TIME apps

Microsoft to Mac Users: Happy Halloween, Here’s a New Outlook for Mac

Office for Mac Microsoft

Available only to Office 365 subscribers

Microsoft’s Halloween gift to Mac users? A surprise new version of Outlook for Mac, which was revealed in a company blog post on Friday.

The new Outlook for Mac is available only to Office 365 subscribers and promises faster performance, revamped interface and push support for the Office 365 cloud. Before you download it, though, Microsoft recommends you first get rid of Outlook for Mac 2011 if you still have that older version installed.

In the same blog post, Microsoft also promised a full refresh for Office for Mac (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote) by the second half of next year, following a public beta.

The new Outlook for Mac comes as an increasingly diverse array of email solutions appear on the market: Just last week, Google announced Inbox, a still-invite-only rethinking of your Gmail inbox as a to-do list, while other similar apps like Mailbox have skyrocketed in popularity lately.

TIME Social Networking

Why Chelsea Handler Can Post Nudes on Twitter But Not Instagram

Celebrities Visit "Late Show With David Letterman" - October 9, 2014
Actress Chelsea Handler enters the "Late Show With David Letterman" taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on October 9, 2014 in New York City. Ray Tamarra—WireImage

They have different rules

Chelsea Handler is causing a stir over nudity on social media, quitting Instagram Friday after the service deleted a topless picture of herself that she posted Thursday. Handler later reposted the image on Twitter, where it remains live, saying Friday that “You can now find my dogs and my breasts on Twitter only where my followers have the right to choose.”

Instagram made similar headlines earlier this year after it censored photos of Scout Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, who posted topless photos as part of the ongoing “free the nipple” campaign. Facebook, which owns Instagram, lifted its nipple ban in photos of breastfeeding mothers earlier this year after months of debate over mastectomy, breastfeeding and other types of nudity.

Why can Handler post nudes on Twitter but not Instagram? It all boils down to differences in the apps’ rules.

Instagram disallows “nudity and mature content.”

Remember that our community is a diverse one, and that your posts are visible to people as young as 13 years old. While we respect the artistic integrity of photos and videos, we have to keep our product and the content within it in line with our App Store’s rating for nudity and mature content. In other words, please do not post nudity or mature content of any kind.

And here are Twitter’s terms, which don’t prohibit nudity, but ask that users who post “sensitive content” mark their accounts appropriately.

For the most part, using common sense won’t steer you wrong. If you upload media that might be considered sensitive content such as nudity, violence, or medical procedures, you should consider applying the account setting “Mark my media as containing sensitive content”.

We do not mediate content, whether that content is an image or text; however, some content is not permissible by law. All content should be marked appropriately as per our guidelines. You may not use our service for any unlawful purposes or in furtherance of illegal activities. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content.

Uploaded images that are reported and that are determined to violate the law will be removed from the site and your account will be suspended. Please review the Twitter Rules for more information on these violations.

Images that have been marked as containing sensitive content will have a warning message that a viewer must click through before viewing the image. Only users who have opted in to see possibly sensitive content will see these images without the warning message. Check out this article for more information on settings and best practices.

Interestingly, Instagram explicitly frames its stricter rules as an effort to keep its 12+ age rating in Apple’s App Store — but Twitter, with its more lenient rules, is rated 4+. This isn’t the first example of app nudity rules making little sense; the subject also came up a few years back when a publisher of adult content wanted to get nudie mags on Apple’s iPad. Apple’s rules, for whatever they’re worth, have this to say:

  • Apps containing pornographic material, defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings”, will be rejected.
  • Apps that contain user generated content that is frequently pornographic (e.g. “Chat Roulette” Apps) will be rejected.

The more you know!

TIME Social Networking

Mark Zuckerberg Will Answer Your Facebook Questions Next Week

Mark Zuckerberg Attends Mobile World Congress
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote conference as part of the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2014 at the Fira Gran Via complex on February 24, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. David Ramos—Getty Images

He's hosting a Q&A on Nov. 6

Ever wanted to ask Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg why there’s no “Unlike” button or what’s up with those auto-playing videos in your News Feed? Your chance is coming up: Zuck announced Thursday night that he’ll host a public questions and answers session on Thursday, Nov. 6, starting at 2 p.m. PT:

We have a tradition at Facebook, where every Friday we have a Q&A and all employees can come and ask me questions about anything they want.

