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Old 06.10.2015, 21:32
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After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Hi,

so with Microsoft being the last the big 4 to announce hardware launches did any of them convince you to buy new products ?

They all seem to be going after the dual purpose device though I think Microsoft wins in this area.

The Surface Book looks interesting but very expensive.

I like the Chromecast Audio device and i will definitely be ordering one and of new streaming devices I like the look of the new Amazon Fire TV box.

Continuum makes think about having a look at Windows Mobile again as I can certainly see a use case for not having to carry multiple devices when I am travelling.

Apple I think did a good job of selling to their fans and they probably do reasonable business with the ipad pro even though I think is over priced and I think the Pixel C and Surface Pro are more useful devices.

What do you think ?

Have fun
Martin
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Old 06.10.2015, 21:36
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Chromecast Audio. Nexus 6 thing.

Windows 10 phones look nice. I'm now more likely to head that way than Apple from Android.....
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Old 06.10.2015, 21:38
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Strangely my Surface Pro 2 stopped working today - stuck power button. It is 102 weeks old so maybey the nice John Lewis people will replace it with a new model

I like the look of the new Lumia phones.
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Old 07.10.2015, 13:12
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Surface pro 4 already preordered
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Old 08.10.2015, 07:14
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

All of the new devices look absolutely stunning. The Surface Book isn't more expensive than a MacBook Pro but has a lot more horsepower and removes the need for an additional tablet.

I also love the phones but they'll be paperweights again. The app selection on Windows Phone is as abysmal as on Blackberry and it's very unlikely that developers will now flock to the platform.
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Old 08.10.2015, 11:16
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Does anyone know if Chromecast audio will require apps to be Chromecast enabled, or is it a device driver at OS level? Because Bluetooth already does that. What's the advantage?

Last edited by Phos; 08.10.2015 at 11:28.
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Old 08.10.2015, 11:18
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

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I also love the phones but they'll be paperweights again. The app selection on Windows Phone is as abysmal as on Blackberry and it's very unlikely that developers will now flock to the platform.
They lost the momentum with the whole Nokia > Microsoft handover and the year long drought. I doubt they will be able to pick it up again, even though the Lumia 950 is a very handsome looking phone.
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Old 08.10.2015, 11:28
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

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Does anyone know if Chromecast audio will require apps to be Chromecast enabled, or is it a device driver at OS level? Because Bluetooth already does that. What's the advantage?
I think I found it. The app has to be Chromecast enabled. So if you're favorite music app is not, it wouldn't work.
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Old 08.10.2015, 19:29
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Hi,

You can also stream audio directly from the device even it is not chromecast enabled using the chromecast app.

However, you lose the advantage that the chromecast device is normally streaming directly from the internet and at a higher bit rate than you would normally get with your phone.

Bluetooth streaming is going to be a lower bit rate and also the device will have to be dedicated to streaming whilst playing through the speakers. Here is just the remote.

What is also good is that it has digital passthrough and so you could use you own DAC but still get the advantage of the wireless streaming.

With Lumia it is continuum that interests me. Nowadays, a lot of people use a phone and a laptop and the tablet collects dust. If you use your phone for using universal apps eg. Office, Netflix etc it could mean carrying one less device when you are travelling.

Have fun

Martin
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Old 08.10.2015, 20:51
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

I wouldn't worry about Microsoft as it seems to be the most innovative of the 4.
Just look at this

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Old 08.10.2015, 21:22
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Regarding casting, because of the 'political' BS between Google and Microsoft and app. producers not wanting to upset their biggest (at present) platform owner, Chromecast is not usable from Windows phones/tablets.

However both support Miracast, for which cheapish dongles are available (see Amazon) - although I opted for the more expensive Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter (50 chufs from Digitec).

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en...isplay-adapter

Like Chromecast, it uses a connected USB cable for power, whereas the cheaper ones just plug into the HDMI, so I am unsure how well they would work.
Works for Windows 8.1 and above AND Android 4.2.1 and above.

Unlike Chromecast, Miracast doesn't rely on wifi or a home wifi network and, as the name suggests, 'mirrors' exactly what's on display to the big screen, with no set up required - just plug it in to the telly.

This has the advantage of being able to show on a telly anything that's being streamed using a VPN, which wouldn't be possible with Chromecast, (because the VPN IP address will be different from that of the home wifi network).
Consequently, I use my Windows phone for UK Netflix comedy shows on the big screen.
It's not perfect - there's a slight time lag on lip sync. and picture quality doesn't quite make it to HD quality, plus nothing else can be done on the phone, whilst viewing - but it works.

A quick clarification - the little niggles I noted just above, are only really apparent when casting a stream via a VPN ...... if something like Zattoo is cast, then the result is similar to using Chromecast - maybe marginally down on picture quality (and still can't use the phone for anything else, as whatever's on the phone screen will be mirrored on the big screen).

Last edited by TiMow; 09.10.2015 at 09:01.
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  #12  
Old 09.10.2015, 06:18
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

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They lost the momentum with the whole Nokia > Microsoft handover and the year long drought. I doubt they will be able to pick it up again, even though the Lumia 950 is a very handsome looking phone.

Indeed - things looked good last year with market shares on the rise and quite a few popular apps making it into the platform. Then there was - nothing and everything fell apart for them.
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Old 15.10.2015, 22:22
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Re: After the Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple launches...

Hi,

bought the Google Chromecast audio dongle today for €39 - €6 tax back and I am really pleased with it.

Just a few tips: The only audio cable it will only be useful if you have a hifi with an aux connection that expects one 3.5mm input otherwise you will need to an RCA Audio jack to split it into two cables.

There is a setting in the Chromecast app for HDR (high dynamic range) which by default is switched off but if you are using a decent audio system system you will want to switch it on...their warning for this setting is:

Note: Many common speaker systems such as desktop computer speakers, docking speakers, portable and Bluetooth speakers are not built to support such a high dynamic range, causing the volume level to be very loud and sound to be somewhat distorted. Please avoid turning this setting on in those cases.

If you want to the digital signal directly then you will probably need a mini TOS to standard TOS connection as it uses the same socket as the standard audio cable.

Playing Google Music and Pandora using the digital connection to a Sony Soundbar it was really impressive and not compressed as sadly a lot of MP3 music sounds.

I also cast the audio directly from phone to see how well it would work with Tidal. Not as good as with Google Music but still really good.

One tip don't forget to switch off casting from the app when you are finished otherwise even if the amplifier is switched the device will continue to stream music. I noticed this when I switched everything off...went out came back switched the amp back on and it immediately played music from Pandora even though the amp had been switched off and my phone had been with me.


Very pleased with my purchase.

Have fun

Martin
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