Thurrott Daily: January 13

Posted on January 13, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, iOS, Windows 10, Windows Weekly with 0 Comments

Thurrott Daily: January 13

Some unexpected snowfall last night.

Another day, another selection of tech tidbits.

1/13/2016 12:25:06 PM

Microsoft Band 2 is now available for pre-order in Australia

Good news for those in Australia: You can now pre-order Microsoft Band 2.

The Microsoft Band is available for pre-order for you folks Down Under.

Pre-orders in Australia began last week at the Microsoft Store (Online). Those who pre-order will begin to receive their new Microsoft Band as early as January 21. The new Microsoft Band retails for $379.99 AU.

Wait, wait. Last week? Ah geeze.

1/13/2016 12:09:42 PM

Microsoft updates OneDrive on iOS

Microsoft updated OneDrive on iOS this week, too. Here’s what’s new:

  • iPad Pro support
  • Improved manual upload experience for photos
  • Improved albums experience

1/13/2016 12:07:26 PM

Microsoft updates Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Android

Yesterday, Microsoft updated Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Android. Here’s what’s new.

Word:

  • Multiple Highlight colors: Pick your favorite
  • Smart lookup: Within a document, get relevant definitions, pictures, and more, all from the web
  • More Sharing options: Now share documents using WeChat and QQ apps
  • Sign-up simplification: Sign up for a free Microsoft account. It’s easier than ever

Excel:

  • Table styles: Instantly change how a table looks
  • More Paste options: Paste just a formula, value, or format from a copied cell
  • View angled and rotated text: See the difference
  • More Sharing options: Now share documents using WeChat and QQ apps
  • Sign-up simplification: Sign up for a free Microsoft account. It’s easier than ever

PowerPoint:

  • Multimedia Playback: Play embedded media files in your presentations
  • More Sharing options: Now share documents using WeChat and QQ apps
  • Sign-up simplification: Sign up for a free Microsoft account. It’s easier than ever

1/13/2016 12:04:03 PM

Microsoft updates Outlook on iOS

Yesterday, Microsoft updated Outlook for iOS to version 2.1.3. Here’s what’s new:

  • Innovation is happening in the calendar this week with our latest Skype integration.
  • Make any meeting a Skype call simply by flicking a switch, then access the call when you need to with just a tap. Now when you say “I’m joining the call now”, you’ll actually mean it. To give it a try, simply turn on the “Skype Meeting” switch when creating or editing an event.
  • We’ve also added a 3-day view in the calendar to make your schedule for the days ahead clearer than ever. To access it, tap on the view icon in the top-right corner of your calendar.

1/13/2016 11:43:12 AM

Windows 10 user? Get SpotBright

This will be one of my app picks later today on Windows Weekly. But if you’re using Windows 10, you will almost certainly want to install the Spotlight app, which is free.

You love the daily locksreen rotation of Windows Spotlight, but desperately don’t find a good way to download those beautiful pictures permanently? Well, this is an app just for you!

This app downloads a ton of super-high-quality Windows Spotlight photos in both PC/tablet and phone form factors. It’s awesome.

Google Nexus 5X gets a nice price cut

As I noted in Google Nexus 5X First Impressions, Google’s latest handset is awesome, with “solid build quality, a pure Android 6 software experience, and reasonable pricing.” Now the pricing is even better.

When this phone launched back in October, it cost $379 for the 16 GB model and $429 for the 32 GB versions. But now the pricing is reduced by $30, apparently permanently. So the base 16 GB model is $349 and the 32 GB version is $399.

So a good deal is even better. If you’re looking for a bigger device, I like the Nexus 6P—with its 5.7-inch display and gorgeous aluminum body—even better. But that device’s pricing hasn’t changed: It’s $499 and up.

Adoption of latest iOS/Android versions compared

According to the official Apple Developer site, 75 percent of iOS devices are now running the latest iOS version, iOS 9, with 19 percent on iOS 8 and 7 percent on earlier versions.

Google hasn’t seen similar success, which is a shame, as the latest version of Android—version 6, or “Marshmallow”—is a much bigger improvement than iOS 9. According to the official Android developer site, only 0.7 percent of Android devices are on Marshmallow. And the most popular version, Android 4.4 KitKat, is years old.

I’ve prettied up the charts for comparison purposes:

os-versions

I’ve noted in the past that this discrepancy hasn’t proven to be much of an issue for Andoid so far. But there are big, big improvements in Android 5 and 6 in particular, and getting the user base moved forward should be a bigger priority for Google this year.

 

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