It’s an important part of Facebook’s culture. People ask thoughtful questions about why our company is going in certain directions, what I think about things happening in the world, and how we can continue improving our services for everyone. I learn a lot from these Q&As, and the questions people ask help us build better services.

Now I want to extend this tradition to our whole community. On Thursday, November 6, I’ll host our first community Q&A at Facebook.

If you want to ask me a question, go to the Q&A with Mark page below, ask your question as a comment on the post about next week’s Q&A, and vote on other questions people have asked by liking them. The Q&A will be livestreamed on the page and I’ll post some highlights here afterwards. I’ll be answering questions for about an hour, and I’ll try to get through as many as I can.

I’m looking forward to hearing your questions and feedback. I think this will help make Facebook better, and I hope you’ll tune in next week.

You can ask Zuckerberg your question by submitting it to this event, or you can check out some of the already-posted questions and vote on the ones you’d like answered by “liking” it. His answers will be livestreamed.

Here’s a smattering of what’s already been asked:

“You haven’t tweeted in a couple of years now. Do you ever login to Twitter and read tweets? Do you find Twitter to be a useful service?”

“Why you forced us to install Facebook messenger?”

“Mark Zuckerberg, what beer were you drinking when you created Facebook? This is a MUST know.”

The whole event feels a lot like a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” in which celebrities, musicians, politicians and others take questions from the Reddit community. Zuckerberg has already received more than 4,300 other comments, so you better start posting quick if you want your question answered.

TIME Retail

Wal-Mart’s Apple Pay Competitor Has a Secret Weapon

Grand Opening At A New Wal-Mart Store
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. signage is displayed on a check out register during the grand opening of a new location in Torrance, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's perfectly tuned for low-budget shoppers with phones that aren't always cutting edge

Wal-Mart is among the biggest retailers not accepting Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment system that got underway last week to rousing early success. The big box behemoth is instead going with a different, decidedly lower-tech solution called CurrentC, a mobile wallet developed by a group of merchants, Wal-Mart included, called MCX.

Despite not launching publicly yet, CurrentC is being lambasted in the tech press this week. Why? Over the weekend, several retailers involved with MCX stopped accepting Apple Pay after initially allowing it, which read to many as unfriendly to consumers. And on Wednesday, MCX revealed its email vendor was hacked, exposing CurrentC users’ email addresses and giving the company yet another PR headache.

CurrentC is also seen by many as having been designed more to benefit merchants than consumers. It’s certainly less user-friendly and probably less secure than Apple Pay, but it will help merchants sidestep the much-hated fees they have to pay every time a customer swipes a credit card. CurrentC is also just less cool than Apple Pay—from a tech obsessive’s perspective, it looks like a budget sedan to Apple Pay’s Tesla Model S.

But here’s the thing: None of the tech journalists I know shop at Wal-Mart. For Wal-Mart’s lower-income shoppers, CurrentC could actually have some advantages over Apple Pay. To wit:

1. CurrentC is QR-code based, like Starbucks’ payment app. That makes it backwards compatible with older, cheaper phones (and Android phones) whereas Apple Pay only works with Apple’s top-of-the-line, brand-new phones. Eventually, those iPhones will get older and trickle down into lower-budget shoppers’ pockets, but that’ll take years. The trade-off here is that Apple’s NFC-based system is inherently more secure, as it doesn’t give retailers vital data about your payment method.

2. CurrentC supports consumer loyalty programs (read: coupons), whereas Apply Pay does not. Many shoppers deride loyalty programs as annoying, but I can speak from my experience as a broke college student when I say that coupons can be a vital lifeline for lower-income shoppers. Of course, that support comes at a privacy price: Loyalty programs are really just a thinly-veiled way for retailers to collect data about their consumers.

