Posts Tagged Microsoft
If a Windows Phone app disappoints you, it’s probably right that you call out its failings and warn others to steer clear. Don’t be surprised, however, if the minds behind the software start responding to your gripes directly. Microsoft is slowly rolling out a program whereby developers can comment on your reviews of their handiwork. Fortunately for you, however, the devs won’t get access to your personal details, and, if they overstep the mark, you can report them for poor conduct. Still, the notion that coders will now get the chance to openly gain feedback from users seems like a step in the right direction — just as long as everyone remains civil.
Via: The Next Web
A handful of those eager to install the Windows Phone 8.1 preview just got an additional perk for being early adopters. NokiaNewsIreland has discovered an unannounced (and now unavailable) open beta for Twitter’s Windows Phone 8.1 app that makes much better use of Microsoft’s mobile OS than the regular client. For a start, it now ties into the Photos Hub — it’s now easy to browse the pictures you’ve tweeted, even if they didn’t come from your phone.
Source: Windows Phone Store
One of the big promises that came out of Microsoft’s Build conference this year were apps that’d work across a number of Windows devices with a single purchase, and Redmond is using Halo to lead that charge. The first group of applications includes Halo: Spartan Assault and Skulls of the Shogun, both of which recently made the conversion to universal games — making them playable across Windows Phone, Windows 8 and RT devices for one price. If you’d rather not pay for your entertainment, though, Microsoft also converted the likes of Wordament, Minesweeper and Hexic too. However, as Windows Phone Central notes, buying the universal version of Skulls doesn’t grant access to the Xbox 360 version, nor does Spartan Assault’s universal purchase unlock the Xbox 360 or Xbox One versions. Given that the Xbox division is still pretty separate from everything else though, that isn’t exactly surprising.
Source: Windows Phone Central
Don’t despair that Windows Phone 8.1′s signature virtual assistant, Cortana, doesn’t officially work outside of the US — as it turns out, there’s a fairly easy way to try it in other countries. Pocket-lint notes that early adopters can chat with Cortana by choosing US language, region and speech in their phone settings. Provided you can live with American spelling across the interface, everything works as expected — you can find local shops, call friends and set reminders using only your voice. You’ll still have to wait until later in the year to get a truly localized version of Microsoft’s digital companion, but you can at least see what all the fuss is about right now.
Apple, Google, and Microsoft are but a few of the names that have announced a commitment to including features to deter smartphone theft in all future products. Even the carriers are on board, with the big four announcing support and commitment as well.
What they’re all committing to is the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment.” All phones sold by the signees after July 2015 will offer, at no additional cost, the following tools and services:
It might be signs of an impending apocalypse or it might just be the start of new level-headed thinking in Microsoft. The Redmond-based tech company is now believed to be close to axing its rather divisive “Scroogled” stint, though at the time of writing that possibility is once again in limbo.
For those who haven’t been paying attention to Microsoft’s antics, Scroogled is a marketing campaign that tries to make Microsoft the poster boy of all that is right, by shedding light on Google‘s questionable policies and practices. One such practice is the scanning of email done by Google in order to serve up more personalized ads, something Microsoft found condemnable. Ironically, Microsoft itself was found guilty of violating email privacy for the purposes of tracking down leaks within the company’s ranks. The Scroogled campaign has drawn both praise for well-delivered humor, as well as criticism for hypocrisy.
Regardless, that Scroogled era might soon be over. The hints came from a Q&A session on Yabbly with Corporate Microsoft VP for Bing Experiences Derrick Connell. According to him, Microsoft has achieved what it set out to do with Scroogled and is now done with the campaign, suggesting that the company might soon be pulling down the curtains on it. However, as of the moment, everything is still status quo. The Scroogled website is still up, its Twitter account is still alive, and merchandise are still available for fun and profit.
Scroogled, however, might live to see another day, week, month, or year. Microsoft has requested that Connell’s answers to all questions be removed from Yabbly. Though it’s not just the one about Scroogled that was taken down, we wonder if it is what prompted Redmond to act that way. Furthermore, Mark Penn, who created the Scroogled campaign, is now Executive VP of Advertising and Strategy at Microsoft, so he might have a thing or two to say about when Scroogle will really meet its end.
