Category Archives: Office Web Apps

Announcing Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android, Microsoft Launcher

You’re standing in line at a coffee shop. Your right thumb is stre-t-ch-ing to drag out words on your phone’s keyboard while you squint to read the text on the web form you’re filling out. It’s amazing what’s possible today—but don’t you wish your phone could magically send that task to your Windows 10 PC where you could luxuriate in a big screen and hardware keyboard?

With the new preview apps we’re launching for iOS and Android – you can. Introducing Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android and Microsoft Launcher for Android, two apps designed to make it easy to move what you’re working on between your phone and PC.

We are excited to continue the work we announced at Build to make Windows 10 PCs work great with your phone. Microsoft Edge for iOS is available starting today in preview, with Microsoft Edge for Android available soon in preview. And, Microsoft Launcher is available starting today in preview as well. Continue on PC functionality in both apps comes with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Introducing Microsoft Edge for iOS/Android and Microsoft Launcher for Android

Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android

One of the most common requests we hear from people who use Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 PCs is “we want our browser experience to move to our phones”. You spoke, we listened.

Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android shown on an iPhone and Android phone

Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android brings familiar features like your Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page and Reading View across your PC and phone, so, no matter the device, your browsing goes with you. But what makes Microsoft Edge really stand out is the ability to continue on your PC, which enables you to immediately open the page you’re looking at right on your PC—or save it to work on later.

Continue on PC with Microsoft Edge, shown on an Android phone, iPhone and a Windows 10 laptop.

 

Beginning today, iOS users can test the preview app via Apple TestFlight, and Android users can sign up to be one of the first to test the preview app which will be available soon. Go here to sign up to test the Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android preview apps.

A few more details about the preview: Initially Microsoft Edge for iOS and Android will launch only in US-English, but we’ll ramp to other countries/languages as we expand the preview. And some features—like roaming passwords and support for iPads/Android tablets—aren’t available at preview launch but will come in the future.

Microsoft Launcher for Android

Microsoft Launcher for Android shown on two Android phones

Android phones have a feature that iPhones don’t – they allow customization of the “launcher” that’s displayed when you push the phone’s home button. How nice! Today, we are also launching a preview release of our new Microsoft Launcher for Android. We think it’s the most beautiful (based on Fluent design), customizable, powerful launcher available. With Microsoft Launcher, your recent photos, documents and more can all Continue on PC as well.

And – just like on Windows 10 – with Microsoft Launcher you can put icons of your favorite people right on the home screen so they’re quickly and easily available.

Microsoft Launcher Feed shown on three Android Phones

  • The Feed: Info at your Fingertips. With just a quick swipe-to-the-right, Microsoft Launcher offers a tailored feed of your important events, top news, recent activities, favorite people and most frequently used apps.

Microsoft Launcher themes phone on three Android phones

  • Beautiful and customizable. Launcher has wide-ranging ways to let you personalize your phone, it’s easy to set colors of backgrounds—and our new ‘gesture’ support will let even hard-core customizers create the environment that makes them most productive.

Continue on PC shown on two Android phones

  • Continue on PC. And of course, Microsoft Launcher has been designed to make it easy for you to seamlessly continue what you’re working on – whether it’s photos, documents and more—on your PC.

Microsoft Launcher represents the “graduation” of the 4.6-star rated “Arrow Launcher” project that was developed in our Garage – we’re making a big update to Arrow and changing its name. Everyone on the Arrow Launcher beta will automatically get the Microsoft Launcher today, and any other Android users can join the preview of Microsoft Launcher beginning today as well.

Go here to access the Microsoft Launcher preview. 

We hope Windows Insiders will try these preview apps alongside their Windows 10 PCs and provide feedback and ways to make them even better. As has been our approach with Windows 10, we’ll continue to try new things, learn and build the best experiences possible. We look forward to bringing these experiences more broadly to you later this year.

Microsoft Office 2010
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Instagram Stories launches cross-posting to Facebook Stories

 Facebook Stories might not be a ghost town for long. After testing in Portugal last month, TechCrunch spotted the option to syndicate your Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories appearing to US users. Now Facebook confirms this feature is officially rolling out, and everyone should have it soon if not already. The only exception is businesses, since they’re not allowed on Facebook… Read More
Microsoft Office 2010
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Hedge funds are turning their backs on tech stocks

new york stock exchange trader computer charts

My how the tide has turned for tech stocks.

