There's no nice way to say this: interesting and new apps were a bit thin on the ground in September. Maybe it was the double-threat of new announcements from both Google and Apple that scared off developers, or maybe they're all hung up on ancient Green Day lyrics. Either way, things were looking pretty sparse, but we still managed to find a few interesting tidbits for you. Here are our top seven and a few honorable mentions. Read More
After years of fighting in the courtroom, Google and Microsoft have decided that enough is enough. In a joint statement, the two tech giants announced that they have reached a settlement and are ending the 20 or so lawsuits underway in the US and Germany. Read More
Microsoft sees competition coming in from the likes of HipChat and Slack—newer online services that want in on the company's action. Business communications? That's Microsoft's thing. That's what Outlook is for! Read More
Cut the crap, and give it to me straight. No subject lines, no signatures―just send me what matters.
"We got you," says a fictional Microsoft employee.
And then Microsoft Send appears in the Play Store. Read More
Cyanogen, the company that's grown out of the most popular third-party ROM for Android phones and tablets, is now a partner of Microsoft. CEO Kirt McMaster (who you might remember from some rather colorful statements earlier this year) says that the first fruit of that union will be the integration of Cortana with future versions of the modified Android ROM.
McMaster said so in an interview with International Business Times:
McMaster revealed that Cyanogen is working with Microsoft to deeply integrate Cortana into the next version of Cyanogen OS. This is key to catapulting Cyanogen into the mass market, he asserts: Cortana is currently available as an app on Android, but in order for it to make a real difference, it needs to be able to be integrated at the OS level so that its full potential can be leveraged.
August was light on new Android apps, but there's one new arrival that might change things in a big way: Amazon Underground. Aside from that, Google's new push towards streaming games and a new translator service from Microsoft make up the more interesting apps from the big publishers. That said, there are a few indie gems in both our primary lineup and the Honorable Mentions sections, so check them out below. Read More
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.
Just because you have an Android device, that doesn't mean you have to commit to using Google Now. Maybe you don't trust el Goog with that much information. Maybe, for some reason, you rather give that data to Microsoft instead. In such a case, you're welcome to use Cortana as your digital voice assistant.
An early Android version has been available since last month. We've even seen an update roll out that lets you launch Cortana using the Google Now "swipe up" gesture. Now you can get future updates without having to hunt around for the APK or wait for Microsoft to approve your request. Read More
Are you looking for a full-featured fitness tracker on the cheap? Then Amazon has Microsoft's branded Band for $50 off today. That brings the price down to $150, pretty reasonable for a tracker with a full-color screen and a heart monitor built in. (The price from Microsoft's store is already a bit discounted, down to $180.) It comes with free shipping, and Amazon Prime members can get two-day shipping for gratis as well. All three models of the Band, large, medium, and small, get the same discount.
The design of the Microsoft Band is remarkably similar to the Samsung Gear Fit from back in 2014, minus the curved screen. Read More
One of Google's big innovations in Android Marshmallow is Now On-Tap, a contextual search service that uses the content on your screen to perform searches and find relevant information. It's only going to work on Android 6.0, but Microsoft has just updated the Bing app with a similar feature called Snapshots that will work on any device. Read More