Android, iOS, Windows Phone. Each of these mobile platforms had to start somewhere, and none were anywhere near perfect on the first try. Fortunately, each OS gets better with every iteration until, at some point, it all just clicks. Arguably, Windows Phone just came of age with its latest update, version 8.1.
Even before today, Windows Phone only had a few big holes remaining and indeed, 8.1 appears to fill those gaps. In particular, the OS now has a fancy notification center in addition to those signature Live Tiles; the keyboard now allows for swipe gestures; and last but not least, it now has Cortana, a virtual assistant to take on Siri, Google Now and Samsung’s S Voice. The 8.1 update is a fairly significant one, and I got the opportunity to take it for a spin ahead of the official developer preview’s launch. It may not be perfect yet, but it’s clear Windows Phone has finally grown up.%Gallery-slideshow188636%
We get it. You want to download Windows Phone 8.1 as soon as possible just to see if Cortana is really as cool on a mobile device as she is in the Halo series. Or, perhaps it’s the new Action Center and swipe keyboard that strike your fancy. Whatever reason you have for wanting to play with the latest version of Windows Phone ASAP, now’s your chance. Microsoft has just announced that a developer preview of the new update is finally available for download, but as the name of the build implies, this is meant for third-party developers so they can get a good head start in prepping their apps ahead of widespread release. That said, you can still get in on the action, even if you’ve never written a line of code in your life — there’s just a few risks involved.
Even Microsoft knows that Windows Live Tiles have so much potential to be a lot better, especially on touchscreen devices. In fact, a group of the company’s researchers in Asia have apparently been working on making Live Tiles interactive. As you can see in the videos after the break, the experimental tiles expand when touched, showing you its contents right on the Start screen instead of launching the app. For instance, touching the mail app automatically shows a list of your emails in an expanded view, which looks very similar to an Android widget.
With the recent demise of official support for Microsoft’s Windows XP, Google is looking to attract business users of the 12-year-old OS with a handful of promotions for enterprises considering the switch to Chromebooks.
Microsoft has a home in the automotive world, but it doesn’t have a way to bring a phone’s interface to your car’s infotainment system — there’s no Windows Phone equivalent to Apple’s CarPlay. That might change before long, though. The software giant used a presentation at this week’s Build conference to show off Windows in the Car, a conceptual platform that would adapt Windows Phone’s apps and basic functions to in-vehicle interfaces. Not surprisingly, the MirrorLink-based tech looks like a cross between Microsoft’s mobile and desktop interfaces; while you’re running mobile apps, they get more on-screen buttons than usual to help you complete tasks faster and keep your eyes on the road. The software also focuses more on voice commands (Cortana is mentioned as a good fit), and it could eventually restrict complex app functions while you’re driving. You might not get to add music to a playlist until you’re parked, for instance.
Via: The Verge
Source: Channel 9
Windows Phone 8.1 includes many, many upgrades, not the least of which is Miracast media sharing; it should be easier than ever to send content to your TV and other gadgets. However, it’s now very likely that you’ll have to upgrade to a newer phone to get that convenience — Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore says that most existing Windows Phone 8 devices can’t handle Miracast. A recent flagship like the Lumia 1520 might cut the mustard, but the executive isn’t certain that it will work. The limitations are no doubt unfortunate if you were hoping to unlock Miracast through a software update, but they’ll at least give you a good excuse to upgrade an older handset.
Update: While Belfiore’s statements are still noteworthy for how they apply to the larger ecosystem, Nokia has mentioned that the Lumia 1520, 930 and Icon will support Miracast.
Via: Nokia Views
Source: Joe Belfiore (Twitter)
Yay, numbers! The latest ones from ComScore are here, giving us a look at mobile smartphone market share in the United States for the three months ending February 2014. Not a whole lot has changed in the trends here, folks: Android still beat out its competitors by commanding 52.1% of the smartphone market share.
