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 apps

5 Can’t Miss Apps and Games Going on Sale This Weekend

Looking to download a few great premium apps while saving some money this weekend? Check out these five apps and games, all on sale or free.

  • Plants vs. Zombies

    Plants vs. Zombies Plants vs. Zombies

    Perhaps the greatest tower defense game ever released, Plants vs. Zombies is a game in which players must plant zombie-resistant greenery in order to prevent a diseased horde from attacking their house. There are endless upgrades to bigger, better, stronger plants as zombies become harder and harder to fend off.

    Plants vs. Zombies is temporarily available free for Android on the Amazon App Store.

  • Process

    Process Process

    A simple, effective mobile photo editor, Process allows users to apply preset effects and filters to their images and adjust colors. Process isn’t Photoshop, but it expands Instagram’s offerings so that users can manipulate images and tinker with exposure and balance. The app is typically $14.99.

    Process is on sale for $0.99 the App Store.

  • Noteshelf

    Noteshelf Noteshelf

    A note-taking app that also allows users to annotate documents, Noteshelf is an elegant program that is as much fun to look at as it is practical. It offers a variety of writing surfaces, from legal, to plain white, to graph paper, as well as a series of writing styles. Users can keep multiple notebooks in order to separate documents and notes in different subjects.

    Noteshelf is on sale for $2.99 in the App Store.

  • Plex

    Plex Plex

    By running Plex on your computer, the app allows you to access all personal media on your mobile Android device. Music, videos, and photos are all available on your phone through Plex, along with feature length movies and entire seasons of television shows; Plex is a way of rethinking the utility of cloud storage.

    Plex is temporarily available free for Android on the Amazon app store.

  • Resident Evil 4

    Resident Evil 4 Capcom

    Capcom decided to give its fans a Halloween gift this year by lowering the price on one of its most downloaded iPad games. The Resident Evil series has been around for years, but this mobile-friendly version has brought the dimension and charm of the original games to a smaller screen. Down from $6.99 for a limited time, Resident Evil 4 is worth downloading if you’re looking for a Halloween game this year.

    Resident Evil 4 is on sale for $1.99 in the App Store.

TIME Smartphones

Amazon Exec: We Priced the Fire Phone Wrong

The Amazon Fire phone is displayed at an AT&T store on July 25, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
The Amazon Fire phone is displayed at an AT&T store on July 25, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

Amazon exec tells Fortune how it bumbled the launch of its first smartphone

When it introduced the Fire smartphone in July, Amazon bet sales would be something worth bragging about. But three months in, it’s obvious the Fire phone is more dud than runaway success.

Last week, Amazon CTO Tom Szkutak disclosed as much by saying the company took a $170 million charge, mostly associated with the Fire phone and related supplier costs. He also acknowledged that the company had a huge surplus of $83 million unsold phones collecting dust somewhere.

In an interview with Fortune, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices David Limp acknowledged Amazon bumbled the phone’s pricing. Traditionally, Amazon undercuts the competition on hardware, pairing lower prices and solid features. But with the Fire phone, Amazon stuck to standard industry pricing, asking $199 for the 32 gigabyte model and $299 for the 64 gigabyte. On that front, Amazon, well, misfired.

“We didn’t get the price right,” Limp admitted. “I think people come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations. We thought we had it right. But we’re also willing to say, ‘we missed.’ And so we corrected.”

In September, the company slashed the Fire phone’s price from $199 to 99 cents, a steep discount Limp said yielded significantly better sales. He also pointed out that two software updates since the Fire Phone’s launch ironed out some problems customers were having with the device.

Still, $83 million of unsold phones is a lot, even for a tech giant like Amazon. And a visit to the Fire phone’s page on Amazon.com reveals a 2-star customer rating; reviews call out issues like the Fire phone running hot and a small selection of apps.

Some analysts like Mark Mahaney, Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets, contend it’s “too late” for Amazon to salvage the Fire phone, but Limp claims Amazon isn’t yanking support any time soon.

“When you’re taking risks, they’re not all going to pay off,” said Limp. “Those are the facts.” Limp pointed out other Amazon devices, like its Fire tablet line and Fire TV streaming box, that he described as being “very successful” with customers, but he declined to discuss sales numbers.

