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Microsoft Windows 10 devices highlights

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In what could be Microsoft’s most exciting event in years, the company launches a new set of devices including the HoloLens, Microsoft Band, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, the highly anticipated Surface Pro 4, and the surprise of the event – Microsofts first ever laptop – the Surface Book.

The event kicked off with what looked like a cool presentation of the HoloLens. Demoing a game codenamed Project X-Ray, Microsoft showcased what it calls ‘Mixed Reality’ gameplay.

Next up is the Microsoft Band 2. Like other wearables, it’s designed to be your quick access and fitness companion. But the most interesting about the band continues to be how it collects your fitness data, stores it in the cloud, and then shows you a graphic representation of that data. Talk about advanced analytics.

Then, Microsoft unveiled its first Lumia phones specifically designed to run Windows 10. The Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL. The phones sport powerful processors, 20 megapixel PureView cameras, and for some reason, are equipped with a liquid cooling system. But the most impressive thing about the showcase was the Windows 10 feature called Continuum. With the help of the Microsoft Display Dock, a Windows 10 phone can give you a Windows desktop experience. Powerful stuff.

Another important announcement was Facebook backing Microsoft’s universal apps strategy by building universal apps for the Windows 10 platform. If other developers follow Facebook’s footsteps, good things are bound to happen for Microsoft.

[irp posts=”8643″ name=”Microsoft is bringing the feature we’ve always wanted to Windows”]

The most awaited device was the Surface Pro 4 – the tablet-laptop hybrid, essentially a category that Microsoft invented, that was inadvertently hyped thanks to Apple’s release of the iPad Pro and Google’s unveiling of the Pixel C. It turns out Microsoft was really onto something when they first released the Surface, and now the device-type is catching on.

Microsoft calls Surface Pro 4 the thinnest, lightest, and most powerful PC ever made. It also comes with an improved type-cover keyboard that now features a fingerprint scanner. The Surface Pro 4 also comes with a pen that actually has an eraser… *cough* Apple Pencil *cough*

And right when everyone thought Microsoft was done with announcing devices, they unveiled what they call ‘the ultimate laptop’ – the Surface Book. It’s a essentially a bigger, more powerful big brother of the Surface Pro 4. It is Microsoft’s first ever laptop. It’s 13-inch display supports both touch and stylus input so yes, the Surface Pen will work with the Surface Book. It also promises 12-hours of battery life.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella nicely caps off the event with this quote on why they make these devices. He said, “We make things, to help you make things, to make things happen.”

If this event was any indication, it looks like big things are in store for Microsoft.

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Spotify will soon sell you tickets to concerts

It’s experimental for now

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Decades into the information era, buying tickets is still a harrowing experience for the modern-day fan. If you’re not lucky enough to nab great tickets through the usual ticketing sites, you’ll have to try your luck with the ferocious gray market of scalpers. In an experimental feature, Spotify has a new way for fans to see their favorite artists live: by selling tickets directly.

Over the years, Spotify has grown beyond the scope of music streaming. The platform now has sections dedicated to podcasts and talk shows. Now, if you know where to look, there’s also a section for selling tickets.

Notably, this isn’t Spotify’s first incursion into the world of live events. If you go through the list of categories, a Live Events section will take you to a page of concerts happening near you. However, clicking an event will only take you to the normal ways to get tickets, such as through Ticketmaster.

In contrast, the new Tickets page, spotted by Chris Messina (via TechCrunch), will sell you tickets directly through Spotify. Currently, the experiment is limited to a handful of artists like Crows, TOKiMONSTA, and Annie DiRusso. Additionally, each entry will only host pre-sale tickets. After that, sales will take place in the usual sources.

Spotify’s price will also incorporate booking fees going into the company’s revenue. However, unlike other sources, Spotify’s tickets promise to be transparent about pricing.

As the page indicates, the final Tickets page will merge with the current Live Events page. However, it’s still an experiment, even if you can already buy tickets now. Spotify has yet to announce when the feature will come to the general public (and to more artists).

SEE ALSO: Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

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WhatsApp will finally block screenshots for View Once photos

Update coming soon

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WhatsApp’s View Once feature was a massive step towards user privacy. The feature allows users to thaw out the fiery risk of the other person leaking sensitive information and media elsewhere. Well, sort of. Despite the feature’s disappearing nature, users can easily take a snapshot without fear of repercussions. Finally, WhatsApp is doing something about this critical flaw in an upcoming update.

WhatsApp is a constantly evolving product. Throughout the past few months, the app’s developers have experimented and shipped various updates to make everyone’s life easier. Now, compared to the previous accessibility-oriented updates, the upcoming one focuses more on privacy.

It’s not a set of brand new updates, though. At least one of the three updates — the ability to control who sees you online — was reported way back in June. Another one is relatively new: the ability to leave groups silently so as not to alert everyone that a user is leaving. Both of these are rolling out sometime this month.

Given what it fixes, the final update is more crucial. It will block users from taking screenshots of View Once messages. Once the update rolls out, WhatsApp will natively alert View Once viewers that screenshots are blocked for added privacy. Unfortunately, there is no timeline for the update. The announcement only has a “soon” placeholder for a release.

With social media the way that it is, privacy is an ever-growing concern that all users should prioritize. While platforms are still imperfect, small updates like these can surely help people protect their data.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp officially launches emoji reactions, 2GB file sharing

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iPhone 14 series might be more expensive than iPhone 13

Because of the two Pro models

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For years, Apple has earned the unfortunate reputation of being one of the most expensive smartphone brands in the world. It’s hard to justify a new iPhone every year. If you’re still holding out hope for a cheaper iPhone, then you might want to find a new place to place your money on, especially after this latest report. Apple might be increasing the price of the iPhone 14 this year.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the average selling price for the iPhone 14 series will be around 15 percent higher than the iPhone 13 series. The series will reportedly have an average price between US$ 1,000 to US$ 1,050.

Thankfully, it’s not a sweeping increase. Kuo states that the increase in the average will come from price hikes for the iPhone 14 Pro duo.

It’s in line with what we know so far. Previous rumors have speculated that Apple is further delineating the Pro from the regular iPhone duos. A few months ago, Kuo also reported that the upcoming A16 chip will adorn only the two iPhone 14 Pro models.

Since the introduction of the four-model series, the iPhone has constantly tried to build two identities between its users. As the more premium duo packs in more features, it’s inevitable that prices will go up.

Naturally, an increase in price won’t likely equate to a positive in user satisfaction. If you’re on the fence and this report comes true, a more expensive iPhone this year might be enough to sway you over to other brands.

SEE ALSO: Only iPhone 14 Pro series will have A16 chip, report says

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