Over half is good, even if only by a little bit, but clawing at their heels are Apple at 41.3%. The quarter-over-quarter increases for both platforms are pretty minuscule, but perhaps things will get a bit more heated this Spring and Summer with big hitters like the HTC One M8 out and the Samsung Galaxy S5 on the way soon.
Rounding out the list at the absolute bottom are Blackberry at 2.9%, Microsoft at 3.5%, and Symbian at a mere 0.2% (which we’re not even sure is enough to be considered life support at this point).
Apple’s trailing platform market share probably doesn’t sting much, though, considering the Cupertino company is sitting on top of the totem pole when it comes to their dual status as a hardware manufacturer. Their aforementioned 41.3% beat out their closest competitor Samsung, who commanded a respectable 27%. LG, Motorola, and HTC were responsible for 6.8%, 6.3%, and 5.4%, respectably.
And that’s the breakdown, folks. There wasn’t much movement aside from Blackberry suffering even more devastation and Microsoft improving their standings. We also tip our hats to Samsung, who was able to increase their percentage a tad despite not coming out with a flagship smartphone for a while.
Like we said before, though — Spring is here, Summer is quickly approaching, and things are about to get really interesting really fast. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers are looking just another few short months from now. Head to the source for the full breakdown!
Microsoft’s version of Office for iPad has apparently been a rousing success. So much so, that the company’s taken to Twitter to boast that the productivity suite has topped 12 million downloads. In a week. As the Seattle Times points out, though, Redmond hasn’t said how many Office 365 subscriptions (which are required to create and edit documents) have been sold alongside the free, document-view-only downloads. We reached out to Microsoft for clarification, and, well, weren’t given much. A spokesperson told us that the company is extremely pleased with the interest that Office has gotten so far, but that it has no additional details to share. So, there’s that.
Source: Seattle Times
Documents Viewer – Accurate Office Documents Viewer (viewer for documents of doc, docx, xls formats)
Price: free App Store
Nektony is pleased to announce a new application for those who use Microsoft Office and iOS devices. Documents Viewer opens Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, thus complementing the line of viewing tools as VSD Viewer that enables viewing of Microsoft Visio drawings. Commonly, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files can be opened on iOS. Natively, the iOS devices can display just the main document structure: dozen fonts and fonts formatting, lists, text boxes and images. Besides, they could be used as reading only documents.
Documents Viewer uses a special server technology, which keeps opening documents with 100 % quality. Documents Viewer is aimed at those, who need to have a precise representation of the original document. As well Documents Viewer has several crucial features, such as opening of password-protected documents, conversion to PDF and printing of processed files, integration to cloud storages (Box, Dropbox and OneDrive), inner file management.
Finish reading The Best Way to View Microsoft Office Documents on iPad.
Now that the Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana announcements are out of the way, Skype’s spilling the details on its upcoming app refresh for Microsoft’s new mobile platform. The upgraded Skype app for WP 8.1 will feature a new button that you can press to turn a regular phone call into a Skype video chat. It’s similar to that FaceTime option iOS users see when they make calls, though obviously, Skype’s version will only work if you have the other person’s account details.
That’s not all, though — Skype will now also come with Cortana (the platform’s Siri-like voice assistant) integration. This gives you the power to instantly launch convos by hitting the search icon and saying: “Skype, get [someone's name] on video.” Other than that, the Microsoft-owned outfit is updating its Windows 8.1 and RT app, as well, so you can finally pin it to the taskbar and make it accessible on both Start and desktop screens. Unfortunately, the updated app might not be available as soon as WP 8.1 launches, but Skype says it should be out in the coming months.
Anyone who’s played Halo, the iconic first-person shooter based 500 years in the future, knows where Microsoft came up with the name of Cortana, its new voice recognition program on Windows Phone 8.1. Master Chief might be the star of the video game series, but Cortana is the heroic digital sidekick that saves his behind in almost every level. Granted, the Windows Phone version may not help you explore an alien planet or teach you how to defeat the bad guys, but it’s still capable of some great stuff.
Just press the search button on the bottom of every Windows Phone device (as long as it uses 8.1, of course) and Cortana pops up, ready to listen and obey your commands. What kinds of things can she do? You can tell her to call someone, send a text, set reminders, take notes and hook you up with all sorts of information that you might need throughout the course of any given day. And since it’s powered by Bing, the engine working behind the scenes has a solid amount of oomph.