You’ll notice both of those points contain significant tradeoffs in terms of privacy, a point that Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized when he introduced the company’s service. Still, there are plenty of reasons for low-end shoppers to adopt CurrentC over Apple Pay, if they embrace the mobile wallet at all. Many won’t—but let the best mobile wallet win.

TIME Google

Google’s Amazing New Email App Is Missing This 1 Feature

It doesn't yet work with Google for Work

Learning how to use Inbox, Google’s new algorithm-based email app, is like learning how to drive stick: It’s intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s hard to imagine going back.

I’ve been using Inbox for about a week now as my only means of checking my personal Gmail account, and what I like most is that it treats your email as what email has essentially become: a to-do list. Instead of marking messages as “read,” Inbox lets you cross off items once you’ve accomplished whatever task was asked of you in them:, be it paying a bill, calling your mom, RSVPing for an event. Building an entire email app around that basic concept is not only wise, it also hints at the future of your inbox in a pretty profound way.

Probably my favorite smaller feature is Inbox’s habit of pulling relevant information out of your email and getting it right in your inbox’s home screen. This is particularly handy for things like purchases and flights, where you’ll see data like tracking numbers, expected delivery dates and departure times without even having to open the related email. It’s a similar concept to Google Now, a Google app designed to predict and display information you’ll want at a given point in space and time without you ever having to request it, thanks to an intimate knowledge of your search history and other data.

Inbox also nicely sorts your messages into categories like “Finance,” (read: bills) “Purchases” (receipts) and “Low-Priority” (newsletters). Low-Priority reminds me of another service I’ve used and loved for a few months, Unroll.Me, which takes all the newsletters and daily deal emails that have a nasty habit of languishing in your inbox and collects them into an easy-to-consume daily digest. So far, I’ve been using Unroll.Me in tandem with Inbox, but Inbox is good enough that I might turn Unroll.Me off completely.

What’s wrong with Inbox? Well, for starters, it’s a little hard to learn, mostly because it looks so different than other email software you’ve used before. But really the one thing holding Inbox back is that it doesn’t yet work with Google for Work apps—meaning, if your office is Gmail-based, you can’t use Inbox for your work email yet. That’s a shame, because most of my personal email isn’t actionable, whereas the vast majority of my work email is. Google is considering expanding Inbox to play ball with Google for Work, but a company spokesperson wasn’t able to shed light on when that might happen.

Google Inbox is currently available only by invite on desktop, iOS and Android. It works nicely on both desktop and mobile, but it really shines on phones. Learn more and request your invitation here. Invites were scarce at first, but the word on the street is Google’s been sending more as Inbox interest builds. Google doesn’t have a timeline for when Inbox will go fully public.

 

TIME Smartphones

This 1 Number Shows Why Retailers Shouldn’t Turn Off Apple Pay

Retailers have their own rival technology in the works

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Monday that users of the company’s new mobile payments system, Apple Pay, registered 1 million cards on the service in its first three days. That’s bad news for two of the nation’s top drug stores, CVS and RiteAid, which are disabling the already-installed register technology upon Apple Pay relies.

Why wreck a tech that’s already installed in your stores? Because CVS and RiteAid are part of a group of companies that also includes heavy-hitters like Walmart working on a mobile payment system of their own called CurrentC.

From a retailer’s perspective, CurrentC has several advantages over Apple Pay. Most importantly, it’s designed to sidestep the fees that retailers have to pay credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard every time a customer makes a credit card purchase, marking their latest move to duck those charges. Apple Pay, meanwhile, has the support of credit card companies because it keeps those fees intact. CurrentC also keeps customers’ data in the hands of retailers, while Apple Pay encrypts customers’ purchases, making it impossible for the retailers to track shoppers and advertise to their interests. If CurrentC has an advantage over Apple Pay from a customer’s perspective, it’s that it works with older phones that lack Near-Field Communication (NFC), a necessary ingredient for Apple Pay that’s only found in the newest iPhones and higher-end Android devices.

