7 Days is a weekly roundup of the Editors' picks of what's been happening in the world of technology - written with a dash of humor, a hint of exasperation, and an endless supply of (Irish) coffee.
It’s been another busy week across the tech world, with all sorts of official announcements, exciting leaks and intriguing insights. As ever, 7 Days is here to make sure you know what’s been going on, walking you through the week’s biggest developments.
Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Microsoft reacted to President Donald Trump's ban on traveling to the United States from seven different countries. Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith also took the time to reassure employees that they're a top priority for the company.
But if you are visiting the United States, you might end up having to turn over your social media and web browsing history; in fact, General John Kelly confirmed it.
Alphabet-owned Boston Dynamics revealed some new robots that are on wheels, rather than the usual two or four legs. Now, Skynet will be able to take us to the machine apocalypse in style.
Google's Chrome browser for iOS has now been added to the Chromium open-source repository. Due to restrictions that Apple has in place, the browser is built on WebKit, so by making it open-source, the company is hoping for some community contributions.
LG's upcoming Android Wear 2.0 device, the Watch Style, got another leak this week. It's expected to be priced at $249.
Razer, the company that makes gaming PCs and accessories, bought Nextbit, the company that made a cloud-cased Android phone. Nextbit will continue to operate independently.
ZTE just can't win with its crowd-funded phone, the Hawkeye. It seems that the company will be planning to redesign the device and start a new campaign.
Xiaomi's Redmi Pro 2 specs leaked. It's expected to have two models: one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and another with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.
LG's upcoming G6 showed up in another leak this week, this time showing the rear casing of the handset. It appears to have a similar design to the V20, but with a glossy back, possibly made of glass.
Samsung has begun sending out invitations for an event at Mobile World Congress. The company is expected to launch the Galaxy Tab S3, rather than the Galaxy S8.
Samsung Pay Mini is coming to compatible Android phones. Unfortunately, it doesn't actually offer direct mobile payments.
If you're wondering just how durable Huawei's Honor 6X is, it was put through its paces this week. As you can see, the device succumbed to the pressure.
The good news is that if you have one, it will get Android Nougat and EMUI 5 next month.
T-Mobile has begun testing Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the update has been rolling out to variants of both handsets for a while.
Google announced the next maintenance update of Android, which is 7.1.2 Nougat. The only front-facing feature is that it will bring fingerprint gestures to some older devices, like the Nexus 5X.
Unfortunately, the Nexus 6 and 9 will be retired from mainstream support when this update is released; however, they will continue to receive security updates. This shouldn't shock you, as Google didn't guarantee updates after October, 2016.
NuAns is teasing a new handset, which will likely be the successor to its Windows 10 Mobile phone, the Neo. It doesn't seem likely that it will use Windows though, given that the President has expressed dissatisfaction with the OS. Whatever it is, we'll find out on February 20.
Microsoft updated its Authenticator app on iOS and Android, and it now includes a new feature called phone sign-in. Instead of only working for two-factor authentication, you can use the app instead of your password.
Microsoft held its NexTech event in Nairobi, Kenya. Neowin's own Managing Editor Andy Weir was there, where the company launched the Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship.
The company's market value hit $500 billion for the first time in over 15 years. The last time that it was that high was in March, 2000, when it had an all-time high of $550 billion.
You can now get a mirror that's powered by Windows 10. It will empower you to achieve more while you're combing your hair in the morning and taking that bathroom selfie.
Acer has a new ultrawide monitor, which comes in at a whopping $1,300. While it comes in at 1440p, it supports AMD's FreeSync technology.
Announced at CES, HP's EliteBook x360 is out. The base model is $2,349 and includes 4GB RAM and 128GB of storage, but it's made for businesses and includes a number of high-end security features.
Listings for Microsoft's Lumia line of Windows phones have been disappearing from first-party retailers, and in fact, Cricket Wireless now sells none of them. It does have one Lumia though, the Nokia-branded Lumia 635.
Microsoft, on the other hand, has added back almost all of the listings that it took down. These include the Lumia 650, AT&T-locked Lumia 640 XL, Acer Jade Primo, and additional color options for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL.
The Surface 3 is finally dead. After Microsoft repeatedly said during its earnings call that it's phasing out the tablet in favor of the Pro 4 and the Book, the device has been removed from the Microsoft Store.
There was quite a bit of news on the Windows Insider Program front. Build 15025 was released for PC and Mobile on separate days, and than we got ISO images of the PC build. There's also an SDK Preview build of 15021.
- PC build 15025 new features
- PC build 15025 fixes and known issues
- PC build 15025 ISOs
- Mobile build 15025 new features
- Mobile build 15025 fixes and known issues
- SDK Preview build 15021
If you're interested, the final Bug Bash for the Creators Update has kicked off, but you'll need to be on build 15025 to participate.
A new Office Insider build was released for Windows devices. The January update includes a few new features, such as the ability to manipulate objects with a pen, a Visio Add-in, and more.
Build 15023 for the Xbox One was released to the Preview Alpha ring earlier this week. It contained only fixes; however, it was also the first build that the Preview Beta ring received, so for those Insiders, there's a lot more that's new.
Also, Microsoft changed the way that the Xbox Insider Program works. If you're selected to join the Alpha ring, you can now choose which of your consoles are enrolled.
Three more Xbox 360 games have been added to Xbox One Backward Compatibility, bringing the total to 328. These include Juju, Mad Tracks, and Stuntman: Ignition.
343 Industries will be holding a livestream event for the launch of Halo Wars 2, and the company also teased some poster art. Another upcoming game is Fallout Shelter, which, while having been available on iOS and Android, will be coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title on February 7.
