Skype has decided to overhaul its iOS app, bringing it to version 5.0. Recently, the communications company has been upgrading its mobile app for other platforms, namely Android and Windows Phone, but until now Apple has been left behind.
The first thing you might notice is the new interface. They have completely changed the looks to bring it in line with the newer iOS design language. The next thing is the software changes. You can now start group chats directly from the central hub and don't have to wait until a friends is online before you can message them. Apparently offline messaging was something that was only developed in 2014.
Skype 5.0 also has some software upgrades that are not obvious upon opening the app. It is better at synching your messages between devices and has had its coding redesigned to work up to five times faster, according to a teaser video released Monday evening.
But after tempting you with all the upgrades and good news, Skype is going to leave you hanging. It will be another week before the new Skype for the iPhone is released to the public.
Read More | Skype for iPhone
Yes, it’s true—Microsoft is about to get into the smartwatch game, and I got the opportunity to play with it. As we'd previously reported, Microsoft has filed a patent that details a smartwatch. However, often these patent filings aren’t exactly what we see companies end up releasing. So, let’s separate the cruft and get to the meat of the matter. A number of months ago I took a trip to New York where I came across someone who was testing the upcoming Microsoft wearable device. I saw it on their wrist and asked about it. They tried to explain that it was a random fitness wristband ordered from China at first, but eventually (with some prodding) gave me the scoop. Here is your exclusive first look at what Microsoft is planning for its first wearable smart device, what we are referring to as the Surface Watch:
- As far as looks, the image above is a parody, but not far off. It has an elongated form factor, but isn't as comically large as what's in the image. It is much more akin to something like the Fitbit One or Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit in shape rather than taking on the shape of a traditional watch, like Pebble did, or like what Google showed off with Android Wear. What we saw had a flat display, while the inner portion that would rest against your skin was curved.
- The icons are the flat style that Microsoft has been using on its other devices like Windows 8, Windows Phone, and Xbox One. That's what tipped me off in the first place.
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy is how it interacts with the rest of the world
- The flat glass display, and was definitely not high resolution. We hope that both of these change in the final product--a high-resolution curved display already exists on the Samsung Gear Fit, and the Microsoft device just didn't look as good.
- The watch is packed with sensors. It has a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS, and most interestingly, a galvanic skin response sensor all built-in. The galvanic skin response sensor is built into the watch band, while everything else is built into the unit itself.
Industry sources are aligning, and it appears that Apple is prepping to release its first wearable watch (which many are referring to as the iWatch) this October. According to Re/code and Nikkei, Apple is planning a special event to debut and show off all the features of the new device in October--by our own estimation, this would be a month after the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 launch, and could be within the same timeframe that Apple launches the new Touch ID-enabled iPads.
People familiar with Apple's plans tell Re/Code the company hopes to schedule a special event that month to show off the device, which is designed to make good use of the HealthKit health and fitness information-gathering app it recently showed off at WWDC. Could things change between now and fall? That's certainly possible. But right now October is the target date.
We've been hearing about the rumored fall release of the iWatch for months, while simultaneously also hearing that it might be pushed back to 2015. Now that more reliable sources are in on the reports, it looks like things are coming together. Nikkei is also reporting that the device will sport a curved OLED touchscreen display, and will heavily focused on integrating with the new Health app in iOS 8, tracking things like calories burned, sleep activity, blood oxygen levels, and other fitness-related data.
Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.
While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.
"I'm curious if my iPhone 4S will be able to run iOS 8. How do I know if it is compatible?"
You may be wondering if your iOS device is compatible with Apple's latest and greatest, so here's a look at the full list of Apple products that will be able to be upgraded to iOS 8:
- iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5s
- iPad 2
- iPad with Retina display (iPad 3 and iPad 4)
- iPad Air
- iPad mini
- iPad mini with Retina display
- iPod touch (5th generation)
As you can see, as it pertains to the iPhone line, the iPhone 4 (released in 2010) and older will not be compatible with iOS 8. With iPad, it'll be the original model that won't be able to use the new operating system. Meanwhile, the only iPod touch that can run iOS 8 is the 5th generation model. That's quite a generous line-up when compared to competing smartphone and tablet platforms!
Last week on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Oliver did a fantastic segment that lasted over 13 minutes talking about the issue of net neutrality and the work (or, lack thereof) that the FCC is going to address it. He broke it down perfectly and in true John Oliver fashion, touching on all the important points while keeping it light and funny. Then, at the end, Oliver called for the Internet commenter trolls to unite and head over to the FCC Web site to make their voices heard on the net neutrality forum. The result? The FCC site collapsed under the pressure. Seriously, I encourage you to watch the segment, which we've embedded here in this post. After you do, head on over to the FCC Web site and let them know to put a stop to this ridiculousness.
If you missed the WWDC 2014 keynote, we've pretty much had you covered here at Gear Live as far as the news coming out of the event. However, sometimes, seeing is believing, and many would rather watch the historic event for themselves. Now you can. Apple has made the video available to view on demand on YouTube and on the Apple Web site. If you'd prefer to download it, you can grab it in iTunes using your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. We've embedded the YouTube version right here for you!
With plenty of people now running both iOS 8 beta and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview in order to kick the tires on Apple's upcoming operating systems, we're hearing that a lot of people are confused as to how to get the cool Handoff feature working. Handoff, announced during the WWDC 2014 keynote, is what allows the two operating systems talk to each other and pass app information back and forth seamlessly. Here's how you do it:
Apple announced that third-party keyboard support would be a major feature in iOS 8 just two days ago during its WWDC 2014 keynote, and just like that, Fleksy is already showing that it's up and running on Apple's upcoming mobile operating system. The Fleksy keyboard is actually available already on iOS, but only within the Fleksy app itself, as well as in apps that have built-in the Fleksy API. What changes in iOS 8 is that Fleksy (and other keyboards) will be able to take over as the system-wide keyboard for all applications, should a user choose to do that. You can download the Fleksy app now for a preview, and sign up to join the iOS 8 Fleksy beta.
Yesterday was another big Apple event, and there was a lot of news coming out of the WWDC 2014 keynote--we got a look at OS X Yosemite, iOS 8, and much more. Here's a look at everything we covered in one easy place:
- First official look at OS X Yosemite at WWDC
- Purported leaked images of OS X 10.10 leak new UI and design changes
- OS X Yosemite: Translucent window UI, dark mode, new icons, and more
- iCloud Drive: Apple finally lets you browse and store iCloud documents on Mac, iOS, and Windows
- OS X Yosemite will be released this fall for free, public preview coming this summer
- Apple shows off iOS 8 Health app & HealthKit platform
- iOS 8 to debut third-party keyboards, here comes Swype
- iOS 8 introduces new time-lapse camera mode
- OS X Mavericks was downloaded 40 million times in 8 months
What are you most looking forward to?
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