Episode 20 Overview

You're busy, we get that. You're getting your reply on here because the pigeon you sent the busy message over on seems confused. It's also pooping just all over the place. Clearly you need to work a bit more on training these little guys, and we don't want to interrupt that.

So you don't have time to sit down and listen to an hour of in-depth tech advice and news? It's all good. How about ten minutes to read over an out-depth summary of that same tech advice and news? Well, here you go. For the week ending March 13th, 2017, this is the Calling All Platforms Tech podcast summary.


We started with Windows news! Aren't you so proud of us? I mean, there wasn't much there, pretty much the only thing was that Microsoft updated the Cortana app for iOS. They added some improved UI functionality, and changed the dominant color from dark grey to purple. Kinda a bright purple. We have mixed feelings over the wisdom of that, but there's no doubt it matches the incredibly bright scheme of iOS.

Wes also walked us through some of the ways you can disable the advertising built in to Windows 10, from Bing ads on the lock screen to app suggestions in the Start menu and Action Center (where all the notifications show up). If that's something you're interested in, you're going to have to listen for the details, or do some googling (or Bing-ing). But we get where having ads floating around like that can be obnoxious, so if you want to get rid of them, know that it is possible.


Landen brought us news that Google is throwing out even more messaging platforms! As if there weren't enough already! Okay, to be fair, they're both filling niches that Google hadn't already covered, messaging for businesses. If you're associated with the Google suite for businesses, the G Suite, then you've got some replacement options for Slack and Go-to-meeting coming. Beyond that, we don't have much advice to offer on this point, because come to find out, we're all a little confused by the popularity of just... all the messaging platforms.

On a related note, there was an Android update to "carrier settings" this past week, related to Google's push with the carriers to replace the SMS and MMS standards with a new, more robust messaging standard. That would allow your text messages to feel more like an iMessage or Facebook message, and we're all pretty on board with the whole idea. Landen also keyed us in to a new Facebook 360 app for Samsung Gear VR headsets. If you've got a Galaxy S7 and a Gear VR, and you really want to experience your Facebook feed like Tony Stark, give it a try.

Finally Landen updated us on a new TV subscription coming from Time Warner to the Boomerang app, that will consist of 5000 different classic cartoon series. And by "classic" we're talking everything from Flinstones to Looney Toons to Scooby Doo. If you've got kids who love cartoons, or you're a huge kid who loves cartoons (more likely, in our cases), then $5 a month probably isn't going to be too much.

Also, somebody spotted Tim Cook (CEO Apple) and Sundar Pichai (CEO Google) having lunch together this past week. We have absolutely no idea what that could mean. Maybe they're just buds.


In kinda barely Apple related news this week, you may have heard some rumblings concerning Wikileaks and their revelation concerning the CIA's secret hacking tools. Well, Apple announced that the vulnerabilities that were revealed concerning their stuff were mostly already resolved, and that they'd be addressing the few that were left soon. So mostly, just make sure you're installing your security patches when they come out.

On a related note, hackers discovered this week that the web rendering engine used on the new Nintendo Switch, the same one that's used in Apple's Safari browser, is a year out of date and has some massive vulnerabilities! They also discovered that there's not really anything worth hacking on a Switch. Go figure.


In gaming news, Switch availability is extremely low, which is probably a good sign that the console is selling pretty well. We've also started getting emails related to the Sea of Thieves technical alpha, and if you want to get in on it you can sign up for a chance to participate on their website. Look it up! I also discovered that Nier Automata, which was making me jealous of all the PS4 owners, is actually coming out on PC later this month. So uh, jealousy averted.

Also in Playstation news, the PS Now subscription service, which allows PS4 owners to stream PS3 games, has been expanded to include PS4 games and the PC. Microsoft's answer to PS Now, the Xbox Games Pass, has a price, and at $10 a month it will be half the price of Sony's subscription.

Finally we wanted to run through some of the sales available to PC gamers right now, so enjoy!

Humble Bundle & Store

  • Warhammer Vermintide in the bundle
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 1&2 in the store
  • No Man's Sky 40% off in the store


  • Witcher 3 GOTY edition 40% off
  • No Man's Sky 40% off


  • Left 4 Dead 1&2 75% off (highly recommended)
  • No Man's Sky 40% off (they are seriously desperate for you to buy this game)