Microsoft updates OneDrive for iOS with 3D Touch shortcuts on Home screen

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2015

Windows maker Microsoft today updated its cloud-storage client for iOS, OneDrive, with a trio of new features.

For starters, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners can now quickly access their most recently used files by pressing OneDrive’s Home screen icon lightly to bring up a menu providing direct access to their recent files.

Additionally, scoped folder search for personal OneDrive accounts is now back by popular demand and business users will appreciate support for Microsoft’s Intone mobile app management service. Read More


Skype for iPhone and iPad gains Maps integration and other improvements in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2015

Microsoft’s Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad apps received an update this morning in the App Store, bringing out new features including integration with Apple Maps. Now you can check locations in Maps directly from highlighted addresses and also call a phone number using Skype Credit directly from highlighted numbers.

The app is now easier to multi-task as well: you can now return to a call by pressing the Active Call banner in Skype. Read More


New Microsoft app, Forum for iPhone, lets employees speak their mind freely

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

Microsoft continues releasing mobile apps for the iPhone first before they eventually trickle down to the “other” operating systems. The latest example: Forum, a new iPhone application born out of Microsoft’s Garage division responsible for skunkworks projects.

It was conceived to help employees within an organization speak their mind and state their opinion on any topic.

Fellow workers can then vote on your favorite posts (and optionally flag them) and find out what everyone else is really thinking about any given topic. Forum is a free download and available primarily to businesses. Read More


Microsoft completely overhauls Bing for iPhone, implements iOS deep links and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.

In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team. Read More


DisplayMate: iPad Pro has stellar screen, but not better than iPad mini 4

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2015

Apple’s new iPad Pro with its massive 12.9 inch screen offers a stellar viewing experience but the device doesn’t quite match the quality of the iPad mini 4’s screen, according to an excruciating barrage of mobile display tests conducted by technology experts over at DisplayMate.

Surprisingly, the iPad Pro’s panel ranks slightly lower than that on Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 4 tablet/laptop hybrid and earns the same “A” rating as the iPad mini 4. Read More


Which has lower latency: Apple Pencil or Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus?

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 13, 2015

Microsoft’s fourth-generation Surface Pro offers stylus and keyboard cover accessories just like Apple’s newly released iPad Pro. Apple, of course, is adamant that the Pencil is the best stylus on the market because it has virtually no lag or delay.

The Apple Pencil takes full advantage of  iOS’s predictive touch technology, the iPad Pro’s special screen design and sensors in its tip that measure every nuanced stroke, angle and pressure.

After putting the device through its paces, El Mundo writer and photographer Angel Jimenez de Luis concludes that Apple’s stylus has a bit lower latency than Microsoft’s, and he posted a video showcasing tracking capabilities of both accessories. Read More


Microsoft refreshes Office apps for iPad Pro, with an important caveat

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 11, 2015

Windows giant Microsoft today released compatibility updates for its mobile Office app in the App Store—Word, ExcelPowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive—aimed at lucky iPad Pro owners.

Featuring full support for iOS 9’s new Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes, these apps now take full advantage of the iPad Pro’s massive 2,732-by-2,048 pixel resolution 12.9-canvas that in landscape mode basically runs two full-sized apps concurrently. Read More


Microsoft invites a limited number of iOS users to beta-test Cortana assistant

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 4, 2015

Microsoft today announced that a limited number of iPhone owners in the United States and China can now sign up to test-drive the first public beta of its personal digital assistant, called Cortana. “Over the coming months, we’ll continue to deliver frequent updates to the app to expand the features and functionality,” notes the Windows maker.

While Cortana offers the most complete experience on Windows devices due to its tight integration with Microsoft’s operating system and Apple-imposed restrictions related to iOS development, Cortana for iOS does take the intelligence of its Windows counterpart and brings that experience to the user’s iPhone. Read More


Microsoft folds Sunrise functionality into much-improved Outlook for iOS app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2015

Developers of Microsoft-owned calendar app, called Sunrise, announced in a blog post that the app won’t be receiving updates going forward as the team has worked hard on integrating Sunrise functionality into the Windows maker’s much-improved mobile Outlook client for iPhone and iPad.

Sunrise Calendar was last updated in the App Store more than four months ago, adding integration with Office 365 events. Just yesterday, Outlook for iOS received a fresh new look alongside a brand native Apple Watch app built on watchOS 2.

At the same time, Microsoft announced that the mobile Outlook app has gone from a couple hundred downloads to more than thirty million installs on smartphones and tablets. Read More


Skype for iOS adds 3D Touch actions, spooky Halloween emoticons, video filters and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2015

Microsoft today issued a pair of updates to Skype’s messaging, VoIP and video calling apps in the App Store.

While the apps continue to be separate downloads on iOS rather than a universal binary (come on, Microsoft!), Skype for iPhone has gained useful 3D Touch actions available both from the Home screen and within the app itself.

In addition, both editions of Skype have picked up improved conversation and contact management, as well as ghostly Halloween video message filters and emoticons. Read More


Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iOS gain comment editing, file renaming, fonts and much more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 12, 2015

Microsoft on Monday issued a refresh to its mobile office programs on the App Store: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These productivity applications now feature on-the-go comment editing, file renaming, quickly jumping to a page and much more.

