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Microsoft Claims More Mac Users are Switching to Surface Due to MacBook Pro ‘Disappointment’

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Microsoft says November was its best month ever for consumer Surface sales, and claims more users are switching to the Surface from the Mac due to the “disappointment” of the new MacBook Pro.

Microsoft Claims More Mac Users are Switching to Surface Due to MacBook Pro 'Disappointment'

More people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before. Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface, like this. It seems like a new review recommending Surface over MacBook comes out daily. This makes our team so proud, because it means we’re doing good work.

Microsoft’s Surface numbers, including the customers switching form a Mac, were likely aided greatly by a promotion launched soon after the MacBook Pro debuted. Microsoft offered MacBook Pro and MacBook Air owners up to $650 credit for the purchase of a new Surface Book or Surface Pro 4. Microsoft also expanded its Surface lineup in October, adding the new Surface Studio, which is an all-in-one desktop PC that is designed to go head-to-head with the Apple iMac, and boasts an adjustable touchscreen.

Meanwhile, Apple claims the new MacBook Pro is definitely NOT a disappointment, as Apple marketing head Phil Schiller has claimed initial orders for the Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro models have exceeded any Pro model that preceded it,  saying: “We are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.”

New free movies available in November 2015

There’s a service out there that’s free and legal and has lots of awesome movies including “Glory” and “King Kong.”


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Mini-review: Flyshark, the pocketable folding Bluetooth Smart keyboard made from 7000-series aluminum

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Apple was the first company to create a touchscreen keyboard I considered usable. Nothing prior to the iPhone even came close, which is why in those days I stuck to phones with physical keyboards.

Even today, though, I still have a strong preference for the real thing. My iPad is usually accompanied by my Brydge keyboard, but what about those whose iPhone is their primary device when out and about?

Cam reviewed one option – the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard – and now there’s an even smaller and cheaper option on the way: the Flyshark 2. The company first launched a version of this a year ago, and currently has a Kickstarter campaign running for an improved version. It’s fully-funded, with 10 days to go, and I’ve been testing a prototype version with my iPhone 6s … 

Size, look & feel

The key benefit of the Flyshark is that it’s small – really small. In its folded state, it’s just 130mm wide, 75mm deep and 13mm thick. That’s a little wider, and a little shorter, than the iPhone 6s.

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It’s thicker, as you might expect, but it is still genuinely pocket-sized, and weighs just 150g.

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The aluminium used is 7000-series – the same as used in the iPhone 6s – which is all about combining strength and lightness. The finish does have a slightly industrial look, and it has plastic hinges. Overall, I’d say the look is neutral – it isn’t going to be mistaken for an Apple product, but neither does it look cheap and nasty.

It’s Smart Bluetooth, so should offer decent battery-life. Actual life will of course depend on usage; the company says the standby time is up to a year. Treat ‘up to ‘ with the usual skepticism, but in my experience, Bluetooth keyboard batteries last for ages.

In use

Like the Microsoft keyboard, and LG’s Rolly (which is a neat idea but not really pocket-sized), the Flyshark 2 offers proper moving keys. The amount of movement in the keys is somewhere between a MacBook Air/Pro keyboard and the (non-Magic) Apple Wireless Keyboard.

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In use, it feels a little cheaper and ‘looser’ than Apple’s keyboards, and I found I wasn’t quite as accurate using it. The keyboard is, without doubt, a compromise compared to anything full-sized, but that’s not too great a surprise.

Trying to persuade a folding keyboard to sit completely flat on a table when it has a hinge in the center is something the company spent a lot of time figuring out, and they got 99% of the way there. It wobbles perhaps half a millimeter as you type. Personally, I found it very slightly annoying, but I was still impressed how near-flat they’d got it.

The keyboard automatically switches on and re-pairs with the last-used device as soon as you open it, switching off when you close it which makes it extremely convenient to use. It does, though, take a couple of seconds to switch off, and I found I got about ten gibberish characters ‘typed’ by the keyboard each time I closed it.

Conclusions

If you want a keyboard for use with an iPad, I would highly recommend getting a full-sized one (for iPad-sized values of ‘full size’). I was impressed with both the ClamCase Pro and Brydge keyboards, and there’s no real advantage to anything smaller than the iPad itself. Some people also carry an Apple Wireless Keyboard, which is obviously bulkier but a delight to use.

But if you don’t want to carry an iPad around and still want to do a lot of typing on your iPhone, I’d say the Flyshark 2 is a decent compromise. It doesn’t match the typing experience of a larger keyboard any more than the Microsoft keyboard does, but the difference between this and the on-screen keyboard is night-and-day. If you want to improve your iPhone typing experience while retaining pocket-level portability, the Flyshark 2 may well be the answer.

The Flyshark 2 can be pre-ordered on Kickstarter from $46, with shipping estimated for November. It’s available in a range of colors.

Filed under: Reviews Tagged: bluetooth keyboard, Flyshark, iPhone keyboard, keyboard

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Verizon raising price of grandfathered unlimited data plans by $20 in November

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Verizon on Thursday announced that it will soon be raising the price on grandfathered unlimited data plans by $20. As noted by CNET, this will bring the monthly price tag of unlimited data to $49.99 per month, which is in addition to the standard talk and text plan, and the change is set to take place in November.

The amount of people affected by this move should be relatively small. Verizon says that less than 1% of its 100+ million subscriber base still has an unlimited plan, and those that do still have one and are currently under contract from a previous phone purchase won’t likely see the price hike until the contract expires…. Read the rest of this post here


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Apple TV & iPad Pro to hit stores early November after late October online launch

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The revamped Apple TV set-top-box and iPad Pro will both begin showing up in Apple Retail Stores for sale during the first week of November and will go on sale via Apple’s website in late October, according to reliable sources. It is also likely that the first online orders of both products will only begin shipping to customers in early November.

Apple has previously said that the new Apple TV will go on sale at some point in October and that the iPad Pro would go on sale in November, but the company did not say that the first Apple TV units will arrive in early November and that the iPad Pro would actually go on sale online in late October. We reported earlier this week that the iPad Pro will show up in stores in early November.

Apple is also preparing to launch a new 4K 21.5-inch iMac as soon as next Tuesday, potentially alongside upgraded “Magic Keyboard,” “Magic Mouse 2,” and “Magic Trackpad 2” accessories with the company’s latest input technologies. Apple has also been working on faster versions of the 5K 27-inch iMac line and new laptops with the latest Intel chips, but it is currently unclear if those are ready for debut next week as well.

Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Inc, Apple TV, Computer keyboard, iMac, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTunes, Magic Trackpad

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