Google just added a bunch more partners – Here is the full list of partners

Google’s list of partners for the Google Home has grown very quickly over the past few months.  Here is a full list of partners with compatible products.
Audio
  • YoutTube Music
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Google Play Music
  • TuneIn Radio
  • iHeart Radio
Smart Home
  • Nest
  • Philips Hue
  • IFTTT
  • SmartThings
  • Wemo
  • Honeywell
  • TP-Link
  • Logitech
  • august
  • Vivint.SmartHome
  • First Alert Onelink
  • Rachio
  • Insignia
  • Frigidaire
  • Wink
Streaming Devices
  •  Google Chromecast
  • Google Chromecast Audio
  • Vizio
  • Toshiba
  • Philips
  • Sony
  • Xaomi
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Bang & Olufsen
  • Polk
  • Raumfeld
Videos and Photos (Chromecast or Chromecast built-in Required)
  •  YouTube
  • Netflix
  • Google Photos
Tasks
  •  Google Calendar
  • Google Keep
Games and Fun
  •  Mad Libs

source – Google

Advertisements

Making Microsoft great again

It seems as though Microsoft is waking up

Over the past decade, Microsoft has seemed to be asleep at the wheel.  They are constantly late to the game on just about every technology advancement.  The features that they had which separated them, seem to have fallen on the back burner or have been killed off completely, (windows media center, cough cough).  They have been able to generate excitement around certain hit products like the Xbox, but that customer hype doesn’t seem to be present by users of the Windows operating system. Confronted with major competition, Microsoft is facing the reality that they need to either get with the game or watch their empire become slowly eroded by others who seem to be innovating faster.

Bogged down and bloated

In my opinion, Microsoft OS’s biggest downfalls are a poorly maintained OS and the inability to take control over applications that tend to take over most system resources. Windows XP was a light, well loved operating system. It ran even on the most minimal of hardware…but then came Vista, the big bloated mess that started people’s disenchantment with the windows operating system. Vista was an attempt at beautifying the Operating system, but instead of lean code that enabled the computer to shine they did just the opposite, resulting in a bloated OS that only ran decently on the most powerful PC of the time.  Since then, with each iteration of Windows they have fought to streamline the OS and have finally gotten back to a good place with windows 10.

The Competition

Once upon a time, a machine with Microsoft OS was the very best in computer processing. Now it seems as though a PC is just something to buy in order to get the job done. Where Windows lacks in customer enthusiasm, their competition has been happy to excite their disenfranchised users. Apple came out swinging with commercials painting Windows as a lame business machine. This has translated to Apple taking most of the high-end Windows PC market.  This didn’t seem to affect Microsoft too much. Most of its sales consisted of sub-$1000 PCs so it didn’t effect their bottom line to a great degree.  Just as Microsoft settled in to their low to middle of the range market, a newcomer started making waves.  Out of the blue, Google’s new OS started to catch on and was rapidly taking the low end of the market.  Googles Chrome OS is now evolving and targeting Microsoft’s main users with the introduction of application support and a more robust and advanced operating system.

Expelled from the smart phone market

The smart phone market is another example of a competitive space in which Microsoft failed to see and follow the trends until it was too late. Once a leader in the smart phone world along side blackberry, Microsoft didn’t see the future coming.  When the first iPhone was released in 2007, Windows mobile market share was at an all time high achieving 42% of all smartphone sales. Fast forward to the present day where they account for less than 1% of the market. Time and time again Microsoft has found that their efforts were too little too late.

Manufacturers just don’t innovate

To be fair, Microsoft isn’t the only one to blame for the stagnation of Windows.  It seems to me that with very few exceptions, the manufacturers of PCs have dropped the ball by producing uninspired, half baked, cheap, plasticy, junk. Every year the same old machines are spit out and quality doesn’t often seem to be a focus. Finally in 2012, Microsoft showed the world what a modern PC should be with the introduction of the Surface.  Unfortunately, at that point they had a bigger problem on their hands in the form of Windows 8.  They showed that quality hardware mattered but the next step was to fix the problems with the operating system.

