Skype for iOS picks up new contact notifications & iOS 10 CallKit toggle

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 10, 2016

Two weeks ago, Microsoft-owned Skype launched a major update with Siri, Phone, Contacts and Lock screen integration, courtesy of iOS 10’s new CallKit framework which allows calls from VoIP apps to behave like normal phone calls.

Today, both Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad received a minor refresh which brings out a toggle for enabling or disabling CallKit integration, the ability to get new contact requests as a notification and under-the-hood fixes and improvements to make the app run more reliably on iOS 10 devices. Read More


Skype for iOS updated with Siri, Phone, Contacts and Lock screen integrations

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2016

Microsoft today announced availability of freshly updated Skype for iOS apps. Bumped to version 6.25, both Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad now include SiriKit support that lets them integrate with Siri so you can call people and send messages using just your voice. The apps also take advantage of CallKit, which allows VoIP Skype calls to behave like normal cellular calls with fullscreen contact images on the Lock screen and integration with Phone’s Recents and Favorites on iSO 10 devices. Read More


New Surface ad wants you to think that your Mac “ain’t fast enough”

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 15, 2016

It’s been only three days since Microsoft’s advertising department unleashed a new ad salvo at Apple’s direction in the form of a commercial for its Surface Pro 4 tablet/laptop hybrid and now it’s posted yet another video to conveniently reiterate its message ahead of iPhone 7’s launch tomorrow. Titled “Power of Touch”, the 30-second commercial doubles down on the ”the Mac lacks a touchscreen” theme.

Not only does Microsoft poke fun of the fact that Macs are long overdue for a refresh (yours supposedly “ain’t fast enough” lately), but also disses the Mac for not shipping with a detachable keyboard or a stylus. Read More


New Surface Pro 4 ad pokes fun of the Mac because it doesn’t have a touchscreen

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 12, 2016

Microsoft over the weekend fired another ad salvo at Apple’s tablet/computer strategy with a new (somewhat) amusing commercial. Simple titled “Get the Surface Pro,” the 30-second ad highlights Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 hybrid device which includes a stylus and comes with a detachable keyboard and an Intel chip allowing it to be transformed into a computer that runs Windows, Office and other real desktop applications.

Using the same singer from the previous commercial, the new video informs us that “If you try to write on a plain old Mac, the difference can be seen. It doesn’t work.” Read More


New Surface Pro 4 ad calls MacBook Air “less useful, like a hat for your cat”

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 29, 2016

Following its recent iPad Pro-dissing commercial, Microsoft today released another nicely done Surface Pro 4 ad which takes aim at the MacBook Air, calling it “less useful, like a hat for your cat”. Surface ads have successfully promoted competitive advantages of the hybrid device, which comes with a detachable keyboard, pen, touchscreen and more. And thanks to an Intel chip, it runs the full Office suite and most other Windows programs, like Photoshop. Read More


What’s a computer? Just ask Cortana.

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 16, 2016

Apple’s most recent iPad Pro commercial attempts to position the powerful tablet as the ultimate computer, but Microsoft begs to differ.

But in its latest commercial for the Surface Pro 4 laptop/notebook hybrid, the Windows maker challenges Apple by basically saying that just because you call something a computer doesn’t mean it fits the description.

“Cortana knows that the Surface Pro 4, with its powerful Intel Core processor, detachable keyboard with real keys and a trackpad, pen, touchscreen, full Office and external ports fits the description. Everything else is just late to the party,” says Microsoft. Read More


Microsoft’s mobile Office apps pick up support for drawing with a finger/stylus on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 15, 2016

Microsoft today issued updates to its mobile Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on the App Store, adding support for drawing with your finger on the iPhone. Back in January 2016, the Windows maker brought its inking tools to the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil support. With the latest update, iPhone owners can take advantage of the Draw tab to draw, highlight and annotate documents with their finger or a stylus. Read More


Did Microsoft just make the best camera app with Pix for iPhone?

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 27, 2016

Microsoft Pix, a smarter camera app that helps you take better pictures without extra effort, is now available for download from the App Store. Microsoft says its app is “a bit like having a professional photographer inside your camera” in that it uses advanced artificial intelligence, computational photography and video stabilization to automatically pick the right settings to help boost and improve your iPhone photography skills.

Grab Microsoft Pix from the App Store for free and let us know if it impresses you. Read More


Capture, organize and share real-world objects with Microsoft’s experimental Thinga.Me app

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2016

Coming straight from Microsoft Garage, which “turns fresh ideas into real projects”, Thinga.Me for iPhone allows you to capture, organize and share real-world objects. Currently available as an invite-only closed beta, the app uses object recognition algorithm to detect and separate various objects on your photos. Read More


Microsoft releases a free iOS client for SharePoint enterprise collaboration suite

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 21, 2016

Microsoft on Tuesday announced the official release of a brand new application on the App Store, SharePoint. Available at no charge for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, the software is basically Microsoft’s long-expected iOS client for its SharePoint enterprise collaboration suite.

Billed as the Intranet in your pocket, the app lets enterprise users stay connected to their company’s intranet while on the go, navigate their company’s web sites and portals, access important content, information and people and more. Read More


Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2016

Windows giant Microsoft on Monday announced it’s purchasing business-oriented social networking service LinkedIn for a cool $26.2 billion. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a message to troops that he’s been learning about LinkedIn for some time “while also reflecting on how networks can truly differentiate cloud services.” LinkedIn has a network of more than 433 million business professionals, meaning Microsoft would be paying an average of about $60 per user. Read More


Microsoft Office apps updated with support for exporting files in OpenDocument format

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2016

Ahead of WWDC keynote at 10am this morning, Microsoft refreshed its trio of Office productivity applications for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad with a notable new export option. Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps can now export documents, spreadsheets and presentations in the cross-platform OpenDocument format, making the mobile apps even more suited for business use. Read More


Make fliers, catalogs, e-cards and more with Microsoft’s Sprightly for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2016

Sprightly, a Microsoft Garage project which launched on Android in February, is now available on iOS. The free app lets you create detailed catalogs, beautiful fliers, multiple price lists, e-cards and discount coupons on the go.

“No need to hire expensive designers to make professional designer quality content for your business or personal uses,” says Microsoft. Read More


Xbox One is getting Cortana soon

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2016

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant Cortana is coming to the Xbox One console with an forthcoming software update for the console, the Windows giant revealed this morning. Cortona is currently available on Windows as an integrated feature and on iOS and Android devices as a standalone app.

Cortana for Xbox One will let players find new games, see what their friends are doing, start a party, perform common tasks and even turn on the console with their voice. Read More


Microsoft rolls out Planner to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 6, 2016

Microsoft today said that its new productivity and teamwork app, called Planner, is now rolling out to all eligible Office 365 customers worldwide. “Beginning today, Planner will start rolling out to all eligible tenants,” said the Windows giant.

“We expect the rollout to be complete in the next several weeks.” Companion Planner apps for iOS, Android and Windows are currently being worked on and should release later this year. Read More


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

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