PayPal is ditching its apps for Windows, BlackBerry and Kindle devices

By Christian Zibreg on May 26, 2016

PayPal is dropping support for its mobile apps on Windows, BlackBerry and Kindle Fire devices, the online payments firm announced in a blog post. Existing users will be required to upgrade to the latest version of the mobile PayPal app for iOS and Android, which in February received its long-overdue makeover. Starting on June 3 through June 30, those on older versions of the PayPal mobile app must upgrade to the latest version, 6.0. Read More

 

Microsoft’s signals the end of its Nokia experiment

By Christian Zibreg on May 25, 2016

After iPhone manufacture Foxconn recently purchased Nokia’s feature phone business from Microsoft for a reported $350 million, the Windows maker followed up today with cost-cutting measures which signal its intent to exit the handset business and put an end to the failed Nokia experiment. As part of its “streamlining of smartphone hardware business,” which is corporate talk for layoffs, 1,850 employees will be let go.

Microsoft acquired Nokia’s phone business for $7.2 billion two years ago. Read More

 

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn buys Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft

By Christian Zibreg on May 18, 2016

iPhone manufacture and the world’s largest contract fabricator, Foxconn, has made an interesting purchase, snagging the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft for a paltry $350 million with a little help from private equity backed HMD Global.

Nokia’s feature phones, which are powered by the Series 30+ operating system, once were its bread and butter—especially in pre-smartphone days. Read More

 

Microsoft to sunset Sunrise Calendar on August 31, here are a few viable alternatives

By Christian Zibreg on May 12, 2016

If you rely on the excellent cross-platform Sunrise Calendar to keep up with your schedule, Microsoft has some bad news for you: your favorite calendar app is breaking up with you as the Windows maker announced plans to shut down Sunrise on August 31. For those wondering, Microsoft bought this popular calendar app in February of 2015.

Fortunately, Sunrise alternatives are plentiful. Read More

 

OneDrive implements 3D Touch previews for files and folders

By Christian Zibreg on May 9, 2016

Microsoft issued an update to OneDrive, its free of charge mobile cloud-storage client, adding some new features.

In addition to a fresh coat of paint and a revamped app icon, OneDrive for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad was bumped in the App Store yesterday to version 7.1 with support for Peek and Pop in-app gestures for previewing content with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

In the refreshed app, you can now peek at any folder or file by pressing it lightly, or pop right into it by pressing a little deeper. Read More

 

Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard launches with one-handed mode, gestures, themes and more

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 25, 2016

After releasing an iOS edition of its Hub Keyboard last month, Windows giant Microsoft on Monday launched an iOS port of its predictive text Windows Phone keyboard, called Word Flow. The free of charge iPhone app brings many advanced features that speed up typing, like a cool one-handed mode, gesture based typing, predictive text input, custom themes and more. The Word Flow keyboard is available at no charge in the App Store. Read More

 

You can now translate webpages within Safari with Microsoft’s updated Translator app

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 8, 2016

Following yesterday’s release of Microsoft’s new Hub Keyboard for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with Office 365 integration, the Windows maker today issued a refresh to its Translator app in the App Store.

Bumped to version 2.13, the software has gained support for a total of 34 new languages alongside a pair of crucial feature additions: offline mode and a brand new extensions for Safari which lets you translate webpages with a tap. Read More

 

Microsoft’s Hub Keyboard now available on iPhone

By Cody Lee on Apr 7, 2016

Microsoft’s Hub Keyboard is now available for the iPhone. No, it’s not the Windows Phone keyboard that’s being ported to Apple’s handset. It’s an iOS version of the Hub Keyboard that landed on Android in February.

Like other third-party software keyboards, Hub can be easily installed on your device once downloaded. Just navigate to Settings > General > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard, and select Hub from the subsequent list. Read More

 

How to delete your Skype account the right way

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2016

Microsoft has made closing Skype accounts more convoluted than it needs to be. It’s understandable that no online provider would advertise the account deletion option front and center. With that in mind, permanently deleting a Skype account is a multi-step process so you’ll typically need to remove payment methods, cancel any subscriptions you may have, unlink your Microsoft account from your Skype account and more.

But don’t your worry, iDownloadBlog’s account-deletion series is here to help. This tutorial will guide you through the steps needed to successfully close your account on Skype the right way. As a bonus, we’ll show you how you can request a refund for your unused credits and unlink your accounts. Read More

 

Fantastical for Mac gains native Exchange support, printing, iCloud shared calendar alerts & more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2016

After shipping Fantastical 2 for Mac a year ago with tons of new features and a revamped user interface for OS X Yosemite and later, developer Flexibits today pushed version 2.2 of its calendar, reminder and to-do productivity app on the Mac App Store.

Fantastical 2.2 for Mac brings powerful new features to the experience, starting with full support for Microsoft Exchange accounts with native account syncing, invitation responses, availability lookup, categories and people lookup.

Other enhancements include availability information in calendars, support for printing with multiple layouts and a host of other under-the-hood refinements. Read More

 

Apple’s recommended iPad Pro accessory: Microsoft Office 365 subscription

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 24, 2016

Apple this morning started accepting pre-orders for the new iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro in thirteen territories total. Surprisingly enough, the Apple Online Store offers iPad Pro shoppers Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions as a recommended iPad accessory.

