Mobile software

Microsoft Office for iPad unveiled

Today Microsoft released Office for the iPad. New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella held a press conference in San Francisco to reveal the long-awaited -- some would say overdue -- suite of apps for the tablet.

The Office apps are standalone -- you download Word, Excel, and PowerPoint separately, and each has an icon on your iPad. The apps are also free, but you can only view documents. To edit, you must have an Office 365 subscription ($9.99 per month for home, $5-$15 per month for business). With Office 365, you can also sync your files across the cloud. … Read more

Star Apps: Sal Vulcano of 'Impractical Jokers'

Sal Vulcano, one-fourth of the "Impractical Jokers" team, chats about the hit series, his most intimidating prank, and his favorite apps.

Start with four high school friends and improv veterans from Staten Island -- Brian "Q" Quinn, James "Murr" Murray, Joseph "Joe" Gatto, and Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano -- who've been playing pranks on each other for years. Then give them a TV show so they can embarrass each other on-air, and you get "Impractical Jokers." The hidden-camera show, now in its third season, has been tickling viewers' … Read more

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

Star Apps: The Glitch Mob

Electronic trio the Glitch Mob's sophomore album, "Love Death Immortality," lives up to its epic title. The 10-track recording's grand, encompassing sound was honed onstage at some of the biggest worldwide venues over the past couple years, and the themes explored -- captured in the title -- are universal. In contrast to the group's debut album, "Drink the Sea," "Love Death Immortality" is richer, with real instrumentation, and more robust, with strong female guest voices. The band's live show is equally massive, with spectacular interactive concert visuals that the musicians … Read more

Star Apps: Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman is best known for his acting: "The Hogan Family" and "Teen Wolf 2" if you grew up in the '80s, and "Arrested Development" and "Identity Thief" if you're watching him now. But he's also been recognized for directing. Bateman ran an episode of the "The Hogan Family" at the age of 18, thus becoming the youngest person inducted into the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Recently he has capitalized on both talents with the feature film "Bad Words," in which he plays Guy Trilby, … Read more

Use Link Bubble to open links in the background on Android

While many apps are starting to display in-line media (showing content of a link without opening a new window), this capability isn't omnipresent across Android. Instead, when catching up on one of your feeds, like Twitter, you have to click the link, and then wait for it to load in Chrome. Link Bubble is an app that seeks to bridge the gap between your apps and the Web by letting you queue up a link to read when you're finished catching up on social media or RSS feeds. It's similar to when you open tabs in the … Read more

Papers, Please dominates IGF Awards at GDC 2014

Many great indie games and AAA titles featured at GDC 2014 were collaborative efforts from highly talented individuals. But Papers, Please proves that there is still room in the gamers' hearts for lone-wolf developers. With an usual narrative, Papers, Please captures the emotional toll of working as an immigration officer in a fictional dystopian country. Using detective skills and powers of observation, players can allow or deny refuge for immigrants trying to get into the nation of Arstotzka.

Lucas Pope drew from personal experience as an American living abroad and applied the skills he acquired at Naughty Dog working on … Read more

Video Interview: Peter Molyneux

The Game Developers Conference is running full throttle this week in San Francisco. We spoke there with Peter Molyneux, creator of Fable and Godus, now available on Steam. Molyneux talked about the 22Cans studio's Kickstarter campaign for Godus, teaching players how to be a god in the game, how video games have enriched his relationship with his son, and his verdict on the XBox One and PlayStation 4.

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony has started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat across its Xperia line.

The company on Wednesday announced that the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z1 Compact are getting KitKat updates starting on Wednesday, though timing and availability vary by market and carrier. Sony said the KitKat upgrade includes the standard interface improvements baked into the mobile OS, along with the company's "tweaked" Status Bar and Quick Settings features. Sony's KitKat installation also includes PlayStation 4-like user interface elements.

Like most mobile vendors, Sony customizes the standard version of Google's Android to … Read more

Skype for Android promises 'aggressive battery savings'

Smartphone makers are chasing new features like bigger screens, fingerprint readers, and motion sensors, but a consistent item I hear on ordinary people's wishlists is longer battery life.

Apparently somebody at Skype is listening.

Microsoft on Tuesday released an update to its service for voice, video, and text chat that comes with "aggressive battery savings," according to the Google Play store.

That means people can "leave Skype running all day with no noticeable battery drain," the company said.

One way the savings was achieved, though, was turning off push notifications for group chat. That can … Read more