Skype for iPhone updated with avatar sync, ability to save and delete photos from chats and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 30, 2014

After updating Skype for Mac with Yosemite support earlier this morning, Microsoft on Thursday issued a new Skype for iPhone refresh. Now sitting at version 5.7, the app finally makes it easy to save and delete images from chats.

People who roam between devices and platforms will notice that chat avatars now stay in perfect sync when picking up on one device where they left on another.

You should also notice faster performance, especially when opening chats from a notification, and improvements to Skype’s contact filters such as All Contacts, Skype and Online.

Skype for iPhone is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

Microsoft launches $199 fitness band with 10 sensors

By Cody Lee on Oct 30, 2014

Microsoft this morning unveiled its long-rumored wearable: the Microsoft Band. With a design resembling Samsung’s Gear Fit, the fitness-tracking wristband features 10 sensors, supports all major mobile platforms, and integrates with Microsoft’s new cloud-based Health service.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft decided to skip any kind of media event or press release, opting instead to reveal the device to Recode following the discovery of new Health apps on iOS and Android last night. So was this meant to downplay an insignificant launch? Let’s find out. Read More

 

Microsoft outs upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in new Health app

By Cody Lee on Oct 29, 2014

Microsoft has outed its upcoming ‘Band’ wearable in what appears to be the premature release of multiple applications. This evening, ‘Microsoft Health’ landed in iPhone, Android and Windows stores, and a Microsoft Band Sync client popped up in the Mac App Store.

It’s unknown at this time if the releases were unintentional, or part of a cheeky PR stunt, but it’s likely the former, given the scope of the apps. Microsoft has long been rumored to be working on a cross-platform wearable, and recent reports say it’s preparing for launch. Read More

 

Leaked slide shows Office for Mac going Retina in Q1 2015 with new design

By Jake Smith on Oct 28, 2014

A new version of Microsoft’s Office for Mac software is set to be released in early 2015, adding support for Apple’s Mac Retina displays and packing a new design, a leaked slide from Microsoft claims. Read More

 

OneNote gains Touch ID, iOS 8 Storage extension and more

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Microsoft on Tuesday updated OneNote for iOS and OS X with useful new features, including fingerprint based Touch ID authentication to unlock password protected sections of your notebooks.

There’s also a new Storage Provider extension in iOS 8 which let you easily add files to your notebooks from your favorite cloud storage service like, say, Dropbox.

On the iPhone, OneNote finally allows you to move and rearrange your notes anywhere you like. Moreover, the note-taking app has now gained ability to open notebooks stored on SharePoint Servers.

OneNote for the iPhoneiPad and Mac apps are free downloads. Read More

 

Microsoft launches iOS developer tools for deep integration with Office 365 features and services

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 28, 2014

Tuesday, Windows giant Microsoft announced that mobile developers can start building better apps by taking advantage of a brand new Office 365 mobile software development kit (SDK) for native app development and a set of Application Programming Interfaces (API) for mail, calendar, contacts and files. The tools debuted at the company’s TechEd Europe 2014 conference.

The move aligns with the Microsoft Open Technologies initiative. The iOS SDK for Xcode supports Objective-C, with Swift support “coming soon”, wrote the team.

More on the SDK, which is currently in preview, is available via Microsoft’s Office Dev Center. The Office 365 SDK for iOS can be grabbed through GitHub and the Getting Started with iOS page has details on how to get started with the iOS SDK. Read More

 

Microsoft treats all Office 365 subscribers to unlimited OneDrive storage, no strings attached

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 27, 2014

If you were sitting on the fence of subscribing to Office 365 just to gain editing functionality in Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPad, Microsoft has an offer that will knock your socks off.

All Office 365 subscribers now get unlimited OneDrive storage with their service, the team announced Monday.

Yup, storage limits just became a thing of the past.

And with the recently reduced monthly subscriptions now available as In-App Purchases in Office for iPad, you’ll have unlimited OneDrive space for your photos, videos and other documents for as low as seven bucks per month. Again, that’s unlimited OneDrive storage and Office from $7 per month. Read More

 

Microsoft optimizes Skype for iPhone 6 screens

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 15, 2014

As promised, software maker Microsoft has just issued an update to Skype for the iPhone and iPod touch adding native display support for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen sizes, the team announced in a blog post Wednesday morning.

