyve software compatibility. Expect the Seagate Innov8 to be out later next month for $349 a pop.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Arrives This Summer

During its keynote at the Build conference today, Microsoft has confirmed that the next major update for Windows 10 is going to be released in the next few months. The company confirmed that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is going to be released this summer. As the name suggests, the update will commemorate the launch of Windows 10, so it’s likely that it might be released on July 29th, the same date that Windows 10 came out on last year.

Prior to the launch, Microsoft will certainly roll out many of the upcoming features to members of its Windows Insiders program. Most of those features will be rolled out starting today.

Like all previous updates for Windows 10, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is also going to be free and it will be release for all Windows devices, even the HoloLens and theXbox One.

More information about the new features included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start to arrive in the near future as the Insiders get their hands on new builds and take them apart to see what’s new.

During the keynote today, Microsoft also confirmed that Windows 10 now powers more than 270 million computers across the globe, boasting that the latest iteration has the fastest adoption rate of any Windows iteration ever released.

Sony 4K Streaming Service Ultra Launches Next Month


Sony first announced its new 4K streaming service at the International Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year and the company has revealed today when it’s going to be launched in the United States. As the name suggests, the service will enable subscribers to stream content in 4K Ultra High Definition, and for that, they will not only require a 4K TV but also a good enough internet connection that’s able to stream content in 4K.

Ultra, Sony’s new 4K UHD movie streaming service, is going to be launched in the United States on April 4th. It will be available on the company’s 4K UHD TVs powered by Android TV.

The service will provide users with a variety of movies for purchase and playback in 4K UHD resolution, many titles will also include support for High Dynamic Range and Digital Extras at no additional cost.

Sony hasn’t implemented a Netflix-like model here, customers don’t pay a monthly subscription to access content, instead they have to purchase individual 4K titles for $30 each. Purchased items are then streamed to the TV, they can’t be downloaded because the TVs don’t have enough storage onboard to storage a full movie in 4K.

Ultra is compatible with UltraViolet so users will be able to link their new Ultra profile to UltraViolet and stream Sony Pictures content they have previously purchased or redeemed through UV-compatible retailers like Vudu, and others.

Customers who have purchased one of Sony’s new 4K TVs will get four 4K titles for free when they sign up for Ultra. Sony hasn’t confirmed as yet if Ultra will be available on thePlayStation 4, it wouldn’t be surprising since the company is believed to be working on a 4K PlayStation 4, but it has hinted at the possibility of allowing users to rent 4K titles through Ultra.

Microsoft Created A Version Of Windows 10 Just For The Chinese Government

China is one of the most lucrative markets on the planet for tech companies but it’s one that plays by its own rules. Tech companies often have to make exceptions when it comes to China if they want to gain access to the potential the market offers. It won’t surprise many to learn that Microsoft created a special version of Windows 10, the latest iteration of its operating system, just for the Chinese government.

It’s relatively easy to get your hands on various Windows 10 versions that include Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows 10 Pro, etc but you won’t be able to get your hands on Windows 10 Zhuangongban.

Windows 10 Zhuangongban refers to the “Windows 10 Specially-provided Edition,” a special version of Windows 10 that Microsoft has created for the Chinese government. Speaking to Chinese magazine Caixin, Microsoft China CEO Ralph Haupter said that this was done as part of a joint venture with China’s CETC.

Haupter tells Caixin that this special edition of Windows 10 has fewer apps and services from Microsoft and features more security and management controls as per the requirements of the Chinese government. Haupter didn’t go into too many details about the changes or if the OS looks any different but he does say that this version of Windows 10 retains the ability to run any Windows-compatible program.