Skype gains iOS 8′s interactive notifications

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 22, 2014

Microsoft on Monday refreshed its Skype software for the iPhone with support for the enhanced notifications on iOS 8 that can be interacted with on the Lock screen, within the Notification Center and from the banners.

Now available in the App Store, Skype for iPhone 5.5 brings iOS 8 interactive notification support for audio and video calls and messages, in addition to general improvements, compatibility enhancements and bug fixes. Read More

 

Microsoft buying Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion, commits to keeping iOS game alive

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 15, 2014

Following weeks of speculation, software giant Microsoft on Monday officially confirmed it’s spending a cool $2.5 billion to buy Mojang, a company behind the highly successful Minecraft video game which tasks players with building constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world.

The Stockholm-based firm is to become part of Microsoft Studios, the Windows maker has confirmed.

The deal, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review, will enable “richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools and more opportunities to connect” across the Minecraft community as the game is set to take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud and mobile technologies. Read More

 

Microsoft adds group audio calling with up to four participants to Skype for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 4, 2014

Skype, a Microsoft-owned Voice over IP (VoIP) provider, on Thursday added another missing feature to its iPhone client after a major visual overhaul of the app in June removed a few popular capabilities.

Specifically, the new Skype 5.4 enables group audio calling with up to four participants. You can also add or remove people to an existing call and disabled users should appreciate a few improvements to the app’s accessibility.

The refreshed application is now available in the App Store for free. Read More

 

Microsoft updates Office for iPad apps with more affordable monthly subscriptions

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2014

Windows maker Microsoft has just refreshed its Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPad with support for month-to-month Office 365 subscriptions, the team announced today in a blog post.

Before, users were only able to buy a yearly Office 365 subscription within the Office for iPad apps.

Starting today, the refreshed Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications allow you to take advantage of Apple’s In-App Subscription feature to buy recurring monthly subscriptions for Office 365 Personal and Office 365 Home. Read More

 

Microsoft shows off HTC One M8 features in new Cortana vs. Siri ad

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 2, 2014

Microsoft on Tuesday started airing a new Windows Phone commercial that takes another jab at Apple’s Siri. The 30-second commercial titled ‘Mirror, Mirror’ has been posted on the official Windows Phone channel on YouTube this morning.

The video depicts Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant for Windows Phone devices, performing a series of tasks that Siri on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad can’t do, starting with deeper integration with core Windows Phone apps like calendar and Maps.

One scene depicts Cortana tapping information stored in a user’s calendar to provide accurate route and mapping information. Another scene highlights dual front-facing speakers on the HTC One M8, to which Siri responds that she has but a single speaker and that she’s “sitting on it”. Read More

 

Xbox One SmartGlass app now lets you record game clips and more

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 28, 2014

Less than two weeks following an update which has enabled Xbox One owners to install games on their console remotely, using their iOS device, the Windows giant Microsoft today pushed another update adding nearly a dozen cool new features.

For starters, the free iPhone and iPad application now allows you to record game clips remotely, too.

And in a series of social improvements, the app now lets players share and post activity feed items and post status updates to their activity feed, as well as browse through their activity feed directly on their profile page. Read More

 

Galaxy S5 takes Ice Bucket Challenge, nominates iPhone 5s, HTC One M8 and Nokia Lumia 930

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 22, 2014

Samsung’s marketing department has cleverly piggy-backed on the popularity of Ice Bucket Challenge, a phenomenon which has taken the world by storm.

For those who’ve been sleeping under the rock lately, the initiative saw such celebrities and Silicon Valley execs as Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and marketing honcho Phil Schiller, along with former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and many others, getting ice baths in the name of helping fund ALS research and benefitting the Motor Disease Association.

The official YouTube channel for Samsung Mobile UK this morning posted a video depicting its Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone taking the challenge.

Needless to say, the waterproof handset (IP67-certified) passes the test.

The best part is when Samsung nominates three handsets from its rivals: Apple’s iPhone 5s, HTC’s One M8 and Nokia’s Lumia 930. Read More

 

Xbox One SmartGlass now lets you install Xbox games remotely, live TV streaming due soon

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 18, 2014

Software giant Microsoft today pushed a nice little update to its Xbox One companion app for the iPhone and iPad, SmartGlass.

