Microsoft on Monday announced that a SkyDrive Metro app will be available for Windows 8. Windows users were previously able to save files to the SkyDrive website and then had the ability to access and/or share them throughout the Web. The next release of SkyDrive, however, will combine the company’s Live Mesh synchronization service into the file storing and Web service. Microsoft’s Building Windows 8 blog states that the new SkyDrive Metro app will have “files integrated into Windows Explorer on the desktop, and have the ability to fetch remote files through SkyDrive.com.” The desktop file sync will support files up to 2GB in size, and will provide “easy drag and drop upload and download access to your data, offline access and the power of Windows Explorer to manage files and folders.” The Windows 8 SkyDrive app looks to compete directly with services like DropBox as well as Apple’s iCloud. More →
According to Apple’s new MobileMe transition FAQ page, users will be able to access their iCloud services from the web. Specifically, the site says:
Will I be able to access iCloud services on the web?
Yes. Web access to iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendar, and Find My iPhone will be available at icloud.com this fall.
The FAQ also details some other issues that MobileMe users may be concerned about as their accounts are moved to iCloud. Apple says that photos, apps, music, and books do not count against the 5GB of free storage that comes with iCloud, and users will be able to buy more at a later time. It’s unclear how much additional space will cost, but Apple says it will explain more in the fall. As you’re likely aware, iCloud was announced during WWDC as a replacement for MobileMe. It will automatically store content across all of your devices and keep your mail, contacts, and calendar in sync across all devices. Users will simply need to sign into a new device to pull in all of their settings, photos, and more. More →
Apple’s senior manager in charge of its new iCloud solution has left the company to join online healthcare startup HealthTeacher. John Herbold held senior positions on the iCloud team and the MobileMe team before that, and he worked on a number of other projects while at Apple. Herbold joins HealthTeacher as Vice President of Product, focusing on digital engagement. “John has a proven background of engaging audiences across the devices we use to learn,play, socialize and be entertained,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher, in a statement. “Applying his experience developing world-class interactive products, John will lead our efforts tobroaden digital engagement with kids, their families and their teachers, all focused on measurably improving youth health.” HealthTeacher, according to the company’s website, is a service for school teachers that helps them provide health promotion, disease prevention, social/emotional wellness and safety resources to students. HealthTeacher’s full press release follows below. More →
Today is the day that Apple CEO Steve Jobs and other executives will unveil the next advancements out of the industry’s leading innovator at WWDC 2011. While Apple has already announced that the company will be talking about three different main products — iOS 5, iCloud, and Mac OS X Lion — the fact is, Apple once again could possibly change (and influence) the entire way we use computers and mobile devices. Let’s look at iCloud, for example: if Apple is able to transition the device-centric approach to how we work with information and apps to a task-centric approach where the PowerPoint presentation you’re working on is what matters, and not what computer or tablet or smartphone you’re editing it from, that in itself a huge move forward in computing. Other companies have been trying to accomplish this for years, but we having a feeling that Apple is about to show us the beginnings of something so seamless, it really could find mass adoption, unlike most current solutions. Add in music, photos, videos, and your documents, and you should be able to pick up any computer or device and have access to all of your information and data from wherever you are. Coupled with a rumored Airport Extreme and TimeCapsule refresh in which the devices will run iOS and a feature an A4 or A5 processor, and all of your data could sit on one of your own devices and it would use your own internet connection to serve up your files directly to you. Lastly, what if iCloud allowed you to just walk up to any iOS or Mac computer and let you sign in, sit down, and practically act as if though it was your device or computer? What if Apple then implements this using NFC in the next iPhone — just place your iDevice next to a Mac computer, and it will instantly be transformed into your computer. Hit the break for more! More →
Sprint announced on Thursday that the HTC EVO 4G will receive an over-the-air update to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on June 6th. Android 2.3 will reactivate the ability to sync multiple Gmail accounts on the EVO 4G, and will also improve download management and streaming media applications, among other changes. Want the update sooner? Here’s a little secret: you can download the update and install it manually beginning on June 3rd. Simply navigate to your phone’s settings menu, choose “system updates,” and then select “HTC software update.” More →
Paul Bryan, Microsoft’s senior director of business experiences product management for Windows Phone, has written a blog post that details Windows Phone Mango’s business productivity features. The update, which will be discussed in deeper detail during a press conference in New York City on May 24th, will include pinnable email folders for quick access from the homescreen, conversation view in email, server search, and a new Lync application for business chat users. Bryan also said there will be added capabilities for IT departments, including complex password support, information rights management support, and the ability to access hidden corporate Wi-Fi networks. “This week, we expect to exceed 16,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace,” Bryan added. We’ll be reporting live from Microsoft’s press conference on the 24th. More →
