$7 per month Office 365 Personal subscription plan launches with iPad editing

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 15, 2014

Microsoft last month released its native and rather nicely done Word, PowerPoint and Excel iPad apps as free downloads from the App Store. You’re limited to using these apps to view Microsoft Office documents on your tablet as editing and creating new ones requires one of the many Office 365 subscriptions available.

The iPad apps launched with Microsoft’s entry-level Office 365 Home subscription plan costing $9.99 per month. If you don’t want to pay ten bucks per month just to edit Office documents, Microsoft now offers a more affordable Personal plan for $6.99 per month… Read More


Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote for iPad hit 12M downloads

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 3, 2014

Seven days into the Office for iPad release on Apple’s platform, the native Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications for the iPad have been downloaded twelve million times, the Windows giant confirmed on Twitter this morning.

Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint as individual downloads for the iPad on March 27, 2014. The software giant’s note-taking app, OneNote, hit the App Store ten days earlier, on March 17, 2014.

OneNote got refreshed the same day native Word, Excel and PowerPoint debuted on the App Store to bring it in line with the rest of the Office for iPad suite. You can download Word, ExcelPowerPoint and OneNote individually in the App Store, for free… Read More


TextExpander updated for iOS 7, adds a bunch of snippet management features

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 2, 2014

If you’re going to do serious typing on your iPhone and iPad, why not save yourself precious time by having short abbreviations automatically expanded into long snippets (i.e. have ‘idb’ auto-expand to ‘iDownloadBlog’)?

Although iOS 7 lets you create shortcuts in Settings > General > Keyboard that’ll automatically expand into words and phrases as you type, the basic implementation of the feature leaves a lot to be desired.

Enter Smile Software’s TextExpander, a tool that gets this job done better than any other software. Available for iOS since last summer, the app contains advanced features like clipboard integration, macros and fill-in snippets. And thanks to the official SDK, third-party apps can implement TextExpander functionality to use your commonly-used strings of text.

On Wednesday, Smile updated the iOS snippet expansion utility with iOS 7-friendly design and a host of group and snippet management improvements. The app is now available in the App Store free of charge for existing customers and I’ve included additional tidbits right after the break… Read More


Apple updates iWork for iOS and Mac with read-only sharing mode and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 1, 2014

Hot on the heels of refreshing iWork for iCloud earlier today with updated design, Retina graphics support, the ability to share view-only documents, the option to open documents directly from iCloud Mail and other enhancements, related updates to the iWork suite of applications for iOS and OS X have now surfaced on the App Store and Mac App Store.

Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS and OS X have picked up a dozen new features each, including sharing view-only documents for cross-platform compatibility across the web, iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac. Your download links and accompanying release notes are right after the break… Read More


The best calendar apps for iPhone

By Lory Gil on Mar 30, 2014

Calendar apps are like blue jeans. Everyone has a different idea of what makes them good, and oftentimes, they get more comfortable the more you use them. Especially when you haven’t washed them for a week. Different types of people have different needs from their calendar. Some want a simple design with very little clutter. Others want a productivity workhorse that will offer a wide variety of features.

Whether you know what kind of calendar app you prefer or not, we’ve done some research to track down the best in this category. We came up with a list of what we believe are the best calendar apps for iPhone. No matter what you’re looking for in a calendar app, we think these are just the right fit for the wide variety of readers we have at iDB… Read More


Microsoft Stores offering free 1-year Office 365 subscriptions, Amazon taking 33% off

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 28, 2014

If you visit a Microsoft Store today and bring your iPad with you, Microsoft may give you a free one-year subscription to Office 365, a $99 value.

Following yesterday’s release of Office for iPad with native Excel, Word and PowerPoint applications, the Windows giant’s retail stores are now promoting the apps by giving away a 1-year Office 365 subscription to the first 50 people who turn up at the door and bring in an iPad with them.

If you don’t have the time to visit your nearby Microsoft Store or there’s no store in your area, Amazon is now offering a discounted annual Office 365 subscription for $67… Read More


Apple getting its standard 30 percent cut on Office for iPad subscriptions

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2014

Following today’s long expected release of the Office for iPad applications, Apple’s boss Tim Cook issued a nice tweet welcoming Word, Excel and PowerPoint into the App Store. Returning the favor, Microsoft’s newly installed chief executive Satya Nadella took to Twitter to thank Cook, saying he was “excited to bring the magic of Office to iPad customers”.

Redmond couldn’t have wished for a better endorsement than this!

So, why are these powerful Silicon Valley executives droning politely on to each other, do you think? And how come Cook is promoting Office for iPad even though the software competes squarely with Apple’s own iWork suite, free with iDevice purchases?

Could it be because folks at Cupertino are getting their standard 30 percent cut on Office 365 subscriptions sold within the app… Read More


Office for iPhone is now free for home use

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2014

Shortly after Microsoft brought the mobile edition of Office to the iPhone last summer, fans of the Windows giant’s productivity software cried foul as the app came across to them as more of an Office companion for mobile than a full-blown productivity application.

Although available free of charge and with editing functionality for your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, the app initially required an Office 365 subscription – much like the newly released Office for iPad. But not anymore.

Started today, Microsoft is making both the iPhone edition of Office and the version for Android smartphones free for everyone, like on Windows Phone. And to reflect the updated business model, the app has been rechristened and is now simply called Office Mobile for iPhone – much shorter and easier to remember than ‘Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers’, which used to be its full name before… Read More


Microsoft launches Office for iPad, including Word, Excel and Powerpoint

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 27, 2014

The rumors were true! Microsoft’s new chief executive office Satya Nadella is hosting a press briefing in San Francisco this morning. After the CEO discussed Microsoft’s ‘mobile first, cloud first’ strategy, Julia White, Microsoft’s chief of Office Division Product Management, took the stage to formally reveal Office for iPad.

“This is definitely not the Windows app ported to the iPad,” said White, adding that Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad are all native iOS apps. Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps are now available for download in the App Store, joining Microsoft’s existing OneNote for iPhone and iPad and the recently released OneNote for Mac.

Akin to Office 365 for iPhone which debuted last June, Office for iPad requires Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription for editing features. The entry-level subscription tier will set you back $9.99-per-month (or $99.99 per year) for a Home Premium package, which buys you access to the Office applications for Windows, Mac and mobile on up to five devices.

A more affordable Office 365 Personal has been announced recently ($6.99 per month, $69.99 per year, limited to just one PC or Mac, plus one tablet), but it’s not available just yet. You can sign up for a free 30-day Office 365 trial and for those who don’t want a subscription, Office for iPad will let you view and present Office documents, spreadsheets and presentations, but not edit the files… Read More


Realmac teases Reminders coming to Clear to-do app in early-April

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 26, 2014

Not to be outdone by fellow developer Flexibits who yesterday teased the upcoming iPad edition of its popular calendar and to-do app, Fantastical, today Realmac Software shared a few tidbits concerning a forthcoming Clear update featuring Reminders integration.

The company is currently wrapping up work on the iOS and Mac releases of Clear with Reminders integration. They were originally shooting to launch the apps in March, but refining the Reminders functionality took longer than expected so now they’re looking to release the updates in early-April.

Read on for more… Read More


Luna Calculator puts a unique twist on a basic calculator app

By Lory Gil on Mar 20, 2014

I don’t normally focus too much attention on calculator apps. Some of them can be pretty cool. But for the most part, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There has to be something special about a calculator app to catch my attention.

Luna Calculator is an app that has something special. In addition to the simple mathematical equations that the average calculator app includes, this one lets you create lists of numbers and save them for future reference… Read More


Checkmark 2 review: this location-based reminder app gets even better

By Lory Gil on Mar 19, 2014

In July of 2012, Christian wrote a very positive article about Checkmark, calling it the app that Reminders should have been. Thanks to location and time-based reminders, the app made it much easier for users to be notified at the right time and place about an upcoming event or task.

Checkmark 2 just launched in the App Store. Not only has the app received a complete iOS 7 redesign, but it also now includes iCloud sync and recurring reminders. Plus, a whole slew of new features make Checkmark 2 the app that Checkmark should have been… Read More


24me is smarter than your average personal assistant

By Lory Gil on Mar 16, 2014

There are hundreds of getting-things-done (GTD) and organizer apps in the App Store. The problem is finding the right one for you. Everyone manages their time differently. Some work better with very minimalist actions. Others prefer having all the bells and whistles. What about those who sit right in the middle?

