vendredi 31 janvier 2014

Malwarebytes releases first public beta of Anti-Malware 2

Malwarebytes has released the first public beta of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.00, the latest incarnation of its popular security tool.

The first change you’ll notice is the interface, which has been revamped for a more modern look. An opening "dashboard" displays your protection level, license details, database version, scan and real-time protection status. You can update the program or launch a scan with a click, while "Scan", "Settings" and "History" tabs provide more details and control.

Malwarebytes Anti-Rootkit and Malwarebytes Chameleon are now integrated with Anti-Malware. They’re turned off by default, but can be quickly enabled from Settings (click Detection and Protection, check "Scan for rootkits"; click "Advanced Settings", check "Enable self-protection module").

Malwarebytes says an enhanced Malicious Website Protection offers improved performance and finer control of its actions (you can exclude processes such as BitTorrent clients, as well as IP addresses and URLs or domains from the system).

The new release also gains native x64 system location scanning, while the program has reportedly seen significant improvements in its detection and removal technology.

Malwarebytes has provided a temporary licence key for the duration of the beta.



Please note, the company also says that, if you’re running Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO or the free Trial, you should uninstall it and reboot before installing the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 2.00 beta.

via BetaNews

GoPro channels set to bring more action to Xbox

GoPro, if you aren't familiar, is a little video camera that can be mounted on a dashboard, handlebars or helmet. It is designed to bring the viewer into the action, letting you experience what it feels like to plunge down that steep hill on a mountain bike, or ski jump off that ramp.

Now the durable little cameras are set to get their own channels on the Xbox platform. These will arrive for customers of both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, though it won't be coming until this summer.

"Our GoPro Channel app will make it easy for millions of global Xbox Live customers to watch GoPro originally-produced and 'best of' user-generated content on their televisions at home. We're excited to align ourselves with Microsoft and the Xbox brand as we believe our customers share the same desire to enjoy the type of immersive, experiential content that our cameras enable", says GoPro's CEO Nicholas Woodman.

The content will be curated, and you'll need to be an Xbox Live Gold member in order to access these new channels. The partnership will also allow Xbox users to purchase the cameras and accessories from the new app. This is Microsoft’s first foray into selling physical goods through an Xbox app.

via BetaNews

UK readers -- your chance to test the latest 4G smartphones


If you've ever fancied becoming a gadget reviewer, then mobile provider EE along with tech website Gizmodo UK is offering you the chance.

Over three months of the Testmodo challenge three people will get to try out the superfast 4GEE service on one of the latest and smartest 4G handsets.

The winners will be sent a new smartphone each month and will carry out a series of challenges, writing a short review for the Gizmodo UK site every two weeks. The best bit though is that they get to keep the handsets they test at the end!

So, perhaps you want the bragging rights of showing off a new handset each month. Maybe you're curious about whether 4G lives up to the hype or possibly you've always wanted to get a foot in the door of tech journalism. Whatever your motivation this is your opportunity.

By now you’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering how to take part, so here are the details. First you need to be in the UK -- sorry rest of the world. Go to the EE coverage checker and find out if you’re among the 70 percent of the population that has 4G coverage. If you are then email your entry to This needs to include your name and address plus a couple of lines explaining why you think it should be you and ideally your Twitter handle and blog link too. The competition closes at the end of Monday February 3rd so don’t hang around. Full details and T&Cs are available here.

Good luck to the entrants and let us know how you get on!

via BetaNews

Best iOS apps this week

Fifth in a series. A big week for Apple as the company delivered record fiscal first quarter results -- $57.6 billion revenue and $13.1 billion net profit. The tech giant revealed it had shipped 51 million iPhones, an all-time quarterly record, compared to 47.8 million a year-ago, and 26 million iPads, up from 22.9 million in the same period a year ago. Wall Street wasn’t impressed, but that’s to be expected.

Of course a big part of Apple’s success is the number and quality of apps available for its hardware. As the owner of both iOS and Android devices, I find the apps for the iPhone and iPad to be vastly superior (although there are always exceptions). There’s less garbage, and far fewer ad-riddled apps. Part of that reason is Apple’s strict approval process, and the amount of money it pays to developers -- $2 billion in its fiscal first quarter -- helps too.