Version 2.8 is now available in the App Store, providing a handy new feature letting you buy and install Xbox games and other content remotely, from your iOS device.

Moreover, the application now supports in-app browsing of new and popular games, add-ons and bundles.

You can even rate your favorite Xbox game clips and activity feed entries, as well as view shared Activity Feed and Game Clips — all within the app. And in a future SmartGlass update due later this year, Microsoft will add ability to stream live TV locally to your iPhone or iPad… Read More

 

Microsoft likely unveiling new Lumia devices at September 4 IFA event

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 11, 2014

Apple’s chief rival Samsung has already blocked out a Galaxy Note 4 related slot at the upcoming IFA trade show for consumer electronics in Berlin, Germany and now software giant Microsoft has sent out invites for an IFA event of its own.

It’s scheduled for Thursday, September 4, and we’re expecting some nice new Lumias with major upgrades in the camera department — and maybe even a rumored Lumia ‘selfie’ phone. Photography and camera performance have always been the hallmarks of Nokia’s design.

High-end Lumias such as the 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 are widely recognized and regarded as the best smartphones for mobile photography. But mobile photography is just as important to Apple so it’ll be interesting seeing what new hardware and software features are Microsoft and Nokia have in tow… Read More

 

Microsoft targets MacBook Air with three new Surface ads

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 11, 2014

Software giant Microsoft has begun airing three television commercials for its Surface Pro 3 tablet series. And rather than ridicule Apple’s iPad, the 30-second spots take aim at the ultra-thin MacBook Air.

Microsoft from the onset positioned Surface Pro 3, which features a keyboard cover and Windows/Office software, as a replacement for both tablets and notebooks and these new ads drive the point home.

Check them out after the break and meet us in comments… Read More

 

Microsoft releases SNIPP3T, a new app for tracking celebrity news

By Cody Lee on Aug 9, 2014

Microsoft has released a new app for the iPhone today called SNIPP3T. It describes the software as a ‘Celebrity News’ app, that aggregates all of the latest gossip on your favorite Hollywood stars from around the web into one convenient stream.

The app is actually really well designed, and as you can imagine, it’s heavily tied into Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Fans can read recent news articles on celebrities, subscribe to their news streams, and view curated Profile pages for more info… Read More

 

Use a Mac running OS X 10.5.8 and below? You can no longer run Skype

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 8, 2014

If you own a legacy Mac with OS X Leopard 10.5.8 and earlier, you can no longer run Skype, the Microsoft-owned company has confirmed today.

Following a string of complaints from disgruntled users who took to the Skype forum last week reporting they were being locked out from accessing the VoIP service, a Skype team member penned a note confirming that the program was no longer supported on Macs running OS X Leopard 10.5.8 and older.

People running Skype on OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion are unaffected so “there is no need to upgrade to Mavericks or Yosemite if you don’t want to” reads the message… Read More

 

Microsoft adds new features to Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 31, 2014

Software giant Microsoft has issued a trio of updates to its Office for iPad applications in the App Store. Now available as free downloads, the refreshed editions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad bring over a dozen new capabilities enhancing your experience.

Some of the headline improvements include much-requested user-facing features such as the ability to use third-party fonts in your documents, export docs as PDF files, a new Presenter View for PowerPoint, new Picture Tools that let you crop to focus on the right part of an image, external keyboard support in Excel and more… Read More

 

OneNote for iPhone, iPad and Mac now lets you insert files, password-protect sections and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 29, 2014

Software giant Microsoft today is pushing a major update to its note-taking application for the iPhone, iPad and Mac, OneNote. Available free of charge, the new OneNote sports half a dozen new features and enhancements.

Among them: the ability to lock or unlock password-protected sections created in OneNote for Windows and another one making it possible to insert files into your notes from other applications using the ‘Open In’ function.

You can then open the inserted file within the app, by double-tapping, or send it to nearby devices through Apple’s wireless sharing technology, AirDrop. Read on to learn about other new features in OneNote for iOS and OS X…. Read More

 
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