Until recently, the industry was viewed as the indispensable driver of the equity market. Companies like the so-called FANG group — which includes Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google — received loads of credit for pushing stock indexes to new records.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, with hedge funds and other large speculators the most bearish in 16 months on the tech sector, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

What’s more, investors have pulled roughly $900 million from exchange-traded funds tracking tech stocks in the past week alone, the biggest outflow for any industry, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hedge Funds

And in a shocking twist for the Wall Street doomsayers who warned of a painful reckoning in the event of tech weakness, US indexes have continued to hit new all-time highs, even amid the shift in sentiment.

This surprising development is best explained by the ongoing rotation occurring in the stock market. As tech has faltered, energy and financial stocks have stepped up to fill the void. They’ve been boosted by a surged in crude oil prices and the prospect of higher interest rates, respectively, and it’s proven to keep the 8 1/2-year bull market chugging along.

The truth is in the returns. Tech was up more than 25% in the first eight months of of the year, then fell in September. Meanwhile, the energy sector surged 9.8% in September after a 17% year-to-date decline through August.

With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that this rotation has played out multiple times this year, with money pulled from tech simply being reallocated elsewhere in the stock market.

And now that the dynamic is attracting a little more attention, equity enthusiasts have yet another bullish argument to add to their tool belt.

SEE ALSO: JPMORGAN: Here’s what could cause the next financial crisis

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NOW WATCH: RAY DALIO: There’s one asset every portfolio must have

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‘Stranger Things’ hype reaches SNES levels with retro-style demake for iOS

 In case you’ve been living in the upside-down for the last few weeks, the second season of “Stranger Things” is imminent. And you know what that means… media tie-ins! Today we’ve already had AR “stickers” at Google’s event, but iOS gets a much more compelling item: a full-on SNES-style demake of the show. Read More

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Google is using its biggest advantage as a weapon to totally embarrass Apple (GOOG, GOOGL, AAPL)

google pixel 2

Hardware, as they say, is hard. Building something complex like a smartphone is tough enough as it is; selling enough of them to overcome the lousy profit margins and high costs of manufacturing only makes it harder.

Major companies like Google are not immune to these realities. So when Google launched the first Pixel smartphone last year, it was met with a lot of skepticism: It wasn’t clear how, or if, even Google could compete with the likes of Apple or its partner Samsung, which had essentially squeezed the air out of the high-end market. 

And in terms of sales, we still don’t know how that’s going. At its big Google Pixel 2 launch event on Wednesday morning, Google didn’t disclose any sales number, saying only that the original Pixel was a critical hit. Recently, we had unreliable indicators that the original Pixel sold only about 1 million units, a mere fraction of the tens of millions of iPhone 7 phones believed to have been sold in just the first quarter.

And yet, if you take nothing else away from Google’s big hardware blitz this week, it should be this: Google is taking its big advantage in artificial intelligence, and turning it into a hardware advantage that should completely embarrass Apple with how far ahead some of this stuff is. 

You can see it everywhere — Google Photos, the company’s photo-storage service, is way better than Apple’s iCloud, and it’s built in to every Pixel phone. Google Assistant, the smart voice assistant at the heart of the Pixel and the Google Home smart speakers, is lightyears ahead of Siri.

The best example so far, though, can be found in the Google Pixel Buds, a set of wireless airbuds designed to work with the Google Pixel 2 phone. They’re direct competitors to Apple’s pioneering AirPods. 

Best buds

While Google definitely doesn’t win any points for originality, Pixel Buds definitely win on innovation.

Right out of the proverbial box, the Google Pixel Buds will sport a nifty integration with the Google Translate app so you can use it as something like a universal translator: Your speech gets translated into, say, French, and the other person’s French gets translated to English right in your ears. It’s nifty, and in my own brief test, seems to work decently well. 

google pixel buds

This is something that is here, right now, in a device that’s shipping in October. Meanwhile, Apple has a world of possibilities in front of it for the AirPods, with the power to turn them into “hearable computers,” or at least a killer set of hearing aids. So far, however, this is something Apple has shown little to no interest in, almost a year later.

In other words, Google is putting its considerable edge in artificial intelligence to work by showing all the places where Apple is weak. Beyond the Pixel Buds, Google also showed off features in the Pixel 2 phone like a refreshed Google Lens, which can search your photos for relevant information. If your photo has a picture of the Taj Mahal, it’ll tell you.

So, no, Google’s new Pixel 2 phones won’t win any awards for originality. Compared to new phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, the iPhone X, or even Android cofounder Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone, the specs and the design of the Pixel 2 are decidedly unexceptional (although it packs a pretty great camera). Who knows what Pixel 2 sales will look like. 

And yet, if you view Wednesday’s product announcements as Google showing Apple just how far behind it is in artificial intelligence, well, it all makes perfect sense. Google’s new hardware doesn’t make the iPhone look any worse, by direct comparison, but it sure does make Apple itself look like it’s behind the curve.