The company paid out $10 billion to developers in 2013 (no doubt a huge chunk of that going to Candy Crush Saga developer King), which shows that the App Store remains the best place for developers to make money -- provided they can gain the required visibility of course.

This week there were some great new apps and games, and a number of noteworthy updates.

As always, if I miss an app that you think should definitely have been included, let me know in the comments below.

Here is my selection for this week.

Paid App of the Week

Lego Star Wars: Microfighters ($0.99)

Earlier in the week, Google announced a Chrome tie-in with LEGO, which I described as "awesome". I also said the plastic brick manufacturer really knows how keep "its product modern, with video games like LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Hobbit". And lo and behold, here’s a fresh new Star Wars LEGO game to enjoy.

Lego Star Wars: Microfighters is a retro-style shooter that lets you pilot six iconic Star Wars ships, including TIE fighters and X-wings. You can choose to fly for the Rebellion, or the Empire, and there are 18 levels spread across four planets -- Endor, Yavin, Hoth and Geonosis -- and 35 types of enemies to engage. It's great fun, and well worth the asking price.

Free App of the Week

SwiftKey Note

Owners of Android phones may be familiar with the SwiftKey software keyboard. SwiftKey Note isn’t the same thing, but rather a note-taking app from SwiftKey’s developer, TouchType. It does however, offer the keyboard’s auto-correction and prediction algorithms, making typing and jotting down notes, much quicker. It gets smarter the more you use it too.

You can share notes, and the app offers Evernote synchronization and more. Notes can be tagged and formatted, and you can write in up to three languages at a time.

Other Apps

Parallels Access

Offers in-app purchases.

When I’m working away from my PC I’m usually remote accessing it on my iPad using the excellent Parallels Access. I’ve tried other remote access tools in the past, most notably TeamViewer, but this is easily my favorite tool for the task.

The app was updated this week and now sports an iOS 7 look and feel. It offers full support for OS X Mavericks, Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 and gains enhancements for connections in/from corporate networks.

Subscriptions are now per-user rather than per remote computer (and you can use it on up to 10 systems). You get a 14 day free trial of the full version, and can continue to use it in time limited mode once the trial has expired.

7 Minute Workout – Quick Fit ($0.99)

Offers in-app purchases.

There are loads of 7 Minute Workout apps in the App Store. This one guides you through the famous brief exercise blast using HD video and voice prompts. There are 12 exercises, with 10 seconds of rest in-between, making it ideal for people who don't have time to spend hours exercising but still want to maintain a certain level of fitness.

If you’re feeling a bit flabby round the middle, there’s a new Quick Abs workout pack available for $1.99.

Launch Center Pro for iPad ($4.99)

This app is like speed dial for everyday tasks. "Launch actions, not just apps", according to the description. Example actions include messaging a friend, emailing someone, launching a favorite website and more. You can chain multiple actions together.

The iPad version is pretty much identical to the iPhone one, just super-sized to make use of the extra screen space.

Dungeon Keeper

Offers in-app purchases.

I was a huge fan of the original PC version of Dungeon Keeper so I’ll admit to being excited to see a new version of it on iOS. However, it turns out this is actually more like Clash of Clans than the game I knew and loved.

That said, the new Dungeon Keeper is fun, and the concept -- build the best dungeon and protect it from invading heroes by deploying traps, trolls, demons, warlocks (and numerous other creatures) -- remains the same. It’s freemium and the game nags you to buy virtual gold continually, which spoils the enjoyment of it somewhat.


Offers in-app purchases.

If you log into a lot of password protected websites, this app will save you time by storing your credentials and letting you log in with a single tap. It combines a password manager with a browser, and works with hundreds of sites. If you encounter a site that isn’t supported, you can email the developers and they’ll add it if possible.

Although the base app is free, support for unlimited sites costs $5.99.

Piano Mania

Offers in-app purchases.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to learning to play the keyboard and this iPad app can really help. Place the iPad on your keyboard or piano and play away -- or use the touch mode. It features hundreds of songs including classics like When the Saints Go Marching In and modern songs like Katy Perry’s Roar.

