If you're a fan of Google's Quickoffice apps, download them now while you still can. Google's planning to pull its Quickoffice apps from Google Play and iTunes over the course of the next few weeks, as the company feels they're no longer needed after recently overhauling its Docs, Sheets, and Slides, which are now available as standalone apps rather than being lumped together.
Don't hold your breath waiting for a smaller size Surface tablet
Leading up to the launch of Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, there were several rumors suggesting the Redmond company was planning to announce a Surface Mini tablet during the press event. Even Microsoft teased such an unveiling by inviting members of the press to a "small gathering" on May 20. Instead, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Mini is still nowhere to be seen. That might not change any time soon.
The next generation of Surface tablets might get a name change to Lumia
After successfully acquiring Nokia's Devices and Services business (basically the company's mobile division) for around $7.2 billion, Microsoft's next task is to figure out how to juggle its different brands. The Redmond outfit might already have it figured out -- word on the web is that Microsoft is planning to market its smartphones as "Nokia by Microsoft" and use the Lumia brand for its tablets.
Little by little, the Windows Phone platform is being fleshed out with a bigger and wider variety of apps. For you photography fans, Adobe Photoshop Express is now available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices as a free download. For casual edits, this means you no longer have to export your photos to your PC for Photoshop-style touchups and the like -- just use your Lumia device instead.
MSI joins iBuyPower's customizable OptiBoost program
Your options for configuring a name brand gaming laptop from iBuyPower are expanding. As part of what iBuyPower is calling its Optiboost program, select notebook makers are teaming up with the boutique builder to offer customizable laptops. iBuyPower kicked off its Optiboost program last month with Gigabyte, and now MSI is joining the program with five different laptops to choose from.
The day has finally come that Microsoft released an Android handset. Of course, we knew this day was coming, the wheels of which were set in motion when Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile division. Still, it's a bit surreal. That said, Microsoft's launch of the Nokia X2 isn't about dominating the Android space with a high-end handset, but about introducing the "next billion" people to the mobile Internet and cloud services.
Today we'll begin to find out if Microsoft is on the right track with its Surface hardware. As the company promised, Surface Pro 3 is available at retail stores, online, and through authorized resellers in the U.S. and Canada today, exactly one month after Microsoft announced the upgraded device during a press event in New York City. The caveat? Only the Core i5 version is available straight away.
Struggling handset maker sees light at the end of the tunnel
There may be hope for BlackBerry yet. The company formerly known as RIM -- these days it's just BlackBerry -- surprised investors and analysts by posting a $23 million profit for the three-month period ended May 31, 2014. That's quite a change from the $423 million loss it posted three months ago, and the $84 million loss it posted a year ago after being beaten down by the competition.
iPhone thefts are down as a result of kill switch technology in iOS 7
One of the debates in the mobile phone industry is whether or not so-called kill switches can actually reduce smartphone theft. Well, early indications suggest that they do. Authorities in New York and San Francisco -- two locations where smartphone theft is a growing epidemic -- say they've seen a drop in iPhone robberies since Apple implemented its Activation Lock feature in iOS 7.
Well, it's official -- Amazon today introduced Fire, its first smartphone. Fire also happens to be the only smartphone with "Dynamic Perspective" and "Firefly," a couple of new technologies Amazon is excited about. Before we get to those, let's get some essentials out of the way, starting with price ($199 with a two service agreement, or $27 per month with AT&T Next) and availability (like it did with the original iPhone, AT&T inked a deal to be the exclusive carrier).