Posts tagged Office

Microsoft Office Comes To iOS For Free

Microsoft Office fans who can’t put down their iPhones can take note: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are available on iOS as of Thursday. Better yet, they’re all free.

Previously, there were two different versions of the Microsoft Office apps for iOS mobile devices. There was the poorly received Office Mobile for iPhone, and the well received Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for iPad. Thursday’s release takes the preferred iPad apps, updates them, and unifies the Microsoft Office experience for all devices running iOS 7 or higher, whether you have an Office 365 subscription or not.

See also: 5 Things To Know About Microsoft Office For iPad

Whether you’re using the app on your iPhone or your iPad, expect generally the same user experience with the same set of features in a slightly different interface for each. However, Corporate Vice President John Case said there’s still good reason to pay for a $7 per month Office 365 subscription and gain access to even more perks.

“Of course Office 365 subscribers will continue to benefit from the full Office experience across devices with advanced editing and collaboration capabilities, unlimited OneDrive storage, Dropbox integration and a number of other benefits,” said Case.

So far, the good news only expands to iOS users for now, while the best Android users can expect Thursday is a Microsoft Office preview app, which you need to sign up for first.

Photo via Microsoft

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Search In Pics: World Series Game, Penguin Office & Halloween At Google

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. The Google Penguin Office: Source: Google+ Google’s Timothy Jordan…



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Microsoft Targets Mid 2015 For Office 16 Launch

We’ll see Microsoft Office 16 in the second half of 2015, a Microsoft official said.

During a during a session at Tech Ed Barcelona Tuesday, General Manager of Office and Office 365 Marketing Julia White said that Office 16 and the next generation of Microsoft server apps, like Exchange Server and SharePoint Server, will be released together.

This is still at least a quarter later than ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley has been hearing from trusted sources. Coupled with the vague “second half” language, it’s unclear whether Microsoft really has a good idea when Office 16 will be ready.

See also: Four Things You Need To Know About Windows 10

Office 16 and its accompanying server apps are at least complete enough for Microsoft to use, and the company has been privately testing the software internally, ZDNet reports.

Photo by Robert Scoble

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Google Webmaster Trends Team Wants To Visit Your Office

Gary Illyes from Google announced on Google+ that the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst team is looking to observe you and your company, while you work. Gary said Google is looking to sit with companies, agencies, and website owners at their office and watch them as they work on “managing their…



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SEO Consultancy Ltd New York Office is Now Fully Staffed and Open for Business – Broadway World

SEO Consultancy Ltd New York Office is Now Fully Staffed and Open for Business
Broadway World
Alongside their first offices that were opened in London, United Kingdom, over five years ago, SEO Consultancy Ltd are now pleased to be able to count New York as another city where they now have an office and physical presence. The New York offices of …

and more »

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With Mailbox For Desktop, We May All Live At The Post Office Again

After years of grieving Eudora, my beloved but long-lost desktop-email client, I’ve found a replacement. It’s called Mailbox.

Starting Tuesday, more people will be able to get their hands on it. Dropbox, which bought Mailbox last year, is opening up its beta program a little wider.

See also: How Mailbox Scaled To One Million Users In Six Weeks

I’ll tell you more about how you can get an invite in a bit. But first, let me tell you a story of love and loss.

Eudora: A Love Story

In 1995, when I was an intern at Mother Jones magazine, my then-boss, Joel Truher, introduced me to Eudora. For the next 16 years, I took Eudora everywhere I went.

Eudora has a charming back story: It was named after Eudora Welty, the author of the short story “Why I Live at the P.O.” Like the protagonist of Welty’s story, we live in our own personal post offices, deluged in digital postcards. While there have been attempts to kill off email, the truth is that it will never stop coming.

At Time Inc., my colleagues and I went through four email systems in the course of eight years. I figured out hacks to make sure that whatever bizarre system my overlords came up with, I could still use clean, simple Eudora.

See also: Innovating The Email Inbox—Without “Delete All”

It had spam filters. It had rules. I could “bounce” emails from one account to another, to deal with the annoyance of people sending work-related emails to personal addresses, or vice versa. And Eudora stored email in a simple, compact, text-based format, making search a dream—as long as I had my laptop with me.

