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

 

Microsoft launches ‘News Pro’ app for iOS

By Cody Lee on Jan 26, 2016

Microsoft on Tuesday released a new app for iOS called News Pro. The company describes the app as “your work news brief,” and says it will help you search for news around your work every day, and fuel your unique interests with over a million topics.

The app comes from Microsoft’s experimental project group Microsoft Garage, and it looks pretty much like Flipboard and the slew of other news aggregating apps out there. You login using Facebook or LinkedIn, and pick which topics you want to follow. Read More

 

Microsoft’s incoming iOS keyboard to feature special one-handed mode

By Cody Lee on Jan 25, 2016

The Windows Phone keyboard Microsoft is bringing to iOS will feature a special one-handed mode, reports The Verge. Speaking with sources familiar with the company’s plans, the site says that an early version of the keyboard is currently in internal beta, and it will soon be available to public testers.

One of the more interesting things the beta has revealed thus far is that the iOS version of Microsoft’s Flow keyboard will feature a special one-handed mode. Yes, the Windows version also has a one-handed mode, but those who have tried the iPhone version say that there are a few noticeable differences. Read More

 

Microsoft updates Office for iOS with 3D Touch features, Apple Pencil support and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2016

Microsoft today rolled out updates to its mobile Office suite in the App Store: Word, ExcelPowerPoint and OneNote. Across the board these apps have gained support for 3D Touch shortcuts on the iPhone 6s/Plus.

In addition, the new ‘Annotate with Ink’ feature puts a set of cool tools on the new Draw tab for drawing, writing and highlighting things using touch, pen or Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro. Read More

 

Microsoft’s Word Flow keyboard is coming to iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2016

Windows giant Microsoft is porting its excellent predictive text keyboard for Windows Phone, dubbed Word Flow, over to the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

In an email to some Windows Insider testers, obtained by The Verge’s Tom Warren, Microsoft invited iPhone users to participate in a trial of the Word Flow keyboard for iOS.

On Windows Phone, the Word Flow keyboard includes a number of advanced features such as autocorrect, suggestions, gestures, multi-language support, emoticons, the ability to swipe letters like in Swype’s keyboard, and more. Read More

 

Best ways to store photos in the cloud

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2016

Those high-quality snaps and videos you take on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad can pretty quickly eat up all of the available storage space on your device.

There are a number of techniques to increase your free storage, like deleting apps you no longer use, emptying system caches and so forth, but they all pale in comparison to the simplest of solutions—actually moving storage-hungry photos and videos off your device to safely store them in the cloud.

In this post, we’ll tell you all you need to know about the most popular cloud storage solutions. We’re going to detail backing up your media to each of them and discuss recommended strategies for freeing up as much storage space as possible, without destroying your personal memories or changing your workflow much. Read More

 

Outlook for iOS gains Skype integration, Mac app updated with Split View and full-screen support

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2016

Microsoft Outlook is an excellent email client, not just for mobile devices but on desktop platforms, too. And now, it’s about to get a lot better. According to Microsoft, Outlook for Mac now now officially supports Full Screen view for OS X Yosemite and up and OS X’s native full-screen view.

On the mobile front, Outlook for iOS has received a nice little update which brings Skype integration for calendar events so users can now make any meeting a Skype call that can be launched from the calendar event in Outlook. Read More

 

Free group video calling is coming to Skype’s iPhone and iPad application

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 13, 2016

Skype is celebrating its tenth anniversary so the Microsoft-owned company yesterday announced that users of its mobile application will soon be able to take advantage of a free group video calling feature.

According to Gurdeep Pall, Skype CVP, group video calling on mobile devices will be coming to Skype’s iPhone and iPad app “soon,” and to Windows 10 and Android devices. Read More

 

Microsoft said to be considering smaller Xbox to compete with Apple TV

By Cody Lee on Dec 30, 2015

Microsoft is said to be once again looking to create a device that would go head-to-head with the Apple TV and similar products. Citing internal sources, veteran blogger Brad Sams reports (via Business Insider) that the company is considering plans for a “lightweight Xbox One.”

The smaller console would feature access to a variety of streaming services, and be capable of playing games from Microsoft’s Windows store. Sams believes the device, if it materializes, will launch in the second half of 2016 with a much lower price point than existing Xbox models. Read More

 

How to fix ‘Outlook can’t upgrade your database’ errors when launching Microsoft Outlook on Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 22, 2015

Last night, I decided that I would give the desktop version of Outlook a chance. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem when first launching the app. After doing a bit of troubleshooting, and lurking around the app’s bundle, I was finally able to fix the issue.

