The writing on the walls appears to be getting more clear and more frequent, as plans for Microsoft’s next version of their Office suite, codenamed “Gemini”, have begun to spread online like wildfire. According to some new reports, Microsoft’s “Gemini” update aims to bring the world’s most popular office suite to the tablet era with versions for Windows 8 “Metro”, iOS, and Android being developed concurrently.
Among the new tablet applications will also include updates developed specifically to take leverage of new Windows 8.1 (previously codenamed “Blue”) technologies. Microsoft is reportedly hoping to have the Windows 8 part of “Gemini” ready for a public preview by this year’s BUILD conference, where the new Office Metro applications will be showcased for the very first time.
iOS and Android users will reportedly have to wait a bit longer to get their fair share of an Office fix as Microsoft is reportedly not planning on announcing or releasing these versions of “Gemini” until late 2014 at the earliest. Microsoft might also be planning on releasing an updated Office for Mac suite sometime in 2014, which would make sense given their past release schedules, however we have nothing specific to report on that at the moment.
Finally, a real XCode competitor for Android
In one of the best kept secrets of this year’s I/O Developer Conference, Google has just announced a new tool exactly zero people were probably expecting – Android Studio, a brand new development environment similar to Apple’s XCode and Microsoft’s Visual Studio, entirely for Android applications. Android Studio comes with some pretty unique (and extraordinarily useful sounding) features, including live code updates, live graphical user interface rendering, support for differences between international versions of applications in one binary, and the ability to check and see what your application looks like on any of Google’s flagship Nexus devices before ever even hitting the “compile” button.
Google says that they have “big plans” for Android Studio going forward – it isn’t yet a complete replacement for whatever you’re using now, but Google promises that they’ll be adding functionality and features quickly as time goes on to make it your one stop shop for Android development.
Source: The Verge
Is an inexpensive Windows Phone worth it?
Our secondary writer gets a Nokia Lumia 521 and attempts to review it the moment he gets it out of the
box. What does he think of it, and would he recommend it? Everything is explained in the above video.
- Adding to things I don’t like about the 521, I do not like how you have to have fingernails to pull the back case off.
- I played the wrong game in the game test portion – Galaga was fine, but when I tried playing Fruit Ninja there was a noticeable performance drop. It was not enough to prevent playing of Fruit Ninja, however.
- The phone is actually capable of running on AT&T as it supports their bands. The 521 must be SIM unlocked, which T-Mobile will do.
Apple doesn't appear interested
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – The iTunes ecosystem is the most massive and influential media ecosystem in the world. Whether a person has an iPod, an iPhone, a Mac, an AppleTV, and these days even just your run of the mill Windows PC – they’re very likely connected in some way to Apple and iTunes. For this reason, it shouldn’t be at all a surprise that, according to Windows CFO Tami Reller, Microsoft has been actively trying to convince Apple to release a version of iTunes native to Windows 8′s new “Metro” (or Modern or whatever you want to call it) environment. In an interview with CNN Money, Reller says that “iTunes is in high demand. The welcome mat has been laid out. It’s not for lack of trying.”
However, it appears that Apple is reluctant to embrace Microsoft’s new Metro filled future, apparently denying Microsoft’s requests for a Windows 8 native version. Apple may not be yet convinced that allocating resources to a product makes sense – Windows RT tablets have been under performing badly, and the traditional iTunes for Windows app works fine on Windows 8 on the classic “Desktop” interface.
Advertising campaign to focus on photography
Here’s an interesting one – despite the fact that Nokia is clearly launching at least one new handset at their upcoming press event, the Finnish based mobile company has apparently decided to jump the gun and has put up a promotional site advertising an as of yet unannounced Nokia Lumia 928 handset, complete with an image of the device. While we’re currently light on details, the phone itself physically seems to look a whole lot like the Nokia Lumia 920 we all know and love – no surprise there, given that recent leaks have indicated that the device is more or less just a 920 with a small spec bump and CDMA support, making it ready for a Verizon launch.
Nokia’s advert also appears to focus heavy on the camera, with the image portraying a Lumia 928 taking a high quality photo in a lower light situation. The promo reads “Capture the Highlights” before teasing us to “stay tuned” for more about the as of yet unannounced (or does this count as an announcement?) handset.
We’ll almost certainly know more about the Lumia 928 at Nokia’s May 14th press event, so keep an eye out for further news as we hear it.
Seems way too soon
Here’s an interesting one – we’ve long expected a 7″ Microsoft Surface running Windows 8.1 to be making its way sometime this summer, but now DigiTimes, who has had a decent track record in the past, is claiming that Microsoft will be announcing both a 7″ Surface and second-generation Surface (both RT and Pro) tablets as soon as this June. The report indicates that Microsoft is planning on making this one of the major announcements at the company’s annual BUILD developer conference, which would make sense.
The Surface Pro will reportedly be getting a spec bump with Intel’s latest and greatest chips, Haswell, which has already been shown to perform very admirably when compared with the current generation Intel chips shoved inside today’s Surface Pro. The second generation Surface RT and upcoming 7″ Surface could easily use an updated mobile ARM SoC, as the Tegra 3 that the current Surface RT uses is quite old at this point; the most straightforward and expected update would probably be NVidia’s new Tegra 4.
Making a repeat performance
The Wall Street Journal‘s Walt Mossberg has today announced that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook will be headlining the All Things Digital Conference again this year, offering his second interview in two years. Cook spoke about everything from the Mac, to the iPhone, iPod, and iPad, to Apple’s rumored entry into the television hardware market and beyond at last year’s conference. Though we wouldn’t expect Cook to make any significant product announcements or plans at the event, the interview should reveal some fascinating insight into the inner workings of a very secretive company, as well as Tim Cook himself.
Tim Cook rarely makes public appearances or does interviews, however he seems to be taking to the All Things Digital Conference just as his predecessor, Steve Jobs, had. Jobs spoke at All Things D six times in the last decade prior to his death in 2011.
Where will you be?
Microsoft has reportedly just sent out invitations revealing that they will be announcing the next generation XBox console at a media event scheduled for May 21st. Though details are currently short, we can expect to hear about the specifications and functionality of the new XBox before more details are revealed at E3 this summer.
Image Source: The Verge