Eudora’s ’90s look (via <a href=”http://copper.net”>Copper.net</a>)

I knew that Gmail was making desktop email obsolete. But I had a system that worked, and I was hell-bent on holding onto it as long as I could.

It was actually Apple, not Google, that killed Eudora. I wanted to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.7 to get some new wonder—probably iPhoto’s Photo Stream feature. I didn’t realize that meant saying goodbye to Eudora. Qualcomm, which had bought Eudora some years back, had stopped supporting the software, turning it over to an open-source project which promptly abandoned it. There would never be an update.

I tried to cope. Apple Mail was no substitute. I gave up and started redirecting one of my personal domains to a Gmail account, to gain the benefit of Google’s spam filtering. And unlike Eudora, I had no way of consolidating my multiple email accounts into one interface. 

I hated Gmail disappearing under a mountain of browser tabs, so I created my own Gmail app with Fluid, a tool which turns Web apps into standalone Mac OS X apps. That gave me a little bit of the feel of an old-fashioned desktop email client. But it wasn’t really the same.

More and more, I looked for ways to communicate that bypassed email: Twitter, Facebook, Campfire, Yammer, Skype, Slack, and others.

My most common routine with email these days: Select all. Uncheck one or two emails. Mark as read. Archive. If I were Welty’s postmistress, I’d be dumping postcards into the bins by the fistful.

Why I Love Mailbox (Despite All Its Flaws)

It hasn’t been easy finding an email app I can truly love. I’ve been too wounded by bad relationships and messy breakups with bad software. I didn’t know if I could trust Mailbox. I didn’t know if my heart could open up again.

So we started out slow. Mobile-only, as most modern relationships begin. I learned to swipe right to archive, swipe left to keep. I could reschedule emails to appear at a time when I could deal with them.

See also: Google To World: Encrypted Email Is The New Black

It was beautiful. I fell hard for Mailbox. I even put up with its quirks and limitations. For months, I only used Mailbox to read email, because it didn’t support Gmail aliases, a feature I require in order to send emails from my readwrite.com address. It sounds crazy that I’d switch back and forth between two apps like that, but Mailbox’s central metaphor—the idea of delaying or rescheduling email, like a task to be completed at the appropriate time—was too perfect. It didn’t help Gmail’s cause that its iOS app struggled with performance issues.

Mailbox gradually added my must-have features, including support for aliases and services besides Gmail. I eventually deleted my Gmail app from my iPhone and went Mailbox-only. 

Mailbox-only on mobile, that is. When I got to work, it was back to my desktop—and back to Gmail. Occasionally I’d fish out my phone just to use Mailbox to reschedule an email to appear in my inbox later. If switching between apps just to get a feature seemed crazy, switching between devices must seem downright loony—but that’s what I ended up doing.

Then came Mailbox for desktop. For the past six weeks, I’ve been living in a world where I go from Mailbox on my phone to Mailbox on my Mac. (At present, Mailbox is only available for Mac OS X.)

For email triage, Mailbox is a beautiful thing. But I still find myself switching to my handrolled Gmail app for a few tasks. Gmail’s smooth integration with other Gmail services like Google Calendar and Hangouts is hard to miss. Mailbox for Mac also still has a few flaws which remind me of the early days of Mailbox for iPhone—it keeps forgetting that I prefer my readwrite.com email alias, for example.

I’m willing to forgive Mailbox these shortcomings, though, because I finally have an experience that reminds me of the good old days of Eudora. It takes me back to the time when I lived at the electronic post office.

What Mailbox Is Delivering

On Tuesday morning, Mailbox for Mac is getting distributed to a wider set of beta testers. 

Existing Mailbox users on iOS and Android will get an invitation called a “betacoin,” and they’ll in turn get three betacoins to share with their friends. It’s a strategy of artificial scarcity reminiscent of the old system Google used to limit Gmail signups using invitations—and a spin on the waiting list Mailbox originally created for its mobile app.

Mailbox’s clean interface is a relief for Gmail clutter.