If you’ve ever ran into the “can’t upgrade your database error” when launching Outlook, then you may want to give this fix a try. Read More

 

Bing for iPhone gains barcode scanner for comparison shopping, Uber and GIF support

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 16, 2015

Microsoft today pushed a nice update to Bing for iPhone, just in time for your holiday shopping spree. The refreshed app brings some welcome enhancements to iPhone users of the app, including a barcode scanning feature for in-store price comparison, Uber integration with real-time data, support for animated GIFs and other user experience changes and optimizations. Bing 6.1 for iPhone is available free in the App Store. Read More

 

How to keep your free OneDrive space before Microsoft’s storage reductions take place

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 14, 2015

Has Microsoft’s unilateral decision to reduce free OneDrive accounts from fifteen to just five gigabytes of cloud storage left you totally flabbergasted? If so, you’re not alone. An online petition at the OneDrive feedback website has received more than 70,000 votes already. Feeling the heat, the Windows maker today announced an opt-in offer that will permit all affected OneDrive customers to keep their fifteen gigabytes of free storage space, as well as their fifteen-gigabyte camera roll bonus. Read More

 

You can now download Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant to your iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 9, 2015

After rolling out a beta of Cortana for iOS to a limited number of beta testers in late-November, Microsoft today released the software to everyone via the App Store.

A free download, Cortana for iOS helps you get things done “by letting your PC and iPhone work together,” as per the official description. The app takes advantage of your schedule, interests, contacts and reminders to deliver personalized results.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and give Cortana a try right now! Read More

 

A brand new Wunderlist for iPhone and iPad is here

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 2, 2015

Just in time for the holidays, Wunderlist, a to-do, lists and tasks application that was acquired by Microsoft this summer, released a brand new experience for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad today.

The new Wunderlist 3.4 for iOS packs in full support for 3D Touch Home screen shortcuts and Peek and Pop gestures within the app. In addition, the app is simpler, more lightweight and intuitive than before and comes with iOS 9 productivity-boosting features. Read More

 

Microsoft Store employees make a peace offering to their Apple Store peers in holiday video

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2015

Following Apple’s holiday ad featuring Stevie Wonder and Andra Day, rival Microsoft today released its own holiday-themed commercial in which employees of its retail store on New York City’s Fifth Avenue are shown spreading the message of peace outside of Apple’s iconic glass cube store.

As reported by AdAge, Microsoft flew store employees from around the country to New York City to film this commercial on November 16. Read More

 

Microsoft rolling out Cortana for iOS to beta testers

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 30, 2015

Following its announcement earlier in the month that Cortana for iOS would soon launch for a limited number of beta testers, Microsoft has now made good on that promise and started rolling out the beta software, TechCrunch reported this past weekend.

Cortana for iOS looks just like the Windows 10 Mobile and Android equivalents, and works in a very similar way, with a few exceptions stemming from Apple-imposed restrictions on third-party iOS app development. Read More

 

Microsoft updates OneDrive for iOS with 3D Touch shortcuts on Home screen

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 24, 2015

Windows maker Microsoft today updated its cloud-storage client for iOS, OneDrive, with a trio of new features.

For starters, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus owners can now quickly access their most recently used files by pressing OneDrive’s Home screen icon lightly to bring up a menu providing direct access to their recent files.

Additionally, scoped folder search for personal OneDrive accounts is now back by popular demand and business users will appreciate support for Microsoft’s Intone mobile app management service. Read More

 

Skype for iPhone and iPad gains Maps integration and other improvements in latest update

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 23, 2015

Microsoft’s Skype for iPhone and Skype for iPad apps received an update this morning in the App Store, bringing out new features including integration with Apple Maps. Now you can check locations in Maps directly from highlighted addresses and also call a phone number using Skype Credit directly from highlighted numbers.

The app is now easier to multi-task as well: you can now return to a call by pressing the Active Call banner in Skype. Read More

 

New Microsoft app, Forum for iPhone, lets employees speak their mind freely

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

Microsoft continues releasing mobile apps for the iPhone first before they eventually trickle down to the “other” operating systems. The latest example: Forum, a new iPhone application born out of Microsoft’s Garage division responsible for skunkworks projects.

It was conceived to help employees within an organization speak their mind and state their opinion on any topic.

Fellow workers can then vote on your favorite posts (and optionally flag them) and find out what everyone else is really thinking about any given topic. Forum is a free download and available primarily to businesses. Read More

 

Microsoft completely overhauls Bing for iPhone, implements iOS deep links and more

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 18, 2015

In an effort to increase pressure on Google, Windows giant Microsoft today pushed a completely overhauled Bing for iPhone into the App Store. The software features a new branding identity reflected on the app’s Home screen icon and a matching new-look interface with tight iOS integration via deep linking.

In addition, the app now works offline so you can go back to your bookmarks and search history even when you don’t have an Internet connection.

“We designed the app to bring together the information you need, connected to the apps you trust, to help you ‘find’ and ‘do’ faster and easier than ever before,” wrote the team. Read More

 
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