Bing Search is the Microsoft equivalent of the Google app and features a search engine and a proto-web browser that allows you to utilize Bing to search the web in style.
Bing is Microsoft’s answer to Google and it’s juggernaut of a search engine. Bing has some neat tricks that try to set it apart, and it prioritizes results differently than Google, trying to get the information most relevant to you near the top. The app itself is an attractive, smooth experience, as expected from Microsoft with their trend towards a modern metro UI. The main screen features a selection of categories for you to search in, as well as a large “Search” button. The search menu brings you to a familiar search page, with the option to search privately, as well as use your voice to search or identify music. The voice detection is solid, but the lack of Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, is pretty disappointing.
The Bing search app also has a news crawl, that features cards of news from different categories that the app deems is relevant to you based on your search history similar to Google Now. The ongoing theme of this review is the comparison to Google, especially since it’s for Android. The question really boils down to how it compares to Google and it’s built-in integration into Android, and if it offers enough to really make you want to use it over Google at all.
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I’d have to say no, it can’t really compete on Android with Google, simply because Google search is so deeply integrated into the OS that Bing just can’t offer the same convenience. Admittedly, the Bing results compared to my Google results of the same searches are fairly comparable, but not so much in Bing’s favor to really say I’d prefer it.
Bing also integrates the actually robust Rewards system, which gives you points for doing searches and completing challenges that you can redeem for real life prizes like gift cards. The Microsoft Rewards program is the best thing about Bing by far, with tangible rewards that I’d actually use just for searching on Bing.
I will say that if you’re a hardcore Windows ecosystem user, who prefers Edge to Chrome and buys into the Windows Store and Cortana for your everyday use, then Bing is an excellent app. It’s well designed and slick looking while acting as a solid and very usable search engine and browser that saves your searches across platforms and provides curated content. The Rewards program is worth the price of admission alone, even if you only use it for that, it’s certainly not a bad reason to use Bing. Everyone likes free stuff that’s easy to get. At any rate, give Bing a look just to get a different flavor of search from your phone.
Download Bing Search on the Google Play Store
Why it matters to you
Frequent Snapchatters can chat a bit more efficiently with a quicker way to access friends from the home screen or the Today screen.
Snapchat is making speed dial cool again with Bitmojis that look like your favorite friends. Officially launched March 14 in both iOS and Android updates, the new feature allows users to add their most frequently chatted friends to their home screen or the “Today” screen on iOS.
The new shortcut comes after Android users first noticed the feature last week, now available outside beta testing for both Android and iOS users. The feature makes it possible to start up a chat without having to open up Snapchat and dig through the interface to find a friend. The feature emerges from the company’s acquisition of Bitmoji last year that led to the possibility of creating sticker avatars in your own likeness.
More: Snap’s historic stock market debut turned its founders into multibillionaires
For Android, the update allows users to put their friends right on the home screen. After updating Snapchat, users just need to tap and hold in a free space on that screen. Selecting “widgets” from the options will now include Snapchat among the options. Android users can add up to four “speedchat” friends this way — and rearrange them to personal taste.
On iOS, the feature adds friends to the “Today” screen, the shortcuts and calendar reminders accessible by swiping to the right from the home screen. Once on that screen, users can scroll down and tap “edit,” then add the Snapchat widget and choose “Snapchat best friends.” That iOS home screen can also be reorganized by tapping and holding the three lines to the right of existing widgets, then dragging them into the desired order.
The update brings the iOS version to 10.4.0.0 and the Android option to that same number. According to the Google Play Store, the update also brings with it a few bug fixes.
Snap Inc. went public earlier this month after rebranding itself in the fall as a camera company. The popular chat app is also inspiring some of the competition, with variations of the platform’s Stories (or a sort of status update that disappears like Snapchat messages) re-imagined inside Facebook and Instagram.
Why it matters to you
By promoting science as an art, Wellcome aims to create interest and discovery in odd places
3D printing, medical scanners, and computer generated imagery may appear at first to have nothing in common with paintbrushes, cameras, and sculpting tools — that is, until you see the winning shots from the 20th annual Wellcome Image Awards. The contest celebrates the best science images from around the globe, from the more traditional photographs taken with an actual camera to 3D sculptures lit with a myriad of light to visualize how the brain processes language.
