Microsoft has been killing it on iOS with its lineup of premium productivity apps. Now the company is trying to make organizing group outings a lot more fun with is new app Tossup from the Microsoft Garage.
Out today on both iOS and Android, Tossup allows large groups of friends and family to make decisions on things like where to eat, what movie to see, or who should be invited.
Tesla Motors is the smartest company in the world, according to MIT Tech Review’s latest survey of the brainiest corporations. Apple, which was not on last year’s list returns at number 16, beating out other firms like ride-sharing company Uber and smartbulb-maker Philips. MIT cites the newly released Apple Watch and touchless payment method Apple Pay as its reasons for inclusion, saying that these two products “set the pace for competitors.”
You can see the full list of smartiespants in the table below.
Who’s really ahead in innovation? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android
In an effort to prevent rivals from stealing its ideas, Apple patents everything it invents — from the iPhone and the iPad, to app icons and even “magic” tactile gloves. But compared to its biggest competitors, Apple’s patent portfolio from 2015 looks surprisingly bare.
Microsoft, Sony, Google, and LG have all outrank Apple in the patent department this year, while arch rival Samsung has absolutely crushed it.
Cortana in action on Android. Screenshot: Cult of Android
The battle between virtual assistants is about to hot up again as Microsoft Cortana prepares to go cross-platform to take on Siri and Google Now. The intelligent virtual assistant will be arriving on Android and iOS later this year, but you can get a sneak peek in the video below.
Microsoft has inadvertently leaked plans to release a new chat app for iPhone called Flow, which will allow users to have “rapid email conversations.” The service will be a part of Outlook, but it will focus on quick communication with “no subject lines, salutations, or signatures.”
Android and iOS apps on Windows phones? Yup. Photo: Microsoft
More than four years after its debut, Windows Phone still has a native app problem. Microsoft has now accepted that’s not going to change anytime soon, so in an effort to attract new users to its platform, it’s going to allow them to run Android and iOS apps… sort of.
Microsoft’s early attempts to the tablet crown from Apple hasn’t really gone according to plan. All the Surfaces from the original to the Pro 2 were flops, but Microsoft seems to have hit its stride with the Surface Pro 3. Now it’s ready to take on the iPad with an even cheaper tablet.
Today, Microsoft unveiled its thinnest and lightest tablet ever, the Surface 3. At 1.37 pounds it’s just a little bit heavier than the iPad Air 2, but boasts a bigger screen and price tag that starts at $499.
The organization has scaled back its five-year forecast for tablets, expecting market growth to come to a near standstill. With 234.5 million units expected to be sold in 2015, the tablet market will only gain a modest 2.1 percent year-over-year.
It’s the weekend, and Cult of Mac is here to bring you a roundup of all the app awesomeness you might have missed from the last week.
There’s a hot new video streaming app called Meerkat that’s taking the tech world by storm, a fun new game that’s totally free, a widget-based app to keep you on top of the news, the Microsoft Office 2016 beta preview, and more.
Without further ado, here are this week’s awesome apps!
The hottest app of the week in tech was Meerkat, a live video streaming service. It’s the talk of the town in Silicon Valley, but it hasn’t really caught on in the mainstream yet.
The idea is simple: you can start a live stream from your iPhone, and by linking with your Twitter account, automatically tweet a link for people to come watch. You can then chat with viewers directly in the app while streaming. Following people in the app means you get a push notification whenever they’re sharing video.
This entry is brought to you by Nektony, maker of Duplicates Expert.
Most Mac users' hard drives are clogged with space-wasting duplicate files. You accidentally create dupes when you copy a folder to a new destination without removing the original folder, download the same file twice, or back up your hard drive, among other ways.
Now you can find all those unneeded files with Duplicates Expert, the advanced duplicate finder. The Mac app scans your hard drive and any external drives, then provides a simple yet informative report about duplicate files and folders. It even flags similar items for inspection.
After scanning your drives, Duplicates Expert provides a visual report showing how much space each duplicate takes up, with the largest ones listed first. Then the app provides you with useful cleanup recommendations for fast, easy removal.
Duplicates Expert is loaded with great features that could speed up and simplify your Mac's performance: You'll find skip lists for files, folders and extensions; always/never select preferences; customizable scanning size options; and many more. It's the most powerful duplicate files finder around.
Available on: Mac OS X 10.9 and higher
Price: On sale for $1.99 for a limited time (usual price is $4.99)
“The year is 2015: Mankind has created it's first sentient machine: a humanoid robot. If we only knew what would happen next, we probably could have saved ourselves. Now, we’re abandoning the only planet we’ve ever known.”
That’s the story behind Lastronaut, the latest endless runner worth playing. With its delightful retro design and soundtrack, it feels like a throwback to the kinds of games you grew up on.
Best of all: it costs nothing. No ads or in-app purchases. Its creators wanted it to be “love-letter” to the gaming industry. You can read the great story behind the pricing decision on Medium.
The latest app from the fine folks at Robocat is Breaking, a slightly different take on RSS.
You can add news sources by name (Cult of Mac, for example) and have the site’s last few posts displayed in a Notification Center widget. Simple. And if it sounds like something you could use, convenient.
It's Wiper - your basic messenger between two people - text, videos and pictures - as well as HD voice calling. At any time, either party can hit the wipe button - totally wiping it from their screen, the other user's screen and wiper's servers. Permanently. There's no queue - it's done instantly.
They just integrated Bitcoin directly into Wiper to take Bitcoin mainstream. Each Wiper account now comes with a Bitcoin wallet. Essentially once you fill your wallet (you can do so from Coinbase) it's as easy as Venmo or Squarecash, but with Bitcoin.