Microsoft announced two new Xbox Wireless Controllers, both of which will be available on Tuesday for $69.99. The one on the left is Dawn Shadow, and the one on the right is Winter Forces.
Alex Kipman talked about the possibility of a HoloLens that costs less than $1,000. It's a long way off, but it's a problem that Microsoft will need to solve to bring it to a mass market, given that the current units cost $3,000.
Microsoft released a video from its WinHEC conference in December, where it told OEMs what kind of devices it wants them to build. It's no surprise, as there's an emphasis on 2-in-1s, all-in-ones, ultrabooks, and gaming rigs, as well as pens, Windows Hello, and far-field speech recognition.
The company also outlined new features that are coming to Edge in the Creators Update, which include ebook reading, better tab management, and more. There's also WebRTC, which is in the latest Insider Preview build.
Perhaps most interesting is an app called Interop Unlock Tools, which shows off Project Neon, the upcoming design language in Windows 10. If you want to check it out, you'll need build 15019 or better, and you'll have to sideload it.
Dropbox finally released its competitor to the now-deprecated OneDrive placeholders - formally known as Project Infinite - to business customers. Luckily, Smart Sync will be coming to consumers as well.
But while there's good news for Dropbox customers, it's not so great on the OneDrive side. If you're one of the users that got unlimited or 10TB storage after Microsoft promised it, that will be taken away on March 1, and we now know what will happen to your account.
And then there's Windows 10 Cloud. Going into the week, we had never heard about it and now, we know everything we can without having an official announcement of the OS.
First, references to it appeared in build 15019. Then, it was reported that 10 Cloud would be a version of Windows that only ran apps from the Store, similar to Windows RT. Screenshots of build 15019 leaked, and then Windows 10 Cloud build 15025 itself leaked. Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney even chimed in to call it 'Windows 10 Crush Steam Edition'.
We've also learned that it will be upgradeable to a full version of Windows, presumably at a cost.
Microsoft rolled out another update to Visual Studio 2017 RC. There are a few new features, such as .NET Core and ASP.NET Core coming out of preview. Also, Samsung released a second preview of Visual Studio Tools for Tizen.
The company also announced the Git Virtual File System (GVFS), which has former Insider Program head Gabe Aul on the project.
Build 2017 registration is open as well; however, you'll need an RSVP code, and it will cost $2,195. The event will be in Seattle from May 10 - 12.
The company launched Add-ins for iOS this week, which have long been available on Windows and can also be used by Insiders using macOS. Support for the feature is also coming to Android soon, and while there isn't a timeline, Windows 10 Mobile.
Microsoft Teams is now being used by 30,000 different organizations. This spans across 145 different markets and it's in 19 languages.
The firm is killing off some older versions of Skype on macOS and Windows. If you're on Windows, you'll need to have a version number that's better than 7.16, and for Mac, 7.18.
A Cortana beta program is coming for iOS. Microsoft is looking for 1,000 testers, so you may have missed your chance already.
In the new iOS 10.3 beta, Apple has begun giving out warnings that 32-bit apps will no longer work in future versions of the OS. Presumably, the warnings are speaking of iOS 11, and it suggests that 32-bit devices will not work with the updated operating system, such as the iPhone 5, 5c, and fourth-generation iPad.
Speaking of iPhones, Apple may begin manufacturing some of them in India. This would allow the company to expand its retail operations there.
The first watchOS 3.2 Developer Beta was released, and it brings a couple interesting features. The new Theater Mode will allow you to set your Apple Watch so that it won't light up in a movie theater, and it also supports SiriKit.
Hey, remember when Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat for $3 billion and the company turned it down? Well, Snap Inc. is now launching a $3 billion IPO.
Nintendo's NES Classic sold 1.5 million units since it launched, globally. The retro console has been sold out everywhere since it came out, rarely getting back in stock. In fact, some might find it surprising that 1.5 million units existed at all. Clearly, if the company had managed its supply chain a bit better, it could have had a much more lucrative holiday season.
Before we wrap things up for another week, let me first highlight a couple of extra bits around the site that I hope you’ll enjoy reading.
This week in science is a new weekly feature on Neowin, written by Gabriel Nunes. Every week, he'll discuss the most interesting scientific achievements and discussions during that period.
Timi Cantisano published a review of Huawei's Mate 9. giving it an 8.5 out of 10. The only cons to the device were some issues with the camera.
Timi reviewed Samsung's Gear S3 classic as well, also giving it an 8.5. While design, battery life, and Samsung Pay are all positive aspects, and cons are the app ecosystem and the price.
Unfortunately, the iDeaUSA V201 headphones didn't fare so well, with Timi awarding them 6 points out of 10. They weren't too comfortable to wear, and the sound quality isn't great.
Steven Johns wrote up a review of the Dodocool Solar Power Bank, giving it a 7 out of 10. The big negative side to this one is, you guessed it, that it only charges in the sun.
Since the deadline for chopping down Office 365 users' OneDrive storage to 1TB is fast approaching, I wrote about some handy tips that might help to ease you through the transition.
Finally, in case you're interested in Microsoft's unannounced, leaked Windows 10 Cloud build, I made a hands on video showing it off.
Stay tuned to Neowin in the days ahead for what’s sure to be another exciting week, filled with more news, all sorts of updates, and lots of juicy rumors from around the world of technology.
For now, though, there’s lots more to read across the site – including all sorts of interesting discussions over on our forums.
From all of us
on the Neowin team,
have a great weekend...