The winning images, announced earlier this month, cover a range of mediums, from microscopes to computer generated imagery (CGI). The contest organizers said the 2017 winners cover a wider range of imaging technology than the contest has ever seen in its two decades of exploring scientific imaging.
More: These 10 extreme microphotographs offer an artistic look at a small world
The images are often scientifically significant, yet are just as awe-inspiring as a painting — and in fact, this year’s list includes a painting of Nobel laureate and neurobiologist Levi-Montalcini. While the contest includes a number of shots from microscopes and medical scanning, one experiment even dabbled into sociology, turning the Tweets with the hashtag #breastcancer into a stunning visual of how those 140 character (or less) thoughts are connected.
“The Wellcome Image Awards continuously uncovers striking images that open up a world of science often hidden to the naked eye,” said Fergus Walsh, contest judge and BBC medical correspondent. “There is a spectacular array of images here which will draw the public in, make them wonder and make them ask questions about things they’ve never even imagined.”
All 22 winning images were selected over the past year from the Wellcome Image’s picture library by the nine-member judging panel. Wellcome is a global organization currently funding 14,000 researchers worldwide, with ideas from medical advancements to social sciences. The images will be a part of gallery displays across Europe, the UK and Africa.
“It’s now 20 years since the first Wellcome Image Awards and we continue to be surprised and delighted by the range of extraordinary images we receive each year. We are thrilled that they will be displayed across the UK and abroad so that people can come and explore the stories behind these stunning images,” said Catherine Draycott, the head of the Wellcome Images program.
Why it matters to you
Smartwatches aren’t dead yet. If recent projections are to be believed, they may come back in style this year.
It’s been a common refrain for almost a year, now: The smartwatch industry died before it hit its stride. Case in point? Market analysts at IDC reported that Apple, one of the most successful smartwatch makers on the market, saw sales of its eponymous Apple Watch fall from 3.9 million in 2015 to just 1.1 million in mid-2016. But if rosier projections turn out to be true, smartwatches and wearables might finally come around over the next few months.
According to a new report from Canalysis, people will buy 18 percent more smartwatches in 2017 than they did the previous year, driving total annual sales to rise to $10 billion. Specifically, the firm expects shipments of as many as 28.5 million smartwatch units this year, and a subsequent decline in sales among traditional watchmakers.
More: The best smartwatch you can buy
Overall, Canalysis expects that the value of the smartwatch market will hit about two-thirds of the traditional Swiss watch market by the end of 2017. That’s despite the fact that the average price of smartwatches is projected to increase.
The firm predicts most of the growth will be driven by increased sales of Android Wear smartwatches. Several, including Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer’s Connected watch, will launch at the watchmaker conference Baselworld 2017 in late March.
“Watchmakers’ survival will depend on creating competitive smartwatches,” Canalysis analyst Jason Low said in a statement with the report. “Forming partnerships with competitive companies will be the first step. A well-formulated strategy to sell a watch will play a larger role as watchmakers have to appeal not only to watch fans, but consumers who are yet to buy a wearable.”
More: People are not buying as many smartwatches, but the Apple Watch still reigns supreme
Not not everyone is convinced the smartwatch market is primed for a turnaround, though.
Projections from eMarketer are much glummer. The firm expects smartwatch usage this year to reach about 40 million U.S. adults, far short of its initial estimate of 64 million. It blames the new projections on the high cost of smartwatches and a lack of well-defined use cases.
“Before Apple launched its Watch, fitness trackers dominated the wearables space, and consumer surveys consistently found that tracking health and fitness was the main reason people were interested in wearables,” Cathy Boyle, an eMarketer analyst, said in a note to investors. “They also reported high price sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smart watches — which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality — the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”
Time will tell who’s right. But one thing’s for certain: Smartwatch makers haven’t given up hope yet.
Why it matters to you
Google is on a crusade against resource-inefficient background tabs and this change to Chrome will help save your laptop’s battery life.