As a result, you’ll see more of your recent chats and messages in conversation view on Apple’s new smartphones because iOS 8 doesn’t have to compensate for the lack of iPhone 6 support by blowing up the interface to fill up the whole screen.

Skype for iPhone 5.6, available free in the App Store, also adds presence indicators to your Recent list and number of contacts and time zones information on contact profiles.

Jump past the fold for other features in this maintenance Skype update. Read More

 

Microsoft launches Skype Qik, its own ephemeral video messaging app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 14, 2014

Tuesday, software giant Microsoft launched a brand new ephemeral messaging app, Skype Qik, in a bid to take on the likes of Snapchat and other applications in the increasingly crowded ephemeral messaging space.

“Imagine if you could reinvent the Skype experience, taking into account how messaging, selfies and app culture have changed the way we communicate,” reads the blurb.

The free of charge iPhone app is based on Microsoft’s $100 million acquisition of the mobile video provider Qik three years ago. Microsoft retired the original Qik app soon after, clearing the way for a re-introduction of the reimagined Qik software for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

As the name suggests, Skype Qik is being promoted through the Skype brand, itself owned by Microsoft. Matter of fact, Qik runs alongside Skype to provide an ongoing form of video chat allowing you to share laughs, and chat with groups of friends. Read More

 

Skype for Mac 7.0 now available with revamped chat experience

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 9, 2014

Microsoft on Thursday issued a major new update to Skype for Mac alongside a new preview for Windows desktop. Available as a free download, Skype for Mac 7.0 brings out mobile-inspired look with a revamped chat experience, ahead of OS X Yosemite release later this month.

The richer chat experience allows you to chat and call simultaneously with one click and keep the conversation going across devices.

You’ll also appreciate improvements to the free group video calling feature and the fact that the overall appearance of the app fits right in with OS X Yosemite. Read More

 

You can now protect your OneDrive with Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 8, 2014

Windows and Office maker Microsoft on Wednesday pushed a small but important update to OneDrive, its cloud storage client for the iPhone and iPad. The refreshed application enables users to lock content in the app using Touch ID-based fingerprint verification on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The new OneDrive 4.5.1, a free 12.7-megabyte download from the App Store, also takes full advantage of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,  lets you sort files and folders and includes bug fixes and stability improvements. Read More

 

Microsoft takes on Apple TV and Chromecast with $60 HDMI streaming stick

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 29, 2014

Although dated last week, it’s relevant so I thought I should share it with you guys. Windows maker Microsoft has introduced an interesting dongle which connects to an external display, projector, monitor or other HDMI-driven display device so you can stream content wirelessly from your phone, tablet or PC.

Much like Apple’s AirPlay technology and the $99 Apple TV media-streaming box, Microsoft’s $60 HDMI dongle makes it easy to enjoy games and media on your big screen HD TV, no cables needed.

The $59.99 accessory goes on sale next month at Best Buy locations in the U. S. Read More

 

Microsoft to update Skype for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus next month

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2014

Software giant Microsoft, which owns and runs the Skype service, will unleash an update next month that will optimize the popular VoIP platform for the bigger 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus‘s 5.5-inch display, according to a Skype spokesperson Tuesday.

“We’re currently working on an update to Skype for iPhone that scales for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus screen sizes, which we plan to release in the next month,” said Skype.

The company wouldn’t reveal if the new version will take full advantage of the larger canvas or simply blow up the user interface on 4.7 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 devices. Read More

 

Microsoft updates Bing Search app with translation widget in Safari and Notification Center

By Christian Zibreg on Sep 23, 2014

First demoed at WWDC 2014 back in June, Microsoft’s Bing translation widget and custom actions for Safari and the Notification Center in iOS 8 is now available by way of an update to the free Bing Search app for the iPhone and iPod touch devices. Available free of charge in the App Store, the new Bing Search 5.0.1 also contains bug fixes.

As shown on the screenshots top of post, enabling the Bing Search Translation action in Safari requires that you bring up the Share sheet in Safari. Read More

 

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

 
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