When it comes to Twitter, we’re just as addicted as every other poor soul who got sucked in. We’re constantly connected on our phones and computers, always checking our timelines, and we crouch in a corner and cry every time the fail whale rears its ugly head. As addictive as the service is though, Twitter is often asleep at the wheel when it comes to features. Luckily, that’s where third-party developers come into play and when it comes to Twitter apps, there are now thousands of choices across every platform imaginable. Even once you’ve found your Twitter apps of choice, however, one of the most annoying things about being addicted to Twitter is constantly seeing the same tweets as you move back and forth between your phone, PC tablet and other devices. What’s more, when you make changes to your mobile client — say, adding a new list column — you have to make the same changes all over again in your other clients. But what if there was a better way? More →
PlayBook owners over on the CrackBerry forums have discovered that, after applying a new BlackBerry Bridge v18.104.22.168 update, they were able to use BBM on their BlackBerry PlayBooks. The feature reportedly only works with BlackBerry 6 devices right now, although there are rumblings that a BlackBerry OS 5 version is in the works as well. You’ll also need to update your BlackBerry Messenger application to the newest version first, and that should be available from RIM’s BlackBerry Beta Zone. Unfortunately some users are reporting that the new Bridge update is causing some lag on their phones, though, so you may want to hold off until RIM issues a release build of the software. Judging from the picture above, we’re definitely digging the multi-frame layout with the BBM buddy list on the left side and conversation view on the right. More →
Following up on a rumor from yesterday, Digital Daily‘s John Paczkowski has confirmed that Apple has purchased the domain name icloud.com — henceforth to be known as iCloud, we’re sure. “Sources in a position to know” confirmed to the publication that Swedish company Xcerion has sold the domain to Apple, although they could not confirm that the Cupertino-based company paid $4.5 million for it as was reported yesterday. Apple is widely expected to launch a cloud-based service in the very near future. More →
Several researchers at O’Reilly have discovered an extremely troubling feature of iPhones and 3G iPads running Apple’s iOS 4. In a blog post and accompanying video, the site details that Apple is storing the GPS coordinates of cellular iDevices locally, in an unencrypted and unprotected file. “Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps,” reads the post. “We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.” O’Reilly goes on to note that along with a list of timestamped GPS coordinates, the file also contains a list of Wi-Fi access points that the affected device has been in range of. “Anybody with access to this file knows where you’ve been over the last year, since iOS 4 was released,” the brief continues. The file in question — named consolidated.db — is present in the backup file created when syncing a cellular iOS device with iTunes, and, obviously, on the iOS device itself. “Why this data is stored and how Apple intends to use it — or not — are important questions that need to be explored,” writes the team. Apple’s security team did not respond to O’Reilly‘s request for comment. The video made by the researchers is after the break. More →
On Tuesday, Mozilla released the latest version of Firefox 4 for Android and Maemo smartphones. Firefox 4 now includes support for Firefox Sync, which allows you to sync open tabs, history, bookmarks, passwords, and other data, between your computer and your smartphone. The new Firefox allows for tabbed browsing, add-on installation, and features a new, streamlined look. Mozilla says it will also automatically hide the browser controls when they aren’t in use, which should allow users to view more of the website you’re parked on. There’s also options to save PDFs, share pages, and customize the default search engine. Mozilla says that Firefox 4 is up to 3x faster than the stock Android browser. Firefox 4 for Android is available in the Market now, and the Maemo version can be downloaded here. More →
Firefox 4 has been leaked for Mac and PC a day before the company said it would be officially available. Mozilla promises the user interface in Firefox 4 is sleeker and easier to use, and it enables users to keep open tabs, bookmarks, history, and passwords in sync with other devices running a Firefox browser. Firefox 4 also has a new feature that allow you to drag and drop open tabs into groups that can be arranged and named. The leaked downloads aren’t available direct from Mozilla, so we suppose there’s still a chance the team could pull the launch date tomorrow and issue an RC2 release, but we doubt it. We won’t keep you waiting, though, so hit the jump for a link to download Firefox 4 for PC or Mac. More →
Mozilla said on Wednesday that RC1 of its Firefox 4 build has received a “very warm welcome,” and that since there aren’t any known issues, IT and Marketing have given the go-ahead to launch the final build on March 22nd. Firefox 4 will meet stiff competition from IE 9 and Chrome 10 when it launches, but it provides an updated user interface that Mozilla says is both sleeker and easier to use. Firefox 4 also lets users synchronize settings, passwords, bookmarks, history and open tabs with other devices, and it allows users to drag and drop open tabs into groups that can be named and arranged. Lastly, there’s a new and improved way to manage Firefox add-ons. While March 22nd is the current launch date, Mozilla does warn that there is the potential for a delay. “If at any time we discover issues that would block final release, we would issue an RC2 as soon as possible, reset the ship date, and communicate to everyone,” said Damon Sicore, Mozilla’s senior director of platform engineering. To get a look at what’s to come on the 22nd, you may want to give RC1 a whirl. More →