With the Fire phone, Amazon plans to stay the course, as it has with its Kindle readers. As CEO Jeff Bezos likes to point out, critics panned the first Kindle e-reader in 2007, but it evolved into a widely-used family of products. Likewise, Amazon seems intent on taking the same long-term approach with the Fire phone, despite a competitive smartphone market.

“We are going to keep iterating software features to get it better and better,” said Limp. “Each release that we’re doing, we’re learning. Beyond that, I leave it out there to see what people think.”

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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 Companies

Android Founder Ditches Google for Tech Startup

Google Ice Cream Sandwich Debuts As IPhone Sets Record
Andy Rubin, senior vice-president of Google Inc.'s mobile division, speaks during an event in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. Jerome Favre—Bloomberg / Getty Images

Andy Rubin helped build and expand the Android operating system to one billion users

A senior Google executive who spearheaded the launch and expansion of the Android mobile operating system to more than one billion users has left Google for a startup venture, the company announced Thursday.

Andy Rubin led the development of Google’s mobile platform until last year, when he briefly took the helm of the company’s nascent robotics unit. He pushed for the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, a robotics company that has made waves with its spry, four-legged machines that can run like a cheetah. Rubin is leaving the company to launch an incubator for startups focused on developing hardware products, the Wall Street Journal reports.

CEO Larry Page bid farewell to Rubin in a public statement on Thursday. “I want to wish Andy all the best with what’s next,” Page said. “With Android he created something truly remarkable— with a billion-plus happy users.”

Rubin will be succeeded by James Kuffner, a senior member of Google’s robotics team, which the company said would continue to form a core element of its business strategy.

TIME Smartphones

Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Launches Low-Cost Smartphone Brand

John Sculley attends the 12th annual SAY Benefit on April 28, 2014 in New York City.
John Sculley attends the 12th annual SAY Benefit on April 28, 2014 in New York City. J Carter Rinaldi—Getty Images

Former tech exec diving headlong into the competitive smartphone market with a new affordable, high-design brand

John Sculley, former CEO of Apple, debuted his new low-cost smartphone brand Obi Mobiles in Singapore Thursday as part of the company’s global rollout.

The company will offer devices priced between $70 and $200 and is looking to go head-to-head with other youth-focused, budget-conscience Chinese phone manufacturers like Xiaomi and Lenovo by keying in to the cache of Apple: distinctive design and branding.

“We are very focused on the younger (13 to 24 year old) consumers,” Sculley told CNBC. “Many may aspire to an iPhone because it’s a beautiful product, but they may not have hundreds of dollars.”

Obi Mobiles also faces competition from Android devices, which are made in China, and plans to stand out from the glut of smartphone brands currently on the market by producing phones with visual appeal and an extensive global distribution network.

Sculley was able to lure several Apple alumni to his new venture in order to create and market a distinctive phone that will lure new users. The list includes Robert Brunner, Apple’s former director of industrial design and chief designer of Beats Electronics.

Obi phones are already for sale in India and the Middle East, and they will begin selling online in Singapore on Nov. 11 through e-commerce site Lazada. By mid-2015, Scully plans to extend availability to the rest of Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

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 Smartphones

3 Things to Know About Samsung’s New Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A3

Samsung Galaxy A5 Samsung

Here's what to know about the new Samsung models

Samsung has recently been suffering from lackluster performance, with its profits declining almost 60 percent to $3.9 billion in the most recent quarter compared with a year ago. On Friday, Samsung announced an answer to its declining earnings: the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5, shiny new devices that might help lift the company out of the doldrums.

Here are 3 things to know about the new Samsung phones.

They’re Samsung’s slimmest smartphones ever

The Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 are 6.7mm and 6.9mm thin respectively. By comparison, the iPhone 6—Apple’s thinnest smartphone—is 6.9mm, and the iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm.

The Galaxy A5 is the more powerful model

With a five-inch screen and 2GB RAM, plus a 15-megapixel camera, the Galaxy A5 has a lot of juice. The newest iPhone models both have 8-megapixel cameras.

