Episode 23 Overview

You're busy, we get that. The uneaten plate of food on your grandmother's table is a pretty good indication of that, as is the fact that you won't make her funeral. Whatever is that pressing, we don't want to interrupt.

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 this week off, Wes had some good news to share on the Windows 10 Creator's Update, in that it's coming on April 11th! Assuming, that is, you have a Surface device. Other Windows 10 devices will get the update rolled out to them, starting with first party OEMs and ending with older custom computers. But it's finally on its way, so we can start getting excited for it.

No need to wait on the excitement if you've got an Xbox One, as the version of the update slated for Xbox is already live. You'll have to manually trigger an update, but it's already ready. All of the features we've been discussing since the update was announced months ago will be in there, with the exception of Microsoft Groove Music Maker, an audio creation app similar to Apple's GarageBand, and the People bar that Microsoft made such a big deal out of in their presentation. No word on what'd going on with either of those.

But for anyone who's worried, MS Paint, the regular 2D version, will still be there. Because evidently some people still use that, and were worried.

In other Microsoft news, Netflix's offline video support, which allows you to download supported shows and movies directly to an iOS or Android device so you don't need the internet to watch it, is coming to Windows. Also, the Galaxy S8 (which we'll be getting to in a bit) will be sold at Microsoft stores. Evidently they'll be putting a custom image on the phones that will preload them with Microsoft's apps, and potentially keep Samsung's weird and annoying apps off of the device.

So go figure. If you're looking at a Galaxy S8, the Microsoft store may be the place to go.


Starting off our Google segment, Landen has a nice mini-review of Cortana for Android! In short, it could be really nice, but he's not sure since he's not really embedded in the Microsoft ecosystem at all. There's also a new security patch for Android 7.1 on Nexus and Pixel devices, so update if you've got one of those.

In general tech news, the Boomerang cartoon streaming service we mentioned a few weeks ago is now live on the Boomerang app for a subscription fee, so if you're interested in thousands of episodes of classic cartoons, check it out. Also, Android has officially overtaken Windows as the OS most used to access the internet globally, so we really are well and truly into the mobile age.

Of course, the big news in Androidland(TM) is the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus (because Samsung), which turned out to be basically what we were expecting considering all the leaks. The high points of the new device are as follows:

  • 5.8 inch & 6.2 inch screens, with body sizes similar to the two Pixel phones or iPhones. This is accomplished via tiny tiny bezels on all sides.
  • Snapdragon 835 processor in both sizes.
  • 3000 milliamp battery in the S8, 3800 milliamp in the S8 Plus.
  • 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage for both, with an SD card slot for storage expansion.
  • Upgraded 8 megapixel front camera, same 12 megapixel rear camera as the S7.
  • Android 7.0 (not 7.1, because Samsung).
  • Bluetooth 5 (yay!).
  • A fingerprint sensor on the back up high next to the camera, a position critics are calling "pretty dumb."
  • USB-C (yay!).
  • A pressure sensitive home button under the screen with haptic feedback, similar to the iPhone 7's home button but with a screen on top of it.
  • AKG (read: really nice $100) earbuds in the box.
  • Literally the ugliest case we've ever seen.

The starting price for the smaller phone is a little rich at $750, but the AKG earbuds help soften the blow a bit. Overall the stats look good, though we're still not convinced with Samsung's UI. And you may have thought that last bullet was a joke but seriously with this case, guys. They're legit selling that.

On that note, Samsung also announced the Dex dock, which basically enables the Windows Continuum feature, but with a Samsung skinned version of Android. In short the dock allows you to plug your phone into a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, and use a UI that feels more like a desktop. While the obvious application for this feature is for folks at home who don't need much from a desktop, Samsung has decided to market this toward professionals. Which is odd, but we'll have to see how it shakes out.

They also announced the release of the new Gear 360 camera, which if you're looking for a 360 degree camera, is probably the best you can get for a reasonable price, and it'll double pretty well as a generic action camera if you need.

Finally from Landen, MarioKart 8 Deluxe has been given a release date of April 28th, and he's more excited about that than Zelda. That may have resulted in some game-shaming from Wes, which was hilarious to witness but you'll just have to take my word for it.

April Fools

In honor of the tech industry's favorite holiday, we wanted to update you on some of the better April Fools jokes that we got from tech companies.

  • Google announced Google Gnome - Google home for your yard.
  • Google also released Ms. Pacman for Google Maps.
  • The Google team in the Netherlands announced Google Wind to clear away clouds.
  • Google also announced Chromebook accessories - the groupie stick, google cardboard headset, and a workout armband to put your Chromebook in.
  • Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus announced a OnePlus Dash drink - basically OnePlus branded Red Bull.
  • Amazon demoed Petlexa -  the Alexa assistant for your pets.
  • Maker of quality wood smartphone cases Carved announced a quality wooden screen protector.
  • Phone skin maker Slickwraps announced a 3d printer that prints a skin onto your phone
  • Roku streaming boxed were updated with a snack-suggest feature to match your flicks to appropriate snacks.
  • T-Mobile released the T-Mobile ONEsie smart onesie in comfort, sport, and business forms.
  • Tech reviewer MKBHD reviewed the Nokia 3310 - the original, not the recent re-release.
  • Not tech, but toilet paper maker Quilted Northern announced new rustic-weave toilet paper - basically sawdust and bark rolls.
  • Nvidia announced the GTX G-assist - the gaming artificial intelligence to boost your gaming performance and can actually take over for you when you step away from the keyboard.
  • Maker of quality audio devices Master and Dynamic announced a pair of concrete headphones.
  • Apple, unfortunately, doesn't participate in the shenanigans. So the tech press has to participate for them. According to the tech press:
    • Apple announced a 55 inch 12k iMac Pro Plus starting at $15,000 and a 13 inch iMac Mini for $1000.
    • Apple Pay Cry - the Apple pay incentive that makes your phone start weeping softly when you leave an establishment that supports Apple Pay without using it.
    • Apple purchased Disney, Netflix, Tesla, Sony, Sonos, Leap Motion, Adobe, Uber, Spotify, Comcast, Dropbox, Square, SpaceX, ARM Holdings, and Microsoft. Possibly also Baskin-Robbins. Just 'cause.


Finally with some Apple news! There's a new security patch available for iOS devices, and Apple has announced that their fiscal year 2017 2nd quarter earnings conference call will happen on May 2nd, for all you Apple stock owners out there.

Also this week, Imagination Technologies, who create the PowerVR graphics technology that's been powering Apple's mobile devices since, well, basically forever, announced that Apple has told them they'll stop using Imagination's chips in their devices sometime in the next fifteen to twenty-four months. Evidently this is in favor of their own internal graphics solution, and the announcement caused Imagination's stock to plummet 60% basically instantly.

One of the perils of being an Apple supplier.

And lastly, not Apple related but just generally hilarious, the night before the event unveiling the Galaxy S8, a Samsung store in Singapore caught fire. It was minor, but still highly entertaining news.

Any time anything remotely related to Samsung catches fire, it's news now.