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Office Insiders on iOS get a new Outlook calendar widget, voice commands, and more
by João Carrasqueira
As we near the end of the month, Microsoft has released new builds of the Office suite of apps on iOS to Insiders. The latest updates bring the apps to version 2.43, with build number 20102601, and they include a few new features, some specifically revolving around the recently-released iOS 14.
Outlook is getting the most new capabilities, with a new calendar widget you can place on your home screen on the latest version of iOS. Similarly, there are new watch face complications for watchOS 7, and the app can now offer separate complications for the calendar and mail portions of Outlook. The calendar complication can now indicate whether you're free or busy using the color you set for each status, and the mail complication can show how many unread messages are in your Focused Inbox.
Outlook also now has support for some voice commands, which let users send emails or create events. To do so, a microphone icon will appear on the search bar of the app. The app can also now suggest times when scheduling meetings based on participants' availability. Finally, Outlook can be set as the default email app on iOS 14.
Aside from Outlook, there are a couple of improvements for Insiders. If you have the unified Office mobile app, you can now create image-based content such as a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF file from your image gallery. Using the Share feature from an image in your gallery, these options will be surfaced in the sharing UI.
Finally, Excel now has multi-window support on iPadOS 13 or newer, so you can work on multiplle spreadsheets side-by-side.
By Jefferson Mangubat
LinkedIn unveils Career Explorer tool to help you find jobs based on your skills
by Jefferson Mangubat
LinkedIn wants to help job seekers and employees alike who were displaced by COVID-19 find new jobs amid the pandemic. The Microsoft-owned social networking site has announced a new service called Career Explorer tool, available worldwide in beta in English starting today.
The new tool is meant to match the users' skills with jobs they may not have otherwise considered, but could fit into anyway. Career Explorer will then offer some tips on what additional skills members may need to learn in order to qualify for the job. It will also surface some of their LinkedIn contacts who can make an introduction for them. LinkedIn vows to add more localizations and enhancements in the next few months.
In addition, the platform seeks to prepare job seekers for opportunities in tech-related careers by identifying top digital skills among professionals. There's a new subtle profile picture frame as well that indicates when you are hiring or looking for a job. Recruitment officers will be able to post a job on LinkedIn for free in the coming months.
Finally, LinkedIn has added new virtual interview preparation tools for in-demand jobs such as project manager and software engineer. The goal is to help them answer the most commonly asked questions and enhance their interview skills.
By Jay Bonggolto
Google now opens Office files in Drive in editing mode on the web
by Jay Bonggolto
Google has begun rolling out a fresh update that changes how Microsoft Office files are opened in Drive on the web. Office documents now open in editing mode by default.
The latest change applies when you double-click on a compatible Office file. This includes documents with such file types as .docx, .doc, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx, and .xlsm. However, you will be redirected to the “Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides” Chrome extension instead of Docs, Sheets, or Slides if that extension is installed. Password-protected files are exempted, though.
The new setting is turned on by default. However, if you want to keep its previous setting, Google still lets you use the preview mode by right clicking the document and then clicking "Preview".
It basically solves one pain point with Google Drive, which previously would open an Office document in preview mode with no way of editing the file. Although you could download the document in order to make some changes, that always required one more step than simply letting you edit it once opened.
These changes are rolling out now to Rapid Release domains. However, Scheduled Release domains are set to receive it starting on November 30. It will be available to those with personal Google accounts and business users.
By Abhay V
Some Edge Canary users can finally enable history and open tabs' sync
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft announced back in December of 2018 that it was moving its browser offering to one based on the Chromium open-source project. The firm began testing Edge builds in April 2019 before finally making it generally available in January 2020. However, it wasn’t until this June that the browser began replacing the legacy version automatically. The first version of Windows 10 to ship with Chromium-based Edge is the October 2020 Update (version 20H2).
However, one key feature that the Redmond giant’s offering has been missing since its inception is the ability to sync history and tabs, something almost all other rival products based on Chromium offer. Now, it looks like that feature is finally ready for testing, as some users have begun reporting on Reddit (spotted by WindowsLatest) that the setting to turn on tab and history sync is active in the Canary version of Edge.
Image credit: evdev (Reddit) The option to sync ‘History’ and ‘Open tabs’ is no longer greyed out for these users and can be turned on to enable syncing between different devices logged into the same profile. At least one user could enable the feature between their macOS and Windows 10 machines.
It looks like the feature is being enabled to only a small set of users running Edge Canary build 88.0.682.0 or newer. It is possible that more users begin seeing the capability enabled with future builds.
The appearance of the feature should not be a huge surprise, considering that the company recently revised the timeline for the arrival of this feature from next summer to November, which it announced as part of the feedback summary for last week’s Edge Dev build.
The addition of this feature will be a welcome one for those who have been holding out from moving to Microsoft’s offering due to the absence of the ability to sync history and open tabs between devices. That said, considering that the feature has just begun showing up on Canary, it could be a while before it makes it to the other channels, and eventually, the production builds.
Microsoft killing off Gears Pop! mobile game after less than two years
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft is killing off its mobile game based on the Gears of War franchise, Gears Pop! The announcement was made through the game's official website.
The game's servers will be shut down on April 26, 2021, and until then, some of the events that have been available in the past are coming back, with Bounty rewards being increased and higher drop rates for Legendary Pins. However, in-game purchases are disabled effective immediately, and refunds will be issued for purchases made in the past 90 days.
Microsoft first announced that the Gears of War franchise would be making its way to mobile devices at E3 2018, and the game launched in May of 2019. It features many of the well-known characters in the franchise, but they're depicted with designs based on those of the Pop! figures by Funko. Many of those designs also turned into real-life figures shortly after the game launched.
As to why the game is shutting down, Microsoft simply says it's no longer feasible to keep maintaining the development of the game. Presumably, the title wasn't as big of a success as the company would have wanted.