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Microsoft Updates Office 2016 Preview for Apple Devices

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Microsoft and Apple have had an interesting relationship. In the early days, the two firms jockeyed for position in the nascent personal computing space. Apple leveraged the user interface and mouse design from Xerox PARC and Microsoft did the same from Apple. Later, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Bill Gates "rescued" Apple with a $130-million-plus investment and a promise to support Macs with versions of Office. This wasn't just a gesture of goodwill to keep Apple relevant. Apple was on the ropes and Microsoft needed an adversary to fend off antitrust regulators. Plus Office was a nice little revenue stream.



Are You Ready for Ads on Your Apple Watch?

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Ads are one way for developers to make money, as app prices drop to $0.99 or free. And advertisers are always trying to find ways to get in front of people. Advertisers consider devices like the iPhone and iPad the "Second Screen," after television. It looks like smart watches will be the "Third Screen" and may become targets for ads. A new report suggests smartwatch advertising could be a $70 million business by 2019.



Apple Makes Apple TV More Affordable for Content Providers

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During Apple's Watch event in March, they dropped the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, and introduced HBO NOW, which lets cable customers cut the cord and still get HBO on their Apple devices. The HBO deal was significant because it is Apple exclusive, although just for three months, and users can get a 30 day trial for free. It turns out the deal may be even more significant because it foreshadowed that Apple is slashing the fee it takes from such content providers.



Party People, Follow Your Favorite Bartenders with Hoozetending

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I've been using an app called Hoozetending (free) from Hoozetending, Inc. The idea is to let potential customers and partygoers know which of their favorite bartenders is working where and when, and what deals their favorite establishments have to offer. Of course, users can discover new places and bartenders, too. It's a bit like Pinterest for nightlife.



With HBO NOW, Watch Game of Thrones on Your iPhone, or iPad or Apple TV

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During Apple's March 9th Apple Watch event, some stage time was offered to HBO as they introduced HBO NOW. The service allows streaming of all of HBO's content. The service is similar to HBO GO, but does not require an HBO Cable TV subscription.



Leef iBRIDGE Mobile Memory Adds Storage But at a Price

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Leef gave me their iBRIDGE Mobile Memory (starts at $59.99) to try. I wanted to like it, but I have mixed feelings. It does the job, which is to provide extra storage for your iOS device, and allow for easy transfer between those iOS devices and a computer. But there are some deficiencies.



Skylink Offers Home Security for the Do It Yourselfer

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Skylink allowed me to try its SK-200 Alarm System Starter Kit ($149.99). This is a compact, easily giftable solution for anyone looking for home security without the contract and monthly payments. Because it is mostly wireless and compact, it could be a great solution for apartment or dorm dwellers looking to add a little security without permanently installing a wired system.



Samsung Bows to Users and Google and Makes Bloatware Removable

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Bloatware is the term for undesired apps that fill up a brand new computer or device. PC makers have added bloatware for years because they would get compensated by software makers for doing so. As margins on PCs diminished, this became a valuable revenue stream. But it was relatively easy to delete unwanted programs or ignore them on a PC with hundreds of gigabytes of storage. 



Apple Selling Sugared Water, Thanks to Apple Pay

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Steve Jobs was a great salesman. Perhaps too good. He lured John Sculley away from the CEO spot at Pepsico by asking him if he really wanted to be selling sugared water for the rest of his life. Sculley became Apple's CEO and within a year, Steve Jobs was kicked out of Apple. He formed NeXT, which Apple ended up acquiring and Jobs returned to Apple, like Moses returning from the wilderness and the rest is history. But that sales pitch hit home during Apple's Spring Forward keynote. Tim Cook showed a slide of a Coca Cola machine that accepts Apple Pay. The very next day, I saw one of those machines at a college campus, and it occurred to me that Apple is now "selling" sugared water!



Apple iOS 8 Adoption, By The Numbers

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Apple's iOS 8 is chugging along quite well, as Apple now reports that 77 percent of iOS devices are using iOS 8. AppleInsider is citing Apple's App Store statistics, stating that Apple's iOS 7 still commands 20 percent share of iOS devices, at least of those that visited the App Store. That means 97 percent of app customers are using the current (2014) or last generation (2013) operating system. This is important to developers, myself included, as it means we can focus on the latest features without leaving too many potential customers behind.



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