Microsoft has put a fresh face on Outlook for Mac. 9to5mac.com says an updated version of Office is coming in 2015. Microsoft claims the latest Outlook gives users a more consistent experience with the iPhone and iPad versions.
The next iteration of Amazon’s Fire phone will be less expensive. Amazon has admitted they considerably overpriced the present model. Gigaom.com reports that future Fire phones will have better software and a lower price, much like Amazon has done with Kindles.
Sprint is expanding its smartphone lease program. Cnet.com says in addition to Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, you can now rent Samsung Galaxy S5 and S5 sport models. The lease is $20 a month for 24 months, then you buy or pick a new phone.
Microsoft Band is a new fitness focused wearable. Thenextweb.com says its $199, and tracks users’ heart rate, steps taken, sun exposure, stress levels, calories burned and sleep quality, relaying the data to Microsoft Health.
As for Android Wear devices…don’t look for them to be iOS or Mac compatable this year. 9to5mac.com reports a Google project manager, speaking at a media event, confirmed no Android wearables will talk to iOS or Macs by this Christmas.
Skype for iPhone has been updated. It now saves and deletes photos, and according to venturebeat.com has improved chat load times, and has easier to use filter options. It’s available at the App store now.
Sales are flat for Samsung, but LG shipped 16.8 million smartphones in the third quarter. Techcrunch.com says that’s up 39% from a year ago. The flagship G3 did well, but was helped by sales of mid price models.
The former head of Google Wallet has launched Poynt, a so-called ‘future proof’ point of sale machine for stores. The verge.com reports it will read magnetic strip cards, chip & pin cards, NFC like Apple Pay, QR codes, and even Bluetooth Beacons.
HP has revealed more about its new 3D printing tech. Engadget.com says it uses a 4 step process to print 3D parts similarly to how an inkjet printer prints documents. HP claims products like gears could be made 10 times faster than with conventional methods.
Not many people are buying Sony smartphones, but if you did, heads up. They are transmitting data to servers in China right out of the box. Geek.com says some have a Baidu folder that keeps coming back after deletion. A workaround is on their forum.
Upstart T-Mobile keeps on outgrowing the other phone providers. They signed 2.3 million new customers in 3rd quarter according to engadget.com. AT&T picked up 2 million, and Verizon grabbed 1.53 million.
If you have young girls, or are a fangirl, it’s jackpot time. Just in time for Christmas, Beats has unveiled Hello Kitty headphones. Cnet.com says they’re for Kitty’s 40th anniversary. As you might expect, they’re a pricey $249, and available mid-november.
Amazon has launched Fire TV Stick. Geek.com says the Chromecast and Ruku streaming stick competitor is $39, but you can preorder it for $19 the next two days if you have Amazon Prime. It will ships November 19th.
Apple is in talks to expand their NFC reach for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. 9to5mac.com says they’re angling to integrate HID and Global building keycards, and transit fare cards. Forget your BART card or key card to get in the building…just bring your iPhone.
Your phone company will hate it, but in Britain, Swytch is building an app that allows multiple, simultaneous phone numbers on a phone with one sim card. Techcrunch.com reports the app would allow for business and personal numbers on one phone, use of a ‘burner’ number if you were selling something, etc. It will work on iOS and Android, and on tablets with cellular as well. Expect it to be here early next year.
Smartphone and appliance maker LG has made a big move. Their next smartphone will sport the company’s own CPU chips. Engadget.com says they’re an 8 core chip similar to Samsung’s.
A married couple has unveiled the world’s first 3D print graphene battery. Forbes.com reports that the prototype already matches the power of a AA battery, and can be made in any shape. They plan to offer materials for people to print their own at home!
Talk about a vanity app…Looksery has launched a video chatting app that makes you look more attractive. TechCrunch.com says the app is live on Apple’s app store, and you can make avatars with it, too. I’ll be George Clooney, please.
Bgr.com says the Motorola Droid Turbo will be unveiled next week on Verizon. It has the specs you’d expect from a flagship smartphone, and appears a bit thick. The turbo has a 3900 milliamp/hour battery…more than TWICE the power of an iPhone 6!
Speaking of Apple, primary supplier Foxconn is angling to build future iPhone displays, and get a bigger piece of the ‘Apple pie’. 9to5mac.com reports they’re in discussions to build a new factory and take the business from Sharp, LG, and Samsung.
The auto world rolls on towards the self-driving car. According to engadget.com, Ford will introduce smart braking to some 2015 European models. The option uses cameras and radar to effect stops and avoid crashes.