Microsoft takes aim at Slack with Teams chat app
If you’re a bit bleary-eyed or hung over or both because you watched history being made last night, well, we’re with ya. Congrats to the Chicago Cubs and all their long-suffering fans: turns out this year… really was the year. And speaking of teams, modern offices worldwide are using chat apps to communicate more than ever, and Microsoft is getting into game with their own take on the chat app, called, appropriately, Microsoft Teams.
If you’re a Slack, WeChat or even a Google Hangouts user, you’ll find most of the features in Teams familiar. What’s different is Teams’ tight integration with Microsoft Office 365, allowing easy collaboration on documents, projects and so forth. Redmond is hoping that direct connection with Office apps will pull users away from popular competitors like Slack, which has millions of users worldwide – and may be going public soon, so stay tuned.
Dual-camera trends continues on new Huawei smartphone
Chinese smartphone maker and tech giant Huawei is releasing a new phablet, the Mate 9, and it packs some impressive specs, including a dual-camera setup on the back that’s been given some photography lessons from Leica. Also inside the sleek phone: a 4,000mah battery. That’s a lot of juice in one place, and following Samsung’s literal meltdown with the fire-prone Note 7, Huawei was quick to point out that their big battery has been rigorously tested.
The Mate 9 runs a Huawei UI over Android 7 Nougat, and boasts a 5.9-inch full-HD screen in the basic model, along with 4 gigs of ram, 64 gigs of storage and a card slot for up to 256 gigs more space if you need it. But it’s those two back cameras that have our attention: one shoots 12-megapixel photos like normal, but the other takes 20-megapixel black and white shots that the camera then stitches together with the color image for a better single photo – says Huawei.
You can also take native black-and-white pix if you want, which is pretty cool for you photo buffs out there. A “Pro” version of the Mate 9 bumps RAM to 6 gigs plus some other perks, and you can order either one right now in Europe and Asia, with a North American version coming soon.
Rise (and tilt) of the computer for creatives
Microsoft’s new Surface Studio desktop PC looks like it could be a hit, but it’s also spawning imitators, if Dell’s latest video is any indicator.
While it doesn’t specify what the exact model is, a Dell video shown yesterday at the Adobe MAX event features a Surface-Studio like PC that also includes an input dial that looks really familiar. Dell has had a next-gen desktop in incubation for a while now, and one possible feature might be a built-in miniprojector that could put an interactive desktop right on your desktop.
HP’s Sprout PC has had that feature for a while now, and it seems like a pretty smart way to double up your screen space. Again, no model numbers or specific information were mentioned, but it’s looking like computers for creative types are about to get a lot more… creative.