Google released Chrome 57, the latest iteration of its hugely popular web browser. The new version brings big changes to the way background tabs operate, which will hopefully help laptop users get the most out of their battery life.
Put simply, Chrome will now limit background tabs to an average CPU load of one percent on a single core, according to a report from Ars Technica. However, there is actually a little more nuance to the way the browser will prevent background tabs from utilizing more than their fair share of system resources.
After 10 seconds of being in the background, each individual tab will be limited to a budget of CPU usage, measured in the seconds of real-world time taken to complete a particular process. Tabs are only able to use the CPU if there is time left in its budget, which regenerates at a rate of 0.01 seconds every second.
More: Chrome on iOS will soon receive Safari-like Reading List feature
There are some exceptions, like tabs that are streaming music or video content, and tabs that are maintaining a connection to a remote server. Google also noted that the CPU budget regeneration rate might be increased, depending on feedback to the changes made as of version 57.
This is just one stage of Google’s ongoing effort to make drastic changes to the behavior of background tabs in Chrome. The company hopes to be able to achieve complete background tab suspension by 2020.
As you might expect, Google has another solution in mind to solve the problem of resource-hungry background tabs. It’s pushing a web technology called Service Workers, which aims to enhance the next generation of websites with enhanced functionality, and a better capacity to use system resources economically.
Chrome users can download the new version of the browser by opening the Settings menu and navigating to the About section.
Why it matters to you
Apple’s iOS 11 operating system may leave 187,000 apps out in the cold.
The next major version of iOS could make hundreds of thousands of apps obsolete. That is according to Apple Insider, which reports that the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system could kill off support for 32-bit apps.
First, a primer on 64 bits. Apple’s iPhone 5S was the first iOS device to include a 64-bit processor, the Apple A7, and the benefits are myriad. Apps recompiled — i.e., made compatible — with the iPhone 5S’s chip see up to a 25 percent performance improvement, and the iPhone 5S processor is about as twice as fast as the iPhone 5 in day-to-day tasks like web browsing.
More: So what does the new iPhone’s 64-bit processor really do for you, anyway?
Apple converted all of its iOS 7 apps, including Safari, Mail, Photos, Maps, and Siri, to 64 bit for the iPhone 5S, but it wasn’t until February 2015 that the iPhone maker required new apps to offer 64-bit support. Existing apps were given until June.
In all, Apple Insider reports that some 187,000 apps could be affected by the mandatory switch to 64-bit processing or about eight percent of all apps on the iTunes App Store. But the real number could be higher — Apple Insider’s source, third-party app tracker Sensor Tower, hasn’t inventoried apps that were submitted prior to the September 2013 launch of the iPhone 5S.
The first iOS 10.3 beta shipped with a message warning that 32-bit apps “will not work with future versions of iOS.” Previously, iOS only cautioned that 32-bit apps might slow down a device.
More: Attention developers: Apple to start deleting outdated apps from App Store
Apple’s expected to reveal iOS 11 during its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.
It wouldn’t be the first time Apple’s removed non-compliant titles from the app store. In September, it rolled out a new process to identify “problematic” apps that “no longer function as intended.” If a problematic app is found, Apple notifies the developer that the app must be updated within 30 days. If the deadline is not met, the app is removed from the App Store indefinitely.
As a result of the policy, Apple removed 47,300 apps from the App Store — a 238 percent jump from the month before.
More: Apple’s waterproof Watch Series 2 also gets faster, brighter, and has GPS
Mandatory 64-bit support won’t be the only feature in tow. iOS 10.3 will introduce a breakdown of your iCloud storage usage — you will be able to see exactly how many server-side gigabits of your apps are using. You’ll be able to pull up local weather forecasts in Apple Maps and Find My AirPods will make it easier to locate missing wireless earbuds when they go missing.
The sixth iOS 10.3 beta was released for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch on Tuesday.
Why it matters to you
DxOMark has long been rating the sensors inside digital cameras, but now the firm is offering insight into drone cameras, too.
DxOMark, a software company that measures how well camera sensors perform, is now rating drone cameras — and the first set of ratings isn’t all that great. The latest sensor scores from the company for drone-mounted cameras range all the way from a respectable 74 to a smartphone-quality 34.
The company is the first to note that a sensor score for still images isn’t the only indicator of just how good a camera is, but the rating does give potential buyers a glimpse at just how good the still images coming from that eye-in-the-sky will be. Unsurprisingly, the scores tend to correlate with the camera’s price point. Factors like speed and video quality aren’t included. DxO also notes that drone camera designers have to balance image quality with weight, since every ounce will shorten the drone’s flight time.
More: New sensor technology could make 60fps 4K video easier to find
Considering only aspects like the color, dynamic range, and noise reduction inside a still image, the DJI X5 S takes the top rating from DxO with a 74, putting it just behind the high-end Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, a popular Micro Four Thirds camera. The score isn’t too surprising considering the camera uses the same size sensor and is one of DJI’s top options with a $1,800 price tag for just the camera.
The scores drop fairly quickly, however, with the older Zenmuse X4S and Phantom 4Pro ranking a bit under Canon’s compact G7 X at 65. GoPro’s Hero5 Black action camera, compatible with the company’s first Karma drone, scores a 38, ten points behind the Phantom 4 with an identical-sized sensor due to recording only ten bits per pixel and a lower noise reduction performance.
Yuneec’s Breeze 4K camera takes the lowest score of the bunch at 34 — which isn’t too surprising since it’s the least expensive of the bunch at $400 including the entire drone. DxOMark compares the image quality to a smartphone like the Nokia Lumina 1520.
DxO does end its results on an upbeat note, however, noting that since drone cameras are newer, the tech should catch up in the next few years, even using the same size sensor to keep the weight of the camera down.
Sensor performance isn’t everything in a drone camera, but the new rating category does offer a glimpse into just how well the drone camera performs.
Why it matters to you
We’ll soon see if a market-oriented approach works, or if a lack of regulation of the Internet of Things makes us more vulnerable.
The acting head of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Maureen Ohlhausen, has said that she believes the Internet of Things industry should largely be left to regulate itself, rather than being subjected to external oversight. She also defended the use of data analytics to target consumers with different offers and pricing.
As much as the tech industry likes to try and create new standards, it has often taken external pressure and legislation for that to take shape — such as in the case of MicroUSB phone chargers. In the wake of hacks and security concerns with a number of IoT devices, many tech analysts and companies have called for a standardization of certain features, but that’s not something Ohlhausen wants to take a part in. At least not yet.
For Ohlhausen, there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that the IoT market needs that sort of governmental regulation. Instead, she’d rather wait and see how it evolves naturally.
“We’re saying not ‘Let’s speculate about harm five years out,’ but ‘Is there something happening that harms consumers right now or is likely to cause harm to consumers,’” she said during a conference of digital security specialists earlier this week (via The Guardian).
More: GE is working with AT&T to make our cities more connected
She went on to argue that a harm to consumers had yet to be demonstrated by a lack of standardization in the IoT industry. Some analysts argue that it has, highlighting the DDOS attack against internet management firm Dyn in late 2016, which leveraged millions of IoT-connected devices, such as smart cameras, to bombard its DNS servers with traffic.
The attack caused the very foundations of many of the most popular internet services to shake and in some cases cease working. It’s that danger from poorly secured IoT devices that analysts believe means the industry needs regulation and standards.
Ohlhausen separately defended the practice of using big data to direct those deemed to have more expendable income to worse deals online. Using consumer data such as the type of hardware they are browsing on to recommend pricier deals was something that encouraged competition, she argued, highlighting that it could also mean those with less money may get better deals because of it.
Building a computer can be an intimidating task if you’ve never done it before, but a number of online resources can make it much easier for folks to jump into the wide world of custom PCs. Purchasing components and assembling everything yourself can not only make your money go a lot farther when it comes to performance, but allows you to customize your computer build so you can get exactly what you need and aren’t stuck with anything you don’t want.