New features include the ability to save drafts, as well as some improvements geared around desktop email, like better keyboard shortcuts.

When I sat down with Sean Beausoleil, Mailbox’s first engineer in its startup days who remains a key member of the Mailbox team at Dropbox, I mentioned some items on my wishlist.

On top: calendar integration. On mobile, I find it fairly simple to switch between Mailbox and Sunrise, a calendar app, to set up a meeting. (Acompli, a Mailbox competitor puts calendaring into its mobile email client, an all-in-one approach I find overly complicated.) On desktop, though, I’d like a one-click switch between email and calendar, like the one I get with Google Apps.

Mailbox doesn’t have any calendar features today, but it’s clearly something Beausoleil and the rest of the team are working out how to deliver.

“When you communicate a lot, calendar is a natural thing” to think about, Beausoleil told me. “You can think of calendar invites as becoming derivative of the conversation, and not explicit. You can figure out when someone needs to meet based on what they’re saying.”

Mailbox for Mac’s message-deferral tool is its key feature.

Another thing Beausoleil and the rest of the Mailbox team are thinking about is tagging. If you’ve ever been unable to find an email thread because your mental categorization of the conversation doesn’t match the literal words that appear in its text, you know why this would be a good thing.

In Eudora, I used to maintain supremely well-organized folders of emails by company, mailing list, and subject. Most people didn’t bother to use emails like I did—and email can only live in one folder at a time.

“Folders are where email goes to die,” says Beausoleil.

Tagging isn’t something Mailbox contemplated when it was a mobile app, Beausoleil said, but they’re thinking about it now for desktop, an environment where adding keywords to make emails more findable makes sense. And it’s a more flexible approach than Gmail’s labels, which assume you’ll only put email in a very limited set of categories.

I still miss Eudora. But I have hope that Mailbox can be a far better postmistress than Eudora ever was.

All I know is that Dropbox better not screw this one up. Because I can’t have my heart broken by an email program one more time.

Photo by Billy Hathorn; Eudora screenshot via Copper.net; Mailbox screenshots courtesy of Dropbox

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Search In Pics: Google Excavations, Google Massage Rooms & Cusco Peru Office

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google London Massage Rooms: Source: Google+ Sleeping Google Street View…



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Search In Pics: Female GoogleBot, Twitter’s London Office & Pandas On Google Maps

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have, and more. Google Maps With Hundreds Of Pandas: Source: Google+ Twitter’s New UK…



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Wearables At Work Will Reshape The Office

 

ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.

Salesforce, the maker of online tools for tracking customers and helping employees collaborate, is the latest company to try and capture the buzz around wearable devices, following in the Nike-clad footsteps of Samsung and Apple. Earlier this week, it introduced Salesforce Wear, a set of code libraries to help build apps that connect Salesforce’s data with smartwatches, activity trackers, computerized glasses, and other sensor-laden gadgets we wear on our bodies.

The obvious thing to do with this software is build simple notification apps. Meetings get more productive if employees aren’t constantly pulling out their smartphones, and can instead stay in touch with a simple glance at the wrist. But I’m more intrigued by the notion of connecting the world of work to the world of fitness.

Out Of The Rat Race And Onto The Treadmill Desk

Most of us spend hours a day at the office, much of it sitting down, at considerable cost to our health. Persuaded by headlines that declare that sitting is the new smoking, we’re trying treadmill desks and other measures to get ourselves moving at work. These are still outliers, though, in a world where most managers define their team’s productivity by the number of butts they see in cubicle seats.

See also: Life (And Work) On The Treadmill

In the United States, thanks to our system of employer-paid healthcare, the cost to our health hits companies’ bottom lines.

One of Salesforce’s new wearables partners is Fitbit, whose devices track steps, sleep, and other wellness metrics. What if we hooked those up to corporate calendars and had an app that automatically scheduled activity breaks or walking meetings? Or, for those lucky enough to work at a company that encourages sleeping on the job, midday naps for the weary road warrior?

Another Salesforce partner, Bionym, makes a device, the Nymi, that uses biological signals like heart rate to identify a person. That has big implications for high-security environments like banks and data centers.