By disabling NFC (which also affects Android owners using Google Wallet), CVS and RiteAid are essentially trying to stamp out Apple Pay before it gains millions of users, further institutionalizing Visa and MasterCard’s fees. The problem? They’re too late. To disable a service that’s already showing such staggering popularity is a profoundly consumer-unfriendly move. If Apple Pay users love the service as much as Cook’s early figure suggests, they could be willing to change their shopping habits to match — goodbye CVS, hello Duane Reade.

It’s also a bold gambit that retailers have a better shot than one of the world’s most successful technology companies of succeeding where so many have failed before: convincing shoppers it’s easier to pay with the flash of a phone rather than the swipe of a card. Given its very early success here, the smart money’s on Apple. Still, whether Apple Pay will crush the competition or simply open a door for rivals — by getting customers used to paying with a phone — remains to be seen. As consumers, though, we’re in for a long platform battle.

TIME hockey

Watch Hockey Fans Sing ‘O Canada’ After the Shooting in Ottawa

Hours after a soldier was killed outside Parliament

Hockey games typically only start with Canada’s national anthem when there’s a Canadian team on the ice — Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary or Winnipeg. But that wasn’t the case on Oct. 22, when the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted their rival Philadelphia Flyers just hours after a Canadian soldier was shot and killed in an attack outside Parliament in Ottawa.

With the National Hockey League having postponed a planned Wednesday game that would’ve seen the Ottawa Senators host the Toronto Maple Leafs, it fell upon the Penguins to honor the slain soldier and those grieving by leading fans in a heartfelt rendition of O Canada, with the Pittsburgh rink digitally draped in a Canadian flag.

You can watch the touching footage above.

TIME Gadgets

The Revolutionary New iPad Feature Apple Didn’t Talk About

Apple Inc. Announces The New iPad Air 2 And iPad Mini 3
A member of the media displays an Apple Inc. iPad Mini 3, left, and iPad Air 2 for a photograph after a product announcement in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

It could foretell a future where consumers have unprecedented choice over their mobile carrier

Apple unveiled a pair of new iPads during a somewhat subdued event Thursday at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. At first, it seemed there was nothing groundbreaking about the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — these were somewhat boring, iterative improvements like thinner bodies, faster processors and the inclusion of Touch ID. But one feature of the iPad Air 2 that Apple didn’t even talk about on stage represents a change that could foretell a future where consumers have unprecedented choice over their mobile carrier.

The WiFi + Cellular models of the iPad Air 2, as revealed only on Apple’s website after Thursday’s event, comes with something called an “Apple SIM.” SIM cards are small, rectangular devices used by many mobile carriers to identify customers on their networks. If your mobile carrier uses SIM cards, you can switch your service to another device simply by popping the card out of your old device and putting it in your new one. It’s also possible in many cases to bring your old device to a new mobile carrier by getting rid of your old SIM and replacing it with a card supplied by your new carrier — a common practice among travelers, who have to hop from carrier to carrier as they cross from one company’s territory into another’s.

What the new Apple SIM changes is that iPad Air 2 owners who want to bring their device from their current mobile carrier to a new one no longer have to get a SIM card from their new carrier. Instead, switching carriers is as simple as selecting the new company from a menu option on their iPad, provided the carrier is one that currently supports Apple SIM — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and European carrier EE, for starters.

“The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the U.S. and U.K. right on your iPad,” Apple wrote on its website for the iPad Air 2. “So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you — with no long-term commitments.”

That sounds pretty nice for iPad owners, but what about iPhones? For now, Apple SIM is only found in iPads with wireless data capabilities, which serve a much different function than phones. But it’s not hard to imagine a future where Apple puts its Apple SIM in every iPhone on the market, making it that much easier to change your wireless carrier on the fly. As Quartz noted Friday:

A more compelling, user-friendly scenario might see your phone number and crucial services—messaging, voicemail, etc.—tied to your Apple SIM, and a vibrant marketplace where carriers compete for your business. This is already sort of what Apple is about to offer for the iPad.

Imagine booting up your iPhone for the first time and seeing four competing offers for your business from different operators—with short or no contract duration.