Firing on all cylinders

The surface line has become a force to be reckoned with. This, in combination with windows 10, is helping Microsoft to take back some of their high end market share. The surface line shows the full potential of a Windows computer, combining high quality hardware with a clean a simple aesthetic. These PCs are just the beginning of Microsoft making strides to return to the spotlight and get people excited about their Operating System again.

Announced in the fall of last year along with the introduction of their new ultra high end Surface Studio all in one PC (which is aimed squarely at Apple’s user base), was the announcement of the new update coming to Windows 10, called the creators update.  This update is massive and adds much needed and useful features which have been long since neglected in Windows.  A full feature list is available on Microsoft’s web site, but the two main features that are greatly anticipated are the upgrade to Microsoft Paint and an overhaul of gaming in Windows.

Currently, Paint is severely lacking in features, being used mostly for cropping and the most basic editing. With the update, we are told it will be a full featured 3D art studio, giving the user the basic tools needed to create in 2D and 3D.  The second exciting part of this update is the overhaul of gaming in windows. This will brings PC gaming back to the forefront by combining PC gaming with their immensely popular Xbox.  Using the Xbox live back end, you will be able to converse with fellow gamers and seamlessly share content.  In addition to this, Microsoft will also be improving the gaming experience by allowing the computer to more fully use the resources available for each game and by minimizing other programs so that they don’t impede performance.

Conclusion

No longer is Microsoft the sleeping giant. They have woken up and are ready to do battle,hoping to breathe excitement into the souls of all of their users. Excitement is key for the turn around to succeed. In order for this to work for Microsoft, they need people yelling with enthusiasm when they see new cool innovation being released. They need people queuing up to purchase the next greatest thing.  If they can turn this corner and battle the invaders, they just might keep their crown as the dominant Operating System. Who knows…if this works, they might have the clout to reenter the arena of the mobile phone market.

 

Deal – Free premium Apps and Games – Get them before they become paid again

Aralon Sword and Shadow 3d RPG

That which is done cannot be undone, but it can be avenged.

From the Creators of the award winning Ravensword: The Fallen King,The Elder Scrolls Artist Mark Jones, and
Developer Galoobeth Games, comes ARALON: SWORD AND SHADOW, an Epic 3d Role-Playing Adventure.

A 3d RPG inspired by that classic vein that focuses on a compelling story, a unique hero, and an open 3D world ready for exploration. Journey through the Kingdom of Aralon and unravel its mysteries.

Features:

– Over 30 hours of gameplay
– Gorgeous and dynamic 3d environments
– 3rd and First Person play modes
– Full Day/Night cycle and dynamic lighting effects
– Epic Soundtrack and realistic sound effects
– Customizable characters, including hairstyles, armor, and different faces
– 4 Character Classes
– Unique Skill Trees for each class
– 3 Playable Races: Humans, Elves, and Trolls
– A primary quest and multiple, optional side-quests
– Hundreds of items to acquire and wield
– Comprehensive Inventory System
– Battle various enemies that use different fighting tactics
– Faction system, herb gathering, crafting potions and
magical items, dual-wielding, lockpicking, pick-pocketing, and more
– Swimming, Fishing, Campfires
– 8 Different Mount Types, including horses, dragons, and more
– Fully animated 3d characters
– Achievements
– Pets and henchmen to help you in your quests
– Save system with 6 different save slots

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

Game Studio Tycoon

Build a gaming empire! In Game Studio Tycoon you begin as a new game dev looking to make it big in the gaming industry. Over the next 40 years you will be able to develop games of all sizes on over 40 different platforms! Do you have what it takes to be the best in the business?

Features:
– Play through 40 years of gaming history
– Run a studio! This business isn’t just about making games, it about staying afloat! Have total control of your company including how much investors should own of it.
– Develop on over 40 recognizable consoles from the past and near future!
– Manage a team of game devs to make the best games possible!
– Research new game types and platform options!
– Hire contractors to help improve your games!
– Awesome pixel graphics!
– Tons of replay value – no two playthroughs will ever be the same!
– 3 Save slots
– Appropriate for all ages

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

Bloons TD 5

Five-star tower defense with unrivaled depth and replayability. Now with rewarded leaderboards for even more fun and challenge!

