Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Microsoft launched Outlook for iOS

Microsoft launched Outlook for Android and iOS phones and tablets.

Outlook is an email service, based on the Acompli software that the company purchased in December for $200 million.

“We’re excited about what’s possible as we build on the app’s success and bring it together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team,” said Rajesh Jha, VP of Outlook. “Our goal is to deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services people use today and help them accomplish more.”

The new app is tasked to replace all of Microsoft’s current number Outlook-branded apps, including the Outlook.com app for Android and the rather limited OWA apps for Android and iOS that only work for paying Office 365 subscribers. Those older services will still be available, but the company plans to converge those experiences over time.

outlookios-800x467

The app works with Microsoft’s own Outlook.com and Office 365 services, while iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo email accounts can be plugged into the app, and attachments can be added to messages from cloud services like Google Drive and Dropox.

Outlook for iOS also comes with quick gestures, which means users can simply swipe to delete, archive or schedule messages.

The Outlook app is an absolutely new app, not an update of an existing one. You will be able to download it on the App Store on Thursday.

The Outlook app is expected to feel almost like the original Acompli apps. The company has already added a couple of minor Office-app like touches, including a colored ribbon-like UI.

News/Rumors

Universal Pictures announces cast list for “Steve Jobs” biopic

After a rough road, the “Steve Jobs” biopic is finally up and running.

Universal Pictures has finally announced the set-in-stone cast for the upcoming movie, adding that the picture has begun shooting in San Francisco. The film will be titled “Steve Jobs” and based on the biography by Walter Isaacson. The project was previously in development at Sony, and rumored to star David Fincher, Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio as Steve Jobs, but Sony had to drop the project, after which Universal picked it up. 

A couple of weeks ago, the film has started principal shooting under the direction of Academy Award-winning director Danny Boyle in the exact same garage where Jobs and his friends built the first Apple computer.

As previously rumored, Michael Fassbender, better known for his role in X-Men: Days of Future Past and 12 Years a Slave, will play the role of Steve Jobs, while Seth Rogen will join the project as a company cofounder Steve Wozniak.

Michael-Fassbender2

Michael Fassbender

The role of former Apple CEO John Sculley was given to Jeff Daniels, while Kate Winslet will play a former Mac marketing lead Joanna Hoffman. Katherine Waterston will take a role of Jobs’ former girlfriend Chrisann Brennan and Michael Stuhlbarg- a famed Mac programmer Andy Hertzfeld.

Kate-Winslet

Kate Winslet

The latest reports also reveal several new bits of casting, including Sarah Snook as Andrea Cunningham and Adam Shapiro as Avie Tevanian.

The biopic is set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

News/Rumors

Apple confirmed 1 billion iOS devices sold

During the traditional quarterly conference call, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed, that the company had sold its one billionth iOS device in the December quarter.

Cook noted that the billionth product was a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus and that Apple is keeping it at its headquarters in honor of the milestone.

“On Nov. 22, we shipped our one billionth iOS device,” Cook said. “It was a space-gray 64GB iPhone 6 Plus, which we’ve saved here at Apple.”

According to Apple CEO, the great milestone, which accounts for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, was reached in November and was helped along by a record-breaking 74.5 million iPhones sold in Q1 2015.

Additionally, Cook revealed, that the massive 74.5 million devices sold equates to about 34,000 handsets “every hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the quarter.”iphone6-stock

Apple CEO also emphasized that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus demand was stronger than any other iPhone it has ever released. Cook also noted the percentage of customers upgrading from older models was below 14 percent, and in fact only barely cracked the teens. 

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

iCloud.com Photos App updated with new zoom and email sharing features

Apple updated its iCloud.com Photos app, adding a new zoom option to the toolbar that lets users zoom in on images that have been uploaded to iCloud Photo Library.

Additionally, the company brought email sharing capabilities to the iOS-connected Web app.

Two new features allow users to zoom in on an photo via a new slider in the toolbar and send images as email attachments directly from the web UI.

The latest Photos beta for iCloud.com now presents users a new slider element in the top left-hand corner of their browser window, tasked to control image zoom levels. You can also access the same zooming functions via the Option key and scrolling up or down on a trackpad or Magic Mouse.iCloud-Photos-zoom

The sharing option let you send images through email, which was previously restricted to iOS and Mac devices. The function will appear as an envelope icon in the upper right-hand corner, when you view a photo. If you want to share multiple pictures, there is a Select Photos feature to use. In addition,you will be also able to see the usual attachment size information, showing how much overhead is left of iCloud’s 20MB sending limit.

iCloud-Photos-email

Previously, sharing via email was a boring multi-step process where you had to download a picture to your computer before attaching it to an email message using a third-party desktop email application or a webmail service. With the new feature, users can easily send photos via email directly from the website, making sharing photos easier than ever before. 

