This week in tech, a familiar software name dipped its toe into laptop computing waters, Apple addressed #Chipgate battery issues and Facebook is mixing things up with the “Like Button.” Read on for the details!
Microsoft Made a Laptop!
It finally happened. Catching the market largely by surprise, renowned software giant Microsoft revealed its first foray into the laptop market this week with its Surface Book. The Surface Book is a 13.5 inch laptop running a Windows 10 Pro operating system. Its specifications are on par for a high performance laptop, but the major selling point is the versatility to detach the keyboard and use the laptop as a tablet.
In our opinion, the Surface Book looks an awful lot like a MacBook Pro, but its ability to detach and function as a tablet poses some serious competition for the new Apple iPad Pro. Also, with the inclusion of Surface Pen with the Surface Book, Microsoft has matched Apple’s new stylus offering, Apple Pencil.
In terms of how Surface Book has been received, it appears everyone is very excited about the Surface Book. Wired goes so far as to call it “the most compelling device the company has ever made.”
What do you think? Will you be an early adopter of Surface Book?
iPhone 6s Battery Concerns
An iPhone 6s is an iPhone 6s, right? Not quite. The Verge reports this week that Apple has formally confirmed that discrepancies may exist in battery life in the newest iPhone models due to “manufacturing differences” – but only just.
Online testing groups have reported up to a 50-minute gap in battery life between devices after discovering that the new iPhone 6s may come with an A9 processing chip from either Samsung or TSMC – a difference that they claim is directly impacting battery life. Apple has gone on record to say that their “testing and customer data show the actual battery life of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus…vary within just 2 to 3 percent of each other”, and goes so far as to directly criticize the third party lab tests as “manufactured” due to their unrealistic parameters.
With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus there was “bendgate”, and now with the latest iPhone generation there is “chipgate.” With the whole world going crazy over iDevices, it’s not surprising that Apple has detractors aplenty. Have you experienced any startling battery issues with your new iPhone 6s? Let us know in the comments section!
We’ve heard murmurs that Facebook was considering some form of a dislike button, but Facebook never does anything “by the book.” Being the innovators that they are, Facebook this week announced “Reactions.” Essentially, Facebook Reactions are a selection of emojis that Facebook users can choose from to better express empathy. Now, users can choose from emojis for the following emotions: Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad and Angry.
Mark Zuckerberg took his own Facebook profile to announce the testing of the feature, describing it as “a more expressive Like button.”
Today we're launching a test of Reactions — a more expressive Like button. The Like button has been a part of Facebook for a long time. Billions of Likes are made every day, and Liking things is a simple way to express yourself.For many years though, people have asked us to add a "dislike" button. Not every moment is a good moment, and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy. These are important moments where you need the power to share more than ever, and a Like might not be the best way to express yourself.At a recent Townhall Q&A, I shared with our community that we've spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to give you better options for expressing yourself, while keeping the experience simple and respectful. Today we're starting to test this.Reactions gives you new ways to express love, awe, humor and sadness. It's not a dislike button, but it does give you the power to easily express sorrow and empathy — in addition to delight and warmth. You’ll be able to express these reactions by long pressing or hovering over the Like button. We’re starting to test Reactions in Ireland and Spain and will learn from this before we bring the experience to everyone. We hope you like this – or can better express how you’re feeling!
Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, October 8, 2015
Mashable got their hands on the feature, which is being tested in Ireland and Spain, and they appear to have rather mixed feelings. Pete Pachal, the author behind the opinion piece, noted the potential backlash from “sarcastic Reactions” and “bashtagging,” and the very possible usage of Reactions for cyberbullying. Pachal concludes that Reactions is an “imperfect solution” that may, despite its intentions, spur “ambivalence” rather than action.
Like any new feature, Facebook Reactions will bring mixed opinions, and any big change to the largest social network in the world is going to need some tweaking. However, we feel that Reactions seems like a very necessary first step to solving a long overdue problem. Emotions are not binary, and “liking” statuses that are sad or tragic in nature has felt a bit disingenuous for far too long.