24me Smart Personal Assistant is the “Baby Bear” of GTD apps. It is fairly simplistic and easy to use, but has just the right amount of bells and whistles to increase productivity without taking much time to get organized… Read More


Reuters: Office for iOS apparently ready for release

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 14, 2014

No, not that Office. After Microsoft during Steve Ballmer’s tenure balked at Apple over making iWork and iLife iOS suites free, saying the move wasn’t such a big deal to begin with, the “new” Microsoft under the new CEO Satya Nadella’s leadership is seemingly strengthening its commitment to the Apple platform.

We already told you that the Redmond giant is gearing up to release a long-awaited update to its Office productivity suite for Mac later this year.

Reuters is now reporting that Office for iOS is ready and the decision to release it lies solely with the CEO… Read More


Microsoft OneNote reportedly hitting Mac soon: free, new clipper feature and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

Windows giant Microsoft is said to be bringing its note-taking app, OneNote, to the Mac later this month. The company has companion OneNote apps for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store, available free of charge. On the desktop side of things, however, the app’s been exclusive to Windows.

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft, for the first time, will be making the desktop app free to both Mac and Windows users in March, unbundling it fully from the cost of Office.

The Redmond giant originally released OneNote more than a decade ago… Read More


EasilyDo is a smart assistant that keeps you on top of things

By Lory Gil on Mar 7, 2014

If you thought your productivity app was good at keeping you connected to important information in your life, there may be more out there for you than you realize. Do you get notifications when important Facebook statuses are posted? When you receive an email from someone, can you automatically save it in your iPhone contacts? Can you send birthday wishes over Twitter?

You can do all of that, plus a whole lot more with EasilyDo. Get alerts for drive times, check flight statuses, track packages, auto-text contacts when you leave a location and much, much more, all from one useful app… Read More


Documents 5 gets even more powerful with Readdle apps integration

By Lory Gil on Feb 27, 2014

Documents by Readdle is a popular file manager that lets you store music, videos, photos, and more. The company has recently been overhauling their entire line of productivity apps for iOS 7 and this one is no different.

Documents 5 is the completely redesigned version of its predecessor and comes with plenty of new features to make you think twice about which file manager you want to use from now on. Plus, if you have other Readdle apps on your iPad, you can access them from inside Documents… Read More


Documents 5 launching tomorrow with Readdle apps integration

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 26, 2014

Ukrainian developer Readdle has a bunch of fine productivity apps on the App Store. After updating its Calendars app to iOS 7-friendly design in version 5 release, tomorrow will bring another major update as Documents goes iOS 7, too.

This handy file manager, media player, photo album and document viewer for the iPhone and iPad, available as a free download, is about to get a whole lot smarter by integrating with other Readdle apps and “borrowing” their functionality. Read on for the full reveal… Read More


How to find, merge, and delete duplicate contacts on iPhone

By Lory Gil on Feb 25, 2014

With technology these days, it gets harder and harder to keep track of all of your friends and families’ various contacts. You may have one friend whom you mainly communicate with through Facebook, but you know their phone number. You just can’t remember where you put it. Maybe your mom recently moved and you gave her a new contact card because you were in a hurry and didn’t want to track down the original. Which card has the right number?

If you find yourself bogged down with too many contacts and want to clear out your figurative drawers, we’ve got a quick tip for taking care of duplicate contacts that doesn’t involve deleting them, one at a time.

In this post, we will show you how to find duplicate contacts, and how to merge or delete them directly from your iPhone… Read More


How to transfer voice memos from iPhone to computer

By Lory Gil on Feb 23, 2014

I use my iPhone to record interviews. I also regularly record songs that my band is working on at practice. The iPhone’s native Voice Memo app works great for simple access to the features I need. Of course, after recording something, I certainly don’t want to delete the memo. But I also don’t want to keep it on my device, taking up space. Instead, I sync the memo with iTunes so I can store it and remove it from my iPhone.

If you are wondering how to transfer voice memos from iPhone to computer, or wonder where they went when you synced them, we’ve got a quick tutorial to help you out… Read More

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