Still in beta, iCloud Photo Library was first presented alongside iOS 8.1, giving users the ability to sync and access all of their images on all of their iOS devices and Macs via the web. 

The company is also working on a Photos app, which will work alongside both the Photos app on iOS and the iCloud.com Photos app on the web. Photos, which are expected to replace both Apple’s iPhoto app and Aperture, is set to debut in the early months of 2015. There are few details on its development since its initial June introduction.

News/Rumors

Apple adds ‘Free on iTunes’ section with free TV and music downloads

After the removal of the free iTunes Single of the Week promotion, Apple launched a new “Free on iTunes” section in the iTunes Store, offering free downloads of songs and full length TV episodes.

The “Free on iTunes” section can be found on the homepage and helps users find content without having to spend money.

The new section is a kind of replacement for the company‘s “iTunes Single of the Week”, which previously featured free songs from popular and indie music artists and launched a decade ago, back in 2004. Additionally, the company stopped its 12 Days of Christmas promotion in 2014.

The “Free on iTunes” section includes music from artists like Purity Ring, Machine Head, and Guster, and offers to select episodes of shows from Fox’s Backstrom, Syfy’s 12 Monkey’s, Disney Channel’s KC Undercover, and MTV’s Eye Candy.

Free on iTunes

The company isn’t offering a large selection of widely known and popular content available for free – it’s more indie content.

Apple’s “Free on iTunes” section is available now, and it is probably that the company will add new content every week as it has done with the iTunes Single of the Week and its App of the Week section. If you’re looking for new iTunes content, the “Free on iTunes” section is worth checking out.

Mac, News/Rumors

Alleged photos of 12-inch MacBook Air show black glass cover

A fresh set of photos, which are claimed to be the lid and display for the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, have been published by Chinese site, iFanr. 

Just a few days ago, Apple supplier Quanta Computer has reportedly begun ramping up production of the upcoming 12-inch MacBook Air. The company is expected to launch a mid-size version of its notebook computer lineup, and these images seem to provide even further evidence of that being that the case.

If these photos are legitimate, they are the first extensive look at Apple’s much-rumored 12-inch device. 

The pictures demonstrate the claimed display and metal shell from the 12-inch product alongside both a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 9.7-inch iPad.  As expected, its display is smaller than the 13-inch model, but appears to be a bit taller than the company’s existing 11-inch MacBook Air.

Retina display

There is also a couple of differences in the display. The new product doesn’t have a backlit Apple logo on the back of the display assembly as is typically seen on Apple’s notebooks. Instead, you can see a polished metal logo. In addition, the display doesn’t feature the grey bezels current MacBook Air models include, instead demonstrating an apparently all-glass edge-to-edge cover for the display as found on Retina MacBook Pro models.

Retina display1

The 12-inch MacBook Air is expected to feature the same footprint as the 11-inch MacBook Air. The comparison pictures revealed by iFanr show the significantly smaller footprint for the 12-inch machine compared to a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Retina display4

The next-generation MacBook Air is said to include a high-resolution display along with new Broadwell Core M processors. Other sources believe the 12-inch MacBook Air will come with all the ports typically found on Apple’s line of MacBooks.

According to the most recent rumors, Apple could introduce its 12-inch product by the end of the first quarter, though an exact launch date is still unclear.

 

5 Retina display3

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides updated with Touch ID support

After Google added a new Incoming section to Docs, Sheets and Slides iOS apps which allows users to view all of the files that have been shared with them, the company updated its productivity applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides were each provided with a feature that makes on-the-go editing of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations quicker and easier.

 Its trio of office productivity apps for iOS  now have the support of Touch ID now for passcode lock, making it much quicker to unlock documents instead of entering your 4-digit PIN.

Google has previously added Touch ID support to its Drive and Wallet apps. Touch ID is supported on the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad mini 3, and iPad Air 2.

touchid_slides

In addition to that, each app has been updated with a number of significant enhancements such as a brand new spell-checker in Docs, mentioned after the break.test4

Finally, Sheets now lets you easily hide rows and columns. Slides also has an option, which allows to group objects together for quicker editing.

Google Docs 1.2.6448 changelog:

  • Spellcheck
  • Touch ID support for Docs passcode lock
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Google Sheets 1.1.7297 changelog:

  • Hide rows and columns
  • Touch ID support for Sheets passcode lock
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Google Slides 1.0.5754 changelog:

  • Group objects together for quicker editing
  • Touch ID support for Slides passcode lock
  • Bug fixes and performance improvements

Google released the new and improved versions shortly after the announcement that the popular office productivity app CloudOn has been acquired and set to be shut down by Dropbox.