Selecting the parts for your computer build is by far the most important and time-consuming part of the process, so to help you save some time and money, we’ve collected a few of the best deals going right now on various components. Note that this is a list of some of the best discounts available at the moment and is not a guide or parts list for a specific build. Be sure to check out online resources such as our PC building guide to help you determine parts compatibility and what components will work best for a computer that best suits your individual needs.
Cooler Master HAF 912 mid-tower computer case
Once you’ve determined what sort of computer build you want, a good next step is to start looking at different cases and deciding which size you will need. A quality mid-tower will suit most builds, and Newegg is currently offering the Cooler Master HAF 912 for just $40 after a $20 mail-in rebate through Monday, March 20. That’s a 33 percent discount.
Cooler Master is a household name when it comes to computer cases, and the HAF 912 is a rugged-looking and attractive mid-tower that is compatible with standard ATX motherboards. The design is optimized for maximum airflow and contains room for a 120mm radiator and up to six 120mm fans to keep your system cool. The case also offers space for 12 devices, including large, high-end graphics cards.
Buy it on Newegg for $40 after rebate
Cooler Master Hyper T4 CPU cooler
Keeping your system running cool is vital for the health and longevity of your PC, as excessive heat can degrade and damage components over time, which hurts performance and costs you more money in the long run. A quality CPU fan doesn’t have to cost a lot, and the Cooler Master Hyper T4 is a great option that is now just $10 from Newegg after a $15 rebate.
The Cooler Master Hyper T4’s universal mounting system is compatible with the latest AMD AM4 socket, as well as most other current AMD and Intel sockets. Four heat pipes pull heat directly away from your CPU, and the 120mm fan can be fine-tuned for customized cooling performance. Note that after March 17, the current $25 sale price will expire which will bring the Hyper T4 up to $15 after the mail-in rebate, but that’s still a solid deal on a quality CPU cooler.
Buy it on Newegg for $10 after rebate
Corsair CX750 750-watt power supply
Power supply units may not be as exciting as graphics cards or CPUs, but choosing a good one is vital for safely regulating the flow of electricity in your system. Corsair is a well-known manufacturer of PSUs, and the CX750 is a popular and budget-friendly power supply, boasting a 4.3-star rating on Amazon based on 4,000 user reviews. Newegg now has the Corsair CX750 for $70, giving you a tidy $30 discount off its normal price.
The CX750 is an 80 Plus Bronze-certified PSU that delivers 750 watts of power, and is both ATX and EPS12V-compatible. Extra-long sleeved cables allow for cleaner cord management even in extra-tall cases, and over-voltage, under-voltage, over-power, and short circuit protection help keep your PC running safely.
Buy it on Newegg for $70
Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD3 motherboard
The motherboard is the base upon which your computer is built, and selecting the proper one largely boils down to knowing what components you are going to use. The majority of consumer motherboards use the ATX form factor — the standard for personal computers — and one good all-around option that is suitable for most uses is the affordable Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD3. A $40 (25 percent) discount on Amazon brings this ATX motherboard down to just $125.
The GA-Z170X-UD3 features a LGA1151 socket for use with sixth- and seventh-generation Intel Core processors. Four dual-channel DDR4 DIMM slots give you plenty of space for RAM upgrades, while three SATA Express, six SATA3, and two M.2 slots provide multiple options for internal storage. PCI Express slots include one 3.0 x16, one 3.0 x8, one 3.0 x4, and three 3.0 x1 buses.
Buy it on Amazon for $125
AMD FX-8350 Black Edition CPU
The CPU will generally be among the most expensive parts of your computer build. and is one of the best places to look for big savings. AMD is Intel’s main competitor when it comes to processors, and the AMD FX-8350 Black Edition is an excellent value after a $94 discount (41 percent) that brings the price down to just $135 on Amazon.
Eight cores provide a standard clock speed of 4.0GHz, which is clockable up to 5.0GHz with AMD OverDrive software. The CPU is designed for AMD AM3 sockets and features an 8MB L3 cache, along with four 2MB L2 caches. The AMD FX-8350 Black Edition remains a very popular choice for budget-friendly gaming builds, and represents an excellent value at this price.
