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  • Chrome OS stable turns 29 with 'immersive' mode, improved launcher search

    Chrome OS stable channel updated to 29 with 'immersive' fullscreen mode, improved launcher search

    The stable channel of Chrome OS has hit version 29, and with that tick comes a few new features we saw in beta just a month ago. Most notable is an “immersive” mode that hides the toolbar and shelf for a truly full-screen browsing experience. And, just like on the standalone browser, you need only hover at the top of the screen to bring those UI elements out of hiding. Pinning apps to the launcher has also been simplified with drag-and-drop — something so intuitive and obvious that we’re surprised it’s taken this long to implement. The app launcher’s search feature has also received a pretty impressive update, with the ability to pull in results from the web store as well as locally “installed” apps and it will dynamically learn from your searches to deliver the most relevant results. A few more minor tweaks have also been baked in, such as monitor scaling, wallpaper syncing and “two-finger history navigation” (which we’re pretty sure is fancy talk for a back and forward browser gestures). The update should be rolling out now to all Chrome OS devices, with the exception of the Thinkpad X131e.

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    Source: Chrome Releases

  • Xbox at Gamescom 2013: a focus on games big and small

    The launch of a new game console is a fairly unique event in this industry. Unlike a smartphone or tablet, you don’t see a new one released every year, or even every five years, and you likely don’t have to worry about it feeling outdated a few months after you buy one. This year, we’re getting two, with Microsoft and Sony jockeying for position to be the choice of gamers this holiday season. We saw that sparring at E3 earlier this summer, and it was again on display at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, where Sony made news with a release date for the PlayStation 4, among other things.

    We didn’t get a date for the Xbox One from Microsoft, but the company did have plenty of other things to announce and show off. Read on for a recap — or a refresher, as the case may be.

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  • Lenovo's Windows 8 PCs to bundle SweetLabs' Start menu replacement, app store

    Lenovo's Windows 8 devices to bundle SweetLabs' Start menu revival, app store

    Software developers and PC vendors have frequently catered to reluctant Windows 8 buyers with Start menu replicas, and that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Lenovo has just reached a deal that will bundle SweetLabs’ Pokki suite with its Windows 8 PCs, including a Start menu replacement, an app store and a game arcade. The two companies haven’t said which particular systems will first ship with Pokki, although the deal starts with consumer-focused devices and will spread to include multiple PCs across the IdeaCentre, IdeaPad and ThinkPad lines. The SweetLabs agreement should cheer those who want the old Windows experience or an alternative software store. The bundle may prove bittersweet for Microsoft, however — it usually wants Windows PC buyers to embrace the future.

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    Source: Pokki

  • Apple acquires Embark, a transit app it recommended during the iOS Maps disaster

    Apple acquires Embark, a transit app company it recommended during the iOS Maps disaster

    Remember that time Apple launched a new iteration of iOS with a godawful mapping app? Shortly after that, it also recommended that users in major metropolitan areas lean on third-party apps for mass transit navigation, given that iOS Maps had no such functionality. As it turns out, Embark was one of those app makers, and it has very much enjoyed the influx of attention that has arrived thanks to Apple’s gaffe. Now, however, the small team will likely not be toiling on future Android apps, as Jessica Lessin is reporting that Embark has been acquired by Apple itself. It’s unclear how much money changed hands, but one could surmise that Apple will be using Embark’s technology to bolster its own mass transit routing — an area where Google currently rules the roost. Will proper integration happen prior to iOS 7’s release this autumn? It’s doubtful, but we’ve sure seen crazier things happen.

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    Source: Jessica Lessin

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