iPhone iOS 9 – Up to 3 hours longer life

Battery charging

Given there are mayflies with longer lifespans than iPhone batteries, many smartphone owners will be delighted to hear that Apple’s latest update will give them three hours more juice.

At WWDC 2015, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi announced that iOS 9 will extend battery life on iPhones by one hour.

Another “Low Power Mode” will extend battery life up to three more hours on top of that.

iOS 9 will be launched to the public alongside the next generation of iPhones in September.

With iOS 8, the iPhone 6’s battery lasts up to 14 hours, so just imagine what you’ll be able to achieve with a full 17 hours of charge!

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Apple announces OS X El Capitan

Apple have announced OS X El Capitan, a new version of OS X that refines the Mac experience and improves system performance.

Building on last year’s release of OS X Yosemite, El Capitan introduces enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and makes everyday activities from launching apps to accessing email faster and more responsive.

Metal, Apple’s breakthrough graphics technology, is integrated into El Capitan, delivering system-wide performance gains and enabling games and pro apps to tap into the full power of Mac graphics processors.
“OS X delivers unparalleled integration between Mac hardware, iOS devices, apps and online services, and has helped Mac sales outpace the PC industry every year for the last decade,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

The developer preview of OS X El Capitan is available to Mac Developer Program members starting today. Mac users can participate in the El Capitan Beta Program in July and download the final version for free from the Mac App Store this fall.

OS X El Capitan improves system performance across Mac, making many of the things to be done everyday faster. El Capitan also features enhanced international language support, including a new Chinese system font for both Traditional and Simplified, with 50,000 characters for crisp on-screen readability.

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Google Cardboard for iPhone

Apple fans finally have a taste of Google’s budget virtual reality platform, letting you explore new worlds without getting off the couch.

It’s roughly 12 months since Google unveiled the deceptively simple Google Cardboard platform, which relies on a cheap cardboard frame to hold a smartphone up to your face – a bit like an old ViewMaster. Google Cardboard-compatible apps split the screen in half to offer a slightly different view to each eye, which your brain combines to create a 3D view of the scene.

The results naturally aren’t as impressive as something like the Oculus Rift headset used by Australia’s Zero Latency platform, but it’s hard to complain when you can buy a Google Cardboard viewer for a few dollars or download the instructions and build your own. LG also offers a plastic version of the viewer to use with with its G3 smartphone, as shown in the video above, while Samsung has gone it alone and built its own VR viewer in conjunction with Oculus Rift

As Google Cardboard finds its feet, Google has unveiled a second-generation viewer which is easier to assemble and supports devices with up to a 6-inch display. There’s also a new style of button on the side, designed to work with any smartphone.

Google Cardboard

With the new cardboard viewers Google has also embraced the iPhone – bringing the official Google Cardboard app to the iTunes store. Apple has been very quiet on virtual reality, although it has reportedly hired developers and the move by Google may be enough to force Cupertino’s hand.

It was already possible to cobble together a Google Cardboard experience on the iPhone, as it fits into some Google Cardboard viewers and there are a handful of Google Cardboard-style apps in the iTunes store. The release of the official Google Cardboard demo app gives a wider taste of what the platform has to offer – you can pay a visit to the Eiffel Tower, explore the dinosaur exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History or get a close up view of museum exhibits.

Google is also expanding Cardboard’s potential with the release of the Google Expeditions pack – a kit for teachers looking to take their students on VR excursions. The system keeps a room full of Google Cardboard apps in sync, with the teacher controlling everything from a tablet so they can lead students through virtual worlds.

The move to embrace iOS should see more developers turn their attention to virtual reality, although it remains to be seen if budget handset-based VR turns out to be a novelty in the long run. It’s a great idea, but it feels rather limiting once you’ve experienced more immersive VR like Zero Latency, which sits firmly on your face and lets you walk around rather than sit still.

Are you ready to take the leap into virtual reality? Where do you want to go with Google Cardboard?

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7 ways to remove and prevent crapware and bloatware

We’ve all been there. We download something off the Internet or buy it from the store, we know we want a default install, so we just NEXT-NEXT-NEXT-ENTER and the program installs. Later, we launch our browser and we have a new homepage and our favorite search engine has been hijacked. We then start to get toaster pop-ups asking us to register something/upgrade something/answer a survey on something… it’s enough to drive you crazy. Then you realize that the software you meant to add wasn’t flying solo. It had passengers, and one of those NEXTs you clicked so quickly without reading was asking you to agree to install something you really don’t want. Now what?

Even worse is when we get a “great deal” on a new PC, buy it, get it home, and find that the entire desktop is covered with icons for trial software and try-before-you-buy software and other garbage you will never use, and a good part of your hard drive is occupied by this crapware and bloatware. Worse still, is if your new PC comes complete with pre-installed malware.

Either way, you want that garbage gone and you want it gone now. There are a variety of ways you can go about getting rid of the crapware and bloatware on your computer to get it back to the way you want it to be.

1. Read before you click!

The easiest way to solve a problem is by avoiding it in the first place, so when you install some new media player or codec or viewer, anything really, read before you click. Many very reputable developers have to bundle software with their stuff just to pay the bills, but they make it really obvious how not to install the extra stuff, as long as you read before clicking NEXT-NEXT-NEXT. Make sure that when you agree to something, or leave the checkbox selected, it is relevant to the software you want, and not something else that’s just along for the ride. Keep away from softwares that promises millions of views on youtube and millions on fans on facebook overnight.

2. Add/Remove Programs

In Windows, you may be able to remove just about anything by using the Control Panel applet, named either Add/Remove Programs or simply Programs and Features (depending on the version.) From there, view the list of installed programs, select the one(s) you don’t want, and click Uninstall.

3. Remove toolbars from browsers

Which browser you use will determine which way you go to remove toolbars that take up half your screen, change your homepage and generally make a nuisance of themselves.


In Chrome, open chrome://extensions to see the list of installed extensions and remove them. You can simply click the bin icon to remove the extension or uncheck the enabled box.


In Firefox, click the Firefox button, select the Add-ons item in the menu and then click on Extensions.


In Safari, click Edit, then Preferences, then the Extensions tab.

Internet Explorer

Finally, in Internet Explorer, click the gear icon, then click Manage add-ons.

4. Restore Points

If you suddenly find unwanted garbage on your machine and can’t find a way to uninstall it, run System Restore and restore to a point before the last piece of software was installed. You will then need to rerun the installer, paying more attention to what you are accepting.

5. Use a third-party application uninstaller

There are a number of third-party application uninstallers that can remove unwanted software from your machine and optimize your registry. Look for programs like AppCleaner, AppTrap, AppZapper, CCleaner, CleanApp, Spybot Search and Destroy, and TrashMe to name just a few. Be very careful using these programs. Changing Registry entries is a dangerous game if you do not know what you’re doing.

6. Use MSConfig to see what’s starting

In Windows, run msconfig.exe and view the startup tab to see which programs are set to run at each boot. Note in later versions of Windows, the startup tab is now in Task Manager. Disable what you don’t want starting up, reboot, and if all goes well, use one of the methods above to remove it.

7. Reinstall

If your PC is so loaded down with junk that it just seems hopeless, consider a clean install. Before you do though, make sure you have the full install media, keys and any additional software you really do want to have on the machine, and check all the installed hardware. Write down device types and versions so you can download the right drivers from the manufacturer to get everything running well.

Getting your PC running just the way you want it is an amazing feeling. You can breathe new life into an old machine by simply optimizing it, and getting rid of all the junk you don’t need. And from now on, don’t forget to always read those pesky install tabs before you click that next button.


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