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Could a new, mid-size MacBook Air be on the way? Read on for the details on that and other news items you may have missed yesterday!
Holding out for a new MacBook Air? DigiTimes reported Monday that Apple may be planning to introduce a new 12-inch model sometime in the third quarter of this year, presumably an attempt to distinguish between the 11-inch model which isn't much bigger than an iPad and the 13-inch ultrathin notebook. But bad news for 12-inch iPad holdouts: That device has apparently been delayed.
Cloud storage prices are heating up again with Monday's announcement from Microsoft of new OneDrive changes, which effectively bump free users from 7GB to 15GB without jumping through a single hoop. Microsoft is also dropping paid storage prices by more than 70 percent, with 100GB for only $1.99 per month (previously $7.49) and 200GB for $3.99 per month (previously $11.49). The biggest value of all comes for Office 365 subscribers, who will now receive 1TB per person instead of a mere 200GB, making a $9.99 per month Office 365 Home plan one of the best bargains around.
Amazon Mobile released version Amazon Instant Video for iOS version 2.7 on Monday, introducing the ability to stream the first episode of selected TV shows for free. Amazon is making this a reality by including advertising breaks before and after playback on iOS 6 and higher, and the update also introduces new playback controls including one-touch play or pause and 10-second skip forward/backward buttons. The AIV app also makes it easy to jump to the next episode in a series with a dedicated button, even while watching the previous one. Amazon also took this opportunity to remind viewers that "dozens of groundbreaking series" from HBO are now available from AIV, although it's largely older stuff you've probably already seen.
Kids love the iPad, but wouldn't it be nice if there was a way for them to incorporate real-life, tangible objects into their virtual playtime? The folks at Osmo are attempting to do just that, introducing "social intelligence and creative thinking" into how children play, courtesy of a unique gaming accessory that includes wooden tangram shapes, word tiles, and three free App Store games. Using the iPad camera and a reflector, a playing field set out in front of the tablet converts almost any surface into "an imaginative playing field." After selling out of its initial preorders, Osmo is once again taking orders at 50 percent off for a limited time, with all new preorders targeted for October shipment.
After rolling out to all web customers last month, Box Notes arrived on iOS Monday courtesy of a new app update that allows Box users to capture ideas and collaborate in real-time from virtually anywhere. Built for business, Box Notes promises to cut down on unnecessary email exchanges by allowing groups and teams to "seamlessly take notes, brainstorm, and build on ideas in the same document." Box plans to introduce the same functionality on the Android platform later this summer.
Google announced the acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest back in January, and it's only taken the two companies a few extra months to cozy up to each other, courtesy of a new developer API and the new "Works with Nest" program. Billed as "more than just an on/off switch," Nest devices can now interact with a far wider range of products, including automobiles from Mercedes, UP bands from Jawbone, services like Google (naturally) and IFTTT, and even washers and dryers from Whirlpool. Nest is also swinging the doors wide open for other developers big and small to enter the fray, which should open up all sorts of interesting possibilities in the months to come.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter