CES 2014 Coverage on Soft32

The next few days should prove to be interesting…

CES2014

This post won’t be very long; but I wanted to let everyone that’s been stuck under a rock know that CES starts this week. The show showcases some of the best and most promising gadgets to come to light for the next few years. It’s probably one of the biggest and best shows still out there.

While the expo floor isn’t open to the public yet, and I unfortunately wasn’t able to make arrangements to physically attend, I will do my best to cover some of the coolest and most interesting devices. Some of the hotter topics include smart TV’s, wearables, 4K TV’s, and streaming hardware and services as well as smartphones, accessories, computers and the like.

I really haven’t paid much attention to too many rumors up to this point. Until something either shows up or misses CES, I planned on pretty much ignoring it. Now with the show set to really open up to the world tomorrow, you can bet that I’ll be looking at a great deal and will have some exclusive content for Soft32.com in the coming days and weeks. This year promises to be very interesting.

So sit back and relax. I should have something set to post in the next few days or so. In the meantime, I’d really love to hear what topics, products, services, etc. you’re looking forward to seeing covered and detailed at CES. Why not join us in the comments below and tell everyone what you think the hot product trends will be for 2014?

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CopyTrans Suite – a set of apps to replace iTunes and manage your iPod or iPhone

One of the most annoying features of the Apple iPod is that it can only be connected to one computer at any one given time. This isn’t useful if you have multiple computers on your network, in your house or at work, with different audio collections that you own. Likewise, if you are going to get a new computer and want to scrap the old one, you can’t just connect your iPod to the new computer and transfer that audio over.

CopyTrans Suite, an iPod utility, fixes all of these problems. With CopyTrans Suite you can back up, copy, recover and, simply, transfer music from your iPod to your computer. CopyTrans Suite is compatible with your iPod, Photo, Mini, Shuffle, Nano, Video, Touch and iPhone, so this even works if you are upgrading from your old iPod but want to keep some of those older songs that you no longer have.

CopyTrans Suite is a fantastic application for people with multiple iPods, multiple computers or multiple audio collections. Instead of having segregated music collections, you can now unify them together to give you all of your music, all of the time, wherever you go. CopyTrans Suite also acts as a fantastic backup utility, so that even if your computer crashes, you can restore your entire iPod library to your computer easily.

Read full review | Download CopyTrans

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Windows 8 – Only What Matters

Windows 8 is likely less than a year away, and it can best be summed up as Windows in the post-PC era. That’s not to say that desktop computers and laptops won’t be a major part of the system, but this will be the first version of Windows designed with both computers and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets in mind.

Starting with the basics, Microsoft has confirmed that the sequel to Windows 7 will indeed be called Windows 8. This isn’t so much a lack of imagination as a belief that Windows 7 was much better received than its predecessor Vista: Microsoft wants to convey the message that the sequel will continue that success. As for a release date, there’s been no official word, but the timing of releases (both official and leaked) of in-development editions is, consistent with an Autumn 2012 release.

Over the years Microsoft has generally followed a pattern on alternating between a new version of Windows that starts from scratch (such as Vista) and one that is based upon its predecessor but has key usability and feature improvements (such as Windows 7.) Windows 8 looks set to fall into the former category and it’s the user interface that is the biggest change.

Previous attempts to produce low-specification netbooks and tablet devices with Windows have proven unsuccessful simply because it was primarily designed for desktops and laptops. Windows 8 changes that with the Metro user interface which is designed to work equally well on traditional monitor/keyboard/mouse setups and touchscreens.

There’s also a major overhaul to the basic look of Windows. The default setup replaces the familiar desktop with small icons and then the taskbar at the bottom. In its place is a new customizable start screen with larger tiles that take the user directly to commonly used applications; some tiles can be set to display information updated in real time such as weather or sports scores. Users can switch to the traditional set-up if they prefer.

The Metro system also means a big tweak to Internet Explorer. The default version of the browser will run in HTML 5 and won’t support any plug-ins such as Flash, which is already blocked on Apple’s portable devices. There’ll be a separate version of the browser accessible through the traditional menu system that does support plug-ins.

While full details aren’t available yet, it does appear Windows 8 will reflect the growing interest in cloud computing by which not only is some data stored online, but some processing work by remote computers rather than by the device itself. One confirmed change from this is that users will be able to use a Windows Live ID to log-in, such that they can go on any machine and access settings and files.

The biggest change “under the bonnet” comes with support for ARM processors for the first time. To date Windows has only supported Intel x86 processor system, which is used in the vast majority of PCs. ARM is far more common in smartphones and tablets and works in a way that uses far less power, thus extending battery life. If all works as planned, this should mean Windows is much more effective in portable devices than before.

Download Windows 8 Developer Preview (32/64-bit)

Note: Windows 8 Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers and it may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version.

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