MixRadio leaves beta, announces new partnership with HTC

mixradio bannerAfter being purchased by LINE from Microsoft and Nokia, MixRadio has ditched its beta tag and hit Google’s App Store. The music streaming service tries to offer a more personalized approach to your music by learning what you like and playing things it thinks you’ll like. Other apps have tried to do this with mixed success, so it’ll be interesting to see if MixRadio can pull it off.

The app has also announced a partnership with HTC that will curate music news to BlinkFeed on HTC devices. As the service learns what music you like, it will display relevant info and news about artists and genres you like in your news feed. It’s a pretty nifty use of BlinkFeed that hopefully works as well as it sounds. Read more

Microsoft opens beta testing for Office for Android on smartphones

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This past January Microsoft released Office for Android on tablet devices that were at least 7-inches in size. Today they announced another step in their effort to make the suite of desktop applications truly cross-platform and cross-device with the launch of beta testing of the app on Android smartphones. Microsoft says the interfaces for Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all been optimized for use on Android phones while preserving formatting and content. Read more

Windows 10 will be able to run Android and iOS apps

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Microsoft might finally be throwing in the towel, but in a smart way. The app scene for Windows has continued to be dismal at best. With roughly 90% of the market cornered by Android and iOS, developers see no need to put their resources into Windows until it shows significant growth.

Microsoft knows this and that is why they have announced something pretty significant with Windows 10. They released two development kits which will allow developers to port their apps and games to Windows universal apps. Android developers will be able to use Java and C++ code on Windows 10 and iOS developers will use their existing Objective C code.

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Cyanogen eyes new Chinese vendors for partnerships

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During the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing, Cyanogen’s CEO Kirt McMaster revealed the company is looking to partner with some new Chinese smartphone vendors to carry their CyanogenMod operating system in the future. McMaster did not name names, but he did indicate the vendors they are courting have plans to participate in the international market and not just China. By finding new vendors to install their operating system, Cyanogen hopes to expand the installed basis for their version of Android beyond the current 50 million users they claim. Read more

Microsoft Outlook for Android exits preview

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The Outlook for Android app has been updated seventeen times while in preview, but now everything seems ready for primetime as Microsoft has removed the ‘preview’ tag. The performance and stability of Outlook for Android has been tweaked and the company feels that it matches the iOS version. The non-preview release of the app offers an improved design, IMAP support, unified contacts viewing, directory search, three-day calendar view, and custom gestures. Microsoft asks that users forward them bugs and suggestions to issue updates as quickly as possible by contacting support from within Outlook.

Hit the break for the gallery and download links.

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Microsoft Office preview now available for Lollipop users and tablets powered by Intel/x86 chips

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Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint became available in Google Play for Android tablets in January, but they weren’t compatible with Android 5.0+ Lollipop, nor any tablet that sported an Intel/x86 chip.

Microsoft announced yesterday via a Yammer post that a preview has been released that take care of both of these issues. These apps are beta, so you have to jump through a couple of very simple hoops in order to try them out.

You must first join the Microsoft Office for Android Tablets Preview community on Google+. Once you do that, you need to become a tester for each app (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) that you’re interested in trying. The links are below…..

Now you will have to ability to download the preview apps from Google Play. The below links might not be available to you for at least 10 minutes and as much as 2 hours. Google Play has to replicate the permissions.

Also be sure to provide feedback in the Google+ community. The faster everyone reports bugs, the faster Microsoft can fix them, which means the faster it exits the preview stage and will be available to everyone.

You will need a qualifying Office 365 subscription in order to get the most out of these apps. You can still use them without a subscription, but you will only be able to make core edits for free, assuming your tablet is between 7-inches and 10.1-inches. If you want extra features like the ability to track changes or insert page breaks in Word, you need to go with a subscription. Subscriptions start at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.If your tablet is greater than 10.1-inches, you will need an Office 365 subscription regardless.

 

 

Certain Microsoft apps won’t be preloaded on the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (48)Surprise, surprise. AT&T and Verizon are altering what software ships on the Galaxy S6, limiting some of the preloaded Microsoft apps available. When it was first announced, the S6 was supposed to ship with Skype, OneNote, and OneDrive pre-installed. No one likes bloatware, but Skype and OneNote are actually pretty useful apps, and Samsung and Microsoft were tossing in 100 GB of free space of OneDrive storage, so it wasn’t an awful deal. In fact, it was probably one of the better app/service partnerships we’ve seen on a device. Read more

Microsoft slashes patent licensing fees for OEMs that pre-install its apps and services

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Despite having its own mobile operating system to foster, Microsoft cares very much about other platforms. The company invests heavily in supporting users of Android and iOS devices in addition to Windows. Late last month, Microosft had signed deals with eleven hardware manufacturers to pre-install select apps and services. The deals put Office, OneDrive, and Skype onto a multitude of Android devices that are available now and on the way. For example, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge feature the aforementioned Microsoft software products.

Hit the break to learn why companies are inking deals with Microsoft.

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