Although the app is free, you’ll need to buy a paid subscription if you want to get the most from it.

Impressed Photo Books

This app lets you create stylish hard cover photo books right from your iPad, using pictures from an iOS device, iPhoto, PC, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr. Impressed Photo Books also creates a digital version that allows you to add voice recordings and lets viewers leave comments. This is accessible through a QR code printed in the book.

Books you create can be shipped to anywhere in the US or Canada.

Apple’s App of the Week


Offers in-app purchases.

This week’s free app aims to transform your photos and give them the wow factor. It isolates the subject of your picture and lets you make them really stand out. There are loads of effects, filters, frames and adjustments you can apply, and finished images can be shared on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Sina Weibo, emailed or saved to the camera roll.

There are additional filters available as in-app purchases.

via BetaNews

Able-HD wants to put a monitor in your bag


As long ago as 2003 Microsoft research found that having a second monitor made people up to 50 percent more productive.

However, having two screens is fine for those of us tied to a desk but isn’t exactly practical for people on the move.

The Able-HD Plus monitor is aiming to change that and allow you to take a second screen with you wherever you go. Available in 15 and 17-inch versions, both with full 1080p resolution, the 17-inch model is lighter than an iPad and less than one-third the thickness of a standard HD monitor, making it easy to slip into a laptop bag or briefcase.

It has a multi-port, detachable adapter board which also acts as a stand and is compatible with laptops, smartphones, Xbox games consoles and other devices, and comes with audio in/out, HDMI, VGA, and DVI connections. A synthetic polymer casing and rubber edging prevents damage to both the monitor and adapter, while a thermoplastic acrylic screen gives the strongest, clearest resolution without sacrificing the monitor's streamlined design or loading it with extra weight.

"The Able-HD Plus is going to open up a whole new world of possibilities for productivity and enjoyment, both for people who already like working with multi-screen systems and people who have never considered it before," says Nell Harton, Founder and CEO of the Able-HD startup. "Everyone carries their computers with them in one form or another. Now they can carry their screens, too".

The original project was financed on Kickstarter. Now the team behind Able-HD is headed back to the site in order to raise funds to address issues -- particularly fragility -- identified in the first design.

"We knew we had to make the system stronger," says Harton, "but we took the opportunity to rethink the entire system design, and wound up making some changes that are both innovative and highly functional".

To find out more, pledge to the campaign or reserve a screen at an "early bird" price for its summer 2014 release visit the Able-HD website.

via BetaNews

jeudi 30 janvier 2014

Windows Phone finally greets Beats Music app

Beats Music has been on a wild ride since its launch. Registration was closed within days of the big event, as the service claimed system problems. It then reopened, adding extra time to the free trial period in an effort to say "sorry" for the problems. Most recently, the release of the Windows Phone app was pushed back.

Well, that mobile app, which was originally slated for release last Friday, has finally seen the light of day. The service quietly made it live today, with not so much as an announcement on the company blog.

"Beats Music is a new kind of streaming service that combines the best music experts and technology to always deliver you the right music at the right time. All you have to do is hit play", the app page describes.

The service boasts more than 20 million songs already, along with some big names associated with it. It's free to download, and you’ll get a trial period to test it out. After that, it will be time to open up the wallet.

Photo Credit: ra2studio /Shutterstock

via BetaNews

New collaboration tool gets Office workers in a Huddle

Huddle for Office

We've looked at the Huddle desktop collaboration tool, which offers a blend of productivity and social networking, in the past here at BetaNews. The company is now launching another phase of its Connected Desktop with a plug-in for Microsoft Office.

By linking the power of Office tools with Huddle's cloud collaboration service the company aims to make workers more productive. Files can be saved into Huddle's secure cloud directly from Office applications but more importantly each document has a comment stream alongside it, allowing users to provide feedback on changes and reply to co-workers in context, all without leaving Office.

