Development has begun
Thorsten Hübschen, Business Group Leader at Microsoft Germany has just confirmed in a presentation today that Microsoft is indeed working on a brand new version of Microsoft Office for Mac, which is apparently currently in the midst of development. Microsoft has been lagging behind Office development on the Mac platform since the release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, to date the latest version of the popular office suite to hit the platform.
Hübschen told the crowd that “while I don’t have details to share on timing, when it’s available, Office 365 subscribers will automatically get the next Office for Mac at no additional cost,” confirming the continued value of Office 365 for Mac users.
Unfortunately, she had little to say in regards to specific new features or functionality for the Office suite. Many have complained of apparent incompatibilities between the Mac version of Microsoft Office and the Windows version, however compatibility and interoperability does remain strong across the platforms, especially when compared to Office compatibility support between iWork and Microsoft Office.
Add bling to your bling
Good news to our Android users today as Pebble has officially announced the release of their new Pebble 2.0 application for Android, complete with the one thing that made the new version so great on the iOS side – the Watch Appstore. If you hadn’t heard of this before, the concept is simple – the new Pebble Android application now allows you to load actual working applications to your Pebble smartwatch, giving the device an extendable ecosystem similar to any other mobile platform.
Prominent applications include eBay, Foursquare, and Yelp with more and more applications getting released all the time. The new Pebble app requires Android 4.0 or newer – sorry, Android 2.x laggards, hope your manufacturer still cares about your device – and is available now on Google Play free of charge. Better late than never, I guess?
"Was all this legal? Absolutely not!"
Chances are, the biggest deterrent against movie piracy in the mainstream was the general skill required to actually find a working torrent of quality, find a working piece of BitTorrent software, and actually completing the download. If that sounds familiar to you would-be-movie-pirates at heart, take notes: a new application, Popcorn Time, has just surfaced for all three of the major desktop platforms – Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux – that makes streaming pirated movies over BitTorrent as easy as clicking a single play button.
Torrent sources are found and curated by the developers behind Popcorn Time, assuring that movies streamed are not only of extremely high video and audio quality, but also stream fast and without any sort of ridiculous load times typically associated with movie piracy. As you may expect, Popcorn Time is currently streaming some extremely well known and award winning movies, some of which have yet to even be released on Blu-Ray, DVD, or other official sources – including Gravity, The Hunger Games, American Hustle, and much more.
Interested? The developers would like to kindly remind you that movie piracy is “probably” (ie.,almost certainly) illegal wherever it is in your country, so as per usual use this at your own risk and discretion. Download links are at the source below.
Source: Popcorn Time
It's gone forever
Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen has at long last made his first public interview since the sudden removal of Flappy Bird from the App Store and Google Play. While Mr. Nguyen originally only claimed that he removed the insanely addicting and popular game from the App Store because he couldn’t “take it anymore”, we’re now finding out more behind his actual reasoning behind removing the popular game.
In the interview, which was conducted with Forbes, Nguyen claims that the removal of Flappy Bird has been significantly “thought through”, claiming that fans of the game should in no way expect it to reappear any time soon. The actual reason behind the removal? “It happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem,” Nguyen says, seemingly pointing out the hundreds of thousands of collective hours likely spent smashing a small pixelated bird into a SNES era sprite of a Mario World-inspired pipe, or the fact that a busted old iPhone 4 fetched hundreds of thousands of dollars on eBay just because it had Flappy Bird. “My life has not been as comfortable as I was before… I couldn’t sleep.”
While Nguyen has spent the last couple of days offline, avoiding his online profiles and not responding to emails or tweets, Nguyen did claim in his last tweet that he will continue to develop games, and prior to the removal of Flappy Bird he was said to have been considering a sequel to the game. The question is – now that Nguyen has achieved such an immense level of fame, will he ever be able to develop a true indie game – one that won’t commandeer thousands of independent blog posts, hundreds of thousands of downloads, and fan frenzy? Or has Nguyen, like those at popular Minecraft developer Mojang, already crossed the threshold of “indie” developer to superstar?
Someone is making undeserved bank
That’s the $4000,000 question of the day, isn’t it? Why would someone pay $400,000 for an old iPhone 4 with a copy of Flappy Bird installed? This may sound like a joke, but it isn’t – eBay is currently being absolutely littered with iPhones and other similar devices with the infamous Flappy Bird mobile game preinstalled after Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen pulled his insanely popular game from Google Play and the Apple App Store. And as promised, one such listing is for an old, kind of beat up sounding iPhone 4 – and its currently going for over $400,000 with over 200 bids.
The success of Flappy Bird on its own is insane enough – a simple game with cool, retro style SNES-era graphics that challenges the player to keep a pathetic, yet adorable looking bird with abnormally large lips afloat and guide him through a series of verticle pipes by simply tapping. The game shot up to the top of the App Store charts seemingly out of the blue after months of sitting unnoticed on the App Store. The explosion of press, attention, and even death threats led Mr. Nguyen to pull the game, apparently skyrocketing the value of any device with Flappy Bird already installed.
Let’s assume, just for a second, that it’s not completely insane that having a mobile game installed has the ability to raise the value of your phone or tablet. Even pretending that that’s normal and not a sign of the impending apocalypse, why would someone pay over $400,000 for an iPhone 4 – a nearly four year old smartphone – with it installed? Do these bidders know what you could do with $400,000? You could feed the homeless. You could pay for sick children’s medical bills. You could donate it to a worthy charity. You could fill an above ground swimming pool with it and lounge on top of it, if your life is like something out of the movie The Wolf of Wallstreet. Or, apparently, you could buy an iPhone 4 with Flappy Bird installed.
I’ll be right back, I need to go take photos of my iPad mini. It’s got Flappy Bird installed. I hear I could make a pretty penny.
And that's a damn shame
One has to wonder what it is about Bitcoin that Apple just seems to despise. While everyone’s “favorite” fruit company has never claimed an official stance or opinion on the widespread and ever growing virtual currency Bitcoin, the company has certainly done everything in its power to make their lineup of iOS devices as hostile against storing or trading Bitcoin as possible. The company has been banning applications that include even the smallest semblance of Bitcoin support for a long time now, and today the company has put the final nail in the coffin so to speak as it has removed what is arguably the last remaining big Bitcoin application – Blockchain.
Blockchain, maintained by Blockchain.info, was a Bitcoin wallet application that functioned exactly as you may think – as a way for customers to securely store and interact with their Bitcoins. Blockchain.info claims that Apple has notified them that the application, which was on the App Store for the last two years, had to be removed “due to an unresolved issue” – an issue that Apple has yet to make apparent.
Some argue that Apple’s stance against Bitcoin stems from a line in their Developer Guidelines, which states that developers can not include functionality that “enables, facilitates or encourages an activity” that is illegal in any country that the application is offered. However, as many are quick to point out, most nations – including the United States – do not hold the stance that Bitcoins are in any way illegal.
One of the best just got better
I’ve been a huge proponent of the free weather service Forecast.io. Developed by a team of independent developers and funded by kickstarted money, Forecast.io has always provided the most detailed and highly accurate weather forecast of almost any service available today, easily beating the big giants such as Yahoo! Weather and The Weather Channel in terms of the amount of pure accurate data you get.
As good as Forecast.io has been, however, the service has always been limited by the developers decision to make that a web application – there’s only so much a web app can really promise to offer. That’s why it’s so exciting that the developers have just released a new version of the company’s previous weather project, the native iOS app Dark Sky, which now offers all of the excellent data I’ve come to expect from Forecast.io with the added benefits that only a native iOS application could bring.
The new Dark Sky is a little pricy at $3.99, but the price tag is well worth it. It offers an abundance of data, including a live and interactive weather radar, precipitation total estimates. and a new iOS 7 inspired design that looks simply gorgeous. Skip your morning coffee today and go buy Dark Sky 2.0. You won’t be disappointed.
A Dropbox competitor with a good deal
Dropbox is great, but competition is what makes all sorts of services and products even better. That’s why we’re so happy to see one of Dropbox’s main competitor, Box, really stepping up their game in an effort to one up the king of cross platform cloud file storage with a new deal today. For a limited time, if you download Box’s new iOS application, the company will give you 50 GB of free cloud storage for life, no ifs, ands, or buts (or butts!). This is a great deal considering Dropbox only offers 2 GB of storage free of charge.
Box works similarly to Dropbox. It’s a cross platform service that installs a small applet into your Mac or Windows PC and allows you to sync files and folders using your system’s built in file manager, such as Windows Explorer and Finder. Files can then be accessed from any of your other devices with Box installed, including your iOS device.
Box for iOS supports both iPhone/iPod touch as well as the iPad, and is available starting today on the App Store. With a deal this good, there’s no reason not to hit the source link and download.