That sounds really nice, but it’s still far from reality. Some mobile carriers may be happy to experiment with the Apple SIM for tablets like the iPad, but their contractual chokeholds on cellphone owners are far too lucrative for them to loosen up easily — and, notably, America’s biggest mobile carrier, Verizon Wireless, is absent from the Apple SIM iPad plan (though, for historical and technical reasons, Verizon was slow to embrace SIM cards at all). Apple did not immediately respond to a question regarding whether it will put the Apple SIM in iPhones.

The future of how you pick and choose from mobile carriers will ultimately depend on how far Apple is willing to go to break up the status quo. If the tech giant truly does want to rid the world of the two-year contract, it’ll need the carriers’ cooperation, even if reluctantly given, to do so. Apple has power here: It could conceivably threaten to pull the iPhone from any carriers that don’t play ball with Apple-SIMs-in-iPhones, using its devices’ popularity with consumers as a means of squashing dissent. But Apple’s theoretical plan here can also be beaten: If the carriers band together in refusing the idea, it would go nowhere fast.

TIME technology

iPad Predictions, Then and Now

Apple Announces Launch Of New Tablet Computer
Steve Jobs demonstrates the new iPad on Jan. 27, 2010, in San Francisco Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Apple's first iPad was Steve Jobs' last iDevice

With Apple rumored to be unveiling a new iPad Thursday at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, it’s a great time to look back at the company’s very first tablet — which, notably, was also the last new Apple device presented by late CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away within 2 years of the iPad announcement.

When Apple unveiled the iPad on Jan. 27, 2010, TIME, along with other media outlets, didn’t greet it as revolutionary. Instead, we thought it was all too familiar. The iPad “looks and acts exactly the way the tech pundits predicted: like a giant iPod Touch or iPhone,” we wrote in our Jan. 28, 2010 story on the reveal. Nor was the iPad the first device of its kind seen by the public; the general concept of a “tablet computer” had been around for decades, and as that TIME article notes, “more than three dozen tablets and related devices were shown at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January,” several days before Apple’s event.

That said, Apple is legendary for its ability to create demand in a market where little was found before, as it did with the iPod. The iPad quickly became the best-selling tablet device, and it would take tablets running Google’s iOS competitor, Android, until 2013 to outsell the iPad in terms of raw volume.

What we’re seeing today, however, is flatlining demand for the iPad, perhaps because people don’t feel the need to upgrade their tablet as often as they do their phone — which, by the way, are devices that people still love, contrary to TIME’s 2010 comment that “with the iPad, smartphones have already begun to feel dated,” another prediction that missed the mark. Indeed, while Apple’s new iPhone 6 models are flying off the shelves, iPad sales are stalling.

Which brings us to Apple’s Thursday event, which should show the company trying to pour some gasoline on the iPad’s simmering fire. Even so, the world’s willingness to want an iPad has been proved — these days, the predictions these days are less about whether anyone needs a tablet than about the bells and whistles that might make someone want this one in particular: one of the most hyped rumors is that the new iPad will come in gold. And contrary to broader predictions about the iPad, this one will be tested sooner rather than later: on Thursday at 10:00 Cupertino time.

TIME ebola

Good News! That Adorable Dog in the Sink Doesn’t Have Ebola

We finally have good news about Ebola: That adorable dog in the sink you saw on Twitter Wednesday doesn’t have the disease. In fact, the pup isn’t even in quarantine, as this tweet suggests:

How do I know that? Because that dog can’t possibly be Bentley, the dog that belongs to a Texas nurse recently diagnosed with Ebola. And how do I know that? Because this picture has been around the Internet since Time Eternal.

Here is the picture posted to Pinterest 18 weeks ago.

Here’s a version posted seven months ago.

Here it is posted in June of last year.

And here’s a very similar photo of my mom’s King Charles Cavalier, Scout, which isn’t really relevant at all, but c’mon, aww.

To sum up: This dog ain’t got Ebola. In fact, the nurse’s dog might not have Ebola either. Bentley, the King Charles Cavalier who is owned by nurse Nina Pham is merely under quarantine. And as we explained earlier this week, “To date, there is no documented case of Ebola spreading to people from dogs or dogs to people.”

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