Buy it on Amazon for $135
Intel Core i7-6850K CPU
If you’re building a higher-end system and prefer an Intel processor, Amazon is currently offering $58 off (9 percent) the Intel Core i7-6850K, bringing the price of this six-core CPU down to $570. Part of Intel’s sixth-generation Broadwell lineup, the i7-6850k is compatible with LGA 2011-v3 sockets. Six cores and 12 threads deliver a standard clock speed of 3.6GHz via Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology.
Until March 31, you can score a free game bundle that includes digital download codes for Halo Wars 2, Dreadnought, and Euro Truck Simulator 2 with the purchase of your new Intel i7 processor, sweetening this deal even further. Check out this page for more information on this limited-time offer.
Buy it on Amazon for $570
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 X 8G GPU
Like the CPU, one of the biggest expenses for your custom computer build will be the graphics card — particularly for a heavy-duty gaming rig — and it’s where you want to look for the best discounts, bundles, and rebates. Nvidia and Radeon are the two big names in GPUs, and which one you choose will mostly come down to preference and budget. If you’ve decided on an Nvidia chipset, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 X 8G is a solid high-end choice that is now just $560 on Amazon after a generous $150 discount and $20 mail-in rebate.
The GTX 1080 X 8G packs 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, which can be clocked to 10,108MHz. The card utilizes a PCI Express 3.0 x16 bus and supports HDMI, DVI-D, and DisplayPort outputs. This beast of a GPU can power up to four displays simultaneously and delivers a maximum resolution of 7680 x 4320.
Buy it on Amazon for $560 after rebate
XFX Radeon RX 480 GPU
If a Radeon card is more your speed, or if you want an inexpensive GPU for a budget-friendly computer build, then Newegg now has the XFX Radeon RS RX 480 on sale for $20 off its normal cost. When combined with the current $30 mail-in rebate, this gives you a total savings of $50 on the GPU, which brings it down to a limited-time low price of just $210.
The XFX Radeon RS RX 480 delivers a core clock speed of 1,288MHz and sports 8GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory. HDMI, DVI-D, and DisplayPort connections give you a total of five video output ports. Along with the combined $50 discount, you get a free digital download of Doom with a purchase of the RS RX 480 for a limited time.
Buy it on Newegg for $210 after rebate
Why it matters to you
In the next few years, you might not have to worry about the ethical or environmental impact of your favorite meat meal.
Last year, it was the “world’s first clean meatball” that helped Memphis Meats grab headlines in February. In November, the startup launched an Indiegogo campaign with plans to grow cultured poultry meat in the lab. Today, the company announced that it has successfully served chicken and duck meat without having raised or slaughtered a bird.
“It is thrilling to introduce the first chicken and duck that didn’t require raising animals,” Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats, said in a press release. “This is a historic moment for the clean meat movement.”
To create its “clean” meat, Memphis Meats puts living animal cells into bioreactor tanks and feeds them oxygen, sugars, and minerals until they divide and grow. The company said the taste and texture is similar to that of the real thing, just a bit spongier, according to the Wall Street Journal.
More: SuperMeat wants you to try its lab grown chicken breast
Chicken is a significant part of the American diet, with some 90 pounds eaten by the average consumer every year. Duck, on the other hand, is hugely popular in China, where more than six billion pounds are consumed in total each year, according to Memphis Meats. That’s a lot of bird.
“Chicken and duck are at the center of the table in so many cultures around the world, but the way conventional poultry is raised creates huge problems for the environment, animal welfare, and human health,” Valeti said. “It is also inefficient. We aim to produce meat in a better way, so that it is delicious, affordable and sustainable. We really believe this is a significant technological leap for humanity, and an incredible business opportunity — to transform a giant global industry while contributing to solving some of the most urgent sustainability issues of our time.”
Although the company has served it’s cultured poultry to taste testers, the meat is still prohibitively expensive. It currently costs around $9,000 to produce a pound of Memphis Meats’ poultry, compared to a bit over $3 on average for a pound of chicken breast. However, the company hopes to reduce costs drastically as it refines its technology over the next few years. It hopes to launch a commercial product in 2021.