They’re selfie-friendly

The two new Galaxy models feature 5-megapixel front cameras for super-sharp selfies, along with a slew of selfie features that Samsung calls Wide Selfie, Palm Selfie, Animated GIF, Beauty Face Features, and Rear-cam Selfie. Samsung says the new phones automatically detect and focus on a person’s face.

TIME Gadgets

This Is the Best iPad Stylus You Can Buy

Pogo Stylus Ten One

The TenOne Pogo Stylus focuses on getting the little things right

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com

The best iPad stylus for people who want to sketch or take handwritten notes is the redesigned Ten One Pogo Stylus. It handles and writes more like an actual pen than any other stylus currently available. It also has an aluminum shaft with a removable clip on one side and a replaceable tip on the other. It produced the best line response of the 18 styli we evaluated and, unlike the competition, never forced us to apply more pressure than was comfortable. After going hands on with all the competitors, illustrator Dan Bransfield reached for the Pogo over models from more established companies like Wacom. And Bransfield would know a good stylus from a bad one—he’s worked for LucasArts, Electronic Arts and Rumble Entertainment.

How We Decided

We started by researching what would best fit the needs of a casual note taker and sketcher. If the idea is to replicate the experience of pen on paper, well, then the best stylus is the one that feels most like a decent pen on good quality paper. That means you want something with enough weight and glide to move freely, but with enough friction to be predictable.

Our testing included tracking the stylus through a maze, tracing the alphabet in various sizes, sketching a variety of items, and navigating through a tablet. After assessing all of them, we started all over again, testing the pens in a different order to reduce any chance that becoming acclimated to a stylus might have skewed the results.

Bransfield then spent time with each stylus, sketching random still lifes with each pen to get a feel for how it performed while being used to draw. He took notes on each stylus based on performance and comfort.

Our Pick

Some companies go overboard to create a more “touch-specific” feel, whereas the Pogo Stylus is just a well-executed riff on a normal pen. The 6mm nib is thin enough to stay out of your way, and perfectly replicates the feel of a fingertip, which makes it an exceptionally consistent performer when paired with an iPad screen. The little touches, like a removable pocket clip and replaceable tips (two for $9) that attach via magnets, reflect the thought put into designing the Pogo.

The Pogo’s metal design, heft, and balance make the pen immediately comfortable for writing and drawing. It’s a simple cylinder that doesn’t rely on design flourishes or ergonomic attributes, and we’re OK with that. During our testing, the more ergonomic styli like the Paper Pencil weren’t significantly more comfortable, and their accuracy wasn’t necessarily greater. And cheaper models, like the Wacom Bamboo Alpha and AmazonBasics, felt a bit too light and thin in comparison.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

While the Pogo’s shaft and clip are plenty sturdy, the part that surrounds the removable tip can get dented if you’re not careful since it’s only a thin piece of metal. This can then dig into and shorten the lifespan of your nibs if you’re not careful.

Runner-up

The Wacom Bamboo Stylus Alpha is a solid runner-up to our top pick. At $15, it’s $5 cheaper than the Pogo, but the Pogo is definitely $5 better. The Alpha is a bit thinner and lighter (it weighs 10 grams to the Pogo’s 18), which makes it feel less like a premium pen and more like a Bic or Paper Mate. That said, its nib response is about as good as the Pogo’s—it just doesn’t feel as good in your hand as the Pogo.

Bluetooth?

A Bluetooth stylus costs anywhere from two to 10 times as much as our top pick and offers just a few additional features. Pressure sensitivity may appeal to artists, but apps do a decent job of simulating that. Palm-rejection allows you to rest your palm on the screen while writing, but yet again, there are popular apps like GoodNotes that can do this without Bluetooth.

After testing several of the most promising models, the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus is the active stylus we would get. It performs basically just like the non-Bluetooth equipped Pogo, but with the aforementioned Bluetooth features. Unfortunately it’s since been replaced by a newer version with a thinner tip that doesn’t draw accurately. That most likely will not be our recommendation, but we plan on pitting it against other new options to see if we can find a better one.

In Closing

The TenOne Pogo Stylus is the best iPad stylus because it focuses on getting the little things right. It just feels and performs like a good pen should. That’s why it’s the best stylus for most people.

This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to The Wirecutter.com.

