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March 20th, 2014

Lately the tech media has been full of stories about Microsoft’s Xbox vs. Sony’s PS4, the advent of cheaper phones, cable company mergers, and Internet security. There is so much happening at times that it’s hard to know what to focus on every week. We thought we’d take this opportunity to mention a few other important developments, ones that deal with practical, everyday tech that everyone can use and benefit from. In no particular order, then, here are some recent headlines you may have missed:

• Latest iOS 7.1 Release Features CarPlay

Apple iOS 7Apple’s most recent update to iOS, 7.1, is a freebie that fixes a hefty collection of bugs and brings some thoughtful touches to Siri (now that other firms are releasing talking helpers). The headline-worthy news, though, is the CarPlay interface, debuted at the Geneva Auto Show. Apple fans will likely love it, although the critics are already picking it apart. We shall see!

• Amazon Increases Prime Membership Rate

Not long ago Amazon acquired the movie catalog of Lovefilm, some 70,000 titles, and pundits predicted it would lead to an increase in Amazon Prime membership. They were right; price has gone up by $20 for an annual membership. Members can access Amazon and use their membership benefits from any MacBook Pro, PC laptop, iPad rental, or even a smartphone, but number-crunchers are debating the value of the membership. It will be interesting to see what happens, since this is one of Amazon’s core business models.

Valve Shows Off Steam Controller Upgrades

Spokesmen for Valve, the upstart console maker, stated at January’s Steam Dev Days game developer conference that the company was considering “major changes” to the Steam controller. Steam Gaming ControllerThis latest iteration of the device is meant to move Steam users from the bedroom to the living room. The 2013 prototype had a central touchscreen and four hard-to-reach front buttons, with main control triggers and “paddles” on the unit’s backside. Traditional controller design is evidently back in favor, with two diamond-shaped button layouts almost identical to the Xbox or PS4—and the touchscreen, used to great advantage on tablets, laptops, and our own LCD touchscreen monitor rental, was determined to be overkill. Those big, round, high-resolution touchpads—don’t they look like speakers?—are still the major user interface.

What Do We Know About iOS 8?

Just a quick mention: Chinese website Weibo claims to have obtained leaked screenshots of  iOS 8, Apple’s next mobile operating system. The images show some expected changes—the new Healthbook app, for instance—but there are also three unexpected additions: Preview, Tips, and TextEdit. The authenticity of the images are now being debated.

One thing that is not up for debate are CRE’s excellent service and customer commitment. We continue to rent the latest technology equipment from Mac Pro to 4K HD monitor for entertainment production offices to corporate events. Want to learn more about our products and services? Call us at 877-266-7725.

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