Big Brother Is Watching You Work Out

Going farther into the future, what if our employers ask us to let them measure such signals for other purposes, like detecting stress levels? That seems Orwellian, but some companies already use voice analysis on employees and job applicants. For certain workers, like bus drivers or firefighters, there could be a strong public-safety rationale for such measurements—and researchers are already exploring the concept.

Imagine the impact on company leadership if a CEO could see in real time how her employees reacted to her speech at an all-hands meeting. Do their pulses go up? Are they angry or happy?

There are huge privacy implications here, of course. We already give up a lot when we enter the workplace, often consenting to drug tests or email screening. But when it comes to actually asking us to wear a device eight hours a day, employers will have to deliver big benefits to justify the invasion.

Will workers stand for such treatment? Maybe—if, in return, it means they don’t have to sit.

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How Google Docs And Sheets Stack Up To iWork And Office

Google has housed its productivity apps under the Google Drive label since launching it in 2012, but no longer. The search giant on Wednesday unbundled new Docs and Sheets apps—for text documents and spreadsheets, respectively—and will shortly also release Slides, a PowerPoint rival, into the wild as well.

It’s not entirely clear why Google is backing away from its monolithic Drive approach, although it’s apparently fairly serious about nudging users into the new standalone apps:

If you don’t have time now, over the next few days you’ll be prompted to download the apps when you go to edit or create a document or spreadsheet in your Drive app.

Google, however, also made clear that Drive isn’t going away, so the strategic direction here is a bit murky. Some have speculated that Google wanted to unlimber its apps to compete more directly with Microsoft Office (now available for the iPad as well as on Windows devices) and Apple’s own iWork productivity suite—primarily Pages for documents, Numbers for spreadsheets and Keynote for slides.

So let’s have a quick look at how Google Docs and Google Sheets stack up against their rivals.

Google vs. Microsoft vs. Apple

  • Price: Docs and Sheets are free (presumably, Slides will be as well). So are Apple’s offerings—at least to buyers of new iDevices. Others pay $10 for Pages, Numbers and Keynote—each—so that’s $30 for all three. Office for the iPad, meanwhile, is technically free, although the app limits you to read-only document access until you pony up for an Office 365 subscription, which will set you back $70 a year. (You can use the more limited Office Mobile for free on Android and iOS so long as it’s for personal use.) Winner: Google, with Apple a close runner-up
  • Offline use: Google launched its Docs and Sheets apps with a new capability Drive didn’t offer—the ability to create and work on documents offline. Office for iPad allows similar access; so do the Apple productivity apps. Winner: a three-way tie
  • Device availability: Google’s apps run on all Android and iOS devices, but aren’t available for Windows Phone devices. Pages, Numbers and Keynote run on all iOS devices, but not Android or Windows Phone. As for Office—well, let’s just say that in classic Microsoft fashion, you’re stuck with a hodgepodge of different options, including full-fledged Microsoft Office for Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets; Office for iPad for, well, the iPad; nothing for Android tablets and the stripped-down Office Mobile for smartphone use (iOS, Android and Windows Phone). Winner: Google
  • Features: This gets messy fast. Docs and Sheets are relatively full-featured on Android devices, but on iOS they’re considerably pared down—for instance, offering no support for images, tables or hyperlinks. Apple’s iWork suite, meanwhile, generally wins high praise for its plethora of formatting options and tools such as interactive charts. Reviewers have generally praised Office for iPad (with the caveat that it’s mainly for existing Office 365 subscribers), although they have been less kind to Office Mobile; full-fledged Office on Windows 8/RT, meanwhile, has no real commercial competition. Winner: Apple, with Microsoft a close runner-up

The Great Unbundling?

It’s hard not to notice a parallel between Google’s move toward standalone productivity apps and hinted changes at its Google+ social network. Following the abrupt departure of Google+ chief Vic Gundotra earlier this week, rumors have swirled that the company may be unwinding its social tentacles from the apps and services it has enwrapped over the past year or so.

Perhaps there’s a larger unbundling trend afoot at the Plex. 

Image by Flickr user Adam Hyde, CC 2.0

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