Office goes free, iPhone 6 Plus, most secure, Philips Hue, photos, Samsung, wirelurker, Apple Pay, games


Two Apple commentators love the bigger 6 Plus
Two Apple commentators love the bigger 6 Plus

Office goes free on phones and tablets: what you get, and what you don’t — With the news that Microsoft is making all of its mobile Office apps free — the iPad and upcoming Android tablet versions — with a few caveats: Phone and tablet users will be able to view, create and edit documents for free, and they’ll be able to sync those documents with Dropbox or OneDrive cloud storage. Certain advanced editing features, such as the ability to accept or reject Track Changes in Word, will require an Office 365 subscription. And for commercial use rights, you’ll need Office 365 for Business.
[I am loving Microsoft’s re-engagement with the Apple world – better for all of us.]

Dan Frommer still likes his iPhone 6 Plus, and Steven Sandes loves his — Dan Frommer, writing over at Quartz, published a 30-day review of the iPhone 6 Plus today. The verdict? “After more than a month of everyday use, it has become even more of the pocket computer I’ve always wanted.” Steven Sande loves his too.
[I still love my slimmer 6 – the Plus is just too big for me.]

EFF ranks Apple’s iMessage, FaceTime “best mass market options” for secure messaging, ahead of BlackBerry Messenger, Google Hangouts, Facebook, Microsoft Skype — In its ranking of electronic messaging systems for safety and security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation said no mainstream products passed all of its criteria, but that Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime “stood out as the best of the mass-market options.”

Philips Hue iOS 8 Notification Center widget for connected lightbulbs now available — Users of Philips Hue connected LED lightbulbs can now quickly control their lighting and enable “scenes” with the new easy-access Hue widget, now available for iOS 8.

8 ways to take better photos with any camera — Now that ghosts and goblins have cleared the way for turkeys and reindeer, the prime holiday picture-taking season is upon us. To avoid getting disappointing photos that you can’t reshoot, you can follow these tips to increase your photographic prowess and take better pictures with any camera…including your iPhone.

Samsung Electronics’ heir apparent Lee Jae-yong profiled as silver spoon-fed product of corrupt nepotism with little real experience — When Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook came out as gay, jokes flew that Samsung might rush to announce it “was even more gay.” In reality however, Samsung Electronics is a step further behind Apple, having yet to officially name a successor to its ailing leader Lee Kun-hee, who at 72 remains hospitalised following a heart attack in May.

Jailbroken Chinese iOS devices fall prey to invasive WireLurker malware — Researchers at Palo Alto Networks said they’ve discovered an impressive malware attack against Apple devices, which for now appears to be limited to users of a Chinese application store. [Most people, don’t panic – your device is most likely not jailbroken, as that’s something you have to do specifically to your iDevice as a hack.]

Apple Pay dominates discussion at Money20/20 mobile payments industry conference — This week was the Money20/20 mobile payment conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and with over 7000 people in attendance, the hottest topic at the show was the recent launch of Apple Pay and what it means for the industry.

Leaf on the Wind is an engaging and very clever game — Mel Martin doesn’t do a lot of game reviews “because to me they usually are endless variations on a theme. Leaf on the Wind (NZ$3.79) is a clever exception, and a game I am really enjoying.”

Send your kid on a safari adventure with Trail the Tail — Trail the tail is an educational children’s app. It requires iOS 6.0 or later, is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and is optimised for iPhone 5. It’s a simple app with three short, fun, and educational games for young children in the main menu, a simple math game, and several other games involving various zoo animals on a side menu and costs NZ$3.79.

Google Maps app gets overhauled, adds Uber and Opentable — Google Maps, otherwise known as the mapping app that Apple Maps so desperately wishes it could be, got a little bit better today with an app refresh. The update brings with it a cleaner look and less clutter, which happens to match the post-iOS 7 aesthetic perfectly, along with support for third-party apps such as OpenTable and Uber.