"People’s devices -- PCs, laptops, desktops and tablets -- are now simply a doorway to their world of work as the cloud gives them access to their files, colleagues' feedback and all the information they need," explains Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle. "Skipping between the applications on your desktop and cloud service to share information and discuss files with people is time-consuming and disrupts your workflow. With Huddle for Office, you can continue working in the desktop tools you’re used to, but all of your feedback, files and updates are stored and shared in Huddle's secure cloud. Connecting with the people you need to and working together on your content has never been easier".

With the plug-in installed Huddle functions can be accessed via a toolbar within Office. There’s also the ability to track all comments and changes for compliance and auditing purposes. Documents are saved to a secure workspace ensuring that only authorized team members can access them. They can also be read and commented on via Huddle's tablet and smartphone apps.

Huddle for Office integration is available now, visit the company's website for more information.

via BetaNews

Audio Memos improves VoiceOver support, adds new memo, scrubbing and sorting tools

Imesart S.à.r.l has released Audio Memos Free 4.1.0 and Audio Memos Pro 4.1.0, major updates to its mobile digital voice recording apps. Version 4.1 comes with pinned controls for VoiceOver users to make the app easier to use for those with sight problems.

Other improvements -- restricted to the paid-for versions -- include options for easily erasing sections of memos, new storing options and variable scrubbing speeds for all sliders.

Audio Memos comes in three flavors for those looking for a digital voice recording app to replace their existing Dictaphone. The free version, available on Android and iOS, offers basic recording, editing and sharing capabilities. All recordings are stored in the universal WAV format, and users can choose one of three quality settings to strike a balance between file size and quality.

This compromise is important in the free version as aside from being ad-supported, users can only share recordings via email, up to a maximum of 3MB in size. iOS users can, however, also transfer recordings to their computer via their local Wi-Fi network using the app’s built-in file server and their computer’s web browser.

The free version also includes limited editing controls for finished recordings, allowing users to append new audio on to the end of existing recordings or overwrite parts of the existing soundtrack with newly recorded material.

A separate paid-for version, entitled simply Audio Memos, is also available for Android and iOS. This removes the email size limit, plus iPad and iPhone users also gain multitasking support as well as the option of transferring files via USB and iTunes.

Audio Memos also includes a number of in-app purchases that allow users to pick and choose which advanced functionality they wish to use without having to shell out the full $9.99 for the Audio Memos Pro app (only available on iOS). Of these optional features, only support for adding markers is available to Android users, while iOS users also have the choice of buying in more advanced editing features, and the ability to compress recordings to save more space among other tools.

Version 4.1’s main feature -- applicable to all versions -- sees it pin the controls for VoiceOver users allowing those with sight-related problems to more easily use the app.

Both paid-for versions also improve the memos feature by allowing users to easily erase a section of a memo while also improving the security of stored memos within the app.

Finally, the Pro version also gains a number of new sorting options for existing recordings, while extending variable scrubbing speeds to all applicable sliders.

Audio Memos Free 4.1.0 is available now as a free download for Android and iOS, while Audio Memos Pro 4.1.0 is available for iPhone and iPad for $9.99.

via BetaNews

Facebook announces Paper -- its new story sharing app

Two weeks ago my colleague Mihaita Bamburic wrote a piece on how a Facebook news reader app could give users the best tailored content. Today, Facebook announces Paper, a "new app that helps you explore and share stories from friends and the world around you". It's not quite the app Mihaita was hoping for -- not yet, at least -- but it does sound promising.

Paper is essentially a Flipboard alternative for iPhone (and Android eventually, presumably) that displays content from your Facebook friends, well-known publications, and "emerging voices" in a fullscreen, distraction-free layout.

"Your Paper is made of stories and themed sections, so you can follow your favorite interests. The first section in Paper is your Facebook News Feed, where you’ll enjoy inspiring new designs for photos, videos, and longer written posts. You can customize Paper with a choice of more than a dozen other sections about various themes and topics -- from photography and sports to food, science and design", Facebook says.

According to the social site, storytelling and sharing have been "reimagined" in Paper in order to show stories at their best.

  • Everything responds to your touch so you can pick up or thumb through stories with simple, natural movements.

  • You can tilt your phone to explore high-resolution panoramic photos from corner to corner, and see faces and other important details up close.