Build awesome towers, choose your favorite upgrades, hire cool Special Agents, and pop every last invading Bloon in the best ever version of the most popular tower defense series in history.

Bloons TD 5 delivers hours of fun and challenging play to fans and new players alike, with awesome features like this:

– 21 powerful towers with Activated Abilities and 2 upgrade paths
– 50+ Tracks
– Two-player co-operative play on custom co-op tracks
– 10 Special Agents
– 10 Special Missions
– 250+ Random Missions
– New Bloon enemies – tougher Camos, Regrower Bloons, and the fearsome ZOMG
– 3 different game modes
– Freeplay mode after mastering a track
– 3 difficulty settings and family-friendly theme so anyone can play

And that’s just the beginning – regular updates will keep Bloons TD 5 fresh, fun, and challenging for many months to come. Now it’s time to pop some Bloons!

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

Reed

Reed – it’s a tiny creature and the last creation of an old supercomputer.
The old supercomputer is dying by losing all of his cubes and he’s getting much slower without them.
Without supercomputer, world is going to end.
Could you help him and save the world ?
Can you collect all the cube that could be found in levels that are not so easy to pass ?

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

Infinity Loop Premium

The objective.

The game is all about rotating pieces properly, so that there would be no loose ends.

The content.

Entire content of the game consists from most exceptional fan-made puzzles, which were carefully selected by the developer team. This is why each and every puzzle will surprise you and bend your imagination in extraordinary ways. Animals, superheroes, real-life objects or beautiful abstracts – you can find it all here.

Nature of the game.

Although the nature of the game is quite meditative, it flexes the player’s mind in a manner, so that it improves both short-term and long-term memory, along with logical thinking capabilities.

The length.
The game currently presents about 12-14 hours of top-notch puzzle experience. Please note that to ensure the infinite play, the content will be frequently updated. Make no mistake – every puzzle you see will blow your mind

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

Collect or Die

STORY:
Welcome test subject and thank you for volunteering to the ‘Collect or Die’ science program.

As a volunteer we would like to invite you to our technology & learning centre where you can enjoy tea and cake before taking on some light physical and mental testing. Please note that although fun and learning are the primary goals of the test program, serious injury may occur. To ensure the safety of test subjects all progress will be monitored via our state of the art CCTV and VHS recording equipment.

Good luck volunteer!

GAMEPLAY:
Collect or Die is a fast paced retro platformer set in a run down science facility. The goal is simple, help stickman collect every coin in each test chamber or watch him die trying! Of course its not as easy as it sounds, with tons of obstacles ranging from saws and thwomps to lasers and sentries, things can get tricky fast!

KEY FEATURES:
– Dynamic ragdoll physics & dismemberment.
– 40 levels across 4 stages (more coming soon).
– Leaderboards & Achievements.
– Variety of traps & hazards.
– Awesome stickman action.
– Tilt Controls with adjustable sensitivity.
– Lots & lots of coins.

RAGDOLL PHYSICS:
Dynamic ragdoll physics and dismemberment mean that every death is unique with some unexpected and hilarious results. Death is no longer a bore, watch your stickman die in brutal and violent ways.

AWESOME STICK FIGURE ACTION:
Everyone loves a stickman right? Well, stick figures have never looked so good, even if they are covered in blood & gore most of the time.

CHALLENGING GAMEPLAY:
Collect or die is a hardcore retro platformer designed to make you rage… its not impossible but only the best will manage to collect them all. Do you have the skill to survive?

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

AceSpeeder3

The racing game that run through the future world in the anti-gravity machines.
You can experience the overwhelming speed and realistic motion.

– Beautiful visuals and powerful sounds
– Anyone can enjoy simple operation
– 10 unique machines
– 35 wide variety of courses
– 3 of the game rules

google-play-button-new-e1460739245700

 

 

Approved! Google to start construction of their new campus

Two years ago, Google announced their plans to build a new campus located in Mountain View, CA near it’s current headquarters and they’ve finally been given the go ahead to get started on construction. The new building will be two stories tall and about 595,000 square feet.

