Episode 22 Overview

You're busy, we get that. Honestly, if we could, we'd be watching Power Rangers on repeat for days to. How did you even get the theater to let you do that, with the air mattress and everything? And did you realize that you're fitting every sentence you say into the meter of the Power Rangers theme song? We obviously 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 28th, 2017, this is the Calling All Platforms Tech podcast summary.


Starting off with a spate of minor Apple updates, I covered the recent Wikileaks post about a library of CIA Mac exploits (that were all patched out or otherwise resolved in 2013). We did decide that Wes's 2nd Generation iPod is probably safe. We also covered an update to iTunes that allows users to watch movies rented on one device on another device (what a novel idea!) and the recent news that Apple Music's Beats 1 radio station now boasts listener numbers that compare with broadcast tv network viewership numbers. Which, if you're not aware, is crazy high for a radio station. Turns out radio isn't dead. Just evolving.

Also last week we got a bunch of images of a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone that had a black face, just like we all wanted. But before you get excited, in order to make that happen you have to buy a black iPhone and a red iPhone, and then swap the screen, touch ID module, and the entire logic board from the black one to the red one. So probably not a viable solution for most people. We also talked about the BeatsX earbuds, which are the practical cross-platform version of the Airpods. If you don't have an iPhone, these are the clear winner out of the two.

On Monday Apple started accepting entrants for the WWDC lottery, which will run for a week. So if you have more money than us, you can try and get in on that. Also on Monday, Apple released iOS 10.3, macOS 10.12.4, watchOS 3.2, and tvOS 10.2, which introduce features like Find My Airpods (iOS), Night Shift (macOS), Theater Mode (watchOS), and improved scrolling for long lists (tvOS). Then on Tuesday morning they released new betas for all 4 OS's. But it's getting toward the middle of the year, so there's nothing really to note about any of them.

And finally, the Apple TV Remote app now works on iPads. Because you know you needed a bigger keyboard for your Apple TV.


Landen caught me in an omission this week with a patent filing that was just posted for Apple. The patent depicts a smartphone being docked into a laptop in place of the trackpad, which a lot of people are interpreting as the phone not only replacing the trackpad but powering the laptop. We think that's a little crazy, considering this is Apple, and that it's more likely another of their little incremental steps toward a likely future in which they replace the trackpad and keyboard with a big screen for an input device.

Moving on, we talk about how to turn off the AT&T Stream Saver service that automatically decreases the video quality of anything you stream over data. It can actually be enabled by device and can be used to strategically limit the data hogs on your plan, so look into that if you're on AT&T. After the introduction of Android O's developer preview last week, there's been theorizing that the ad-hoc networking improvements included could be used for some Switch-like local wireless LAN parties, and we all think sure, why not?

We also mentioned the Samsung event to announce the Galaxy S8 Wednesday morning, and since we recorded this last night but I'm writing it right now, I've got some actual pictures from the event! It's basically exactly what we were expecting.
Mostly screen, in other words.

Meanwhile on the corner of NOT-What-We-Were-Expecting Street and Bananatown Road, Samsung is reportedly toying with the idea of selling their stock of Galaxy Explode-Note 7's as refurbished devices. Our ultimate take on this is that the leak is actually a prelude to an epic April Fool's joke coming on Saturday. If that's not it... Samsung, we are dissapoint.

Google also updated the Maps app with a location sharing feature, which is cross platform and we think could be a great security feature if you're going someplace sketchy, and they also introduced a weekly free app section to the Play store. Is that it? I think that's pretty much it for Android news...

Oh wait. Android also finally got Super Mario Run. Long story short, Landen really really loves it.


In Microsoft land, Cortana's Android lock-screen widget is already getting improvements, with added voice commands and the ability to replace Google Assistant on the device. We're impressed that they're getting good feedback and iterating on the design so quickly, so kudos, Microsoft.

Now, bring on the Creators Update.


In gaming news, Wes updated us on the Games with Gold coming in April, Ryse: Son of Rome and The Walking Dead season 2 for Xbox One, and Darksiders and Assassin's Creed: Revelations for Xbox 360.

Some great news for fans of classic or retro games, Beamdog is releasing a remaster of Planescape: Torment, after the style of their excellent remasters of Baldur's Gate. Also, continuing to demonstrate their position as just the best, Blizzard has announced the release of a remastered version of the original Starcraft, which will be available this summer. And as a way of letting you whet your appetite, they'll be giving away the non-remastered version of Starcraft for free, starting later this week.

Blizzard, we love you.