  • Fullscreen autoplay videos come to life and bring you deep into the action.

  • Beautifully detailed covers make it easy to spot articles from trusted publishers and decide what to read or watch. Articles unfold in the app and appear fullscreen for a focused reading experience.

  • When you're ready to tell your own story, you know exactly what your post or photo will look like because you see a live preview before you share it.

The app, which is the first from Facebook Creative Labs, will be available for US iPhone users from 3 February. You can find out more about it, and watch a video of the app in action here.

via BetaNews

Jobs site offers Internet Explorer 7 users new computers with 'a modern browser' for free

When a site decides it will no longer support outdated versions of a certain browser, usually an announcement of some sort follows, explaining that affected users should upgrade to a newer iteration, or switch to an alternative offering, in order to avoid a subpar experience. For the most part, the targets are Internet Explorer 7 and its predecessor, both of which belong to the annals of browsers, even in Microsoft's opinion.

But, has decided to take a different route. In a blog post titled "IE7 users, we need to talk...", the jobs site has announced that it has stopped supporting the said browser version (that is now more than seven years old), but in order to keep affected users happy it will give them "a new computer with a modern browser" for free. explains its move by saying: "We determined that it would cost us more to support a browser from 2006 in 2014 and beyond than it would to help our clients upgrade their legacy hardware". Obviously, it would be much cheaper, at least on the surface, to drop support for Internet Explorer 7 -- the site said even the browser's predecessor was supported until "recently" -- and leave affected users to upgrade on their own.

This would be the more common approach, but, apparently, does not want to put off those folks from using the service it provides. "We want to make sure all our customers are well served by our new product and we are serious about making this right if our ceasing to support IE7 becomes an inconvenience", says the site.

Looking at Microsoft's site one might also wonder why does not tell its Internet Explorer 7-toting users to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8. If they are running the former version chances are their PC is rocking Windows XP or Windows Vista, both of which support the newer variant of the browser.

The site says that only 1.22 percent of its traffic comes from Internet Explorer 7 (which does not tell us much in regards to users), which makes this bold offer less crazy than it sounds. Globally, the said browser version accounts to just 2.14 percent of Internet traffic, according to NetMarketShare. has not revealed which sort of "computer" those who want to redeem the offer will get. Since the site is optimized for "mobiles and tablets", giving them a slate would be a somewhat inexpensive option. Similarly, a Chromebook would also fit the bill as it is frequently updated by Google with a new version of Chrome.

Photo Credit: Pixel-3D/Shutterstock

via BetaNews

Dell puts cloud access in your pocket

Dell Cloud Connect

PC and server specialist Dell is launching a new mobile cloud access device that delivers a full HD user experience on any HDMI or MHL enabled display.

The company claims that Dell Wyse Cloud Connect is a completely new end-user device category, bridging thin clients and mobile devices to promote BYOD.

Looking like a chunky USB stick, the device can be connected to any MHL or HDMI port on a TV or monitor. Linked to a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse it then gives you an instant, secure window into the cloud. Small enough to put into a pocket or bag it’s ideal for traveling to business presentations and meetings.

No batteries are needed as the device is powered by the MHL port or through a USB connection. It runs Android to allow web browsing and media playback via an integrated dual band Wi-Fi connection.

It's managed through the Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager software-as-a-service (SaaS). This means IT managers can ensure that each Cloud Connect device is used by the appropriate person with the right permissions and access to apps and content is granted based on their role, department and location.

As well as the obvious application in presentations, Dell suggests that the quick and secure access provided by Wyse Cloud Connect can be used as a low-cost virtual desktop for education, providing access in classrooms, libraries and labs. Other suggested uses include digital signage, kiosks and personal cloud access to online entertainment and gaming.

"Small, smart and secure; Cloud Connect is a disruptive device," says Steve Lalla, vice president and general manager for Dell Cloud Client-Computing. "We unlock new options for our customers to access their data and applications by combining mobility, manageability and security with a powerful user experience at an affordable price-point".

Cloud Connect is available now priced at $129 per unit.

via BetaNews