TIME apps

5 iPhone Apps Your Teen Doesn’t Want You to Download

Government Participates In Safer Internet Day
A student uses an Apple iPhone smartphone at the Friedensburg Oberschule (Friedensburg high school) during the tenth annual Safer Internet Day (SID) on February 11, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. Adam Berry—Getty Images

Better hide these in a “Utilities” folder, because your kid will kill you for having them.

In the ’80s, teens had only was one social app, and it was called the telephone. In the ‘90s, chat rooms were all the rage, leading to social sites like Facebook, Friendster and Myspace in the 2000s. But today’s kids, armed with smartphones, are all over the web, so good luck keeping up with them.

Of course no one wants to be a helicopter parent — but armed with these five apps, you can be a drone parent instead.

Ask.fm

Ask and ye shall receive. This global website is a place were teens ask each other anonymous questions. The service connects to Facebook and Twitter accounts — as well as 133 million users in more than 150 countries — making it easier for users to find and follow their friends. But even if you’re not connected to your kid on a social site, you can still follow them anonymously by searching for his or her Facebook/Twitter username (or even just their actual name). So what are kids asking on this site? Some of the questions are your typical teenage fare, such as, “What scares you more than anything else?” But anonymous, user-created questions like “Are you a virgin?” and other saltier submissions can be rather eye-opening. Sadly, the site’s anonymous comments were linked to a teen suicide earlier this year.

Ask.fm is available for free in the App Store.

Nutmeg

Want your kids to think you’re the coolest? Respond with a Grumpy Cat GIF when they write you saying they’re going to be out past curfew. Want to annoy your kids to no end? Respond to every text they send with a GIF, ignoring the context and not sending any verbal explanation. Nutmeg, a new app that brings these short, animated images to text messaging for the first time, is a collection of some of the funniest graphics on the web, sorted by emotion so you can convert exactly the right message without any words at all.

Nutmeg is available for free in the App Store.

Secret

It used to be that if you wanted to keep a secret, you wouldn’t tell it to anyone. Nowadays, people just post them online. This app allows people to post secrets online, where other people can comment on them. It connects to both Facebook and Twitter, so you can follow your friends, though the entire service is anonymous, meaning you don’t actually know which of your friends are on Secret (or who is making comments). While it can be a good place for people to get support for embarrassing personal issues, that’s entirely dependent on who your friends are once they don the mask of anonymity. And along those lines, the app has also been cited in cyberbullying cases, and anonymous suicide notes have appeared on the service. It’s because of apps like this that you might want to have a talk with your child about anonymous social media.

Secret is available for free in the App Store.

Whisper

Kids may say the darnedest things, but on this anonymous social sharing app, they post them online, too. Similar to Secret, this app allows users to post short messages overlaid onto pictures, which other users can like, reply to with their own graphical posts, or even send chat messages to the poster. Since it doesn’t connect to Facebook or Twitter, Whisper is much better from an anonymity perspective than Secret. But since strangers can contact users about their posts, this service opens up a whole new area of concern. Still, Whisper does categorize posts by content, so it can be good for teens grappling with complex issues like their sexuality, since (ideally) they can get support from other LGBTQ-interested users. Then again, it can also open them up to cruel, anonymous responses. So, like anything on the web, it’s a mixed bag. (Also worth noting, The Guardian recently revealed that the app uses its geolocation features to track users’ physical locations, though the company has refuted some of the newspaper’s claims.)

Whisper is available for free in the App Store.

Yik Yak

While this anonymous, location-based bulletin board sounds like a fictional web service on The Good Wife, let me assure you it is very real. Popular on college campuses and other areas dense in student population, Yik Yak is where teens go to post the wittier and more thoughtful commentary on their life. With the ability for users to up- or down-vote the “yaks” posted by their peers, Yik Yak almost seems higher brow than other anonymous online services. And upon browsing this app, don’t be surprised to find some funny, intriguing thoughts. For example, here’s the current most popular post: “Today, my math TA was waiting for someone to answer his question and after a few moments of silence he said ‘I do math for a living, I can out awkward anyone.’” Yes, but can you out-awkward a snoopy parent?

Yik Yak is available for free in the App Store.

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