Microsoft for Mobile Devices

Earlier this month, Microsoft shifted to providing the Office suite free for mobile devices.[1] While this may not sound revolutionary, for those of us who live on our devices, it in fact is.

Many of us use Microsoft products in our everyday business and personal affairs. We are well versed in the features, understand the tools, and have no inclination to change. However, upon moving to a mobile device, users were previously forced to resort to Apple and Google offerings. Frankly, these products do not have the ease of use and universality of Microsoft Office.

The shift by Microsoft is especially welcome now that Google has moved to multiple apps for Google Drive, requiring the installation and use of 2 apps where one would easily suffice.

Aware of this situation, Microsoft has altered its previous paid model and allowed the products for free download to consumers (not businesses).[2] Microsoft’s motivation is apparently to ensure dominance of the Office suite across platforms.[3]

Office is available on the iTunes store and on Google Play.

[1] http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/mobile/

[2] http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/6/7163789/microsoft-office-free-for-ipad-iphone-android

[3] http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/6/7163789/microsoft-office-free-for-ipad-iphone-android

Apple WWDC: iOS 8

This year at Apple’s WWDC, several announcements were made with respect to the brand’s future. Of paramount interest to the cellular industry are developments in mobile technology. While there has been a great deal of buzz around the iPhone 6 (rumored to have a larger screen), the true hit was discussion of iOS 8.

Several new features of iOS 8 were outlined, including:

  1. Health: a centralized application that tracks all health related data. This technology was developed in partnership with Nike, Bitbit, Wahoo, iHealth and Withings.[1]
  2. HomeKit: mobile devices will be enabled to control home systems. [2]
  3. Interactive notifications: this feature allows users to remain in the app or function while responding to text messages or other notifications.
  4. Quicktype: This is intelligent auto-fill, for example, if sent “a text message ask[ing] whether the user wants to do dinner or a movie, [the] suggestions were either “Dinner” or “Movie.” “[3]
  5. Family Sharing: This feature allows for up to 6 family members (using the same credit card) to share iTunes purchases.
  6. Siri: To accommodate those who use Siri while driving, the statement “Hey, Siri” now enables the function. Further, Siri is able to identify songs.

These are just a few of the developments discussed. If you want further information, Apple has made the full keynote address available on the official YouTube Channel.

Rumors set the release date for later this fall or near the holiday season.[4]

 

 

[1] http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/06/03/ios-8-first-look-video-apples-health-app-and-emergency-medical-id

[2] http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/apple-unveils-os-x-10-10-yosemite-ios-8-with-healthkit-1.2661730

[3] http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/06/02/apple-unveils-ios-8-with-interactive-notifications-quicktype-keyboard-group-text-enhancements

[4] Ibid, note 2.