Microsoft has tried a number of tactics to get the Apple faithful to switch over from iPads and MacBooks to their Surface tablets (which were partly meant to kill both markets with one stone), and so far it's failed rather dismally. But now the company is attempting to one of the most direct routes to winning your hearts — bring in your MacBook Air, and they'll give you a wad of store credit to put toward a Surface Pro 3.
Well, despite WWDC being just around the corner, the Apple rumor mill hasn't turned up anything spectacularly groundbreaking this week. Hmm, we wonder if Tim Cook's promise to knuckle down on security is paying off. Meanwhile, could the war also be coming to an end with Google? And what's this giant security risk with your iPhone and why didn't Apple reply to the hackers who brought it to their attention? Let's find out what's going on out there.
Is it time for Apple to start worrying about Microsoft when it comes to tablets? By almost all accounts, the original Surface was a flop (along with its successor last year), leading many commentators to believe that Microsoft may never be able to establish itself as a true contender in the prize market. But that may have changed this morning with this morning's reveal of the Surface Pro 3, "the tablet that can replace your laptop."
A sketchy rumor posted overnight to Taiwan-based Industrial and Commercial Times claims that supplier Pegatron has already received 15 percent of Apple's orders for the rumored 4.7-inch iPhone 6 ahead of a September launch. Apparently the supplier will produce something in the neighborhood of 50 million iPhones this year, which includes the current generation as well as the new model, which just so happens to pop up again in today's recap...
Apple appears to have hit a brick wall in the first three months of 2014 where iPad growth is concerned, but it turns out they may not be alone: Consumers are finding few compelling reasons to upgrade existing tablets.
Following years of speculation, Microsoft finally unleashed a trio of Office apps on iPad a few weeks back, with Word for iPad, Excel for iPad, and PowerPoint for iPad all offering good-to-great touch-enabled takes on the long-running productivity favorites. Curiously, though, all three launched without printing support, which made them not-fully-ideal options for users looking to untether from a traditional computer. Luckily, that oversight has been swiftly corrected, as Microsoft announced today via its Office blog that all three apps can now print over the air to any AirPrint-compatible printer.
Skype has long offered video call capabilities for more than two users on Mac (and PC) — but only when at least one had a paid Premium subscription plan in effect. Now, the company has eased that restriction, making group calling available free as of today to all computer users, along with those on Xbox One. And iOS users may be next to be added to that list.
Although many use Office for everyday word processing and number crunching tasks, there’s a substantial contingent of customers who live and breathe the presentation leg of Microsoft’s productivity tripod, which has finally made an impressive (though somewhat handicapped) transition to mobile. Together with Word and Excel, PowerPoint for iPad makes up Microsoft’s newly mobilized Office trilogy. This trio of apps features a touchscreen user interface often slicker than their desktop equivalents, but more importantly, documents can be opened and edited with complete confidence that they’ll look exactly as they do on Mac or PC.
Wherever Word travels, Excel cannot be far behind—and at long last, Microsoft has allowed the number crunching favorite to follow the money trail straight into the App Store with a touchscreen version built just for iPad. Microsoft Excel for iPad ends years of suffering with less-powerful third-party solutions that have been all too happy to encroach in Redmond’s absence. Like Word, Excel for iPad is in most respects a superior effort over the venerable Mac application, offering an impressively clean user interface that doesn’t skimp on features.
Purchase an iPad for a loved one or family member, and without fail, the recipient will ask, “Does this work with Microsoft Word?” Thankfully, the answer is now a resounding yes—at least for those willing to pay for the privilege. With few exceptions, Microsoft Word for iPad is well worth the wait. While the iPad-only app doesn’t offer the same full-frontal feature assault of the Mac or Windows editions, the majority of the most frequently used, make-or-break tools (including track changes, charts, and rich formatting) are all present and accounted for.