Microsoft launches revamped Outlook mail app based on Acompli for iOS [Video]

Microsoft Acompli

Microsoft announced plans today to launch a new app for its Outlook email service on iOS. The app is based on the Acompli software that the company purchased in December for $200 million. The app includes “email triage” features found in the old app as well as new features to help appeal to a wider audience, such as the ability to toggle threaded conversation views.

The Outlook iOS app will also support mail from third-party services beyond Microsoft’s. 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. Check out the video below …

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Apple shutting down legacy TestFlight next month following iTunes Connect integration

TestFlight iTunes Connect

Apple today began informing legacy TestFlight users that the services on TestFlightApp.com will no longer be available after February 26th, 2015. Apple bought the popular software testing distribution service through its acquisition of Burstly almost a year ago, and announced plans at WWDC 2014 to roll out its own version of the service in the future. Since then, Apple has integrated TestFlight beta testing for app developers with iTunes Connect. Read more

Parallels Access gains new file manager, iPhone 6 support & web version

iPhone_6_Plus_AppSwitcher

Parallels Access today received a significant version 2.5 update with support for the iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus, a new file managing system, improved audio controls, and a new web browser-based version. Parallels Access, as we covered upon its launch for the iPhone last year, is a robust remote computing application that allows you to view and control multiple Macs or Windows PCs via an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Android device.

Besides support for the larger, higher-resolution iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus displays, this new version introduces an improved file management system. The new file picker leverages the new tools in iOS 8 to better work with other applications like Dropbox and Google Drive. Parallels shares the list of enhancements to the feature:

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Skype for iPhone updated with UI improvements, limited pre-release program now available

Microsoft is rolling out a new version of Skype for iPhone today, version 5.9, which brings enhancements to the user interface making communicating faster and easier. The latest version adds contact suggestions to the dial pad when entering a number making the process of finding the right person to dial quicker. The update also adds shortcuts for starting video or audio calls from Skype’s chat picker window.

In addition to introducing the latest Skype for iPhone user interface improvements, Microsoft announced a limited pre-release program for testing early versions of Skype in exchange for sharing feedback and ideas… Read more

Microsoft continues to target the MacBook Air w/ new Surface Pro 3 ‘Switch’ site

iPhone 6 Surface Pro 3

Microsoft has never been shy about trying to convert MacBook Air users into Surface Pro 3 users. Despite being in a room filled with MacBooks, Microsoft targeted Apple’s laptop head-on at its initial Surface Pro 3 announcement event.

Now Microsoft is further highlighting the differences between the MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3 with a new online campaign (via ZDNet) intended to encourage Mac users to feel comfortable trying out Microsoft’s latest tablet.

Whether you’re considering Surface Pro 3 or have recently purchased one, we want to say thank you! We designed Surface Pro 3 to make you more productive in every aspect of your digital work and life. We’re truly humbled you’re here, and we’re excited to see what you do with your new Surface.

The recently launched microsite is the latest in a campaign largely led by ad spots (the latest holiday spot is almost pleasant) mocking the MacBook Air’s lack of touch screen, stylus, and more compared to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. Read more

Apple and Amazon refuse to make full federal workforce diversity data public

From Apple's diversity microsite

From Apple’s diversity microsite

Although Apple published its own employee diversity report back in August, USA Today reports that the company has refused to make public the full data from its federal diversity filing. While companies are required to file this information annually in a form known as EEO-1, they are not legally obliged to make the data public.

Facebook, eBay, Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn are among the technology companies that have made public their EEO-1s […]

Chief among the companies that decided not to disclose their EEO-1s were Microsoft, Twitter, Apple and Amazon.

When USA Today pressed the matter, Twitter released its filing and Microsoft agreed to do so by the end of the month, but Apple and Amazon did not respond …  Read more

Samsung appeal against Apple’s $930M award for patent infringement begins today

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with Samsung S3 and Samsung S4 smartphones in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica

The latest court battle between Apple and Samsung begins today, with Samsung appealing against the $930M it was ordered to pay Apple for patent infringement in the first trial between the two companies. Samsung is arguing that the amount awarded was “excessive and unwarranted.”

It’s of course not the first time that the sum awarded has been disputed. Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages, with $450M of that later cut and a retrial required to determine a revised sum. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that element of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M …  Read more

Microsoft’s new Cortana ad mocks Siri for lack of contextual reminders and traffic reports

Microsoft has released yet another Cortana advertisement that mocks Siri for lacking contextual reminders and real-time traffic reports. Microsoft pokes fun at the personal voice assistant by claiming that it “just got bigger,” a sarcastic reference to the larger screen sizes on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Perhaps the Redmond-based company is overlooking all of the new features Siri gained in iOS 8. Read more

Google reaches agreement to settle patent litigation with Apple-backed consortium Rockstar

google

Google, according to a report out of Reuters, has agreed to settle all of its patent litigation with the Rockstar consortium, which consists of a variety of tech companies including Apple, Sony, BlackBerry and Microsoft. The Rockstar consortium paid $4.5 billion for Nortel Network Corporation’s huge patent portfolio in 2011, outbidding Google at the time. The Rockstar consortium originally sued Google and a handful of Android manufacturers in October of 2013, claiming that the companies infringed on seven Nortel patents.

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Xiaomi has competition in the iPad mini cloning business as Nokia announces N1 tablet

nokia-n1-main

Xiaomi has built its business on copying Apple, so it wasn’t a great surprise when it launched its iPad mini clone, the Mi Pad. It’s slightly more surprising to see post-Microsoft Nokia going down the same route, today launching its N1 tablet which has cloned everything from the curved edges to the speaker grilles at the bottom of the device to the button placement at the top. Even the friggen website looks like it was lifted from the apple.com domain.

The Android-powered N1 is Nokia’s first new product since selling its devices and services division to Microsoft last year …  Read more