Windows Phone fans on Sprint don’t have to worry about when they’ll get the 8.1 update on their devices. The carrier tells Engadget that both the HTC 8XT and Samsung’s ATIV S Neo are getting 8.1 sometime this summer; more details should come closer to the rollout. That’s later than when we’ll see the OS preloaded on brand new devices, but it’s good news for those who are still happy with both Microsoft’s mobile platform and Big Yellow’s network.
Nokia may not be an official part of Microsoft yet — that should finally happen later this month, if you ask either company — but that doesn’t stop the phone maker from cranking out more devices at the software giant’s developer conference. This morning at Build, Stephen Elop announced three new Lumia devices, although two of them are about as close to twins as you can possibly get: the Lumia 630, which is a 3G device that comes in single and dual-SIM flavors, and the 635, which adds LTE. Both are sub-$200 smartphones aimed squarely at both emerging markets and anyone else who just wants a Windows Phone 8.1 device without spending a lot of money in the process.%Gallery-slideshow186882%
As predicted, Microsoft is using its Build developer conference to launch Windows Phone 8.1, the latest and (we hope) greatest version of its mobile OS. The company’s fed us a bunch of information about the update already, and a vast number of leaks have covered nearly all remaining features. Still, it’s about time for us to get the skinny on everything the new upgrade entails, so let’s break down exactly what you can expect from Windows Phone going forward.
Filed under: Mobile
Xbox Smartglass hit mobile phones just a few years ago to provide a second-screen experience while users played their Xboxes, and Microsoft recognized it was time to move along in its natural progression.
The Xbox One Smartglass Beta app has hit the Play Store, and it allows users to send feedback to the developers and preview new features.
Hit the break for screenshots of the app as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.
Come comment on this article: Microsoft releases Xbox One Smartglass app into Google Play Store
The SmartGlass application for the Xbox One acts as a second screen for the console. Microsoft has now launched a Beta version of this app in the Google Play Store to receive feedback on its existing features and tips on how to improve them.
The app basically lets users control the content that you’re watching on the console and doesn’t exactly allow for mirroring of games. There’s a lot more functionality still to come, so make sure you download the app to stay in the loop for any new changes Microsoft brings to this app.
We have noticed Microsoft’s stance against rival mobile platforms going down a notch since the past few months. The company only recently made the Office application available for free. Although Windows Phone is seeing a steady increase in marketshare, it’s nowhere close to where iOS or Android is today. So it is imperative that Microsoft spreads its reach towards rival platforms in order to remain competitive.
The SmartGlass app will have some bugs and glitches as it is a beta app, so make sure you let the developers know should you encounter any trouble.
Source: Google Play Store
Via: Android Central
The post Beta version of the Xbox One SmartGlass app now available for Android appeared first on The Droid Guy.
Keep up on the latest developments in this Xbox second-screen app
If you want that second-screen experience between your Xbox One and your Android phone, but also want to ride that bleeding edge known as beta, Microsoft has you covered.
They’s released a beta version of their Xbox One SmartGlass app into Google Play, allowing users a way to preview new features and provide feedback to the folks writing the code. We do have to wonder why Microsoft didn’t use the official beta track in Google Play, but we aren’t about to second guess what goes on in Redmond.
If you’re the adventurous type who want to give the beta a try, uninstall the stable version and hit the Google Play link at the top of the post.
Microsoft and Google are ostensibly competitors, but Redmond seems to be setting aside its mobile aspirations in the name of supporting its new game console… and considering all the money in gaming, it’s easy to understand why. So in addition to both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the official SmartGlass app, there’s now a separate beta build of the Xbox One app.
The beta version was introduced to help test a series of incoming features, which are outlined in this post on Microsoft’s official Xbox portal.
