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

 

Microsoft airs Cortana vs. Siri ad showing contextually-aware tasks

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 28, 2014

Microsoft on Monday shared a new television commercial which the company first showed off at its annual conference back in April to rally up developers who were concerned that the software giant was losing its mojo.

The 30-second video depicts a showdown between Cortana, Microsoft’s own digital personal assistant baked into Windows Phone 8.1, and Apple’s Siri.

Microsoft’s assistant is shown completing a number of contextually-aware tasks using a plethora of services and data sources… Read More

 

Microsoft’s OneDrive for iOS now supports AirDrop, adaptive video streaming and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 23, 2014

Having more than doubled free OneDrive tier from seven to fifteen gigabytes of cloud storage, Microsoft today rolled out an update to its free OneDrive client for iPhone and iPad.

In addition to the inevitable bug fixes and performance improvements, OneDrive now lets you share files via Apple’s AirDrop technology and includes HLS support which lets it adapt to your available bandwidth when video-streaming… Read More

 

Microsoft starts rolling out increased OneDrive storage today

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 16, 2014

A little over three weeks ago, Microsoft announced a forthcoming increase to OneDrive storage tiers, promising to more than double free 7GB accounts to as much as fifteen gigabytes of free cloud storage.

The Redmond company additionally promised a brand new 1TB tier for the consumer Office 365 accounts and up to seventy percent cheaper monthly subscriptions. Today, Microsoft has delivered on that promise.

That’s right, your OneDrive just got bigger… Read More

 

Skype refresh brings back voice messaging and contact profiles

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 7, 2014

Having unceremoniously removed voice messaging from the recently remastered Skype 5.0 for iPhone, the Microsoft-owned VoIP provider on Monday pushed a minor update that has brought the useful feature back while adding two others.

The new Skype 5.2 for iPhone is rolling out this morning. In addition to voice messaging, the refreshed Skype app has also brought back the ability to access contact profiles while allowing you to add participants to the existing conversation at any time… Read More

 

Microsoft reportedly building iOS-compatible fitness band

By Cody Lee on Jul 2, 2014

Like Apple and several others, Microsoft is said to be working on a smartwatch that it plans to introduce later this year. There have been multiple reports on the project, including one from Forbes in May that described the wearable as a Samsung Gear Fit-like fitness band.

Tonight, Windows blogger Paul Thurott offered up some new details on Microsoft’s wearable ambitions, reaffirming that the device will indeed be a wristband with a focus on sensors and fitness. He also notes that the gadget will be compatible with both Android and iOS… Read More

 

Microsoft now encrypts your OneDrive connections and Outlook emails

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 1, 2014

Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) is great if you need to store your files in the cloud and sync them between devices seamlessly. And with the recently introduced 15GB free tier, OneDrive has become even more competitive compared to Dropbox and its pedestrian 2GB free tier.

Also, Microsoft’s web-based email – which went through several rebranding efforts and is currently known as Outlook.com – has its loyal following.

Those who’ve been concerned about general security of their emails and OneDrive files needn’t worry as Microsoft now employs end-to-end encryption on both services to prevent eavesdropping as data travels between servers… Read More

 

Microsoft updates OneDrive with camera backups in the background and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 25, 2014

The free OneDrive app for the iPhone and iPad (formerly SkyDrive) has just gotten a lot better with features like photo backups in the background and other perks that allow you to do more from your phone.

And thanks to proper support for Microsoft’s mobile Office apps, getting your photos and videos into OneDrive to import them into your Office projects on the iPhone and iPad is a trivial affair now.

That’s the gist of a blog post Microsoft somewhat hastily put together today to counter a Google Drive app update and a plethora of announcements that have been coming out of Google I/O since this morning… Read More

 

Microsoft will give you $650 to trade in your MacBook Air for a Surface Pro 3

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 23, 2014

Microsoft has kickstarted an aggressive sales promotion for the all-new Surface Pro 3, offering customers that trade in select MacBook Air models up to $650 towards the purchase of the tablet. In order to be eligible for the store credit, the MacBook Air must be in working order with no cracked screen or water damage. The trade-in value is then determined in store based on the condition of the notebook, alongside any documentation and accessories. Not valid online.

In order to get the maximum discount possible, the store credit must be used towards the purchase of a new Surface Pro 3. The third-generation Surface Pro tablet has a thinner and lighter build than its predecessors, with a 12-inch display that has a resolution of 2160 × 1440 pixels and 3:2 aspect ratio. The device is said to the thinnest ever to have a desktop-class Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor…  Read More

 

Microsoft unfathomably removes voice message feature from remastered Skype for iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 23, 2014

If you’ve updated to Microsoft’s five times faster Skype 5.0 for iPhone featuring a Windows Phone style interface revamp, you can no longer use the software’s free voice message feature.

And rubbing salt into the wound further, a Skype community manager advised folks who need the feature to use another mobile platform.

Not only is this a huge blunder, the removal of voice messaging is inconveniencing customers with a dedicated Skype Out number… Read More

 

Microsoft announces 15 GB free OneDrive storage, lower prices on monthly storage

By Joe Rossignol on Jun 23, 2014

Microsoft on Monday announced that it is bolstering its OneDrive storage plans for both free and paid users. OneDrive will now include 15 GB of free storage, more than double the previous 7 GB limit, and all versions of Office 365 will come with 1 TB of storage. Microsoft previously rolled out 1 TB of cloud storage for business customers in April.

The Redmond-based company also announced that it is taking over 70% off the cost of its monthly subscription storage options, dropping its 100 GB tier to $1.99 per month (previously $7.49) and 200 GB tier to $3.99 (previously $11.49). The aggressive new pricing tiers makes OneDrive a much more competitive offering alongside iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox…

Read More

 

Microsoft mulls porting Cortana assistant to iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 13, 2014

Microsoft has wont to arrive late to parties: following Siri’s introduction nearly three years ago, Redmond in April of this year has finally gotten around to unveiling a personal assistant of its own, Cortana, at the Build Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Originally conceived as a Windows Phone 8.1 exclusive, the Windows giant is now reportedly considering bringing the virtual assistant to rival platforms, namely to iOS and Android.

Let me get this straight. Beats updates Android appMicrosoft launches Office for iPad before even releasing a touch-optimized version for Windows 8 tablet. Apple reportedly mulling iTunes for Android

What a difference a few years make, eh? Read More

 

Skype 5.0 for iPhone is back in the App Store

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 12, 2014

The wait is over as Skype 5.0 for iPhone has finally started to roll out to international App Stores this morning. Microsoft previewed the remastered Skype for iPhone with a brand new design earlier this week and unleashed the updated software upon the App Store the following day.

But something was amiss as Skype 5.0 went live in the Canadian App Store only, with some international users briefly spotting the update before it disappeared quickly.

As of this morning, the VoIP application appeared to propagate through the App Stores around the world so go ahead, update your copy of Skype and let us know how you like its new Windows Phone-style swipable interface… Read More

 

Xbox One SmartGlass app is now your universal remote for TV and cable boxes

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2014

Microsoft’s Xbox One companion app, SmartGlass, has been bumped to version 2.5 earlier today, bringing out a handful of new features that improve your living room experience and interactions with the console itself.

Most importantly, the app now features a remote control functionality similar to Apple’s free Remote software. But as Microsoft’s console lets you hook up a cable or satellite box to it, you can now basically channel surf from across the room using your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

The update is now live in the App Store and I have a full list of features for your right after the break… Read More

 
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