Microsoft is adding Skype's video and voice chats to Office Online and Outlook.com. “On top of this, it's trotting out a Chrome extension that lets you quickly work with Office and Sway content in the browser,” Engadget notes. Currently, users can have Skype text chats while they are collaborating on Office Online docs or checking mail at Outlook.com.
Apple’s notoriously closed culture has not helped it get ahead in the area of Artificial Intelligence. On the contrary, “The really strong (AI) people don’t want to go into a closed environment where it’s all secret,” AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio tells Bloomberg Businessweek. What’s more, “Besides alienating the industry’s stars, Apple’s secrecy risks turning off promising graduate students.”
Nintendo -- yes, that Nintendo -- is planning to launch its first smartphone, next spring. Named the Miitomo, the phone will feature free-to-play games and a personal avatar. “Miitomo is meant to facilitate more communication between friends, getting them talking about things they wouldn’t have brought up on their own,” Wired reports.
Siri will soon help Apple TV owners find song and albums the same way they can already tell her to find a movie. Yes, “Siri is coming to Apple Music on Apple TV at the beginning of next year,” Buzzfeed reports. “Extending Apple TV’s universal search to Apple Music turns the streaming box into a voice-controlled music player.”
Early reviews of the new Apple TV seem positive. “I’ve been testing [the latest] model, and I like it,” Walt Mossberg writes in The Verge. “It’s much faster and easier to navigate.” Yet, “It feels very much like a first effort at a new approach,” Mossberg adds. “Some of its new features, like voice control, are catchups. And some seem too limited.”
Appealing to small groups, team messaging app Slack just introduced some additional features, including Group Direct Messages. “Intended for quick conversations among more than two people that don’t require a persistent channel, users can add up to nine different people to chat within a Direct Message,” The Next Web writes.
Despite a long history of hardware fumbles, Microsoft still thinks it can compete against Apple and others gadget masters. That’s the plan with its new Surface Book, which “is Microsoft’s attempt to take back what the PC market ceded to the MacBook,” Wired reports. Panos Panay, Corporate Vice President in charge of all of Microsoft’s devices, gives Wired all the juicy details.
Without Apple Music subscriptions, Siri is refusing to answer iPhone owners’ music-related queries, including popular song lists. “Maybe that is because Apple hasn’t exactly been driving Spotify out of the market,” Business Insider suggests. “Spotify’s CEO claims his service has seen even greater user growth since the launch of Apple Music.”
After raising more than $35 million, Android launcher EverythingMe is shutting down due to an inability to find a business model. “The startup's inability to grow a business that could keep it running indefinitely proved to be its biggest issue,” PC Mag reports. “The EverythingMe app … is a fairly simple launcher for Android devices that gives you some additional options to play with on your home screen.”
As expected, the new Apple TV officially went on sale on Monday. Apple’s online store is now selling the 32 GB model for $149, and the 64 GB model for $199. “Alongside the box itself, Apple is selling a couple of accessories,” 9To5Mac notes. “You can buy a replacement Apple TV Siri Remote for $79 as well as a Remote Loop, the wrist strap, for $12.99.”