- [New App] Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass Released: Cross-Platform Goodness For Console Gamers
- Microsoft Releases Xbox One SmartGlass Android App For The Xbox One You Don’t Have Yet Unless You Do, You Lucky Bastard
- Android Gets Its Very Own Official Xbox LIVE App From Microsoft- In Other News, Pigs Now Fly
- Xbox SmartGlass App Updated With Support For Tablets Larger Than 7", Always-On State
[New App] Microsoft Releases A Separate Beta Version Of The Xbox One SmartGlass App was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
Microsoft has announced they’re working on a proper Outlook Web App (OWA) for Android. Via a blog post announcing several other feautures, Microsoft suggests the new app will mimic their Outlook web app. It’s a nice option for those who want similar functionality to their desktop, and likely a seamless experience for those who use the web app.
Does this mean the end of exchange for other email clients, though? Nope. Microsoft says they’ll continue to support all platforms, so there is no reason to fear we’ll be losing any functionality should we not want to take advantage of their OWA for Android. It’s a long time coming, too, since the Outlook app has been available on iOS for some time, now.
It’s the first move toward Android for Microsoft since their new CEO took over, and one that’s welcomed by many users. Though Microsoft wasn’t forthcoming with details on what an Android app would bring to the table, we hope it’s as nicely put together as the iOS app (seen above). The Apple-y version allows for all things Outlook, like calendar and notes.
If Microsoft builds a well-tuned OWA for Android, it could coax many users to migrate back toward their service. This also has important, necessary enterprise implications, as many companies still use Microsoft solutions to power their offices. We can’t say we prefer it over some alternatives like CloudMagic, but you might — and choice is never a bad thing to have.
It’s easy to find Android phones that can handle the Exchange-based email you often find in the workplace, but they don’t always support all the latest features. That won’t be a problem for much longer, though, as Microsoft has just revealed plans to bring Outlook Web App to Google’s platform later this year. Much like its iOS counterpart from 2013, the Android release should let you take advantage of Office 365 technology that might not make it into third-party email software. The app may not be all that exciting by itself, but it could be the key to using your preferred phone for work instead of having to switch to company-approved hardware.
Microsoft has announced Outlook Web App (OWA) for Android. If you’re in a company that uses Office 365 for Business you probably are already familiar with OWA. Outlook Web App is the webmail service that comes with Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange Server. A dedicated OWA app for Android is expected to come later this year.
You probably heard today that Microsoft launched their Office suite for Apple’s iPad, but that wasn’t all Microsoft did today. I will stop you in your tracks, though. Microsoft did not announce that their Office suite was being released for Android; however, that is something that will probably be coming in the future. Across all platforms, including Android, Microsoft is making Office Mobile a free application. Previously, an Office 365 subscription was required to unlock all features. Viewing and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents can be done on-the-go at no cost.
Hit the break for download links.
Come comment on this article: Microsoft opens Office Mobile for everyone, viewing and editing no longer restricted
Office Mobile for Android arrived last July, and while the app was free to download, it did require users to have an Office 365 subscription. Flash forward till today, the day Microsoft finally released Office for iPad and it looks like that announcement also brought some good news for Android users. Office Mobile for Android has dropped the Office 365 requirement (for some users).
Simply put, Android users will now be able to create, edit and save Microsoft documents. Touching back on the free (for some users) aspect and here is what Microsoft had to say; “Sign in with a free Microsoft account to create, edit and save documents for home use. A qualifying Office 365 subscription is required to create, edit and save documents for business use.”
The main other requirement comes in with your devices as Office Mobile for Android requires Android 4.0 or later for use. While we expect most (if not all) of our readers to be using Android we should also mention this free Office Mobile setup also applies to iPhone users.
We aren’t entirely sure this will be enough to convince the most dedicated Google users to switch to Microsoft products for their document needs, however it may come in handy at times, especially now that it is free. Of course, Quickoffice (is also free) and works pretty well for quick Microsoft document edits. Anyway, Microsoft Office Mobile can be found in the Play Store.
SOURCE: Office Blogs
- Microsoft Office Web Apps gain Android support
- Evernote for Android gets OfficeSuite support, better widgets and more
- Office Mobile for Android arrives for Office 365 users
- Evernote for Android updated with document editing in OfficeSuite
- DataViz Documents To Go for Android v4 rolls out to be your office on the go