Apple starts using China Telecom’s data centers to store iCloud data for China users, rather than US locations

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Update: Apple confirmed the use of China Telecom servers in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

But the company said Friday in a statement to The Wall Street Journal that all data stored is encrypted, meaning China Telecom won’t have access to its content.

“Apple takes user security and privacy very seriously. We have added China Telecom to our list of data center providers to increase bandwidth and improve performance for our customers in mainland China,” it said.

Apple has begun using Chinese data centers to store iCloud data for local Apple customers, the first time Apple has used mainland China for iCloud account and information storage. On a municipal government website, Fuzhuo City Telecom said that ‘Apple China has completed the iCloud data dump into China Telecom’s cloud services’. The post has since been taken down from the government site, however.

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Future Xbox One update will let you stream live TV to your iPhone or iPad

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Microsoft announced today that a new system update for its Xbox One game console will soon let users stream live TV to their iPhone or iPad. Set to arrive in the next few months, the Xbox One’s SmartGlass companion app will be equipped with the option to watch television via a local network connection without interrupting a gameplay session.

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Microsoft no longer dissing the iPad in Surface ads, now dissing the MacBook Air

Oh dear. Just when we thought Microsoft might have gotten over its misleading Surface tablet ads attacking the iPad (and iPad mini), it has run three new ones, each attacking the MacBook Air (the other two are shown below the fold).

Microsoft’s decision to go on the offensive is perhaps understandable: while Apple can run a MacBook Air ad simply observing that it’s “the notebook people love,” poor sales of the Surface despite high marketing costs have so far resulted in Microsoft losing $1.7B on the device …  Read more

On OS X Leopard? Don’t worry, Skype says Mac version for legacy users returning soon

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Earlier this week, concerns emerged on Skype official message boards about the Skype Mac app no longer functioning on OS X 10.5.8 Leopard (an operating system that launched the same year as the original iPhone), and a Skype representative on the forums apparently confirmed that Skype will no longer be supported on Macs running operating systems below OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

While Skype has not been downloadable nor functional for Leopard users the past few days, a Skype spokesperson tells us this morning that this will soon change: “We have a Skype version for Mac OS X 10.5 users which will soon be available for download.” No additional timing details are available as of yet, but it’s good to know that Leopard users will soon be able to go back to making Skype calls and sending messages as normal.

We’re also told that this new download will be for Leopard users only, so anyone on OS X 10.4 Tiger or below will need to upgrade to Leopard or something newer (like Mavericks) in order to keep on using the Microsoft-owned communications tool.

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Microsoft wants to make a retail splash near Apple’s iconic 5th Ave. cube

 

Microsoft wants to build a new 8,700 sq. ft. retail store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks away from Apple’s cube, the New York Daily News reported today. The two-story building located at 677 Fifth Avenue is currently vacant, but the Redmond-based software giant wants to setup shop near one of its competitors most iconic locations.

Microsoft has been walking in the shadow of Apple’s retail success for years now. In 2009 the company poached George Blakenship from Cupertino’s retail arm to run its own (weirdly similar) stores. Since then, the Microsoft has been taking advantage of open spaces near a few Apple stores to try to get in on the action.

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Chinese government’s war on Apple escalates as it bans govt purchases

businessinsider

After a Chinese state-run TV channel last month described the iPhone as a “national security concern” (a claim Apple denied), Bloomberg reports that the Chinese government has stepped up its war on Apple by removing the company’s products from its procurement lists.

Ten Apple products — including the iPad, iPad Mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro — were omitted from a final government procurement list distributed in July, according to officials who read it and asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The models were on a June version of the list drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance, the officials said …

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Microsoft releases Office for iPad update with PDF exporting, presenter view, third party fonts, more

Image: smallbiztrends.com

Image: smallbiztrends.com

Earlier this week Microsoft introduced an updated version of its OneNote app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, and today new versions of its Office for iPad suite have been released. Version 1.1 of Office for iPad introduces a list of new features in the first major update to the tablet productivity apps. Included in the update is the ability to send files from Word and Excel as a PDF file, a new Presenter View for PowerPoint, and a list of several more features. Check below for the breakdown of new features for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word for iPad. Read more

Skype says free group video calling coming in the future to more platforms

Earlier this month, Microsoft-owned Skype rolled out a group video calling feature to Windows tablets. The free video calling allows for calls with up to ten people, and integrates with Skype on the desktop, which has supported group video calling since April.

Today, Skype tells us that the group video calling feature will be coming to all of its mobile platforms in the future, which likely includes iOS and Android:

We’re excited about Skype group video calling and are working to bring it to more of our platforms. In the future, we’ll be enabling group video calling for all our users across more platforms – at no cost

Unfortunately, the company could not yet provide a more specific rollout timeframe. Skype has been rapidly releasing new products over the past several months, with a major redesign of the Skype iPhone app arriving a couple of months ago.

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On average, analysts expect iPad sales to be flat, but no consensus

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Someone once said that if you put three analysts in a room and ask them a question, you’ll get four different opinions. This certainly appears to be the case today, with Fortune finding no more consensus on iPad sales than it did on iPhone numbers.

Asked to predict how many iPad sales Apple will announce in next week’s Q3 earnings announcement, the overall average suggested year-on-year sales would be flat at 14.35M. However, no consensus view emerged …  Read more

Microsoft improves OneDrive storage limits & pricing as competing iCloud Drive approaches

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Microsoft is making notable improvements to its storage offerings for its OneDrive cloud-based service. The company is announcing today that OneDrive storage at the free tier will be more than doubled, Office 365 storage will see a major increase, and that there will be storage price drops across the board. Here are the three main announcements in more detail:

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Why won’t Microsoft give iOS users access to their Skype voice messages? (Updated)

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Skype may have recently launched a major update to its Skype for iPhone app, but one rather basic feature went missing – the ability to listen to voice messages. A subsequent update to Skype for iPhone 5.1 still hasn’t fixed the problem.

In a support thread on the Skype site, community manager Claudius provided what must qualify as one of the most unhelpful response ever to complaints by users:

Voice message playback is not supported in Skype 5.0 for iPhone. Please use Skype on another platform to listen to your voice messages …

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