Microsoft Office for IOS and Android is here

Have you installed it?  what are you waiting for it’s FREE!  You can check it out here for IOS and Android.

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Microsoft Office for IOS and Android is here

IOS 7: The beta

At WWDC Apple gave a preview of their mobile phone software the IOS.  We are now at version 7 and Apple have decided to completely change the look and feel of the software.  Everything now is more Flat and Clean, gone are the days were drop shadows and 3D icons ruled the internets.  This is getting a lot of mixed feelings as many designers out there are shocked by what Apple have come up with, especially with the icons and color scheme while others don’t mind it so much.

Anyhow, as this is only the Beta version, many things might and probably will change when the final release comes out late Sept/Oct to coincide with the launch of their next iphone.  If you are an iphone owner and is jealous of all those new wonderful Android features, you will certainly enjoy the face lift on IOS 7.  Feature wise, not so much, still the same of IOS we are so used to.  There is the new control centre where you can pull up a fixed set of apps/tools for quick actions and some enhancement to the photo/camera app.  That is really all I could see that is new, any way take a look at the promo video from Apple, it’s magical as always.

 

IOS 7: The beta

My take on Facebook Home

If you haven’t heard, Facebook just launched a new home on Android, when I say Home, I meant a new ‘Skin’ that lives on Android phones.  When installed, this ‘skin’ would basically takeover your home screen and functionality and turn it into a Facebook phone!!

So, what is Facebook Home?  This is basically a brand new experience Facebook wants you to take on board with every aspect of using your Android phone.  Why do I keep saying Android phone?  That is because this new Home cannot exist on any Apple IOS products as Apple do not allow for such customisation.

So, a quick breakdown on what Facebook Home is all about:

  • When you first turn on your phone, you no longer get a Home screen, this is now overtaken by what Facebook call it a ‘Cover Feed’, which is basically Facebook status updates with pretty pictures
  • You can flick through these feeds using swipe gestures and double tapping would ‘Like’ the status
  • Comments and messages can be easily access through these feeds
  • A new feature call ‘Chat heads’ is pop-up profile pic of someone who messages you and sits on top of any Apps that you may be using.  Tapping this pic would bring up a comment/message box where you can reply quickly
  • All the usual Android Apps and functionality still works with this skin and can be access through your profile
  • A new Facebook Phone will be launch with Home pre-installed made by HTC and will be named ‘First’, this phone is a mid-range handset, much of the technical specs are still being finalised
  • Note, not all current Android phones will be able to install Facebook Home, so far only selected handsets from Samsung and HTC are on the list, I suppose this list should grow over time.
  • Monthly software updates to be released to keep the Home app as updated as possible

Judging by the hands-on demo from Facebook, this ‘Skin’ really are meant for people who lives and breathe Facebook.  The concept sounds interesting and it definitely looks very pretty and smooth, but my personal experience with facebook feeds are usually fill with Ads, baby photos and motivational pics.  Now, do I really want to turn on my phone and see my friend’s 2 yr old eating Oreos or an Ad to buy shampoo?  Not really.  I’m happy to keep Facebook outside of my usual phone experience but for many others, this could be a game changer for them.  Anyhow, the idea seems great for Facebook, not so much for Google or Apple since it completely takes over the OS user experience.

The Home App will be available for download on the Google play store from April 12 and limited to some handsets only.  More interesting reads can be found here.

My take on Facebook Home

AntennaPod: a podcast manager

I love listening to podcast, in fact, I listen to podcast a lot.  Now that I have switched to Android, I have been searching for a good free podcast manager app to replace itunes on the iphone.  I like to emphase on the word ‘Free’, I believe there are many great free Apps there waiting to be discovered and I have made a pledge to find them all (in other words, I’m a cheap skate…).

So after trialling a few ‘Free’ apps (many of these have a paid version with the ‘Free’ portion crippled) I finally settle on a simple yet fully functional podcast app call AntennaPod.  All I wanted was an app that will pull my feeds every time a new episode appears and this is exactly what AntennaPod does.

You subscribe to all your usual podcasts and hit refresh, that’s it, all done.  You can set it check for new episodes and to auto download.  You can set the time intervals to check for updates and also set it check/download only on wifi (thus saving on your data plan).

The only problem I have with this app is to search for podcast, you need to enter the url of the feed, I tried using the search feature but it just can’t seem to find the podcast I want. All in all, a good solid free podcast manager that everyone should try.  May not be the prettiest but a great little app to check out on the Google play store here.

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AntennaPod: a podcast manager