It’s the week before the U.S. Independence Day holiday and companies are popping out all kinds of news as the general public will likely be distracted by fireworks and grilled meat for part of next week. For example, Sony had a slew of announcements this week, including its SmartWatch 2 and the Xperia Z Ultra Android-based phablet with a 6.4-inch 1080 HD-screen. The company also put out a software update for the iOS Music Unlimited app.
The Ouya open-source Android-based game console has finally landed, although early reviews have not been kind. (Speaking of game consoles, we all saw that news last week that Microsoft reversed course on its Xbox One policies and used games and offline player mode are now accepted, right?)
Also in Microsoft gaming news, the company is developing its Age of Empires game for iOS and Android. Need an Android device to play it on? Pre-orders started this week and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 tablets in the 10.1, 8.0 and 7.0 models will arrive here in the States on July 7.
Microsoft showed off its upcoming Windows 8.1 system this week at its annual Build Conference, this year in San Francisco. This free update to Windows 8 is due out this fall and includes several new features.
The Leap Motion controller folks have a released a limited beta version of the Leap Airspace app for Mac and PC users so they can control their computers with gestures. The controller is getting some good early reviews and has its own app store revving up as well ahead of its July 22 launch.
Meanwhile, Real Cameras continue to fight back against the Smartphone Invasion as best they can. Fujifilm’s new X-M1 camera has built-in Wi-Fi, although you have to bounce your photos through your Android smartphone or iPhone before you can post them online.
In the Department of Oh, What Else Is New?, the social network recently had a security issue. A white-hat programmer found a bug in Facebook’s data archive that inadvertently revealed the phone numbers and email address of about six million users. Facebook posted its explanation of the situation on its blog and company claims that the issue has been fixed. Concerned Facebook users have issued demands for an apology (which, with a buck plus tax, would get you a cup of coffee at the McDonald’s in Times Square — but probably won’t prevent further Epic Facebook Security Fails).
And finally, Apple is also said to be investigating Wi-Fi issues with its newly released MacBook Air laptops and has also rolled out a second version of its iOS 7 beta so that iPod Touch and iPad users in Apple’s dev program can see the flat world for themselves. And for those not in the Apple Developer program, well, there are always the video demos on the Applefan sites to keep you in the infinite loop of upgrade-watching.