Below are the images of what the campus should look like.

charleston-east-would-be-located-near-the-googleplex-googles-famed-headquarters-in-mountain-view-californiaheres-the-view-of-the-building-from-the-westscreen shot 2017-02-28 at 93618 amthe-most-distinctive-part-of-the-building-is-a-canopy-like-structure-it-regulates-the-climate-inside-checks-air-quality-and-ensures-it-doesnt-get-too-loud-insidewhile-google-would-have-to-remove-about-160-trees-to-build-the-new-campus-the-plans-include-replanting-trees-and-offering-plenty-of-other-green-space

source – business insider

Nest working on a cheaper thermostat and new security system

product-footer-explore-2b57da484a

There have been new rumors coming from bloomberg.com that Nest is developing a cheaper version of its thermostat. They’re aiming to to get the price below $200 in hopes that introducing a cheaper version will give them a competitive edge in the smart home market.  I’m hoping that they will also make a higher end device that fully integrates a google home interface and has a larger screen that is able to show the results of the Google Assistant’s responses.

nestcam-100591896-orig

Another rumor is that Nest will be introducing a service for home security, building upon the Nest Cam that they currently sell with an added a smart doorbell.  My hope is that they will bring them to market at a reasonable price.

Nest needs to start diving deeper in the the total smart home experience by adding basics like smart light switches, smart plugs, and other smart home related products, similar to what Belkin has with their Wemo line.  It seems like a natural step to add these products to their line up.

 

source – bloomberg.com

4 New-old Capcom games for Android & iOS

Can’t wait to see if they are well done remakes or terrible ports like the Mega Man remakes.

Capcom to Release Four Arcade Classics to iOS and Android Platforms

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – March 02, 2017) – Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games today announced that it will be bringing four Capcom arcade favorites to iOS and Android devices. The titles include 1942 Mobile, Ghosts’N Goblins™ Mobile, Ghouls’N Ghosts™ Mobile and Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile

Each of these games maintains fidelity to the originals, while offering players the option to play in modes that take full advantage of touch screen devices. In addition to Classic and Casual modes of play several of the games offer control options such as auto-fire and different button arrangements. Each game will also feature leaderboards so players can see how their skills compare against players from around the globe. All four games are expected to be available within the next few months.

Game Details:

  • 1942 Mobile This vertically scrolling shoot ’em up tasks players with battling through the entire enemy fleet. Shoot down enemy planes, avoid enemy fire and perform rolls and loops to avoid certain death in this epic retro nail-biter.
  • Ghosts’N Goblins™ Mobile Return to the days of yesteryear in this famously difficult action-platformer. As Sir Arthur, you must battle against demons and undead in order to rescue the princess Prin-Prin.
  • Ghouls’N Ghosts™ Mobile Better, bigger and more beloved, this legendary side scrolling platformer pick up where Ghost ‘n Goblins ends.
  • Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando Mobile Armed with a sub-machine gun and a limited supply hand grenades, players battle through legions of enemy troops in this classic vertical scrolling shooter.

source – Capcom

Time to upgrade my machine

Today, AMD gave us the full details about Ryzen and it looks groundbreaking.

Summary of video

  1. AMD = High Performance Computing
  2. 10 percent smaller chip size
  3. Ryzen is completely new hardware, not just a change in design
  4. AMD beats its own goal of 40% boost in IPC – achiving 52%!ryzen-1
  5. Ryzen 7 = models 1700, 1700x and 1800x
  6. The 1700x beats the intel i76900k currently selling for $1049.ryzen-2
  7. Ryzen 7 1800x ($499) beats the i7 6900k($1049) by 9 percent on Cinebench.ryzen-3
  8. Worlds lowest powered 8 core processor and 46% better performance.ryzen-4
  9. 82+ AM4 motherboards will be available at launch.
  10. AMDs goal was to disrupt the industry.ryzen5ryzen6ryzen7
  11. AMD blows away the competition – available March 2nd.  Pre-orders start today.