Google releases Calendar for iPhone app | 9to5Mac –
Google just announced its much anticipated Google Calendar app for iPhone is now available on the App Store. The app is essentially an iPhone version of the standalone Calendar mobile app previously only available for Android devices. Google first unveiled the latest version of its Calendar app alongside the release of Android 5.0 Lollipop late last year.
The Google Calendar app for iPhone works with your Exchange and iCloud calendars and also integrates with Gmail to automatically turn events from emails into Calendar entries.
First impressions of this app are that it is gorgeous – nice bright colour-coded events with a non-cluttered view to keep things simple. I am currently testing this app on my iPhone and so far I am loving it.
Microsoft releases Office apps for iPhone, makes basic editing features free | 9to5Mac:
Microsoft announced today that it’s rolling out standalone Office apps for iPhone after releasing the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps exclusively for iPad earlier this year. Microsoft previously had an “Office Mobile” app for iPhone that integrated features of all three Office apps, but today’s release of standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for iPhone are officially replacing Office Mobile as Microsoft’s Office solution for iPhone.
Microsoft is also delivering updates for the Office iPad apps that include new features along with the ability to create and edit for free.
Sensible from Microsoft to remove the paid restriction of creating and editing in these apps and change to freemium. Between Microsoft Office, iWork and Google, the 3 big players now have equal footing on the app store.
Arguably, Google’s office-based apps are best for collaboration, Apple’s iWork are best for design and how your documents will look whilst the Microsoft Office suite has the power.
Dropcam, the popular home monitoring camera startup, will be acquired by Nest, maker of smart thermostats and smoke detectors. The deal is worth $555 million in cash.
Things are really heating up in ‘The Internet of Things’ space – Everybody, including Google yesterday are vying to dominate this space.
So Fadell, who is speaking next week at our Code Conference, tried to clarify the matter. “Nest is being run independently from the rest of Google, with a separate management team, brand and culture,” he said in an emailed statement. “For example, Nest has a paid-for business model, while Google has generally had an ads-supported business model. We have nothing against ads — after all Nest does lots of advertising. We just don’t think ads are right for the Nest user experience.”
Google had earlier said that the filing published today was submitted prior to its acquisition of Nest. The specific wording said, “a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.” This was in a section where Google was trying to justify why it doesn’t break out numbers for mobile advertising revenue from other advertising by saying that phones are just one of very many integrated platforms.
Google had earlier put out a statement saying something similar, though perhaps it means more coming directly from Fadell. “We are in contact with the SEC to clarify the language in this 2013 filing, which does not reflect Google’s product roadmap. Nest, which we acquired after this filing was made, does not have an ads-based model and has never had any such plans.”
Panic over – for the moment. For customers who were worried about Google’s purchase of Nest and their thermostats, this should come as a relief for the foreseeable future. Fadell has created such a great product and Google just wants to own it, not interfere with it. For now.
DuckDuckGo touts its service as “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” a reminder that’s still posted on its home page. Following the numerous reports detailing the various sophisticated mass-spying tools that allow the NSA and other secret agencies to collect data in bulk from various devices connected to the Internet, and from online services, many users have switched from DuckDuckGo from other search engines, an earlier report revealed.
Hopefully, Apple will make DuckDuckGo one of the default browser choices in OS X and iOS this year. I urge you to make it your homepage for your PC or Mac.
Enable 2-Step verification on popular web services
Between losing an iPhone, never-ending security issues, and the NSA, having an account accessed by an outsider is more likely than ever. While having a good password is critical, enabling 2-Step Verification is a great way to ensure data you’ve stashed in an online service like Gmail or Dropbox is limited to your eyes only.
In a nutshell, 2-Step systems work like normal log in systems, but after entering your user name and password, the system in question will send your phone an SMS with a unique PIN. Only after entering the PIN are you allowed in:
A great reminder to take the time to enable this for your online services that support it. It seems every week there is a popular service that gets compromised and asks users to reset their passwords – Comixology is the latest one to suffer. So take the time to do it, protect yourself and sign up for any services that support this in the future.
Here are the links for more information for the most popular services;
Excel: The Last Microsoft Office Stronghold
To be clear, I know that a lot of people have to use it in their work environment. But that’s more because their office buys it for them and forces them to. It’s a strong method of lock-in that is seemingly still going strong after all these years.
The reality is that there are now more than enough solid-to-better alternatives for much of what Office offers. And some, like Google Docs and now even the Apple iWork suite, are free.1 And so it seems to me that increasingly, Office persists more out of habit (“I don’t know how to do this without Office”) and misguided fear (“what if I need Office for some reason?”) than necessity.
I’m all for abandoning Excel. It’s expensive and it’s like we have all been locked in to using it after all these years but now that we are migrating to cloud based storage and services, Google’s Drive/Docs which is free and Apple’s Numbers seem the better alternatives. Although I use Google for my simple spreadsheets, I still need Excel for the couple of spreadsheets that I have where the data is linked between each spreadsheet. Numbers doesn’t offer this facility and although Google does, it’s limited for some bizarre reason. For the power users which need features like that, Excel is still the king.