Microsoft’s Office 365 app now available for Android smartphones

Microsoft is today launching a native Android app for its ‘Office 365′ subscription based productivity suite following the launch of the app on iOS devices earlier this year. The free app, which allows users to view & edit Office files stored in their SkyDrive account, requires users to sign into their paid Office 365 subscription.

The app is already starting to roll out on Google Play, but Microsoft doesn’t appear to be making a tablet version of the app available just yet. Much like on iPhone, perhaps Microsoft is going to stick with recommending users take advantage of the web apps on tablets. It would certainly help it continue its Windows 8 tablet campaigns mocking other tablets for not having Office.

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Google experimenting w/ Gmail style invite-a-friend strategy for Google Glass

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As noted by several posts on the Google+ Glass community page (via SearchEngineLand), Google has begun sending emails to Google Glass owners allowing them to invite a friend to the Explorer program. Google has been distributing Glass on an invite only basis up until now (on top of its #IfIhadglass contests), but this marks the first time it is allowing users to invite others into the beta program. You might remember Google used the same invite-a-friend strategy when Gmail first launched. Read more

Google lends Glass to film schools to “change the way we capture and tell stories”

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Google is lending three sets of Google Glass to each of five film schools for the fall semester as part of what it calls the Glass Creative Collective.

We’re really interested to find out how Glass will contribute to the craft of storytelling, specifically through film. So, we reached out to various film schools, including The American Film Institute, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television and University of Southern California. They’ll start exploring how Glass can be used in production, documentary filmmaking, character development and things we haven’t yet considered …  Read more

Google Maps rolls out ‘Views’, a collection of user submitted photo spheres & Street View imagery

Google today announced a new community-based website called “Google Maps Views” that will allow users to submit and browse 360 degree photo spheres created on Android devices supporting the feature. It will also feature a collection of panoramas from its Street View Gallery.

Once a users signs in and uploads photo spheres from Google+ or directly from their device, they will have a profile on the Views website that displays all of their content:

To upload 360º photo spheres, just sign into the Views site with your Google+ profile and click the blue camera button on the top right of the page. This will enable you to import your existing photo spheres from your Google+ photos. You can also upload 360º photo spheres to Views from the Gallery in Android by tapping “Share” and then selecting Google Maps.

Users can create the 360 degree photo spheres on many Android devices running Android 4.2 and up as well as, of course, Google’s own Nexus devices and others running stock Android. The Views website will also allow users to submit panoramas shot on DSLRs. Read more

Samsung pulls an ARod, caught juicing its S4 benchmark results

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UpdateThe Verge reports that Samsung has responded with a semi-convincing case for how some of it may be innocent, but no comment on the more damning evidence of code referencing specific benchmark apps:

The Korean manufacturer says certain “full screen apps” (any app in which the status bar isn’t present) such as the camera, browser, video player, and benchmarking tools, are classified as requiring the highest performance available. Many games don’t require the maximum clock speed to run, the company notes. Samsung doesn’t address AnandTech‘s discovery of strings of code that implied specific benchmark apps were being targeted for higher clock speeds, but the site did note that other benchmark apps that are not explicitly mentioned in code were also behaving the same way.

For years now, people have been using benchmarks to analyze how devices compare to each other in terms of raw power. As most people know, however, benchmarks don’t usually mean much in terms of real world performance. According to a new report from AnandTech, Samsung has been performing some trickery to make its devices perform better during benchmarking.

Essentially, Samsung has set the GPU of the Exynos 5 Octa Galaxy S4 variant to run at a higher frequency when being benchmarked than during normal, day-to-day usage. AnandTech tested this and found that Samsung sets the device to run at 533MHz during benchmarking tests,  as opposed to the 480MHz during normal usage.

The same trickery also appears to be true when it comes to the CPU speed. While running the GLBenchmark 2.5.1, AnTuTu, Linpack, and Quadrant benchmarking apps, the device was set to use the Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.2GHz. When using the GFXBench 2 app, which is apparently not subject to Samsung’s benchmark trigger, the device ran at  the lower 500MHz speed. Read more

Samsung’s Galaxy NX Android camera now available through UK retailers for £1299

tinhte_Samsung_Galaxy_NX_3-580x397Remember that new addition to Samsung’s NX camera family running Android that the company announced back in June? Today it finally becomes available, at least in the UK, with several UK retailers beginning orders for the device at £1299. That means the camera, which offers a full Android experience on a 4.8-inch display and 13 interchangeable lenses, will likely land in North America somewhere in the $1700 – $1900 range. It’s not cheap compared to other mirrorless competitors, but there simply isn’t a comparable experience that offers the power of a quality DSLR combined with a full Android environment, LTE and 1.6GHz quad core processor. The price tag will also get you the 18-55mm kit lens to start out. Wex and Jessops are currently accepting orders for the device, and Jessops lists it as being available for next-day delivery.

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