Last month, the Windows giant has rolled out matching updates to Word, Excel and PowerPoint with full support for iOS 9’s new Slide Over and Split View multitasking modes on the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4. In addition, the apps have gained useful shortcuts on iPads with wireless keyboards, Vietnamese localization and other perks. Read More


Microsoft targets Apple’s MacBook Air with new laptop/tablet hybrid: $1,499 Surface Book

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2015

In addition to launching the new $899 Surface Pro 4 with the Surface Pen stylus, Windows giant Microsoft has another highly-popular Apple product in its crosshair: the MacBook Air.

Billed as “the ultimate laptop,“ the Surface Book is another hybrid device from Microsoft. Featuring an accurate, responsive stylus, multi-touch support and a high-resolution 13.5-inch optically bonded screen that detaches easily from the keyboard, the new Surface Book promises to offer best of both worlds. Read More


Microsoft takes on iPad Pro with $899 Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pen

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2015

Software giant Microsoft today announced its next-generation Surface Pro laptop/tablet hybrid, the Surface Pro 4. Designed to take Apple’s upcoming $799 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the $899 Surface Pro 4 offers updated hardware and software features like Windows Hello, the Cortana personal assistant, and of course Windows 10.

The thinnest and most powerful Surface yet, the Surface Pro 4 features a larger display than its predecessor, fitting a 12.3-inch display in the same physical footprint as the older twelve-inch device, making the laptop/tablet hybrid compatible with the existing crop of keyboard accessories on the market.

Microsoft also designed a brand new stylus to go with the Surface Pro 4. They’re calling it the Surface Pen and it’s extremely sensitive at detecting 1,024 levels of pressure. Read More


Skype’s iPad and Mac apps now support new multitasking features in iOS 9 and El Capitan

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype for iPad was refreshed in the App Store earlier this morning with support for new multitasking features provided by iOS 9. It’s now easier to chat with friends on Skype while surfing the web, reading your email or running other apps in side-by-side Split View multitasking mode (requires iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4).

In addition to Split View, Skype for iPad also supports Slide Over mode. Both instant messaging and voice calling are supported in Split View and Slide Over. Read More


El Capitan’s Boot Camp has USB drive-less Windows setup, but not all Macs are supported

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 1, 2015

Boot Camp, the Mac’s built-in software for dual-booting between OS X and Windows has been given some love in the new El Capitan software update and now features a slicker Windows setup that no longer requires a USB thumb drive, as discovered by Twocanoes.

Previously, Boot Camp required that the Windows installer be provided in the form of a USB drive or CD/DVD installation media. Now you can just point to an .ISO file, which significantly shortens the entire procedure for those who have purchased Windows as a digital download. Read More


OneDrive for iOS gains new command gestures and cool ways to work with PDF files

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 30, 2015

Microsoft today updated OneDrive for the iPhone and iPad, its cloud-storage client app, with several new features such as a simpler way to share things with an all-new radial contextual menu and cool new ways to work with and annotate PDF files.

For starters, you can now draw smiley faces or whatever your like on PDF files, sign documents and more. And thanks to OneDrive’s newly gained Outlook integration, you can share OneDrive files as email attachments through Outlook, if it’s installed.

OneDrive’s Document Picker extension on devices with iOS 8 or later permits you to open your cloud files in third-party apps like Keynote and Pages. Oh, and you can now see folders shared with you, alongside your own OneDrive folders, and sync them on your computer. Read More


Microsoft releases Invite for iPhone for organizing and scheduling group meetings on the go

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 24, 2015

Not to be outdone by Google which just released a note-taking iPhone and iPad app called Keep, software giant Microsoft today rolled out a brand new productivity app of its own, Invite for iPhone.

A Microsoft Garage project, Invite was designed to help groups “agree on a time to meet, even when they can’t see each other’s schedules.”

Recognizing that scheduling group meetings is no easy task on desktop, let alone on mobile, Invite keeps things simple enough to help you effectively coordinate multiple people’s schedules on a small screen.

You simply suggest times that work for you, and then invite attendees. After attendees select all the times they can attend, and once everyone has responded through Invite or via the web interface, you simply pick the time that works best for everyone and your group meeting is a go. Read More


Some Skype users experiencing issues with calling and messaging, Microsoft working on a fix

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 21, 2015

Are you plagued with various Skype issues, such as the inability to place VoIP calls, update your status or send instant messages? Are all of your Skype contacts showing as offline? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

According to a support document published Monday morning, many people are reporting issues with Skype status and calling and Microsoft is working on a fix.

“We’re doing everything we can to fix this issue and hope to have another update for you soon,” the company wrote. “Thank you for your patience as we work to get this incident resolved.” Read More


Skype issues a thorough revamp of iPhone and iPad app with new features

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 3, 2015

Microsoft-owned Skype on Thursday announced a major redesign of its mobile application for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The new Skype 6.0 for iPhone and Skype 6.0 for iPad (still two separate downloads) features a sleeker look that the company says was “built for both the iPhone and iPad,” includes simpler navigation, a more powerful search and improved multi-tasking when switching between call and chat screens. Read More


Bing for iPhone picks up Interests and News, gains private searching, Apple Watch app and more

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 1, 2015

Microsoft’s Bing for iPhone app was updated last evening with several new features such as Bing Interests, Bing News, a private searching mode, the Popular Now section on your Apple Watch and other enhancements.

I typically use Google’s native search app on my iPhone, but Bing saw some rather interesting improvements in recent months. In my personal opinion, Microsoft’s search-based app is better designed than Google’s with richer descriptions and prettier images.

More importunely, Bing’s popular searches feature produces way more relevant results than Google, at least for me. Read More

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