As first noted by The Verge, Microsoft Office 365 also appears as a recommended option when purchasing other iPad models, including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 4. Read More

 

Outlook for iOS adds Touch ID protection for your emails, contacts and calendars

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2016

After adding 3D Touch support for quickly viewing your calendar or composing a new event or email directly from the Home screen, Microsoft’s mobile Outlook app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad has gained the ability to protect your emails, contacts and calendars within the app with your fingerprint, using Touch ID on supported iPhones and iPads. In addition, the Outlook 2.2.2 update packs in a few other refinements and enhancements. Read More

 

Skype for Web adds support for making phone calls and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2016

You can now call mobile phones and landlines using Skype in a desktop browser, without needing a plug-in. Support for marking phone calls through a browser has been added to Skype Web, a web-based counterpart of the native Skype app, along with several other new features.

For instance, you can now add new people to a conversation, even if they’re not on Skype, enjoy watching YouTube videos without leaving Skype and more. Read More

 

Microsoft fires another salvo at Apple’s Mac with new Surface Book ads

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 9, 2016

Microsoft is back at it with new commercials that build up to the “I can’t do that on my Mac” tagline.

The Windows giant kicked off the new theme with commercials for Windows 10 that highlight some of the things “Macs can’t do” such as its built-in Cortana personal digital assistant, support for inking and drawing on notebooks with built-in touchscreens and the ability to log in to Windows with your face.

Yesterday, Satya Nadella & Co. posted new commercials for its Surface Book, a device marketed as “the ultimate laptop” because it’s performant and versatile. The commercials, first spotted by The Loop, gush over Surface Book features such as a high-resolution screen and the responsiveness and precision of its stylus. Read More

 

Microsoft opens pre-orders for $3,000 development edition of the HoloLens headset

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 29, 2016

Back in January 2015, Microsoft took the wraps off an ambitiously conceived augmented reality headset, the HoloLens. Today, the Windows maker announced it is opening pre-orders for a pricey development edition of the HoloLens, which costs $3,000 a pop.

Developed in partnership with NASA and billed as the first and only fully untethered holographic computer, the HoloLens runs a version of Windows 10 called Windows Holographic and features see-through lenses that project interactive holographic images into the view of the user. Read More

 

New Microsoft ads for Windows 10 focus on things Macs can’t do

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 29, 2016

Microsoft this weekend published four new commercials for its Windows 10 operating system that showcase things “Macs can’t do”. The ads feature Kristie and Jess, AKA The Bug Chicks, the two women who are apparently trying to change the way kids think about bugs.

The two characters, one of whom is a Mac fan jealous of Windows 10 features, explore competitive advantages of Microsoft’s operating system like the built-in Cortana personal assistant, support for inking and drawing on notebooks with built-in touchscreens, the ability to log in to Windows 10 with one’s face and more.

As each Windows 10 feature is highlighted, the other woman responds with a variation of the “I don’t have a touchscreen on my Mac, I’m jealous of that” theme. Read More

 

Skype is shutting down Qik

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 23, 2016

Microsoft has confirmed that it it will be shutting down Qik, its ephemeral mobile video messaging app which debuted on mobile in October of 2014. Marketed under the Skype brand, the app promised to make video conversations “more spontaneous and fun so you don’t have to wait until your next call to connect with your favorite people.”

Following a few updates, the app has introduced support for the iPhone 6/6s screen sizes and added some new languages and video effects, but not much in way of new features. Read More

 

Skype group video calling starts rolling out with support for up to 25 participants

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2016

As promised, Microsoft has begun rolling out free group video calling in Skype’s mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, Engadget reported this morning.

According to Microsoft, this feature will allow Skype users to video chat with up to 24 other people at once in crisp 1080p resolution, and each participant can flip between the front and back camera mid-call.

Group video calling in mobile Skype apps is going to be available to users in North America and Western Europe. “We plan to be fully available worldwide in March,” said Skype. Read More

 

Office Lens converts scanned paper documents to editable Word files

By Anthony Bouchard on Feb 12, 2016

For those of you that still use hard copies for all your important documents, or have physical business cards, photographs, whiteboards, and other important information that are looking for a way to digitize it and even modify it after the fact, Microsoft’s Office Lens app will be your best friend.

Office Lens, which is a free download from the App Store, allows you to scan these kinds of information and media and can create software versions of them to make sharing and editing easier so you can get rid of the filing cabinet taking up space in your home or office.

In this tutorial, we’ll give you some background on the app and show you how you can use it to scan and then edit documents in Word. Read More

 

SwiftKey acquired by Microsoft for $250 million

By Cody Lee on Feb 2, 2016

Microsoft is buying out software keyboard maker SwiftKey, according to a report from The Financial Times. The deal is said to be worth $250 million, and the two companies are expected to officially announce the acquisition later this week.

While Microsoft has shown interest in the mobile keyboard space, the report claims that the purchase is all about AI. SwiftKey uses artificial intelligence to predict the next word a user is going to type based on an analysis of their writing style. Read More

 
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