Apple agrees to participate in “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” program

Activation-Lock-02

Apple has agreed to back a new initiative along with a host of Android manufacturers and all of the major U.S. cellular carriers that would require all smartphones manufactured after July 2015 to come with specific anti-theft features. The program is the latest attempt to prevent theft of smartphones, which some have blamed for increasing crime rates.

To this end, Apple introduced a first-of-its-kind system in iOS 7 that blocks freshly-restored iPhones from being used until the original owner logs in with the Apple ID associated with the device. Today’s agreement between the carriers and handset manufacturers essentially states that all parties will ship this exact type of system on new phones.

Specifically, the required anti-theft measures are broken into four kinds:
Read more

Microsoft’s Office for iPad team talks development process, Ballmer, and more during Reddit AMA

As Microsoft continues its Office for iPad marketing campaign, the team that developed the productivity software has taken to Reddit for an AMA, or Ask Me Anything, to answer questions and discuss the development process behind Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad. By measure of upvotes, the most popular question as of the time of this writing asked when Office for iPad would gain the ability to print, something Apple’s iWork suite and many of apps already offer, to which the team replied “in due course” while noting the high demand of the feature.

But the team didn’t stop there; Microsoft’s Office for iPad team also shared photos of their lab (as seen in the above photo), talked about the development process for bringing Office to the iPad, and even addressed the notion that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer held Office back from the iPad… Read more

30-second smartphone charge demonstrated using biological semiconductors

I’d find this video hard to believe were it not for its credentials. The WSJ reports that StoreDot, the start-up behind the technology, has its background in the Nanotechnology department of Tel Aviv University, and it’s been demonstrated at Microsoft’s Think Next conference.

Ultra-fast battery charging has been seen before, but using special (and not very portable) battery technology. This system charges batteries compact enough for smartphones. It’s demonstrated here with a Samsung Galaxy S3, but the company says that it plans to make versions for other phones, which will could certainly include the iPhone …  Read more

Microsoft says Office iPad apps hit 12 million downloads a week after release

Office-12-million-downloads

After announcing the release of the Office for iPad apps late last month, Microsoft announced today that the separate Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for iPad have collectively reached 12 million downloads a week after release. The number also included downloads of the OneNote app for iPad, which has been available for a couple of years leading up to the release of the Office apps, but Microsoft didn’t provide a breakdown of sales by app. Read more

Review roundup: Is Office for iPad worth ninety-nine bucks a year?

Image: smallbiztrends.com

Image: smallbiztrends.com

The iPad edition of Microsoft Office has been a long-time coming. This was, it now seems clear, no accident: Microsoft wanted to attempt to boost sales of its ill-fated Surface tablet by pointing to the lack of Office software on the iPad.

Now that the company has accepted the inevitable, that most people would rather have Office on their iPad than buy a Surface, the question is: was it worth the wait … ?  Read more

Microsoft to hand out free Office 365 subscriptions to iPad owners in retail stores tomorrow

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 9.51.21 PM

Microsoft finally took the wraps off of its long-awaited Office for iPad suite this morning, only to reveal that most of its functions require a $99 subscription to the Office 365 service. Even though you can get a discounted subscription through Amazon, $70 may seem pretty steep. Rest assured, Microsoft is planning to offer free one-year subscriptions to the service tomorrow.

All you have to do to get your free subscription is show up at one of Microsoft’s retail stores with your iPad in hand. The first 50 people to do so will get the sub completely free of charge. Microsoft announced the promotion in a tweet earlier today: Read more