SEE ALSO: Google’s new $160 wireless earbuds one-up Apple’s Airpods in some important ways

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NOW WATCH: Google built wireless headphones that can also translate languages

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Other web service data breaches pale in comparison to the 3-billion user Yahoo hack

When it was first announced in 2016, Yahoo’s breach of over 1 billion user accounts went down as one of the worst in history. On Tuesday, Yahoo, which is now owned by Verizon, broke its own record when it released a statement admitting that all 3 billion of the user accounts that existed in 2013 had been hacked.

Huge breaches of consumer online services like Yahoo have become more common over the past few years. As we can see in this chart from Statista, the majority of hacks affecting web services have been nowhere near the size of the Yahoo breach. John Thune, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said on Tuesday he plans to hold a hearing later this month over the breach. He will question witnesses on whether there were steps that could have been taken earlier, and if there is a possibility of more bad news. 

Chart of the Day 10/4

 

SEE ALSO: Venture capitalists are betting big on real estate tech

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NOW WATCH: What to do if your Yahoo account was one of the 3 billion hacked

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Sebastian Thrun on flying car safety: ‘If we screw it up it would put it off for decades’

Sebastian Thrun, Vanity Fair Summit

Flying cars are coming to skies near you in the foreseeable future if Sebastian Thrun, former Google executive and founder of the personal flight company Kitty Hawk, gets his way.

There is one thing that could seriously delay Thrun’s Jetson style flying cars, and that’s safety.

“I honestly think safety is the paramount thing for this entire concept, if we screw it up it would put it off for decades,” said Thrun during his appearance at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit on Wednesday.

Kitty Hawk has already run over 1,000 test flights, and Thrun said that thankfully, no one had been hurt, but that all the tests had been conducted at low heights over water. When Average Joes are reaching altitudes of 1,000 feet or more on their way to work, the stakes are a lot higher. 

Fewer obstacles in the sky

Thrun sees the air as a safer space than the ground, because, very simply, there are fewer things to hit. He noted that the 30,000 car crashes that happen every year go largely under the radar, but that if they all happened on the same day, the news would be everywhere. Thrun had a close friend pass away in a car crash when he was 18, and getting safety right is incredibly important to him. “I take issue with the lack of safety. Even if you’re used to it, it doesn’t mean it’s right,” said Thrun. 

Kitty Hawk FlyerHe took the Vanity Fair stage alongside Kitty Hawk engineer Cameron Robertson, one of the inventors of the Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter, the world’s first human-powered flapping wing aircraft. Roberston is part of the team working to bring Kitty Hawk’s recreational vehicle, “Flyer”, to market as soon as next year. 

Roberton is taking the same testing approach with the Flyer that he did with the Ornithopter, using every single flight test as a way to discover the thing the team needs to learn most. He said taking a ride on Flyer is like a dream come to life, and that he gets butterflies every time he goes up. Right now, the team is focusing on making flight as easy as possible, and an enjoyable experience for every rider.

Price and delivery date for the Flyer are to be determined, but consumers can expect it to hit the market at some point next year. The vehicle will only be for recreational purposes at first, and Thrun was quick to point out that cars were only for recreation when they were first introduced, allowing for society to learn to use them and become orientated with the new mode of transportation.  

SEE ALSO: An ex-Googler says flying cars are ‘completely crazy’ — and 3 years away from becoming the next hot thing

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NOW WATCH: 6 things in tech today that Bill Gates accurately predicted back in 1999

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Pixel 2 dethrones iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 in camera rankings

 Well, that was quick! The iPhone 8 Plus had a short reign at camera testing outfit DxOMark as “the best smartphone camera we’ve ever tested” — the Galaxy Note 8 tied it after only a few weeks. And now Google’s Pixel 2 has bested them both. Read More

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Google Lens will finally make its debut on Pixel phones later this year

 Google first demoed Lens, its smart Google Assistant-connected image recognition app, at its I/O developer conference earlier this year. At the time, it was one of the highlights of the show, but like so many other announcements at the time, the company wasn’t quite ready to release it to the public yet and only said that it would arrive “soon.” That was in May.
As Google… Read More

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Here’s Google’s new Pixel 2 XL smartphone

 Google unveiled the new Pixel 2 XL smartphone today, and the early leaks proved pretty much accurate: It’s a larger screened smartphone with a new body design that mostly eliminates the front bezels, with a back that bears a two-segment design with a glass upper portion and metal covering the remainder of the body. The smartphone’s front face is a big improvement over the… Read More

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