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Alas, the same can't be said for the Windows Store. Although you can run any Windows application on a Windows 8 tablet, the number and quality of apps designed for touchscreens available through the Windows Store simply can't match Google's or Apple's. At the time of writing, the Windows Store had 168,000 apps compared to 1.2 million for Apple and 1.3 million for Android.A larger number doesn't guarantee all those apps will be good, or exactly what you want, but at this sort of scale it does increase the likelihood of finding the app you're looking for.Winner: iOS by a whisker, for its superior selection of creative and tablet apps, with Android in second place and Windows in thirdAndroid has long been held up as the most flexible mobile OS, and with good reason. Historically, both users and developers have been given much more freedom by Google than they have been by Apple. It's easy, for instance, to move files around an Android tablet, since the Android file system is visible to all apps; this isn't the case with iOS, where apps and related storage live in their own silos. iOS 8 is set to improve this situation, but app developers will need time to implement the changes.And there are all manner of ways you can tweak and fiddle with the user experience on an Android tablet: you can replace the keyboard, install a launcher to get the homescreen looking just the way you like it, or even replace the OS entirely with a customised ROM. With an Android tablet, you don't even have to use the preinstalled Google Play app store if you can't find what you're looking for. You can sideload apps, or even run an alternative app store if you wish.Apple iOS vs Android vs Windows 8 – what's the best compact tablet OS?

Windows is the odd one out. On the one hand, its mobile front end is pretty rigid. You can't change the keyboard, or customise the tile-based homescreen beyond moving and resizing tiles, adding a photograph to the background or changing the colour theme.On the other hand, a tablet running Windows 8 is more flexible than one running either Android or iOS. With full Windows 8 on board, you can run any desktop app you like, connect to pretty much any peripheral on the market, from laser printers to scanners to DVD writers, and hook your tablet quickly up to corporate networks and shared network storage.It's also worth noting that many Atom-based Windows compact tablets come with a free license for Microsoft Office Home and Student.Each of the major mobile operating systems has something to recommend it. In the case of iOS, we love its outward simplicity: it's the easiest mobile OS to get to grips with and understand, and the selection of software in the App Store, particularly for tablet owners, gives it another advantage.Android is more flexible – a mobile OS for the power user – with a selection of apps that's almost as good as Apple's, while Windows is good for anyone who just can't let go of their desktop apps and peripherals, or who need full integration with a Microsoft-based office environment.For us, iOS just edges the overall win. It's the platform with the best tablet-specific software, and with the advent of iOS 8, it's set to shed some its reputation for being restrictive and inflexible. Android, however, comes a very, very close second.Readers are asking me whether SSDs are now reliable enough for day-to-day use in a business laptop.

The UX303LA is also a very quiet machine – there’s a fan inside, but you wouldn’t know it. Even when it’s running flat out, you have to put your ear directly to the vents on the rear to hear anything. It runs very cool, too, never becoming unpleasantly hot to the touch.Physically, the Asus Zenbook UX303LA is no groundbreaker, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’ve always liked the Zenbook design, with its circular-patterned metal lid and matte-finish metal base. It feels solid and sturdy; capable of roughing it with the best of them.And despite the rugged-feeling chassis, the UX303LA is light and slim, weighing 1.4kg (1.7kg with the charger) and measuring 21mm thick – it’s as portable as the 13in MacBook Air, if not quite as sleek. The keyboard puts in a good showing as well, providing a decent amount of travel and plenty of feedback, as well as adjustable backlighting behind the keys.The touchpad is one of the few things we’ve never liked about Asus’ Zenbooks, and the UX303LA doesn’t change that opinion. Although the sensitivity is fine (once you’ve tweaked the settings), the integrated buttons feel heavy and the clicking action squidgy. It’s far from a pleasure to use.The Asus Zenbook UX303LA’s display is a real highlight. It’s a sensibly specified 1,920 x 1,080 panel with a semi-matte finish, and it uses IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear visuals and excellent viewing angles.Measured with our X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter, the stats stack up well, too. The screen reaches a maximum brightness of 377cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 925:1. It covers 91% of the sRGB colour gamut and delivered an average Delta E of 2.45 and a maximum of 4.85 in our tests, indicating that colour accuracy is pretty good.

If there’s one area where the UX303LA outperforms the current MacBook Air, it’s this. The Air’s TN display is neither as bright nor as colour-accurate as the UX303LA’s, and the resolution is lower as well. Still, with new MacBook Air models expected imminently, that picture could change very soon.Asus Zenbook UX303LA review: connectivity and audioSince this is an Ultrabook, there’s nothing special about the UX303LA’s external connectivity. You get three USB 3 sockets, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort video outputs, plus an SD card reader and a 3.5mm headset jack.There’s no Ethernet port on the chassis of the laptop, but Asus supplies a 10/100 USB dongle in the box, while wireless comprises 2x2-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.Finally, to round things off, the UX303LA sports Asus’ usual Bang & Olufsen-branded speakers, which deliver a broad, detailed soundstage, but don’t pack much of a punch.As expected, Intel’s new Broadwell Core i7 doesn’t rewrite the rulebook, certainly not in performance terms. However, its improved efficiency, coupled with Asus’ budget-conscious specification, means this first outing is far more positive than negative, and at £700 inc VAT, the Zenbook UX303LA represents superb value.It costs £150 less than the current bottom-of-the-range MacBook Air 13in, and that gets you a Core i7-based machine with a 128GB SSD, 13-hour battery life and a top-quality display. It’s an awful lot of laptop for the money.In fact, if you’ve dabbled in JavaScript and HTML before, you’ll have most of the knowledge and tools at your disposal.