Google DocsGoogle SlidesGoogle Sheets is available for free on the App Store.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

NBC to stream Super Bowl XLIX on iPad and Mac without cable subscription

NBCUniversal announced that it’s offering a new “Super Stream Sunday” promotion, which will provide all U.S.-based users with 11 hours of NBC content through the NBCSports.com website and through the NBC Sports Live Extra app on the iPad/iPod touch. Accessing NBC content through NBC.com or within the NBC Sports Live Extra app normally requires users to login using a cable subscription. 

Super Stream Sunday, which is set for February 1 at noon Eastern Time, will come with Super Bowl XLIX, the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show with Katy Perry, and the Super Bowl XLIX pre- and post-game shows. In addition, it will also include an episode of The Blacklist. 

For the Super Stream Sunday period, users will have access to the content for free without logins. Such NBC offer is tasked to prompt people to use its TV Everywhere options, which bring television content on different devices with a cable subscription. 

superbowlxlix

Consumers accessing NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC.com during “Super Stream Sunday” will not be prompted to log-in with their cable/satellite/telco credentials; however, as part of this special access, they will receive consistent messaging in and around the experience about the ease in authenticating after the end of The Blacklist.”

While iPad and iPod touch owner can enjoy the Super Bowl via the NBC Sports Live Extra app, NBC doesn’t have ability to stream content to the iPhone as it does not possess NFL live-streaming rights for smartphones, as Verizon will have that locked down through its NFL Mobile app.  However, Verizon and the NFL also have a Super Bowl Stadium app that will feature “exclusive in-stadium video content including commercials and replays from four different camera angles.”

The NFL is planning to give users access to its channels using the NBC and Verizon apps as its official stream. NBC said it hopes the event will “help raise overall awareness of TV Everywhere by allowing consumers to explore our vast TVE offering with this special one-day-only access.”

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Xbox One SmartGlass app received iPhone 6/6 Plus support

Microsoft updated its Xbox One SmartGlass app with long overdue support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The previous version of the companion app for Xbox One now offers support for the native resolution of both devices. In addition to support for Apple’s latest phones, SmartGlass has also received a number of bug fixes. 

The updated Xbox One SmartGlass app gives iPhone and iPad owners an ability to connect and control their gaming console both in the room and on the go. The app allows you to navigate your console, control media playback, browse the web on your TV and more.

With the new version, you have an option to view and access your activity feed, friends list, achievements, messages, game videos, store, OneGuide and settings.

xbox-one-smartglass-1

In the living room:

• Navigate your Xbox One console using your device’s keyboard and touch
• Control your media and set top box with the SmartGlass remote control
• Browse the web on your TV using your mobile device
• Enhance what you are watching or playing with SmartGlass companions
• Increase performance with faster connections and reliability

smartglass-3

In the living room and on the go:
• Search, browse, and pin content to play on your Xbox One console
• Track achievements, get game help, message friends, and watch game clips

smartglass-2

The Xbox One SmartGlass app isn’t the first app, offering support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Among the apps, that brought support for the Apple’s latest smartphones in recent months, are Facebook, Instagram, Hulu Plus, Tweetbot, Google Chrome, 1Password, Fantastical 2, Gmail, Mailbox, Skype, YouTube, Rdio and Hipchat.
The new version of app SmartGlass 2.10.1 is available as a free download from the App Store now.

News/Rumors

Universal started filming Steve Jobs biopic at Jobs’ childhood home in Los Altos

The Universal-produced Steve Jobs biopic starring Michael Fassbender has finally started filming after numerous crew changes. The film was previously rumored to begin shooting in California sometime this month. 

CNET spotted production crews setting up at the house where Jobs and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computer in 1976. Later, film crews are expected to move on to areas in San Jose and Berkeley. 

The film, which is based on Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, is expected to focus on three of Jobs’ most important product launches — the Macintosh computer in 1984, the NeXT computer in 1988, and the release of the iPod in 2001.

Jobs

Directed by Danny Boyle, responsible for Slumdog Millionaire, the movie will star Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. Fassbender is better known for his role as Magneto in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Jobs’ daughter Lisa will be played by Perla Haney-Jardine, and Michael Stuhlbarg will play Macintosh engineer Andy Hertzfeld. Another multiple big-name Hollywood stars passed on leading roles, including Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio and Natalie Portman.

Sony ultimately dropped the project in November, but Universal Studios picked it up.

It is not the first film focusing on Steve Jobs’ life. The other movie starred Ashton Kutcher as Jobs, and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak.