Category Archives: News

Windows 8.1 RTM Is Now Official, General Availability Penned Down For October 18th

Late last week, we heard through the grapevine that Windows 8.1 RTM had been finalized, and today, the process has begun. New devices and machines bundled with Windows 8.1 will become available from October 18th, with manufacturers now being issued with licenses to pre-install the software, everything appears to be running tidily to schedule.

Whenever Microsoft is on the cusp of a new Windows release, there’s always a bit of a to-do, but since Windows 8.1, which will drop just a year after Windows 8, is a less drastic update in light of the company’s new arrangement for release cycles, there seems to have been a lot more dialogue between the Redmond company and the millions of users. Certainly, with the return of the Start button a subject of much relief to many a Windows user, the October release date cannot come soon enough, and with IFA in Berlin set to showcase a slew of new, Windows 8.1-enabled devices, Microsoft will be anticipating strong adoption rates once again.

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Belkin’s LEGO Builder Case for iPhone 5 is too much fun

When you’ve done hundreds of reviews of iPhone cases, you tend to get a little jaded. I mean, how many different ways can someone make an iPhone case, right? Sure, you can make them out of different materials — leather, aluminum, wood, all three of the previous ingredients together, and various types of plastic — and they can come in a variety of colors, but a case is just a case. Unless it is Belkin’s new LEGO Builder Cases for iPhone 5 (US$39.99), that is.

The case is made of brightly colored plastic, so there’s nothing new there. But when you take a gander at the back of the case, that’s where you find an official LEGO base plate. If you are a LEGO fan, you can just start snapping those bricks and other components (not included) to the base plate and create the case of your dreams.

Macworld looks at the trouble with Apple IDs

Kirk McElhearn over at Macworld has an excellent piece summarizing the ways Apple IDs present all kinds of headaches and troubles for their users. It’s nothing others haven’t said before, indeed–we’ve written about it many times on TUAW, but the issue is so important, it’s worth bearing repeating as often as possible: the current implementation of Apple IDs suck.

Almost anyone with an Apple ID has an Apple ID horror story. They began when Apple unleashed its dotmac email service, then iTunes IDs, the failed MobileMe service, and now its so-so iCloud service.

How the Instagram app straightens photos

Sometimes it’s really an eye-opener when a developer opens the curtains just a little and lets those of us on the outside see what is going on behind the scenes. The Verge noted this morning that the Instagram engineering team had done exactly that, revealing how they went about designing and implementing the automatic image straightening that’s available in Instagram for iPhone.

The option is simple in operation; one simply taps the proper icon in a menu, and the app uses data from the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to determine the proper correct angle for your image. It’s then possible to tweak the image just a bit more with manual controls.

Apple TV gets Vevo, Weather Channel, Disney, and Smithsonian channels

Apple has added a number of new channels to the Apple TV today, as first noted by MacRumors. The news channels include Vevo, The Weather Channel, Disney, Disney XD, and the Smithsonian Channel.

Though the Vevo channel has been rumored for some time, the other channels were unexpected. Vevo has issued a press release surrounding the announcement. It reads in part:

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