All you need to know is how to put it together, so Chrome can interpret it and make use of it.Even if you’re new to coding, you’ll be able to follow this simple tutorial, and by the end of it you’ll have created an extension that lets you quickly look up facts using the open-source encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.All you need is a text editor – we’ve used our current favourite, Sublime Text – a Google Chrome browser, and a paint application such as Paint.NET to design the icon for your extension.There are two different types of Chrome extension: a “page action” and a “browser action”. Icons for page actions appear within the omnibox address bar of Chrome and affect only the page that’s loaded into the currently displayed tab. An example of a page action is a button that allows you to subscribe to a page’s RSS feed.Browser actions, on the other hand, work independently of the loaded page, and their icons appear outside the omnibox. Our Wikipedia extension is a browser action, an extension that we want to be available no matter which web page or tab we have open.The first step in creating your Chrome extension is a straightforward one: create a folder where all the files can live. This can be anywhere on your PC or laptop, but it makes sense to put it somewhere you can get to easily, such as the desktop or My Documents folder.Next, you need to create the text files that will contain the code. We’re creating the simplest Chrome extension possible, so all we need is a manifest file, a HTML file and a PNG file.

What do these files do? The manifest file is an instruction sheet. It tells Chrome what type of extension it is, its name, the version of the manifest file format you’re using, plus other important information, such as where the icon for the button lives and the various files the extension needs to run. The HTML file contains the code that tells the extension what to do or display when it’s clicked.The PNG file is a 19 x 19-pixel image that will appear on the extension’s button in the toolbar. It’s best to keep your icon simple. We’ve used a single letter “W” and created the icon in Paint.NET.
Once you’ve designed your image, you can save it into the folder, naming the file icon.png, and then get on with populating the text files with the code you need. You can also create a 38 x 38-pixel image if you don’t want the icon to look fuzzy on high-resolution displays.The manifest file is constructed using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), which is a subset of the JavaScript programming language. As you can see from ours below, manifest files can be pretty basic. They contain a block of code, contained within curly brackets, which includes a number of settings,The only required fields are the manifest version and the name that you can see at the top of our block of code. In our manifest we’ve added a few extras. There’s a description field, a version-number field, and we’ve also told Chrome that the extension type is a browser action.

Steam has released its in-home streaming feature, allowing users to beam games running on one PC to other computers on the same network.The service, which was previously in beta, means that gamers can have a 3D game running on a high-end PC in a back bedroom, and stream it to a relatively low-powered laptop in the lounge, for example.It also means users can run Windows games on other devices compatible with the Steam client, such as Linux PCs or Macs. The majority of games on the Steam platform are Windows only.The streaming service is effectively a remote desktop session, with the keyboard and mouse inputs on the receiving computer being sent back to the host PC.Both devices must be connected to the same network, however. It can't be used to stream games to remote locations over the internet.In our brief tests this morning, we successfully managed to stream Football Manager from a Windows 8 laptop to a Surface Pro tablet, with no discernible lag, despite slow network warnings periodically appearing in the bottom of the screen. Football Manager is, however, hardly the most graphically demanding of games.The release of the streaming feature comes ahead of the launch of the much anticipated Steam OS and Steam Box devices, which Valve hopes will lead to PCs rivaling consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for a slot in the living room.You don’t have to be a developer to edit the web. With the right extensions, you can create the online experience you want in only a few clicks.Want to ban profanity from YouTube comments? Done. Hate how Facebook and Gmail have been redesigned? You can change that. Want to see kittens instead of offensive content? That’s possible too.Extensions – known in Firefox as add-ons – are small, usually free tools that perform simple tasks. They can add features to your browser, complement desktop applications, or enhance the workings of specific web services. Since anyone can write an extension, they can even modify the behaviour of websites in ways that their creators might not approve of.

That’s a strength, but it’s also a risk. As with any downloadable code, an extension could contain malware that steals data or otherwise interferes with the operation of your PC.Both Google and Mozilla operate official stores, from which anything found to be malicious will be quickly ejected, but dodgy extensions can still cause trouble before they’re detected, so check reviews and use common sense before installation. Note, too, that updates to extensions can change how they function, so what runs okay today may not tomorrow. Don’t panic, however.Malicious extensions are in the minority. On these pages, we’ve selected reputable add-ons that can make the web behave exactly as you want. Except where noted, all of the extensions mentioned are available for both Chrome and Firefox. And if you’re having trouble finding an extension to suit, you could make one yourself.Annoyed by ads? Offended by swear words? Irritated by The Daily Mail? You can automatically delete all of these from your browser with extensions. One of the web’s most popular extensions is AdBlock, which stops ads in their tracks. Not only will this boost load times, but it will help you to avoid malicious adverts.It also lets you temporarily allow ads, or whitelist an entire site – for example – and has advanced blocking tools, too. To access them, click on Filter Lists in the management tool to add different languages, remove social media buttons or ban other annoyances. Even if you don’t run AdBlock all the time, it’s worth installing in the event that a site fails to load because it’s weighed down with ads, for example.If simply turning off ads isn’t enough, you can specifically target Flash with extensions such as FlashBlock, or prevent JavaScript
from running automatically with ScriptBlock (Chrome only).


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